Stream­ing more for­eign TV

GOT A VPN AND AN AP­PETITE FOR STREAM­ING ME­DIA? WHY NOT GIVE THESE SER­VICES A TRY.

TechLife Australia - - CONTENTS - [ NATHAN TAY­LOR ]

BACK IN OUR De­cem­ber is­sue (#70, page 98), we cov­ered some of the free chan­nels you can get just by fir­ing up your VPN and choos­ing the right coun­try. We took a look at the ma­jor US chan­nels (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, The CW), as well as ITV in the UK.

This month, we thought we’d ex­pand on that list a lit­tle with some more great chan­nels and net­works that you can ac­cess us­ing a VPN. We’ll try and fo­cus mostly on English-speak­ing con­tent with no sub­scrip­tion re­quired, though you can also ac­cess plenty of shows and movies in other lan­guages, too.

Beyond our list, a good place to ex­tend your for­eign TV stream­ing jour­ney is Wikipedia’s own list of in­ter­net tele­vi­sion providers at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_ of_In­ter­net_tele­vi­sion_providers. Hun­dreds are listed, or­gan­ised by na­tion. To watch one, all you have to do is switch to the cor­rect na­tion in your VPN set­tings, and head to the web­site.

THE UK

In the UK, we’ve cov­ered BBC’s iPlayer ( bbc.co.uk) and ITV Hub (for­merly ITV player, at www.itv.com) pre­vi­ously, but these are also worth check­ing out:

ALL 4

www.chan­nel4.com The home of Chan­nel Four Tele­vi­sion (which in­cludes Chan­nel 4, E4, More4, Film4 and 4Mu­sic), there is a huge amount of con­tent avail­able here. Like most such catch-up chan­nels, it in­cludes a 30-day catch up pe­riod for broad­cast con­tent, as well as a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice to ac­cess the larger back cat­a­logue. You can also watch the chan­nels live.

In terms of what’s avail­able, you’re less likely to find ‘pres­tige’ TV than you are on, say, the BBC, but you’re more likely to find life­style and re­al­ity shows, as well as some li­censed pro­grammes. Some chan­nels, such as Film4, only op­er­ate for cer­tain hours and may not have all con­tent avail­able on catch-up.

UKTV PLAY

uk­tv­play.uktv.co.uk UKTV Play is home to four UK tele­vi­sion chan­nels: Dave, Re­ally, Yes­ter­day and Drama. As you might be able to tell from the names, Re­ally fo­cuses on re­al­ity TV (it varies from trashy to doc­u­men­tary), while Yes­ter­day has a fo­cus on his­tor­i­cal doc­u­men­taries. Drama is what it says on the tin, and there are some gen­uinely high-qual­ity pro­duc­tions avail­able. Dave is the hard­est to pin down, be­ing the most like a tra­di­tional broad­cast TV chan­nel, with a mix of shows avail­able from re­al­ity TV to dra­mas, and even some li­censed con­tent.

US

We’ve cov­ered the US pretty ex­ten­sively pre­vi­ously, in­clud­ing Hulu ( hulu.com), ABC ( abc.go.com), CBS ( cbs.com), Fox ( fox.com), NBC ( nbc.com), PBS ( www.pbs.org) and The CW ( cwtv.com). There are many oth­ers, but most of them re­quire a US ca­ble sub­scrip­tion to ac­cess, which is not easy for an Aus­tralian user to ac­quire (un­less you know some­one in the US and they can give you their pass­word). We do have one to add to the list, how­ever:

CRACKLE US

www.crackle.com Just like Net­flix, Crackle has dif­fer­ent movies and TV shows de­pend­ing on where you are. So if you con­nect to the ser­vice while on a US VPN server, you’ll get Crackle’s US con­tent rather than the Aus­tralian se­lec­tion. As with the Aus­tralian Crackle, US Crackle is free and ad-sup­ported, and streams are only in SD.

Al­though it’s of­ten the butt of jokes be­cause of its fre­quently older con­tent, we al­ways

AL­THOUGH CRACKLE IS OF­TEN THE BUTT OF JOKES BEACUSE OF ITS FRE­QUENTLY OLDER CON­TENT, WE AL­WAYS REC­OM­MEND PEO­PLE CHECK IT OUT RE­GARD­LESS. THERE ARE AL­WAYS A FEW GEMS AS WELL AS PLENTY OF GUILTY PLEA­SURES

rec­om­mend peo­ple check it out re­gard­less. There are al­ways a few gems on Crackle, as well as plenty of guilty plea­sures for those of us who don’t mind a lit­tle bit of ‘80s and ‘90s trash in our view­ing diet.

IN­DIA

Hot­star Owned and op­er­ated by In­dia’s largest tele­vi­sion net­work, Star TV In­dia, Hot­star hosts a huge amount of con­tent in both English and Hindi. In its na­tive coun­try, it’s ac­tu­ally mas­sively more pop­u­lar than even Net­flix, with around 75 mil­lion users and count­ing.

A large part of the pop­u­lar­ity of the ser­vice is that most of the con­tent is avail­able for free, sup­ported only by ad­ver­tis­ing. It in­cludes drama, com­edy, re­al­ity TV, movies, news and sport (mostly cricket), all drawn from Star TV’s mas­sive net­work of chan­nels. There is both orig­i­nal and li­censed con­tent, and there is also a Premium ser­vice that gives ac­cess to li­censed and newer movie con­tent (in­clud­ing HBO hits like Game of Thrones) for just ₹199 per month — which works out to about $4 Aus­tralian.

VOOT

www.voot.com Another pop­u­lar stream­ing ser­vice in In­dia, Voot is Vi­a­com 18’s In­dian stream­ing ser­vice, launched a lit­tle over a year ago but al­ready host­ing a large amount of TV shows and movies. Most of that con­tent is drawn from In­dia’s MTV, Nick­elodeon and Col­ors In­fin­ity, but there are also Bol­ly­wood movies on there, as well as a hand­ful of orig­i­nal se­ries on the site. Con­tent is avail­able in English, Hindi and sev­eral other lan­guages.

CANADA

CBC watch.cbc.ca Canada’s equiv­a­lent to the UK’s BBC or Aus­tralia’s ABC, CBC hosts a va­ri­ety of shows of all gen­res and styles. Doc­u­men­taries and cur­rent af­fairs are a strong suit, but there are also dra­mas, come­dies, life­style shows, movies and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.

Al­though the site de­sign is a lit­tle Spar­tan, there is a lot of great stuff on here, and it’s worth con­nect­ing to a Cana­dian VPN server just to check it out. You, like us, may find it a lit­tle weird to see Bondi Vet on Cana­dian TV, though it proves that we’re known for more than Neigh­bours and Home­and Away.

Like most catch-up TV ser­vices, it makes shows avail­able for a 30-day pe­riod af­ter broad­cast (with some shows hav­ing full sea­sons avail­able), and you can also watch live TV and flag shows for later view­ing.

BC is Canada’s equiv­a­lent to the ABC.

Hot­star is In­dia’s largest stream­ing ser­vice

Voot has lots of kids’ and mu­si­cal con­tent.

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