At long last, a Disney+ app has arrived on Vizio SmartCast TVs. A software update is now underway that will bring the hugely popular streaming service to every Vizio SmartCast TV going back to 2016. It ends a three-month period since the launch of Disney+ on November 12 — no doubt the longest three months in the lives of Vizio-owning Disney fans — where the service was unavailable as a native app.
Initially, Disney+ could be viewed on Vizio TVs using Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology but this required a compatible iOS device. It wasn’t until a December software update that the ability to do this via Chromecast was added, bring Android users into the Disney+ fold. Nonetheless, a solution that did not require a third-party device remained unavailable until now.
Those with a Disney+ subscription will now be able to access the service directly from the SmartCast home screen and also search the Disney+ catalog using the universal search feature.
Since launching in November 2019, Disney+ has grown to over 26 million subscribers. Presumably, that number will get bigger still now that a significant amount of Americans won’t need to mess around with third-party devices to get it on their TVs.
A big part of Disney+’s success has been the viral sensation of Baby Yoda, a character from the Disney+ original Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. The streaming service is also the only way that Star Wars fans can watch every movie from the franchise in 4K and HDR — at least until the movies begin to be released in Ultra HD Blu-ray later this year.
Despite the service’s impressive popularity, it hasn’t escaped some criticisms. The interface is still not as polished or as easy to use as Netflix. It has also come under fire for its use of HDR technology in The Mandalorian, with some experts claiming the show doesn’t look as bright as it should.
Disney+ costs $7 per month or $70 per year, but an available bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ is proving to be a popular choice for subscribers. Disney packages all three services together for $13 per month.
Currently available in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, Disney+ will launch in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain on March 31.
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