If you miss the TV from home while you are living abroad there are now quite a few options, mostly thanks to this being the internet age!
For Taiwanese programs the best by far choices at the moment for watching online TV are Maple Stage and Slingbox US (Slingbox in UK) and we mustn’t forget YouTube. As well as these three streaming services you can download programs to watch later using the usual torrent sites. In general though we avoid the torrent downloads because it’s nicer to watch on-demand than wait for downloading and then watch. Of course streaming isn’t as good quality as a lot of the torrent downloads, but who cares if you just want to watch the latest chat or entertainment show.
Slingbox is a great little gadget for streaming the whole of the selection of TV channels from your home country to your new home country. First of all you need the box which costs about 100 quid, or $150 dollars. Secondly it needs to stay in the country you want the TV channels from while you go off abroad. While your Slingbox stays at ‘home’ you can watch all the home TV channels wherever you are in the world with an internet connection. It works really well, we’ve been using it for nearly 8 years! There is a program that let’s you watch on Apple and Windows computers and also some new Smartphones have a Slingbox ‘app’. Also – new – you can log into slingplayer.com and watch your Slingbox in a browser window. For some reason the program has a play and a stop button but no recording schedule or even a simple record button. So you can only watch live, if you don’t tune in to watch your favourite programme then you’ll miss it – how 1990s… If you have friends or family in your home country they have to keep your little box for you near their TV and also plugged into their broadband.
Luckily for us there is an easy to use streaming website called Maple Stage which stores links to stream to all our favourite Taiwanese TV shows. Also they have pages of Mainland Chinese, Korean and Japanese programmes with Chinese subtitles. Check it out for yourself, it’s easier than Slingbox, all you need is an internet connected computer that is modern enough to watch videos on (that’s nearly any computer or laptop from the last 8 years).
YouTube is a great service but sometimes they are very keen to delete copyrighted content, like most commercial TV shows. That’s a shame for us who just want to catch up on news and shows from home that we can’t watch at all otherwise. However some shows do seems to be available on YouTube, we don’t know why… Our favourite talk show is always available on the Sunflower Movement channel on YouTube, very very soon after it’s on TV in Taiwan. Please don’t forget the best and most fantastic YouTube channel – TaiwanCooking!
We recommend the above ways of watching TV. If you can get your channels on Satellite or cable in your new home country that’s great too, but the channels are usually a lot less than at home, or you can get with a SlingBox. Whatever you do be careful on the internet, there are lots of bogus websites that try and install video players and charge you money – you don’t need them! Avoid them and avoid the viruses/spyware they want to put on your computer!
If you have any other ways of watching Taiwanese TV, please let us know in the comments! See you next time…