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Old 06.04.2008, 18:18
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[Ways to get] American Television

Hello, I've posted twice today about other topics and have been yelled at twice, so I hope the third time is a charm.

I have been through most of the threads about satellite dishes, cable TV, etc on this site, and the conversation always seems to devolve into Sky, BBC, etc.

Let me say that I am very happy for all the Brits on here that are able to watch all the Upstairs Downstairs, Faulty Towers and Premier League Soccer that they want, and I mean that sincerely. But I would like to hear from an American that has been able to accomplish the following, and the method by which they were able to do so:

1. Watch American Television, including HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, all the major networks and have access to Major League Baseball and National Football League packages if they so desired.

2. Watch in the full splendor of 50 inch, HDTV (not through a computer).

I've been told that no satellite dish will reach the U.S. Other options always entail watching through my computer. Call me an ugly American if you want, but I am accustomed to watching a large High Def TV and would like to do so here.

I gave up my dog and essentially broke up with my girlfriend to move here. I will deal with the high cost of living, unfriendly service and paying 20 cents for a ketchup packet if I can just have this simple pleasure.

I hope that the subject matter is appropriate for this thread and I apologize in advance if I have violated any forum protocols (again).

Please help!
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Old 06.04.2008, 18:28
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Re: American Television

You probably will not get that much sympathy with that kind of
post.

The only thing that I know of to get American TV is a Slingbox. It
costs less than 200$, but the catch is that you have to have a
cable/satellite connection in the US. I have one at my brother's.

The picture quality is great, and you can watch every show just
like you were home in the US.
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Old 06.04.2008, 18:39
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Re: American Television

Thanks Holliday...not sure why you think I'd not garner sympathy...wasn't trying to be obnoxious...I'm simply frustrated by the number of times I have heard the word 'no' since I have been here.

If I can get one of my friends to agree to let me use the slingbox from his cable, will that work...can I watch whatever I want, while he watches whatever he is watching? Please tell me more!
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Old 06.04.2008, 18:47
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Re: American Television

Sorry SteveZ, can't help on the TV front. However your homesickness might be slightly alleviated by an internet radio set like this one. I have mine on all the time and listen to it whilst I cook, clean, iron etc... almost every radio station I ever used to listen to back home is available on this little gizmo. You can check out Reciva to see what US stations are available
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Old 06.04.2008, 19:11
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Re: American Television

http://www.slingmedia.com/

You can go to this website to buy the device. Someone will
have to offer a cable/satellite connection. I bought an extra
cable connection at my brother's house, and I connected the
slingbox to the connection as well as the internet.

It is quite easy really. The hard part is getting the cable/sateillite
connection.
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  #6  
Old 06.04.2008, 19:17
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Re: American Television

There is a way to hook a computer to a large screen TV (my Brother In law set that one up as I am not much of a Techie)......and the internet NFL package is great because you can watch every game..... Just telling you some of the options.

The Slingbox might be a good option but I assume you would want some kind of TIVO device also to record the shows. otherwise, assuming you have a normal houred job, the time difference will kill you.
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Old 06.04.2008, 19:19
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Re: American Television

We also use slingbox and have been able to watch it on our LCD TV (I think it is 36 inch). Your TV should have a connection to hook up a PC to it.

You better set your expectations at the right level. Depending on the speed of your connection - both upload back in the States and download here) you may or may not be happy with it. Our connection tends to pixelated and choppy at time.

They do offer an HD version, so maybe it addresses these issues.

Good luck and don't worry, this country grows on you.
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Old 06.04.2008, 19:21
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Re: American Television

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Thanks Holliday...not sure why you think I'd not garner sympathy...wasn't trying to be obnoxious...I'm simply frustrated by the number of times I have heard the word 'no' since I have been here.

If I can get one of my friends to agree to let me use the slingbox from his cable, will that work...can I watch whatever I want, while he watches whatever he is watching? Please tell me more!
http://www.slingmedia.com/

Front page even has a demo on how it works. Looks pretty good.
You won't be able to use a satellite to get American TV because they are under the horizon.
I believe Swiss telly carries NBC, CNN and maybe some more. Sky and BBC etc. also show alot of American shows and the above 2 stations + a whole load of other channels also in English. The BBC is even free once you have the satellite set up.

As a word of advice though, having just looked at your other posts and this one, you are going to have zero fun in Switzerland if you expect it to be in America, why go to a new country and expect it to be just like home?..those differences are what makes it fun.
Forget the mustard on bretzels thing and try to enjoy the new challenges.
(Mustard is included in the cost of a bratwurst, but not in the cost of a bretzel, hence you had to pay...seems fair and square to me)
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Old 06.04.2008, 19:29
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Re: American Television

Hi SteveZ,

I would also HIGHLY recommend the slingbox. I've been using one for about 6 months now that my fiancee is hosting for me. He has a cable box with DVR, so I'm able to record some of the shows that I can't go without. Since he's 6 hours behind, I'm always able to watch on week nights before he gets home from work. Weekends are sometimes an issue... Because only one person at a time can control the cable box. If you are truly desperate for high def TV, you might check out the company a2btv.com They will host your slingbox and give you a directTV connection with a DVR for a montly fee. And they may offer higher upload speeds than you would be able to get from a friend's internet connection which might get you close to high def.
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Old 07.04.2008, 09:50
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Re: American Television

SteveZ,

We're in the same boat -- brought over my HD projector and 100" screen and have no ESPN to hook it up to. Obviously I need to get an apartment first, but I'm just gonna have to deal with not having ESPN/ESPN2 HD alongside 500 channels of crap. There's just not much that can be done, unfortunately. The way I understand the slingbox, though, is that you'll absolutely overload your friend's internet -- file sizes are large (as long as they're anywhere near TiVo's files), especially if you want HD content, so you may end up spending ages trying to download anything decent.

I think I'm just going to go with SkyTV, get the HD package, etc, and go from there. You can always download big games (and shows, all in HD) via BitTorrent like the day after and burn to a DVD to watch on TV later on. What I actually do is copy to a memory stick and play directly out of my XBox 360 so as to save DVDs. Until Cablecom / Sky decide to carry ESPN and other high quality US programming (see: never), there's simply no other option (unless you want to go with the internet deals).
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Old 07.04.2008, 10:26
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Re: American Television

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I gave up my dog and essentially broke up with my girlfriend to move here. I will deal with the high cost of living, unfriendly service and paying 20 cents for a ketchup packet if I can just have this simple pleasure.
Buy a load of DVDs on the internet just for when the weather is inclement, otherwise get out into the wide blue yonder - there's a whole live show going on out there (plus it's not interrupted every 7 minutes with an advert break ).

Get yourself a "Halbtax" discount card for the train and explore.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 07.04.2008 at 10:30. Reason: typo
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  #12  
Old 07.04.2008, 10:30
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Re: American Television

If you know what you want to watch, bittorrent sites will be your best friends. Most popular current shows will be uploaded minutes after being broadcast, and it's possible to get them in HD.

Although europeans get many of the popular US shows, they're usually a season or two behind.
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Old 07.04.2008, 10:39
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Re: American Television

The problem is that you are over the horizon for Dish and DirectTV and so you're a little hosed.

Slingbox is a reasonable answer - coupled with a DVR, you could use someone else's box when they're not using it. HD is something you will not get - for now - with this solution.

If you have friends in the US military then you might be able to source an AFN Scientific Atlanta powervu receiver so that you can view Wikipedia reference-linkAmerican_Forces_Network. That might be a challenge but it is an option.

Other options are NASN and Premiere, Sky, etc. You will get some HD content but at the moment, in Europe, it has not truly taken off.....
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Old 07.04.2008, 10:45
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Re: American Television

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If you have friends in the US military then you might be able to source an AFN Scientific Atlanta powervu receiver so that you can view Wikipedia reference-linkAmerican_Forces_Network. That might be a challenge but it is an option.
The folks I know give American Forces Network a pretty low grade. Still, they're used to being back in the US on a regular basis, so it might be okay here.

I thought the NASN coverage of the NFL was pretty good. I just wish that NASCAR could get its own channel, so I could watch more NFL/NCAA stuff, and the NASCAR fans could get their fix somewhere other than NASN.
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Old 07.04.2008, 11:11
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Re: American Television

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The folks I know give American Forces Network a pretty low grade. Still, they're used to being back in the US on a regular basis, so it might be okay here.
NASN isn't too bad - the baseball season has just started and they'll be showing tons of games. I just wished they had an HD channel.
I really don't get it here: people buy huge, Full-HD capable TVs in large quantities yet there are no HD channels?
I personally find that Premiere HD and NASN satisfy my TV-watching needs (for the rest I just buy DVDs and BRs through amazon.com). Sky would be nice but since they started targeting foreign subscribers I hear it's close to impossible to get subscriptions.

peter
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Old 07.04.2008, 11:15
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Re: American Television

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I thought the NASN coverage of the NFL was pretty good. I just wish that NASCAR could get its own channel, so I could watch more NFL/NCAA stuff, and the NASCAR fans could get their fix somewhere other than NASN.
I totally agree. They showed lots of NFL. Just wish they had showed some more college football games like the previous year.
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Old 07.04.2008, 11:15
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Re: [Ways to get] American Television

50 inch hdtv splendour is indeed possible... but you will need to buy a 50 inch hdtv!

agree with planthead..... try to enjoy the changes and different culture over here.

cablecom were doing some kind of NASN american sports channel, you could check that out.

nice larry avatar!

krlock3
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Old 07.04.2008, 11:30
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Re: [Ways to get] American Television

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I've been told that no satellite dish will reach the U.S. Other options always entail watching through my computer. Call me an ugly American if you want, but I am accustomed to watching a large High Def TV and would like to do so here.
Your problem is caused by the shape of the earth (some tell me it is not flat) and the strength of the magnetic field that determines where satellites must physically be placed to maintain their geo-stationary orbit.

I would recommend you suggest the following to the US government, in order to achieve your goal:

1. Enhance closer US-European relationships, by bringing Europe physically closer to the USA. This will also achieve a secondary goal of making China and Russian further away. Some form of terraforming is required, but that's a nice little project for the military to get their teeth into. Once Europe is closer, you will be in the same satellite footprint.

2. Launch additionally satellites to provide satellite-to-satellite connections for global television coverage. Maybe if the budget doesn't stretch to terra-forming as mentioned in point 1, you may have enough for a handful of extra satellites. A few hundred mil is all you need. This idea will fit well with US satellite manufacturers, always keen to sell a few more birds.

3. Convince the various European governments that it would be good for them to be another state of the USA. Run competitions to see who will be the next state. start a TV series "Amercias' next top State" to attract advertising dollars. Once the state has been formed, US TV channels will leap over themselves to supply US TV programming to their new sister states. PS: if friendly convincing doesn't work, try manipulating the price of oil, trade embargos, or just good old fashioned outright military takeover. PS: US military equipment manufacturers may help you here.

4. Use a Slingbox. Whilst not as interesting as the ideas above from a world politics point of view, a Slingbox may be realizable in less time. and it is, I believe, made in the USA.
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Old 07.04.2008, 11:38
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Re: [Ways to get] American Television

Another solution if kiwis outlandish suggestions do not come to fruition within your timescale:

Move back to america!

Get your dog and gf back, enjoy a lower cost of living, "friendly" service, free ketchup, and all the American TV you can manage.

krlock3
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Old 07.04.2008, 11:45
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Re: [Ways to get] American Television

...see what you can track down here:

http://en.kingofsat.net/
http://www.lyngsat.com/
http://www.lysat.com/
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