British TV Using Smart DNS

Although using proxies, VPNs and other assorted technical wizardry works great on computers for accessing blocked UK TV and other TV channels – it’s not so great for other devices.   For example a small social media poll from my Facebook friends, reveals that less than half actually watch TV on their computers or laptops.  The reality is that now many of our devices are capable of accessing the internet and streaming media in decent enough quality to watch.

Everything from smart phones, intelligent media streamers, smart TVs and a variety of other devices like Apple TV and Roku’s all are perfectly capable of streaming HD quality video and even accessing British TV abroad with some modification.  However the majority of these don’t support either installing software or complicated tweaking of network settings.  In fact there is a definite move towards isolating the user from these settings – take for example the most used router in the UK – the BT Home Hub which  you can hardly access any of the network configuration on it without hacking the box.  Many media streaming devices are the same – the Roku looks accessible and open source until you come to change the network settings and you can’t get access.

It’s likely that the big media and TV firms are having some input to this state of affairs, so it’s likely to keep getting worse. However from the depths of the internet has emerged a solution, and it’s a real humdinger – it’s called simply Smart DNS.  Instead of relaying your entire connection through an intermediary server like a proxy, or VPN server this simply filters a specific part of your connection – the bit that identifies your location.

By using a specially configured DNS server you can appear to come from any specific location all without any further configuration.  This video demonstrates how it works –

Although as you can see this is being demonstrated on a PC, you will probably have noticed that all you need to do to enable the feature is get access to the DNS settings on your device. So it’s pretty simple on most devices, like Play Stations, Xbox’s, Smart TVs, phones and tablets – with some exceptions of course.  It’s ideal for such devices, for example it’s the simplest method for watching iPlayer abroad on an iPad.  For other devices you might need to assign remotely using DHCP but that’s not particularly hard to do with a little technical knowledge or a quick Google!

For those who don’t believe me here’s a video with a link embedded explaining – watch uk tv abroad free, it’s only for two weeks but doesn’t cost much if you want to extend the service after trying it out.

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8 Comments

  1. Jzee
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    So I’m guessing this is quicker than using a VPN?

  2. uktv
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes usually because it doesn’t need to relay your whole connection through a third part server. It doesn’t offer any encryption or security though, it’s simply to bypass the geoblocks.

  3. Jin
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Hi, so if I set this as my DNS server on my computer, then the BBC should work automatically…don’t need to do anything else?

  4. uktv
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Yep it will work automatically, if you change your IP address (perhaps if you reboot your router or something), then you’d have to go and reauthorize the new address but it only takes a minute.

  5. Ginnie
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Is this more reliable than a VPN? I hate things like this that don’t work !

  6. uktv
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi, it works fine with most channels although services like Netflix and Hulu are trying to block Smart DNS I think. Out of the two a VPN is probably more reliable and less likely to get blocked I would say. Smart DNS is fine for basic channels at the moment though.

  7. Jenae Theel
    Posted January 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I watch most of my stuff on my WiiU – would Smart DNS work on this. For example I have French Netflix – if I used Smart DNS could I switch to US or UK Netflix when I wanted? Thanks

  8. uktv
    Posted January 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jenae, Yep, just replace the WiiU DNs settings with the SMart DNS ones then select which version you want in the Overplay configuration screen. You can also watch BBC iPlayer on the WiiU (or any device) using your account too.

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