|Streaming options using the Sony blu-ray. |
Billabong is the only option.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Pandora all work on our computers, tablets, and phones. Though we are physically in
, the streaming services
recognize us as having an American IP address since we are connecting to the
internet on base. Whether living on the main base of Japan or satellite base of Ikego, they’ll
work. Sony and ROKU, however, do not. They see us as being in Yokosuka , so their servers block us
from using the services we pay for. It's aggravating because they're blocking the U.S. Military service members and their families. Our cable and ISP,
Americable, can't do anything about it since the services work on the
computer...that proves the problem isn't with Netflix, etc. Japan
It’s aggravating that these devices are sold at the NEX, but don’t work as advertised without workarounds. Sony even has a dedicated section at the back of the electronics department to sell their products. There are no signs to tell you about the limitations. None of the workers on the sales floor seemed to know either. You won’t realize they don’t fully work out of the box until you take them home.
We called the Sony and ROKU help lines several times to see if they could do anything. They both ran us through hours of troubleshooting and factory resets. They both claimed the units should work on any American IP address, but had no explanation why ours was an exception. The Sony rep ultimately suggested we send the blu-ray player in to be repaired. It sounded like they were following scripts, so they had no way to address a problem that was outside the normal. We eventually talked to the local Sony rep at the NEX. Sony servers block us. Period. According to the rep there is an agreement to get it working in April.
We eventually found some workaround ideas online for the ROKU but none solved the complete problem. It took a while since there was so much misinformation. This is a technical issue that a lot of people don’t understand, but that doesn’t stop them from providing advice. Apparently, the surefire method is to pay for a VPN account and set it up on your router. This will route all of your internet traffic through a server in the
, hiding your actual, problematic
IP. The problem is that a VPN account can cost up to $15/ month. We shouldn’t
have to pay for this since the streaming services already work here. U.S.
As for the ROKU...the key is doing the initial account set up in the
This was confusing since a lot of people said theirs worked fine. After asking
friends/neighbors and posting on numerous message boards, I figured it out.
Some suggestions were to have a VPN, plug the ROKU directly into
the router, or to return it since it won't work. One person that
responded said they had a ROKU 2 before moving here, bought a ROKU 3 at the NEX
and haven't had any problems. That's when the light bulb went on in my head. Bottom
line - If you set up your ROKU in the U.S. it'll work here. It will also work if you add a new ROKU box to your existing
account (that was set up in the U.S). If you buy one and try to set up a new account on a US military base over seas it won't work. U.S.
The solution was to have friends in
do the initial account setup on their
computer for me. I chose the username, password, etc and they put in all the
information for me via the ROKU website. They then added my ROKU box to the
account and it activated on my TV screen here. As they added Netflix, Hulu,
Amazon and PBS, the channels instantaneously appeared on my TV. Now we can add
and remove any channels we want from the TV and the ROKU is
As for Sony...we'll see and I'll keep you posted.