Xbox One in Sweden – from importing to playing – part 3 – xbox one smartglass

This is the fifth part of a group of blog posts about importing an Xbox One, covering basically all aspects including power cords, smartphone and tablet apps, what happens when the swedish region gets supported and more. You can find a complete list of all related blog posts in the category Importing Xbox One – it’s in descending order, with the latest post first.

You might also be interested in using the Xbox One Smartglass app with your imported Xbox One. That is unfortunally not available for download in any unsupported countries at this point, but there are ways around it.

iOS: If you got an iOS device that is not jailbreaked, you need to jump through a crapload of hoops to be able to get it. This is how to do it in iTunes, short version;

1) Sign out of your iTunes account. Scroll to the bottom of the store.

2) You will see a small image of a flag representing your country. You can click on that to change it to the UK.

3) Search for Xbox One Smartglass, or any other free App you’d like to download from the UK store, and click to “purchase”.

4) You will be asked to create a new account and provide a credit card number.

5) Make a new account with a fake address. The easiest thing to do is look up any well known fast food place and use their address and phone number. When asked for a payment method, simply select “None.”

Now you can download and install the Xbox One Smartglass app on your iPhone from the Apple appstore. Don’t forget to sign out of the appstore in iTunes, and sign in with your regular account instead once everything has been completed.

Windows 8/8.1: You can follow the instructions in my previous blog post on this subject, just use Xbox One Smartglass instead of Hulu Plus as I did my example. :-) (PS! If you get the GERMAN or FRENCH version of the Xbox One Smartglass installed – don’t worry. Smartglass should be reconfigured to use the same locale as on the Xbox once you have connected.)

Android: UPDATED 2014-07-09 Now, Android users have a better starting point, just download the latest APK from here – use your phone and download it directly to the phone to avoid the hazzle of copying files. Works just great as you can see from the following screenshot. If the smartglass app prompts you for an upgrade upon startup, a new version of the Smartglass app has been released. Send me a message at blog@engren.se and I’ll try to find the latest one and link here.

 


 

2013-12-25 09.52.39

I have asked the Xbox EMEA Social Marketing Manager, Graeme ‘AceyBongos’ Boyd (who btw is a must-follow on Twitter if you’re living in the EU region!), on twitter why it is region blocked, but as he’s not really involved in the details of these things, his response was what as I suspected – that they only opened up the app for the regions where it’s officially released.

I did however ask him if it was possible to change this policy, but again – not his call, but I hope he can lift the question inwards the organisation. I really don’t want anyone getting infected by any trojan or backdoor in an attempt to use the Xbox One smartglass in their (unsupported) region.

My point of view is that the app cannot do any damage outside the officially supported countries, and having it region blocked only makes impatient customers importing Xboxes jump through unnecessary hoops to get the best possible experience – and again, risk infection by trojans or backdoors.

 

How to install region blocked Windows 8 Store Apps (Hulu Plus app outside USA)

If you’re following my blog, or just stumbled across it via Google, you’ve probably got a simular interest in technology, media, gadgets and digital entertainment such as we have in our family. This would also make it rather annoying to see that some things are not available for you, if you’re not living in the United States of America.

I’ve recently given my wife a Samsung ATIV Smart PC, a combined i5 Windows 8 laptop and tablet, as an early birthday gift. Awesome little thing, makes me want to have one aswell, but anyway, besides the point … she’s a Hulu Plus user, just as myself, and running Windows 8 on a tablet means that one would want to use the Hulu app to watch Hulu, right?

Just as with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, the Windows 8 App Store is region blocked. You can’t download software that’s not officially released in the region you selected on your computer/tablet during install. A bit shitty, especailly if you have the option to jump between your “true” region and USA via VPN (or via different WiFi, as our setup at home permits!).

Worry not! There are ways around it. :-)

 


 

Change your configured region, by searching for “region” in the search screen under “Settings”. Voila.

Just don’t forget that you must change the actual physical location (via VPN or in real life) before you can actually use these region blocked apps.

Also, When you install Windows in international language (US/UK), Windows defaults to your country or regional settings to filter applications. This is what we call Localization. This can be an advantage if you don’t care about international apps, and most users really only want “local” apps.

In this house .. no, we want it all. Easy way there too. Open the Windows Store, go to the right for the Windows Charm, and select the settings gear, and then go to “Preferences”, and set “Make it easier to find apps in my preferred languages” to “NO”. Revert back – you can now find all apps that are not *region* blocked.

As usual – if you find this post useful, give me feedback in the comments section!

Next Issue – reading online magazines outside US

Next Issue is the Spotify/Netflix/Hulu for newspapers/magazines. It’s an entire newsstand, available directly at our fingers using our phones, tables or computers.

Just like Spotify/Netflix, it’s based on an all-you-can-read plan, where you get unlimited access to their entire library, including back issues, for a fixed fee per month. It also includes digital editions, optimized for tables – and has enhancements such as videos, bonus photography and interactive features.

You don’t even have to wait for the entire magazine to get downloaded. You tap the magazine you’re interested in, and it starts downloading immediately. Once enough has been downloaded, it’ll be opened and you can start reading it.

Magazines are available in many categories including news, science, technology, entertainment, fashion, home and garden, food and special interests, including titles such as Better Homes and Gardens, Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Fortune, Glamour, The New Yorker, People, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, TIME, Vanity Fair, Wired and many more.

FEATURED MAGAZINES:

  • ENTERTAINMENT – Entertainment Weekly, People, People en Español, People Style Watch, Vanity Fair
  • FASHION & STYLE – Allure, Brides, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, ELLE, ELLE Décor, Essence, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Lucky Magazine, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Vogue, W Magazine
  • BUSINESS & FINANCE – Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Markets, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc., Money
  • NEWS & POLITICS – New York Magazine, The New Yorker, TIME
  • FOR MEN – Details, Esquire, GQ, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal
  • FOR WOMEN – More, O, The Oprah Magazine, Self
  • AUTOMOTIVE – Car and Driver, Road & Track
  • CRAFTS & HOBBY – All You, Successful Farming, This Old House, Woman’s Day, Wood
  • FAMILY & PARENTING – Family Circle, Family Fun, Parents, Seventeen
  • FOOD & COOKING – Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, Southern Living,
  • HEALTH & FITNESS – Fitness, Health
  • HOME DECOR – Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, HGTV Magazine, House Beautiful, Ladies’ Home Journal, Living the Country Life, Midwest Living, Real Simple, Redbook, Town & Country, Traditional Home, Veranda, Sunset
  • SCIENCE & TECH – Popular Mechanics, Wired
  • SPORTS – ESPN The Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf, Golf World, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids
  • TRAVEL & REGIONAL – Coastal Living, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure

To get around the region block that makes the service US only, you need a few things. For starters, you either need a VPN to the US to make sure you get an american IP, but an advanced router/gateway (think pfSense or DD-WRT) is close to required to be american on some units, while still enjoying your own region content (like localized Netflix) on other units.

You could also use Unblock US for this, I’ve been told. For information about either VPN to the USA from your gateway, or Unblock US – google your way around and find a trustworthy supplier. As I am careful to not reveal too much about what provider I am using as this might render that service unusable, you will have to search a bit on your own here. (Hint: The keywords are linked)

Please note that most VPN providers are providing full detailed instructions on how to set it up – it’s very easy to do, and requires basically no knowledge about computers to get it on. The provider is interested in having you as a customer, so they will bend over backwards to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask if you run into prroblems.

When you have this setup, you are able to appear online as if you are located in the United States of America. All good now?

No, not really.

The Next Issue app may seem pricey, but if you subscribe to a lot of magazines (or want to), it's a bargain.

Just like Hulu, Next Issue has an annoying extra layer of protection, that requires you to use an american credit card when registering for the service. The upside is that you’ll get 30 days for free when you first try the service.

I got my card from BuyFromPowerSeller.com – a bit slow delivery of over 24 hours, but it finally arrived in my e-mail box. It did cost me about $40 for a $25 prepaid credit card. There might be cheaper resellers of US prepaid cards out there – please let me know in the comments section.

Once the credit card details has been delivered to your mailbox, you will recieve full instructions from them on how to do the actual registration on the Next Issue website, but in short, this is what it takes;

1) Connect to your VPN service, so you appear online from an american IP.

2) Find an address and zip code for the states of Oregon or Delaware (they have no sales tax applied).

3) Register the prepaid card at the banks website.

4) Go to nextissue dot com to register a Next Issue account, and use the address from step 2. Don’t go there unless you are on the VPN!

Next Issue charges $9.99 monthly (+ sales tax if you pick another state than recommended in step 2), and it’s important that you keep your prepaid Mastercard up to date to avoid loosing access to this service.

PS. Yes, this works as long as you have a working Internet connection – it works in France, Malta, UK, Spain and Greece too.

You can download the Android APK directly from Next Issue, even though it’s blocked from “outside US” in Google Play Store. Wish Hulu could do the same. ;-)  http://support.nextissue.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/166/0/my-device-meets-the-minimum-requirements-for-next-issue-but-the-android-market-says-my-device-is-not-supported–how-do-i-get-next-issue-for-my-tablet

The link above contains everything you need to get started with it on your phone. However, make sure you’re still on VPN when you’re reading or content will be blocked. It’s a good thing to download the magazines prior to leaving home if you plan on reading it while commuting, unless you configure your phone/tablet/computer to use VPN directly.

Please let me know what your experience of Next Issue outside the US is – share your opinion in the comments section below! :-)

 

How to get Hulu Plus outside of USA

Update 2014-04-26 ; After some serious testing with Unblock US besides my usual VPN provider StrongVPN.com, I’ve decided to link directly to their page. I find Unblock US extremely usable for mobile phones, Xbox etc where you don’t want to keep bouncing on and off VPN all the time. It’s not as portable as a VPN (hello summer vacation house, business trips, visitng inlaws), but it does everything it says on the package.

I still prefer using my VPN account with StrongVPN, but it’s not for everyone.

Update 2013-02-09 ; Make sure to use Google DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) or your VPN providers DNS servers. Hulu is using some DNS tricks to keep their content strickly for US located units – this took me a while to figure out.

Update 2013-02-10 ; I’ve now successfully located, downloaded, installed and test run the Hulu Plus Android application, an application normally not available in my region. Works like a charm, must remember to install the US VPN client on my phone so I can use it over the 3G network when I’m not home.

=============================================

Now, the swedish state television (SVT) has started airing all their channels online, including their all kids channel Barnkanalen. Netflix Sweden has started getting somewhat awesome with all the swedish kids shows they got, and Viaplay is .. well, purchasing kids shows from the satellite channel Boomerang actually… but it’s still OK.

Bottom line! The kids are more than happy with what they can watch legally on the TV, Xbox and/or computer.

I’m not as pleased in regards to television that me and my wife wants to be watching. The only real alternative besides what I am going to hint you about here is to illegally download the TV episodes of the shows that we want to follow. This ofcourse means that our TV habits aren’t really giving anything back to the authors of the shows, nor do they provide a good input to the creators of these shows that it’s popular. Also, it’s illegal which is bad.

But … if you’re a little bit tech savvy, you can easily get access to the all new american TV shows the day after they have aired in the USA, at a rate that makes any current european TV service (including HBO Nordic) look so behind – and this is actually legal. You’re obviously breaking all terms and conditions to the service, but you are paying for the content you are recieving.

With that being said, let me introduce you to …

Hulu is a website and over-the-top (OTT) subscription service offering ad-supported on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, Nickelodeon, and many other networks and studios. Many films and shows that are available in 288p, 360p, 480p, and in most cases, 720p HD. Hulu also provides web syndication services for other websites including AOL, MSN, MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Comcast’s xfinityTV – but I would not use them as that might be a hint enough for them that you are breaking the terms and conditions of the service and give them a reason to suspend the account.

To get around this frustrating region block, you need a few things. For starters, you might need a VPN to the US to make sure you get an american IP, but unless you have an advanced router/gateway (think pfSense or DD-WRT) at home, this makes it impossible to use the VPN service on the Xbox (which is what we use for all digital entertainment at home) or other consoles with support for Hulu.

 


 

You could also use Unblock US for this, and I am using them for units where I don’t want to keep disconnecting from VPN – such as my Xbox or mobile phone. For information about Unblock US, just click on the link – and if you are more intersted in VPN to the USA from your gateway that allows you to actually appear as a full time american (or basically any nationality of your choice!) online, you should be peeking towards StrongVPN.com instead.

When you have this setup, you are able to appear online as if you are located in the United States of America. All good now?

No, not really.

Hulu has an annoying extra layer of protection, that requires you to use an american credit card when registering for the service if you want to be able to use Hulu Plus (which is slightly different than the regular Hulu service that you CAN reach from your browser now).

As you might know, Americans are using credit cards for everything from age verification to proving you are a citizen – and being located outside the USA and not being an american citizen, these cards can be quite hard to get hold of.

I got my card from BuyFromPowerSeller.com – a bit slow delivery of over 48 hours, but it finally arrived in my e-mail box. It did cost me about $44 for a $25 prepaid credit card, but it’s so worth it. Also, please note that this card is only needed during the actual activation of your Hulu Plus account – once the account is activated (using the card), you are able to use Hulu gift certificates to prolong your service with either 1, 3, 6 or 12 months at a time.

Once the credit card details has been delivered to your mailbox, you will recieve full instructions from them on how to do the actual registration on the Hulu website, but in short, this is what it takes;

1) Connect to your VPN service, so you appear online from an american IP.

2) Find an address and zip code for the states of Oregon or Delaware (they have no sales tax applied).

3) Register the prepaid card at the banks website.

4) Go to hulu dot com / plus to register a Hulu account, and use the address from step 2. Don’t go there unless you are on the VPN!

Hulu charges $7.99 monthly (+ sales tax if you pick another state than recommended in step 2), and it’s important that you add extra months on your Hulu account prior to your funds being eaten by the Hulu service. This can easily be done by buying a Hulu Plus subscription code AND redeem it before the 3 months has expired. If your newly purchased prepaid card expires or runs low on funds, you cannot use this code but have to buy that expensive prepaid card all over again.

Now, all you have to do is to log onto your computer, or Xbox 360, and launch Hulu Plus.

With all this in place and your Xbox Live account linked to the Hulu Plus service, you are all set to watch all seasons and episodes, including next-day episodes (!), of many many many shows, including the very popuplar Modern Family, Glee, Saturday Night Live, The Office, Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, House, and Grey’s Anatomy – from top networks including ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV, and many more. Hulu Plus also offers entertainment fans access to classic TV favorites like Lost, Ally McBeal, and The Hills, and hundreds of popular and award-winning movies.

PS. Yes, this works as long as you have a working Internet connection – it works all over the world – Europe, Australia, Asia .. and yes, France, Malta, UK, Spain and Greece too.

Please let me know what your experience of Hulu Plus outside the US is – share your opinion in the comments section below! :-)

 

Dåligt utbud hos Netflix Sverige/Norge ? Lätt fixat!

Update 2013-02-06: Om man är intresserad av Hulu Plus så kan man använda följande artikel för att få inspiration. Både Hulu Plus och det amerikanska Netflix-utbudet är då tillgängligt över den VPN-tunnel man skaffat sig.

https://www.engren.se/2013/02/06/how-to-watch-hulu-plus/

Update 2012-11-19:  Det verkar som att Hurricane har lyssnat på den kritik som de fått från många användare och nu har börjat registrera alla sina IPv6-nät som de delar ut i det land som de faktiskt används i. Det betyder att det amerikanska utbudet via IPv6 nu är ett minne blott – och den här guiden får ses som en instruktion till hur man kan aktivera IPv6 utan att blanda in sin internetleverantör.

Update 2012-10-20; Vissa hävdar att Unblock US är bättre. I vissa fall fungerar det bra, i andra inte. Min egen erfarenhet av tjänsten är att den är *usel* –  den kostar dessutom pengar, ~35.- i månaden, och har inte den positiva sidoeffekten att man får tillgång till *hela* Internet istälet för bara IPv4. ;-)

Förutom detta så hävdas det att “unblock US är bättre, då behöver man inte köra tunnlar!” – vilket är en sanning med modifikation. Unblock US är en proxytjänst, men som fungerar transparant för applikationerna. Det betyder fortfarande att allt du gör går igenom en tredje part, precis som en tunnel. Ingen skillnad i praktiken alltså.

Hej!

Är du trött på att inte ha tillgång till hela det amerikanska utbudet hos Netflix Sverige / Norge?

Enkelt fixat!

Svenskt Netflix-konto med amerikanskt utbud!
Svenskt Netflix-konto med amerikanskt utbud!

Det enda som behövs är ett abbonemang hos Netflix (gratis till årsskiftet om man har Spotify, annars en månad – http://www.netflix.se/spotify/ för oss svenskar och http://www.netflix.no/spotify/ för norrmännen) och en IPv6-tunnel till http://www.tunnelbroker.com – registrering hos Tunnelbroker är gratis.

Som av en händelse så upptäckte jag att de IPv6-adresser som man får tilldelade via sin tunnel är registrerade som amerikanska, och eftersom Netflix faktiskt stödjer IPv6 så får man då tillgång till hela det amerikanska utbudet via sitt svenska konto.

Nackdelen är att man inte ser det svenska utbudet, men att stänga av/slå på IPv6 vid behov när man vill kolla på det svenska eller det amerikanska utbudet är inga konstigheter alls.

Eftersom jag har fått lite frågor om exakt hur man går tillväga så har jag ordnat lite screenshots och info om hur man gör ;

Jag räknar med att ni redan har ordnat ett konto hos Netflix, så de stegen tänker jag utelämna. Det är dock inga konstigheter om ni inte har gjort det – gå in på någon av Spotify-länkarna ovan så det blir gratis till årsskiftet.

Steg 1 – vi börjar med att skaffa ett konto hos tunnelbroker.

 

När allt är ifyllt och klart så kommer den här att visas, och då är det bara att pallra sig iväg till mailklienten och hämta mailet som tunnelbroker har skickat!

Mailet ;

Nu är det alltså dags att logga in på tunnelbroker.net och skapa tunneln. Följ bildserien om inte webplatsen känns logisk för dig!

 

Nu är det då dags att skapa själva tunneln. Här måste du ange din IP-adress (under “IPv4 endpoint, your side”), och jag anar att vissa av er kanske ser ut som ett frågetecken och undrar hur man tar reda på den. Enklast är att surfa in på http://www.ipkoll.se/ och kopiera IP-adressen därifrån. Se sedan till att välja servern i Stockholm – den är snabbast för både norrmän och svenskar. :)

 

Nu är tunneln klar! Gå in på “Example Configurations” för att få information om exakt hur man går tillväga för just din enhet.

Enklast är att använda guiden för Windows 7. Tryck på startsymbolen nere i vänstra hörnet, skriv “CMD” . men avvakta tills den dyker upp i söklistan. Högerklicka sedan på den, och välj “Kör som administratör”. Välj “JA” när UAC-rutan poppar upp och frågar om det är OK. Kopiera sedan texten från rutan hos Tunnelbroker, och klistra in den i CMD-fönstret.

OBS OBS OBS!

Om du sitter bakom en brandvägg/router på hemmanätverket så måste du mecka lite mer. Du måste ta reda på vilken IP-adress du har på din lokala dator, och sedan byta ut den IP-adress du hittade på www.ipkoll.se som syns i kommandoraderna ovan med den lokala datorns IP-adressen. Oroa dig inte, det är inte så komplicerat! Klistra in kommandoraderna från tunnelbroker till Anteckningar/Notepad, och gör sedan såhär;

I notifikationsarean nere till höger (där du har volymkontrollen), klicka på nätverksikonen och välj “Öppna Nätverks- och delningscenter”.

För att visa IP-adressen på din uppkoppling, välj anslutningen i listan (Trådlöst eller Lokal anslutning beroende på hur du är ansluten) och klicka sedan på “detaljer”. Din IP-adress står bredvid “IPv4 Address”.

Byt nu ut den IP-adress du hittade på www.ipkoll.se med den du hittade brevid “IPv4 Address” enligt ovan. Nu kan du klistra in kommandoraderna, och din tunnel ska komma igång!

Voila, all done! :-)

Det är enkelt att verifiera om det fungerar – surfa bara till http://www.test-ipv6.com/ !

Update 2012-10-20 13:45 ;

För att stänga av tunneln så startar du en CMD som Administratör igen enligt ovan, och kör enbart det här kommandot ;

netsh interface ipv6 delete interface IP6Tunnel

Då tar du bort din IPv6-koppling, och du kommer enbart åt IPv4-adresser igen. (Tack Tommy!)

 

Skriv gärna någon rad i kommentarerna nedan om ni fick det att fungera – och fråga gärna om det är så att ni undrar över något.

OBS! Om ni har någon enhet som INTE finns listad hos Tunnelbroker – så kasta en fråga i kommentarerna så kan jag lägga upp information om hur man går tillväga med den, om det går vill säga.