Does BBC iPlayer Ireland Work ?

For a weekend trip to Dublin when the FA CUP is on, this is a crucial question –  does BBC iPlayer work in Ireland! or outside the UK! Now the corporation may have lost most of the premium football games, but they still have the FA Cup, Match of the Day and regional football broadcasts. So although it’s great to watch some top of the table Premiership clash on Sky, for the average football fan like me who unfortunately supports a team outside the Football league the BBC channels are a lifeline.

BBC Iplayer Ireland

How to Get BBC Iplayer Ireland

My favorite Saturday would be a trip to the wonderful city of Dublin, a few quiet beers and retiring and watching BBC, perhaps Match of the Day followed by the BBC News at my hotel. Which should be easily accomplished using the BBC website, except it doesn’t work in Ireland at all. In this post-Brexit, border building world – for some reason Ireland is considered a foreign country and BBC license payers are blocked from watching British TV from there. If you took a TV and a powerful aerial, perhaps you could watch it on the roof of your hotel and get most of the BBC channels but the convenience of streaming BBC iPlayer Ireland is inaccessible.

It’s something to do with licensing I suppose which you can confirm if you search the BBC site for information, however I think a little slack should have been applied to our closest neighbour. I can’t really see the harm in allowing BBC iPlayer Ireland access, although interestingly, you can’t watch RTE’s (Ireland’s national broadcaster) web content from the UK either. Fortunately it’s only blocked by the tediously annoying IP addressing region locking which seems to be used all over the web.

That is if you don’t have a UK IP address then you can’t access BBC iPlayer and the live streams. I should point out that this restriction doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland where you can watch BBC iPlayer without restriction. For everywhere else you just have to pretend you’ve got a UK address and you’ll be fine – here’s how it’s done:

The video will show you how you will be able to access BBC iPlayer in Ireland or any other country outside the UK for that matter.  The technique is fairly straight forward, you just relay your internet connection through a UK proxy based server. This fools the BBC site into thinking you’re in the UK and everything works fine.   This also means that you can watch UK TV abroad free wherever you go.  Unfortunately the server needs to be really fast and configured securely so that it can’t be detected but there is a growing industry in VPN service providers who can supply these.

It’s worth getting a VPN service that has servers in other countries too, because you’ll find this irritating behaviour happening all over the place especially in the popular online media sites. It’s certainly not restricted to the British Broadcasting Corporation and you’ll notice that it’s also incredibly common on sites like YouTube aswell where videos can be specified to play only in certain countries. Be aware that many of the iPlayer videos that suggest using simple proxies are out of date, they no longer work in 2017. You must use a VPN to access BBC on demand in Ireland.

So that’s it, you can travel and enjoy British TV online just use a VPN connection service to trick them. It’s not illegal, or breaching copyright as European rules state that streaming media is not the same as buying or downloading it. Needless to say the BBC don’t like the idea of a global iPlayer much and do block loads of these services regularly but if you choose a decent secure one like IDC then you’ll be fine and it will always be available to watch.

Remember you can use a VPN like this to open up all sorts of blocked sites, using a UK server allows access to all British channels you can even watch Sky Go abroad if you have a subscription with them.  It’s not restricted to computers or laptops either as you can enable the VPN connection on other devices too – if you subscribe to Identity Cloaker they’ll show you how to watch BBC iPlayer abroad on iPad and smartphones too.

The servers in other countries are useful too, there’s loads of brilliant US media sites like Pandora, Hulu and NBC which stream content for free.  If you connect to a US server before accessing Netflix you’ll get the US version which has thousands more movies and TV programmes.

So it’s a lot more than just a BBC iPlayer Ireland application, it’s a world wide web enabler!

Try the IDC here

How to Stream UK TV from Abroad

All the UK major TV stations broadcast online, however none of these are accessible when you’re outside the UK. Instead you’ll either get blocked or like the BBC you’ll get redirected to an ‘International’ version which has no video or live streams available.

Here’s the screen of the BBC International version:

stream uk tv

You’ll notice several differences from the domestic BBC screen:

  • Redirected to BBC.COM
  • Different Design
  • No TV Link
  • No BBC iPlayer Link

It’s designed for a different audience, that is anyone connecting from outside the UK.  It’s still a great news site but unfortunately it’s missing the core of the BBC content i.e. all the Live TV, Radio and archived shows.   You can’t watch the  BBC stations live and also the stuff that has already been broadcast is missing too.

The BBC site determines your location based on a single piece of information – your IP address.  Every address is registered to a specific country and effectively determines where you are connecting from.  So a UK based IP address would get the full BBC site with access to all the programmes whilst any other address is redirected to the international version.

Fortunately there is a workaround and it involves using a piece of software which can effectively hide your real location from anyone.  It’s called a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and it gives you complete control over what you can access online – you can even watch the BBC from Australia without an issue.

This video shows how you can use one of these. Using a simple secure method for hiding your real location and keeping your connection details private. It’s a trick used by millions and you can see the VPN in action here controlling the location each web site sees when connecting. Using the program demonstrated effectively opens up all the UK Television stations online irrespective of your location.

So yes you can stream UK TV stations abroad directly to your computer whilst on holiday, travelling or simply because you prefer British TV stations to the local versions wherever you happen to be.