Well, here we are, the final season of Downton Abbey. We have been through a lot with this show. We saw two beloved characters dies in the same season, grew to love characters we hated, and still hate some characters we have always hated. (I’m talking about you Lady Mary). This Sunday marks their return to television. The problem is, if you live in the United States, you’ll have to wait until January… maybe.
If you are one of our UK readers you can simply go to iTV’s website (the English broadcaster of Downton Abbey) and watch it from their site. But if you are here in America you get an error, “This Video in not Available to Play in Your Region.” It is a rotten thing that iTV & PBS make us wait 4 months to see Downton Abbey here in the US.
Also, there is the issue of spoilers. One can hardly avoid Bachelorette spoilers from Facebook friends who watch the east coast feed. How do they expect them to avoid them for 4 months!? (SPOILER) How many of you had the deaths of Sybil and Mathew ruined in season 3 by overly excited viewers in your news feed? Even if you aren’t even into social media, there are articles published in the US about it right after the episode aired in the UK. You just know we are in for a marriage, a death, and ball of some sort. If someone posts pictures of Lady Edith’s gown to Instragram before I can watch the episode I will lose it!
I would like to share with you some of the methods I have found for watching Downton Abbey soon after it airs. Some argue that some methods are some viewing are more ethical than others. Let me say to them, iTV has produced a show that they do not want you to see in the US until January and have put measures in place to stop you from doing it. If you attempt to circumvent these roadblocks then you are taking something they don’t want you to have, essentially stealing it. Now if you see iTV’s refusal to share as unethical themselves and want to engage in some civil disobedience read on and find out how to watch the final season of Downton Abbey as early as the next day! Let iTV & PBS know keeping this show from us will only hurt their ratings down the line.
- You could use a Torrent site, but it is ill advised for the novice. Torrent sites are notorious for pop-ups, misleading links, and malicious viruses. If you are comfortable with them, it is one of the best ways to get episodes in HD as early as Sunday afternoon! I used Bit Torrent as my torrent program. Once you have your torrent program you can go to torrent sites like Torrentz to get the files that download the episode. Warning! You will want an Ad and Popup Blocker software program installed as the advertisements on these sites are not for those trying to keep the tenets of the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.
- Many viewers use Tunnel Bear, and I like it just because of the name! There is a plugin for Chrome so it is very easy to use. Tunnel Bear basically spoofs your ip address (your computersaddress) and makes iTV think you are in the UK. Then you can open the program, go to iTV and view episodes the next day. They will ask your to register and for a UK zipcode. (I used EC2M 1BB) The quality is a little low, but it is very user friendly. Tunnel Bear is free for 500MB of data a month. If you promote them on Twitter, they will give you an extra GB which should be enough for 4 episodes a month. They also unlimited use plans.
- Quora.com offers a guide on how to purchase the season through iTunes using a UK iTunes Giftcard from eBay. Then change the region of your iTunes to the UK. It is a little complex, but if it helps you sleep at night be our guest.
- The final way I usually watch it is looking for a site that actually hosts the episode on their server. I found a site that does this last season and hope they will continue this season as well. Once the episodes are posted there I’ll try to provide links to them so come back here often, or follow us on Facebook! If you are not quite sure what Downton Abbey is all about, all 5 seasons are free to stream for Amazon Prime members. It might be time to know what all your friends at work are talking about by the water cooler.
How do you watch Downton Abbey? Are you waiting for January? Let us know how these ideas work for you and if you have any of your own!