Streaming more foreign TV
GOT A VPN AND AN APPETITE FOR STREAMING MEDIA? WHY NOT GIVE THESE SERVICES A TRY.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.