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New streaming service Disney+ is available in New Zealand and it comes with an impressive library of content. But besides that, the new platform also has several features that make browsing and streaming easy and accessible.
While the Disney+ US launch was a bit bumpy, the media giant seems to have fixed all issues and is working great in New Zealand, at least so far. You can sign up and start streaming in a matter of minutes, enjoying a robust catalogue of TV shows, movies and documentaries.
One feature that was suspiciously missing at launch was Continue Watching, but Disney+ has since added a Resume button, so you can now pick up from where you left off – especially useful if you tend to fall asleep while watching Captain America: Civil War for the fourth time.
Unfortunately, users still don’t get a Continue Watching section on the homepage, so you have to manually search for the movie or show you were watching, but we expect that to pop up in the near future. Disney has already confirmed it’s already being worked on in a patch by engineers.
You can also add content to a Watchlist to keep track of titles you’re interested in, similarly to other streaming platforms. The only somewhat disappointing thing about Disney+ is that, while it does meet expectations, it doesn’t yet exceed them.
The platform comes packed with everything you need to watch in style, but doesn’t seem interested in reinventing the streaming wheel. In other words, if you’ve used any other online video platform before, you’ll have no trouble navigating the Disney+ service.
Just in case you need some extra help, here’s the full list of Disney+ New Zealand features.
The Disney+ interface is slick and easy to navigate. There’s a recommendations carousel at the top that is very elegant and eye-grabbing, as well as a few menus designed to make browsing as straightforward as possible – Home, Search, Watchlist, Originals, Movies and Series. As you scroll down, you’ll notice that you can access sections dedicated to Disney’s subsidiaries like Marvel, Star Wars or Pixar.
Similarly to Netflix, the streamer organises its content into scrollable rows like Originals, Reimagined Classics, Inspired by True Stories, Musicals, Nostalgic Movies and more. Once you click on a certain title, you’ll get the list of episodes available, along with some details about the show, extra content if available and related titles. You can then hit Play or add it to your Watchlist. If you’re on a mobile device, you can also opt to download the title for offline viewing.
All in all, the interface feels clean, organised and polished.
Disney+ allows up to four concurrent streams, which means that more users can watch at the same time by using only one account. On that note, you can create separate profiles for everyone, so that each user can curate their own watchlist and keep track of the content they’re most interested in. You can also choose a Disney character for a profile picture.
Disney+ allows you to download shows and movies on mobile devices to enjoy on the go without burning through your mobile data.
The streaming service offers a variety of accessibility options, including closed captioning, audio descriptions, text-to-speech support, colour contrast, responsive design and keyboard navigations. Availability of closed captioning and audio descriptions varies by language.
Most streaming platforms offer licensed content, which comes and goes depending on distribution deals. Since Disney owns all the titles in its catalogue, once a title is available on Disney+, it won’t expire.
That basically means that you don’t have to rush through the library fearing that the show you’re currently binging might become unavailable sometime soon.
Disney+ offers a growing library of content in 4K Ultra HD and HDR, as well as content in 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos and content that supports the Dolby Vision standard. Keep in mind that you’ll need a compatible device and a high-speed Internet connection to enjoy these features.
The new streamer lets you set up a special Kids profile that only shows titles rated G and PG in New Zealand. You can set it up as you would a normal profile – just make sure you check the Kids Profile box when setting the Profile Name.
Disney+ comes with great device compatibility, so you can watch on mobile, game consoles or smart TVs. Here’s the full list of devices you can use to stream Disney+ content:
While the Disney+ content library is pretty comprehensive, some shows and movies from the Disney catalogue are currently missing. If you can’t find your favourite title, you can request it to be added by accessing the Help Section and using the Give Feedback feature.
Besides a generous catalogue of backlog titles, Disney is also investing in original content exclusive to the Disney+ platform.
The list of original titles available so far includes Star Wars series The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Marvel’s Hero Project, Noelle, Lady and the Tramp and more.
Unlike other streaming services that drop an entire season at once, Disney+ releases episodes on a weekly basis. Yes, Mandalorian fans, we feel your pain but you can at least see when the next episode is here.
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