How to watch Hulu and US Television in the UK.

Ok, given that my most popular post ever concerns how to unblock the video on Comedy Central websites, I reckon I should turn it up a notch. What if I reveal how to watch the programming of nearly every channel in America!

Got your attention? Good, because what follows is gold Jerry gold!

Because Hulu is for American TV a kind of super BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Demand 5 and ITV Player all rolled into one. Hundreds of channels, a smorgasbord of US drama, a cornucopia of American comedy, and for that matter, a cesspit of crappy reality shows.

But that’s not the point, what you watch is up to you, the perennial problem is that from this side of the Atlantic all the precious content is ceremonially blocked once they realise that you’re not a damn yankee.

Not now though, now there’s a dandy way to doodle Hulu into thinking you are a yankee and it really could not be simpler.

All you need is to use Firefox or Chrome as your browser, download one single add-on called Media Hint freely available for each, and that’s it. No further instructions necessary, no extra fiddling, not another solitary thing to do except go to hulu.com and start wasting some more of your life.

Now then, apart from directing certain traffic through a US proxy I’m really not sure how Media Hint’s clever voodoo actually works, but work it definitely does. And you can download your own Media Hint for Firefox and Media Hint for Chrome by clicking these links to whichever flavour you prefer.

All I can confirm is that both versions work perfectly for me, access to the videos is fast with great quality and it doesn’t seem to affect other web browsing either. It is fairly new though and its origins are Latvian so if you’re the nervous type at all I suppose you can simply disable it when you aren’t using it.

The other bonus with Media Hint is that it doesn’t just fool Hulu’s geo-blocking, it’s the key that unlocks other previously stubborn network websites as well, like Fox.com and CBS.com. That’s right folks, finally a way to watch Letterman and Craig Ferguson! And it’ll let you into US Netflix (don’t get too excited, you would still have to pay) and Pandora the music radio site which is free and rather good.

In fact the only trouble with Media Hint is that it works so well, without the VPN hassle/expense usually required to crack Hulu and the networks, that the bastards will surely try and stop it soon.

So what are you waiting for, download Media Hint immediately. Make the most of this gloriously simple way to all the American TV we don’t get, the latest of what we do get and what we’ve already gotten but want to watch again, while you can.

But I’ll let ya know now, Dave Letterman’s wig still doesn’t look convincing.

—————————————–

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Alas it was too good to last.
Not that they’ve taken Media Hint away, but as of April 2014 if you download Media Hint now you have to sign up for an account with them and there’s a monthly fee of $3.95 a month.
Although for me, having downloaded it previously, the thing seems to work just as it did before but new folks are going to have to make a choice.
Sorry people, it was golden for a over a year but some of Media Hint’s lustre has obviously rubbed off.
But all is not totally lost. To watch other select channels that are normally blocked unless you’re in America, like Comedy Central for The Daily Show and Colbert Report, there’s still my instructions for another free add-on called Modify Headers.
You can read the instructions here:
http://xtremisreaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/how-to-watch-the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-in-the-uk/

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74 thoughts on “How to watch Hulu and US Television in the UK.

  1. No surprise that I’m the first person to make a comment. Cheers Glenn mate. Its very rare to find an Arsenal fan, even though I’m disencharted with my club calling Fergie, Fergie, Fergie. But using your clever Media Hint add on, thats what I found myself doing at 5.30am whilst watching The Late Late Show on Hulu. Ive found an intresting show on Spike called Ink Masters, which is like Hells Kitchen for Tattoo artists, and I know that my better half will enjoy. I’m sure that this comment box will be very full by the end of the month.

  2. Dean!
    Thank you mate, I knew you’d like this.
    I can’t say though that I’ll be watching too many shows on tattooing myself. Not really my sort of thing due to a severe allergy to pain.
    And even if this post does receive the number of comments that the Modify Headers/Daily Show one has, well, you’ll always be first won’t you.

  3. Hi Jonathan,
    Yeah I know where you’re coming from. On Firefox it’s dead easy, you just download Media Hint from the official Mozilla extensions centre, but that’s not how it works on Chrome.
    So ok then, here we go…
    When you click to install Media Hint on Chrome you’re actually taken to an instructional page and everything is explained there but you do have to read it carefully. You’ll see that it says ‘Download extension by clicking here’ so you click it. But that only reveals a yellowy dropdown bar that says ‘Apps, Extensions and User Scripts cannot be added from this site.’ Oh er.
    Do not panic though, like I say, Media Hint is new and it hasn’t actually been accepted as an officially Chrome add-on yet. All that’s necessary here is to click the OK button that’s over on the far right of that yellow bar to proceed anyway. (The trouble is on a bigger computer screen it’s easy not to notice it right over there.)
    Anyway, following on with the instructions, go to the top Menu Bar > Window > Extensions and open up the Extensions page within your Chrome that lists all the add-ons already downloaded.
    Now notice that Mediahint_01.12.crx file (Or whatever version it will say in the future) that’s sat in the bottom left hand corner of Chrome. You don’t so much open this download file as merely drag and drop it up into that Extensions page you’ve just opened up, but it still does the same trick and that’s how you install Media Hint on Chrome.
    It is all explained in their own instructions really but I understand how you missed it and I’ve belaboured the point here because I can see other people asking too.
    But trust me, once it’s in, it’s worth all the bother.
    Something I keep telling my wife as well but that’s a different story.

  4. Thanks Glenn – that worked a treat. As you say not a very intuitive way of doing things via Chrome

  5. Hi again Jonathan,
    Yeah I agree it would help if it was a little more intuitive to install.
    But without it being on the Chrome Web Store…and I suppose it may never be when you think of its sole purpose, they have at least made the effort.
    My intuition tells me that you’ll be very pleased with Media Hint from now on.

  6. Hi Al,
    Actually you don’t say whether you’re in the UK or not, but you’re right, I’ve just tried Demand 5 and it didn’t work for me either.
    However, if you are over here I found that your woes are all very easily fixed, you just have to disable Media Hint (and Modify Headers if you have it.)
    That turns off the confusion of Demand 5 thinking you really are from the States and Bob’s your Auntie, you’ll be watching All New Tricia again in no time. (With Bob probably being a guest on her show)
    But if you’re not in the UK, I’m afraid you’ll just have to blame those Latvians who created Media Hint for not including a filter for Demand 5.
    If only they knew about Celebrity Wedding Planner with Jedward.

  7. Glenn
    Big thanks from me as well. It seems silly now but I didn’t realise you simply drag and drop on to the extensions page. Netflix USA, there goes all my spare time…

  8. Deke, happy to help.
    Maybe you can confirm something I read elsewhere is true then, that if you have UK Netflix you can use the same login details to access the US site?
    Since they have a vastly superior library of stuff that would be good to know.
    And if you don’t come back, perhaps we can just take that as a yes.

  9. Yes, once I’d added the media hint extension I exited Netflix and logged back on – and hey presto, there were lots more movies on it (bigger, more recent ones), plus TV series I hadn’t seen before like American Horror Story.

  10. He came back!
    Deke, you’re a good man and I’m sure anybody who has UK Netflix will be very happy with all that lovely extra content.
    Maybe I will just sign up for their one month free trial after all.

  11. No, thank you Shadowman.
    Because according to the stats of this thing, it seems I really am very big down under.
    And I’ve always wanted to say that.

  12. Thanks for the useful advice and the witty commentary! I was jonesing for the Daily Show. And I thought Netflix was offering me an exciting new selection when I arrived over here, but now I realize that Drop the Dead Donkey and other fine selections from the BBC are just not available at home…

  13. Hello Seattle!
    And for helping me experience the closest I’ll ever get to fronting a rock gig, thank you very much for providing the comment.
    Although alas since I don’t have it, I cant comment on the merits of Netflix UK.
    But in regard to Drop The Dead Donkey you choose well my friend, it’s very good, keep watching.
    Even though Globelink News could never be as funny as Fox News.

  14. Thanks for these tips for watching Hulu, Netflix, Pandora etc from the UK, I am a Netflix uk subcriber yet the US one has newer movies to watch. I got on these using Hola (I tried Media Hint, but it wouldn’t install the CRX file. I’ve found on a website a way to do this on chrome yet I am wary of installing extensions due to the unknown coding of them. Would I be better off using a program like Hide My IP instead of hola or media hint??? I used the 14 day trial to access Hulu and the other blocked sites, and it worked great. I’d gladly pay for peace of mind so what would you advise. Please as I am not very PC technically minded, I just wish to watch the websites that are blocked in the UK. Thanks for any help or advice on this matter to anyone!!!

  15. Hi Adrian,
    It’s alright, your reticence is a good thing, it might save you from other nastiness out there but I’m sure it’s misplaced in regard to Media Hint. Make no mistake I research anything I add to my computers and I wouldn’t have installed it myself, let alone recommended it to others, if there was a tiny hint of anything untoward. And for that matter Hide My Ip is $29.95, got 2 out of 5 stars on CNET and has plenty of reviews that would definitely give me pause. I have no affiliation to Media Hint but I think it’s much the better option and look at it this way, since you mention you’ve already downloaded it anyway, the damage would’ve been done by now. You might as well enjoy it. I am.

  16. Glenn! This is FANTASTIC! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Works seamless – we missed John Stewart so much! I also so know some expats who would really enjoy the opportunity to watch British shows in America. THANK YOU!

  17. Dinamit, yes, it is pretty fantastic isn’t it.
    And I believe that Media Hint does indeed work in reverse, so expats can watch some good old British TV again.
    Which is kind of ironic, since it seems that most British expats in America are all appearing on US TV.

  18. Glen,

    Me and my wonderful lady have just spent the morning catching up on the new Hells Kitchen, thanks to your clever gizmo on Hulu. Its funny the only show we dont watch on it is The Daily Show. As your gizmo on there has no way to reduce the advertising that you accept that your going to get if your using Hulu.

    Shows like Ferguson, Fallon, Shark Tank are now regular in our place.

    But it does surprise me that Hells Kitchen is now on episode 5 in the US, but still hasnt sstrated its season run on ITV 2, as is normally the way, and you would think that a show made by ITV America might have more loyalty to its UK auidence. Or maybe as my lady thinks, theres going to be a British version, so the US version isnt so important as previous years.

    Thanks again mate

  19. Dean!
    You’re at home this morning, am I to assume therefore that certain mellowing herbal cigarettes have been enjoyed?
    Mind you, it doesn’t seem to have taken the edge off your feelings towards Hells Kitchen.
    Mate, I can’t say that I share your indignation, if not for the invention of the microwave I would be living off bowls of steam.
    Anyway, while I am really pleased that you are getting maximum use out of Hulu, please take this in the spirit of friendship it is intended….go out occasionally!

  20. Sir,

    Might I assume that you believe that ive been partaking of certain herbal cigerettes, and ive not been out in the real world?

    I had a day off yesterday and spent it catching up with some of my favorite shows, whilst partaking in catching up with Gordon Ramsey scaring the bejesus out of his new deciples.

    Anyway, must get back to the real world, as ive gotta get myself to a client meeting this morning.

    Thanks again mate

  21. Dean,
    My friend, my friend, please accept my apologies. It seems you’ve turned over a new leaf, and not the kind you typically roll up.
    Even so, going by the fact that you’re watching shows like Hells Kitchen USA and Shark Tank…which I had to look up to know what it was, on Hulu, on a PC, on your day off!?
    I still say you ought to get out more.

  22. Thank for this! I just have a few questions.
    Is this illegal? if is, is it common to be caught?

  23. Don’t worry yourself Thea.
    Media Hint may be bending some rules but if Hulu and the networks really got the hump about it, and litigious, they’ll send their goons after them not you.
    Or for that matter, after me for telling you about it.
    I like to help out but c’mon, if there was really any chance of that happening I’d have kept this to myself wouldn’t I!

  24. Can this be done on an iPad? I am probably doing it wrong through Chrome it says download failed?

  25. Hi Georgia,
    It’s probably no consolation but it’s not you, it’s them.
    Alas, Chrome on iOS is actually more Chrome lite than the full fat version you find on a regular computer so you’ll find nearly all add-ons don’t work on tablets, they’re just not designed for them.
    Maybe one day.

  26. Thanks Glenn! Some hope I am not too useless on the computer, I successfully downloaded it on laptop and am enjoying the fruits of my labour! Cheers

  27. My pleasure Georgia.
    The screen on your laptop may not be as sharp as an iPads retina display but hey, it will at least be bigger.

  28. Yes, well it should do Fergy, since that link you posted is a VPN pay service for £5.99 a month.
    Media Hint does the same thing for free and as far as I know, works in all English counties.

  29. So awesome cannot thank you enough! However one question, Adblocker doesn’t seem to work on HULU whilst using this. Maybe i am trying to get too much but do you know if these two extensions can work together?

  30. Ah Hup, alas not.
    Well, not an easy way anyway because I just Googled ‘will Adblock plus work in Hulu’ and there were some suggestions of solutions within Adblocks customisable workings but they seemed pretty convoluted to me. Not to mentioned unreliable.
    It could be worse, if you live in America you get bombarded with that many ads all the time.

  31. Awesome solution to access geo-blocked sites. How does it differ from VPNs? Would you say this is better than a VPN? I just never tried this and only use a VPN (ZoogTV) to watch Hulu etc..
    Thanks in advance.
    Julia

  32. Hi Julia.
    Well the main thing is Media Hint is free and VPN’s like ZoogTV aren’t.
    Which is fine, I know they don’t charge that much…ZoogTV I notice costs $4.49 a month.
    But since you do have to pay, I’ve never used a true VPN.
    The other difference though is that a real VPN, apart from letting you watch stuff from abroad, disguises your IP address for…ahem, other things as well.
    Like I say I’ve never needed that. That’s where a discreet newsagent and a space under a loose floorboard comes in handy.
    So if you do only use ZoogTv to watch Hulu and other US stuff then perhaps save some money and swap to Media Hint, it will work just as well. (Although to be fair, ZoogTV does seem to allow you to watch via an iPad/Tablet, something MH doesn’t do.)
    And for anything else, first I’d check if you can lift that squeaky floorboard.

  33. Wow!! That is so brilliant. We have been so missing the Daily Show since it disappeared from More4. You have helped 2 very Internetually Challenged people look forward to some happy smiley evenings again. This will get us through the dark winter.
    Much love and thanks.

    ps my money is on Arsenal to win the title, despite being a Man U.

    k

  34. Khalid, you used Internetually Challenged. Well done and keep on using it.
    When I thought that one up I must admit I Googled to see if anybody had beaten me to it and only a couple of people had. But they don’t have a blog or are top of Google for it so sod em, I’m saying it’s mine.
    I came up with Polar Vortex as well but at the time I was just describing my Mrs.

  35. Glenn, I’m enjoying the commentary so much I haven’t even downloaded Media Hint yet. A question regarding security before I do. In these dark days of criminals who are most definitely not internetually challenged, the fact that Media Hint does some thingamajiminixy thing to my browser and hosts whatever it hosts about my browser on some server that may or may not be in Latvia – the very same browser through which I run most of my professional and personal life – does two things: it mangles my syntax and worries me. Should I be? As you might have gathered, for me a computer is a toaster with more buttons. I don’t look under its hood, I just want it to work and not bite me. Although my mum, bless her, thinks I’m a computer genius.

  36. Patrick,
    All part of the service my friend and I’m glad you like the dialogue.
    And as for assurance that Media Hint is indeed a non-naughty, nothing to worry about, 100% bona fide browser add-on, I reckon you can be 99.99% reassured.
    I’ve certainly had no mysterious Latvian credit card charges since downloading Media Hint and I’ve been using it on my main browser for over year, Firefox in my case.
    That might be your browser of choice as well but since Media Hint comes in 2 versions, if you really want to be careful just download it for Chrome and consider that your ‘Hulu’ browser.
    Either way I think your toaster, sorry, computer, is perfectly safe.

  37. Yes indeed, I clicked on your Twitter link and saw why you’re in Delhi.
    You’re doing fine work Patrick.
    And I think you must be more toaster literate than you give yourself credit for.

  38. thanks, finally get to watch some iplayer goodness after being in the US for 4 years! :-)

  39. Louise, that’s excellent.
    Usually it’s people from over here finding me to watch program’s from over there over here, not people from over there watching programs from over here over there…if you get my drift.
    And you don’t even have to pay the bloody licence fee!

  40. worked like a dream – just went to the chrome store, installed the extension, refreshed the page with the content I was trying to watch and boom: I was in! thanks for sharing!!

  41. Hi Glenn.

    does it require a certain version of firefox as i dont have the lastest one, i have used media hint it gets me onto the page and it goes to load the video then either says access denied or just stays buffering on a black screen , plus i cant go onto ABC channel either ?

  42. Hi Natasha,
    Sorry you picked the wrong time to have a problem, I’m on holiday.
    But I couldn’t have helped you much anyway, certainly Media Hint should work on all the latest versions of Firefox.
    If that’s not working though, just fire up a Chrome and download Media Hint for that.
    If that don’t work either though, it’s not the browsers it’s something wonky on your computer.
    Let’s hope not eh.
    Good luck.

  43. Yes, I think it’s worth mentioning as well James that Unlocator does cost $4.95 a month to use.
    But it appears pretty good and I can see that you do get a free weeks trial without having to input credit card details.
    So if nothing else, if there’s an event that someone desperately wants to see and they pick their moment, that could be a good time to take advantage.
    For those who want to take a look, here’s the link again…https://unlocator.com

  44. I succumbed to temptation in Australia, and stumped up 40 squid for the FIREFOX MediaHint add on, I think I may have booboo’d as I am unable to install the MediaHint toolbar icon that acts as the on/off switch? And now I am being told I can’t access content from the UK as I am ‘out of region’. Sad as I had some success with the free version. May I suggest that if you are thinking of parting with squid, double check that it does what you require. Doesn’t help that I am legally blind and have to use special magnifying glasses to navigate my computer screen! Cheers to all. jj

  45. Hi John,
    Oh dear, sorry mate I’m obviously unaware of how Media Hint works from Australia and I haven’t upgraded to the paid version of it.
    And while I know you stumped up the $39.50 to save a few bucks, it seems prudent for anybody else to go for the monthly $3.95 a month to make sure it actually works first.
    But what shows do you want to watch from the UK?
    If it’s some of our talent shows, that magnifying glass of yours will come in handy.

  46. Thanks for the article. I don’t see Hulu coming to my country anytime soon. However, there are plenty of workarounds available to access it here in my country. Personally, I use UnoTelly for more than a year and I can access Hulu like I am in US.

  47. Mmm, not convinced this isn’t from somebody from UnoTelly trying to get a little extra publicity (why if you’ve had UnoTelly for a year do you seek out an article like this?) but nevertheless I’ll go with it.
    Because while Unotelly is yet another variant VPN that you have to pay for, $4.95 a month, this one really does seem particularly good.
    Over 288 usually blocked channels via every device or OS you can think of AND for 8 days you can trial it without inputting any credit card details.
    So if you really want to access the world on your telly, your computer, your Ipad, your iPhone, your Xbox, your PS4, your Kindle Fire and more or less anything else with a screen, I will say this is definitely worth a try. https://www2.unotelly.com/

  48. That’s a good article.I personally prefer UnoTelly. It’s similar to MediaHint but they offer a DNS server close to physical location and I can achieve better performance.

  49. Hi Chevy,
    Yes, I’ve had a look and UnoTelly does look pretty good, although it is another pay VPN service of at least $4.95 a month.
    When I wrote this article, and why I was so joyfully enthusiastic to recommend it, Media Hint was entirely free.
    Actually these days I just use Modify Headers but when Colbert moves to The Late Show I may have reason to choose UnoTelly.

  50. It’s been very frustrating with hulu blocking most of vpn and dns services. In case someone is still searching hard for a service that is still unblocked, I can recommend zoogtv vpn which i’m still using (for now). Hopefully this will help someone in similar situation that i was in.

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