Streaming media giant Netflix has now launched in Poland, meaning its gargantuan library of Tv Shows and modest selection of movies are now available to watch on demand for a monthly fee starting at €7.99 (currently just under 35zl).
If you watch a lot of TV series, the advantage of Netflix is that can you enjoy the guilt-free nature of being able to legally watch what you want hassle free and without any glitches. The service works on laptops, desktops, selected smart tvs, tablets and smartphones, as well as streaming dongles such as Google's Chromecast. All the content can also be enjoyed in its original language with subtitles.
The list of TV series available on Netflix is enormous and includes recent hits such as House of Cards and Breaking Bad, as well as old favourites such as Lost, Friends, Frasier, Cheers and others. There are a number of films available on the service too, although the selection of motion pictures is evidently not as wide.*
* Please be aware however that there are a few regional differences, and some titles mentioned in the highlighted links above may not be available in Poland.
The cheapest monthly subscription, priced at €7.99, allows you to view Netflix's library in SD quality only and on one screen at a time. For €2 more you can get access to HD content to watch on 2 screens at a time, while the premium service at €11.99 offers super HD 4K content and the chance to watch on 4 screens at a time (provided you have the kit).
Netflix is not the only way you can see your favourite tv shows from back home though. There are a few other handy services to be aware of, even if they don't match the ease-of-use or picture quality of Netflix. Here are just a few of them:
FilmonTv (free and paid)
Although not an on-demand service with movies and tv shows, Filmontv is a simple option for anyone looking to watch BBC and other UK terrestrial channels live. Filmon's Windows app allows you to view channels at a basic quality for free, as does the browser based version at filmon.com. There are Filmon apps for Android too.The BBC's regional channels are also on Filmon, meaning that BBC Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can all be viewed as well.
Using a VPN to access geoblocked content (free and paid)
Free on-demand services like the BBC's Iplayer contain a vast library of content to watch to your heart's content, although it is of course blocked if your IP address shows you are outside of the UK. Even so, it is possible to get around this by using a VPN. The screenshot below shows a video playing with the help of Hola free VPN, which can be easily added to your Chrome browser as an extension (it may nonetheless be better to invest in a paid VPN considering that Hola have a received a lot of bad press recently over security issues).
KODI + addons (free)
KODI (formerly XBMC) is a media player with countless addons that can be used to watch a seemingly endless amount of both live and on-demand content. The software works on Windows, Mac, Iphone, Android and even the cheap-as-chips Raspberry Pi.
Once installed, you'll have to set KODI up with various addons, which admittedly does take a bit of learning. Nevertheless, once you've done the work, the possibilities are endless. For movies and TV shows, the most popular choice is the Exodus addon (photographed above). This clever app links up to all the content that's been uploaded to the net – without you having to hunt through a maze of dodgy links and adverts to watch a movie.
The Phoenix addon (photographed above) is another reliable source for films, as well as live English Premier League matches – both of which are available in 720p quality. The image below shows a 1080p live golf stream from Pheonix.
Sportdevil is another popular addon that is a must for fans who want to watch live sports. Keep this app up to date and you'll never miss a big game or event.
It must be said that while KODI is a completely legal piece of software, some of addons do allow access to pirated material – meaning you are walking on thin ice in a legal sense if you choose to use them. That choice of course, is up to you.