About technologies for your digital home

For beginners and tinkerers

BBC iPlayer outside UK

June 17th, 2014

TV streaming limitations

It is quite a common practice that tv (BBC, HULU, ABC, CBS,  etc.) streaming services are limited to a certain geographic region. IP addresses and other browser settings can be used to check this.

When your PC (or its browser) tries to access some live tv streaming, the remote streaming server checks the parameters mentioned before. If it determines that the customer is not local, you can get different error messages with similar meaning

BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only.

or

The video you have requested is not available in your geographic region

What can you do about this?

One of the solutions to this problem is to use a DNS proxy. In this case, the server would act as an intermediary for clients requests and the video streaming traffic would go through it. Here is a nice article explaining how the proxy works.

What do you need to watch BBC outside UK and other US channels?

The setup is not very complex and only two things are needed:

  • A DNS proxy subscription
  • A proper DNS configuration
  • Spend the price of few coffee cups (or a pint) per month (~5 USD)  😉

The earlier mentioned DNS proxy supports different US, UK, German and French channels and the sport channels as well. The good thing is that this proxy does not ask for the credit card details during free two weeks trial.

How configure a DNS proxy?

It can be done at a few different levels:

  • on a single PC which would be used to watch streamed video
  • on your home router, which would change a DNS for whole your home network traffic

I will go through different configuration scenarios.

Configure your PC to use a DNS proxy

You can configure a standalone PC for watching streamed video using DNS proxy. You would have to change only DNS server settings. Detailed Windows, Mac and Linux configurations steps can be find using this link.

Configure your router to use a DNS proxy

If you are running DD-WRT on your router, you should go to your_router_IP on your browser and login. After this, select Setup->Basic Setup, where you will have to enter the DNS proxy information in the Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) configuration:

Static DNS 1 : 54.229.171.243
Static DNS 2 : 23.21.43.50
Static DNS 3 : 54.255.130.140

and select the options:

  • Use DNSMasq for DHCP
  • Use DNSMasq for DNS

You should get something like this:

DD-WRT DHCP DNS proxy settings

After this, go to ‘Services’ to enable ‘DNSMasq’ and enter DNSMasq option:

DD-WRT DNS proxy settings DNSMasq

You should reboot your router at the end.

If you own another type of router, you can find the configuration instructions on this website.

One last thing

It might happened that occasionally you will have to login into your DNS proxy account to update your public IP address, in order to renew it for your DNS proxy service (its renew frequency depends on your Internet service provider). But this does not look as big deal, at least to me 😉

Another think, it not an VPN service, so all your traffic will be not encrypted (Of course, if that bothers you).

They changed their package and they include VPN as part of it!

If there are any issues with the DNS proxy service or VPN connection, it is worth contacting their customer service.

Enjoy streamed tv shows!