How can a US resident watch episodes of the new season of Downton Abbey?
August 29, 2012 10:08 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to supply my wife with the new season, Season 3, of Downton Abbey as soon as possible. The complication is that it doesn't air here in the US until January 2013, whereas it reportedly goes to air in the UK in September 2012. Is there some way I can (legally) do this? For example, can I exchange money for this convenience?

(I guess the same question applies to any British TV show that appears here in the US with a substantial delay.)
posted by hAndrew to Technology (10 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Try iTunes!
posted by cyml at 10:16 PM on August 29, 2012

Get a SlingBox!

My step-mum was British and would use it all of the time to watch UK programs in the US.
posted by littlesq at 10:20 PM on August 29, 2012

I simply use a VPN service. TunnelBear is the easiest and one of the cheapest and the one I use. Then I can watch it and any other BBC or ITV or whatever shows on their website's catchup services.
posted by inturnaround at 10:29 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Unblock-us lets you watch British web streams too. It's more about location spoofing than an actual VPN, so you get the same download speeds as you would normally. Downton Abbey should be airing on the ITV player next month.
posted by thecjm at 11:11 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

While you wait, check out Parade's End, the new BBC Downton-killer with a blond Benedict Cumberbatch and his nymph butler, Grayson.
posted by parmanparman at 2:52 AM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

You can get a region-free DVD player for ~50 bucks (google unlock codes then compare to amazon or Best Buy or Target websites) and then order the DVDs straight off They tend to release them much, much faster over there. For Season 2 of DA, I was watching it on my big TV before it premiered stateside.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:04 AM on August 30, 2012

2nding TunnelBear.
posted by spec80 at 5:27 AM on August 30, 2012

You shouldn't need to google unlock codes to find a region-free/all-region DVD player. Amazon sells them for $30-$50, last I looked. The possibility exists, though, that you could unlock your current DVD player, which is what you'd want to be googling unlock codes for (IIRC you pretty much need the DVD player's original remote on hand).
posted by hoyland at 6:03 AM on August 30, 2012

They tend to release them much, much faster over there. For Season 2 of DA, I was watching it on my big TV before it premiered stateside.

Yes, the past two series they released the UK Region 2 DVD the day after the last episode aired, on November 7th/8th. You would miss the Christmas special if they do one, since it doesn't air until on or near Christmas and was released as a separate DVD last year.

This is still a bit quasi-legal to circumvent the region coding, but much better than using a proxy to get BBC without paying the license fee.
posted by smackfu at 8:06 AM on August 30, 2012

To watch BBC's Sherlock I used a combination of proxy to watch it on iPlayer as it aired in the UK and then bought the DVDS from to watch on my region free DVD player before it premiered in the US. I have zero moral quibbles about working around region codes.
posted by Julnyes at 11:16 AM on August 30, 2012

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