Right now, I have landlord-supplied cable & set-top box (unknown company), but have only one English language channel - CCTV9. All other channels are Chinese. I am not interested in sports, but would like ordinary American or British programming. I have read through the forums and have not found specific "how-to" information. What experience do you have? Please spell out all words. In the forums, I have seen "references" which have no meaning to me. Can someone please list companies and phone numbers? What exactly must be done? Roof-top dish? Cable to inside? Set-top box? Government restrictions? What channels are available? Installation cost? Monthly cost? Thanks.
I've been living in Central China for six years now. Here in Zhengzhou the satellite thing is mostly a ripoff. The first three years I lived here I lived on DVDs as my source of American entertainment.
A few years ago I learned of Bit Torrents and downloading on the internet. I now watch any American or British TV show within hours of their broadcast. I download em...watch them then delete.
I get my American TV fix!
Oh...and it's free!
For quite a few years, some foreigners have been using the Dream TV Satellite for watching foreign-language stations. However, as was posted in the recent thread, it looks like that time is coming to an end. (See also www.dreamsatellitetv.com/[...] So at the moment I would be wary of outlaying any money to install a satellite dish and receiver box to watch satellite tv that might not have signal by the end of next month.
If you really want "ordinary American or British programming" then you're not going to find it through hooking up a satellite dish. The BBC World channel shows the same program every hour with very little variation, HBO Asia mostly shows movies you've already seen - you're not going to get the latest episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm, Entourage etc. It is not the same HBO.
The best way to watch actual British or American TV is to get a VPN and watch online. With my UK VPN I can watch any program from the last week or two on the BBC iplayer and even more content from Channel 4 through their cooperation with youtube - they need to see a UK IP address for this to work hence the need for a VPN.
Plus I would avoid all the usual suspects for satellite TV - we had a system installed a year ago. It stopped working after 6 months and I have no idea why - could be the decryption server, could be the satellite position, who knows? Can I get hold of the company that set it up? Can I f***k?
Stick with the Internet. There's very little that isn't available for download even if you can't stream it but I would recommend streaming through a VPN as mentioned above.
for news with no chinese censorship, download livestation from the net.
for entertainment, use bt to download your poison. i have been catching up with The Bill...etc that way.
rooftop dish without a permit is risky in china, it is illegal.
Hi Greginchina, You suggested I "get a VPN." Since I didn't know what a VPN was, I found on wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network - Now, how do I go about "getting a VPN" in Kunming, Yunnan, China? I assume that my IP address is from the United States, but I am currently using a local Kunming internet service: China Telecom. Any VPN recommendations or procedures? Is there a fee for VPN service? Additional fees for programming? Thanks.
It is irrelevant that you are in Kunming on China Telecom. That is actually the point of a VPN. It will create a secure connection between your computer and a server in another country and every website you visit will assume you are in that other country.
Do a google search for VPNs and you'll find loads advertised. Almost all of them have a monthly fee but that's the price you pay for being outside the great firewall.
VPNs that are quite popular are strongvpn, witopia, 12vpn, and many more, just have a look around for a deal that suits you. You will need a foreign credit card to pay for it. There is currently no way to pay for this kind of service with RMB as far as I know.
Permit me a slight digression. If I visit Shanghai, stay at a good hotel, the TV provides many European channels. Is this a system specially provided for foreign tourists. If so, why hasn't a Kunming techi nerd discovered how to hack into this?
Again, permit another digression. I once stayed in a good hotel in Chang Mai, Thailand. The TV provided just about every world channel imaginable ... except Chinese (Not even CCTV9). My Chinese wife wasn't amused. I laughed, explaining that they KNOW propaganda when they see it.