Saturday

BBC France Iplayer - Geotargeting gone wrong !

As my loyal reader already knows, I frequently use the security software Identity Cloaker to bypass restrictions based on my IP address. So for instance if you happen to be in Paris, liked F1 and wanted to watch the Singapore Grand Prix - most people would have a problem watching the BBC France via the IPlayer - but not for me and other Identity Cloaker users.

But it is a problem for most others, you see there are all sorts of restrictions for most online media stations. They don't seem to have got the concept of the internet being global, so you get blocked depending on where you are. It doesn't matter that I am a UK BBC licence payer, the fact I happen to be in Paris means I'm out of luck - BBC Iplayer France, I'm afraid not monsieur.

Actually France is quite an interesting example though of how the technology that is used is rather backward. Most web sites that restrict access to their content based on IP address do little more than look up a database and see where that IP address is assigned to. Of course these are not always correct and many are out of date. These anomalies can either work for or against you, trying to watch the BBC Iplayer when across the English channel is actually one of those situations.

So you can Watch BBC Iplayer in France

Only if you're really lucky, you see there are little pockets of IP addresses in France and Germany I think which seem to be assigned incorrectly in some of these databases. I have had two experiences in France (both in Paris) where my IP address seemed to be assigned incorrectly and I was able to access Iplayer without any restrictions.

Unfortunately mostly I'm not that lucky and I get the dreaded blocked content window.
f1 video on BBC Iplayer France

The warning that video is restricted to UK users and surprise, surprise go to the next screen and I have the excitement of the Formula 1 text commentary to look forward to.

F1 Text Commentary BBC IplayerText Commentary on the Iplayer when in France - Not quite the same!

Just not really as exciting, is it. Funnily enough my IP address was blocked from exactly the same hotel as I'd previously been able to access BBC Iplayer from without any problems. I presume they must have changed ISP or something.

Anyway, fortunately there is no problem, I was able to change my location and stream everything through a UK proxy server with a click of the button. Just select one of Identity Cloakers many UK proxies and I was sorted. I actually spoke to the people who support all these proxies and apparently the F1 qualifying in Singapore is actually been watched from over 70 countries including France!!!

Here's the connection screen where you select your server, I've just shown some of the UK ones because I normally just use it to access BBC Iplayer, but there are also servers in many other countries all included (e.g. Canada, USA, Germany, France, Netherlands and a few more)

F1 UK Proxies

It's very simple to use, and it even allows you to connect via VPN which you need for many media sites now such as ITV, Channel 4, ABC and Hulu for instance (see my Hulu post above for details on how to use that option.

Anyway I can heartily recommend Identity Cloaker for watching all sorts of media across the world. Be careful with some companies who openly market these TV proxies though as they can easily get blocked by the media companies and suddenly they won't work.

You won't find any mention of the facility to watch things like the BBC Iplayer in France but fear not it works stunningly well and is supported. I have yet to find a service that doesn't work yet either in the proxy or VPN mode which are both included, why not try for yourself with the 10 day trial for 5 Euros - 10 days Media Streaming from Across the world

0 comments: