Looking for Netflix or similar in Japan.
February 19, 2011 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a Netflix or Hulu type streaming video service that is accessible outside of the U.S., in Japan specifically? No doubt Japan has its own such services, but I am considerably less than fluent in Japanese, so I am looking for English and English subtitled films/television. Also, I wouldn't be able at this point to navigate the Japanese services' websites, so I probably am looking for a U.S based service that allows overseas access. Thanks a lot.
posted by dmvs to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You could get a proxy service, but it might be hard to find one that supports the kinds of speeds netflix requires.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 AM on February 19, 2011

If you have any friends in the US I think you can do a proxy through them. I'm not an expert on this though so could any mefites expand?
posted by catwash at 12:24 PM on February 19, 2011

overplay.net is a brilliant proxy service for a small amount a month, but no idea if this would be legal with the sort of services you plan to us.
posted by ascullion at 12:57 PM on February 19, 2011

Buy a personal VPN service such as this one.

This will encrypt all your internet traffic and route it through one of their servers, which you can see listed on their product page. If you pick one of the servers in the US, hulu will think you are in the US, and will work. Similarly, if you want to use the BBC iPlayer, you can route your traffic through the UK and that will work and you can watch BBC video. Presumably your netflix account will work the same way (though I have no netflix account and can't test that).

This solution also has the advantage of avoiding a problem many sites have with defaulting the page language to the language they think someone with your IP address wants to see. Google does this (if you go to google in Germany, you get the German version of the site). When connected through the VPN, you get the version of the site corresponding to the location of your VPN server, rather than your actual computer, so it's easy to get the US versions of things.

I don't mean to endorse witopia specifically, I haven't used them, only heard about them. There are other competing services you can use as well.

Note that using a VPN does slow down your internet connection somewhat, it also increases your security in many ways (especially if you're using wi-fi) which you may or may not care about.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2011

Obviously this is a YMMV situation, but using Witopia from Canada did not work for me -- Hulu knew that I was in Canada and would not allow me to access any of their content.

(I ended up using Vuze to download the programs I wanted to watch.)
posted by kate blank at 1:10 PM on February 19, 2011

posted by dfriedman at 1:14 PM on February 19, 2011

but using Witopia from Canada did not work for me

That actually surprises me. I am not using witopia (I have a corporate VPN I can use), but I just connected myself through London (I am in the US) and hulu refuses to play for me due to my location. BBC iPlayer works this way, though. This implies that both services are seeing me as being "in the UK", which I'd expect.

The technology behind witopia's VPN service should be pretty much the same, and I'd expect that it would have the same results, unless they're big enough that hulu has noticed them and specifically blocks witopia's gateways in the US, but that would affect all their us-based customers as well.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 1:19 PM on February 19, 2011

I use a VPN connection through Hidemynet to watch Hulu, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer from Germany. I occasionally have issues with speed, but it's generally pretty reliable. Hidemynet also has multiple servers per country, so I can switch around if I'm having issues.
posted by naturalog at 4:40 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Witopia works for us when we have decent bandwidth. Mrs arcticseal watched US Netflix from Canada (before they launched the Canadian Netflix). Not so good here in China due to the patchy internet here, not so much The VPN at fault.
posted by arcticseal at 4:49 PM on February 19, 2011

Proxpn FTW.

You have to get the paid version for the download speed to be reliably fast enough (otherwise it refreshes 2 or 3 times per film).
posted by fantasticninety at 5:13 PM on February 19, 2011

Hulu blocks many anonymous proxies, so try them out before making a financial commitment.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:39 PM on February 19, 2011

Japan doesn't really do streaming TV etc. I've considered using Slingbox to get TV from Japan (you would be doing it the other way around). Another service you might consider is PPStream, a Chinese video streaming service (you have to download a program to make it work) that is very popular in China and Korea.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:32 PM on February 20, 2011

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