Q. I would like to watch 4K movies on my new 4K TV, but streaming can be an adventure if the Internet is shaky, you know. Do you know what’s the deal with Redbox’s 4K rentals. I know they’ve had them for awhile, but they are not available in my area. Buying 4K Blu-rays is too expensive.– Andre, Fairfax, Virginia.

Andre, you’re right. Redbox, the kiosk rental service, has been renting 4K Blu-ray discs since May 2018.

But there’s a catch.

In May 2018, the company began offering 4K Blu-ray rentals in six markets: New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, Austin and Miami. Then, in March 2019, Redbox added nine more markets for 4K rentals:

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Colorado Springs, Colo.
Des Moines, Iowa
Kansas City, Mo.
Minneapolis, Minn.
Portland, Ore.
Reno, Nev.
San Diego, Calif.
San Francisco, Calif.
Spokane, Wash.

Redbox said in March 2019 that more markets were coming soon. However, the Redbox web site still lists those 15 markets that were in place 31 months ago.

I asked a Redbox spokesperson via e-mail if the company is still only offering 4K Blu-ray rentals in those 15 markets.

The response: Yes.

I then asked if Redbox was planning to add more markets, and why it hadn’t offered 4K rentals in a new market for more than two years.

The response: No response.

Redbox apparently is not eager to discuss its 4K plans.

But if you live in one of those 15 markets, you can rent 4K Blu-rays at the Redbox kiosk. The cost is $2.50 per night, which is 50 cents more than a Blu-ray high-def disc rental per night. That’s a better deal than buying a 4K Blu-ray which can cost as much as $30.

The 4K titles now available at Redbox in the 15 trial markets include F9: The Fast Saga, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, A Quiet Place, Part II, Nobody, and Mortal Kombat, among others.

Andre, we will keep reporting on new developments here, particularly your interest for 4K rentals in Dallas. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann