Sweden TV: How to watch TV4, SVT & MTG abroad?
SVT, TV4-Gruppen, and MTG are the three biggest players in the Swedish TV market, accounting for 82% of all viewership as of 2015. However, when Swedes travel abroad, they cannot keep up with their favorite programming and sports because these networks are blocked if you are located outside of Sweden. The blocks are in place due to Sweden’s stringent broadcasting rights and copyright laws.
According to Nordic Business Insider, more than 7% of Sweden’s population, approximately 660,000 people, are expats living abroad. Despite being Swedish citizens and paying Swedish taxes, they find themselves limited or forbidden to watch their native television programming.
What follows is a guide to the big three media companies in Sweden and how to watch programming from each if you are a Swede who is visiting friends, traveling for school, or as a career choice.
SVT (Swedish Television)
SVT runs lots of news and entertainment programming along with regional favorites, Non-Swedish broadcasts, and children’s programming across five channels, with SVT1 and SVT2 being the most prominent. It incorporates SVT Play, a video on demand and live stream service that is available only to residents of Sweden. SVT Play can be used on iPhones, Androids, Blackberry devices, or PC/MAC computers via a web browser. To get past the geographic restriction typically requires the use of a VPN or a Smart DNS.
TV4-Gruppen is Sweden’s largest TV power and offers its video on-demand services with its TV4 Play app. TV4 Play does have some availability overseas including its daily morning news show, the weather channel, and the country’s parliamentary sessions. Overall, just 24 shows are featured in the overseas version of TV4, leaving a lot to be desired.
MTG offers international and local series, shows, and films, along with two male-centric channels full of sports, dramas, sitcoms, movies, and documentaries.Another channel offers dramas, foreign documentaries and lifestyle programming. Its digital video content includes sports, programming, and online games.
Smart DNS Solution
A Smart DNS can be employed to watch Swedish TV programs while abroad. A Smart DNS Proxy works by changing the DNS of your device when you’re trying to access regional-blocked content. When you try to access a website in a geo-blocked country. The proxy will change your data to a dedicated proxy server in the country you are trying to access. That gives the illusion that you are in the same country as the website you are trying to access and allows you to download, stream, and watch any content you wish. A Smart DNS will not encrypt the information you send to the Internet, which has one great positive and one huge negative associated with it.The positive is that you have a very small loss of speed since your proxy only has to reroute your geographic location, not all of your data. The downside of this is that your data is not being encrypted, raising the chances of someone being able to see what you are doing online.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Solution
A VPN offers great security and flexibility when attempting to view Swedish television content from outside Sweden. VPNs work by creating a ‘tunnel’ between your computer and a remote server located in the country that you wish to access geo-restricted websites. The tunnel sends encrypted data from your computer to the VPN server that contains requests for data and information that you are seeking to access online. When the information reaches the remote server, it is decrypted and you are given an IP address from the country the server is located in. Only then are your requests sent on to the Internet. Many VPNs have high levels of security such as never keeping logs from your session or featuring a kill switch which will activate if your connection ever goes down, risking you being caught accessing geo-restricted websites from outside areas. As you download information or data from the Internet, it will first head back to the remote server at which point it is encrypted to make the journey back to your computer, in still-jumbled fashion. When it reaches your location, it will be decrypted for your use. While security and privacy are paramount when using a VPN, other factors can be detractors. The biggest one to overcome is a slowing of streaming materials based on high latency. If you are located in the US and the server you are trying to access is in Sweden, you will likely see more glitches and freezes in programming than say, a person living in the UK or Germany. Doing comparison shopping for VPNs based on their speeds, number of servers, and number of assignable IP addresses is a smart way to make the best use of your investment in order to watch Swedish TV when travelling abroad.