A: A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is a method to “tunnel” traffic between two devices through the internet. Originally used by corporations to extend their private WAN and still widely in use, VPNs have the effect of assigning your IP address from the location where it emerges from the “tunnel”. The advantage of this is that it would appear to services in other countries that you are located within their region. VPNs can also be used to encrypt traffic for privacy purposes. The disadvantage over Smart DNS for television streaming, is that all traffic is tunneled through to the remote end, usually resulting in a loss of internet “speed”. You can also only appear in one country at any given time and it is more difficult to configure for use on televisions and set-top boxes.
A: There are two main reasons for this: 1) Eye On-Demand is a blog aimed at true global television. Many smart TVs force content only from the region they were purchased in, and this can not be easily changed. With Samsung TVs however, it is quite possible to change the app store to the one which interests you, the viewer. For example, if you live in Italy, but want to watch UK TV, you can easily switch to that app store using a service menu. 2) The second reason is the shear number of apps available for the Samsung Smart TV platform. This is currently larger than other competitors.
A: Technology changes at such a fast rate, a static review, especially for a service will quickly become out of date and obsolete. Here at Eye On-Demand, we believe that service reviews should reflect as accurately as possible the existing service and how it stands today. For this reason when a service is updated, we will also update our review to reflect any changes, whether they prove positive or negative. A log at the end of any updated review will date any such changes and record all new scores.
A: Eye on-Demand only review legal services, either official catch-up sites belonging directly to their respective networks (e.g. BBC iPlayer, ABC iView, 4oD etc), legitimate on-demand sites that license content from content providers (e.g. Netflix or LoveFilm), legal sport streaming services that license the broadcasting of the sports on offer (e.g. Al Jazeera, BBC Sport etc) and live streaming services that follow the official copyright laws of the country they are based in and the services they stream (e.g. FilmOn, Zattoo etc). It is Eye on-Demand’s policy to not review any illegal services that breach copyright. We respect the hard work that goes into the television and films that are available and we do not promote illegal pirating of copyright material.
A: Absolutely not. Eye on-Demand reviews legitimate streaming services from around the world. Some are available for free, others are behind a pay-wall. Under no circumstances will Eye on-Demand support any breach of another company’s pay-wall. This is almost certainly both illegal and morally wrong. In fact, we openly support both the free-to-air television market as well as competing pay-wall services – whether through subscriptions or PAYG methods. The television and movie industry that we all love and enjoy so much would collapse if people and companies didn’t pay for the content. Artists, producers, actors, and all the back-office people that bring this amazing content to us, all deserve to be compensated for their talent and hard work.
A: Eye on-Demand is proud to offer all the information we provide free to readers and in an as unbiased way as possible.
We are financed via advertising, sponsorship and referral programs – after-all, servers cost money, as do the hardware, time, overheads, services and resources required for writing the reviews. However, ALL of our reviews remain 100% unbiased and are never influenced by any commercial arrangements made.
Under no circumstances do we at Eye on-Demand sell reader’s, member’s or any visitor’s information and/or statistics to any other organization.
A: Smart DNS is a service which differs from VPN‘s in that network traffic is not all tunneled to the remote network. Only traffic required for determining your geographical location are re-routed, which does not include normal Internet usage, nor the video stream itself. The advantages are far higher internet speeds, allowing high quality video streams to play from further afield and the ability to access content independent of which country it originates. You don’t need to connect through a VPN and it is easier to set up on devices which are otherwise problematic, such as Smart TVs and many set-top boxes. Smart DNS is generally the best choice if you want access to multiple services from different countries and prefer to watch on a television rather than a PC (although it works perfectly well on PCs and Laptops). Like VPNs, Smart DNS does not gain access to services which require 3rd party payments, these payment subscriptions still need to be purchased. Note: Unlike VPNs, Smart DNS does not encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address.
A: This question is difficult to answer as each service needs to be configured by each Smart DNS provider often for each different type of equipment. For instance, ABC’s iView may work through one provider on both a PC/Mac and iPad, but only for the PC/Mac through a different provider, or not at all. In order to keep track of this and simplify matters for the reader, check the bottom of each review, and you will see a list of Smart DNS providers who partner with us and support both that service and platform. This list is kept as up to date as possible, but we can’t guarantee that it is always 100% accurate.
A: Many ISPs in some countries give their domestic customers dynamic IP addresses. This means the external IP address issued by the ISP changes on a regular basis. Smart DNS providers use this external IP address to identify account holders. This is an ISP issue and not one with your Smart DNS provider. If this is the case, you must log in to your Smart DNS provider and reset your account each time your IP changes. There are ways to automate this with some listed if you follow this link.
A: Although there are a very few selection of countries where using VPNs and selecting alternative DNSs are illegal, such as North Korea and others where restrictions may apply like China, generally speaking the use of VPNs and private DNS services are fully legal in most countries. In many countries, accessing geoblocked material via Smart DNS or VPNs follows that nation’s laws on parallel importing, but this should be checked for each land. Eye on-Demand highly suggests you follow the laws in your own country.
A: This question could be a topic on its own. It is generally accepted, that the best conditions for streaming video is via wired Ethernet. If it is possible to physically connect your television or set-top box to your router, then do so. Wi-Fi however, can be problem free, but there are so many external issues that can impact and reduce the quality of service. Streaming video requires a much higher bandwidth than normal Internet usage.
A: So you bought a lovely new Samsung Smart Hub, D or E series television, only to find it is limited to the country app store you live in! Thankfully, there is a way to change this store to something much more closer to home. This is done through a “service” or hidden menu and is pretty easy to accomplish.
Note: This will delete all apps from your current store and replace them with apps from the new store. You can not mix and match apps from different stores, but you should be able to return to your previous store if you so choose, in fact, in many cases, your previous apps may recall earlier configurations and settings.
- Make sure your television is connected to the internet. If you require help, consult your television’s manual.
- Enter the Smart Hub by pressing the appropriate key on the Samsung remote.
- Once the Smart Hub has appeared, without pressing any other keys, press the following in exactly this order:
- Fast-forward (>>)
- Rewind (<<)
- A list of countries will appear and select the one that you wish to use.
- If you agree with the next few terms & conditions, do so.
- After a short moment, you will be asked to update the Smart Hub. Press Yes.
- The Smart Hub will automatically remove all existing apps and install apps from the new store. I recommend rebooting the television and agreeing to any further Smart Hub updates. It is up to you to choose which additional apps you wish to install.
Keep in mind that admission to a foreign store may give you access to the associated apps, but that doesn’t mean they will all work in your geographic region, or with your firmware. Smart DNS services are known to work with some apps in some regions, but not all, so do check first (a good place is here at Eye On-Demand). Although the above steps are generally safe, Eye On-Demand take no responsibility for any damage to your television or any other issues that may arise. Perform the above actions entirely at your own risk.
Due to the differences in firmware around the world, Eye On-Demand doesn’t recommend purchasing a Samsung Smart TV solely to access streaming services from another region – This may be an additional bonus feature, but in our opinion should not be the main reason for purchasing this television.