Disney+ Streaming 13 Marvel Films in Glorious IMAX
Disney+ is already racking up subscriber numbers that other streaming services can only dream about in its short life. Now it's set to win the hearts and wallets of yet more AV fans by showing a host of Marvel movies in the IMAX Enhanced format - complete with IMAX's screen-filling aspect ratio.
Typically Marvel films are shown theatrically, in non-IMAX cinemas, in the wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio. And typically, this ratio is retained when the films are streamed or placed onto Blu-rays/4K Blu-rays. This results in large black bars appearing above and below the picture, even on widescreen TVs.
Many Marvel titles, though, have been at least partially shot using IMAX cameras that deliver a much taller aspect ratio of 1.90:1 that produces more of a 'wall' of picture in IMAX cinemas. In fact, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were the first films to be completely shot in the larger IMAX format for compatible cinemas.
With this in mind, many Marvel fans have been calling for their beloved Marvel titles to also be available at home in the more screen-filling 1.90:1 ratio - and Disney+, it seems, has been listening.
From November 12, Disney+ subscribers will be able to watch no less than 13 of Marvel's biggest titles in the IMAX ratio. And this will be available through all Disney+ apps, regardless of whether they're built into a TV or external streaming devices such as Apple TVs or Amazon Fire TV. Nor do you need to have a TV that's officially classified as 'IMAX Enhanced'.
IMAX Enhanced TVs (as found in Sony's 2021 range) have simply had their picture quality assessed by IMAX as being capable of getting particularly great results from the unique IMAX Enhanced mastering technique. A TV does not need to be officially specified as IMAX Enhanced to enjoy the extra 26% or so of the image you get with the parts of the 13 Marvel films shot using IMAX cameras.
The 13 titles in question are as follows: Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings; Iron Man; Guardians Of The Galaxy; Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, Ant-Man And The Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War; Avengers: Endgame; Captain America: Civil War; Doctor Strange; Thor: Ragnarok; Black Panther; Captain Marvel; and Black Widow.
Note that while this Disney+/IMAX hook up is a global initiative, it appears there may be territories where the full set of Marvel IMAX titles may not be available.
This doesn't appear to be the end of the Disney+/IMAX Enhanced story. IMAX revealed that it is going to bring the special version of DTS:X sound associated with the full IMAX Enhanced experience to its Disney+ titles at some future date, while Michael Paull, President of both Disney+ and ESPN+, added that Disney+ was “looking forward to offering even more IMAX Enhanced functionality in the future”.
We'll bring you more detail on the launch of the IMAX DTS sound and potential extra IMAX Enhanced titles whenever it becomes available.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.