Friday, June 11, 2010

How To Watch Korean Drama on iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad


As you may be aware of, the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad do not support flash videos, so most of the Korean streaming sites technically will not work on these Apple devices. Fortunately, there are now several ways to watch your favorite shows on your mobile device.

Crunchyroll
Download the free Crunchyroll app to watch a variety of kdrama shows. Although the site does not offer all the latest shows, it should keep you occupied for the time being. I've tested this app on my iPod Touch and iPad and it works very well with excellent video and audio playback. However, expect commercials if you don't have a Crunchyroll account. The app is also available for Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Kindle Fire.

Dramafever
Dramafever finally releases an app for both the iPad and iPhone. I've tested the app with the iPad 2 with no issues and found the app simple to use and navigate. The audio and video are top notch as expected. Premium members will be able to access all videos and episodes, in HD, commercial-free. However, if you do not have an active account, you can still watch most shows, but with frequent commercials. The Dramafever app is also available for Android devices and Kindle Fire. Watch at Dramafever now!

You can also stream Dramafever to your TV:
Stream DramaFever To Your TV With Roku 

ViKi
Similar to Crunchyroll, the ViKi app is available to watch currently airing and completed Korean dramas in various subtitle languages including Chinese, Spanish, and French, to name a few. Viki is usually very fast when it comes to releasing the latest episodes with subtitles. Each episode is streamed continuously in full without multiple parts which is a key advantage for Viki when compared to other free kdrama sites. However, expect some commercials since this is a free service. Download the ViKi app for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. The app is also available for Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, HTC V One, and Kindle Fire. Thanks Katie for the tip!

You can now stream Viki to your TV via Chromecast, check out my review below:
Review: Stream and Watch Korean Drama Shows on TV with Viki and Chromecast

EP Drama Mobile
EP Drama Mobile is a free kdrama site that is specifically designed for mobile device support. Most videos are encoded in HTML5 that is ideal for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPads. The mobile site does not work on a PC however when using a standard browser like Firefox due to the non-flash support. For PC support, go to the main EP Drama site. After testing with my iPod Touch and iPad, it appears the video resolution is optimized for smaller screens. The video quality looks very good on the iPod Touch, but the low resolution quality becomes evident and not as sharp once I watch on a bigger screen like the iPad.

After a quick glance through the drama selection, it seems the site updates frequently with the latest shows (Raw and subtitled). However the mobile site is difficult to navigate and has no place to search for shows other than to scroll through the entire list in alphabetical order. Also, most shows are divided up to 6 parts for each episode, so you won't be able to watch the entire show in one go. Thanks Diablita for the tip!

Netflix
You can now watch Korean dramas on Netflix via iPad. This is good news with folks with an existing Netflix account and don't want to subscribe to a separate service specifically for Korean entertainment. However, the selection is limited to mostly older, but popular shows including Secret Garden, Shining Inheritance, City Hunter, and The Great Queen Seondeok. As a test, I watched the complete series of Bad Guy and was quite pleased with the picture quality and sound. If you are a casual kdrama fan that already has a Netflix account, then this may work out for you.

Note for Roku users:
No Subtitles When Streaming Korean Movies and Drama on Netflix via Roku 

Skyfire
Purchase and download the Skyfire mobile browser ($2.99) to watch your shows on your favorite kdrama website like Dramacrazy. The browser converts the flash videos into the Apple HTML5 format and so far I am pleased with its performance. After testing on my iPod Touch (v4.2.1) at Dramacrazy, the video stream (with subtitles) seems to be relatively smooth. The browser optimizes the video stream based on your network connection and buffers accordingly. The picture quality is a bit grainy and not as sharp as Crunchyroll, while the audio is slightly muffled. Note that the video and audio quality takes a hit considering that the data needs to travel to a propriety server somewhere in the world, then does a real-time conversion, and transmits back to your iphone within a matter of seconds. In short, you are giving up some quality for optimal performance.

However, the downside to Skyfire is that you will not be able to skip or forward when using Skyfire. Currently, there is no workaround for this problem other than to watch the entire episode/part in one shot. I've contacted Skyfire and here is their response: "Fast forward and rewind (scrubbing) are not currently supported. The feature may be added in a future release."

Overall, I think the Skyfire mobile browser works but has limitations. Thanks to Timigin for the tip!

iSwifter
Purchase and download iSwifter ($2.99/month subscription, free trial for 7 days). The browser works very much like Skyfire as it is a cloud-based solution to convert the flash-based videos. After testing with the iPad (v4.3.3), Dramafever works flawlessly with the iSwifter browser (v3.0). Not only I can forward and skip, the website also remembers where I've left off similar to the PC experience. Like Skyfire, the quality of the video and audio is not as sharp due to the remote flash conversion process. Subtitles are displayed as expected.

Overall, the iSwifter browser clearly works better than Skyfire and is a nice workaround to Apple's no flash policy, but I am not sold on the idea of a monthly subscription for a browser and I believe this could be a critical mistake for the company going forward. Like Skyfire, a one-time fee for the app would make more sense.

Note that the iSwifter app is only available for the iPad for now, but the company is currently working on a version to support iPhone and Android. Thanks to SassyGirl for the tip!

My Thoughts
For the latest kdrama shows with HD video/audio quality, English subtitles, and multiple mobile platform support including iPads, iPhones, Samsung tablets, Kindle Fire, and even Roku for TV, I highly recommend using Dramafever. Most shows are available for free, but with commercial interruptions. Consider subscribing to Dramafever not only for commercial-free viewing, but also to support the Korean entertainment industry! Watch at Dramafever now!

Last updated: Jan 5, 2014
 
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Review: Stream and Watch Korean Drama Shows on TV with Viki and Chromecast
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40 comments:

  1. Ermm, i want to watch cinderella sister but crunchyroll dosent have, do you know any place i can watch it on my iphone?

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  2. I'm not aware of any other site that works with the iPhone. Your best bet is to watch Cinderella's Sister at DramaFever on your laptop for now. Great show by the way!

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  3. Okok, thanks. Looks like i hve to wait some time as my laptop spoiled

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  4. Thanks for all the information. I had searched for a long time.

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  5. great site for the awesome photos and informations ! thank you very much for presenting the latest on these very beautiful and very talented people. i wish the best for them now and in years to come ! :-b

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  6. There is an iPhone and iPad app called sky fire that will allow you to watch flash through it. But it does not show the subtitles.

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  7. how come it won't show the subtitles? it is already attached to the video right? anyone tried to use skyfire watching in dramacrazy or viki? thanks

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  8. I see subtitles on my iPod Touch when watching on Dramacrazy. Which device are you using and what version of IOS? How about the Skyfire version?

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  9. The skyfire is working.... Now I can watch k drama in my iPhone.....

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  10. Can anyone help me ? I the skyfire still doesnt work for me ? What should i do ? When i went to the links , i still cant watch videos.

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  11. ISwifter for the iPad is better than Skyfire. It plays all Hulu and Dramafever videos and allows flash commerce and games too. It doesn't seem to have website limitations like Skyfire.

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  12. So no one figured out why the subtitles will not work on skyfire browser for iPhones?

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  13. If you want to watch dramas on your iPod/iPhone, you can download the app "Viki" for free :-) It's from the very known website Viki where you can watch dramas, films...
    I hope I helped you ^^

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  14. There is also another way :)
    You can download the 'Splashtop Remote Desktop' app, through which you can control your desktop remotely from iPod/iPhone/iPad. You can see and control your desktop on the device screen. That's like you're watching the drama on your pc, but seeing it on your mobile :)

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  15. try WWW.EPDRAMA.COM/mobile

    i have been watching drama on my ipod by going to that site.

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  16. ZOMG!!!!! Thank you so much for your comprehensive post!!! You list so many methods and options!! I knew some of them like crunchyroll and skyfire, but I have now found out about a gazillion other methods!!! I was contemplating getting either the skyfire browser or the skyfire vq app but I held off because I read that skyfire only supports some websites and I was worried some obscure Korean drama sites wouldn't be supported. I'm glad to know it works.

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  17. Also you should know that Hulu has an app that lets you watch all their shows on your iPhone. But you have to have a subscription. Hulu has a lot of dramas. Ive watched bad guy and harvest villa. I don't think I'll even need to get skyfire since viki and now dramas ever have apps. I will also try epdrama. Thanks again!!!!

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  18. You're welcome! Many thanks to the readers who provided the suggestions. Skip Skyfire if you don't need it for anything else. EP Drama Mobile and Viki are the way to go for mobile. If you watch kdrama at home, invest in a Roku box and watch Dramafever on your TV.

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  19. the problem with ViKi is that u can't search for dramas but now im gonna try crunchroll

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  20. Wat about android? Whats a good apps for androd phone?

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  21. thank you for the different sites, I downloaded viki and am happy

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  22. Problem with me is that most of the dramas are not available in my region, HK. Sad.

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  23. Thanks a lot! Now I could watch these Kdramas using my iphone. :)

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  24. how come i cant watch at drama fever? :( it says that its not availble at my region which is singapore? :(

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  25. how can i watch at dramacrazy using skyfire?

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  26. Does anyone which app can I use to download Korean drama wig eng sub in iPad?

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  27. Thank you, I knew about viki, but I didn't know they had an app for the android. This helps so much since flash does not run on ICS.

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  28. ALMOST all works only for U.S. territories.. what about here in asian countries? thanks!

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  29. Hi! I can't seem to find a place to watch You're Beautiful with english subs..on the viki app there isn't and on the website in safari the subs don't show up. I can't find on youtube..dramafever requires paying >< and I tried almost all the options..help?

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    Replies
    1. You're Beautiful is not available via Viki app, but is available at the main site. I see subs when using the Firefox browser using a PC. Otherwise, try Dramacrazy.

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  30. Is Netflix available in Australia?!?? I have tried all the other apps & they're blocked in my region. Only one not blocked is VIKI. But all the dramas in viki, I watched it already :)

    Thank you in advance :)

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  31. Tried downlaoding viki,dailymotion,crunchyroll,and epdrama mobile but it seems that they have limited selections of kdramas.i'm trying to find a gentleman's dignity but to no avail. Epdrama mobile by the returns an error page whenver i try clicking on a link to a drama.

    Was able to watch a gentleman's in dailymotion's main site,however it has no english subs. ;(
    I'm located in the phils.

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  32. I watch kdrama from azdrama.net website on my iPad and Samsung galxys3 :)

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  33. And how about windows phone8?

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  34. You can watch Drama on www.dramafire.com on your ipod and computer!!

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  35. I really appreciate the blog and I think it’s great.
    Find a band

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  36. Thanks for all the information. I had searched for a long time.
    iPod Touch Parts

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  37. Where else can I watch Heirs aside from dramafever because I've tried watching it there and it wont play in my "region"

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