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Disney Plus not on your smart TV? Use these streaming sticks instead

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
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Disney Plus has now come to the UK and most of Europe, ending the months-long wait that UK viewers have had to sit through without their precious Star Wars movies, Marvel movies, classic Disney films, Pixar titles, and (of course) The Mandalorian.

But if you're stuck with a television that can't load up Disney Plus, a streaming stick can offer an easy and affordable way to get the streaming service on your television display.

Why wouldn't you be able to load up Disney Plus? Smart TVs made before 2016 generally aren't compatible with the app's code – while those of you still clinging onto ancient TVs (those without any smart features or online streaming capabilities) simply don't have the software needed.

That's where streaming sticks come in. A streaming stick is usually highly affordable – often as cheap as $20 / £20 / AU$30 – and can be plugged into a TV's HDMI port to access heaps of streaming apps, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Disney Plus and (in the US) Hulu and HBO Now.

What streaming stick should I buy?

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There are a number of different streaming stick models to consider.

First, there's Amazon's range of streaming sticks: the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K. These sleek streamers are still brilliantly cheap, with only a small price markup for the 4K HDR model, which enables you to stream in even higher quality – if you're using it on a 4K TV. (If you only have an HD TV, the regular Fire TV Stick will do you fine.) You'll get both Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as Disney Plus on these streamers – with an excellent smart TV interface, and an Alexa remote for some limited voice commands – though you can find out more in our Amazon Fire TV Stick review.

There's also the Google Chromecast, which offers a huge number of streaming apps, and the ability to conveniently cast video content from your Android tablet or smartphone. Like the Fire TV Sticks, there's a budget HD option and more premium 4K HDR streamer (Chromecast Ultra). You won't get Amazon Prime Video, though Disney Plus is very much available on the device.

Roku streaming devices also boast a brilliantly simple OS and Disney Plus support, whether you're using the budget Roku Express (HD only) or Roku Streaming Stick+ (4K HDR).

Henry is a freelance technology journalist. Before going freelance, he spent more than three years at TechRadar reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines also include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.