Television in UK, Part 2–American Television

This is an installment in a series of posts about moving to the UK for a Ph.D, specifically at Durham University.  To read more posts like this, see our list here.

Before long, you will settle in England.  From British television you will have learned about wonderful history, the latest news, what will be in the papers tomorrow, what a Smyth’s store is, and that 8 Out of 10 Cats has nothing to do with the veterinarian.  But will you miss those American movies and TV shows?  I think you’ll find many American exports here on British television.  However, if you have a few favorites that you need to maintain, there are some options for you.

  • Netflix–We are able to use our American Netflix account information here without issue.  However, it does present us with a different selection of movies and TV shows.  It is interesting to see what new offerings come up.
  • Amazon Prime–Amazon UK recently added Prime Instant Video streaming to its Prime memberships, a feature that has been available in the US for a little while.  Double check when you arrive; you may need another Amazon Prime membership.  You do get the same benefits of the free shipping on many products.  I will say that many products come quickly by Amazon UK, as you don’t have quite as far to ship those products here in the UK as you do in the US.  Amazon Prime Student membership is free for the first 6 months.  Renewal is then 50% of the regular fee.  It is only when you become a paying member, however, that you get the streaming video.  But, hey, 50% off!  Cool!
  • ESPN, Favorite Sports, Streaming other US TV abroad, etc.–“So all of that Netflix and Amazon stuff is well and good,” you may say.  “But what about the catching the big game on the weekend?  What about that program I always stream?  What about that series that I love?”  There are options to get connected with these as well.  Americans living abroad have been working on this.  Some of it can get technical.  So I am going to turn this part over to the experts.  Here’s an article from The Telegraph that is directed at Brits abroad, but the principle applies.  Find it here.  Additionally, Forbes posted an article about this topic directed to Americans. You can find it here. (NB: That article was written for Americans living in America.  However, the technical principles apply.)   There are several advantages to the services mentioned in Forbes for those who travel abroad.

One last thought.  I will admit that I missed Saturday afternoon television last fall.  I missed the football games and all that goes along with it.  But I did rediscover something I may not have found otherwise: Live Play-by-Play Radio.  When I couldn’t get the games on the computer, I would find the radio streams on an app for my phone.  As I was going about my day, Rod Bramblett or Eli Gold joined me.  Their words drew the pictures that I could see in my head as that amazing catch was made or the defense held them on 4 and inches.  I worked as a radio announcer in high school and college.  It was nice to remember the lessons about brining your audience into the event with you and hear those lessons demonstrated masterfully.  There is a richness in hearing the action and the mind’s eye filling in the visual details.  Sometimes, it was richer than seeing it the screen. So, if you don’t get your TV show, it may not be such a bad thing.





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