Disney+ launched in the UK and Europe last month. The hugely-anticipated Netflix rival, which costs £5.99 a month, arrived on a swathe of devices – from iPhone to Android, PS4 to Xbox One, Sky Q to – well, almost NOW TV.
Although NOW TV, which lets you stream live and on-demand content from Sky without signing up to an 18-month contract, has confirmed plans to support the Disney+ streaming service on its set-top boxes and HDMI boxes. However, while Sky Q had the app on launch day… those with the contract-less NOW TV are still waiting. And NOW TV hasn’t offered an update when viewers can expect to see the app.
But if you’re hoping for the best possible viewing experience for the vast array of content, you should think about upgrading your NOW TV.
Especially given that the video streaming quality of on Sky boxes hasn’t been anywhere near as good as many had hoped.
By default, NOW TV streams at 720p quality. That’s not full High Definition – let alone the free upgrade to 4K Ultra HD that Disney includes with its £5.99 monthly subscription plan. That’s probably not how you imagine streaming exclusive cinematic shows on Disney+ like The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Show, and The World According To Jeff Goldblum.
But you can boost your set-top box with an optional add-on called NOW TV Boost.
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That will cost you an extra £3 a month on top of the price of any of the entertainment passes that grant access to bundles of Sky content, like the Sky Cinema Pass, which allows you to watch hundreds of Hollywood blockbusters.
NOW TV Boost will upgrade your viewing to full 1080p HD. That’s not quite the Ultra HD that is included with your Disney+ subscription, but it should look much better on your Smart TV. Not only that, but your viewing will be upgraded to Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound too.
Going forward, Disney+ will be the on-demand home of new films and shows from the House Of Mouse. So, don’t expect Black Widow or any of the upcoming slate of Marvel films to launch on Netflix or Prime Video over Disney+ anytime soon.
Sky says the company will continue to have a relationship with Disney – and it’s true that Sky Cinema still has a dedicated Disney channel and a number of popular animated and Pixar titles to stream. But it’s unclear how long that will last given the monumental success of Disney+ already, which has clocked up 50 million subscribers in a matter of months – a milestone that took Netflix years to achieve.
If you’ve got a NOW TV streaming stick at home and are disappointed with the delays to support the streaming app, Disney+ is also available on a wide-range of Smart TVs, including Samsung, Sony, LG and most recently, Philips.