Disney Plus UK will have reduced streaming quality at launch

The Disney Plus UK launch on Tuesday, March 24 will be beset by a slight dip in video quality as the House of Mouse joins the ever-growing list of streaming services that are cutting bitrates in an attempt to ease internet usage in Europe.

“In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney Plus, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25% in all of the markets launching Disney Plus,” Disney’s Kevin Mayer said in a statement (via Variety).

That could even drop further, with Mayer saying: “In the coming days, we will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with internet service providers to further reduce bit rates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand.”

While it may sound like a hefty cut, scaling back bitrates – a necessity due to the bandwith being used by those that are social distancing and in isolation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak – won’t affect your Disney Plus experience all that much. Expect some slightly less sharp images from time to time, but it will be mostly unnoticeable to the untrained eye.

Disney Plus has followed on from the likes of Netflix and YouTube cutting bitrates, with Amazon even joining the pledge to help network overload last week.

In addition to that news, Disney Plus won’t be launching in France on Tuesday as originally scheduled, instead being pushed back to April 7. The UK release, and the current Disney Plus bundles on offer, won’t be affected.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.