We’ve seen on this site how easy it is to access the BBC from the US in this post – BBC Iplayer USA. But what about other UK stations say like ITV Player in the USA? Well ITV is the UK’s biggest commercial station and has some great shows and dramas most of which it streams across the internet on it’s own iplayer type application called ITV player. It’s an online video player that works across all the ITV commercial channels – specifically ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and the children’s channel – CITV.
There are a few restrictions about what’s available, for instance some shows are not available due to rights issues, perhaps if they’re bought in from another network, also some sporting broadcasts will not be accessible. However the vast majority of ITV’s programmes are available for 30 days after being broadcast. When it was first released the service was known as ITV Catchup but it’s now been rebranded in line with other online media players. The other restriction and the one that catches most people out, is that you have to be in the United Kingdom to watch anything.
So if you try and watch ITV player in the US for example you’ll get blocked based on your location. You’ll probably see a message like this one below when you try and actually stream anything.
It just basically says that sorry this video is not available to play in your region. What happens is that as usual the web site looks up your location to check where you are. It does this by checking where your IP address is registered to, something that you normally can’t control. Your IP address is assigned by whatever service you’re using to access the internet. So if you’re at home it will be your ISP or Cable company, or it maybe the Wifi at Starbucks or perhaps your phone provider.
The basic premise though is that whatever physical location you are in will be reflected by the location of your IP address. Sometimes there will be an error but 99% of the time if you’re in the US you’ll be allocated a US IP address, in Germany – a German address and so on.
The trick is to control your IP address. After all why should websites decide what you should do or watch purely based on your location. Why shouldn’t an American working in Holland be able to watch his favorite shows on Hulu? Why shouldn’t a British citizen on holiday in Florida keep up to date with Coronation Street on ITV. Well now they can, just watch this …
This software gives you complete control over what you can see online, and also gives you total privacy (if you enable encryption). You can watch any programmes irrespective of where you are, so Hulu in Europe, or use it as a BBC iPlayer proxy it doesn’t matter.
****Update Since this post was originally written – ITV Player have added another check when you connect. Basically they check that your computer time zone matches your IP address location. So you should change your computer time zone to GMT/UK time for ITV player, I have asked Identity Cloaker and they are looking at an update to do this automatically.******
It doesn’t matter where you are – you can present the location you require by simply selecting the right country. There are some other options to gaining this sort of freedom online, if you search online you’ll find many other services. In fact there are a couple of free ones, but these work very slowly and also involve your computer becoming riddled with adverts to earn the owners money.
If you want to go down this route, try Expat Shield which installs adware on your computer in exchange for the service – but don’t ask me how to remove it as it’s a nightmare to delete. Unfortunately the sad truth is that it costs money to relay video through any sort of managed service. There’s bandwidth costs, support staff and of course the cost of the servers.
The good news is that the decent providers do it efficiently and provide fast servers, great support at a minimal cost. My recommendation is to try the ., you’ll see how good it is and get to ask lots of questions to their support staff if you need to.
Both your support by clicking the links below and your questions are both very welcome.by