BBC iPlayer not working

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SteveB
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BBC iPlayer not working

Post by SteveB » Sat 10 Feb 2018 13:07

Following advice from Allan on this forum, I’ve tried Overplay to gain access to British TV, and as I have a smart TV I could also get the UK-based apps with a bit of tweaking. Everything seems to work fine, including the ITV and Channel 4 catch-up apps and Netflix, apart from BBC iPlayer. It doesn’t come up with a message blocking content as it did before, but just behaves as if there’s a poor WiFi connection (in fact my connection is pretty good) - the on-screen information on programmes lacks pictures, and when I try to stream programmes I get a message “this content doesn’t appear to be workingâ€￾.

Has anyone else had this problem, and does anyone have any suggestion? Eg could this be a more subtle way that the BBC is using to block content?

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Gus Morris
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Post by Gus Morris » Sat 10 Feb 2018 15:00

Move 200km up the coast and watch live via satellite.

Gus

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sat 10 Feb 2018 19:45

Gus Morris wrote:Move 200km up the coast and watch live via satellite.

Gus
Or just bite the bullet and come to live here. As the famous movie star didn’t quite say, “we always have Netflixâ€￾.

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Post by Webdoc » Sat 10 Feb 2018 20:11

Boasting again, I know, but I built my own VPN for about £35 and it's worked a dream for the last couple of years. You have to be (or know) a bit of a geek but since I did it there's an even easier way now:

www.pivpn.io

I gave access to a friend (you can have umpteen different users as long as they're not all on-line at once) and built another for someone else. I would do it as a cottage industry but just don't need the hassle.

Find yourself a geek. (A UK based internet connection is required.)

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Post by SteveB » Sun 11 Feb 2018 12:59

Thanks for the various replies.

The problem however seems to be specifically to do with iPlayer - as I said, with Overplay I can get the ITV and Channel 4 catch-up apps, as well as Netflix (which I could get previously anyway). IPlayer isn’t giving the message it used to about the content only being available in the UK, but just won’t load the programmes.

I’ve just spoken to someone who gets British TV with the benefit of a 2-metre satellite dish, but having got this far I’m wondering if there’s still a way of accessing BBC via the internet.

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Post by Webdoc » Sun 11 Feb 2018 13:27

Before you go forking out on a 2 metre dish perhaps we should do a survey of who, down here, gets the BBC faultlessly over the internet and what system they use.

If people are reluctant to fess up in an open forum then they could PM SteveB.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sun 11 Feb 2018 15:33

Webdoc wrote:Boasting again, I know, but I built my own VPN for about £35 and it's worked a dream for the last couple of years. You have to be (or know) a bit of a geek but since I did it there's an even easier way now:

www.pivpn.io

I gave access to a friend (you can have umpteen different users as long as they're not all on-line at once) and built another for someone else. I would do it as a cottage industry but just don't need the hassle.

Find yourself a geek. (A UK based internet connection is required.)
“even easierâ€￾. (“ To elaborate a little more, you will want to install Raspbian on a Raspberry pi. Strongly recommend using the latest Jessie Lite image but the normal Jessie image will work as well. Preferrably enable ssh access and then begin.â€￾) What does the difficult version look like? No need to answer.

It’s not that I couldn’t do it, it’s just that I don’t value “Strictlyâ€￾ that much. Even apart from buying a new gaff, and an internet sub, in the U.K.

SteveB
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Post by SteveB » Sun 11 Feb 2018 18:32

[quote="Webdoc"]Before you go forking out on a 2 metre dish perhaps we should do a survey of who, down here, gets the BBC faultlessly over the internet and what system they use.

If people are reluctant to fess up in an open forum then they could PM SteveB.[/quote]

Thanks - that’s the most helpful reply do far!

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Post by Nigel » Mon 12 Feb 2018 08:44

Another option is to look at installing a sat Dish and box to receive Brit TV via Intelsat 907

You would proboably need a 1m dish and a different box...there are limits but you would receive all main channels at the present time

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Post by russell » Mon 12 Feb 2018 09:08

Nigel,
Is iPlayer available through Intelsat? That's what Steve is after.

The BBC are using all sorts of clever tricks now to prevent VPNs working.

Russell

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Post by Helen » Mon 12 Feb 2018 11:03

Steve, are you trying to access the iplayer via the app on your smart tv?

If so, it may be the problem is the app/your TV, not your VPN.


For example, there seems to be an issue for some Samsung sets:


https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/TV- ... d-p/262556

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russell
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Post by russell » Mon 12 Feb 2018 11:42

Nothing to do with Samsung TVs.

The BBC check the IP address that your request is coming from. The VPN will give you an IP address in the UK but the BBC check and if there are too many requests coming from a specific address they assume it is a VPN and block it. They can also check the geolocation given by your browser. You can stop the browser reporting it or fake it but that doesn't seem to work any more so I guess they have found some other way of checking your location.

Not sure if a smart DNS service still works. I haven't tried one for a while.

Russell

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Helen
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Re: BBC iPlayer not working

Post by Helen » Mon 12 Feb 2018 13:21

The reason I raised the possibility of an issue with the smart tv app was :
SteveB wrote: It doesn’t come up with a message blocking content as it did before, but just behaves as if there’s a poor WiFi connection (in fact my connection is pretty good) - the on-screen information on programmes lacks pictures, and when I try to stream programmes I get a message “this content doesn’t appear to be workingâ€￾.
?

I'm not a tech by any means, but there are known to be issues with upgrades to tv players and smart tv apps -and older TVs will no longer support the newer versions

The iplayer help section states:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/help/late ... ng-closure

But then again Steve may not have been using the inbuilt app, in which case the above is irrelevant.

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Post by SteveB » Mon 12 Feb 2018 15:23

[quote="Helen"]Steve, are you trying to access the iplayer via the app on your smart tv?

If so, it may be the problem is the app/your TV, not your VPN.


For example, there seems to be an issue for some Samsung sets:


[url]https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/TV- ... d-p/262556[/url][/quote]

According to the list on the iPlayer site, my model should be OK, though the model number is slightly different from on the list.

Having corresponded with OverPlay, I get the impression that the problem is with them rather than iPlayer, so I shall have to look at another VPN.

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Post by Kate » Tue 13 Feb 2018 17:28

We use this.
http://anglophone-direct.com/webtv4me-news-update/
We have all the normal ten thousand channels, + Sky sports, movies, and the rest, playback, an enormous recorded library of all the tv films and series since the year dot, music videos.....and even karaoke, much to my husband’s dismay. . We’ve had it for around a year and so far, touch wood, haven’t had any problems.

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Post by SteveB » Wed 14 Feb 2018 11:16

Thanks to the various people who’ve replied to my query. It doesn’t look as if the VPN I’ve tried (Overplay) is able to do the job. The TV is quite a new model - about 2 years old - and is listed on the iPlayer site, so that doesn’t seem to be the problem.

The solutions that seem to work are either a large sat dish or a system like WebTV4me, as Kate recommends, though at around 20€ a month it seems expensive for the amount I would benefit from it. To be honest, I’m not sure how far I would want to go to receive BBC programmes - it’s probably more of an issue when I use the house for holiday lets, as British punters might be aggrieved at not being able to watch Strictly for a week or two.

I shall continue to look for any cheap and straightforward solutions that may exist, though it seems I may be disappointed.

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Post by Allan » Wed 14 Feb 2018 12:39

SteveB wrote:Thanks to the various people who’ve replied to my query. It doesn’t look as if the VPN I’ve tried (Overplay) is able to do the job. The TV is quite a new model - about 2 years old - and is listed on the iPlayer site, so that doesn’t seem to be the problem.

The solutions that seem to work are either a large sat dish or a system like WebTV4me, as Kate recommends, though at around 20€ a month it seems expensive for the amount I would benefit from it. To be honest, I’m not sure how far I would want to go to receive BBC programmes - it’s probably more of an issue when I use the house for holiday lets, as British punters might be aggrieved at not being able to watch Strictly for a week or two.

I shall continue to look for any cheap and straightforward solutions that may exist, though it seems I may be disappointed.
Steve,

I think you are about 4 years behind the rest of us here and most people have found solutions that suit them at a price they are happy to pay.

If I suggested Overplay to you it must have been a long time ago as the BBC has been doing its best to block such services for some time. You surmise that Overplay can’t do the job but what do you base that on, have you tried it on another device? Are you even using their VPN or as is more likely, their SmartDNS?

You are using a SmartTV but in my opinion most are far from Smart and you can get far better options with an Android TV box/stick, a Fire TV or an iPad.

For not much more than an Overplay subscription you could get TV Mucho which gives you live TV as well as all programs broadcast in the previous 7 days. You can also get TVcatchup that lets you watch free of charge.

I suggest you experiment a bit first on a device other than your Smart TV.

If you are using Overplay’s SmartDNS, try a different one, there are loads on the market and most offer free trials.

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Post by Allan » Wed 14 Feb 2018 12:46

russell wrote:Nothing to do with Samsung TVs.

The BBC check the IP address that your request is coming from. The VPN will give you an IP address in the UK but the BBC check and if there are too many requests coming from a specific address they assume it is a VPN and block it. They can also check the geolocation given by your browser. You can stop the browser reporting it or fake it but that doesn't seem to work any more so I guess they have found some other way of checking your location.

Not sure if a smart DNS service still works. I haven't tried one for a while.

Russell
I’m not sure that is how they do it Russell, there are loads of university campuses, care homes, hospitals that use a common external iP address, I think they just do the rounds of commercial services and block the addresses associated with those.

I have also heard that they check the local time on your device.

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Post by Webdoc » Wed 14 Feb 2018 13:18

You could try UKTVNOW which streams live UK TV (but no catchup). I don't know where it streams from but it's not directly from the BBC so should work.

I've seen Kate's solution in action. It's very impressive with a huge range of channels and (it seems) no buffering. But apart from the monthly fee you have to buy the kit too and I am sure that one day they'll be closed down leaving subscribers with an expensive paperweight.

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Post by neil mitchell » Wed 14 Feb 2018 15:42

I use a windows laptop and an HDMI cable to the TV. I havwe been using Overplay SmartDNS for about 3 years and it has been able to get everything (BBC IPlayer, Netfix etc) but recently it has stopped being able to (still gets ITV Player, All4).
I have now been using Express VPN which seems to do everything.

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Post by martyn94 » Thu 22 Feb 2018 16:23

It seems like whack-a-mole. But there must come a time when the results don’t justify the endless effort to whack them. (It happened to me decades ago with real moles: they are very pretty if you stop struggling, and just let your cats torture a few of them). If you kept a conscientious diary, how much time do you spend wrangling with VPNs etc (and finding essentially stolen feeds) compared to what you see? Even apart from the money to organised crime. I did it up to a while ago, essentially for the fun of beating “the manâ€￾. But that way madness lies. I have access to Netflix and God knows what other kosher services. But I haven’t bothered to watch anyone being garrotted for days now. Though Narcos is still worth a look after dinner some time. And BBC World news entirely legit on my Freebox, for very little.[/url]

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Post by Gus Morris » Fri 23 Feb 2018 10:54

This is a subject that generates endless debate. The irony is that a few kilometers further north and the problem disappears!

We can legally listen to UK radio via the Internet and BBC World news is on the same satellite as TNTSAT. Recent TV programmes of UK or US origin, broadcast by French TV, have the original sound track as an option.

There are seemingly endless not quite legal options for watching live UK TV and/or recording it. I subscribe to a reputable VPN. Costs me a dollar a week and no problems. Following a meeting with a friend I now also have a direct feed from a server with a 24/7 connection to the Internet within the UK.

Job done. At least for the moment!

Gus

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 23 Feb 2018 13:58

I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I am probably one of the few people here who can claim (truly) to have watched the first episodes of both Coronation Street and Z Cars, and also (I think) Dr Who, But I watched less and less TV over the years: mostly because I am a snob culturally, but also because I often worked late, or went to the pub (or sometimes the flicks or the opera) or was away from home in the days before catchup. Or just did some cooking and talked. The pay-off from watching every other episode in a series no longer seemed worth the effort. (Does anyone but me remember the very old TV Times advert where a cartoon family are in a car back from the seaside arguing about when their favourite programme started: they get back home just to see the end credits rolling - “Look Dad, it’s on now!â€￾).

I have a perfectly good Freesat connection at my other house in Normandy, and have watched things like Strictly or Bake Off as a sort of anthropologist: but you only need to see one to get the idea. I can still understand the appeal for people who live largely or partly there rather than here. But I’ve never understood how fulltimers like me discover what might be worth following in an efficient way. I read a relatively heavy UK paper on line, but it still seems to devote more space to Game of Thrones than to everything else put together.

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Re: If BBC iPlayers is Blocked

Post by martyn94 » Tue 17 Jul 2018 14:34

mariad wrote:If you are not able to access contact BBC iPlayer you should try out a vpn to access those blocked content.
vpnranks website got some BEST VPN to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere.

Good thing is the list is not simply compiled, but they also justify with the pros and cons the vpn's have for accessing BBC iPlayer.

I have some great experience with Nord VPN. Amazing service and no IP Leak at all.
IP leak sounds like one of those very discreet adverts for sanitary products.

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Re: If BBC iPlayers is Blocked

Post by Allan » Tue 17 Jul 2018 15:04

mariad wrote:If you are not able to access contact BBC iPlayer you should try out a vpn to access those blocked content.
vpnranks website got some BEST VPN to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere.

Good thing is the list is not simply compiled, but they also justify with the pros and cons the vpn's have for accessing BBC iPlayer.

I have some great experience with Nord VPN. Amazing service and no IP Leak at all.
I think you are missing the point. BBC are constantly blocking access from the iP addresses of known commercial VPNs. The only response from the VPN providers is to change their IP address but there is a limit to how often they can do that. When BBC discover the new address, they block it, and so the game continues.

So recommending a VPN just means that it is working at that moment in time, not that it will continue to work.

In my opinion, it would be far better to forget VPNs altogether and use one of the services that don’t require a VPN. Examples are TVCatchup.com which is free but despite its name doesn’t offer catch-up TV and TVmucho that doesn’t cost much more than a VPN but gives you access to all the terrestrial channels and all their programs over the previous 7 days.

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Post by sue and paul » Tue 17 Jul 2018 22:40

Martyn94...."IP leak sounds like one of those very discreet adverts for sanitary products."

As a complete non-techie, rather someone who loves playing around with language, this had me chuckling :D :D

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Post by martyn94 » Thu 19 Jul 2018 19:15

sue and paul wrote:Martyn94...."IP leak sounds like one of those very discreet adverts for sanitary products."

As a complete non-techie, rather someone who loves playing around with language, this had me chuckling :D :D
Thanks. I think that chuckles are the best I am going to get “going forwardâ€￾ from the struggle for UK tv access.

And all entirely legal.

The downside is that I will lose what limited grip I still have of anglophone cultural references.

Not quite entirely off the point, I saw a reference the other day to a “prosthetic vaginaâ€￾ in “Game of Thronesâ€￾. I thought I was hallucinating, having never seen the programme, and being used to the prudishness of US broadcast tv. I googled it, and found not only that they seem to be ubiquitous on the show (as I guess they are in real life but rarely on view, at least in Port-Vendres), but that there seem to be whole online communities dedicated to debating whether they were convincing, or necessary to the plot, or too many or too few. Nobody said, so far as I saw, that they were not strictly vaginas so much as vulvas, and not prosthetic.

There were similar debates about prosthetic penises. The general consensus was that they should have more, in the interest of equality between the sexes. Though the male ones are sometimes cut off, apparently, which must even things up a bit.

And this is the golden age of tv that I am missing out on.

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Re: If BBC iPlayers is Blocked

Post by Bronchi » Sat 22 Sep 2018 14:06

mariad wrote:If you are not able to access contact BBC iPlayer you should try out a VPN to access those blocked content.
vpnranks website got some BBC iPlayer VPN to access it from anywhere.

Good thing is the list is not simply compiled, but they also justify with the pros and cons the vpn's have for accessing BBC iPlayer.

I have some great experience with Nord VPN. Amazing service and no IP Leak at all.
You are right. I have been using Express VPN and working fine no issues watching with BBC iplayer till now. Though I switched few just because they were not good enough in terms of server speed, privacy, and connectivity. Basically, VPNs are one of the most effective tools for protecting privacy and hide IPs when using the internet due to the degree of anonymity they provide when accessing online services.
but as with any industry, the quality of VPN services varies considerably, particularly in relation to streaming blocked content and people should therefore be well-informed before selecting a provider.

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