Sadly Disney+ Won’t Work on Chromebooks, Linux, & Some Android Devices Because of DRM





Disney+ logo

Disney+ logoIf you plan to get Disney+ with the hopes of using it on a Chromebook, Linux computer, or some Android streaming players, you may be out of luck. Sadly, early testing in the Netherlands has shown Disney+ does not work on these devices.

So why are devices like Chromebooks blocked? It seems that Disney has set its DRM (Digital Rights Management) to a very high level to help prevent piracy. Disney uses a DRM system created by Google called Widevine. The Widevine system has three different levels of security, and Disney has set their level of security all the way up to 1 according to Hasdegoede who first reported this and Cord Cutters News has later confirmed. Sadly many devices including Chromebooks and Linux do not support level 1 Widevine as their support stops at level 3.

Google’s Widevine DRM is a widely used DVR standard for services like Google Play, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. This DRM standard is also why you can’t stream Netflix higher than 480p on mobile devices and some Android streaming players. With Level 1 access you can get full HD but Level 3 is limited to only SD video. Right now Disney+ is requiring devices to fully support Level 1 DRM from Widevine if they want to be able to stream the service.

Unfortunately, some Android devices, especially older Android devices, don’t support L1. This is very true of many of the cheap Android streaming players not running the full version of Android TV.

Disney could add support for Chromebooks and more in the future. Early on, PlayStation Vue – who also uses Widevine – didn’t support Chromebooks because they used L3 DRM. Later on, they downgraded that to L3 to allow support for Chromebooks and other devices. It is very possible Disney could do the same here but for now, Chromebooks, Linux, and Some Android device owners are out of luck with Disney+.

Correction: An earlier version of this story flipped the meaning of level 1 and level 3. We have updated it to correctly list the proper levels of Widevine.

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