Let's look at our home entertainment setup in China.
Renting in China you often have a TV included with the apartment or you can negotiate to have one before you first rent a place, so buying a TV isn’t generally a worry.
That is where the convenience ends.
Back home I’d have a TV box, which I can use to watch free channels, paid cable and streaming services like Netflix. However, in China I can’t do that not without the hassle of setting up a work around for the Chinese internet security which would likely lead to less internet speed anyhow.
We do have a cable box her in china that came with the internet but we find it’s only really good for learning mandarin, the news and sports events.
We use our laptop computer to connect to the TV via hdmi and from the laptop we play DVDs or downloads to the TV. There are also English streaming sites that work without a VPN . Additionally, we have embraced the Chinese streaming sites as we’ve found they work faster and are more reliable with our Chinese internet connection.
Let's look at our favorite sites for TV, movies and music.
Back home we’d stream music using Spotify but in China they aren’t available or are difficult to access so we use QQmusic. QQmusic is just like Spotify you can have access to a wide range of songs, albums and genres but because you are in China your access to them is often free due to different licensing laws here.
The site is all in Chinese but you can type in English in the search bar and find artists etc quite easily. The operational buttons for play, pause, shuffle, repeat are universal and once you’ve played around with the app it becomes pretty easy to navigate. Remember, if you access QQmusic outside of China, you are going to get a more limited music collection due to licensing but once you are here in China the vast music collection is a major benefit.
TV SHOW & MOVIES
Back home we’d stream tv and movies on Netflix or Hulu but in China they aren’t available or are difficult to access.
The good news is that China offers an array of streaming sites such as le.com, v.qq.com, iqiyi.com and youku.com which is where we binged watched the latest Sherlock episodes.
You can often watch movies or tv episodes for free with the caveat of sitting through a thirty second trailer or so. However, we went a set further and purchased a subscription package to iqiyi.com which is about 10rmb per month and we stream all the latest tv and movies without commercials plus you can download them as well for when you are on the go. it’s pretty easier to do. You create an account using you wechat and then pay with you wechat wallet. Done. The site is all in Chinese but you can type in English in the search bar and find tv/movies etc quite easily. The operational buttons for play, pause, full screen etc are universal and once you’ve played around with the app it becomes pretty easy to navigate.