Whenever I’m in the United Kingdom there’s one thing I enjoy more than anything and that’s the TV there. Watching a show for an hour without it being interrupted every ten minutes for endless adverts is simply bliss. It’s not something you can do in many places and even fast forwarding recorded shows on a Tivo is not quite the same.
But the BBC is complete bliss and not only are there no interruptions but the quality is generally superb too. Of course the BBC has huge advantages in being centrally funded and not commercially driven however it’s certainly my favorite broadcaster bar none. Nowadays the BBC has invested heavily in it’s online presence and was a pioneer in transmitting it’s content online using the Iplayer application. You can watch pretty much all the shows online for a period of a few weeks or live whichever suits you best.
There is one drawback though – the BBC Iplayer application is not actually available outside the United Kingdom. The web site checks the location of your computer by looking up your IP address – presumably to restrict the BBC shows to British license payers, although this seems rather mean. Fortunately I found this useful post which shows you how to watch the BBC Iplayer abroad. Apparently all you have to do is connect using a fake UK IP address and you’ll get access as normal.
I have tried this method out and it works fine, although make sure you disconnect after or all your browsing will be routed through the United Kingdom. It’s kind of sad that we have to use these methods – the US media sites are no better, can you believe I can’t access Hulu on my laptop either when I’m out of the US. The internet didn’t used to be like this and I for one miss the times when everything was accessible to everyone.