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Chinese TV Outside of China


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Anyone know about what options there are to get Chinese TV in the UK?

I was in china recently and the hotel had this cool IP TV box - does anyone if you can get access to this outside of China?

I know there are some websites you can watch online, but they seem to be slow, constantly buffering etc. I am interested in any kind of system you can switch with the remote control.

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I doubt you'd get access to the same package as the hotel had, that'll be a subscription thing sold to hotels. However, if you set up a media PC or XBMC center with T'internet, you'll be able to pick and choose between downloading video, streaming it over the web, and live peer to peer video, and then displaying that on your TV screen. Not sure how good a lot of that will look once it's at proper-telly size though, and streaming China to the UK isn't going to be fast.

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KyLinTV has been out in the US, and I've had it for a year. The audio/video quality, channels, and VOD selections are all fair, not stellar. But for language practice, it's great for the price.

There is an announcement (the same day as your post!) that they will be starting in Europe at some unspecified date.

Chinese IPTV service targets Europe

KyLinTV, the New York-based IPTV service dedicated to Chinese programming, is moving into Europe, marking the company's first step outside North America.

The company, which offers more than 60 Chinese channels and some 30,000 hours of VoD programming, has partnered with Phoenix TV to launch a service reaching European audiences.

KyLinTV Europe will offer more than 20 popular Chinese TV channels from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, including Phoenix China News and Entertainment, CCTV-9 and Sun TV.

Also in the line-up are two drama channels - Kunlun Drama, which focuses on history, war, mystery and action; and Yangtze Drama, a channel about romance and family, targeting women.

14 Jul 2009

© C21 Media 2009

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Thanks for all the tips. KylinTV looks exactlyl what I am after - hopefully will come to Europe soon. In the meantime - quality on PPLive is actually quite good - at least I can follow 快乐女声!

Edited by taijidan
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Tajidan, did you ever subscribe to Kylin TV? I've been looking for something like this too, especially since it has a children's channel.

I just chatted online to a representative. It appears that you need to pay £50 for the box, plus a deposit and then £12.99 a month (which includes 2 pounds for the box rental).

The other option we have is to get Virgin cable which I understand has Phoenix TV (PCNE) as part of the 'Medium' package. Any views on Phoenix TV anyone? I've watched it in other people's houses and it seems quite political. I understand it has sitcoms on too though.

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xianhua, yes, I've had kylintv for about 1 month now. what can I tell you?


1) you also have to pay postage from the usa, which is another £30

should take about 2 weeks for the box to arrive. Mine got stuck at customs and I was charged another £10 VAT and the delivery company charged another £10 processing fee. I wasn't able to claim that back.

2) I paid for a year's subscription up front which gives you a slight discount.

The Service

You can watch the live stream and flick through channels.

You also have video-on-demand, this varies slightly from channel to channel, but you can choose any of the programs from that day and sometimes for the last few days to watch, these you can play, fast forward rewind.

The service has been pretty good, even if I am downloading stuff you can still watch tv without interference. There was one day when there was continual buffering and it then becomes unwatchable. I got in touch with the company online and they explained there was some problem with the station in beijing and it was back to normal the next day.

Most of the channels have about 6hours of unique programs per day, and then those are just repeated at different times - it's a bit annoying as you have the video on demand anyway.

Kylin also includes PhoenixTv, but I rarely watch that channel, I also find most their programming is on the political side.

Some of the stuff I am watching are 闪天下 on kaku, 大山 show on CCTV, 北京男孩 , 西游记 cartoon version and various 电视剧.


All things considered I think it's a bit on the expensive side, but I'm really glad I have it because now at home I only have chinese tv on and it helps with creating a chinese learning environment.

In the USA they have a lot more channels on offer and the company is still negotiating the license for these in Europe, the one I am really after is Hunan tv. They should be releasing more channels over the next year, but it's not clear if they will be included or cost extra.

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Tajidan, thanks for the excellent info. I'm creeping towards getting it. One thing I do not understand, despite looking at their website, is how the connection actually works. Am I correct in thinking that it all works over the internet, and by using a wireless router, the yellow box picks up the wireless signal and then starts downloading the material? I'm surprised buffering isn't more of a problem in which case.

Thanks again.

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  • 1 month later...
...but PPLive seems to be popular among Chinese people here.

I'm in the US and just installed PPLive at the urging of a Chinese friend so I can watch some Chinese TV dramas that I enjoyed while I was there.

My security software is going bonkers, deluging me with assorted dire warnings. I hope the program does not have malicious content. Has anyone in the US actually used it? What has your experience been?

If I'd been a little brighter, I'd have asked this question yesterday. Forum's search function did not turn up any info.

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Forum's search function did not turn up any info.

Well it's more 丢脸 for me.

If anyone else wants to search for PP Live or PP Stream, you need to run it all together to get hits. What I mean is type it as PPLive or PPStream.

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Hi xianhua,

Sorry for this belated only just saw your message.

Yes it connects over the internet. The yellow box has a wireless and ethernet.

I am not using the wireless and just plug it directly into the router.

There is normally about 5secs of buffering when a program starts, but after that it's pretty good. It works well even when other computers on the network are downloading at the same time.

The buffering issue is certainly much faster than on PPLive.

There have been a few days when there are are connection problems with 'Can't connect to server Error'.

They have recently introduced 3 new channels although they are comparatively more expensive.

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I have had a good look through their site and things have improved since 2009.

Two main packages.

40+ channels - £11 a month

50+ channels = £18 a month

70+ channels = £21 a month

£45 for the box

£3 a month access fee.

£5 for extra packs, either movies or Childrens pack(with help for children learning the Chinese language). So a lot of us!

£15 delivery which seems to be free on a 24 month contract.

It does seem quite expensive but with no competition it is not surprising.

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I've tried kylintv for about a month here in the USA and didn't think much of it (this was about a year ago). The video quality was pretty weak considering that it was coming out of a set-top box. The video quality I get out of Netflix streaming through my DVD player is way better. The thing is, there are so many Internet options to watch Chinese TV for free that something like kylintv is not really necessary. I've had no problem connecting my laptop to my TV and getting good quality video from PPTV, letv, etc.

The segment of people that kylintv targets are those who watch a lot of TV (not online but regular TV) in China, have recently moved out of China, and want to watch the exact same Chinese stations (assuming that kylintv has them) outside of China. If that's what you want, then I guess kylintv is an option to look into. Personally, I wouldn't pay for something like this when you can access the majority of Chinese TV shows and movies online already.

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