(Pocket-lint) – Disney has announced an “IMAX Enhanced” mode for Disney+.

Basically, it’s launching an IMAX Expanded aspect ratio for a select set of movies. IMAX and DTS worked with Disney to bring the new experience to the Disney+ streaming platform. In fact, it’s the first streaming service to have access to IMAX Enhanced, starting with 13 movies. But it’s coming elsewhere, too.

What is IMAX Enhanced?

Well, let’s start with IMAX first. It’s a well-known entertainment brand that attempts to create a premium movie-going experience, by promising a certain level of quality from a proprietary system of high-resolution cameras, film, projectors, and large-screen cinemas. IMAX traditionally uses a 1.43:1 format.

As for IMAX Enhanced, which launches on Disney+ on 12 November 2021, it’s a fresh brand for getting the IMAX experience in your own home.

IMAX Enhanced uses a new IMAX Expanded aspect ratio of 1.90:1, which is closer to the 16:9 ratio of the TV in your living room. The idea is, with IMAX Enhanced, you can watch a movie as the director and cinematographer originally intended to present it to audiences in IMAX theatres.

For instance, Marvel movies are typically presented in wider, letterboxed aspect ratios. But some of them feature 1.90:1 sequences that were captured with IMAX-certified cameras for a taller picture in IMAX theatres. Black Widow has 22 minutes of IMAX Expanded Aspect Ratio footage.

Some Marvel movies, like Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, were even shot entirely in the IMAX Expanded Aspect Ratio format.

These various movies and sequences will now fill up more of your home TV screen when streamed through Disney+’s IMAX Enhanced mode. The result? Smaller black bars. The new experience will even include “immersive IMAX signature sound by DTS” – but not at launch. It’s coming in the future.

Where is IMAX Enhanced available?

IMAX Enhanced content is rolling out to Disney+ and other streaming platforms as well as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs in the US, Europe, China, and Japan.

How to watch IMAX Enhanced Disney+ movies

Starting 12 November 2021, all Disney+ subscribers worldwide can experience IMAX Enhanced across 13 Marvel titles that feature IMAX’s expanded aspect ratio. All you need to do is find the movie on Disney+ and then hit play. 

Which Disney+ movies are IMAX Enhanced?

The list of Disney+ movies that support IMAX Enhanced is as follows:

  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Black Widow
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Captain Marvel
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Iron Man
  • Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings
  • Thor: Ragnarok

Note: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is also making its debut on Disney+ Day, which is the same day IMAX Enhanced releases.


Will other services get IMAX Enhanced?

Disney+ is the first launch partner in the US. But IMAX said the new experience is coming to more streaming options, globally:

  • Sony Bravia Core in the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia
  • Rakuten TV in Europe
  • Tencent and iQiyi in China
  • Tsutaya in Japan

Are there other IMAX Enhanced movies?

Apart from 13 Marvel movies, the IMAX Enhanced collection is expanding to include Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jumanji: The Next Level, Bad Boys For Life; as well as Paramount Pictures’ Terminator: Dark Fate, Transformers: The Last Knight, Top Gun, and more.

You can see the full list of IMAX Enhanced content here.

Which devices support IMAX Enhanced?

IMAX Enhanced-certified devices are currently available in the US, Europe, China, and Japan, with more launching worldwide.

While you do not need an IMAX Enhanced-certified device to access IMAX Enhanced context, IMAX said it has identified a subset of TVs, projectors, speakers, and AV receivers that all “meet strict performance standards across viewing mode, resolution, color, brightness, contrast, and sonic fidelity”. That means, ideally, with any of these certified devices, you will be fully optimised and prepared to get the most out of IMAX’s visual and audio technology.

You can see the full list of IMAX Enhanced certified devices here.

Want to know more?

Check out the IMAX Enhanced FAQ page for more details

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on .

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