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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

How to Stream Digital Entertainment and Sports Outside the US

Ann Fourt

The following is adapted from Chapter 9 of my book “How to Become an Expat” available from Amazon.com in e-book and paperback, published May 2021. 

Would missing new episodes of your favorite TV show or major league professional or college sports games be a deal-breaker to living overseas?  Will you be missing your local public library?  No worries!  With today’s technology there are a number of ways to get your fix.

Digital Rights & Geographic Restrictions

Movies, TV shows, documentaries etc. have what’s known as “digital rights” owned by the rights holder.  These rights dictate where geographically such movies and programs can be streamed from a content provider such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. 

You can usually use your existing U.S. Netflix or Amazon Prime account in the country you’re living in, but your choice of content will be different; many U.S. programs and movies may not be available. 

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Using a virtual private network (VPN) will get around these geographical restrictions.  By using a VPN, you can set your internet “location” to be anywhere in the world that the VPN service has servers.  

There are many VPNs, some of them free, but most of them won’t work with Netflix or Amazon Prime.  Check for online recommendations for one that will work with the more demanding requirements of video streaming, because the situation changes all the time.

In order to stream programming to a “smart” TV, you will need a device such as a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick.  I recommend the Fire Stick because you can install Android applications on it, including a VPN, which makes the whole process simpler.

Streaming Applications to Your Television or Device

Pay TV Streaming Apps

Many streaming apps will work with Apple, Roku, Android and other devices.  Monthly charges range from around $6 to $85 or more.  You will need to use a VPN set to a U.S. location.

Among the pay TV apps with a subscription model are the following:

•           Netflix (movies & TV shows, rotating content, from $9/month)

•           Amazon Prime (movies & TV shows, $119 per year)

•           Disney+ (movies & TV shows including Hulu, from $8/month)

•           Hulu with Live TV (65+ channels, from $55/month)

•           Paramount+ (movies & TV shows, includes NFL, NCAA & PGA, $5-$10/month)  

Free Streaming Apps

PBS App

If you enjoy watching PBS news, documentaries, arts, science, history or lifestyle programs, there is an app for Android and Apple/iOS; download from the respective Play Store.  You can install it on the Amazon Fire Stick and stream it to your smart television, or install it on any Android, Apple or iOS device.  PBS content is licensed only for the U.S., so use a VPN set to a U.S. location. 

Pluto TV

Pluto TV has content from ViacomCBS and includes TV and movies, local TV news and sports in over 200 channels, including British TV and the Game Show Network.  It is just like watching a cable TV channel with commercials, but over the internet.  The app is available for Android, Roku, Apple iOS, Mac and Windows desktops. 

The Classic TV category has channels for Dark Shadows, The Love Boat, Star Trek, The Carol Burnett Show, Laverne & Shirley, Mission: Impossible,  Johnny Carson and many more.  The Home + DIY category has an Antiques Roadshow channel.   The Latino category has over 20 channels, all in Spanish.

Filmrise Free Movies & TV

Filmrise is a nifty app that has a selection of TV shows and movies in its library for free streaming (some with commercials).  Its content leans towards investigative, true crime and detective shows. The app is in the Google Play, Amazon Play and Apple app stores.

There are other streaming apps as well; see my book for a longer discussion of this topic.

Digital Books

Amazon Kindle – Pay Service

Amazon digital books are probably the best-known among U.S. consumers; they are designed to interface seamlessly with the Kindle book reader or Fire tablet sold by Amazon. 

Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service is sort of like Netflix for books; you pay a monthly subscription fee (currently $9.99 per month) to access digital books that the rights holder has elected to enroll in Kindle Unlimited, which is a separate product that is not included in Amazon Prime membership. 

With Kindle Unlimited, you can add up to ten books at a time to your account to read.  Once you’re done reading the book, you “return” it (remove it from your library).  If you are an avid, high volume reader, Kindle Unlimited can be a good option.

Amazon Prime - Book and Audio Perks

While you don’t get Kindle Unlimited with an Amazon Prime membership, Prime Reading is a separate service that is part of Amazon Prime.  It includes over 1,000 rotating book and magazine titles as well as 50 rotating audiobooks, plus selected Audible.com audio content such as documentaries, serialized dramas, comedy shows and podcasts.  Two million songs and music are also included in the Amazon Prime subscription.

Amazon First Reads is another free perk for Prime members; each month, Amazon editors pick about a dozen soon-to-be-released books and allow Prime members to download a copy for free to their library. 

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, part of the Library of Congress, administers a free national library program for patrons who cannot see regular print or handle print materials.  The NLS will provide vision-impaired patrons who live overseas with digital talking book players free of charge; overseas patrons are eligible for the free download service and iOS and Android apps. 

For more detailed information on this and many other topics, please see my book available on Amazon.com in e-book and paperback:

Visit our book Store

About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

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