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Posts tagged ‘English TV’

Aside

Why Can’t I Watch the BBC Online Abroad?

It’s often a shock, after all why offer an online version of the BBC and then block anyone who isn’t in the UK. But for many trying to access BBC Iplayer when they’re abroad becomes a bit of a challenge, you know it’s possible but connecting up can be difficult. The search usually leads to things like VPNs and proxies, which for anyone living abroad are now essential – they basically give you access to all the best media sites online – irrespective of your location and IP address.   So when the BBC, Hulu, ABC or M6 Replay checks your location and IP address and then decide what you can see – the proxy or VPN just tells them what they need to see – and allows you access.

For instance, I was recently in Spain with my work and got kinda bored staying in a hotel.  So decided to watch some UK television online using my laptop.  Unfortunately I then discovered that because I then had a Spanish IP address (from the hotels Wifi),  I was now blocked from all the best UK websites like the BBC Iplayer and ITV etc.  It was kind of annoying until I discovered there was a solution and an easy one at that.

By the way if you don’t know why people are so keen to get access to BBC Iplayer – you should really check it out.  It’s without doubt one of the best media resources available online, in fact I don’t think anything comes close although there are some excellent US sites like Hulu and Pandora for music.

Anyway for those of us who either live or travel abroad a lot, having access to these sites is a godsend.  You don’t have to sit watching a TV show in a language you don’t understand or some awful cable channel.

So What is the Solution to Watching BBC IPlayer Abroad?

Basically the problem is your IP address,  everyone is linked to a specific country and it’s very easy to look up.  Many websites look your location up as soon as you access their site, they then tailor what you can see based on that information.  It’s called Geotargeting and frankly it’s extremely annoying – you’ll normally get an error message like the image below.

Or perhaps this one if you try and access Pandora outside the US.

pandora blocked

The way around it is quite simple, you just have to make the website think your in a different country by using an IP address from the required country.  Unfortunately you can’t modify your own address easily as this is assigned by your ISP.  However you can connect via a proxy server based in the correct country and use it’s address.

So for example to watch BBC Iplayer outside the UK you’d connect through a UK proxy.  If you wanted to watch Hulu from outside the US then you’d need a USA proxy, Pandora needs an American one too and so on.

It’s really  that simple – the website sees the IP address of the proxy server and not your real one.   This short video shows the steps of changing your IP address online  –

Where do I get a Proxy Server to Watch Iplayer or Hulu?

There’s a few options depending on time and budget.  You can find some free ones online if you search – however it takes a long time to find one in the right country and fast enough to relay video through.  In reality you’ll be best to settle on one of the many services that are available.  A commercial service should be plenty fast enough and you know it will always be working when you want to watch something.   The biggest problem at the moment is Netflix which has been actively blocking both proxies and VPNs based on the categorization of the IP address – you can read about it here – Netflix blocking proxies.

The one I use is Identity Cloaker which has been around for many years – it’s way better than any of the TV watching services and does much more. Try the trial first if you are unsure to test it out – Identity Cloaker 10 day trial – it gives you access to all the top media sites in UK, USA, France, Canada and Germany to name only a few.

If you want some further information – try these for further reading:

BBC iPlayer Abroad – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/

A Very Old Post about Watching the BBC (still seems active) – http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/2009/02/using-iplayer-abroad-viewing-bbc-via.html

New Site  – http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/

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How to Watch BBC Iplayer in the US on a Wii

There’s lots of little fancy media streaming devices out now, but for many people looking for something quick and simple to watch online stations like the BBC Iplayer on their TV screen – then a good option is the Nintendo Wii.  Many people already have these and they stream media as well as most commercial devices.

Watch BBC Iplayer
But of course just like your computer most of these online channels are restricted to the country they are broadcast from – so you need to be in the USA for Hulu, the United Kingdom for BBC Iplayer and so on.

It’s of course easy to bypass these blocks using a security program like Identity Cloaker on a PC, you just click on the country you want to be in, but can you use the same functionality on other devices such as the Nintendo Wii?

Well the simple answer is yes ! In fact you can switch the location of your Wii to any country where they have a server based – e.g. France, United Kingdom, USA, Canada or Australia for example – so use a US proxy site or a UK one depending on your needs.  This also works for some of the other commercial VPN/proxy services,  just ask their support desks for help.

So here’s how it works for watching BBC Iplayer on a Nintendo Wii in the USA by using Identity Cloaker.

Obviously you’ll need to connect your Wii to the internet first, which is fairly straight forward. If you’re actually in the UK then all you need to do is go to the shopping channel from the main screen and download the BBC Iplayer channel and that’s it.

For Anyone Outside the United Kingdom – it’s slightly more complicated as you won’t be able to see that channel available.   First of all change your country settings –

Wii Options> Wii Settings> Country> Change to UK

This  is what controls what’s in the shopping channel – when set to the UK you’ll be able to download BBC Iplayer, you can change it back after if needed.

However this won’t fool the BBC Iplayer website if you’re not in the UK, because it will check your IP address when you try and watch anything.  To do this you have to hide your real address and connect using a server based in the United Kingdom.

wii-connection-setup

I will do this using my Identity Cloaker account as follows –

  • Go to the Wii System Settings Page and select the Internet connection tab.
  • Select  the connection you are using and scroll down to proxy server settings.
  • Enable the Proxy Server and select advanced settings
  • Pick one of the IP address of an Identity Cloaker UK server and use Port 4040
  • Input Your Identity Cloaker –  Username and Password
  • Save Settings and then Watch the BBC

You can get the IP address and your username/password from the Identity Cloaker support team or it’s listed in the members area.  If you’re using a different service just contact their support for the same information – as long as they accept authentication in this manner then they all should work.