Even a month after launch, people are still talking about Disney+. Even though the streaming service launched with only about 500 titles, folks seem to think they’re the right ones. Yes, there were some early glitches, but I predicted that. Even though I’ve been less than 100% supportive of the service — I think the upcoming HBO Max will be better — clearly there are some folks who are pretty invested in the whole Disney ecosystem.
Because the other day, someone asked me:
Can I get Disney+ if all I have is an antenna?
The answer probably won’t surprise you.
You can’t get Disney+ with just an antenna.
Disney+ is only available as a streaming service. It’s not available over the air. The current broadcast TV system in this country doesn’t let you choose on demand content. But, that’s not the end of the story. You have some choices.
Choice 1: Use a smart TV or streaming box
If what you’re really asking is, “Can I watch Disney+ on my TV,” then the answer is definitely YES. You can use a late-model smart TV or pretty much any streaming box or streaming stick on the market. You simply add the app and sign in with the same credentials as you used on your phone.
Of course you will need a home internet connection. If you’re a “true” cord-cutter… someone who doesn’t pay for entertainment at all you probably don’t have that. But then, you’re signed up for Disney+ so you probably have some sort of internet.
Choice 2: Watch stuff on ABC
You won’t get all the content from Disney+, but since ABC is owned by Disney, you’ll occasionally get some content from the house of mouse on ABC. Pretty much every market has an ABC affiliate and you can get them over the air with an antenna for free. You’ll find occasional Disney content, even a movie or two occasionally. As the years have gone on, Disney and ABC have become very tight. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to hear that some ABC content could move to Disney+ at some point.
Choice 3: Physical media
You remember physical media, right? Disney’s clamshell VHS tapes are actually selling for a pretty penny these days. They were part of a whole generation’s childhood and so many of them were destroyed or worn out. Now, they’re coming back as nostalgia items.
While you shouldn’t pay top dollar for a beat up VHS, there are still plenty of DVDs in thrift stores just waiting for a new home. Maybe some day these will be collector’s items too but for now they’re very inexpensive.
Or, find something else to watch.
I get it. You found this article because you want Disney content. But remember there are usually dozens of channels available with an antenna and once you put up the antenna, there’s nothing else to buy. An antenna is a great entertainment solution, and if you need one, you’ll find the best selection by shopping at Solid Signal.