Streaming North American TV to Europe - Best Way

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UberAlles, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. UberAlles macrumors newbie


    Sep 11, 2009
    Hey all,

    Moving to Europe to do a short term gig, but still need access to all my crutch shows/content while over there.

    So I'm undecided on what my best options are. I was thinking digging into getting a MB/P (need a laptop for the wife anyway) to stream content from the innernet and buying a displayport to cable converter since the flat will have a TV.......but maybe an AppleTV instead??

    I plan on bringing my airport extreme over but I can't bring myself to lug the 27" over seeing it's only short term

    So any of my esteemed colleagues that can educate me on what's the best choice (or at least the choices with pros and cons)..noting of course the NTSC and PAL nonsense as well...which I'm not quite clear on what effect that might have on that.....

    Any info would be appreciated....
  2. pdmlmember macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    The simple (and relatively cheap) solution is to subsribe to a VPN account (with a US server) like

    When you want to watch your US shows you connect yourself thru the VPN and then HULU will think that you're located in the US.

    There are free alternatives like hot spot shield, but they are more of a problem than they are worth, ymmv. :)
  3. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    The cesspit of civilization

    I use hotspot shield, and altough sometimes can be slow, it is still watchable and a lot less painful than spanish open tv.
  4. Bbusyb macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2009
    Notts, UK / Alex, Egypt
    As mentioned by Others earlier there are a few options available to you.

    If you will still have a Cable connection at home in the US then A Slingbox is a very handy option as you can control and stream content directly from there to a number of devices anywhere in the world. The advantage with this is that you will continue to have access to all your subscribed content as opposed to just what is available online.

    If however you are planning to use sites like Hulu, etc then a subscription to a VPN service with a US IP Address from someone like StrongVPN or

    While Hotspot shield is free usually work, It sometimes doesn't, as those site block their IP's as there is a high amount of traffic from it. Instead paying $5 to $10 for a VPN connection will usually mean that you will get better speed and reliability.

    Also as a bonus if you are a Gamer and use STEAM, it will allow you to buy new games if you wish to do so with your US Billing info. I ran into that issue a while ago that if they detect that your IP is not in the same country as your billing address they will not let you proceed with the transaction.

    Don't worry about the PAL / NTSC issue. Most TV's sold nowadays anywhere in the world can usually handle both so its not a big issue. If you need to just pop into the TV's Manual Settings and be done with it.

    For the cable, I'll suggest Going to Monoprice and getting the Mini Displayport Male and USB Male Audio to HDMI Female Converting Adapter. It will give you both Video AND Audio Out over a single HDMI Cable providing a clean interface to the TV. While it is a little more expensive then the HDMI only cable, this will allow you to use the TV's speakers without having to use Kludges.
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Just download the shows using eztv or another torrent site. So much easier!
  6. XxEjGxX macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2009
    although i don't condone this[​IMG] download the shows or buy an american vpn and get tivo or hulu
  7. foxsimon macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2010
    Access to US online sites via a VPN proxy which changes your non US IP to a US address is illegal and the picture/sound quality can be rubbish. Using a Slingbox is the way to go if you have easy access to a live satellite or cable subscription feed. If you don't then these guys run a totally legal online Slingbox hosting service with content supplied by a well known US cable TV company. They have full quality of service in place (guranteed upstream bandwidth) so picture/sound is excellent. You need a subscription but you get all the channels, 250+ that you get if you subscribed at home.
  8. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Depends on which parts of Europe you are moving to. Germany and the Netherlands will give you rather cheap 50MBit/s access in every bigger town, some regions even 100MBit/s over fibre-to-the-home or cable tv.
    Instead of a paid VPN, any free HTTP-Proxy will do.

    Oh, and there is an European precedence court decision that allows you to crack paytv if you are not able to legally pay for it when it's limited to another country. Forget about that on DirecTV, though. That even applies to downloading TV shows that don't run in your country's TV. We're liberal here, welcome to Europe. East coast prime time is in the afternoon, mind that. CST is in the morning, PST in the night.

    But there is another solution: MythTV. You can setup your MythTV backend on a Intel Atom linux machine everywhere in the world, just like you do when you're local. You can then stream your recordings or even live TV via MythWeb as a flash-applet.

    EyeTV with an Turbo.h264 HD device on the host machine to enhance the image quality will do even better, however you need a licence for that and a rather expensive EyeTV device hooked up to your receiver, a MythTV backend on linux takes nearly every device which is capable of hooking up to you receiver. Btw, what about CableCard? Have they finally released that? That would make things easier, because you wouldn't need to tamper around with Receivers and IR blasters in between. However EyeTV even streams to iPads and iPhones, even over 3G (but without the Turbo.h264 HD the quality is crap, on WiFi it's good however).

    Or you could sign up to Sky UK allover Europe and have at least the recent series in english and major and minor US sports, even college football.

    If you go to the Netherlands, TV series are in native language with dutch subs, they're aired much earlier compared to the rest of Europe where the shows get synchronized first (except Sky UK).

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