Last updated on December 18, 2020
If you also want to watch the latest TV dramas (for the purpose of improving your Arabic, of course), you don’t necessarily need to live in the Arab World.
How to watch or stream Arabic TV channels
There are several options. I have tried out many things but most of the services or apps were not reliable.
Finally, I found one: Pupil HD
It is called pupil HD which is, frankly speaking, a weird name for a TV streaming app but I assume that the creator had the pupil of the eye in mind as the logo suggests.
PupilHD offers live TV and has more than a thousand channels to choose from (mainly Arabic channels but also Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, Afghani, Indian, Pakistani).
You will find channels such as MBC 2 and MBC Drama, almost all Egyptian and Saudi channels (and from every other Arab country), religious channels (Islamic and Christian), news channels such as Al-Arabiya al-Hadath, al-Jazeera Documentary, channels for children (and Arabic learners ;-), etc.
It works fast and you can add favorites. It works perfectly on Amazon Fire.
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Steps to watch Arabic TV
Step 1: You need to download a free app (Pupil HD)
Pupil HD is available for:
I still prefer to watch TV on a TV which means that I opted for the Amazon Fire App which can be installed and downloaded easily. It used to be easy to get it for free on amazon – just download and install it. Apparently, this is not working anymore. You need to download it from the developer’s website directly – the developer offers a How-to-guide.
Step 2: You need to activate the service (5$ per month)
Unfortunately, there is no trial option. You need to buy a subscription. Don’t be shocked when you see the high prices for the boxes. What you need is the mobile package.
The price is 5 US-Dollars/Euros per month or 50 Dollars/Euros per year. I would recommend paying it monthly just in case the service goes offline. If there is one of the big Islamic holidays (Eid al-Adha and end of Ramadan), check on the website if there is any special offer.
You can use PayPal which works fine and is secure. But you can also pay by credit card. I used PayPal.
Step 3: Start the app and log into your account.
That’s it. After that, you can choose from genres or search directly from the list. You can add favorites.
What about other technical options?
They might work, but I was not pleased with them. Let’s quickly check them:
Option 1: IP-TV
I tried several lists and apps but none of them worked properly. You basically have to update such lists daily because the URLs change and the update is not automatically done. If you use Smart IP TV, there is a one-time fee: 5.49 Euro. You might also run into some legal issues, so you should know what you are doing.
Option 2: Kodi
You use Kodi. This is a famous app that runs on all devices. However, the Arabic add-ons are not working well in my opinion. They often crash, are often not maintained and are generally of poor quality.
If you know of a good add-on that really works, let me know! Watch out: If you use Kodi, I highly recommend using a VPN. Kodi users have been known to receive copyright infringement notices for streaming movies, sports, and TV shows through various add-ons.
Option 3: Buy a satellite dish
The old-school technique. You can get most of the Arabic satellite TV channels via Nilesat and Arabsat (Badr) for free. Unfortunately the reception of Nilesat is limited to North Africa. You need a 1.8m dish to receive the signal in Istanbul or Athens.
Arabsat, which provides the Eastern part of the Arab world with TV-channels, is easier to set up and can also be received in Central Europe, but your neighbor might not like it if you install a huge dish on your balcony.
If you live in the US, you are too far away from the reception of both satellites and would need to rely on horribly overpriced services.
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Disclaimer: What I write in this blog is intended to help readers to get content they already have purchased the rights to access, but are for whatever reason unable to access either temporarily, or permanently. Arabic for Nerds does not support piracy and bears no responsibility for what you decide to do with the information provided in this blog post. Furthermore, please note that Arabic for Nerds in no way hosts, develops, or produces any of the software mentioned in this blog. I also do not support the use, distribution, or purchase of fully loaded Kodi boxes or other pirate streaming devices.
Picture credit: Image by Vidmir Raic from Pixabay