Disney+ app lands on Vidaa-powered TVs from Hisense and Toshiba

Mike Wheatley

This weeks TV app updates sees the Disney+ application arrive on Hisense and Toshiba smart TVs powered by the Vidaa operating system, while the F1 TV app is now available on Apple TV.


The bigger news is Disney+ as it’s by far the more popular app. The Linux-based Vidaa OS was among the last holdouts that still didn’t have access to the streamable library of Walt Disney classics and movies, as the app has been available on platforms such as Android TV, Samsung’s Tizen, LG’s webOS and Roku for sometime already.

The Vidaa platform powers TVs sold by Hisense and Toshiba, and those displays should now be able to access the Disney+ app following a firmware update. Users may need to manually update their TV set to the latest version if the app is not currently accessible.

As well as Walt Disney’s cartoon classics, the Disney+ app also offers access to a wide selection of content from Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic, as well as the entire Star Wars library. For a price of just £7.99 or £80 for a full year, that’s probably not a bad deal for anyone who is a fan.

Like all good streaming services, Disney+ offers high quality video streams in 4K Dolby Vision and ith Dolby Atmos surround sound. Saying that, it wasn’t made clear in Vidaa’s announcement if the platform currently supports those standards.

"Our cooperation with The Walt Disney Company is a major milestone for our organisation," said Guy Edri, EVP of VIDAA USA. "Bringing Disney+ to the VIDAA platform globally is just the first step. We're looking forward to working with Disney on ways to expand our collaboration."

In any case, the addition of Disney+ means that Hisense’s and Toshiba’s latest smart TVs are now in line with models sold by the likes of LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Panasonic.

As for the F1 TV app, this is now available on the Apple TV platform, giving users the option to subscribe to live streams of each and every Formula One race, starting with this weekend’s Austin Grand Prix in Full HD.

Launched in 2018, the F1 TV app is obviously aimed at a very niche audience of motor sports lovers as it doesn't really offer a lot more besides its F1 coverage. That may explain why it was previously limited to just mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Android handsets and tablets. Though, users do have the option to cast the app from their device to the TV via Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast.

But rather than do that, Apple TV owners will be able to jump directly to the big screen through their set-top box, so long as they’re willing topay the $9.99 per month fee for the top-tier F1 TV Pro subscription that gives them access to a full season of racing, as well as live coverage of F2 and F3 races in 1080p at 50fps. The app has some nice features, giving viewers the ability to flick through onboard cameras fitted on each car in the race at will, as well as access to each team’s communications channels, replays, highlights and interviews. As we said, it’s for a very niche audience.

F1 said it also has plans to bring the F1 TV app to Android and Amazon Fire TV later this year.

Sadly, although the F1 TV app is currently available in 188 countries, the U.K. is not one of them.