Terrarium TV has been a mainstay of the streaming world for quite a while. While it has had its ups and downs, it remains the top streaming media application in the world. With Terrarium TV installed on your jailbroken Fire Stick, Android box, mobile device, or smart TV, you can enjoy unlimited access to virtually every movie ever made as well as all TV series old or new.
Over the last couple of weeks, there has been some turmoil surrounding Terrarium TV. The developer of Terrarium TV decided that the project had become too large for him to manage and abandoned the project. He also flipped the virtual “kill switch” on the application which rendered it unusable for everyone. Luckily, other developers have picked up the torch and Terrarium TV is back in service. If you haven’t read my article about this event, please give it a read here: TERRARIUM TV IS DEFUNCT. Learn how to install Titanium TV which is a direct replacement for Terrarium TV – How to Install Titanium TV – The New Terrarium TV
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Configuring Terrarium TV
Terrarium TV is easy to install and configure. As far as settings go, this is one of the simplest applications I have reviewed as far as setup. Right out of the box, Terrarium TV will function without any configuration changes at all, but there are a few configuration changes that I always make when installing Terrarium TV on any device. These configuration changes don’t affect the performance of the application, but they provide you with the best overall experience when using Terrarium TV.
Set Up Trakt.tv
Trakt.tv is essential for those that want to keep track of the movies and shows they have already watched, organize their favorites, and organizing your playlist. You can create a free account on their website at Trakt.tv. No matter what streaming app you want to use, and even if you use multiple apps, you will want to set up an account and use it for all your streaming applications. If you ever have to reinstall an application, or if you get a new device, you can be sure that you won’t lose all your favorites, watched history and playlists.
Once you have set up your account on Trakt.tv, go into the settings of Terrarium TV and scroll down until you see Login to Trakt.tv. If you have a Trakt.tv account, go ahead and get logged in. Click on Login to Trakt.tv and follow the on-screen instructions.
Hide reCaptcha Message
If you hadn’t noticed, there is a little message at the bottom of the screen whenever you start searching for streams to play. Since some of the sources that Terrarium TV searches are websites, they sometimes require a reCaptcha verification in order to retrieve the content. Terrarium TV accommodates this by offering you a chance to see the reCaptcha and to enter the correct response. In my experience, there are sufficient sources for streaming available that don’t require a reCaptch response. You can just ignore this message, but for the sake of a clean interface and to avoid confusion, I recommend turning off this message.
In order to get rid of this message, continue to scroll down until you see Hide reCaptcha verification message and make sure that it is CHECKED. That takes care of that.
Choose Subtitle Language
I live and work in Colombia, so I have a lot of friends and clients that don’t speak English or have family members that only speak Spanish, but would like to be able to watch TV together. Luckily Terrarium TV has a robust subtitle mechanism that is easy to use and fairly automatic. It pulls subtitles from OpenSubtitles, Subscene, Makedie, and SubHD, so you can be sure there are subtitles for almost every movie or TV show available in multiple languages.
Continue scrolling down until you reach the subtitles section. Select your subtitles language. Whatever language you have selected as your primary interface language will already be selected by default. But you can select as many different languages as you like, and choose the subtitle to use when it’s time to start watching. You can also turn subtitles off by deselecting all subtitle languages.
Then unless you want Chinese subtitles, you will want to uncheck the two checkboxes to turn off the Chinese subtitles in SubHD and Makedie. I think someone forgot to remove Zimiku from the title of this setting, as Zimiku is not used in the latest versions of Terrarium TV.
That is really about it. Feel free to look at the other settings that are available and make any changes you feel are necessary for your situation. But I have listed what I believe to be the minimum settings required for the most enjoyable experience.
Troubleshooting Terrarium TV
Internet Connection Quality
The number one reason for issues with Terrarium TV is Internet quality. Terrarium TV, like other streaming media applications, likes to have a strong, smooth Internet connection. The biggest complaint I hear is that there is a lot of buffering. Since there are no settings within Terrarium TV pertaining to buffering, you can be sure that these issues are being caused by problems with the Internet or the connectivity to the Internet.
One setting that you can check, that should already be enabled, is “Parallel sources loading“. This is a feature of Terrarium TV where, if there are multiple sources available for the same media, Terrarium TV can pull from all of those sources at once, which can speed up sources by 5x. But, as the setting explains, enabling this setting can cause crashes on some lower spec devices. But, when this is not the case, I recommend to always have this setting enabled.
Troubleshooting General Issues
In the world of streaming free content, there is no perfect app. The hobbyists that share this content are pretty diligent about keeping their streams labeled correctly and keeping the stream alive. But there will inevitably be some glitches. You might encounter situations where incorrect information is being displayed for a movie or TV show. Sometimes the seasons or episodes for your favorite TV show are missing or there is no source. There isn’t much Terrarium TV can do to overcome this.
Let me explain a little bit about how Terrarium TV works to find you all this content. First off, every movie and TV show is always listed regardless of if the content actually exists for streaming or not. This is because all of the movie and TV show information is pulled from the TMDb or The Movie Database. TMDb is a user-maintained site and relies on an army of volunteers and developers to keep it accurate and current. These are movie enthusiasts, and not necessarily doing this to support the streaming community. Terrarium TV retrieves data from this database, and then when you select the content for streaming, it goes out and finds any streams that are available that contain the content. Sometimes the content has not made it out to the Internet yet. In this case, you will see that there are no streams available. In most cases, you can check back in a week or so, and the content will eventually appear and you can watch it.
ISP Throttling Your Connection
I see this more and more lately as net neutrality seems to be fading into oblivion. Your ISP has an obligation to provide bandwidth to its customers. They tend to arbitrarily determine what traffic is more or less important, and then “shape” the traffic to accommodate the “more important” traffic. There is nothing nefarious about this, but in many cases, they deem streaming media to be less important than say VOIP traffic and tend to throttle your connection back when you are streaming media. Using a high-quality VPN is very important to overcome this. A VPN obscures your activity, so the ISP doesn’t know you are streaming video and, therefore, they won’t throttle you. It’s as simple as that. While I recommend ALWAYS using a VPN when connected to the Internet, I know it is an important part of getting the best streaming experience possible.
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Since TMDb is publicly maintained, you can contribute to its maintenance. If you find information that is incorrect, you can go to the TMDb and change it. This will help everyone out, and we should all be helping each other out.
Wrong Content Being Streamed
Sometimes sources are found for a particular piece of content, but the content that plays is not correct. Terrarium TV doesn’t have any mechanism to verify the content. Whoever posted or shared the content may have labeled it incorrectly, or they are using the wrong files for the content. Since Terrarium TV doesn’t actually host the content, there is nothing that can be done from withing Terrarium TV to rectify this situation. The best bet is just to choose a different source and see if the content is correct there., TTV can’t resolve this issue as it doesn’t host any files.
Some sources also ask you to verify reCaptcha, which I covered earlier. I suppose if you consistently cannot find the content you want, and you want to see what kind of content is being served up by those sites that require it, you can respond to the reCaptcha. Otherwise, just disable this in the settings as I described above.
Clearing the Cache
Terrarium TV can consume a large amount of memory at times due to caching. While it is pretty good at managing its own cache, you can have issues if it consumes too much memory. If you start seeing “no update notification” messages or the application starts crashing, go into the settings and down at the bottom, search for Clear Cache. Doing this regularly can make a big difference for smooth playback and your overall experience.
Terrarium TV is ready to use right out of the box so to speak. Very little configuration is necessary for proper operation. But with a little tweaking, you can configure everything to be as seamless and smooth as possible. And when situations arise, you can understand what is happening and what steps you can take to mitigate those problems.