It took me a while to get how my Chinese mates watch TV and movies online. Usually around noon time, you could see the mainland Chinese bringing in take-away lunch from the cafeteria and watch movies or TV (mostly Taiwanese or American, I should point out). Even movies that haven’t yet made it to the Hong Kong cinemas are already online with streaming DVD high definition (HD) quality.
It’s not even that hard to find. It’s remarkable that the Hollywood IP infringement folks didn’t wake up to do something about those, as some of those websites are located in China’s Special Economic Zones which I’ve heard are under more strict IP enforcement. Looking at the commercials, it’s quite obvious the local Chinese movie industry not only doesn’t care but supports this activity. How odd.
There are three top VOD websites that I know of, all requiring an installation of a special program/plugin which generally does P2P streaming, a bit like bittorrent – if I understand correct. In Hong Kong, speed are very high, which for the university usually means around 200-300K/s, enough for even the most demanding streaming HD movies.
UPDATE #1 2011 – by far, the best option I discovered recently is Funshion, and while the main website is not in English, the software surely is and is very convenient.
The first I got to know and use. A very comprehensive list of options. Very easy to navigate for even the most basic Chinese proficient users. It seems that recently some users outside China have been banned access.
One of the more well known options. Haven’t used it that much.
The first one, as far as I know, to offer High-Definition movies. Spectacular if you have the right screen/equipment.
(BTW – The software that comes with those downloads usually offers a way to download the movie to your hard-drive.)
Did I miss anything?
If those do not suffice, you could always go to the Baidu search, click on movies and write down your movie name – Chinese better but English will sometimes do – and a list of IP enemy websites will bring up an impressive list of available streaming options. (BTW – If you don’t know Chinese, write the English name, then copy paste from the results). Websites like Youku, Tudou, 56 and the likes are likely options. Many of those websites offer you to download the movie, but if they don’t you can use the likes of WM-Recorder software to do that for you.