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When I launch the Google Play Movies app and go to play media I own (or rent) it says "playback is limited to SD on this device" even when selecting the HD option.
According to Google documentation, Android TV boxes should support HD, but it is device dependent. This is frustrating as I cannot watch HD content on my TV using the Pik TV box.
Is Telus aware of this? Is this intentional to force us to rent through Telus?
I rented a movie in HD from Google Play about a week or so ago. Didn't seem to have that trouble.
You can rent the movie in HD, but if you read closely it will say that the content will be played back in SD on this [pikTV] device.
Where are you seeing that message? I can't seem to locate it on my end for things in my library or rentable items. I'm not getting the option to play in SD or HD. It just seems to play in HD.
Easy way for anyone to check is to open the Google Movies app, select a movie to rent, click the rent button and then you are presented with a screen and the 3 rental options (SD/HD/UHD). Select the HD option and you'll get the message.
Here is an image showing the message
I ran a test as we had a $0.99 rental coupon so it didn't matter what resolution I picked. Wife and I rented Boss Baby (don't judge) in HD. The image played in a 16:9 ratio, but wasn't as sharp as HD. SD isn't always a 4:3 image. Most shows/movies on DVDs from the 2000's are in 16:9 resolution, but are a SD resolution (usually 854x480) as DVDs can't fit an HD video file.
This is frustrating and honestly leads me to believe it was intentional that Telus didn't get their Android box properly licensed because they want people to rent movies through the PikTV app rather than through Google.
This is correct (apparently licensing issue with the PikTV), though it seems same "purchased" titles that wont stream in HD from "Google Movies" will stream in HD from the YT App (confirmed using the debug info, streaming in FHD with DRM intact). Not sure if rented titles are accessible from YT though.