How to watch UK TV from abroad

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You’re a UK resident travelling overseas for work (or for pleasure), but you don’t want to miss out on the national news, your favourite shows, or the big games and matches on the channels where you’re used to watching them—so, what do you do?

Alternatively, let’s say you decided to take the plunge and move away from the UK to live somewhere that has more than the probable two weeks of sunshine its residents see each year, but you know full-well that the TV you’re used to is far better than that of the country you’re moving to.

Or how about, finally, if you’ve always lived in another part of the world than the UK, but let’s face it, you love the shows, movies and entertainment that Brits deliver because let’s face it, nobody does it quite like they do.

The big question for each of these is, “How can you watch all of that glorious UK TV viewing from any other corner of the planet?”

How to make the streaming services believe you’re where they need you to be

We’re lucky enough now that the TV we crave is accessible in more ways than ever. Long gone are the days of tuning in once a week to catch the latest episodes of your favourites. Now we’ve got everything at our fingertips, at any time, night or day.

As long as we’re in the right place, that is.

The service providers that control what we watch online, via an app, or streaming into Smart TVs and mobiles, send out hi-tech checks to make sure we, as viewers, aren’t breaking any of their licencing agreements. That means we have to be in the country of their broadcast.

Or does it?

Geo-location tracking and bypassing the blocks

The streaming services check your IP address—the specific number associated with your device, and dictating the country it's in—and if you’re not where they need you to be, then their systems automatically prevent you from watching their programming.

Bypassing their checks is nothing new. There are a handful of easily accessible methods to get around geo-location blocking—it’s just a case of picking one—right?

Well, that’s only half the battle. The other half is knowing which channels and systems you can use to watch the shows you want, where to get your hands on them, and the best way of guaranteeing a solid and reliable connection to them.

The best streaming services for accessing UK TV shows and entertainment

With StreamLocator, we don’t take any risks suggesting which services you should be able to access when you subscribe to our service. Plenty of VPN providers claim to deliver access to particular services, and then when their systems are blocked, they’re left with some very angry customers. We make sure we’ve cracked each one of our recommended services so that our subscribers are never put in that position.

Streaming services are becoming far better at spotting VPNs and other workaround methods. Through a better understanding of each VPN and its operation, they gather all the tell-tale signs that help them put blocks in place, where it all looks too suspicious.

StreamLocator stays a step ahead of the streamers by not limiting their system to a single technology.

Our smart hub connects with the streaming services to find out the best option to create a seamless connection—and connects its users automatically. You don’t have to choose the location (unless the service has several geographic options, like Netflix or Prime, operating all over the world with different catalogues of what you can and can’t watch), you don’t have to choose your connection type, and you don’t even have to turn it on or download software to your devices to make it work!

Guaranteed connection to the following apps and services

Our smart hub connects all your devices and Smart TVs to the following services without you knowing it's even doing it.

TVPlayer

This streaming service gathers all the live UK TV channels in one place with a simple guide to what’s on and access to each channel. There are 2 subscription levels: one free, which includes around 50 channels, and a paid tier that connects to other channels that aren’t available on Freeview/Freesat. There’s plenty of on-demand content available too.

UKTV Play

UKTV Play is another free service delivering online access (via the Internet or their apps) to a wide range of popular UK TV channels.

Acorn TV

A service that began life delivering UK, Irish, Australian and New Zealand specific shows to US audiences, it now offers a very Brit-centric TV selection to UK viewers. With a host of quintessential British characters driving their programs and with a choice of Acorn Originals only available via their service, it’s a service with plenty on offer.

BBC iPlayer

The BBC is a long-standing British institution, and watching its shows and channels requires a little more than some of its counterparts. For starters, to watch live BBC channels, you need a British TV licence. However, if you’re only out of the country short-term, chances are you’ll have one, so you can tick the ‘Yes, I’ve got a TV licence’ box guilt and worry-free.

That said, if you’ve set up your iPlayer account using an email address and our smart hub to get around the geo-location blocks, then it appears the TV licence requirement is more of an honesty-based option, with checks looking pretty much non-existent. The risk is down to the viewer, of course; it’s up to you whether you want to take it or not.

ITV’s ITV Hub

With the ITV Hub, you get a lot more than just the shows on ITV. With a superb range of channels neatly tucked under their umbrella brand, viewers have the option to pick through 6 live streams and masses of catch-up TV. The live streaming channels currently supported are ITVITV2ITVBeITV3ITV4 and CITV.

Channel 4’s All4

With content from Channel 4E4More4Film4 and 4Music, there’s a more modern alternative feel to the shows from this UK provider. It’s free to stream with a handful of ads playing during the shows, supporting the cost of the service.

Channel 5’s My5

My5 provides access to all of the Channel 5 shows and those of their C5 partners. It includes 5USA5Star5SELECTParamount NetworkWWEBETBlazePluto TV and a whole load more. It's another ad-supported service, proving that there’s no shortage of free TV on UK soil.

Discovery+ / Discovery Plus

Discovery+ provides UK viewers with 14 live channels and a mass of on-demand content. Which channels? Here you go: Discovery, TLC, Quest, Animal Planet, ID, Really, Quest Red, Food Network, DMAX, HGTV (formerly known as Home), Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery History, and Motortrend. There should be more than enough there to keep you connected. Discovery+ has 2 subscription tiers: one for the free stuff and one that covers the additional pay-TV options.

What if you want to watch all the top-tier football matches live from outside the UK?

Soccer is one of the UK’s favourite pastimes, and for many, it’s a lifestyle choice. One of the best ways to dodge the excessive price tag to watch all the top-tier football matches—**from the UK or anywhere else—**is with StreamLocator. Find out how to get all the games, including the 3pm kick-offs, for just over £13/month, all-in.

StreamLocator puts you where you need to be

If you want to appear to be in the UK to catch up on EastEnders, Killing Eve, Dr Who, or Line of Duty, then we’ve got everything you need. Order your StreamLocator smart hub today or get in touch with any queries or questions. It could well be the best addition you make to your entertainment tech in years…