Turn your ordinary TV into a Smart TV and unblock Netflix

No problem! As long as your TV has HDMI then you can turn your TV into a Smart TV. This page is a step-by-step guide to buying the right technology, unblocking the apps for Netflix, Hulu, BCC iPlayer and more so you can install apps and start streaming video to your older TV. You must also have Wi-Fi enabled internet at home.

Do you want to watch Netflix (U.S. and other overseas versions), Hulu (U.S.) and BBC iPlayer (U.K.) on your TV but don’t have a Smart TV?  No worries, just follow this step-by-step guide and you will can get all of these on your ‘dumb’ TV and also ungeoblock all of the above plus many more overseas streaming channels.  

This trick is worthwhile, no matter which country you are in, to unblock over 200 streaming video and music channels from around the globe . 

As long as  your TV has HDMI then you can turn your TV into a Smart TV.  This page is a step-by-step guide to buying the right technology, unblocking the apps for Netflix, Hulu, BCC iPlayer and more so you can install apps and start streaming  video to your older TV. You must also have Wi-Fi enabled internet at home.

Step 1 – make sure you have HDMI input on your TV

First, make sure your television has a HDMI video input (if you don’t have this, this guide can’t help you, but you might want to search this site for a step by step guide to unblock your iPhone, iPad or Android device instead).

A HDMI input looks like this:

HDMI female socket input
HDMI female socket input (above)
HDMI male cable plug
HDMI male cable plug

It’s will be handy for a later step if you also have a USB plug in your TV but this is not essential.

Step 2 – buy a cheap Android streaming stick or Windows stick

Yes you will have to buy some stuff. Don’t worry, it’s not very expensive and trust me, I’ve got a Smart TV and an Android streaming stick and the streaming stick is much better than the so-called “smart” software in a Smart TV.  Alternatively, you can buy an Intel Compute Stick and get a tiny fully functioning Windows computer on a stick.

The best Android streaming sticks for unlocking Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more (remember, that is the end goal of this guide) are the Rikomagic series.  Start with the Rikomagic 802IV which runs Android (to install Netflix apps etc), has a quad core processor, built-in Wi-Fi, bluetooth and usually comes bundled with USB cable, short HDMI cable and power adapter and is suitable for streaming high definition video.

If you want to spend a a little bit more and stick with the familiar Windows interface, buy an Intel Compute Stick which is a tiny fully functioning Windows PC made by Intel.  The Compute Stick currently comes with Windows 8.1 but you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Do not buy a Google Chromecast stick instead as it will not work for Netflix outside of the USA and you can’t fix it.

Streaming stick work by plugging directly into your television’s HDMI port and these mini computers are powered by USB (either a USB port on your TV or through the supplied USB power pack). You control the streaming stick on your television screen using a mini-wireless keyboard (and/or your Android phone.

I bought both an Android and Intel mini PC on eBay.  While you are there, you may wish to buy a mini wireless keyboard and SD card for extra storage.

Rikomagic MK802IV
Rikomagic MK802IV with HDMI plug
Rikomagic MK802 screenshot
Screenshot of Rikomagic MK802 on television screen with Netflix


Step 3 – sign up for an unblocking service to bypass and circumvent geoblocks 

(You’re going to have to wait until your streaming stick arrives in the post so bookmark this page and come back once you have installed your stick and connected it to your Wi-Fi).

This is an essential step if you live outside the USA (or outside the UK for BBC iPlayer).  Not only will this unblocking service get access to Netflix (subscription), Hulu and BBC iPlayer, it will unblock access to over 175 other streaming video and music services around the globe.

Don’t worry, you can try a seven day free trial (without credit card) to check first that it works for you.  This service tricks the streaming siteslike Netflix that you are located in the correct country and bypass the geoblocks.

Get started on the free seven day Unlocator trial by clicking here.

Step 4 – install Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer on your Android streaming stick 

The Unlocator site has step-by-step instructions to unblock your Android device to access overseas streaming services. You should first follow the specific Android instructions by clicking here but I also strongly recommend you also follow the instructions for your internet router (the router is the device that connects your house to the internet).

If you chose the Windows stick, follow the Windows instructions or, better yet, follow the instructions for your internet router.  Once set up, simply browse to the Netflix site on your Windows stick and start watching the better U.S. library

Enjoy your streaming movies, television and music! 

Now your have access to thousands of streaming movies and televisions shows, I strongly suggest you get yourself an internet service plan that has unlimited data.  If you are in Australia, check out this iPrimus unlimited plan with $100 cash back.


Intel launches 2nd Generation Compute Sticks with CoreM power

With these tiny computers from Intel, you will not only turn your ordinary TV into a Smart TV, you will turn your TV into a fully functional and powerful personal computer (PC).

One year after releasing its first Compute Sticks, Intel has unveiled at CES 2016 five new Compute Sticks based on 6th Gen Intel Core M and the latest quad-core Intel Atom processors.

Tiny devices just slightly larger than a standard USB thumb drive, the Intel Compute Sticks can transform any TV or display with HDMI into a complete computer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and additional USB ports.

So far,Intel has provided specifications for five models of the Intel Compute Stick.  Essentially, there are three new hardware variants with Core m5, Core m3 or Atom processors with the m3 and Atom variants available with or without Windows 10 pre-installed.  The m3 and Atom models are presumably aimed at consumers (as well as kiosks, signage).  The expensive m5 model is presumably aimed at commercial applications and only comes without a pre-installed operating system.

These tiny Intel Compute Sticks will be great for compact home theatre setups with storage provided by addon USB hard drives or NAS.  You could also use them as Plex servers/clients, torrent downloaders with a VPN or highly portable computers for home users or mobile workers.  Watch this space for instructions on how to set all of these up.

Core M models

Intel Compute Stick STK2m3W64CC with Core m3-6Y30 processor including Windows 10 (this is the consumer model) US$399

Intel Compute Stick STK2m364CC with Core m3-6Y30 processor (mostly same specifications as above but no included operating system) US$ TBA

Intel Compute Stick STK2mv64CC with Core m5-6Y57 vPro processor (no included operating system) US$499

The Core M models have three USB 3.0 ports (two on power pack), Wi-Fi with fast Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.2, 4 Gb DDR3 RAM, 64Gb eMMC onboard storage and micro SD slot. The Core M processors have onboard HD graphics capable of 4K video (but only HDMI 1.4b).

The m3 model comes with or without Windows 10.  The m5 model does not have any option to include Windows 10 so users will have to either buy Windows 10 or install a free OS like Ubuntu.

More specifications are available here from Intel.

Atom model

Intel Compute Stick STK1AW32SC with Atom x5-Z8300 quad-core processor including Windows 10 (cheaper consumer model) US$159 

Intel Compute Stick STK1A32SC with Atom x5-Z8300 quad-core processor (no included operating system) US$ TBA

The much cheaper Atom model has two USB (3.0 and 2.0) ports, Wi-Fi with  2GB on-board RAM Intel® Dual Band Wireless AC 7265 and Bluetooth 4.0, 2Gb DDR3 RAM, 32GB eMMC onboard storage and micro SD slot.

The new Compute Sticks will be released to market in February 2016. Stay tuned here for an unboxing and review of the new m3 model (STK2m3W64CC) as soon as we can get our grubby paws on one.

Intel Compute Stick 2nd Generation Core M


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Unboxing the new Intel Compute Stick STCK1A32WFC

Intel is now selling its new “ultra-slim computer” which is only slightly larger than a USB thumb drive, aptly named the “Intel Compute Stick”.

The Intel Compute Stick ushers in new and cheap ultra portable computing that will make your dumb high definition television super smart by plugging directly into the HDMI port powered by USB.

The Intel Compute Stick comes with Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Bing and, unlike some competitors, Windows is activated and fully licensed for you to use.  The processor is a quad core Intel Atom Z3735F with 2Mb cache, up to 1.83GHz and using the 22nm process.

The stick comes with 2Gb of RAM, 32Gb of embedded storage, integrated WiFI 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel HD Audio and HDMI integrated graphics.  Great news is Intel has also chosen not to install any bloatware whatsoever including only an optional, not already installed, 12 month subscription to McAfee antivirus.

Below is my unboxing video for the Intel Compute Stick.

Unboxing the Intel Compute Stick with Bing STCK1A32WFC 

Once you have it up and running it is a great: