How to Fix Disney+ on a Vizio Smart TV

Introduction

Disney+ launched to a great deal of fanfare on November 12th, 2019. For the owners of Vizio Smart TVs, however; it became quickly apparent that streaming Disney+ directly to the TV wasn't possible.

According to Vizio: "Disney+ is not currently available on VIZIO SmartCast TVs as a built in app or available to cast. VIZIO is committed to bringing you as many options as possible to enjoy your favorite content.

Currently, we do not have an official date, but do plan to have the Disney+ application available in 2020. In the meantime you can use the Apple AirPlay feature that was recently added to 2019, 2018, 2017 VIZIO SmartCast TVs, and 2016 VIZIO SmartCast UHD TVs to share the content from your iOS devices to the TV."

While streaming Disney+ to most Chromecast devices is pretty easy to do, it is problematic on Vizio Smart TVs due to a firmware issue. Vizio's built-in Chromecast firmware currently uses v1.34, while Disney+ requires that Chromecast devices be using at least v1.36 or newer in order to stream from the app on a mobile device. In a statement to Business Insider, Vizio did claim that the company is working to “implement the new version of Chromecast and will start rolling out the update to our SmartCast TVs as soon as possible.” Unfortunately, no timetable was given for such an update.

In the meantime, this guide will take you through the easiest common workarounds that should allow you to watch the Disney+ service on your Vizio Smart TV until official updates resolve the problem.
Tools You'll Need:
  • A smartphone or tablet with the Disney+ app installed
  • Or, a Windows or Mac computer with Google Chrome installed.
Disney Plus logo with Vizio

1 Use AirPlay from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac Computer

The first workaround that Vizio themselves recommends is to use AirPlay to cast the screen of your iOS device or Mac computer directly to the Vizio's built-in Chromecast. AirPlay is an Apple feature exclusive to iOS devices such as iPhones & iPads, as well as Mac computers.
Works with apple airplay badge

Vizio 2019, 2018, 2017 & 2016 UHD SmartCast HDTV Models come equipped with the Apple AirPlay feature. In order to use the Airplay feature:

  • Your iOS device must be running at least iOS 12.3 or later.
  • If using a Mac computer, it must be running macOS 10.14.5 or later.
  • Your device must also be connected to the same WiFi network as your TV.
To Use AirPlay on an iPhone or iPad
  1. Open the Disney+ app, and begin playing the content you'd like to stream on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon
  2. Tap the AirPlay icon on the video player.
    Airplay button
  3. A list of available AirPlay devices will be displayed. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    iOS device ready to select apple tv
  4. The video content being played on your device should now be displayed on your Vizio TV. You must control video playback from your iOS device while watching on your TV.
    Video settings
To Use AirPlay on a Mac Computer
  1. Click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar.
    macOS menu bar highlighting the AirPlay button.
  2. Beneath 'AirPlay To' select your Apple TV (this one is named Living Room).
  3. Beneath 'Airplay: Location' ensure that Mirror Built-in Retina Display is selected.

    Check marks will appear beside each item after they have been successfully selected.

    AirPlay menu highlighting AirPlay location.
  4. Your entire screen should now be mirrored on your Vizio TV. Any media you play on your Mac will now be displayed on your television.

2 Share the Entire Screen of a Computer or Android Device

If you do not have access to any Apple devices, or if AirPlay is not working for you, an alternative is to share what you see on your Android smartphone or tablet, or what you see on your computer screen. On a computer, this can be accomplished with the Google Chrome web browser or using Miracast. On an Android smartphone or tablet, the Google Home app will be used to mirror its screen to your television.

To Share Your Screen on Windows

Using Chromecast

  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome
  2. Select Menu in the top-right corner, then select Cast.
    Chrome menu and cast selection
  3. From the Cast box, select Sources then Cast Desktop.
    Cast dialog with Sources and Cast Desktop highlighted.
  4. You should already see a list of available devices to cast to. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    Cast dialog with Chromecast selected.
  5. You'll be asked what you'd like to share. Your Entire Screen is selected by default. Make sure Share audio is checked, then select Share.
    Share screen prompt with Share audio and Share highlighted.
  6. A blue Casting icon will appear on your Chrome toolbar to indicate you are casting.
    Cast icon in blue
  7. Your Windows desktop will be displayed on your Vizio television. Navigate to the Disney+ website on Google Chrome, and begin playing the content you'd like to watch on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon

Using Miracast

  1. Open the Action Center.
  2. Click on Project.
    Windows 10 system tray highlighting the clicked notification icon and project icon within the notification center menu.
  3. Next, Select Connect to a wireless display.
    Windows 10 project menu highlighting connect to a wireless display option.

    If the Connect to a wireless display option is not listed, this means your screen or video card does not support Miracast.

  4. A scan for wireless display devices will start. Select the device you wish to cast to.
    Windows 10 project menu displaying available wireless display options.
  5. Your Windows desktop will be displayed on your Vizio television. Navigate to the Disney+ website, and begin playing the content you'd like to watch on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon
To Share Your Screen on a Mac
  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Navigate to the Disney+ website and begin playing the content you wish to watch on your television.
  3. Click on the Cast button to the right of the address bar.
    Casting extension icon
  4. A list of available devices to cast to will appear. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    Casting to your tv
  5. The Google Chrome tab you have open on your screen will be displayed on your Vizio television. From here, controlling video playback must be done from your computer.
To Share Your Screen on an Android Device
  1. Open the Google Home App.
    Google Home app icon
  2. In the top left corner of the home screen, tap Menu.
    Menu button
  3. Tap on Cast Screen / audio.
    Cast screen and audio button
  4. Select Cast screen / audio.
    Casting screen and audio again
  5. A list of available devices to cast to will appear. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    Selecting the device to cast to
  6. The screen of your Android device should now be displayed on your Vizio TV. Open the Disney+ app, and begin playing the content you'd like to watch on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon

3 Connect an External Streaming Device

If none of the workarounds were able to get Disney+ playing on your Vizio Smart TV, you may have no other choice except to use an external streaming device until Vizio is able to officially release fixes for this issue. Thankfully, there are streaming options available which you may already have elsewhere in your home, such as these video game consoles:

  • Sony PlayStation 4
  • Microsoft Xbox One

Without one of these devices, you may need to purchase an external streaming device to add to your Vizio Smart TV. There are numerous options available on the market that are currently compatible with the Disney+ streaming service, such as:

  • Chromecast
  • Amazon FireTV
  • Roku
  • Apple TV

For a full up-to-date list of devices that are compatible with the Disney+ service, please visit the Disney+ website below:

What devices and platforms are supported by Disney+?

 

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Disney+ launched to a great deal of fanfare on November 12th, 2019. For the owners of Vizio Smart TVs, however; it became quickly apparent that streaming Disney+ directly to the TV wasn't possible.

According to Vizio: "Disney+ is not currently available on VIZIO SmartCast TVs as a built in app or available to cast. VIZIO is committed to bringing you as many options as possible to enjoy your favorite content.

Currently, we do not have an official date, but do plan to have the Disney+ application available in 2020. In the meantime you can use the Apple AirPlay feature that was recently added to 2019, 2018, 2017 VIZIO SmartCast TVs, and 2016 VIZIO SmartCast UHD TVs to share the content from your iOS devices to the TV."

While streaming Disney+ to most Chromecast devices is pretty easy to do, it is problematic on Vizio Smart TVs due to a firmware issue. Vizio's built-in Chromecast firmware currently uses v1.34, while Disney+ requires that Chromecast devices be using at least v1.36 or newer in order to stream from the app on a mobile device. In a statement to Business Insider, Vizio did claim that the company is working to “implement the new version of Chromecast and will start rolling out the update to our SmartCast TVs as soon as possible.” Unfortunately, no timetable was given for such an update.

In the meantime, this guide will take you through the easiest common workarounds that should allow you to watch the Disney+ service on your Vizio Smart TV until official updates resolve the problem.
Tools You'll Need:
  • A smartphone or tablet with the Disney+ app installed
  • Or, a Windows or Mac computer with Google Chrome installed.
Disney Plus logo with Vizio

The first workaround that Vizio themselves recommends is to use AirPlay to cast the screen of your iOS device or Mac computer directly to the Vizio's built-in Chromecast. AirPlay is an Apple feature exclusive to iOS devices such as iPhones & iPads, as well as Mac computers.
Works with apple airplay badge

Vizio 2019, 2018, 2017 & 2016 UHD SmartCast HDTV Models come equipped with the Apple AirPlay feature. In order to use the Airplay feature:

  • Your iOS device must be running at least iOS 12.3 or later.
  • If using a Mac computer, it must be running macOS 10.14.5 or later.
  • Your device must also be connected to the same WiFi network as your TV.
To Use AirPlay on an iPhone or iPad
  1. Open the Disney+ app, and begin playing the content you'd like to stream on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon
  2. Tap the AirPlay icon on the video player.
    Airplay button
  3. A list of available AirPlay devices will be displayed. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    iOS device ready to select apple tv
  4. The video content being played on your device should now be displayed on your Vizio TV. You must control video playback from your iOS device while watching on your TV.
    Video settings
To Use AirPlay on a Mac Computer
  1. Click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar.
    macOS menu bar highlighting the AirPlay button.
  2. Beneath 'AirPlay To' select your Apple TV (this one is named Living Room).
  3. Beneath 'Airplay: Location' ensure that Mirror Built-in Retina Display is selected.

    Check marks will appear beside each item after they have been successfully selected.

    AirPlay menu highlighting AirPlay location.
  4. Your entire screen should now be mirrored on your Vizio TV. Any media you play on your Mac will now be displayed on your television.

If you do not have access to any Apple devices, or if AirPlay is not working for you, an alternative is to share what you see on your Android smartphone or tablet, or what you see on your computer screen. On a computer, this can be accomplished with the Google Chrome web browser or using Miracast. On an Android smartphone or tablet, the Google Home app will be used to mirror its screen to your television.

To Share Your Screen on Windows

Using Chromecast

  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome
  2. Select Menu in the top-right corner, then select Cast.
    Chrome menu and cast selection
  3. From the Cast box, select Sources then Cast Desktop.
    Cast dialog with Sources and Cast Desktop highlighted.
  4. You should already see a list of available devices to cast to. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    Cast dialog with Chromecast selected.
  5. You'll be asked what you'd like to share. Your Entire Screen is selected by default. Make sure Share audio is checked, then select Share.
    Share screen prompt with Share audio and Share highlighted.
  6. A blue Casting icon will appear on your Chrome toolbar to indicate you are casting.
    Cast icon in blue
  7. Your Windows desktop will be displayed on your Vizio television. Navigate to the Disney+ website on Google Chrome, and begin playing the content you'd like to watch on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon

Using Miracast

  1. Open the Action Center.
  2. Click on Project.
    Windows 10 system tray highlighting the clicked notification icon and project icon within the notification center menu.
  3. Next, Select Connect to a wireless display.
    Windows 10 project menu highlighting connect to a wireless display option.

    If the Connect to a wireless display option is not listed, this means your screen or video card does not support Miracast.

  4. A scan for wireless display devices will start. Select the device you wish to cast to.
    Windows 10 project menu displaying available wireless display options.
  5. Your Windows desktop will be displayed on your Vizio television. Navigate to the Disney+ website, and begin playing the content you'd like to watch on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon
To Share Your Screen on a Mac
  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Navigate to the Disney+ website and begin playing the content you wish to watch on your television.
  3. Click on the Cast button to the right of the address bar.
    Casting extension icon
  4. A list of available devices to cast to will appear. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    Casting to your tv
  5. The Google Chrome tab you have open on your screen will be displayed on your Vizio television. From here, controlling video playback must be done from your computer.
To Share Your Screen on an Android Device
  1. Open the Google Home App.
    Google Home app icon
  2. In the top left corner of the home screen, tap Menu.
    Menu button
  3. Tap on Cast Screen / audio.
    Cast screen and audio button
  4. Select Cast screen / audio.
    Casting screen and audio again
  5. A list of available devices to cast to will appear. Select your Vizio Smart TV from this list.
    Selecting the device to cast to
  6. The screen of your Android device should now be displayed on your Vizio TV. Open the Disney+ app, and begin playing the content you'd like to watch on your Vizio TV.
    Disney + app icon

If none of the workarounds were able to get Disney+ playing on your Vizio Smart TV, you may have no other choice except to use an external streaming device until Vizio is able to officially release fixes for this issue. Thankfully, there are streaming options available which you may already have elsewhere in your home, such as these video game consoles:

  • Sony PlayStation 4
  • Microsoft Xbox One

Without one of these devices, you may need to purchase an external streaming device to add to your Vizio Smart TV. There are numerous options available on the market that are currently compatible with the Disney+ streaming service, such as:

  • Chromecast
  • Amazon FireTV
  • Roku
  • Apple TV

For a full up-to-date list of devices that are compatible with the Disney+ service, please visit the Disney+ website below:

What devices and platforms are supported by Disney+?

 

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