This issue does NOT affect any of our Satellite Internet clients as they all have a UK Internet address.
Currently, anyone residing outside the UK should not be able to watch live UK TV. Scream and shout as much as you like, that is how it is. So why can other nationalities get away with it then - you ask. Well, that's because they don't have the same licencing regulations as the UK so as to provide you with honest and impartial reporting of world events (for most of the time, that is).
So, you don't live in the UK BUT, you want to watch live UK TV (shame on you ;-) ). How do you go about it?
You can always fork out for a satellite dish and receiver and buy a forged sky card, you can pay for an illegal card sharing setup, you can pay one of the many illegal re-broadcasters who pop up all over the place - and disappear just as quickly with your money or you can watch live UK TV through the Internet, either directly from the broadcasters website or from an aggregators website such as www.myiplayer.com.
When I try to watch TV on the broadcasters website, it tells me it's not available in my region. Of course it does, because it's illegal to watch it outside the UK - because it's licenced for the UK only! Please pay attention, I'm getting to that.
OK smart a**e, how's it done? I'll tell you. You use something called a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that fools the website into believing you are in the UK.
How can I get one? There are many free one available along with some relatively cheap ones (5.00 GBP a month). I have personally used a 5GBP one from www.my-private-network.co.uk and it works fine, and they give you a full setup guide with pictures. We have also used the free "Best UK VPN Service" and find that works very well also.
What I do find a lot of - and have to uninstall a lot of - is Expat Shield. Whilst Expat Shield may be free, it's backed by advertisers, it also installs a 'handy' toolbar. Anybody who knows me knows how I feel about third party 'handy' toolbars. They're very handy at breaking things (as many of my clients can testify) and should be banned.
To get the "Best UK VPN Service", it is available from the myiplater.com website on the "catchup" page.
In my opinion, the only thing handy about Expat Shield is the ability to click a few buttons and it installs itself, along with the c**p it comes with. I used it for a couple of days then got rid of it and it will never darken my PC again. Not to be totally negative about this product, I do have customers who think it's marvelous, brilliant and all sorts of other positive adjectives.
Oh, I forgot to mention this option - Slingbox. An ideal option for those with relatives in the UK with a Sky/Cable subscription.
How does that work then? Well, it's intended for people on holiday who would normally be paying for their UK licence but they're not currently using it because they're on holiday and no one is in the house watching TV. That way, you're not breaking your licence agreement and it's legal.
It works by connecting a Slingbox to a Sky/Cable TV box in the UK. You then connect the Slingbox to your internet router. Whilst you're (ahem) 'away', you can watch your Sky/Cable package on your laptop or you would take something with you called a Sling Catcher. Sling Catcher is like a set top box that plugs into the Internet and the TV you're going to be watching. It then transports all your programs from the UK to where you are.
If that all sounds like black magic then when you've got the kit from Currys/PC World, just drop Sling Media support a line from their website and they'll set it all up for you. So that's the Slingbox in the UK, and SlingCatcher over here.
If you would like any more info, please feel free to drop us a line or comment below.
I have no connection to any of the products mentioned in this article.
All brand names and registered trade marks belong to their respective owners - not me.