Australian & New Zealand TV

51 posts in this topic

Posted

^^ hello Katrina, that was a very different situation. That website actually broke copyright laws and was involved in file sharing. The broadcasters and content providers were correct in taking them to court, and if it continued in court, they would likely win. Bit torrenting is a totally different situation.

Overplay is simply a VPN service. VPN services are not only fully legal but used by almost all companies with offshore offices. It is completely legal to tunnel into another country via VPN and no television broadcaster can stop VPN services from operating.

Their SmartDNS system differs, but again is not illegal. The broadcasters have signed contracts with content providers saying they will not broadcast their material outside of their country. By applying a geo-block, they are complying with this contract. However, that contract is only between them and the content providers. Not between you and me. If I make a contract with my bank, that contract has nothing to do with you unless you sign as well. The SmartDNS system may confuse the geo-block to work in Germany, but it is not doing so illegally since there is no actual LAW that says the TV show can't be watched here - only a private contract between two companies.

So, the television companies would not try to stop this. There is no motivation for them. If these VPN companies were to be attacked by television companies, it would be by the UK or US television companies LONG before any Australian or NZ company tries. They have far deeper pockets and far more people using such services. Do a google search for UK or US VPN's and the list is endless. Yet even with that they know they would simply loose money taking this to court. There is simply nothing illegal being done (unlike diwana which was illegal)

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Posted

My post was in reference to:

If anyone knows of other methods to get Australian and New Zealand TV, either though different paid services or free, please feel free to mention them here as well.

Sorry, should have been clearer and thanks for the other information!

Additionally, the state services tend to take off geoblocking when something big (e.g. the Black Wednesday bushfires, that big cyclone in Queensland - was it last year? plus general elections) is on. Their FB sites then to announce that, so worth liking their pages if you are on FB.

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Posted

My post was in reference to:

Sorry, should have been clearer and thanks for the other information!

Good point. I should have mentioned no file sharing or other illegal torrent sites and I have edited to include that. The VPN services though are fully legal and are not at risk.

Additionally, the state services tend to take off geoblocking when something big (e.g. the Black Wednesday bushfires, that big cyclone in Queensland - was it last year? plus general elections) is on. Their FB sites then to announce that, so worth liking their pages if you are on FB.

Quite true.

It's just a pity that some news broadcasts are still geobocked outside of when the country has a disaster. It is quite illogical since they do not resell their bulletins internationally. The clips from most channels in Australia or NZ can be watched without issue, but they either block the full bulletins or don't even bother broadcasting them.

A refreshing change to that is TV3 in New Zealand. The full 6pm bulletin is up for streaming each night along with clips and none are geoblocked (unlike their non-news content) The video quality is also pretty good and better than any of the commercial Australian channels. Only catch for non NZers is that it is mostly local content. Great of course for NZers wanting to catchup up on news from home. That said, it is very commercial and sensational compared to proper news & the slightly better TVNZ bulletin is geoblocked.

The above mentioned VPN service though opens all the news options up, including ABC's 24 live stream, full high quality TVNZ bulletin's (and if you are into such things, their full breakfast show)

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Posted

What do want NZ TV for here?

With very few exceptions, the quality of TV programmes in New Zealand over the last 25 yearshas plummeted.

Whenever I go back home to visit (I'm an Aucklander) my impression is that the ads are of better quality than the programmes. (Trouble is, the ads come on every ten minutes.)

But it's up to you.

Me, I prefer German TV any day.

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Posted

Maybe they're missing their favourite NZ shows:

  • One man and his sheep
  • Country file
  • Shaun the sheep
  • Fine Dining - A guide to New Zealand's best lamb restaurants...

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Posted

SBS on Demand: I requested the inclusion of this a month or so ago, as they just started html5 videos (great for smart phones or tablets) and they just added it. Much higher quality than ABC (full HQ setting works great)

I tried viewing SBS, but it just hung. All other channels (BBC, ABC australia, etc) seem to work. Could this be due to html5? Do you have it working on firefox?

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Posted

^^ It seems the SBS On Demand servers may be down. I am guessing more in that direction as I have tried via both the SmartDNS from Overplay, and on a normal VPN service. In both cases, whether it is my Windows laptop, or my iMac (Firefox & Safari), all I get is a black box where the video is normally playing. On Safari, I noticed an error message that said it could not connect to the server.

If it was just the SmartDNS where it failed, but working via the VPN, I would be looking at Overplay, especially as for the first time since I signed up there were actual SmartDNS issues for most of yesterday (Only VPN was working), but that seems to be resolved and all is fine again...

...except SBS.

I suggest we wait a short while and see if it comes back up. If you get frustrated and write to SBS, just make sure you don't mention your not in Australia. They will ignore any questions as soon as they read that.

SBS normally works perfectly on Firefox with the SmartDNS. If it's not working in 24hours, I'll also start contacting SBS and then Overplay.

By the way, in case you are wondering, I also find it odd how SBS selects the quality setting. I find if I try to manually change the quality, it doesn't really work. But by setting it to auto, it will often start at the lowest possible quality, but over the first minute or two of the show, progressively improve until the best quality setting.

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Posted

Thanks. I also tried it via vpn and SmartDNS. I'll wait a few days and see what happens.

Looking forward to catching some foreign films now. It is a bit of a strange irony that I have to go to an Australian site to watch European films.

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Posted

SBS seems to be back up now, give it a go and see if it works for you. It worked with the SmartDNS this morning for me.

If you can work out how to manually set the quality, please let me know ;O) As far as I can tell, if you leave it on auto, it will start at a low quality (which is terrible) and progressively over the next minute or two, move up to the highest quality (depending on your ISP speed) which is very good quality. But if I try to manually set the quality it just comes with a padlock symbol and I have no luck.

Odd, still at least it will eventually move up to the HQ stream on auto.

To respond to your point, yes, it does seem a bit odd. But I believe the reason is geographically based. Back in Australia, being so far from anywhere else basically, there is no way possible to watch TV from (most) other countries. You simply can not put a dish up, regardless of size, and watch TV from Europe because the earth itself is in the way. Because of this, there was a market to set up a TV station like SBS which would broadcast TV shows from the immigrants home countries.

Europeans on the other hand, can easily turn their dish to face the right direction and pick up all their normal channels without hassle. You can see many dishes with multiple LNB's, and many of these people have set up their TV so they can receive the local sat channels, plus their own country/s. Being so easy to watch other European channels, there was no market to set up a dedicated TV station like SBS. On the other hand, there have been for years many Sat channels dedicated to various Asian lands, especially in the UK which has a high immigrant population.

All that said, SBS had to do two things which makes it unique to survive, two things which I don't think any other channel in Europe needed to do, but give the SBS something unique and of great interest.

1) It is a one stop shop for many great shows from a vast range around the world. Not just Europe, but Asia and Africa as well.

2) To appease and interest the local population, all shows are subtitled in English. This is something generally not done of course if you just spin your Sat dish around in Europe. You can a much greater range of opportunities of course, but all and only in the original language.

This is what makes SBS so interesting for me. I can watch great films from all over Europe and the world, and understand them.

I just wish I had access to this when I started out learning German. Here is a selection of German shows with English subtitles. That can help many people in practicing their German.

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Posted

@OP Is the main reason you use VPN to overcome Geoblocking? I don't use any VPN and regularly watch ABC, SBS and Nine ReplayTV from their respective web sites - as well as other TV from the XBMC app and have never had a Geoblock issue.

I only rarely get buffering, which is fixed with a quick press of pause/play. I therefore see no need to use VPN or SmartDNS, as these would not overcome buffering issues - only proxy caching would do that (unless your VPN or SmartDNS service does that as well). It would seem that Geoblocking is more dependent on your ISP's network/policies rather than the source Internet broadcaster. FYI I have Deutsche Telekom as a provider. I've also not had any service issues recently, so would suggest looking at your ISP or VPN providers for a possible cause of issues.

Hope this helps.

Cheers :)

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Posted

^I find what you write very interesting. I am also with T-online and without a VPN I have found it impossible to access foreign TV channels from the UK, Australia & NZ.

Before I go further, just to clarrify that you are referring to their full on demand services. From my understanding, those three channels also offer unblocked global access to various news clips. The ABC also offers a small number of downloadable videos of their own produced shows (such as the first Tuesday Book Club) without restrictions. But full iView and full SBS on Demand are Geoblocked.

I have tried a couple of the free proxy servers, and they did sort of work, but there were always buffering issues and/or unreliability. If you have found a way to overcome all this and a reliable service, I am certainly all ears.

For UK services, there are no buffering issues with either the VPN or SmartDNS. I guess the UK is close enough. I can easily on both stream HD when that is available from the BBC iPlayer.

For Australia and NZ services, I find the VPN to be to slow. It does work fine for the ABC which has terrible image quality, but for SBS and TVNZ which offer high quality streams, only the SmartDNS would work with that.

I am very interested in what you suggest though, mainly because my new Samsung Smart TV has the ability to directly play BBC apps, or some TV services via their browser, but I have not had any success unblocking their Geoblocks (I can't set up a VPN on the TV, nor does the SmartDNS work on this device yet) So, if you know a way I could do this directly on the Samsung TV, that would be great.

Normally, I use an iPad to stream video content from the various apps direct to the TV via Airplay. This works either incredibly good or a pain in the arse depending on the app and who made it (When they do it right it is probably the best user interface for catchup TV, when they don't really care, they tend to screw up any airplay usability)

Since I have the new Apple TV, I have not been able to setup XBMC yet. When the jailbreak for that comes out, I'll look into it.

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Posted

Hmm.. maybe I should lay off the 'legal marijuana'! Can I retract my last post!? :unsure:

I went and rechecked my Firefox settings and tested various broadcast programmes.. you are right. I can get all the news/current affairs OK without VPN, but I was using a VPN for some broadcast programmes that previously worked, from: Free Australia Proxy List I must have forgotten this important point with all this smoky haze!

With XBMC there are various plug-ins.. for both ABC and other similar Replay TV sources.. as well as free proxy plug-ins. I'll keep testing and let you know back on this topic if it helps.

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Posted

^^ No worries.

Thanks also for that list. I'll see later when I get some time if it can help me with the Samsung TV situation.

XBMC on a jailbroken Apple TV does interest me. Essentually, I originally decided on my setup for UK TV. That is with iPad airplaying over to an Apple TV. The UK is really advanced in this area and all the main FTA services have dedicated Apps for the iPad with pretty much their full on demand services (4oD does have iPad limitations I believe on some of it's international back catalogue, but it seems all it's current stuff is there).

I still watch mostly UK TV, I guess after all these years I just have become used to it and prefer it. But when my VPN started their SmartDNS offerings for selected Oz/NZ channels, I became interested there as well. Sadly, except for iView and some news services, there are no real iPad Apps for Australian/NZ channels... not yet anyway. I guess things still happen at a slower pace down there ;O)

So, your XBMC solution does sound interesting to me. I believe it would be possible to have all the UK, Aus and NZ services on the XBMC through various 3rd party plugins. Smart DNS may indeed work for some of them, but switching VPN's may not be so easy. Maybe your proxy plugins could be the answer. I'm always thinking of better ways to make this a true sofa friendly experience. So, any info you have there can help :o)

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Posted

update: Just got an account with "Hide My Ass" (recommended on other TT forum post) and installed software which boasts managing VPN server connection and two servers in Australia (with 256 globally by the looks of things); provides global viewing pleasure as well as redundancy. It was A$80 for 12 months.

They also have free proxy list: HMA Free Proxy List but you would need to manually update these in your web browser.

I just tested on SBS using the HMA VPN and it works great, though needed to pause and manually bring quality down to 512K as at 1024K (by selecting icon in stream window) as it was jittering/buffering too much. Haven't had any luck yet with ABC iView though. I keep getting a "Disconnection: Akamai IP reconnect" message.. which probably means the Aus VPN IP address range is on a block list...

I'll keep testing and also test this with XBMC and plug-ins then let you know.

If you want to use Apple TV, iPad and other devices, your best bet is to have your VPN service configured on a router with DD-WRT

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Posted

Thanks for the info. Yes, I have heard that iView had a policy originally to only allow access from certain major ISP's. I believe they are loosening up on that as many VPN's get through now, but it was something that they done.

But Australia and NZ are a bit odd with ISP's as even on broadband they have data caps and limits. Now, to be honest I don't know if this is the norm here, but I have never had them on any of the many packages I've had with t-online. Data cap on broadband! Now that would be crap.

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Posted

OK, I got ABC iView working on XBMC, but a little jittery/buffering. Though I could watch some programmes previously on Free Proxies (news/current affairs), ABC iView wouldn't work on Firefox 14.0b with VPN or XBMC without VPN...

Details are:

Apple OS X 10.6.8

HMA VPN 1.17(1)

XBMC 11.0 Eden

ABC iView plugin by Andy Botting download from here

I also have SBS, Yahoo7 XBMC plugins, but still to test. I'll toy with settings/XBMC minor updates and let you know.

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Posted

SBS worked without problems for me in Windows, so I assume that the problem is to do with the linux setup. Probably that the flash version on linux is currently 11.2 rather than 11.3.

Another issue that I am having, is that I don't seem to be able to watch ABC or SBS in real time. Do they offer this service, as the BBC does, or do you have to watch individual programmes on iview? ( A minor related annoyance when reading the TV guide is that they read the tme based on local time on my pc, and not from their server. Do you see this too?)

Also, does anyone have any software recommendations to record/copy a stream?

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Posted

@FrecheKerl, thanks for the information and the link for the ABC iView plugin. Once the AppleTV3 can be jailbroken, I will likely install XBMC and go that route as well.

@budger, that could be the fault with Linux. I remember somehow that Adobe has stopped updates for Flash on all mobile devices and Linux as well, so there could be issues there. Flash really is a dead end these days. I am surprised though that it doesn't just route on a PC to the HTML5 site like it does on an iPad when Flash is not working.

Anyway, by Realtime I guess you mean live streaming. No, I don't know of any channels in Australia or New Zealand that offer anything as luxury as that. All the UK ones except Channel 5 offer live streaming, and even RTE, Ireland's main channels do.

If live streaming is important to you, maybe the best idea is to write to Filmon and ask them to include live Australian & New Zealand feeds as well. They do most of the main UK ones, Italian and some French & German channels. I guess they could add the down-under channels if enough people ask for it. And I must say, their iPad or iPhone app Airplay's absolutely perfectly across to the Apple TV. It's almost like having UK Satellite TV again.

If they also done Aus/NZ live streaming, that would be great, though of course we do have a terrible time difference, so the breakfast shows will be late at night and prime time will be at daft o'clock as well.

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Posted

No live streaming is not that big a deal. With an 8-10 time difference, there is not much point anyway.

Any suggestions regarding recording a program?

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Posted

That time difference is certainly an issue.

I know of no way to record any of the online services. It is a shame none of them offer what the BBC iPlayer has in the download app, where people can download a DRM version of the show in full HD when available to play back later (sadly, with the expected time restrictions in playing as on the iPlayer itself). This is still great for keeping a show for playing elsewhere where there is limited or no online access or being able to play HD video where quality broadband is not available.

If this was available for Australian or NZ TV on demand services, it would certainly make things easier. I know there are some frustrated hackers out there that have managed certain success, but you would have to search them out.

Although I do watch Australian & New Zealand TV, and am really glad we at least have access to their on-demand shows, it is still years away from the quality of service and offerings from the UK broadcasters, especially the BBC. Most of my English television I watch is consequently from the iPlayer.

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Posted

SBS seems to work now, also on linux. Watching Rockwiz now!

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Posted

iView update: The ABC iView iPad app has been updated and amongst the improvements there seems to be a slightly better video quality (not SBS quality by a long shot yet though) and much better Airplay support. Now you can easily Airplay to your Apple TV directly without any need to mirror. Full Screen works better and is much easier.

Works on iPad with SmartDNS from Overplay as well, so no need to VPN.

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Posted

A related issue, as I'm not so interested in live streaming - its frustrating enough that Itunes Germany doesn't allow me to buy Aus magazines like, "Masterchef" etc.

I've just moved here from Asia where Sat TV is the norm.Does anyone have the low down on Sat TV options (in Hamburg) here in Germany, providers, costs etc AND Channel options?

I have a few faves (must haves) which include: Australia Network, Fashion TV, CMT, Food Network TV, HBO, Nat Geo, Discovery, and of course the Kids Channels, Disney Chanel, Cartoon Net, etc.

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