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Unable to download SD versions when purchasing HD shows

35237 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2014 11:12 PM by Tigervision RSS
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Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 4, 2012 8:27 AM

Previously buying an HD TV show gave you the SD download too, so you could playback on older devices not HD compatible, or perhaps more importantly sync smaller files to iPhones/iPads if you wanted to get more content on sacrificing the resolution.


Last few TV shows I've bought only the HD downloads, and no matter how much I fiddle with Prefs and the 'prefer HD when available' checkbox in iTunes Store 'Purchased' I cannot seem to get the SD to download.


Is it just me?



  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)

    There have been some recent changes.


    "When you purchase an HD video on a supported device or computer, only HD video will be downloaded. To download the SD version, you need to download the video again from your Purchased page. Conversely, if you purchase an HD video on an unsupported device, the SD version will be downloaded. Then, you will need to download the HD version from your Purchased page. Learn more about downloading previous purchases.


    Note: Some previously purchased movies may not be available in iTunes in the Cloud. At the time of purchase, these titles will continue to download both HD and SD version to your Mac or PC. These movies will indicate that they are not available in iTunes in the Cloud on their product details page in the iTunes Store.

    For all the details, see Purchasing and viewing HD videos,

  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)

    Check the purchased list on your iPad and see if it shows the SD version.

  • debbiebauman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the same problem.   Did you ever figure out a way to download the SD version to your computer?



  • fajalar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Seems like the easiet workaround is to download (from your Purchased list in iTunes) the shows to the device you want to have them on. I just did this on my iPod to get the SD version of a show. It's slightly annoying, but I like this way (now that I know it) better than always downloading the HD and SD versions of a show, because for the most part, that's just extra HD space being eaten up by content I'll never (or rarely) use.

  • Jedesache Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I just figured this out on my Windows machine.

    -Open iTunes

    -Go to iTunes Store

    -Click Purchased in the column on the right side

    -Click on Movies

    -Locate the Movie you want an SD version of

    -Uncheck the little box in the lower right corner that says "Download HD When Available"


    You should now be able to download the SD version of the movie. I did this for a movie and it looks like it would work for a TV Show as well, but I have not tried it. Good luck!

  • nstephenh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I discovered that if you go to the sd page of the show, you can download all of the titles there.


    The sd page is below the album outwork and copywright information.

  • gnusto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I think apple has made it more difficult to buy the SD versions of movies. I could not do it from my apple TV or my iPhone (only the HD version was offered), but I when using my iPad, iTunes gave me the option to choose the SD version. This is particularly useful when buying movies for kids, since they can't tell the difference  between SD and HD. I can barely tell the difference on a 60" HDTV sitting 7 feet away. Maybe apple doesn't want other people like me to buy the SD versions...

  • pubwvj Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I just made the mistake of accidentally purchasing Mythbusters Season 8 in HD. I only want SD. HD costs almost twice as much and takes up more than twice as much disk space and proportionally longer to download. Bit of a pain. Switching from HD ($18.99) to SD reveals a cost of $10.99. No need to pay for HD which wastes disk space, bandwidth and costs more when I can't see any improvement. I wish I could have SD as the default.

  • IsaYonah Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    This solved my problem, unlike Apple support, who wrote me the vaguest of instructions. Thanks Jedesache  for being clear that it was the iTunes store/homepage. Solved!!

  • Moose6860 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have been having the same issue. I just realized that on my iPad in the iTunes Store if you purchased a hd movie it does give you both movies. However, for ex. I bought Lincoln on my Apple TV, if you go under purchases it only downloads the hd version. But if you go in the store itself and go where Lincoln is available to purchase it now says download. From there it gives the option of downloading both. Just press the sd button and them download.  Hope this helps

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