Disney, Marvel, and Pixar movies now available in 4K HDR on Apple TV and iTunes

Apple TV pages for films like <em>Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker</em> now claim 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support.
Enlarge / Apple TV pages for films like Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker now claim 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support.

Samuel Axon

When Apple launched the Apple TV 4K streaming box and first announced support for 4K and HDR in the iTunes movie store back in 2017, it had managed to sign up most major studios. But there was one holdout in terms of offering its catalog in UltraHD: Disney.

For three years, users in Apple’s ecosystem had to settle for 1080p HD to watch, say, the Marvel movies or Pixar animated films. Today, it looks like that’s changing in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. A plethora of Disney-made films inclusive of numerous Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Walt Disney Studios animated films are available in Apple’s storefront in both 4K and Dolby Vision HDR. They also support Dolby Atmos audio.

Examples include Star Wars:

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Disney Plus is rolling out GroupWatch feature to all US subscribers

Disney Plus is rolling out its party watch feature, GroupWatch, to subscribers in the US after previous testing in other countries this month.

Similar to Amazon Prime Video’s watch party function, GroupWatch allows a certain number of Disney Plus subscribers to host a private viewing party with friends and family members. GroupWatch will allow up to seven people with Disney Plus subscriptions to watch a title at once, according to the company. The feature, which The Verge previously reported was being tested in Canada, will be available for web, mobile, smart TVs, and connected TV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV users.

In an effort to make it as interactive as possible, GroupWatch will also give members the ability to react to scenes with six different emoji (funny, sad, surprised, etc.). People can also control playback controls (rewinding, fast-forwarding, pausing) for the entire group. Disney is far from the

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Disney Plus is coming to Google Assistant smart displays

Starting today, Disney Plus’ library of TV shows and movies is available to stream on smart displays like the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max, Google has announced. Google says all “Google Assistant-enabled” smart displays will support the feature, which should include similar devices from JBL and Lenovo. Content can be started with a voice command, such as “Hey Google, play The Mandalorian on Disney Plus.”

Streaming Disney Plus on Google smart displays was possible in the past using the Chromecast-enabled Disney Plus app on another device to “cast” a TV show or film to the display. Now, it can be done directly from the smart display itself. You can use a voice command to start a piece of content playing, and Google says that the smart display’s touchscreen can be used to pause and resume playback, as well as skipping forwards and backwards.

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