Las Vegas TV Coverage

When there’s a huge news story like the awful shooting in Las Vegas I always like to try and get access to the US News media.  Although an event like this terrible massacre will obviously be covered in the International press – it’s usually more comprehensive in the US News channels.  Unfortunately it’s difficult to access these sites sometimes because of something called region locking.

This is the procedure where a web site will look up your physical location when you connect and then determine what you can see.  In the case of most of the US TV channels, being outside the US means you’ll get very limited access to their online streams.  This can be very frustrating for those of us who travel a lot as internet based news media is really ideal for the international traveller.

The reasons are unclear but probably revolve around ‘rights issues’ or copyright restrictions but that doesn’t make it any less inconvenient.   Fortunately there is something of a workaround and it involves using a security program to hide your true location.  The programs are called VPNs and you can see them in action in this video.

This is being used to access the BBC News channel online from outside the United Kingdom however the process is virtually identical to access CNN or ABC from outside the USA. The only alteration you need is to ensure you connect to a US server rather than a UK one in order to bypass the US only region blocks. It’s worth mentioning that some of these media sites are starting to fight back – read this article – BBC Block VPN connection.

IN the coverage of the Las Vegas massacre there was a distinct difference between North American coverage and that of European (where I currently am). The CNN reports were more up to date and factual, whereas coverage from other country’s sources seemed to be more obsessed with US Gun laws. It is certainly legitimate coverage considering the situation yet I felt I was missing out on much of the facts because of the subjective studies of US gun laws.

Using these VPN systems is pretty much essential for those of us who travel a lot. Without them your internet connections firstly are extremely insecure especially if you have to use un-trusted networks in hotels, airports and cafes. Secondly you can control where you appear to be located which means that you can access US only sites from anywhere in the world by selecting a US VPN server to connect to. You can even use it to change regional options too, this post – IP Address for American Netflix shows how to change your Netflix subscription back to the US one.

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