How to watch BBC iPlayer in Singapore (and your other favourite international TV shows)
So how to watch BBC iPlayer in Singapore? Living away from your home country, many expats miss their favourite TV shows from back home – BBC, US Netflix, EPL, ABC etc. Whilst one can watch some content on Mio and StarHub TV, the choice is limited and the most recent shows are rarely available. You have no doubt heard of many people talking about solutions – VPNs, DNS, Chromecast, AppleTV, Set-top boxes etc. If this all sounds like jargon to you and you are perplexed about what solution is right for you, don’t fret, we are here to debunk the terminology and provide advice on what fix is right for you.
First things first, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, any solution to watch BBC iPlayer or US Netflix in Singapore is not a permanent “fix”. Ultimately accessing international content in Singapore is outside of the broadcasting jurisdictions and so is not permitted. The likes of BBC, US Netflix and the rest invest huge amounts to detect unauthorized access and shut it down. It is, therefore, a game of “cat and mouse” and we need to adapt as necessary. A the time of writing the most common solutions are as follows:
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
One of the most common ways to workaround regional restrictions and watch BBC iPlayer in Singapore is to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which lets you connect through a third-party server and makes it look, to the external world, like your computer is actually located in the UK, Australia or indeed anywhere in the world that you choose. When you want to watch something, you just connect through the VPN and start downloading. You can either watch on your computer or you can use an AppleTV or Chromecast to stream the content to your TV.
If you have a SMART TV or AppleTV you may wish to connect it to the VPN – in order to do this the VPN needs to be configured on the router or the device. Oe of the downsides of watching through a VPN tunnel are that there are often bottlenecks in the streaming path (which result in buffering or reduced picture quality), for this reason we advise against configuring the main household router with a VPN and instead recommend investing in a dedicated VPN router and connect the devices to it.
There are a number of VPN services available, some are better than others and the cost per month can vary quite a lot from free to around $10 per month. Our favourite is ExpressVPN as it provides access to both BBC and US Netflx (there are very few VPNs which provide access to US Netflix).
Domain Name System (DNS)
An alternative to a VPN is to subscribe to a DNS (Domain Name System) service, such as GetFlix (which we highly recommend which is $6 per month). After set-up, when you access sites with geo-blocks it automatically bypasses the blocks by providing you with a local IP address. A DNS service offers a more seamless viewing experience as streaming speed is generally higher. The benefit of a DNS is that it can be configured directly on computers, as well as AppleTV, without any impact on performance and this negates the need to connect every time you wish to watch anything. As AppleTV can be configured with a DNS, it means that you are able to access the region-specific apps i.e. BBCiPlayer, directly on your TV.
AmazonFirestick, AppleTV and Roku
You may well have heard these buzz words going around but are confused about what they actually do. They are basically devices that have content apps pre-loaded. Access will be dependent on the region of your account and location the device was purchased. They also need to be used in conjunction with a DNS or VPN service. They can also be used to stream content on your computer to your TV.
UK TV Anywhere
UK TV Anywhere is a way to watch premium British TV, without the use of a VPN or DNS service. It has its own servers to enable content to be watched from almost anywhere in the world as long as you have a stable and strong Internet connection. The service starts from $35 per month if you just access the content on your computer or mobile device (you can then stream it to the TV using AppleTV or connecting your device directly into the TV). For additional cost they can also provide a set-top box which connects directly to your TV. When you access the software player it features a full TV guide with a 30-day on-demand catch-up feature. In our opinion, this solution is fairly pricey and limits users to only British content.
So which solution for me?
In summary, there are lots of ways to watch BBCiPlayer in Singapore, as well as other popular content such as US Netflix, EPL, ABC, BBC News. The solution you choose will ultimately depend on what you want to see and what equipment you have. It may be that you use a combination of methods to let all the family get their TV fix! We are happy to provide advice and set up a solution. This sort of set up usually takes around 1 hour (our charges are $140 for the first hour and $100 for each subsequent hour. To book an appointment, click here or call 81138682.