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Replacing Your 720p iTunes Video with 1080p

With the introduction of 1080p HD video support in iTunes last year, in many cases users now have the choice of two different HD resolutions when purchasing and viewing content from the iTunes Store. The good news is that Apple considers the 720p and 1080p versions of HD content to be the same purchase to meet the gradually increasing the amount of content available in the higher resolution. So if you have older 720p TV shows and movies sitting around in your iTunes library, you can very easily replace it to the 1080p simply by downloading it from your iTunes Purchase history to watch on an iPad.


iTune by default is set to purchase, download, and playback HD content in 720p. To upgrade your 720p iTunes video to 1080p, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Download the latest version of iTunes. You can download iTunes for free here.
  2. From the iTunes menu, choose iTunes > Preferences > Playback (for PC, choose Edit > Preferences > Playback).
  3. Next to “Preferred Video Version” set your preference to High Difinition 1080p.
  4. Click OK
  5. Now, simply go into the iTunes Store and select the “Purchases” link near the top-right corner.
  6. You can access a list of all of your previously purchased movies and TV shows from here, and any that are available for re-download in the higher resolution will show an iCloud download icon beside them instead of the word “Downloaded“.
Keep in mind, though, that downloading the 1080p version doesn’t remove the older 720p version from your library, so you’ll have to go and do that manually if you want to conserve disk space and don’t need to keep the other version around for syncing to older devices with different HD capabilities.