Best answer: Now that Disney Plus (Disney+) is live, supporting 4K playback is included in your subscription and works on several devices like the Chromecast Ultra, Roku Premiere, NVIDIA Shield TV, and more.
- Magical pictures: Disney+ ($7/month at Disney+)
- Beautiful cast: Chromecast Ultra ($69 at Amazon)
- Shield up: NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) ($150 at Amazon)
Disney never looked better
With Disney+ finally live, there is a lot of fantastic content available. With everything from classics like Mary Poppins to modern hits such as Captain Marvel, we are going to have a bunch of entertainment at our fingertips. Of course, we want to see these shows in the best possible way, and right now, that is 4K. Thankfully Disney will be including 4K Ultra HD video playback in Dolby Vision ultra-vivid imaging, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos in your subscription. To find out if the title you want to watch is indeed available in 4K, look under the DETAILS section to see what resolutions will be available. Disney outlines its requirements for viewing their 4K content as such:
You’ll need a 4K Ultra HD or HDR device, TV, or display and high-speed Internet connection (25 Mbps or higher recommended) to view content in 4K Ultra HD or HDR. Disney+ will detect the capabilities of your system and play the content if it is available in 4K Ultra HD or HDR.
To enjoy the highest-quality Disney+ experience, all components, including HDMI cables, should support high-bandwidth digital content. External displays should support HDCP 2.2 for 4K Ultra HD and HDR content. Older audio and video components can have an impact on quality or possibly prevent playback entirely.
Now, just because the video stream from Disney+ can be in 4K doesn’t mean that you can enjoy that show at full resolution. The display you are viewing the content on must be at the proper resolution to take advantage of all that ultra HD glory. If you’re unfamiliar, 4K is a resolution for a display that has at least eight million active pixels, or 3,840 x 2,160 for a television. The benchmark for high definition content was 1080p, and 4K is considered an ultra-high definition.
What devices will Disney+ support 4K on?
While watching Disney+ in 4K isn’t as simple as picking up any device near you and hitting play, there are a good number of devices that can make that process simple:
- Roku Premiere
- Roku Premiere+
- Roku Ultra
- Roku Ultra LT
- Roku Streaming Stick+
- Apple V 4K
- Chromecast Ultra
- NVIDIA Shield TV (2017 and 2019)
- NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
- Fire TV Stick 4K
- Fire TV Cube (1st and 2nd gen)
- Xiaomi Mi Box S
- Xbox One series
- Playstaton 4
- Sony 4K Android TVs
- Samsung 4K Tizen Smart TV (2016 or newer)
- LG 4K WebOS Smart TV (2016 or newer)
Unfortunately, the number of phones and tablets that fully support 4K viewing on them is concise; the new Sony Xperia 1 happens to be one of those devices. Probably the most straightforward way to catch the 4K wonder is with a TV that supports 4K and plug in a Chromecast Ultra into it, or really go for it and hook up a 4K streaming device like the 2019 NVIDIA Shield TV to your TV.
HD is available too
Even if you don’t have a 4K television or tablet, it doesn’t mean that the stream you get from Disney+ won’t look great,1080p is still a great picture. These are all the devices that Disney+ is available for regardless of resolution:
- Android phones and tablets
- Android TV devices
- Google Chromecast
- Apple iOS phones and tablets
- Apple TV
- Desktop web browsers
- Xbox One
- Playstation 4
- Android-based Sony TVs
- Amazon Fire TV
Almost as important as the device you plan to watch on is the internet speed you have and how much data you have available. 4K needs a lot of bandwidth and uses a LOT of data. Whether you are getting ready to sit down to catch everything Disney+ has to offer on a Roku streaming device, an Android TV box, Apple TV 4K, and Xbox One series console, or a Playstation 4 the Disney magic is fun no matter the resolution .
From $7/mo at Disney+
All the Pixels Pixar offers
Disney has a lot of gorgeous content in its arsenal, and much of the shows in that last five years will be in 4K. New originals will also likely show up in ultra HD like the Mandalorian and Hawkeye.
$69 at Amazon
Small device, big picture
Chromecast is one of the most simple devices to help get streaming content quickly from your mobile device to your TV, and with the Chromecast Ultra, you can do that in 4K too!
NVIDIA Shield TV (2019)
$150 at Amazon $150 at Best Buy
The way to 4K
In terms of Android TV, the line up from NVIDIA is the best there is. With AI upscaling for getting you the best picture and ensuring your ultra high definition 4K Disney magic can be seen in all its glory.