Just a couple of years ago, friends and families would gather at the television, at a specific time of the day to enjoy an episode of their favourite movie series or soap opera. Of course, this afforded better bonding time, but the disadvantage of this was that anyone who missed that episode would either have to wait for a recap later in the week or find out what happened from someone who watched the episode.
Another downside would be having limited choices of movies and shows. Most people watch shows produced in their countries. Even with cable television, you did not really have that many options.
Fortunately, thanks to streaming services, this is no longer the case. From anywhere, on virtually any device and at any time, a subscriber can log onto their account and watch their favourite content. The services also broke down geographical boundaries, making it possible for viewers to access foreign content.
These on-demand services provided by platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ even come at a relatively lower price when compared to traditional cable TV subscriptions. Also, they offer several features to ensure that every user has a personalised experience.
Unfortunately, things might be trickier than you think in China. Most streaming services have no licensing agreement in China, making it impossible for people to subscribe to these services. The good news is that with a few simple steps, you will have an enjoyable streaming experience, accessing the content you want.
Challenges with Online Streaming in China
However beneficial, users in China face several challenges when trying to make use of these services. Some of these challenges are explained below:
● Restricted Access to Content: While China has its own streaming platforms like Tencent video, Youku Tudou, and iQiyi that shows a variety of shows and films, most Western services like Netflix, Hulu, and Twitch are unavailable in the country. Although iQiyi and Netflix had an agreement on streaming some Netflix original shows, users still do not have complete access to the services. This makes it very difficult for people in China to access foreign content such as British films.
● Slow buffering: Watching an online stream that continually pauses to buffer a few extra seconds can be frustrating. Often, this is caused by Internet browsing speeds that aren’t optimal enough to load the quality of content being streamed.
For instance, a minimum of 5Mbps is required to be able to stream Netflix content in high definition. For lower qualities such as 360p or 240p, a speed of 2.5 or 3Mbps should do.
Tips for Streaming British Films in China
The challenges, as mentioned above, can, however, be overcome with the following tips:
● Change your IP address: Users in China can overcome geo-restrictions by changing their IP address. Your IP address is the location of your network hardware. When you access the internet in China, normally your IP address will show your location as being in the country. However, by changing your virtual location to a place outside of your China, you can overcome the geo-restrictions and access content as if you were somewhere else.
One of the safest ways to achieve this is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you connect the VPN to any server of your choice, you will be able to access the content as if you were in that particular country. For example, if you connect to the UK server, with a subscription, you can freely access classic and new British movies on platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
● Lower video quality: Except you are sure that your Internet speed is very fast and can stream high quality videos, it is advisable to reduce the video quality of the content being streamed. This will allow for a smoother streaming experience and also save a lot of bandwidth usage from the network.
This is a non-sponsored guest post submitted by Chris Jones from Turn on VPN. Its views are independent from the UK-China Film Collab.