Disney+ is now available on the PS5 in South Africa and if you’re keen to get stuck into your festive movies then you’re likely interested to know how the app performs. It is hard to admit that Disney+ is likely the biggest disappointment of the year in my books. The service launched in May and it has presented nothing but mediocre results from its terrible Hotstar-skinned app since.
For starters, there isn’t a TV on the market that is able to run the Disney+ app in 4K and stream content in 4K at the same time. The only way you can get the best of both worlds is to purchase a dedicated 4K Android media box or Apple TV 4K device.
The Xbox Series X/S app followed the TV app release in September and offers a somewhat mixed bag on its own too. The app works in 4K but the content is 1080p buffered at 3840×2160. In short, the app still doesn’t hit the high-quality standards of the non-Hotstar version. The Xbox Series X/S app is also incredibly buggy. Menus lag, the frame rate drops when you’re scanning through content to watch and it takes much longer to get to the higher-quality streams.
The PS5 app does fix some of these issues. It is very similar to the Xbox app where the platform loads into 4K and streams 1080p content with a 4K buffer. The streams also load quite fast and my stream buffered up to the max bitrate 24795079. This result may differ from user to user. However, the app doesn’t have any HDR support for some reason. While my PS5 was in HDR and my TV stated it was using HDR, none of the content played with HDR enabled at all. The streams also never listed any HDR codecs being pulled at all. Instead, it just plays SDR content.
The SDR content is also accompanied by the lack of surround sound. There are no audio codecs being streamed on any shows or movies besides stereo aac playback. The lack of surround sound is quite noticeable when you’re watching content.
In the perfect world, we would get a 4K app for Disney+ that simply plays 4K content with HDR enabled and all the bells and whistles. Sadly, this PS5 app just isn’t it. Disney still can’t get it right and apart from an Apple TV device and dedicated Android media box, there’s still no other way to get a decent Disney+ experience elsewhere. I think we just need to come to terms with the fact that this is it….