Disney+, the house of mouse’s homegrown streaming platform launched last night, and has brought with it plenty of apps on plenty of different platforms to let you view the mega-company’s many, many films and TV shows. Everything from Star Wars (and the new Mandalorian TV show), to Marvel, classic Disney animations and recently acquired Fox shows like The Simpsons are being dragged together in this streaming service.
Two of those platforms are games consoles, with Disney gracing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with dedicated Disney+ apps in those regions where the service is now available. With a staggered rollout across the world, the November 12 launch only included the USA, Canada and The Netherlands, which will be followed by Australia and New Zealand on 19th November. It’s expected to reach most major markets within its first two years, with the UK launch currently planned for 31st March 2020.
For those who can currently access the service, here’s the links to the Microsoft and PlayStation app stores:
Of course, even without a games console, there’s plenty of other ways to get access to Disney+. You can view it in a browser, get apps for Android TV, Apple TV and Roku devices, and there’s apps for Android and iOS. However, there’s notable omissions here, such as Amazon’s Fire TV and the Nintendo Switch.
Disney+ combines the companies ballooning back catalogue with new shows made specifically for the service. Subscribers (it costs $6.99/mo, $69.99/yr) can download or stream to up to 10 devices with four simultaneous streams all at once and multiple user profiles. There’s also 4K UHD and HDR included from the off, which is a higher price bracket on rival streaming service Netflix.
The rollout hasn’t been the smoothest for Disney, though. Demand has seen their registration and log in servers stumble, there’s complaints of The Simpsons rendering issues and that the content is being cropped to a widescreen format, ruining various visual gags, and yup, there’s yet another edit to the classic Star Wars trilogy. Now Han shot at the same time.
Can the region lock be circumvented using vpn or anything?
Given that Netflix, with all their years of expertise, struggle to prevent people getting around their region lock, I suspect it’s probably quite easy with Disney+
They’ve clearly years planning it, and then suddenly realised last month that they’d got 3 weeks to build the thing.
And it looks like it’s possible, with one slight snag. You can use a VPN and pretend to be in a Disney+ country. But you need to pay for it in one of the supported countries. So you need a suitable payment method. Unlike Netflix, where you can use a UK account and then pretend to be in another country and get the content for that country.
Plus they may be starting to block VPN access, so you’ll run into the problem of having it work for a day or 2 and then it stops working until the VPN fights back.
Doesn’t seem worth the effort, really, if you can wait a while for it to launch everywhere else. If you can’t wait to watch that Manadlorian thing, which does look quite good, then you could probably download the first episode from somewhere in the time it takes to do everything you’d need to do to watch it using a VPN. But that would be wrong, obviously. So don’t do it.
Tech Radar have published an article about it. The way they found was basically to use a VPN, sign up a US Apple ID, and pay with a US giftcard. Even then it seems that you can only watch on that device. Not great at all, but the only method I’ve found so far.
I’m actually not sure whether Disney+ is available right now in my country of residence in the middle of Europe, as I don’t intend to subscribe. But here it’s legal to download stuff from the web, and so I watched the first episode of this Mandalorian last night, as uploaders seem almost faster than Disney themselves. I liked it, it’s funny in parts, looks good and the ending was quite unexpected, but it’s not something to be thrilled about as much as the media tried to hype it for months. I’m more hyped for mid of December, and Disney also gets some of my money for it, as I got the tickets already for the opening evening of number IX.