How to Watch NBC Streaming Video using Hotspot Shield

UPDATE 5/7/09: Hulu has begun detecting and blocking proxy/vpn access to their video streams. Read my newest post for a solution.

For how to get setup with ABC's streaming video service, click here.

If you haven't already of heard of Hotspot shield, it's a wonderful free virtual private network program that you can use to get US-exclusive content such as that on'll need it for this "hack".

Here are the steps to getting NBC's streaming video player up-and-running on your system, wherever you are:

1) Signup for an NBC video account. The process is painless and quite expedient. They ask for an email address, username and password.

2) Secondly, change your system time, at least temporarily to Mountain time (Arizona, is fine too). This is done to trick NBC's servers into thinking that you're using a computer in the continental United States and more importantly, in Englewood Colorado. Why this time zone? Because Hotspot Shield ALWAYS provides an IP address for everyone in Englewood, Colorado (that's where their servers are, for now). By switching your pc's clock time to pair up with that of those in Englewood, Colorado, your desktop will be able to fulfill the most important criteria for NBC's video stream service.

3) Fire up Hotspot Shield on your PC or Mac. For more detailed instructions on how to do that, especially if you've never set up hotspot shield on your pc or mac before click here.

4) When you start up the NBC video player again it will ask for your location in the United States and for a zip code. Originally I had thought that any number would do to fulfill the 5-digit code. However, on second inspection I realized that the system pairs up that zip code with a specific service provider. For my test, at a friends house, we used the zip code 98101 and the Seattle-based provider, Comcast. A quick google of "(any city) zip code" such as "miami zip code" will pull up a huge list of zip codes to choose from. Then just select any major TV provider. (Note: it's not necessary to use a zip code located in Englewood or Colorado simply for that fact that individuals watching NBC's streaming programs may be on vacation in Englewood Colorad, but originally from some other place (like Seattle, Washington).

5) And, you're done! Enjoy all the video highlights of Usain Bolt, Nastia Liukin, Yao Ming, Michael Phelps and more from the Summer 2008 Olympic Games!