Too many people I know who live in Thailand are not taking advantage of internet TV options, and are instead doing one of the following:
1) Watching Law and Order over and over on the Universal channel, which is the only real channel available on basic cable.
2) Paying a decent amount for a few more channels on True Vision, but still watching Law and Order way too often since the premium channels play the same movies over and over.
Meanwhile for about 4 years now I have watched every movie and every TV show that I have an interest in, all for free and all in perfect quality right on my LED. I am about to break down everything you need to know to take your home entertainment options to a whole new level, forever.
There are two main options here:
1) download somewhat illegally and watch everything OR
2) pay about 1,000 baht per month and be able to watch a tremendous amount of on demand content, but not everything, legally.
For either option the most important thing you do is to get a good setup going for your TV to laptop. IF you have an old school TV you’re pretty much out of luck, although there are some s-video adapters that could work. But if you have an old school TV it’s probably because you didn’t see the need to spend money on a TV that would go to waste with the crap that comes with the basic cable or overpriced cable box offerings. If that is the case, let this article be the motivating factor in finally purchasing an LCD or LED TV.
So as long as you have a laptop or even a desktop computer that you can dock near your LCD or LED, and a good enough internet connection, you’re in business. You should also spend about 800 baht for a wireless mouse and keyboard set. I keep mine on my coffee table and I never even look at my laptop. I’m actually typing this article out while using my wireless keyboard and looking at my TV.
There are basically 2 options for connecting the TV, and making it act as a monitor for your computer, HDMI or VGA.
1) IF your laptop and TV both have an HDMI port, then you can just connect them with the one HDMI cable that likely came with your TV and be ready to go. I still recommend getting a computer speaker set for about 1,000 baht, since even that price they can blow away your TV’s speaker. Normally you just go to the HDMI input on your television and you’re all set. Occasionally you might need to right click on your desktop background and “connect to an external source” or “find a monitor” in graphic properties, but usually it pairs automatically.
2) If your computer doesn’t have an HDMI port do not worry you can still get very good (although not quite as good) quality video on your TV. You’ll have to get a VGA cable (male to male), otherwise known as a monitor cable. Chances are your computer and your TV has the monitor ports. Connect those and go to the “RGB” input on your TV. About 50% of the time it will pair automatically (hdmi pairs much automatically 90% of the time). If it doesn’t, as mentioned above, you’ll have to manually pair it by right clicking on your desktop background and clicking “connect to an external source” or clicking on “find a monitor” in graphic properties. IF you have troubles pairing you can always Google around specifying your operating system in the search. And unlike the HDMI connection, you have no choice but to buy an external computer speaker set here, because the VGA cable is only for video.
Ok now that we have the connections out of the way, here are your two options:
1) Purchase subscriptions:
Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon prime all have great packages available with killer content and all for a reasonable monthly fee. They’re obviously legal, but the only drawback is that you have have a U.S. Ip address for them to work. IF you live in Thailand, you obviously don’t have a U.S. IP address, but this is also no sweat as you can easily spoof a U.S. Ip address with an IP spoofer. Chances are that you have other uses for the IP spoofer anyway; I know for me there is a lot of news and sports videos that are restricted, so the IP spoofer is an important tool for an expat in Thailand. There is only one Spoofer worth mentioning or worth using and that’s Hide My Ass, which works to perfection and is extremely easy to use.
You can sign up for Hide My Ass here:
Make sure you spoof your IP before going to Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon prime, because you won’t be able to even sign up without a U.S. IP. But as far as legal options goes, you can get all three subscriptions’ here for cheaper than a True Vision cable package and you’ll have about 1,000 X more and better options to you, all on demand. It isn’t even close to being comparable.
IF you don’t want to pay anything, want to watch everything, and don’t care about infringement then here is your guide. There are several ways to go about doing this, but I will give you the option I think is the easiest.
A) Download Vuze @ http://www.vuze.com/download/ Again there are other torrent downloaders and you don’t even really need a downloader at all, but I personally love having Vuze * Just make sure to be careful when you’re going through the download process and uncheck any boxes that ask you if you want additional software. You don’t want anything, you just want Vuze. Vuze will also ask you if you want to pay for their premium service; just say no.
B) Now that you have Vuze, you can download basically any television show and any movie in existence. The two best sites for finding torrents are:
Kick Ass Torrents (KAT) is the best in my opinion; and I’m easily able to get every tv show in perfect quality within 30 minutes after it airs there. I also get the Blue Ray DVD rips of movies about 3 weeks before the blue ray officially comes out.
IF you want to be able to download an entire season of a tv show, just go to kat.ph and search for the name of the TV show and the season you want to watch, like “Sopranos season 3.” IF you want to track down a specific episode you need to search for the season and episode in the following way: Sopranos s05e08 That would be the 8th episode of the 5th season. *Be sure to download movies and tv shows ONLY if they have a lot of seeders, otherwise it will be very slow or it could even be a bad file. IF the file has a high number of seeders (like 25+) it’s a lock that it’s a good file and it’ll probably be a speedy download.
C) You also need a good player. Vuze actually has a great player built in and you can use it to easily watch any TV episode or movie that you download, however it’s hard to use it to watch episodes in a season that you download. So for that you should download the VLC player, which supports just about all file types. As with Vuze, just make sure when you download it that you select “no” or “uncheck” the boxes for downloading additional softwares.
*** You can also easily watch all of the file types you would download from torrent sites on your Android phone or Android tablet. Just download the MX player and the QQ player Apps from Google Play and between those two apps you’ll be able to watch any video file you put on your tablet or phone.
I’m a big movie and tv show guy, and I plan on doing some articles about movies and tv shows where I will always refer back to this post so you can watch anything I recommend.
*** Most major sports leagues have an affordable internet package available where you can watch every game of the sport you like, usually on demand. So for sports fans, the laptop to TV connection is even more necessary so you can actually enjoy the games on your big screen instead of huddling around a small monitor screen.