How to Fix iTunes Error ‘This Movie Cannot be Played in HD’

Keep getting a ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ error message whenever you try to watch a movie purchased from iTunes?

Aside from managing your Apple devices, iTunes also allows you to rent out or purchase movies from the store and watch it directly from your device. This is a great feature as it lets you stream the movies you have purchased or rented on any Apple device like your iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV. 

However, the feature can also experience a few hiccups and problems along the way. There have been reports from several users that they are having a hard time playing HD movies on iTunes with an error message saying ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’. 

 

iTunes error 'this movie cannot be played in hd'

 

This can be frustrating, especially if you have a scheduled movie night with your loved ones, and iTunes decides to ruin it by not playing the movie that you recently purchased or rented. 

In this case, we decided to create a guide on how to fix this problem with iTunes. By the end of this post, you will be able to watch your movies without any interruptions.  

Let’s jump right in.

 

 

1. Re-Login Into Your iTunes Account. 

The first thing to do if you are having a hard time playing HD movies on iTunes is to re-login into your iTunes account. It is possible that your iTunes account encountered an unexpected error during the sign-in process which caused the error to pop.

To refresh the connection related to your iTunes account, you can try signing out of your account and logging back in. 

The steps below will guide you through the process: 

  1. First, go to the Desktop and launch the iTunes app. 
  2. Next, on the menu bar at the top of your screen, click on the Accounts tab. 
  3. After that, click on Sign Out.

iTunes movie cannot be played in hd

 

  1. Lastly, click on the Accounts tab once again and select Sign In to re-login to your account.

Once you have logged in to your account, go back to the movie that you are having problems playing to see if the ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ error message would still occur on iTunes. 

On the other hand, if you still can’t watch the movie that you have rented or purchased, proceed to the next method below to try and fix the problem with iTunes. 

 

 

2. Change Default Resolution. 

To play movies with higher resolutions (higher than 720p), you should first configure iTunes’ playback preferences and set it to 1080p. 

We’ve found this to have removed the ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ issue for us as the movie we wanted to watch was indeed an HD movie with a resolution of 1080p.

Here’s how you can change your default resolution on iTunes:

  1. On the iTunes app, click on the Edit tab from the menu bar. 
  2. Next, click on Preferences

iTunes error 'this movie cannot be played in hd'

 

  1. After that, inside Preferences, click on the Playback tab.
  2. Lastly, change the Maximum Resolution settings to High Definition (1080p).

iTunes movie cannot be played in hd

 

Now, restart your computer and try to play the movie on iTunes once again to check if the ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ would still occur on your computer. 

 

 

3. Update iTunes. 

For the next method, what you can do is to try to update the current version of iTunes installed on your computer. 

It is possible that the version of iTunes that you are using is problematic and contains a bug related HD movie playback. Most likely, Apple may have released a newer version of iTunes that comes with patches for such bugs. 

The below steps will show on how to check for updates on iTunes:

  1. On your computer, go to the Desktop and launch the iTunes app. 
  2. After that, click on the Help tab from the menu bar. 
  3. Lastly, click on Check for Updates and it will automatically scan for any available update on the iTunes app.

iTunes movie cannot be played in hd

 

Once an update is available, follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the update. After updating the app, restart it and try to play the movie that you are having problems playing to see if the problem is already fixed. 

 

 

4. Change DVI Connector to HDMI. 

For some unknown reasons, iTunes on Windows operating system encounters this kind of problem when it tries to play an HD movie on a screen that is connected through a DVI port. 

So if you are currently using a DVI cable for your monitor, you can try switching to an HDMI port instead to connect your monitor to the computer. 

However, if your monitor only has a DVI display port, then you would need to buy a DVI to HDMI adapter to try and fix the issue on Windows. 

 

 

5. Update Windows. 

There have been previous versions of Windows that have had a problem with playing HD movie content on iTunes. Additionally, a few users have reported that they started experiencing the playback error, particularly after installing a Windows update. 

In any case, what you can do is to occasionally check for an update on Windows to see if it addresses the issue regarding iTunes playback errors. 

To check for Windows updates, follow the step-by-step guide below:

  1. On your keyboard, press on the Windows key to open the Start menu. 
  2. Next, click on the Gear icon to open Windows Settings

 

  1. After that, click on Update & Security.

 

  1. Lastly, click on the Windows Update tab and it will automatically scan for any update available on the current version of Windows installed on your computer.

 

If available, follow the on-screen prompts on how to download and install the update on your computer. 

Once done, restart your computer and try to play the movie on iTunes once again to see if the ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ error message would still occur on your computer. 

 

 

6. Disable Hyper-V on Windows. 

If you are using Windows 10 or 8.1 on your computer, you should check if the Hyper-V feature on your computer is enabled. Windows automatically installs this feature on your computer, which allows Windows to utilize hardware virtualization. 

The Hyper-V feature includes a secondary driver that may cause the HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) to encounter errors which is essential for playing high-definition videos on your Windows computer. 

To fix this, you can try disabling the Hyper-V feature on Windows so that the secondary driver that causes the error would also be disabled. 

  1. On your computer, press on the Windows key + R to open the Run Command Box
  2. After that, type appwiz.cpl and hit Enter to launch Windows Programs and Features

iTunes error 'this movie cannot be played in hd'

 

  1. Now, click on the Turn Windows Feature On or Off button.

iTunes error 'this movie cannot be played in hd'

 

  1. Lastly, find the Hyper-V feature from the list and make sure that is unchecked. Click on Ok to save the changes and restart your computer. 

iTunes error 'this movie cannot be played in hd'

 

Once your computer has restarted, go back to iTunes and try to play the movie that you are having problems with to see if the error message would still occur on your computer. 

 

 

7. Redownload the Movie. 

If you are still having issues playing HD movies on Windows, what you can do is to redownload the movie on your computer. Several users have reported that this method worked in fixing the playback error on iTunes. 

Here are the steps on how you can redownload the movie 

  1. First, open the iTunes app on your Windows computer. 
  2. After that, click on the Accounts tab on the menu bar located at the top of your screen. 
  3. Next, click on Purchased

iTunes movie cannot be played in hd

 

  1. Lastly, click on Movies or TV Shows and find the movie that you want to redownload and click the button with a cloud logo.

Wait for the download to complete, then try to play the movie once again to see if the issue with HD movies not being able to play is already resolved on your Windows computer. 

 

 

8. Reset Power Manager (macOS Only).

For macOS users, you can try resetting your Power Manager, which has also been reported by several users to be effective in fixing the issue with iTunes not being able to play HD movies.

Here’s how you can reset the Power Manager on your Mac:

  1. On your computer, close all running applications and click on the Apple button located at the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Next, click on Shut Down. 
  3. Lastly, once the confirmation prompt appears, press on the Shift + Control + Option key on your keyboard and click on the Shut Down button to begin the process. 

iTunes movie cannot be played in hd

 

After your computer is completely turned off, start it normally and try to play the movie on iTunes once again to see if the problem with video playback is already resolved. 

By now, you should be able to watch the movies you’ve purchased or rented without getting the ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ error message. However, if the issue persists, then comment down below, and we will try our best to get back to you.

Thus ends our post on how to fix the iTunes error message ‘This movie cannot be played in HD’ on your computer. If you do come across any other solutions to fix this issue with iTunes, then feel free to share it below. We will give you a shoutout and a credit for the solution you’ve shared when we update this post.  

 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

 

 

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