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How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

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How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby Sotos » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:08 am

Today there is a lot of good video content online that you can stream to your PC for free or at a low cost but a lot of that has country restrictions and it is not available in Cyprus. With Hulu you can watch a lot of USA TV content for free and with Netflix you can watch an unlimited number of movies for just $8 per month. For UK programming there is the BBC iPlayer ... and there are many more such services... these are just some of the most popular ones for content in English.

So how can you watch all that from Cyprus? The answer is VPN (Virtual Private Network)! All you need is a subscription to a VPN service which you can use to change your IP to a USA, UK (or any other country) IP, and in this way watch content that was intended to be watched only within the borders of that country. The best VPN Service I found is StrongVPN. I am using their "4 city Special PPTP" package which costs $55 per year and gives you a choice between a USA or a UK Server. If you want to just try it out you can get a monthly package for $7 :) Setting up the VPN on your computer is easy, instructions can be found here for all major operating systems.

As long as you have a decent broadband connection a good VPN service is all you need to stream all that content right on your PC. I have a 4Mbit internet connection and that is enough for DVD quality video. If you want to stream full HD then you need a faster connection, 8Mbit should do.

Getting that video content on your TV is as simple as connecting your computer to it. If you have a decent laptop you can just connect it to your TV every time you want to watch a movie on a bigger screen and you are done. But if you want to always have netflix, Hulu, iPlayer etc available on your TV then you can build or buy a Home Theater PC (HTPC) which will always be connected to your TV. More about HTPCs in an upcoming post ;) And in yet another post I will write about how you can use the same VPN service to secure your internet connection when on public wi-fi. :P

P.S. Netflix offers one month free trial. If you don't get this directly when you go there then go through this: http://www.netflix.com/revision3 ...just be sure to be connected with your VPN first.
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby cpjay » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:32 am

right! This should keep me busy for a while..:D
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby supporttheunderdog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:23 am

FYI these services are usually operating in breach of Copyright and use of them may well expose users to risk of criminal penalties.

Also the BBC has announced that for a modest sum (thought to be about Euro 7,5 month) they will be providing programs over the internet to Europe.
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby CBBB » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:31 am

supporttheunderdog wrote:FYI these services are usually operating in breach of Copyright and use of them may well expose users to risk of criminal penalties.


So exactly the same as all those people here that have dodgy Sky subscriptions.
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby Sotos » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:19 am

FYI these services are usually operating in breach of Copyright and use of them may well expose users to risk of criminal penalties.


What services are you talking about? The VPN services are perfectly legitimate and can be used for many reasons. They do not breach any copyrights. Using the VPN Service to stream a movie from USA is the equivalent of using an airline to go to USA and buy a region 1 DVD and then bringing that DVD in Cyprus and playing it here. What would be the criminal penalty for such thing? :roll:
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby Sotos » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:32 am

While we are still on the topic, there is a hidden menu on netflix that you can use to force a certain quality of stream. Netflix supposedly automatically adjusts the quality to match your bandwidth but I noticed that they usually give me a lower quality than my bandwidth can handle. To manually choose a video quality you hold down Alt-Shift and then click on the video. From the menu given you choose "Stream Manager" and then select the quality that you want. For my 4Mbit connection I found that the best choice is 1050, which is basically DVD quality.
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby supporttheunderdog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:37 pm

Sotos wrote:
FYI these services are usually operating in breach of Copyright and use of them may well expose users to risk of criminal penalties.


What services are you talking about? The VPN services are perfectly legitimate and can be used for many reasons. They do not breach any copyrights. Using the VPN Service to stream a movie from USA is the equivalent of using an airline to go to USA and buy a region 1 DVD and then bringing that DVD in Cyprus and playing it here. What would be the criminal penalty for such thing? :roll:


No it is quite different: in the eyes of the law it is probably seen as being closer to buying that DVD and then making and selling copies. It is potentially a criminal offence for anyone to broadcast or otherwise distribute copyright material except with the consent of the copyright holder, and gainst payment of fees.

see : http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2010/0 ... p-vpn.html

You might otherwise be interested in this report on someone who has been busted in Limassol for just such activities, in the past few days

http://www.philenews.com/el-gr/%CE%95%C ... 2/22/71159
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby Sotos » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:19 am

You have no idea what I am talking about, do you? :lol: When you stream a movie from Netflix you are not "making and selling copies". I have a regular account on netflix on my name paying with my credit card. VPN Services are 100% legitimate companies also. What I describe in this thread has absolutely nothing to do with p2p file sharing and nothing at all with dreambox. The level of illegality of doing what I describe here is the same as going to the USA and buying a region 1 DVD and then bringing it and playing it in Cyprus (in your own home ... not making and selling copies of it).
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby supporttheunderdog » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:02 am

CBBB wrote:
supporttheunderdog wrote:FYI these services are usually operating in breach of Copyright and use of them may well expose users to risk of criminal penalties.


So exactly the same as all those people here that have dodgy Sky subscriptions.


Not quite: there is recent court ruling which provides that one can legitimately watch any satellite channel anywhere one can get the signal in the EU, against payment of any subscription : this came out with Sky who wanted to stop UK pubs using cheaper/free broadcasts of Premiership football from non-UK non-Sky broadcasters, to make them pay for expenseive subscriptions, to be told they could not.
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Re: How to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc from Cyprus

Postby supporttheunderdog » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:06 pm

supporttheunderdog wrote:
Sotos wrote:
FYI these services are usually operating in breach of Copyright and use of them may well expose users to risk of criminal penalties.


What services are you talking about? The VPN services are perfectly legitimate and can be used for many reasons. They do not breach any copyrights. Using the VPN Service to stream a movie from USA is the equivalent of using an airline to go to USA and buy a region 1 DVD and then bringing that DVD in Cyprus and playing it here. What would be the criminal penalty for such thing? :roll:


No it is quite different: in the eyes of the law it is probably seen as being closer to buying that DVD and then making and selling copies. It is potentially a criminal offence for anyone to broadcast or otherwise distribute copyright material except with the consent of the copyright holder, and gainst payment of fees.

see : http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2010/0 ... p-vpn.html

You might otherwise be interested in this report on someone who has been busted in Limassol for just such activities, in the past few days

http://www.philenews.com/el-gr/%CE%95%C ... 2/22/71159


More on this:

Cyprus Mail wrote:In his shop, police found a laptop containing a list of his clients - 1,395 - from whom it appears the suspects have collected €103,500 between October 2010 and May this year.
.......
He also confirmed that even though the police were primarily interested in dealing with the providers, buyers who purchased the decoders could very well find themselves in hot water, as the law included provisions for them as well.

“We still haven’t looked into that aspect of things, but it is definitely something that we will deal with,” Katsounotos said.


http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/bigge ... s/20110616
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