My list of the best free and legit international broadcaster apps - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-11-30, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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My list of the best free and legit international broadcaster apps

Whenever friends come over to see my setup they always ask about all the "strange" apps and services I see to have installed on my TV boxes and game consoles.

One of the reasons I like both the AppleTV4 and the Playstation4 as TV boxes, is because it's really easy to have multiple accounts for their various app stores in all regions of the world. Then you can download all the various tv broadcasters from different regions of the world and they can all co-exist on the same account on your AppleTV and PlayStation4. So you can easily jump between say the BBC, and PBS, then the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's app for instance. Best of all, none of these apps require any kind of cable authentication (as TV apps in North America often do). So all you need is a VPN/DNS but no other accounts to watch any of the programming on these services.

For the UK broadcasters, create a UK iTunes account or a UK PSN account (on PlayStation4) and then download these apps on your AppleTV or PlayStation4:

BBC iPlayer - fantastic app. Easily the service I watch the most. All of the BBC's UK channels and programming are archived on the service. Great International sports coverage, stuff like Rugby, etc. All programming that airs on the BBC is put up immediately.

Channel 4 - Another great UK broadcaster. Has a lot of great "box sets" of may international full TV series.

On5/Demand 5 - Channel 5's app. Also lots of good stuff

ITV - the other major broadcaster in the UK. Also lots of good programming, sports, etc

For Australia -

In my opinion only ABC (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) are worth installing. Both have lots of great exclusive English programming.

ABC iView - The ABC's App
SBS - SBS's app

There are also apps for the three commercial networks (Nine Network, Channel 7, and TEN), but I rarely watch those and they do require an annoying facebook verification (which does work and is easy but still annoying).


PBS - Install the PBS app. Doesn't require any cable authentication (it only asks for a zip code, just use any zip code). Works fine. All of PBS's programming is archived on there.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-01, 02:14 AM
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So, if I understand correctly, by using a VPN, you get round the Geoblocking that is put in place to stop people from outside that Country from watching those particular Channels, right.?

Isn't that illegal?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-01, 02:22 AM
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As I suspected, from the BBC Site;

I live outside the UK. Can I use BBC iPlayer?

No. BBC iPlayer is funded by the UK TV Licence and its use is restricted to UK residents only.
And more;

Do I need a TV Licence to watch iPlayer?

Yes. A valid TV Licence is required to watch or download any programme or BBC TV channel online.

Using BBC iPlayer without a TV Licence would be a criminal offence and you could be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 (plus legal costs).
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-01, 08:26 AM
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The UK also has very strict laws against using proxies for accessing illegal content or bypassing location restrictions. Don't know how UK laws could be applied to Canadians but the ISPs serving the proxy providers or the proxy providers themselves could be forced to block access at any time. I'm surprised it hasn't been done already.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-01, 08:27 AM
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@mcpish123 , Thanks for the links.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-01, 12:00 PM
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One of my very favorite stories about the BBC TV Licence is this one;

A TV detector van stopped at a house and a man got out and knocked on the door.

"Good morning, madam," he said as the door opened. "Could I see your TV licence?"

"I'm just on my way out," the woman replied. "But tell my husband it's behind the clock on the mantelpiece."

Moments later the woman's husband appeared. "Good morning, sir," said the man from the van. "Could I see your TV licence?

You'll find it behind the clock on your mantelpiece."

"My God!" said the husband. "That sure is some van you've got there."
And before anyone asks, yes there are still TV Detector Vans that travel around the UK. Even trying to evade the Licence by NOT watching the BBC is no defence, as the Licence is for a TV Receiver. I believe it has now been extended to cover Tablets and the like.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-01, 09:21 PM
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With CRT TVs it was really easy for the trucks to pick up the signal from the high tension horizontal frequency oscillator. I believe that is what the trucks used. LCD TVs would be more difficult to detect. TVs are so pervasive these days it might just be better to roll the TV tax into general revenues. I wonder how they tell the difference between a computer monitor and a TV.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-02, 01:18 PM
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I would happily pay the UK licence fee to be able to use iplayer here. A few years ago they did consider it but a fair amount of BBC content is bought and is not licensed outside the U.K. And if they allowed their own productions on iplayer in North America then probably PBS would not be interested in paying for them.
A fair amount of older stuff is available on Acorn for a few $ month.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-02, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
I wonder how they tell the difference between a computer monitor and a TV.
"You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, digital box, DVD or video recorder, PC, laptop or mobile phone to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV"...On 1 September 2016 the conditions under which a television licence is required changed to include receiving on-demand programme services provided by the BBC, on the iPlayer catch-up service.
Additional detection technology: "the optical detector in the detector van uses a large lens to collect that light and focus it on to an especially sensitive device, which converts fluctuating light signals into electrical signals, which can be electronically analysed. If a receiver is being used to watch broadcast programmes then a positive reading is returned."

More info:
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-04, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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timlocke: agreed, I would gladly pay the UK licence fee to watch the full BBC service in Canada. As is, I do watch iPlayer all the time (it's easily the #1 thing I watch on my TV), but yes you do have to use a simple DNS un-geoblocking service (easily the best $30/year I pay). I just put that DNS into my router setting, installed the iPlayer app on all my devices like AppleTV and PS4 as indicated above. It's been working perfectly for the past 4 years. But yes, I would be willing to send in a license fee to the BBC if they'd actually accept it from a Canadian household :-)
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-04, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
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just to add to this....

One of the reasons why I don't like the Roku boxes which the mainstream reviews of these boxes never mention is that you can only set it to "one country at a time". So during setup you have to set it up as either a "Canadian" box, or "American" box, or a "British" box, etc. So you can't mix-and-match apps from all country's app stores together onto your home screen of available apps like you can on an AppleTV4 and the PlayStation4. If you want to switch country, you have to reset factory defaults on the box and use a new account in that country, but then you lose access to the original country you setup. It's only one at a time, all or nothing.

But on PS4 and AppleTV4, you can setup multiple iTunes or PSN accounts in multiple countries, then access each countries corresponding app stores, and download all the TV apps from that country... and each app that you previously installed STAYS on your existing home screen (available to all accounts on your box), so all the Canadian, American, UK, Australian, and New Zealand apps can be installed simultaneously on the same account and all work as long as your DNS is all setup to access them.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-04, 06:16 PM
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there is a service from the usa that lets americans watch 28 of there tv stations living outside of there country which includes 2 espns and the nbc sports net channels.the service is geo blocked in the usa only they can only use it in any other country but the usa.the service is called ustvnow and can be watched on many order to subscribe the person must say they are an American living outside the usa.they said they will expand to more channels cost 29 usa dollars a month to watch those channels that are in high def.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-08, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
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I sub to SlingTV from time to time to watch ESPN and a few other US channels. There's a little trick for getting it to accept a Canadian credit card and address. Fill out your address like normal when signing up but for the State and Zip code, all you do is take your existing legitimate Canadian Postal Code for your address as registered for your legitimate Canadian Credit Card, for the same of argument, say it's M5A 0N1. Take just the digits (the numbers) out, in this case "501". Then go to the US post zip code lookup page:

Try adding a 00 at the end of those digits. Example: 50100. Search and see if it's valid. If not, try 01 instead, if not, 02, and so on. In this case, 50102 does show up as a valid zip code for Garden City, Iowa (IA). So then go back to the Sling signup page and use IA as your state (Iowa), and the valid zip code 50102. Everything else can be your own, the street address, city, etc and your valid Canadian credit card. Then sign-up. It'll accept your credit card and address as valid and let you signup and will charge your card properly every month. Seems that it only needs to verify that 3 digits of your zip code and state match up with your credit card records for your Canadian credit card, so it works. This trick works for many services online that seem to require a US credit card. It'll show up as a normal charge every month on your Canadian Credit card.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-12-08, 01:07 PM
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That's a verification tip similar to what is used at gas stations.

US gas pump wants zip code - See Post 1.
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