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Disney Plus Hotstar: Everything you need to know about the streaming service
Disney Plus launched in the US back in 2019, after which the streaming service quickly expanded to many other countries, including India. But instead of getting a dedicated app, Indian users saw the existing Hotstar streaming platform rebranded to Disney Plus Hotstar.
At the time of its April 2020 launch in India, the newly packaged Disney Plus Hotstar also raised subscription prices and added a trove of new content to the existing service. In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about the platform, which competes with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in India.
What is Disney Plus Hotstar?
As we mentioned before, Disney Plus Hotstar is a collaboration between Disney and Star India’s existing Hotstar streaming service. In 2018, the Walt Disney Company bought out 21st Century Fox in a $71 billion acquisition. This made Star India – owners of Hotstar – a part of the Walt Disney group.
So when Disney Plus officially launched, it was only natural that it would take advantage of Hotstar’s existing infrastructure in India to promote the massive library of Disney content.
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In March of 2020, the erstwhile Hotstar’s black and neon logo was switched to a royal blue Disney Plus Hotstar emblem. Disney then added all its content to Hotstar the following month, marking the official debut of the new streaming service in India.
The platform now includes access to Disney Plus’ original content, legacy Disney titles, and hundreds of other movies and series, including shows from HBO, Fox, and Showtime. It also includes a bunch of sports coverage and is known for hosting live professional cricket matches.
In India, it has all Disney movies and shows available in local Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.
Is Disney Plus Hotstar worth it?
Disney Plus Hotstar stands somewhere between Netflix and Amazon Prime Video when it comes to pricing. The former is more expensive, while the latter is perhaps one of the most affordable streaming services in India.
Disney Plus Hotstar has a wealth of content to offer.
However, it has a wealth of content to offer, especially since it also airs most of HBO’s new and existing TV shows. That’s in addition to Disney’s growing list of original content, classic titles, Hotstar’s local-language originals, live sports, and much more.
While the content on the service is one of its biggest draws, the streaming resolution is one of our biggest qualms with it. The platform charges for premium 4K content. But very few titles are actually available in 4K. You won’t find much content that goes beyond 1080p. And the quality usually drops further if you don’t have a steady internet connection.
You won't find much content that goes beyond 1080p.
The good news is that telecom providers like Airtel and Reliance Jio offer one year of Disney Plus Hotstar VIP subscription for free with some plans. So if you happen to be using one of these service providers, you can get a taste of Disney Plus Hotstar before you subscribe to the premium tier.
All-in-all, we would say that you won’t be disappointed paying for the streaming service. Its UI is clean, its content is engaging, and it’s inexpensive when compared to Netflix.
How much does Disney Plus Hotstar cost?
The streaming service currently has two subscription tiers in India.
The yearly subscription price for the Premium tier is Rs 1,499 (~$20.30). That’s up from its previous price of Rs 999 (~$13.50).
A Super-tier subscription is Rs 899 per year (~$12.15).
Both plans include access to all Hotstar and Disney Plus original content. You also get content from HBO, Fox, and Showtime.
A Super subscription includes some ads and no access to 4K streaming. Premium accounts remove ads and allow for four simultaneous screens, up from the Super limit of two screens.
Premium members will also get exclusive access to the latest Hindi and regional movies.
If you’re not a member of the service yet, you can become one by clicking on the button below and subscribing to your preferred membership plan.
Where is it available?
While Disney Plus is available in a bunch of countries, Disney Plus Hotstar is currently only available in India and, since September 2020, in Indonesia.
Since its official launch in India, Disney Plus Hotstar has accumulated over 28 million paid subscribers.
Overall, Disney Plus Hotstar had over 46 million paid subscribers at last count. Disney Plus alone has over 118 million subscribers worldwide. So, close to a third are from India, with that number likely to rise.
How do I get Disney Plus Hotstar?
What formats and devices does it support?
You can access the service through a bunch of devices. Here’s the complete list:
- Desktop web (All PCs and laptops)
- Android (All Android TVs, Android TV boxes, phones, and tablets)
- iOS (iPhones, iPads, etc)
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Web OS on LG TVs
- Apple TV
Unlike Disney Plus in other countries, 4K content on the Indian version of the service is very limited. The service hasn’t announced the availability of 4K streaming just yet, but it has started upgrading some titles to 4K. We confirmed this in our own usage of the platform.
Currently, the standard resolution is set at 1080p and sometimes even drops to 720p, making the experience not so great compared to services like Netflix and Apple TV Plus.
Disney Plus Hotstar: What to watch?
The service has a vast library of TV shows and movies, both in English and regional languages. These include all the awesome animated and live-action titles from Disney like The Mandalorian, WandaVision, some of the best HBO shows, as well as Hotstar’s own library of specials.
You can check out the links below to discover all the best content on Disney Plus Hotstar.
- Disney Plus: The master list of movies and TV shows
- The very best movies you can watch on Disney Plus Hotstar right now
- The best Hindi TV shows to watch on Disney Plus Hotstar
- The ultimate list of the best English TV shows you can watch on Disney Plus Hotstar
Since the streaming service combines both Indian as well as international content, two of its biggest competitors in the country are Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The two streaming services have a wealth of Indian original TV shows and local language films to lure streamers.
There are also some Indian streaming services you can check out for good quality original as well as international content. These include Voot, Sony Liv, and Zee5.
Q: Can I update my phone number?
A: Users do not have the option to edit their phone number used for subscription; however, if you have lost the number or are planning to change the phone number, you can create a ticket on Hotstar to resolve the matter.
Q: What is the streaming quality at High, Medium, Low, and Auto modes?
A: The video quality while streaming content will be as follows: 1080p (high), 720p (medium), 360p (low) for Premium & VIP users.
Q: What is the minimum recommended bandwidth?
A: The videos on Disney Plus Hotstar across devices are available in different video qualities. It adjusts based on your internet connection and the device in use. For a consistent, quality viewing experience, your internet connection should be capable of achieving at least the following sustained download speeds:
- 2Mbps for non-4K streaming
- 8Mbps for live streams
- 16Mbps for 4K content
Viewers may be able to watch live streams at a reduced video quality with 2Mbps speeds.
Q: How many devices can access my account at the same time?
A: Super users can watch content on two screens at a time, while the Disney Plus Hotstar Premium users can use four screens simultaneously.
Q: How do I upgrade my plan?
A: You can upgrade your plan by going to “My Account” on your Web/App and click on “Upgrade to Premium Annual.” The balance duration on your existing plan will be adjusted.
Q: How do I delete my account?
A: Users don’t have the option to delete their Hotstar account as it is usually carried out at Hotstar’s end upon receiving an account deletion request. You can click here to submit a request to delete your account.
Q: How do I log out of all devices?
A: You can go to My Account or Profile on your Web/App and click on “Log out of all devices.” It will help get you immediate access and log out of every other device in less than 24 hours.
Q: How do I stop my recurring charge/auto-renewal?
A: If your Disney Plus Hotstar subscription is paid via Netbanking, UPI, PhonePe, it will expire at the end of the current subscription period and will not renew for the next billing cycle. For subscriptions via credit/debit card, you can click on “My Account” on the Web. Then click on the “Cancel Membership” option. This will cancel your membership renewal and will still keep your account active until the end of your current billing period.