Globally, entertainment content providers are losing control of their broadcast footprint. The Internet is moving so fast that the old days of controlling which countries can receive specific television and movie content is gone. In fact, SKY TV is likely to be gone unless they change their model in the next few years. So why is Telecom pouring twenty million into “Internet TV”?
“Step 1. Obtain an overseas address. The easiest way to get a UK or US address is through one of the websites that offers this service. Google ‘getting a US address’ and you’ll see a range of options. Set up an account and write down the address and telephone number.”
The old rules are simple. The content broker or provider owns the rights to distribute entertainment to a country. So in the case of New Zealand, SKY has a captive market, and pays over $280m a year for content. No one else gets a look in. So when Telecom says that it is looking to spend $20 on Internet TV, including talking to content providers, a little question mark appears.
“Step 2. Payment method. Netflix and other sites are not free, but they’re a lot cheaper than the NZ competitors. You can use Paypal by setting up a US account, but it’s easier to buy a virtual credit card. I use Entropay because it’s simple to set up and maintain. I don’t have to go through the hassle of using my normal card with its NZ billing address or remembering my different paypal accounts. Just remember, top it up occasionally otherwise you’ll lose Netflix!”
The advent of the Internet started to cause problems for the old media barons. On demand Television could be accessed from anywhere, breaking down the control they had over content and how much we paid for it. Worse, movies and television suddenly became a commodity with peer to peer networking allowing people to distribute it for free. So what to do?
“Step 3. The all-important DNS software. I’ve used both unblockus and unotelly. Me, I prefer Unotelly as it is easy to set up on your router and also provides a VPN service so you can access Netflix from any wireless network. But unblockus is a good alternative. Go to Unotelly.com and sign up for a free trial. I recommend the Gold service as you get the VPN service included. It starts from US$8 a month on a month to month service to US$5 a month for 12 months service.”
First, the war on copying began. Through powerful lobby groups we saw governments roll over on the “three strikes you’re out” rules around pirating content and the blocking, monitoring, and slowing down of peer to peer network traffic. All designed to stop people from copying content.
“Step 4. Go to www.netflix.com and you’ll see that you can now sign up for an account. You’ll also be able to get a free trial, so book a weekend off! Using your virtual credit card and U.S. address, set up your account. You can start watching on your computer straight away.”
Next, geo-locking came into play. This technology looks at where the user is physically located and then blocks content on that basis. So if you are in New Zealand, you can’t access content delivered by Netflix in the U.S.
“If you’re not able to access your router or you’re using a shared connection, but still want to access these services, you can set up the individual devices. Just follow the handy guides below:
- Apple TV
- Samsung Smart TV
- LG Smart TV
- Panasonic TV
- Windows (Vista +)
- Mac OS X
The horse in this case has bolted. While you might need a geek to set this up for you, being able to access Netflix from New Zealand, or any content worldwide, is able to be done, is not illegal, and will save you a fortune. Paying $120 a month for a full SKY TV subscription will buy you UFB and Netflix. Netflix is important, because it is an all you can eat subscription rather than the other on-demand services where you have to buy per movie, as an example. Give your local Geeks on Wheels a call for help.
What the instructions here do, from Orcon no less, is get around the geo-locking to allow you to appear as if you live in the U.S. and are accessing the content from there. Netflix don’t care really, given that their subscription base is growing rapidly and its worth money to them, again, its not illegal.
So why on earth, given that content is about to lose it’s geo-locking and go completely free-market, would Telecom pour millions of dollars into Internet TV? It just doesn’t make sense.