Last year we posted How to Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 in the US Before it Airs on PBS. It is the most popular post we ever had! So naturally with the new season starting this Sunday in the UK we wanted to let you all know how to watch it before it airs in the US in 2014.
If you are one of our UK readers you can simply go to iTV's website (the English broadcaster of Downton Abbey) and watch it from their site. But if you are here in America you get an error, "This Video in not Available to Play in Your Region." It is a rotten thing that iTV & PBS make us wait 4 months to see Downton Abbey here in the US.
In the last post I got some feedback about supporting piracy. It is fitting that I am writing this on Talk Like a Pirate Day; although I prefer to think of myself as more of a Robin Hood, than a pirate.
I also take the stand that it is a poor move for PBS to delay the US airing of Downton Abbey so they don't have to compete with network TV. If they can see that fans will not stand for an intentional delay, perhaps they will rethink this strategy next season. Also there is the issue of spoilers. One can hardly avoid Bachelorette spoilers from Facebook friends who watch the east coast feed. How do they expect them to avoid them for 4 months!? (SPOILER) How many of you had the deaths of Sybil and Mathew ruined this season by overly excited viewers in your news feed? Even if you aren’t even into social media, there are articles published in the US about it right after the episode aired in the UK.
I would like to share with you some of the methods we have found for watching Downton Abbey soon after it airs. Some argue that some methods are some viewing are more ethical than others. Let me say to them, iTV has produced a show that they do not want you to see in the US until January and have put measures in place to stop you from doing it. If you attempt to circumvent these roadblocks then you are taking something they don’t want you to have, essentially stealing it. Now if you see iTV’s refusal to share as unethical themselves and want to engage in some civil disobedience read on and find out how to watch Season 4 Episode 1 of Downton Abbey as early as the next day! Let iTV & PBS know keeping this show from us will only hurt their ratings down the line.
You could use a Torrent site, but it is ill advised for the novice. Torrent sites are notorious for pop-ups, misleading links, and malicious viruses. If you are comfortable with them, it is one of the best ways to get episodes in HD as early as Sunday afternoon! I used Bit Torrent as my torrent program. Once you have your torrent program you can go to torrent sites like Torrentz to get the files that download the episode. Warning! You will want an Ad and Popup Blocker software program installed as the advertisements on these sites are not for those trying to keep the tenets of the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.
Many viewers last season used Tunnel Bear, and I like it just because of the name! Tunnel Bear basically spoofs your ip address (your computers address) and makes iTV think you are in the UK. Then you can open the program, go to iTV and view episodes the next day. The quality is a little low, but it is very user friendly. Tunnel Bear is free for 500MB of data a month. If you promote them on Twitter, they will give you an extra GB which should be enough for 4 episodes. You can pay $4.99 a month for unlimited use, plus you can use it on your mobile device. Update: I am seeing reports that iTV is asking for your zipcode. Make sure you enter a UK zipcode if you want to have access.
Quora.com offers a guide on how to purchase the season through iTunes using a UK iTunes Giftcard from eBay. Then change the region of your iTunes to the UK. It is a little complex, but if it helps you sleep at night be our guest.
The final way I usually watch it is looking for a site that actually hosts the episode on their server. I found a site that does this last season and hope they will continue this season as well. Once the episodes are posted there I’ll provide links to them so come back here often, or follow us on Facebook!
If you are not quite sure what Downton Abbey is all about, all 3 seasons are free to stream for Amazon Prime members. Season 1 & 2 are also available on Hulu, but they are ad supported. It might be time to know what all your friends at work are talking about by the water cooler.
How do you watch Downton Abbey? Are you waiting for January? Let us know how these ideas work for you!
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