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What is Disney Plus Star: Is the international Disney streamer worth it?
Americans have access to a huge number of streaming services unavailable to the rest of the world. Content made for HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, and more often makes its way to third-party services internationally, sometimes much later than when it premieres stateside. One big exception is Disney Plus. Disney Plus subscribers outside the US actually have access to a much more expansive version of the service through Disney Plus Star.
So, what is Disney Plus Star? How does it work? Who has access to the service exactly? And most importantly, is it worth it? Read on for a full breakdown of Disney Plus Star, and hit the link below to sign up if you’d like to join.
What is Disney Plus Star?
Launched in early 2021, Star is Disney’s international streaming brand.
Fully integrated into the Disney Plus interface in several global markets, Star adds huge swathes of content to the existing streaming library for international subscribers.
The service draws from Disney’s massive catalog, some of which exists across Hulu, FX, 20th Century Studios, and various TV channels, and makes them available in one place outside the US, where those services aren’t available.
Star has its own dedicated brand page on the service, but Star titles are also scattered throughout the site and included in recommendations, among new releases, and elsewhere for easy access.
Where is Disney Plus Star available?
Disney Plus Star is currently available in Australia, Canada, Europe (including the UK), New Zealand, and Singapore. It may roll out in other markets, but it is currently limited to those international regions.
Is it the same as Disney Plus Hotstar in India?
Disney Plus Star and India’s Disney Plus Hotstar are not the same thing, despite similar branding. Disney Plus Hotstar does offer an expanded catalog of titles, but it includes third-party content licensed by Disney and does not feature all of the Hulu and Fox content you’ll find on Disney Plus Star.
See also: What is Disney Plus Hotstar?
Can I get it in the US?
Disney Plus Star is not available in the US. You can sign up for a streaming bundle that includes Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, which will offer some crossover with the Disney Plus Star library, but Star is an international brand not available as a standalone streaming service in the US.
How much does it cost?
The service is more expensive than its US counterpart because of all the extra content you get access to. You’ll pay a different amount depending on where you live, and the service will vary (very slightly) accordingly.
Below are the prices by country or region (all in local currencies):
- Australia: $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year
- Canada: $11.99 per month, or $119.99 per year
- Europe (except the UK): €8.99 per month or €89.90 per year
- New Zealand: $12.99 per month or $129.99 per year
- Singapore: $11.98 per month or $119.98 per year
- The United Kingdom: £7.99 per month or £79.90 per year
Can I get Disney Plus Star for free?
Unfortunately, Disney doesn’t offer a free trial period anymore. When you sign up, you pay for what you get starting on day one.
You can save money by opting for a yearly subscription. That doesn’t make it free, but you’re effectively getting a couple of free months thrown into the deal.
One workaround is to share an account with a friend. You can have up to four people streaming simultaneously. If you have a generous friend who lets you have their log-in info without chipping in, congrats — you’ve got free access to Disney Plus Star! If they ask you to pitch in a few bucks a month, you can at least get a discounted subscription that way.
It’s worth mentioning that Disney’s official position is that only members of a single household should share an account, but the company has also made clear that it isn’t interfering with customers who share their accounts with other households, at least for now.
Is it worth it?
It’s hard to deny the value of Disney Plus Star. While some viewers without kids may balk at Disney Plus’ offerings in the US, the blend of family entertainment, adult dramas, and genre fare on the expanded international service makes it a mighty contender in the streaming wars.
As a Canadian subscriber myself, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to dig around to figure out where a Hulu or FX show might be available to stream before Star became available. Now, new series pretty much end up on Disney Plus Star by default.
The increased price point may be tough to swallow for some. Still, for a one-stop streamer, it’s competitive. You’ll want to compare individual titles to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but this is certainly a strong contender to serve your primary streaming needs.
How do I sign up?
Signing up is easy. Just go to the Disney Plus website.
It’s the same sign-up page no matter where you live, so you can head on over to the Disney Plus link below, and if you live in a region where Star is offered, that’s what you’ll be signing up for. This is based on where your internet connection is located, so make sure you’re not using a VPN to mask where you’re signing up from.
What platforms and devices support Disney Plus Star?
Disney Plus Star, just like Disney Plus in the US, is available on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Here’s a list of what’s been confirmed:
- iOS, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices
- Apple TV set-top boxes, including integration with the new Apple TV app. Customers can sign up for the service in the app
- Android, including Android-based phones and tablets (specific OS version not yet revealed)
- Android TV-based devices, including the NVIDIA Shield
- Google Chromecast and devices that have Chromecast built-in
- Microsoft Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S game consoles
- Sony PlayStation 4 and 5 game consoles
- Roku, including all Roku sticks, set-top boxes, and TVs that have the Roku OS installed
- Amazon Fire TV-based sticks, set-top boxes, and TVs
- PC desktop web browsers
- Samsung smart TVs, 2016 or later
- LG smart TV models
- Vizio SmartCast TVs, 2016 or later
- Comcast Xfinity set-top boxes for Comcast X1 and Flex customers
While all devices will offer the same content across the board, only Android and iOS devices will allow you to download your shows for offline viewing.
Read more: Here’s how to download Disney Plus movies and shows
Is it available in 4K?
Yes, as with Disney Plus in the US, Disney Plus Star supports 4K on a variety of devices! Devices include:
- Roku devices and TVs that support 4K
- Microsoft Xbox One
- Sony PlayStation 4
- Apple TV
- 4K-capable Android TV-based devices
- Chromecast Ultra and 4K devices with Chromecast functionality baked in
- LG Smart TVs
That’s not necessarily a complete list, but it’s close.
What can you watch in 4K? Quite a few movies and TV shows support 4K streaming on the platform. You can tap or click on the “Details” section of whatever you want to watch to find out if it supports 4K streaming. This includes many classic and newer films and series on the service.
In November 2021, a number of MCU films on the service added IMAX Enhanced versions alongside the regular versions of those movies. These editions switch the aspect ratio to IMAX’s 1.90:1 aspect ratio for any scenes that were shot in the format.
For more on what to watch in 4K on Disney Plus, as well as a full list of supported devices, head to our Disney 4K guide.
What can I watch on Disney Plus Star?
The Disney library
Disney Plus Star includes the titles you can expect from the Disney Plus library in the US. There are a few exceptions here and there, due to some regional third-party arrangements that keep some titles unavailable, but by and large, if it’s on Disney Plus, it’s on Disney Plus Star.
Examples include Marvel shows like WandaVision and Hawkeye, Star Wars shows and films like Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian and The Empire Strikes Back, newer Disney movies like Seeing Red and Encanto, classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, and many more.
Hulu and FX
Hulu original programming has been divided up among many third-party streamers outside the US for several years now. That’s because the service is only available in the US. With Disney Plus Star, many of those titles, as well as FX titles, are making their way home under one streamer.
See also: The best original streaming shows on every platform
Shows like Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building and Pam & Tommy, as well as FX’s Reservation Dogs are available on Disney Plus Star the same day they stream on their home networks in the US. And you get access to a back-catalog of shows like Alias, Atlanta, and The Americans.
20th Century Studios
Since Disney’s acquisition of Fox, its library has expanded a lot, and that means Disney Plus Star offers a huge catalogue of shows and movies from the 20th Century Fox and Fox television archives. That includes some R-rated and adult titles not available on Disney Plus.
It’s presumably a little funny for American subscribers to spot a Disney Plus landing page for titles from the Alien and Predator franchises, or movies like Die Hard and Jennifer’s Body.
How does Disney Plus Star compare to the competition?
While Disney Plus is a relatively limited service on its own, Disney Plus Star is a pretty strong competitor against bigger players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. With a mix of feature films and TV series from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, National Geographic, Hulu, FX, ABC, 20th Century Studios, and more, it checks off a lot of boxes for viewers who want a one-stop streaming service.
There’s content for kids and adults across a range of genres.
The price is reasonable too. Because you can’t opt-out of Star with a Disney Plus subscription, the price is a little heftier than the previous standalone Disney streamer. A basic Netflix plan is still cheaper, but if you want high-definition streaming and multiple simultaneous streams, Netflix is almost twice as expensive as Disney Plus Star outside the US.
Of course, different countries and regions will have different options not available in the US, and some of these are worth considering. Canada has Crave, which brings together content from HBO, HBO Max, Showtime, and many third-party networks and studios, including some Disney-owned ones and some live channels. One of Disney Plus Star’s big advantages is that it hosts such a huge variety of titles from across the Disney ecosystem, but a service like Crave is pretty competitive for its expansive range of offerings.
Disney Plus Star remains an affordable option though. A standard Crave subscription in Canada will set you back $19.99 a month, so nearly twice as much.
Other frequently asked questions
The answer to that varies. Disney Plus original shows and movies are available on the service on the same day as they appear on the American Disney Plus. For Hulu and FX, many stream on the same day on Star. Eventually, the service should become more streamlined, but certain titles remain available on other global streamers due to previous arrangements. The same is true of theatrical releases: while many will be available on Disney Plus Star on the same day as they appear on Disney Plus in the US, you should expect some exceptions.
You can have seven profiles per account. Each profile can pick a different avatar, with more than 200 available from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and the Star Wars universe.
Four devices can stream simultaneously.
Yep, it sure does! You can lock out profiles made for children with a PIN, and you can limit their access to certain content by setting up rating barriers. These measures are also available on Disney Plus in the US, and they were added with the launch of Star to account for more mature content.
While Disney states that different users must belong to a single household, they are allowing account sharing for now. That said, they claim to have backend technology that helps them identify who is sharing accounts and could crackdown if it hinders the service’s growth. So far though, Disney Plus, including Disney Plus Star, doesn’t seem to have a growth issue!
No, just like Disney Plus, the service is ad-free, even for Hulu titles.
While a lot of streaming services have extended trials to 30 days, especially in light of COVID-19, Disney Plus Star isn’t one of them. Disney Plus used to have a seven-day free trial for new subscribers, but that has since been discontinued, which also applies to Star subscribers.
Since Hulu and ESPN Plus are available only in the US, they cannot be bundled with Disney Plus Star, which is only available outside the US. Having said that, Disney Plus Star includes a great deal of Hulu content for international viewers.
Yes, you can gift Disney Plus Star to others easily on the sign-up page!
There will be some variation in content offerings in different countries. For the most part, Star will offer the same Disney-owned titles, but just as with Disney Plus before Star, some titles are subject to existing third-party agreements that will keep them unavailable in some markets.
Cancelling is easy. Check out this guide for the exact steps you need to take.