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Disney+ back to full 4K and Dolby Atmos quality – just in time for Hamilton

Disney+ back to full 4K and Dolby Atmos quality – just in time for Hamilton
(Image credit: Future)

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.

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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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.