Watch TV Shows Online For Free In Australia - Easily Watch TV Online
Watching TV shows online can be much more convenient than watching them when they are originally broadcast. Sometimes you want to watch programs which are played overseas but not shown in Australia, watching TV shows online allows you to watch those programs as well.
Watching shows that have been broadcast is relatively straight forward when you know where to look, watching shows that haven't been broadcast in Australia is more complex, but still not too difficult.
To watch shows that have been shown on Australian television locate the network it was broadcast on and then follow the instructions and links provided. Bookmark this page and you'll have a quick reference of links to find all your favourite TV shows online.
Free Streaming From Australian Networks
Streaming shows that have been recently broadcast in Australia is relatively straight forward when you know where to look.
ABC – ABC2, ABC3, News24
The ABC's online service is called iView and it is a very well designed and reliable web app, it is also available as iPad and iPhone apps. A great feature that iView has which the other networks don't is that they have negotiated with several internet service providers to make all videos streamed from iView not count towards your monthly download quota. This is a huge advantage since streaming video can quickly chew through your download limit. This isn't quota free service isn't offered with every ISP however, so best to check on their list.
In addition to the ABC's iView service you can also stream News24 live.
Generally programs are available as soon as they are broadcast on TV and for fourteen days after. When a program is repeated on TV they are usually available on iView again. Sometimes programs have been available on iView as soon as they have been aired overseas even before they have been broadcast on ABC television. The ABC has embraced online streaming much more than the Australian commercial networks, and with great results.
SBS on Demand is unique in that it also offers some of the movies played on SBS, along with most of the TV shows. The interface and menu system is a little bit clunky, but if you know what you are looking for it is reasonably useable, simply browsing isn't as easy however.
Most programs are available the day after they air for fourteen days.
7 – 7Two, 7mate
The 7 Networks online service is called Plus7. It has an easy simple interface with thumbnails for the available shows presented in alphabetical order, however it does only have a relatively small number of series available. The length of time shows are accessible varies greatly from program to program, and can be anywhere in the range of seven days and four years. However most of the prime time programming is visible for seven to ten days.
Some commercials are shown during the programs, but there are fewer than you would get watching the programs on broadcast TV.
9 – Gem, Go!
Ninemsn Video might not have the catchiest name but it has arguably the strongest archive of local programming. Most of Channel Nine's locally produced content is available in full, for example at the time of writing all sixty-eight episodes of Sea Patrol are watchable, that's every episode from from series one to nine. Mostly there is no expiry date from Australian programs. Foreignly produced programs seem to be available for inconsistent periods. While most shows have three or four episodes available, sometimes newer episodes have expiry warnings, "expires in 7 days" etc. when older ones do not. It seems thought that most programs are available for at lest two weeks, and often much longer.
The interface for Ninemsn Video is basic, but very functional and easy to use.
Ten – One, Eleven
"Ten - Full Episodes & Video" okay this name is definitely even less catchy than Channel Nine's. Ten have gone with a confusing menu set up, which inexplicably likes to open new browser tabs for you and for some reason even has half hour episodes broken up into multiple parts. Once you manage to find what you are looking for, making sure not to click on the wrong program because this will make you lose all control and have to watch two thirty second ads, it does the job. Ten doesn't specify how long each program is available but it seems to be between two and four weeks depending on the program.
What is geoblocking?
Geoblocking is when a web service restricts access based on where you are in the world. They generally do this by looking at your computer's IP address, that is your computer's unique identifier on the internet, and comparing it to the list of where in the world it is registered.
Free Streaming From Overseas – BBC, Hulu, etc.
Sometimes shows aren't shown in Australia, sometimes they don't show them for for months after they are broadcast in the US. Or sometimes you just want to watch an episode that is a little further back than the Australian catch-up services go. Fortunately there are far better streaming services available in other countries. Normally these aren't accessible in Australia because of geoblocking. Luckily however, there are ways to get around this.
Some methods require complex setup and specific networking knowledge, and sometimes considerable costs. Below are detailed instructions for setting up the most simple straight forward method, so that you can be watching BBC iPlayer, Hulu, CBS video streams and many more. No technical knowledge is required.
Is circumventing geoblocking legal?
Getting around geoblocks falls into a legal grey area. This is not an issue that copyright law has had to deal with before, and as such it has never been tested in court. Whilst it may not be illegal, circumventing geoblocks may well find you violating the terms and conditions of the web service you are using. You should follow this up with the individual web service you are trying to access and make sure you are aware of any penalties they may place upon you.
Using Hola! Unblocker
Installing Hola! Unblocker couldn't be much more straight forward. Simply visit hola.org, hit the "install now" button and follow the instructions.
If you are using a Windows computer you will need to download and install a program that runs in the background. Once installed you need to check the option marked "unblocker", you can leave the "accelerator" option ticked or unticked, it may or may not increase your internet speed. Once you enable the unblocker you will be taken to a webpage which allows you to select which websites you would like to enable access to. The best sites for TV shows are probably Hulu and BBC iPlayer, however there are various other television sites you can enable, and might like to check out. Once you've done this you'll be able to fully access these sites just as you would be able to from America.
If you are on a Mac, or aren't using Windows, you'll need to use Hola! Unblocker through a browser extension. These extensions are only available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and will not work on Safari or other browsers. If you aren't already using one of these browsers, I suggest you install Chrome, it's really good. Installing the extension is very quick and easy. Then you're ready to go. Clciking on the little Hola! logo in your browser will give you the list of sites which you now have access to. I recommend Hulu for most US programs and BBC iPlayer for British ones.
What is your favourite place to stream TV shows online?
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Step by step instructions for accessing Netflix from Australia, including getting around the geo-blocking and activating your account.