It’s not always at the top of our lists when we consider moving abroad but it’s usually one of the first things that expats complain about once they start to settle in to their new life; missing British television.
Yep — you won’t realise how much you appreciated it until it’s gone!
The ability to bring in those home comforts when you first move is part and parcel of adapting to a new life abroad. While you may very well be fitting in to new routines and getting stuck in with the local culture, catching up on Eastenders or Holby City or the latest sports can help us transition to life away from Blighty; a digital comfort blanket if you will.
The Best Services for Watching UK TV Overseas
So, how can you make sure that you aren’t missing out on your favourite shows and avoid ‘spoilers’ over Facebook before you can catch up?
Well, the good news is you can still expect to stay connected to your favourite British TV channels whilst abroad. Gone are the days of binge watching VHS/DVD recordings sent from the UK at least three months out of date.
Of course, there are limits to some of the service and by far the biggest barrier to your enjoyment of these services will be the speed of the internet connection you can secure. They all work best with broadband and a dial up connection or pre-3G connection on mobile won’t work.
The other thing to consider is that whilst live streaming on ‘free’ sites may seem like a win-win situation, many servers are unsecure and can leave you (and your digital devices and network) exposed to attack.
Here’s our quick guide to some of the best online services that let you catch up on British television.
British TV Anywhere
Probably the most reliable service on our list — if you are willing to spare a few pennies.
This site does not provide you with anything for free but does guarantee that the price you pay maintains a secure connection. You can pay for access to the services on a daily basis or for a month, prices are as follows:
Hiding your IP address and providing an encrypted connection that is secure for public Wi-Fi is at the heart of this service. The resolution is high quality and provides fast connection at 400MB/s.
There is a limit to the channels provided and some on demand services are hosted via devices such as iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD. However, you can access secure live UK channels such as BBC 1, 2, 4, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News, Alba and Parliament plus ITV 1,2,3,4 and Be.
The site also includes access to some American channels including ABC, NBC, CBS and Comedy Central. As well as the British Netflix.
Sign up here to get started.
Watch All Channels
Completely free to use, this website offers a very wide variety of channels to choose from, including BBC, ITV and most of what you would expect on a Freeview network. There are quite a few ads scattered around the website, and the resolution of the programming is quite low. There are some free movies that you can watch but these are also low resolution.
The site also has access to French, Russian, American and Pakistani channels.
However, you do have the option to upgrade your viewing experience and remove the ads by signing up for a membership.
With this option options, you get all of the channels in high quality, all digital ads removed plus access to an additional 45,000 videos on demand (also in high quality). You can also access additional premium channels as well as record up to 10 hours of HQ TV. This deal is £14.95 per month, or £149.00 a year.
By simply registering your email details you can get access to over 600 live TV channels including the full range of BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
There is also American, German, Canadian, French, German and specialist channels. The site is split into free and premium areas with additional features being available via paid subscription. The paid services come in HD and without the additional ads plus you can access Hollywood movies.
You can download the app on a range of devices including Apple TV, Windows, XBox and Android.
The only restriction on the service is that you are unable to watch live channels in either the USA or Australia.
UK Proxy TV
ukproxy.tv has choice by the plenty. You are able to access every UK channel.
However, the website doesn’t stop there: you not only have access to the online video services such as BBC player, ITV live and more, but you also get access to premium music services too. You can listen to free music streaming with apps such as Spotify, Deezer and iTunes. The site boasts a reliable connectivity rate ‘across the world’, although we’re sure that’s open to interpretation.
As with British TV Anywhere, the site is fully paid for and the cost includes data encryption to protect your privacy. Ostensibly, the company hosts the stream of any channel on their own servers so as to avoid proxy server restrictions in countries like the US. As a result you can even access UK channels in the US and vice versa.
Subscription fees are $9 per month or $90 for the year with the first month being free plus you can cancel at any time.
You can pay by PayPal and the service is compatible with devices like Apple, Android, Windows and Sony.
Have you used any of the services above to watch British TV abroad?
Given up on the tele altogether?!
Let us know your recommendations for any additional services that might be interested to TV-starved Brits overseas.