Want to watch F1 on BBC iPlayer from outside the UK? It’s not going to be easy

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Live F1 is coming to BBC iPlayer in 2009
Live F1 is coming to BBC iPlayer in 2009

With F1 moving to the BBC in 2009, fans in the UK should be able to use the iPlayer to watch live F1 action next year.

But anyone trying to watch F1 on iPlayer from outside Britain may find it more difficult than when ITV first broadcast F1 online this year.

The BBC’s contract to show F1 only gives them the right to show it within Britain. That includes online broadcasts, and the iPlayer has restrictions built in to stop people overseas watching F1 and other programming on it.

Inevitably since iPlayer was launched (one year ago this week) it has been subject to repeated attempts to hack it. As F1 is not broadcast live in many other countries, and most have to watch it with frequent advertising interruptions, there is likely to be a great demand for iPlayer hacks among F1 fans next year.

Last year it was not difficult to find sites re-broadcasting ITV’s F1 coverage online for foreign viewers. But iPlayer seems to be a tougher proposition from a technical point of view – and that’s before one considers the legal and copyright implications which may make

How can I watch BBC F1 outside the UK?

British F1 fans heading abroad who want to be able to watch live F1 on the BBC have a couple of options.

The most dependable would be to purchase a Slingbox. This allows you to broadcast your home television directly to another computer across the internet.

Providing your home internet connection upload speed is fast enough (at least 256kbps) this is probably the most reliable solution available. It’s not free, of course, a basic Slingbox will set you back around ??70.

There are dedicated services such as Thetelly which claim to offer subscription-based access to British television programmes from abroad. But I’ve no experience of using them so I can’t vouch for their quality or reliability.

How can I watch iPlayer outside the UK?

BBC’s iPlayer seems to be a much more sophisticated solution to whatever ITV were using to limit online F1 coverage to the UK only. But there are some ways around it.

Using remote access

If you’re a British fan heading abroad you could leave your home machine on and connect to it from abroad using a remote connection service such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC.

Using a UK proxy

You can use a UK proxy to view iPlayer. Sites listing UK proxies can be found easily on Google, and you will then have to configure your internet connection to use the proxy – here’s how to configure a proxy using Internet Explorer. Here are some more details on how to achieve this using Firefox.

Dan D, who’s helped out on the Grand Prix Live Blogs this year, offered these thoughts on using UK proxies to watch iPlayer abroad:

UK proxy server sites (like this one) can be used but they appear to be pretty sketchy, in terms of the security risk you take on if you use them. Not only do most require membership and thus some degree of personally identifiable information, but potentially they will harvest more of your info once you are connected. Some are undoubtedly more trustworthy than others, but it’s hard to know which are which.

Free, smaller-scale sites (like this one) could also work in theory, but this one explicitly excludes the BBC iPlayer. It seems users used to be able to view iPlayer material but it consumed too much bandwidth so they cut it out. Likewise, this one is free and seems reputable but does not handle streaming content.

Any more?

Got any more tips for using iPlayer while abroad? Share them in the comments below.

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Read more: How can I watch, listen to and follow F1 live online?

93 comments on “Want to watch F1 on BBC iPlayer from outside the UK? It’s not going to be easy”

  1. For people who have access to one, you can use a VPN connection if you have a UK VPN server (work ones usually). This fools iPlayer into thinking that you’re in the UK.

    There’s a big argument at the moment about people not paying their license fee because iPlayer indiscriminately shows content whether you’ve paid or not. The obvious solution would be for you to enter your license fee number when you use iPlayer (though I know it’s open to corruption) but this would also mean that you could in theory use iPlayer abroad.

    1. Hi Alex, I had the same problem trying to watch the F1 outside the UK recently. I’ve found a few VPN companies that supply very fast UK VPN’s that work great for connecting to iPlayer outside the UK.

      I first signed-up to https://www.privatetunnel.com the software can be used on pretty much all devices the only drawback is you pay for how much data to use. So if you stream/download a lot of content you can quite easily use $50 credit in a few months. I also opened an account with https://www.vovpn.com they also supply UK IP VPN’s, the advantage with the VoVPN is its a yearly signup with unlimited bandwidth. So you don’t have to worry about how much you’re streaming.

      Using a UK VPN, I am also able to access my SkyGo account and SkySports App from any location, they also has great live Grand Prix F1 coverage.

    2. Patricia Frost
      18th April 2016, 13:09

      I am British student, currently studying in USA and I use PureVPN to watch BBC iPlayer UK content in USA. $4.16/month cost and I have access to PureVPN UK and all other servers

  2. Sgt. Basecamper
    11th December 2008, 11:48

    I don’t think the ITV player were available from outside the UK. When I tried from a non “co.uk” address, I got a disclaimer saying it wasn’t available. So the situation hasn’t changed apart from that it may be more technically difficult to “re-stream” from the iPlayer… But I don’t know if that what was happened this year. Maybe people streamed the content by watching the original broadcasting on their computer through a TV card…

  3. Er, my hefty license fee has in some small way paid for the BBC to show F1 next season and to be fair, why should anyone outside of the UK be allowed to watch what I’ve forked out for?

    This sugar-coated article appears to me to be about how can anyone (not just UK folks crossing the border) watch the BBC feed online?

  4. BBC 1 and 2, plus often BBC World, are in most cable packages in the Netherlands. I’ll definitely compare my regular RTL 7 (with knowledgeable Olav Mol) with the Beeb.

  5. I think what people could do is rent a dedicated server at a datacenter in the UK, then use that as a proxy to stream the race.

    Renting one for a month costs around 60-80GBP, depending on what options you go for. Since this will be a high-bandwidth but less resource-intensive job, you can skimp on the server specs, but go for one with huge bandwidth.

    While streaming this to all your visitors might cause hassles (both legal and infrastructural), you could have it for your really regular visitors who I’m sure would be open to paying for something like this.

    Alex Cooper has pretty much the same idea as mine, but mine’s for people who don’t work in the UK.

  6. How does that affect your viewing experience Dank?

    I live in New Zealand, and would gladly pay for the access you so dearly wish to keep to yourself. Sadly, no such option exists.

    While we’re being fair, I pay considerably more than your license fee to see Formula 1 here, and that’s with ads and Hamilton-centric commentary.

    Out of interest, have you always payed the BBC license fee, or just now that it’ll be showing F1?

  7. I doesn’t affect my viewing experience at all Trig. But without funding from the likes of me, you wouldn’t be able to watch it (if it is at all possible) next year. So why should I have to fork out for someone else’s pleasure?

    And if it’s anything like ITV’s feed this year, it’ll go down the plug-hole rather rapidly due to their servers not being able to cope with the masses from abroad.

    And yes, the UK has always paid a license fee is £139.50 (or 334 NZD).

  8. I use HotSpot Shield to watch streaming content from america through sites like Hulu. I wonder if their is a similar application that would allow to do something like that on UK servers? Or perhaps Hot Spot can be set up to work?

  9. Im at college in the states. And I don’t get F1 on SPEED where I go to school. So I can either have all of you spoil it for me when I simply log on to facebook or any big news website and see results streaming all over the screen by not seeing races live orrrrr I can steal it and watch it live through a stream. It wouldnt be the first time I’ve ripped something off BBC. I have every episode of every top gear ever aired since its “new” show was made.

    The fact that American fans get shanked so badly on F1 is ridiculous. You dont know how good you have it. So in my opinion, you should pay your d**m fees and shut up. If I was in your place, I would gladly pay them. But I cant. Not all of us even have access to F1 much less a race to go see within 20 hours travel. Until F1, The FIA and FOM give me those things back, Im going to keep stealing from the BBC, ITV and anyone else that airs F1.

    1. see my post on watching uk tv for expats under streaming races and watching uk tv enjoy

      1. Where would that post be?

  10. Lustington

    I don’t know it it’s exactly the same RTL as RTL7 in Dutch, but I’ve watched German RTL’s coverage of the F1 before (it’s what I switched over to when ITV were on advert breaks). I would say I couldn’t understand what the commentators were saying (My German being basic, at best), but I found that most of the time, they wern’t saying anything at all.

    Best of all, when they were silent, you could often faintly hear Martin Brundle and James Allen in the next room along shouting their faces off.

    On the oft chance that the commentators were commentating, my favourite phrase would always be ‘in der boxenstop’.

  11. @ ajokay
    No, German RTL is different from Dutch RTL 7. Whenever there’s ad breaks on RTL 7, though, I switch to Belgian VRT, which is ad-less, like the BBC.

  12. If you are travelling to Holland or Brazil, perhaps no proxy trick is needed. BBC1 and BBC2 are part of most standard cable TV packages in these countries. Do you guys know in what BBC channel the F1 races will be broadcast?

    1. It’s not been confirmed yet, but I suspect the races and qualifying, as an absolute minimum, will be on either BBC1 or BBC2 depending on what else the BBC is required to broadcast at the relevant times.

  13. Please remember that the license fee is not the only source of revenue for the BBC. It is one of the core revenues, but with it the BBC makes many programmes and sells them on. Teletubbies & Eastenders are prime examples of these.

    The BBC is fully aware that those in neighbouring countries can quite easily view the BBC channels. For years viewers in Belgium \ Netherlands have watched BBC snooker etc… (Well the commentators always seem to mention it). So you can expect plenty to tune in and watch F1 when it starts next year.

    The thing is, just watching a broadcast via analogue signal in Belgium isn’t a problem. The difference and main problem with the iPlayer is the increase in data transfer across the ISPs. This is already a major headache for many ISPs in the UK on how to deal with the iPlayer demand. Many have switched over to bring in fair usage policies.
    Now, if others outside the UK manage to hack in and watch the iPlayer for F1 free advert racing, will this not grind the BBC servers to a halt? Surely the BBC have only the capacity to show to the UK audience.
    If the iPlayer is hacked then all those who have paid for the service can’t use the service if it gets overloaded. Then I would be annoyed.
    See this link for what happened when the Olympics was on:

    Freeloading analogue \ digital TV signals to your TV does not effect your neighbours transmission. Freeloading streaming content can.

  14. iPlayer doesn’t show live coverage from what I’m aware, which would no doubt cause a surge in interest and therefore usage. Assuming that most fans will watch F1 live on their telly (the old fashioned way) I don’t see an issue with overloaded servers.

  15. I agree with the comments about bandwidth issues: the BBC iPlayer infrastructure is made for the UK, and since it’s available for those who do not pay a TV license fee (or indeed don’t have a TV) the potential numbers of people using the service is the number of households with broadband internet – I can’t be bothered to look up numbers, but it’s alot.

    Live events, especially that attract worldwide attention, shouldn’t be accessed by non-UK requests – and rightly so. Think of it as people stealing your wireless connection…you don’t like it do you.

    However, that is my official line. In reality, I sympathise with those who want a better F1 feed – the number of times I’ve been in another country watching F1 on TV I thank myself I only have to put it up with a race or two. Some places don’t even have F1, so that’s even worse.

    I’ve applied for a position in Japan next year – and if I go, you can bet I’ll be doing whatever I can to watch BBC coverage :P

  16. Do you think the iPlayer is a way for the BBC to get you to cough up for a TV license if you own a computer, but not a TV?

  17. Frankly I think a paid up UK TV licence payer should be able to log onto the BBC iPlayer with a password so they can watch the GP (or any other programme for that matter) from anywhere in the world. Common beeb…

  18. Dastardly Dick
    11th December 2008, 14:42

    As I pay my (UK) TV licence fee every month via direct debit I’m more than happy that people outside the UK will not be able to watch F1 via the iPlayer. The BBC have spent a heck of alot of cash on the rights to broadcast F1 so i resent non-UK watchers stealing a slice of my cash. Merry Xmas.

    1. Then maybe they should sell access to iplayer… The US has terrible F1 coverage and commentators and the coverage is quite abbreviated and comes with about 10 commercial breaks of about 2-3 minutes each per hour.

  19. iPlayer doesn’t show live coverage from what I’m aware, which would no doubt cause a surge in interest and therefore usage. Assuming that most fans will watch F1 live on their telly (the old fashioned way) I don’t see an issue with overloaded servers.

    If you used it when the Olympics were on, you could. It may on a small time delay but not by much. It may not be available directly on the iPlayer page, that list last weeks available shows, but via the BBC webiste. It’s still the same technology behind it and is only normally used for sporting events.

    The BBC will most likely rely on this feature for practice and qualifying as they could shift these to BBC Three and not all of the UK is digital yet. This isn’t always popular as it means you need to either have digital TV or broadband. If you have broadband you can log on and watch it on the BBC webiste via iPlayer. This is like ITV switching it’s broadcast to ITV4 for the Canadian GP.
    Mind you, those who have broadband normally have freeview \ cable or Sky in the UK, so I never buy that excuse for shifting programmes from the main BBC channels and then saying “For those without digital TV you can log on to watch it on the BBC website”

  20. It’s surely only a matter of time before Bernie starts allowing other countries to have their own live online broadcasts anyway, surely.

  21. just to make all you non-UK’ers sick does anyone have any further news on the BBC broadcasting F1 in HD? The poison dwarf and friends have been airing a HD feed from most races last season (displayed in Odean cinemas in the UK) so the infrastrucutre is there, its just whether the BBC are going to use it!!

    Completely off subject now – how do some of your get pictures next to your display name?

  22. T

    hink of it as people stealing your wireless connection…you don’t like it do you.

    Its easy to criticize the rest of us when you have the access to F1 that you do. Now imagine someone took that away from you.

    For those NOT familiar with SPEEDTV. They do NOT broadcast FP1, they DO broadcast FP2. Qualifying is delayed by almost 15 minutes so using live timing in addition to qualifying on the TV is useless. The race broadcast has 30 minutes of prerace grid walk, the race (with a million commercials) and a very small bit of the post race interviews. That is ALL America sees of F1. No hour and a half long prerace stuff, no post race comments. When its done, its done.

    The closest race to the US is now probably the UK race…we have NO F1. Now again, criticize those of us that have to snag your feeds when what we get over here is so pathetic. I wish I could say I’m sorry for screwing you, but I’m not. If you were in my position, you would do the exact same thing. End of story.

  23. cheers Keith, hopefully this should work now…..

  24. michael counsell
    11th December 2008, 17:27

    Personally I’d rather not encourage non license payers from using BBC iplayer. I think this page is pretty irresponsible.

    1. I understand the frustration, but we pay for tv here as well. I’m sure there are plenty of fans of American sports who steal feeds from the US and I really don’t care one bit; good for them. The high horse that you find yourself on is incredible to me. You pay for tv, I pay for tv. I just want to access the sport I love. There seems to be very few opportunities to even snag a feed anyway so if I’m not able to get access then 90% of the people trying to get it that live in the US can’t get it either… not to mention that the number of F1 fans willing to go to the trouble numbers in the thousands, not millions and would therefore not cause even the slightest impact on the BBC infrastructure. Of course, if it does, I’m sure America would be willing to bail you out like it always has, cake eater

  25. … strange that nobody complained when they logged onto Justin TV or TVU etc during the adverts on ITV…

  26. I find it quite funny that when F1 was broadcast on ITV there were hundreds of links for how to watch the ITV feed from overseas, the minute it is switched to the BBC everyone has become very precious about their hard earned cash being nicked by people from overseas. If you own a TV you have to pay a license fee so even when F1 was shown by ITV you were still paying for it.

    No doubt the people complaining about bandwidth and non uk residents using the iplayer are the same people downloading from the torrent sites.

  27. No doubt the people complaining about bandwidth and non uk residents using the iplayer are the same people downloading from the torrent sites

    What makes you come to that conclusion then? To the best of my knowledge I’ve never once downloaded anything illegal off the Internet and I don’t agree that anybody outside of the UK should have access to the F1 coverage provided by the BBC on iplayer.

    I’m not here to say I’m whiter-than-white, just that I don’t believe for one minute if the tables were turned and I tapped into a feed intended for say a German audience who had funded it and their service deteriorated as a result that they would be happy with that because, well, I don’t have F1 coverage in my country and I damn well demand that I have the right to it for some reason.

    1. Wow. Go seek help. You are mental.

  28. Surely there’s an opportunity here. If the BBC has such great content that people want to hijack resources intended for the UK, wouldn’t it be a good idea to introduce an online subscription option for overseas people? Then it could provide a legal method for them to watch the programmes and price it in such a way so that they could help pay for it, in the same way as the UK licence fee people (are supposed to) pay to watch live TV from the BBC.

  29. Ho boy. This one has gotten quite emotive. And it’s a tricky one…

    I can certainly understand the point of view of those who have dreadful coverage in their own country. I can also certainly understand the view of Dank.

    As someone who watches F1 clips on Youtube, there’s no point in getting uppity about it though, because that’s in reality just as wrong as hacking ITV’s/BBC’s feed.

    Again, what it really comes down to is Bernie/FOM not really having a decent official video section on their website. It doesn’t have to be live, because that would detract from the TV rights value (and be expensive to set up for a global audience) – but the official website should be rerunning the race in full with a world feed commentary a few days after the race, and none of these hopeless “highlights” videos that focus on the celebs more than the racing.

  30. Surely there’s an opportunity here. If the BBC has such great content that people want to hijack resources intended for the UK, wouldn’t it be a good idea to introduce an online subscription option for overseas people? Then it could provide a legal method for them to watch the programmes and price it in such a way so that they could help pay for it, in the same way as the UK licence fee people (are supposed to) pay to watch live TV from the BBC.

    Yes – but Bernie wants to sell the rights locally, not globally. He doesn’t want people paying the BBC to watch coverage, he wants them to watch the coverage that their local broadcaster has paid for.

    So BBC could do that for their programmes, but sport (not just F1) would not be part of that.

    1. The localisation issue is a problem, but Bernie could also use it to put pressure on broadcasters to improve their feeds (whether to include online streaming or to correct whatever else is losing them ratings) or lose the licence to a more pliable station. A lot would depend on how Bernie adapted to the situation.

      But it’s worth saying that at the moment, the TV companies get virtually no ratings benefit from the people breaking the law. The proxies would show up as one viewer each to the online feed if I’ve understood correctly, and the home broadcaster gets nothing at all. That means that both broadcasters lose out from the presence of the UK-only online element. By providing it globally to those who pay, each individual will come through as a separate connection in the eyes of the online broadcaster (I’m hoping the BBC will be joined by other providers soon, if only for competitive purposes), so there would be the full ratings benefit to the online broadcaster. Meanwhile the home broadcaster has only lost as many ratings as it would have done anyway – and has an incentive to apply to Bernie to do its own service and/or to improve its coverage in a way to get its viewers back. Both earn Bernie money, even if the station never gets its viewers back. This means Bernie gets more money overall than he does in the present situation, which will make him happy and promote the long-term future of the system.

      Sport could be part of the package if Bernie and his counterparts in other sports

  31. Keith, thanks very much for posting this story– I really appreciate being able to follow the liveblog and watch F1 races live from America. I’d love to see a map overlay of visitors to your site to see how many different countries follow F1Fanatic. How much interest is there from the US?

    @23 Jamey, I completely agree– the coverage of F1 in America is terrible. Try watching a race covered in any way by Martin Brundle and then compare it to Speed’s coverage. You’ll easily see why so many Americans turn to UK coverage.

    @Dank – I’ll gladly pay a fee to watch the BBC coverage, just tell me where to sign up. To a true F1 fanatic, you will find any means necessary to watch a race. Just ask this guy who watched Hamilton pass Glock for the championship off of a Russian feed when the ITV feed was blocked. Be happy you are so lucky to be able to watch the best coverage in the world in so many different ways.

  32. BBC iPlayer is a tough one to crack. Proxies DON’T work.

  33. If I could pay the licence fee and watch from Australia, I would. I’d rather I spent the money on the Beeb itself rather than a VPN provider. And given the exchange rate, that’s probably four months of cable TV (which I don’t have because it doesn’t have F1). Would that make you happy Dank? :-)

  34. It would be worth it to me to pay a subscription fee to watch iPlayer, rather than watch delayed Channel 10 with ad drivel inserted every ten minutes. Many other non-UK residents have stated the same thing Dank, but there is no option for us to do that.

    So sneakily watching it – or stealing as you put it – is the only way left.

    But then since Channel 10 obviously pays ITV/BBC for the feed, really, us Australians are paying to watch your F1 after all.

  35. Living in the US I pay to watch F1 on SpeedTV on cable…the problem I run into is that when I have to travel on race weekends, SpeedTV is seldom available at hotels…and I have watched hijacked streaming video from ITV. I guess I justify stealing the signal because I pay for it to be delivered to my home television…and it’s not my fault Bernie can’t do a better job scheduling races around my out of town commitments.

  36. Jonesracing82
    12th December 2008, 6:36

    ii live in OZ & hoped it wouldnt come to this!

  37. Dank

    How does get over it sound???? How does it really effect your life if you have a TV where you can watch it live????

    Pink & Jones

    Is Ten in OZ going to broadcast in HD again next season (with the 1/2 hour delay)?

  38. Can’t help but think some of you are missing my point. Nevermind.

  39. UK residents pay their license fee for all BBC services.
    Some of these are already free to non-UK residents. (News radio)

    ITV generated its revenue from adverts, like any other commercial station.

    So if the BBC put in a service that is abused by non-paying viewers and that service is effected, then you’d understand that the license payers would be upset.

    If the iPlayer is hacked for F1, it remains hacked for every other program. Then the BBC would have a choice of fixing it or removing it. If it becomes legal, they may just remove it. Then nobody gets it.

    Personally I think Bernie should have a pay-per-view service with no adverts for all. Available via streaming on the F1 web site.

  40. So Dank if you lived in a country where there was no F1 coverage you wouldn’t seek it out?

  41. No I wouldn’t. I am an F1 fan through and through. But it’s hardly my fault if foreign networks can not see fit to purchase the rights from money-grabbing Bernie Ecclestone and his empire.

    This argument that everybody has this mythical right to watch F1 through any means available doesn’t hold weight. Especially when it comes down to essentially leeching of a paid for service.

  42. Listen, here’s the Catch-22 problem.

    If everyone in, say the US, is watching a cracked BBC broadcast then they’re not watching Speed, or whoever it is that do it. Then there’s poor ratings for Speed, and thus no incentive to pay more for better rights or use the existing rights better by having more live coverage or whatever. And so the coverage on the TV stays weak, and so the hardcore fans stay watching cracked internet feeds and the circle continues.

    I’m not saying everyone should put up with guff feeds in the hope that their broadcaster will eventually improve upon it.

    But I am saying that there will be something of an impasse if large swathes of people move to cracked feeds from other countries.

    Like I say something has to be/should be done to ensure everyone can recieve a live feed of the race. That’s up to Bernie/FOM to sort, either by having the country themselves produce an online feed – or by doing it themselves.

  43. @ Dank: Frankly I don’t believe you.
    No it’s not your fault if Bernie won’t let your country broadcast it, which is why you shouldn’t be blamed for doing whatever you can to watch it.
    If you have passable coverage in your country then watch that, if it’s terrible then watch ours.

    I understand how people leeching off of iPlayer could slow it down and ruin it for other people watching it as well, but people in the UK will be watching it on their tv, not on the internet.
    So if the service is there but not being used by those it was made for, why not let others use it?

    Basically we shouldn’t be blaming desperate F1 fans, we should be blaming money-hungry Bernie for not taking the fans into consideration.

  44. I understand how people leeching off of iPlayer could slow it down and ruin it for other people watching it as well, but people in the UK will be watching it on their tv, not on the internet.
    So if the service is there but not being used by those it was made for, why not let others use it?

    Oh, because it doesn’t cost the BBC any money to stream a live feed? If every Tom, Dick and Harry could watch the Live feed from outside the UK, the BBC would have to start paying a bit more money to host the service.
    And who in the end pays for that?
    The license payer.
    Yes, the following year the license fee goes up because of streaming costs.

    Now that maybe fine for every UK F1 fan, but the BBC has a responsibility to provide broadcasting to a nation with value for money. Not everyone in the UK will watch F1 with a live stream feed. Not everyone in the UK will watch the F1. The BBC cannot justify streaming a feed to outside of the UK.

    Poor old Granny Smith will not want an increase in her license fee to pay for it.

    If this were ITV then go ahead. They have no obligation to ensure value for money to it’s viewers, but only to it’s shareholders. The BBC is very different.

  45. Ok I get that.
    I’m just not gonna jump on anyone outside the UK who manages to watch through iPlayer because I would do exactly the same thing if it were me.

  46. The BBC will be receiving plenty of money from Australia, since we receive their tv feed. We pay for this through being consumers of advertised material, and as Pink Peril said, there’s lots of that during our broadcast. So I’d like to think that we are in fact helping to keep British license fees lower. I will be looking for an iplayer hack and not feeling too guilty. I do see Dank’s point, and he’s right. But as his fees are lower thanks to us Aussies, I frankly can’t bring myself to care.

    @ other Aussies – Ten is broadcasting a sports dedicated channel on their HD feed next year, so we should get live quali and races for once – unless of course, there’s some blinkin’ golf on. Fingers crossed! We may not need the beeb feed.

  47. Fingers crossed Toby – although I’m willing to bet the HD channel live feed will still have ads in it…..

  48. I travel abroad a lot and to view the iplayer on my laptop, I bought a UK SSH tunnel account which then makes me appear to be in the UK and am now able to view the iplayer. I bought mine from pc-streaming.com/store/.
    It works a treat and is totally leagal.

  49. Ok, so… what if I’m a foreign citizen and I still want to watch F1 Broadcasts on BBC? What should I do, beg for citizenship?! I find it very frustrating, totally unfair discriminating when I can’t even watch a short interview on BBC’s website… “We are sorry, the video is no available in your area” – May I know WHY?! I am an EUropean Union citizen! (Romania)

    1. Blimey. Talk about throwing your toys out of the pram for not getting your own way!

      May I know WHY?! I am an EUropean Union citizen!

      Hint: BBC = BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation?

    2. Because the BBC is aimed primarily at British license-fee payers because its main goal is to meet the British TV public service requirement. I don’t know if Romania has a licence fee or equivalent, but if it did, it would spend the money on its own stations (quite rightfully in my opinion) rather than on stations broadcasting in other places.

      The BBC uses geographic detection technology to decide if you live in the UK. Getting citizenship wouldn’t work, but moving to the UK would. Unfortunately, the BBC does not have a system whereby you can unlock the geographic requirement on payment of the British TV licence fee at this time.

  50. Hi, after I got a high speed internet connection last year, I searched the internet for some way to watch live F1 at the time the race was actually on. In Australia, Channel Ten shows the races live if you had access to HD (which I didn’t at the time). I was able to watch live F1 through Sopcast and Justin.tv. Sopcast provides a player for the computer and Justin TV seems to get feeds from various sources. Both require you to sign up but both appear to be free. Hope that this info helps.

  51. Hi,
    I DO pay my UK TV licence, but don’t want to miss a GP so I made my own VPN and found I could get all my BBC/ ITV / SKY, etc stuff when I was abroad.

    There is an EU directive about being able to watch free to air TV no matter where you are in Europe.. companies like zattoo.com and tvcatchup.com allow folk to watch UK tv content via the net – as long as you appear to be in the UK.

    ..and you def. DON’T need a TV licence to use iplayer, etc on a PC.

    1. ..and you def. DON’T need a TV licence to use iplayer, etc on a PC.

      Here’s what the BBC has to say:

      At the moment, the legal position is that you don’t need a licence to watch TV purely on-demand, but you do if you are watching TV live (through any receiving device in the home).

      So a live simulcast over the web from the BBC – of, say, the Beijing Olympics – will require a TV licence, but watching an on-demand (non-live) stream or download through the BBC iPlayer will not.

      I understand that as being if you’re watching live F1 on the iPlayer this year you need a TV licence. If you’re watching the highlight of the race later on, you don’t.

  52. Like lesley above my security software has a range of UK proxies I can ssh to. Works for all UK programs and lets you watch US stuff if you pick a US proxy for instance.


  53. i can link to the iplayer and stream missed programs but not a live stream. I am in the US using a UK proxy. Any ideas what the difference is between live stream and a missed program stream?

    1. What error message do you get when trying to live stream? Location error? If so, the proxy you are using isn’t very good.

  54. The BBC will not show F1 live over the internet & you won’t be able to download it after with ‘BBCi player’ either. (For example, you cannot download ‘Match Of The Day.’) The same way ITV do not show live Champions League games over the internet!
    The only way you will be able to watch F1 online abroad without TV commercials is to wait for some angel to upload a recording of it & download its torrent file. But by the time it will take to do this you will have already heard the outcome of a race anyway & it won’t be as fun to watch.

  55. There are services like zattoo.com and tvcatchup.com that allow folk to watch live tv via the internet…


    all you need is to find a decent VPN supplier, who can quite LEGALLY supply you with a UK ip address

    WHAT is “difficult” about THAT ?!

    I live in Cyprus, and offer such a service – it also allows people who have “local” restrictions on what / where their local ISP allows them to go / use.

  56. I think those people who live in countries that don’t invest in decent tv aught to have a go at the state broadcasters instead of having a go at the British ones who do invest in prohgramming that people want to see.
    I mean, who wants to watch Romanian TV?

    Good article though. Most of the proxies mentioned can’t handle a heavy load, and the iPlayer is blocking most proxy accesses now. So spend your money on a VPN and you still end up with a jerky picture, and thats if the VPN supplier doesn’t go out of business in a couple of months and take your money.

    Why not save your money and learn Romanian (whetever) – if the country’s good enough to live in, then you might as well assimilate properly?

  57. If you are an F1 fanatic & desperately want to watch the motor racing in excellent quality over the internet anywhere in the world, buy a friend who lives in the UK a ‘SlingBox Solo’. It hooks directly up to their digital set top box, cable tv box or sky box & converts the tv footage to a compressed format & streams it directly over the internet to your pc/laptop anywhere. You can also change the tv channels. This device is great if you want to watch your tv at home on your windows enabled mobile phone anywhere too. Check out their website http://uk.slingmedia.com/
    I bought one of these yesterday! It’s fab>>>

  58. Rex: “So spend your money on a VPN and you still end up with a jerky picture, and thats if the VPN supplier doesn’t go out of business in a couple of months and take your money.”

    1/ may be you should pay the VPN provider monthly


    2/ Why should you have a jerky picture if the VPN service is good and your connection, too ?!

    Wazithim: re Slingbox – “excellent” quality?.. well YES, if your uplink from the UK is 2 Mbits .. if not you will be watching a small fuzzy window… Your UK ISP will throttle ( cut back your bandwidth ) you if you use a Slingbox on most connections, as the upload traffic from the UK is hefty…

    Slingbox is GREAT if you have a wireless network and want to watch full window in another room – but for watching one’s TV from abroad… it most cases UK upstream is the limiting factor :(

    Most folk would be better off with a GOOD VPN service and watching zattoo / tvcatchup

    1. I have 2 slingboxes. One in UK and one in France. If you have 500k upload that is plenty good enough to watch slingbox on. My friends use my connections with a slingcatcher on a 32 inch plasma TV and the image is exceedingly watchable with slingplayer V2

  59. Most of the time one of the justin channels shows it.And this is not a itv feed.So I guess shifting to bbc shouldn’t worry people who watch in justin.tv

  60. http://www.filmon.com/tv/

    This application allows us to see BBC 1 :)

  61. No don’t go VPN. As I’ve stated in previous posts you need an SSH tunnel account from here:
    It’s easy to set up and with this you will be able to watch BBC1 direct from their website here:
    You will also be able to access the iplayer and all other `live´UK channels from tvcatchup.com.
    I’ve had mine for a while now and it works a treat.

  62. Hello “Lesley” ;)

    Why wouldn’t one go VPN.. an SSH account means “complications” and problems using your email / browsing in the background.. a good VPN means zero configuration of your browser – just click and go..!

    SSH means one can’t reliably use the connection to download from Iplayer / SKY / Four / Five, etc.

  63. Hello “markymark_cy”
    Nothing complicated about it, a few clicks of your mouse and your browser is configured and if you suddenly decide in the middle of the race that you want to start composing e-mails then come out of it.
    It’s all about preferences and thats what I prefer. SSH for browser related viewing or VPN for external players like Zattoo. I’ve tried them both. I prefer the SSH.
    Do you think Zattoo will cope when thousands suddenly hit their servers all at once?

  64. Hi “Lesley”

    So, if one can buy a good reliable and fast VPN for less than an SSH, when the VPN does everything an SSH does without one’s mail / browsing being possibly dysfunctional/ inoperative during the TWO HOURS plus of an F1 GP, which option are folk going to choose..?

    Do you LIKE F1, anyway , Lester ;)

  65. or Lesley, even .. DOH !

  66. Well, well what a spat! I don’t know about horses for courses more like daggers at dawn.
    The part I don’t understand though, is that the company that Lesley is “pushing” supplies both SSH and VPN anyway.
    So take your choice.
    Although I must admit marky, I went with your recommendation and got the VPN. I do like the HQ channels you get with Zattoo, very near satellite quality.

  67. Please do not try to use the comments for advertising, it will be removed.

  68. Ok. I am not british and don’t live in UK. But I am watching F1 on BBC as I type. heres how
    1. Have a moral system that says ideas are free.
    2. get firefox got to foxyproxy website
    3. spend some money to get a good proxy server(foxyproxy offers them)
    4. Set up foxy proxy.
    5. Laugh that british are force to give the bbc money so I can watch their excellent coverage.

    Or you could use torrents but you definitely need step 1 for that.

  69. If you guys are traveling around, just buy a vpn. I’m an american living in the philippines. I bought a VPN from hidemynet.com for 5$/month now i’m able to watch all my hulu shows and iplayer shows from a single source.

    When a F1 race was about to being a few weeks back, bbc blocked hidemynet ips just before the race. I contacted support and they had it resolved before the race started. Highly recommended.

  70. Also the fake ones break really easily and look?awful.

  71. I just want UK audio!

    I mean, video would be nice, but really I just want to know if I can get some kind of English language live audio broadcast on the web to supplement (and improve) my German TV program.

  72. I am an F1 Fanatic. Living in Bulgaria I was very worried that I could not watch BBC coverage. I found this website called uktvabroad.info where there was a lot of info about how to get UK TV abroad. I settled on the VPN method and am very pleased with it. I would highly recommend this as a way of watching F1 abroad

  73. Unique Way of seeing things! My partner and i had been just debating that there are plenty of drastically incorrect tips on that topic so you simply just influenced my husband and my advice. Thank you a great submit.

  74. The real problem is that the cost of the license Bernie charges must be much too high to pay; if he really wanted to expand to the US audience, or Canadian audience, then he would be willing to make concessions. It seems clear to me that he and his cronies have WAY too much power and hold F1 hostage.
    I can guarantee you that if the U.S. had the best coverage that many would log into that feed from all over the world and I seriously doubt anyone would make much fuss over the issue. We are just not like that. Why would we be? Its silly.

  75. ken parting
    6th March 2011, 22:55

    I set this up using a VPN service and it is working very well. They’re all much the same and most work well. I went with http://www.ukivpn.com based on cost and reliability. They’ve been around from the start and have some great reviews – mine included. They also have US servers, so I can use my netflix when I’m travelling.

  76. I use ClearVPN http://www.clearvpn.co.uk to watch the F1 when I’m on assignment in the Middle East. Works Great has been reliable and it’s never blocked. Lets me get at all of the BBC Iplayer content as well as ITV, C4 etc…

  77. Karen Richards
    14th January 2012, 18:30

    i also recommend a vpn method, the one i used is happy vpn .it’s been working well for me, started using 3 months ago. So yeah, i`m quite happy watching my Top Gear episodes :)

  78. Simon Walloch
    23rd July 2015, 11:38

    Could anyone recommend a reliable service VPN or Proxy? I’m currently working outside the UK in Hong Kong for the next month and I really don’t want to miss the F1. Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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