Disney has lifted the streaming restrictions it placed on its Disney+ service in March in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, it has today confirmed to Forbes (opens in new tab).
The House of Mouse was among the streaming services to follow Netflix's lead in reducing the video quality of its streams to help ease internet traffic during the lockdown period.
Disney+ therefore launched in the UK and a handful of European countries on 24th March with "at least 25 per cent less bandwidth" and, thus, a reduction in picture quality and seemingly limited Dolby Atmos support. At the time, Disney said: "We have instituted measures to lower bandwidth utilization, and in some circumstances streaming content in HD and UHD formats, including Dolby Atmos audio, will be limited or unavailable."
The lifting of such restrictions from today means that 4K, HDR and Atmos titles in the Disney+ catalogue should now be available to stream in their full quality. Upon streaming an Atmos title, such as Thor: Ragnarok, we currently appear to be getting an Atmos feed on some occasions but not others. So we'd try it for yourself!
The restrictions lift is particularly good timing considering that the filmed version of the original Broadway production Hamilton (trailer below) is coming to the Disney+ catalogue in Dolby Vision HDR and Atmos on Friday (3rd July).
Coincidentally, Disney has recently stopped offering its seven-day trial for new subscribers to the service – so if you haven't signed up yet but wish to sing along to every word of Alexander Hamilton, you'll have to commit to at least one £5.99 / AU$8.99 monthly payment. We think the subscription fee is worth it for Disney fans anyway.
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update some content has been restored but not all ie Captain Marvel/ Black panther and so on is at 9Mbps 1440p but Princess diaries is 4K at 17Mbps
it’s very frustrating hopefully Disney get there ask to together
Edit: Atmos is fixed - you must restart the Apple TV box (hold down top two buttons at the same time). When it restarts, Atmos fully working!