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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 151349 22-Aug-2014 11:41
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Hi - I'd like to get the Roku3 (from Amazon) but I want to make sure I understand the process fully before I buy it. I hope someone can answer a few questions on getting set up for Netflix/Hulu+ etc.

Vodafone is my ISP and I have a wireless router (supplied from Vodafone - not sure if you need any other details). So if I bought the Roku3 I would:

1. Need to sign up to Unotelly. Will this provide me with a DNS number when I sign up?

2. Somehow put this DNS number into my router - how do I do this? And does this mean that my NZ IP address has been changed to a US one so when I go to a site like Amazon on my laptop it will think I am in the US? (sorry if that is a stupid question)

3. Create and account at Netflix/Hulu etc...and start watching?? and can I use a NZ credit card or do I need to get a virtual one?

And lastly, since I can't get on to Hulu etc... to even view the content available - are there a lot of options for children/family channels?

I appreciate any advice because I am completely new to anything like this (I'm just over SkyTV).

Lani



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  Reply # 1113403 22-Aug-2014 11:55
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Since you are asking these sorts of questions,  you will probably find it better to just get Lightbox when it launches next week.

Plenty of kids content (and other good content) on there, and no need to mess around with DNS stuff (handy if you aren't techy enough) and you will actually be able to get support from the official channels :)

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  Reply # 1113408 22-Aug-2014 12:27
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NonprayingMantis: Since you are asking these sorts of questions,  you will probably find it better to just get Lightbox when it launches next week.

Plenty of kids content (and other good content) on there, and no need to mess around with DNS stuff (handy if you aren't techy enough) and you will actually be able to get support from the official channels :)

All good, except that Lightbox as yet does not have an easy way to play on the big screen (and no, plugging a laptop in via HDMI is not easy in terms of the 10-foot interface).

Certainly, it look like Lightbox will be the answer eventually, so long as they can come through with big-screen device options. THeir content looks good, and the quality of the stream from what I have seen looks good.

Answers to the OPs questions:
1. Need to sign up to Unotelly. Will this provide me with a DNS number when I sign up?

When you sign up, you do not get a 'unique to you' DNS address (their DNS addresses are publically viewable), you just get the right to use it (it is tied to the external IP address of your internet connection.

2. Somehow put this DNS number into my router - how do I do this? And does this mean that my NZ IP address has been changed to a US one so when I go to a site like Amazon on my laptop it will think I am in the US? (sorry if that is a stupid question)

You need to change the DNS settings on whatever devices you wish to use to access these services. So, for looking at the Netflix/Hulu sites on the web, you need it changed on that computer/tablet. To use it on a Roku, you need it changed on the Roku (which cannot be done on the device itself). For all devices on your network, change it in the Router. Some routers make this easier than others, and I believe the Vodafone ones it is not that easy. There are guides around though.

My recommendation would be to get an Apple TV, or Amazon FireTV. Both of these can have their DNS settings changed on the unit itself.

You do not get a new IP address. Going to sites (like for example TVNZ onDemand) that UnoTelly do not redirect requests for will still show you as being in NZ (I think anyway, I have not tested this on my Laptop or iPad that I have the UnoTelly DNS settings on).

3. Create and account at Netflix/Hulu etc...and start watching?? and can I use a NZ credit card or do I need to get a virtual one?

You can try with some NZ credit cards. Many people have more success with the prepaid debit cards some places offer.

And lastly, since I can't get on to Hulu etc... to even view the content available - are there a lot of options for children/family channels?

There are sites around with listings of what the various streaming services offer. I have used a Netflix one. I don't have Hulu anymore (never used it and found the ads annoying).

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Actrix

  Reply # 1113409 22-Aug-2014 12:32
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Pluto.tv is another excellent option. It's like autoplay for YouTube with videos set to a schedule. Very clever.




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  Reply # 1113414 22-Aug-2014 12:38
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trig42: 
My recommendation would be to get an Apple TV


While this is how we do it, it does add extra steps to the process, as the NetFlix app will only show up on your Apple TV if you're logged in to a US iTunes account.

The upside to this is that you can then also hire or purchase video from the US iTunes store, provided you have a way to pay for it (we use my Air New Zealand OneSmart card for that).

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  Reply # 1113416 22-Aug-2014 12:41
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trig42:
NonprayingMantis: Since you are asking these sorts of questions,  you will probably find it better to just get Lightbox when it launches next week.

Plenty of kids content (and other good content) on there, and no need to mess around with DNS stuff (handy if you aren't techy enough) and you will actually be able to get support from the official channels :)

All good, except that Lightbox as yet does not have an easy way to play on the big screen (and no, plugging a laptop in via HDMI is not easy in terms of the 10-foot interface).

Certainly, it look like Lightbox will be the answer eventually, so long as they can come through with big-screen device options. THeir content looks good, and the quality of the stream from what I have seen looks good.

Answers to the OPs questions:
1. Need to sign up to Unotelly. Will this provide me with a DNS number when I sign up?

When you sign up, you do not get a 'unique to you' DNS address (their DNS addresses are publically viewable), you just get the right to use it (it is tied to the external IP address of your internet connection.

2. Somehow put this DNS number into my router - how do I do this? And does this mean that my NZ IP address has been changed to a US one so when I go to a site like Amazon on my laptop it will think I am in the US? (sorry if that is a stupid question)

You need to change the DNS settings on whatever devices you wish to use to access these services. So, for looking at the Netflix/Hulu sites on the web, you need it changed on that computer/tablet. To use it on a Roku, you need it changed on the Roku (which cannot be done on the device itself). For all devices on your network, change it in the Router. Some routers make this easier than others, and I believe the Vodafone ones it is not that easy. There are guides around though.

My recommendation would be to get an Apple TV, or Amazon FireTV. Both of these can have their DNS settings changed on the unit itself.

You do not get a new IP address. Going to sites (like for example TVNZ onDemand) that UnoTelly do not redirect requests for will still show you as being in NZ (I think anyway, I have not tested this on my Laptop or iPad that I have the UnoTelly DNS settings on).

3. Create and account at Netflix/Hulu etc...and start watching?? and can I use a NZ credit card or do I need to get a virtual one?

You can try with some NZ credit cards. Many people have more success with the prepaid debit cards some places offer.

And lastly, since I can't get on to Hulu etc... to even view the content available - are there a lot of options for children/family channels?

There are sites around with listings of what the various streaming services offer. I have used a Netflix one. I don't have Hulu anymore (never used it and found the ads annoying).


agree, except I would say that for the OP - who clearly isn't a geek -  plugging a laptop into a TV with a  single cable (or using ipad with airplay) and being able to get support from the business to help you out, is probably going to be a lot simpler than faffing around with changing DNS settings, subscribing to multiple overseas based services, and basically being 'on your own' if you cant get it working.

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  Reply # 1113452 22-Aug-2014 14:22
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dclegg:
trig42: 
My recommendation would be to get an Apple TV


While this is how we do it, it does add extra steps to the process, as the NetFlix app will only show up on your Apple TV if you're logged in to a US iTunes account.

The upside to this is that you can then also hire or purchase video from the US iTunes store, provided you have a way to pay for it (we use my Air New Zealand OneSmart card for that).

No you don't, you just need to set the region in your AppleTV to US.
If you want to buy iTunes content on it, then yes, you need a US iTunes account.

Banana?
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  Reply # 1113453 22-Aug-2014 14:24
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NonprayingMantis:
trig42:
NonprayingMantis: Since you are asking these sorts of questions,  you will probably find it better to just get Lightbox when it launches next week.

Plenty of kids content (and other good content) on there, and no need to mess around with DNS stuff (handy if you aren't techy enough) and you will actually be able to get support from the official channels :)

All good, except that Lightbox as yet does not have an easy way to play on the big screen (and no, plugging a laptop in via HDMI is not easy in terms of the 10-foot interface).

Certainly, it look like Lightbox will be the answer eventually, so long as they can come through with big-screen device options. THeir content looks good, and the quality of the stream from what I have seen looks good.

Answers to the OPs questions:
1. Need to sign up to Unotelly. Will this provide me with a DNS number when I sign up?

When you sign up, you do not get a 'unique to you' DNS address (their DNS addresses are publically viewable), you just get the right to use it (it is tied to the external IP address of your internet connection.

2. Somehow put this DNS number into my router - how do I do this? And does this mean that my NZ IP address has been changed to a US one so when I go to a site like Amazon on my laptop it will think I am in the US? (sorry if that is a stupid question)

You need to change the DNS settings on whatever devices you wish to use to access these services. So, for looking at the Netflix/Hulu sites on the web, you need it changed on that computer/tablet. To use it on a Roku, you need it changed on the Roku (which cannot be done on the device itself). For all devices on your network, change it in the Router. Some routers make this easier than others, and I believe the Vodafone ones it is not that easy. There are guides around though.

My recommendation would be to get an Apple TV, or Amazon FireTV. Both of these can have their DNS settings changed on the unit itself.

You do not get a new IP address. Going to sites (like for example TVNZ onDemand) that UnoTelly do not redirect requests for will still show you as being in NZ (I think anyway, I have not tested this on my Laptop or iPad that I have the UnoTelly DNS settings on).

3. Create and account at Netflix/Hulu etc...and start watching?? and can I use a NZ credit card or do I need to get a virtual one?

You can try with some NZ credit cards. Many people have more success with the prepaid debit cards some places offer.

And lastly, since I can't get on to Hulu etc... to even view the content available - are there a lot of options for children/family channels?

There are sites around with listings of what the various streaming services offer. I have used a Netflix one. I don't have Hulu anymore (never used it and found the ads annoying).


agree, except I would say that for the OP - who clearly isn't a geek -  plugging a laptop into a TV with a  single cable (or using ipad with airplay) and being able to get support from the business to help you out, is probably going to be a lot simpler than faffing around with changing DNS settings, subscribing to multiple overseas based services, and basically being 'on your own' if you cant get it working.

 

Agreed, but the usability goes way down plugging a laptop in, and the Airplay option is expensive if  you have not existing Apple Gear (need an iPad and an AppleTV, and since the OP is looking at getting a Roku, I'm assuming they don't already have the AppleTV).

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  Reply # 1113471 22-Aug-2014 14:45
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trig42:
dclegg:
trig42: 
My recommendation would be to get an Apple TV


While this is how we do it, it does add extra steps to the process, as the NetFlix app will only show up on your Apple TV if you're logged in to a US iTunes account.

The upside to this is that you can then also hire or purchase video from the US iTunes store, provided you have a way to pay for it (we use my Air New Zealand OneSmart card for that).

No you don't, you just need to set the region in your AppleTV to US.
If you want to buy iTunes content on it, then yes, you need a US iTunes account.


Ah! I did not know that. Sorry for the confusion.

When I was investigating how to set up NetFlix in our house, all references cited that a US account was necessary for the app to show up.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1113525 22-Aug-2014 16:02
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Thanks for everyone's advice. Lightbox does sound good and I will look into it further next week when it is released. I assume that if I had a smart TV then I wouldn't need to plug in my laptop to stream Lightbox content?

I have checked around for guidance on changing DNS settings on a Vodafone modem and I saw a thread on the Vodafone community site where they (Vodafone tech) gave screen shots on how to do it for another model of router, so I think if I asked they might do the same for the model I have. I was just on the Unotelly website and they have an excellent section on how to change the DNS settings on various devices/TVs. Having read that I would probably be more comfortable changing the DNS settings on the device itself rather than my router - so I'll look into Apple TV or the Kindle Fire TV (thanks for recommending them, trig42). I know next to nothing about the Apple TV unit - are there any limitations to using it to view channels/content from the US? Can you view everyone on Apple TV that you can on say the Kindle Fire? Can I have my App store on my iPhone/iPad default to the NZ store and the Apple TV default to the US store?

Can anyone recommend Apple TV over the Kindle Fire unit or vice versa?

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  Reply # 1113561 22-Aug-2014 16:47
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Its the amazon fire tv lani. Dont get confused with the kindle.

The amazon fire tv is very good, but the apple tv will work fine and you can buy it off the shelf here.

What you should do is sign up for the free trial of unotelly - no credit card required and 1 weeks free access.
Use your pc/laptop and make sure you can access the Netflix site.
Sign up with Netflix for the free month (they do require a credit card).
If they like your credit card then you will start your free month - if you cancel before the end of the first month then its cost you nothing. If they dont like your credit card you can find ways around it. You seem to know about that.

So now you can rummage around Netflix and see if you like it or not.

If you think its the thing for you then get yourself an apple tv. You just need to set your 'country' to a country that allows Netflix etc. USA for example.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 1113562 22-Aug-2014 16:48
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What sort (make/model) tv do you have?
Is it a smart tv?




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 1113582 22-Aug-2014 17:16
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robjg63: Its the amazon fire tv lani. Dont get confused with the kindle.

The amazon fire tv is very good, but the apple tv will work fine and you can buy it off the shelf here.

What you should do is sign up for the free trial of unotelly - no credit card required and 1 weeks free access.
Use your pc/laptop and make sure you can access the Netflix site.
Sign up with Netflix for the free month (they do require a credit card).
If they like your credit card then you will start your free month - if you cancel before the end of the first month then its cost you nothing. If they dont like your credit card you can find ways around it. You seem to know about that.

So now you can rummage around Netflix and see if you like it or not.

If you think its the thing for you then get yourself an apple tv. You just need to set your 'country' to a country that allows Netflix etc. USA for example.


Sorry I had my kindle on the brain when I wrote that - I did mean the Amazon Fire TV unit. I'll do the Netflix trial you suggest, thank you. I don't have a smart TV (yet). Husband wants to get one and I think it is an "unnecessary" expense when our existing one works fine. We have a 40" Sony LCD TV :)

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  Reply # 1113593 22-Aug-2014 17:38
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If you're buying a 'smart TV' anyway, Samsung seems to have the best built in support for these things already, and you could skip the AppleTV/FireTV/Roku entirely and get the Netflix app directly on the TV, which also allows you to easily set DNS on the TV itself, so no need to mess with the local ISP router either.

Samsung is also the most likely brand to give you Lightbox when they get as far as making the App for Smart TV's available (not yet on any TV at all) and works as is with TVNZ ondemand (though not at the same time as Netflix, as you need to change zones to USA to get the Netflix app to show up on the TV's options.

TBH I have a Samsung TV and Samsung Bluray and either/both have the same options, so if you just get the Bluray player, your existing 40" will get Netflix AND BluRay capabilities :)


I personally recommend a new local DNS redirection service called DNS4me who have a free trial at the moment and EXCELLENT fast friendly local response times!
see: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=151&topicid=150653


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  Reply # 1113594 22-Aug-2014 17:42
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We have a 'dumb' Panasonic plasma (hooked up to an amazon fire TV) and a samsung 'smart' TV (which has netflix etc) and as I set the samsungs region to UK it also let me install bbc iplayer/itv player and c4 player.

I also installed some software on the Amazon fire TV that lets me play videos etc from my PC onto the TV.

To be honest you have to wonder how long a manufacturer will support the software for a TV versus the life you might expect from it.

Im inclined to agree with your approach of buying a box that you can hook up to a TV - but there are pros and cons with both approaches. 

If you are fiddling with Netflix (after you have signed up using the USA), just be aware you can go into unotelly and change the Netflix country to the UK, Canada, Sweden (I think) etc etc. When you open Netflix again it will think you are now in that country and give you access to whatever Netflix is allowed to show you 'there'. The program offerings can be surprisingly varied by country. I think they assume a Netflix customer might be travelling so they allow you access to 'local' Netflix.
 




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 1113602 22-Aug-2014 17:51
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I have a Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV.

Roku and Chromecast need Static Routing set up in your modem/router, which isn't possible on all routers. Apple TV only needs the DNS settings changed on the Apple TV.

Apple TV with the region set to the United States, and with a US iTunes account wins hands down.

You can subscribe to Netflix and Hulu+ by simply clicking on the app icons on the Apple TV.

I top up my US iTunes account using US Gift Cards from http://itunesdirect.com.au.

I also have a UK iTunes account, so I could download BBC iPlayer onto my iPad. And you can easily switch between NZ, US, and UK iTunes accounts, it only affects the App Store, nothing else on the iPad or iPhone, iPod are affected.

Google will tell you how to create a US itunes account.

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