If you’re a fan of film and culture,
then you’ve likely been aware of the life and death of Filmstruck, and then, Criterion
Channel’s pseudo-phoenix like rise from the ashes. An apparent holy ground
for those who love and live arthouse cinema has been created, with the
foundation being set with the entire catalogue of the extensive Criterion collection. Everything that
has been available in the Criterion
collection will be available on the Criterion
Channel, even those precious long out of print discs.
For those who live anywhere other than America, seeing your
US friends posting about watching Chungking
Express or Hollywood Shuffle can
certainly cause a wealth of frustration. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t
partake in the spoils of the Criterion
Channel (to get an idea of what they are, read about them here).
With a few things up your sleeve, you should be able to access the Criterion Channel from anywhere around
the world that isn’t America.
(I say should
because while the following steps have certainly worked for me, they may not
work for everyone.)
First of all, you’ll want to get yourself a VPN (virtual
private network). Ideally, you should have one already, but if you don’t, I
suggest going with Nord VPN. It’s worthwhile
noting that not all VPN’s are equal, and while the basic concept is that you
will be able to hide your IP address, it doesn’t always mean that you’ll be
able to access international content so easily. I have previously used Unblock
US and Express VPN, both of which had their own quirks with allowing me to
access US Netflix/Amazon/Hulu. I’ve been using Nord VPN for a good year now and
have had no issues with accessing US Netflix, and most importantly, have had no
issue with using the Criterion Channel
in the lead up to its launch.
Once you have established a Nord VPN account, set it up on
your device of choice. I suggest using a laptop/home PC, as while it is
possible to set Nord VPN up on your mobile, not all mobiles are able to access
the Criterion Channel. I’m not
entirely sure why this is, but I assume this is something that will be fixed
down the line.
Access your region select screen with Nord VPN, and choose
USA. Once this is done, head on over to the Criterion Channelwebsite,
and set up an account. Now, you’ll need an American address to access this, so
if you don’t know someone in America who will allow you to use their address,
may I suggest using the following address:
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
This has been my go to address for establishing accounts for
US only streaming services, and as far as I know it, nobody in the White House
has accessed my Hulu account.
While some US accounts block the use of international credit
cards, I have had no issue with paying for the service using my Australian Visa
Once you’ve got your account set up, you should have no
issue accessing content. Ensure that whenever you want to stream something from
a US streaming service that you have the Nord VPN set to the USA prior to
accessing the website.
While using a laptop/PC isn’t the most ideal way of
accessing content on your TV, especially given there are apps for Roku or
Amazon Fire sticks, it is the easiest way and the most reliable way of
accessing the Criterion Channel. I
have been able to cast video from my laptop to my TV without the use of
Chromecast, but if you’re unable to do that, you might need to directly connect
your laptop to your TV with a HDMI cable.
For those who want to try accessing the Criterion Channel from their phones, there is an APK (android
package) available for those with Android phones. There are some risks with
using unverified APK’s that don’t come directly from the Google Play store, but
if you’re willing to take that risk, then hit this link and download the
APK to your Android device and access it that way. You will need to have Nord
VPN installed on your phone and switched to region USA before accessing the
And that’s it! Simple as that. Follow those steps, and
ideally you should be surfing the Criterion
Channel before you know it.
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