Don’t wait for local TV stations to "drip feed" your favourite shows, says a technology company that's recommending Australians bypass Internet content restrictions.
Inspire Technology today announced that the new McTiVia - which lets users stream whatever is on their Mac or PC to their TV - is on sale in Australia from Harvey Norman. Inspire is also actively encouraging users to access "restricted media" through a VPN.
The use of VPN services to get around IP blocking that restricts Australians from accessing sites like Hulu is well known among enthusiasts.
Not only are Inspire Technology making VPNs a key ingredient in the sales pitch for the McTiVia, but they're using this angle to encourage users to "avoid the limitations" of the current crop of smart TVs that have built-in Internet connections. The McTiVia site refers to Hulu (rumoured to be coming to Australia), NetFlix and BBC iPlayer as examples of overseas Internet sites and services that can be accessed with a VPN.
"McTiVia customers who subscribe to VPN-S will subsequently be able to access restricted media content from the US and UK directly to their HD TV," the press release states. "This includes world-class (but forbidden) entertainment treasure chests such as the BBC’s iPlayer in the UK as well as Hulu and Netflix in the US."
Marketing Director of Inspire Technology, Robert Bonanno, said Australians using a McTiVia and VPN would be able to stream the "latest episodes of Top Gear from the UK, or Modern Family from the US…"
The company has partnered with VPN Secure, which is offering a 30-day free trial for Australian McTiVia owners on their web site. VPN Secure offers a "2048-bit RSA and 128-bit Blowfish highly-encrypted direct connection between the users computer and the server. When using OpenVPN your computer is protected and completely anonymous behind our servers."
The McTiVia is not the first hardware to be sold with some sort of official VPN tie-in. Witopia's Cloakbox router came with a 12 month VPN subscription (though was sold in the US).
As our discussion here shows, plenty of people say they go online because they don't want to wait till TV stations broadcast their favourite TV shows. So it's not surprising to see hardware vendors looking for solutions to the problem.