Disney+ has been available in South Africa for over a year now and Hisense owners have yet to receive the app for the Hotstar version of Disney’s streaming service. While the company is working hard to get the app developed as soon as possible, there is a workaround to get Disney Plus working on Hisense VIDAA in South Africa and other Hotstar regions.
If you already have Disney+ on your Hisense VIDAA TV then you’re good to go. This means you live in a region where your Disney Plus doesn’t rely on the Hotstar platform which has been under criticism since its launch for its poor video quality and lack of streaming codecs. If you already have Disney+ on your VIDAA TV, you can also rest assured knowing you have the “better” of the two apps.
READ MORE – Hisense U6K Quantum ULED 4K TV Review
But if you’re a pleb like us South Africans who have to put up with the Hotstar app and want to watch it in all its horrible glory on our Hisense TV, here’s a guide on how to do so without even downloading the app.
The workaround comes in no other form than using the web browser. All you need to do is launch the web browser on your Hisense VIDAA TV and head on over to the Disney+ website. The website will then ask you to log in to your account. If you have used a web browser to watch Disney Plus in the past, the experience is no different. You’ll log in using your phone number and it will then load the web-based version of the app.
The experience is pretty much the same from this point. You can launch your content, watch whatever you want and even leave a stream to start something else. The only downside to this is getting used to the mouse cursor to navigate around the app. But you can also use the buttons on your controller to scroll up and down the page to sort through the content.
Unfortunately, because this is the web-based version of Disney+ it also comes with the same codec limitations as you would encounter on a desktop PC or notebook. This means your streams won’t go above 1080p and there’s no HDR support for the content either. But given that most Disney+ platforms across other smart TVs and devices don’t support HDR or 4K, you’re not missing out on much. There’s also no surround sound either but again, Disney+ barely has surround sound on its app in the first place.
From my experience with it, it runs smoothly most of the time. There were times when everything would hang up and clicking on a show would lag a bit but once I started something, it was smooth sailing. Even fast-forwarding and skipping episodes while the content was playing was easy enough. I did find most of the slow menu lag to be present only on the home page when icons are moving and thumbnails are playing trailers. Clearly, this page requires a lot of RAM and resources. You’ll get a better experience depending on how powerful your Hisense device is.
Until Hisense manages to release its own Disney+ app, this web-based version should help those who feel like they are missing out. I have mentioned in the past there are workarounds to using VIDAA too. You can also pick up a cheap Google TV device and get all the apps possible. But that’s a last resort. VIDAA is a pretty great operating system on its own and I don’t think Disney+ alone is worth abandoning it for.
Here’s a video guide on how to run Disney+ on Hisense VIDAA TVs in the Hotstar region.