Not to be outdone by streaming services which are available only in the United States, BBC iPlayer has provided a streaming outlet for those in Great Britain which compares very well with Netflix and Hulu. The platform was originally developed to allow users to catch up on the previous week of BBC television and radio programming, but developers have expanded iPlayer into a full-scale entertainment solution that is available online and for every smartphone OS. Using our VPN you can watch bbc iplayer outside UK.! Click here to buy a VPN connection.
Frequent updates by the BBC iPlayer development team have kept this streaming service on the cutting edge of technology, and the offerings today are greater than when the company launched. As a testimony to its growing popularity, BBC iPlayer set something of a record in July of 2012 when it received over 3 million requests to stream the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London.
The History of BBC iPlayer
The BBC iPlayer was officially launched on Christmas Day of 2005, but there were some initial problems with the launch which caused the iPlayer to receive a fair amount of criticism in the press. The struggles to get the iPlayer off the ground continued until the BBC Trust approved the player in April of 2007. Even then the platform was restricted to a limited number of users. As the summer of 2007 progressed, more people were allowed to access the software and begin streaming media.
The platform wouldn’t really take off, however, until Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Media stepped in to announce a partnership with the BBC iPlayer. This move solidified the company as the go-to source for streaming media in Great Britain. Virgin Media made the iPlayer available to its cable subscribers. The most recent development is the launch of an international version of the BBC iPlayer which makes the service available to many areas of the world.
Streaming Media with BBC iPlayer
When it began, BBC iPlayer was strictly Flash based. This, of course, imposed some limitations on the effectiveness of the service and didn’t always result in the best quality. Today, the iPlayer features many HD streams and the quality of the service has significantly increased.
There are actually several ways the BBC iPlayer can be used. Streaming with Flash is still an option, but one of the things that make the iPlayer unique is that it also offers a download service. The original download service was based on the peer-to-peer model which has been so popular in allowing computer users to share files.
The iPlayer is now in its third incarnation. iPlayer 3.0 has added some new features, but the biggest of these is complete integration with various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg.
For the most part, streaming of BBC programming is still limited to the previous seven days’ worth of content.
Popular Shows on BBC iPlayer
One of the best things about BBC iPlayer is the large number of radio stations you can access with an account. There is some great music to be found on the iPlayer. Here are some highlights we recommend:
The Mastertapes Series. This is an amazing program where artists discuss the recording of their most famous works. The artists perform acoustic cuts and take questions from the audience. The latest installment features Spandau Ballet talking about their 1983 album, True. This is a program for the serious music fan, and it reminds one of the United States program Rockline.
MR James: Ghost Stories. If you like chilling ghost stories in the style of the old radio serials that were popular in the early days of radio, you might want to check this out. Exceptional works of terror are read by various celebrities of the BBC.
Money for Nothing. Owen Money hosts this show featuring music and humor. It’s one of the better things on the iPlayer, so definitely check it out.
If radio programs aren’t your thing, there are plenty of great television programs to choose from on the BBC iPlayer. You might want to start with some of these:
Blackadder.No list of BBC programming would be complete without this massively popular show featuring legendary British comedian, Rowan Atkinson.
Wimbledon. If you are a tennis fan you never have to miss the sport’s premier event thanks to iPlayer. You can get streaming of all the best matches and feel as though you are courtside.
Hotel Trubble. This is one of the better kids programs offered by the BBC.
BBC iPlayer geo-restricitions
Something you will notice right away when visiting the BBC iPlayer website is that access to the service is mostly restricted to residents of the UK. At this time, only iPlayer radio programming is available outside of the UK. A user’s location is determined by their IP address. Whenever you attempt to access iPlayer from an IP outside of the UK, iPlayer is blocked because of geo-restrictions.
Fortunately, there is a way to enjoy your BBC iPlayer service no matter where you happen to be travelling. It is as simple as using a VPN.
Using a VPN with BBC iPlayer
Getting around the geo-restrictions placed on the BBC iPlayer is very possible when you use a VPN account. All you need to do is make sure your IP address identifies you as being in the UK. Most VPN’s allow you to use a secure IP that identifies you as being in the UK.
VPN’s allow you to choose a specific region for your IP address. This means that when you are in Central America, The United Arab Emirates, or the Middle East, a VPN can conceal your location and make it possible for you to access your BBC iPlayer and other restricted programming.
Many travelers and expatriates use a VPN to watch their local television programming as well as access iPlayer and other media accounts. In other words, just because you are abroad does not mean that you need to give up your iPlayer service. Use the VPN service and watch BBC iPlayer from outside the UK!