On February 23rd, Disney Plus added Star as their 6th catalogue in selected countries.
This new brand collected all the content aimed at adults that cannot be included in the other brands belonging to the family-oriented streaming platform.
The addition of Star to Disney+ also comes with a set of new features regarding parental control and rating configurations.
However, if you live in the US, you won’t see these changes, and Star will never be available in your country as a part of the Disney+ service.
But, don’t get discouraged! There’s a way to get Disney+ with Star included in the US.
Keep reading this exhaustive guide, and I’ll teach you how and everything you can find in this new hub!
What is Star?
Disney’s Investor Day 2020 took place on December 10, 2020, and it delivered a lot of announcements regarding the company’s future projects. Among that news, there was the launching of Star as the new hub inside Disney+.
However, this launch was meant only for selected countries. The US is not included among them, and in Latin America, Star will be Star+ working as a separate streaming service whose released date is set in June 2021.
Star is aimed at an adult audience and it includes content from ABC Signature, 20th Television, FX, Freeform, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures.
In general terms, we can say Star is the international version of Hulu.
Why not Hulu?
Hulu is a service present only in the US and Japan that Disney acquired after finishing the acquisition of Fox.
According to Bob Chapek, Disney’s current CEO, Hulu isn’t a brand known outside the US and Japan, so they decided to go with Star to launch Hulu’s content to the rest of the world.
What countries is Star available in?
Star was launched on February 23rd, 2021, in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.
There are plans to include it in Eastern Europe when Disney+ is launched somewhere in 2021. Also, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan will have the addition of this new brand in the future.
In Latin America, Star won’t be available as part of Disney+. Instead, it will be Star+: a different and separate streaming service that will offer an ESPN section streaming live sports.
Why is Star not going to be available in the US?
Including Star in Disney+ American service will mean killing Hulu, and Disney doesn’t want this and also, they can’t.
Disney owns 60% of Hulu, for this reason, the platform has productions belonging to other studios.
A clear example of this is The Handmaid’s Tale TV series. It’s a Hulu original series, but outside of the US territory, the streaming rights or to be aired rely on different companies. Disney has no ownership of the series.
Hulu will remain active in the US and Japan as an option to a mature audience who isn’t interested in the Disney+ service content at all.
Also, Hulu has a bigger library than Star because it has content belonging to MGM and Paramount, while Star only offers what Disney owns.
Anyway, this picture is going to change a little now ViacomCBS launched Paramount+ in March and took all their productions to their own service.
How to watch Star on Disney+ from the US?
Regardless of Disney’s strategies, you’re probably tired of paying for different and separate streaming services in an already over-saturated market.
If you live in the US and you already have a Disney+ account, but you aren’t interested in paying for Hulu, there’s a way you can access the Star content from your account.
All you need is an app called VPN like ExpressVPN to unblock the countries where Star is available and start enjoying all the movies and series from your regular Disney+ account in the US.
What’s a VPN?
A VPN is a ‘virtual private network’ with the primary objective of protecting your privacy online.
To accomplish this, the VPN acts as an intermediate between your internet connection and your devices by connecting you to servers located in other countries.
By doing this, your online activity remains mostly anonymous and safe.
And as a side benefit, you can unblock and access multimedia content that’s not available in your country.
How do I choose the best VPN?
When you enter the VPN world, you’ll get dizzy because of the many options the market offers.
All claiming to be the best and most secure.
Luckily, we already have done the research for you and spent hours testing every aspect for watching video content.
We recommend ExpressVPN, which is the best.
Their service offers the fastest speeds in the market, the interface is user-friendly, and they have a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied with the service.
The best thing: these three VPNs work perfectly fine on Android TV. So, if you have a smart TV running Android or a TV box or TV stick, you can use them right away.
30-day money back guarantee
How do I set up a VPN? Step by Step
I know that setting up a new app you have never used before can look kind of difficult, but believe me, VPNs are easy to configure and use.
Most of them share the same settings, so, regardless of the service you end choosing, you can follow these steps.
In this example, I’m using my favorite, ExpressVPN.
Go to the ExpressVPN website (or the website of the service you have chosen) and hit the Get ExpressVPN button.
Choose the plan that best fits your budget, but keep in mind that with the annual package, you save a lot of money!
Create your account with your email address and choose the payment method of your preference.
Get the app from the Products section on the website, where you’ll find all the apps for all devices and OS.
If you’re on an Android or Apple mobile device you can get the app directly from Google Play or App Store. Same if you’re on Android TV.
With the app installed and running, log in to your account with the credentials you created in step 3.
Go to VPN locations and search for Canada or any other recommended country, then press Connect.
Now you’re ready to enjoy Star on Disney+ from the US using your regular account!
Head over to the Disney+ website or use the app, login and enjoy streaming Star.
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Which VPN locations work unblocking Star on Disney+?
VPNs can’t unblock all countries when it comes to streaming services. It happens with Netflix, and Disney+ is not an exception.
Also, each VPN can’t unblock the same countries. So, I’ve been testing which locations work in the three VPN services I’ve recommended to you previously.
- ExpressVPN: Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Germany & Spain.
- Surfshark: the UK, France, Spain, Germany & Canada.
- NordVPN: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain & the UK.
If you’re using Windows, it’s better to clear cookies each time you change the region. Also, a way to make sure you’re accessing the country you have chosen is by googling, for example, Disney Plus Canada and entering the site through the Canadian home page.
In Android, first of all, you need to update the app.
You have two options: uninstall the current Disney+ app you have on your device, and once you’re connected to the VPN, download the new version. Or, you just can log out while you’re connected to the VPN and when you log in again, it will ask you to update.
You may also need to clear the app cache and history which you’ll find in the Settings -> Apps section of your device.
If you have Android configured to update automatically, you probably already have the latest version that will allow you to use it with Star.
Also, it’s advisable to log out every time you want to change countries, so you assure the app will notice the change.
Can I watch it on all devices?
Yes, as long as the VPN is available for your device, you won’t have any problem accessing the countries mentioned before.
I’ve tested the three VPNs in a PC with Windows 7, a laptop with Windows 10, a cell phone with Android, and a Xiaomi MiTV Stick with Android TV.
On all devices, they work fine.
What content does Star have?
The Star hub on Disney+ reunites everything meant for a mature audience that doesn’t fit the family-friendly average content of the service.
Each country has a different library, just like what happens with Netflix.
Although this can be unfair, it’s due to complex issues with previous agreements, licenses, and copyright. Yes, Disney owns all these movies and series, but they must respect previous contracts with other services.
Regarding the original content, there are going to be local productions meant only for the country where they are made and, of course, original content for global distribution.
Big Sky, a thriller TV series currently airing on ABC, is available on Star in all countries except Canada.
Helstrom, a superhero horror TV series belonging to the Marvel Cinematic Universe produced by Hulu is available in all markets.
High Fidelity, another Hulu original series, is available only in selected countries. Germany is one of them.
Love, Victor, the spin-off series of the movie Love, Simon, is available in all markets except Singapore.
About the series and movies from 20th Century Fox, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures, the content varies according to the country.
In general terms, you can expect to find:
- The Alien Trilogy
- Die Hard saga
- Planet of the Apes movies (original ones and reboot)
- The Sixth Sense
- The Transporter
- Battle Angel Alita
- And a lot more!
- Futurama (the 10 seasons)
- Family Guy
- American Dad!
- The Walking Dead
- Modern Family
- Desperate Housewives
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Among many more!
Some series and movies aren’t yet on the service because they’re going through quarantine before being available.
My guess is once Star+ will be launched in Latin America, all countries with the Star hub on Disney+ will have more or less the same library.
Which are the new features in Disney+ once Star is included?
The release of Star in Disney+ in these selected countries also came with a set of new features.
Due to Star having adult-oriented content, it was necessary to add new features regarding parental control.
If you connect from the US or any other country where Star is not available, you won’t see any changes.
But once you connect to the VPN through one of the countries with Star, if you have children at home, it’s advisable to check these features and make the needed configurations.
If your children already have a kid profile, you can set up a pin to prevent them from leaving their profile while they’re watching. You can limit access to your profile with a pin too.
But, there is another option that is handy when your kids are of different ages. You can set each profile with a rating according to their ages. The rating age goes from 0+ until 14+. To use this feature, you need to deactivate the child profile first.
For each change you make in the profiles configuration, you need to enter your password.
These features won’t apply in the US, but as soon you’re accessing Canada or Europe through the VPN, they will be active.
Is it worth paying for a VPN instead of Hulu?
At this point, probably you’re asking yourself this, because yes, you save from paying another streaming service but you have to pay for a VPN.
At the end of the day, it’s about your preferences. If you like Hulu as a streaming service, although it is still expensive because their average plan includes ads, it’s up to you. After all, Hulu’s library is bigger than Star’s.
But keep in mind two things: probably Hulu will see their catalogue diminished very soon because of the Paramount+ launch; and a VPN is a key to open a lot of doors.
With a VPN you don’t need to subscribe to every streaming service because you can unblock other regions of Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, and with that you’re covering almost everything available.
Also, you can access free content from BBC iPlayer and other free streaming platforms around the globe.
And the most important thing: a VPN is a valuable tool for your privacy and safety online. I daresay a VPN is a mandatory app nowadays. We are working from home, taking online classes, and keeping our social life online more than ever.
Disney+ has increased its library by adding Star, a new hub collecting all the adult content from 20th Century Fox, Searchlight, Hollywood Pictures, ABC, Hulu, Freeform.
Sadly, this great news is only for people living in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Singapore.
If you live in the US, you will never get Star as part of Disney+.
Luckily, with a VPN like ExpressVPN, you can connect to any of the countries where Star is available and enjoy all the new content from your regular Disney+ account.
Make the most of your subscription to Disney+ by using a VPN to access Star while protecting your privacy online. It’s a combo you don’t want to miss!