When was the last time you even went to a DVD store in Shanghai? Have you noticed that there are hardly any around now? It's a sign of the times. No one "shops" for entertainment anymore. They get it on demand.
Downloading and streaming are the order of the day, and every minute you spend rummaging through DVD shop, or that pile of scratched-up disks by your TV is a minute not spent Netflix-and-chilling. With that in mind, these are your best options in Shanghai for satellite and Internet TV.
This is one of the oldest and most popular satellite TV providers in Shanghai, though satellite services are falling out of fashion in favor of streaming options. Still, it's a solid option as its stable and has a decent roster of international channels.
How Much: RMB2,900 per year
Functions: It provides 340 channels, like Rai, HBO, and Starworld, most of which are in HD.
How/Where to Install: To order Dish HD go to their website. Installation is simple. You need either a China Telecom or Unicom Internet connection with a 10mbps download speed and a router. If you can’t install it yourself, the delivery guy is prepared to do it for you.
This is especially popular with expat families due to its varied offerings of sports and educational channels. It'll work as long as you have internet, no dish installation required. Don’t be alarmed by the slightly dodgy-looking website, this outfit is reasonably legit with a friendly and helpful WeChat service line to boot. WeChat : satellitvonline
How Much: RMB2,500 per year
Functions: It provides 380 channels. Most are Taiwanese, but it also offers HBO, CNN and FOX.
How/Where to Install: You can order the Inspire IPTV box online. To connect it, you need an HDMI cable and a China Telecom or Unicom Internet subscription with a download speed of 100 to 200mbps.
Roku offers a variety of subscription plans, as well as the Roku TV for a built-in streaming experience. Find a selection of free or paid program services like Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime. It's also sleek, compact, doesn't take up too much space, and snazzy with a smooth navigation system and features like remote finder
How Much: RMB600 for the box, application subscriptions are separate
Functions: You can find up to 500,000 movies and TV shows either for free or for very cheap, depending on what apps you use. It also includes Netflix, Hulu and Amazon video apps.
How/Where to Install: The Roku Box can be purchased on their website. To install it you just need to plug it in, connect it to the TV, then to the Internet, then to the VPN and finally create a Roku account. With its simple connection process, it becomes a portable Internet TV box and can be taken anywhere.
The Xiaomi Box aka MiBox has a sleek and innovative design and runs on the latest Android TV system. It's relatively easy to use and supports voice control and remote navigation. It also comes in several colors and has a built-in storage capacity of 8GB.
How Much: RMB457 for the box, application subcriptions are separate.
Functions: You can find Netflix, Youtube and Hulu apps for this platform. You can also use it to load music, even play video games. Like Netflix, the Xiaomi Box also recommends videos based on your personal Youtube and Google Play preferences.
How/Where to Install: You plug one end to into a power supply and the other end to the TV, using an HDMI cable. Then, follow the steps displayed on the screen. You will also need to log in to your internet connection, to your google account and your VPN account( to access geo-blocked apps). Apps can be downloaded onto the Xiaomi box through a USB with the app, directly from the Internet or via the Google Play store.
Get it here: www.mi.com
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