Saturday, October 20, 2012

How To Watch BBC and ITV Shows in the USA

photo by graciela
It's time for me to spill the beans, my friends.

I'm so excited!!!!!
So if you are like me, you've got to be tired of having to wait months and months, 
if not, forever, to get awesome UK shows our way in the USA.

I'm just not happy with settling for those really poor quality bootlegged versions
and/or the sites that "claim" they have the show you want to watch, make you pay exorbitant monthly prices to "subscribe" first and then you find out they tricked you and don't even have the show you are looking for!

--err not that I've ever resorted to this in my costume drama viewing obsession.

Anyhoo, not anymore...!

Ladies and Gents, let me introduce you to:

the Tunnel Bear.

It's simple and fast.

• Tunnel Bear is a service that allows you to “experience the internet as if you were living in a different country" while keeping your computer address secure and anonymous ("any online source that may try to check the origin of your internet connection will see Tunnel Bear’s server details instead of your own). 

• For my UK friends it also allows you to gain access to US content and UK content if you are abroad.

• Tunnel Bear claims it's legal, which is awesome...and you can look further into that if you doubt it. Here's a very informative review of it from Macworld.

Here's How To:

1. Go to

2. Click "download;" 
- the initial download is free and comes with 500mb of free data/per month.
Feel free to test it out. It's free. But if you are going to be watching streaming videos you will use up that 500mb after about 40 minutes of viewing time.

After watching almost one full episode of BBC's The Paradise, I was hooked, and chose to upgrade for $4.99/month you can have unlimited viewing.

Yes. Please.

3. Once you've downloaded Tunnel Bear you'll see this really cool brown retro looking radio pop up on your desktop. Click "on" and click "UK" on the radio nobs.

4. WALLAH! it's as easy as that. You're hooked in and ready to go.

I would give it a minute or two to "load" --see those white streaming bars...yeah, just let them fill the blue screen a bit. Be patient! And then you are good to go.

You can log on to BBC's iPlayer after you've done this and choose a show to watch

If you see the above message on your screen, than you have either not turned your Tunnel Bear switch to the UK setting or you have not let it load up like shown in the picture above.

Just wait another minute or two and then retry:

It should look like this: See, no message and ready to play!!

  You can go to ITV's player online and catch some good stuff as well.

Tunnel Bear is so easy and such a gem, I can't believe I never heard of it before now!

I'm still leaping for joy!

Please do tell if this was informative and/or if you have any questions.

I tried to make it easy to understand.

Just beware:
upon downloading said application,
and clicking "play" on a fav new show, previously unavailable to you,
you may be overcome with feelings of extreme elation
and overall general feeling of exclaiming, "Mwah haahahaa."

;)Happy Viewing


  1. I'd heard about things like this before, but the reviews were mixed.
    Glad to hear about one that works form someone I trust! =)
    I think I will go and download it now.....

  2. does this work outside UK? like in Philippines too?

  3. @KatySUe: Oh yes I know! There are many similar but this one seems to be the most legit because you don't have to choose from shows that they themselves have on their own site, it just lets you access the shows already released to the public in other countries. Let me know how it works for you!!!

    @tabulyogang: you can definitely try it, it might work. Like I said, the initial download is free and you will get 500mb/per month to try it out with. See if it works. If it does you can always commit to the 4.99/month. You have to renew it each month if you want to continue using it as well, they don't automatically roll you over each month which is kind of nice too. Please let me know if it works for you too, I hope it will!!!!! Keep us posted :)

  4. what should i watch first? thank you thank you thank you!

  5. @Rissi: You're very welcome :)

    @Jgadrin: Welcome, welcome! Downton Abbey already has too many episodes up available on the ITV site that they have taken off the very 1st episode. Unless you don't mind missing the first one, the rest are up there. Also I believe they will re-air them in the not too distant future so you can keep an eye out for them if you want to wait instead. Soooo I think either way you should def watch The Paradise and let me know what you think. It's quite good! And the more I watch the more I am liking it, initially I was a little unsure which direction they were headed but it keeps getting better. :)

  6. Interesting post..thanks for share

  7. i went to bbc iplayer but the paradise was not on there. did they take it down?

  8. @Anon: Yes, they did take it down already...they only stay up a month or so...but if you hop over to ITV ( )
    you have 12 more days to view from the beginning- the new show Mr. Selfridge -also about one of the first department stores in London. Paradise jumped the line to air before they did...but this new one is good so far - 3 episodes in.
    Thanks for stopping by!!

  9. I have a question. I live in the USA, if I subscribe to this, will I be able to watch Downton Abbey when the new season starts? I really hate having to wait a year to watch it in the USA. I also am interested in watching Poaching Wars with Tom Hardy that airs this month on ITV in the UK. Again, Americans get stiffed and we won't be able to watch that at all. I'd be willing to pay whatever to be able to watch Downton Abbey during the actual season but can't even find a way to pay to watch it. It's very frustrating. The UK must hate America or something lol. There are probably more Downton Abbey fans in America than anywhere else in the world and we can't watch it. It would be a massive money maker to someone. Start taking our money! We'll pay! Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey there, yes you can download Tunnel Bear and for 4.99/mo you can watch anything on BBC or ITVplayer online...I watched ITVs The Paradise as it aired in England from my apt here in the US. I would have watched Downtown as well but I had missed the first episode (They keep them online for maybe 4 weeks or so and then start taking episodes down) so I didn't want to start watching having missed the first episode but absolutely you will be able to watch right along with the Uk'ers...Tunnel Bear just anonymously switches your computer IP address so the British channel sites think you are from the UK. Pretty sweet, huh? :)

      I agree I think it is total malarchy that we have to wait forever or never at all to see this great programming when we'd probably net them huge sales from all the interest over here...Mystifying...

      Thanks for stopping by and let us know how it goes for you if you do try it!

  10. Hello, this sounds great and I signed up for and downloaded it, etc. but, my sole purpose is to be able to watch Downton Abbey when it begins in September in the U.K. If I go to itv and try to create an account it won't allow me to because I have a U.S. postal code... any other suggestions? Thanks!

  11. Hi Dorothy! Thanks for stopping by! I know how you feel about wanting to see Downton as it airs instead of waiting another 4 more months for it to come to the US! That was my motivation exactly in finding a better way to view it then the really poor quality cheater uploaded versions... I forgot about where they ask you for an address...I used one from when I lived in the UK prob just could type in any address as long as it has valid UK postal code which you could google... I don't know any other way around that... Hope that helps!

  12. how long after a show appears on itv is it available to watch online? Is it next day like here in the US?

    1. They are usually up (depending on the show) for like 28 days or something like that...Downton Abbey last year had episodes up for a few weeks at least...but then they take them down... :) Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Hi Jeanine,
    I signed on for the Tunnel Bear trial. Not sure if I have this right. I log in to Tunnel Bear....indicate UK and turn on.....will it have a spot to click for DA season 4 or do I have to go to another spot (ITV?) to locate it?
    I am looking forward to seeing the show but it just won't be the same without Cousin Matthew. It was the Matthew/ Mary connection that drew me to the show over and over again.

    1. Yes, sign on to tunnel bear, switch to UK. Then you will have to go to ITV player ( and plug in downton abbey and it will allow you to watch. It will ask you to register a uk address I think in a pop up can plug in a uk address zip code and it will allow you.

      I know what you mean though, I was about to sign off for good from downton abbey when I saw that last episode. I am still a bit hesitant but will watch it tonight because I must you know :) We shall see... :)Let me know what you think!

  14. Do I have to get the ITV Player app to be able to watch ITV? I want to watch Downton, but I can't download the app from itunes because I don't have a UK account! Will I be able to watch from the website?

    1. You don't need to download an app to watch it as far as i know. Once you have tunnel bear you just go to ITV player site ( and click on the downton episode. It will ask you to register a uk address...put in an address with a correct postal zip code and you should be ok to see it. And yes, it is from that site that you will be watching it.

  15. So, the only way you can set up an account is to use a UK address? If you manage to set up an account, how to you pay for subscription? Visa? And what about the difference between the billing address (USA) and the account address? Any trouble there?

  16. There is no problems with using any credit cards and a us address to process the subscription. You wont need a UK address for BBC player it will just work, only ITV requires it. Good luck!! :)

  17. Hi! I was trying to watch Downton, but it was asking me to pay per episode. Did you not say that the 4.99 included free viewing of all the shows? Is it possible that because I am still viewing for free (I am watching The Paradise because it wouldn't let me watch Downton) that that is why iTV is asking for payment per episode? Or have I possibly missed a step? Thanks so much for sharing and for helping me!

  18. How to watch bbc and itv shows in usa This site shows you how you can watch British TV anywhere. ... All the major UK TV stations broadcast online, BBC, ITV, Sky and Channels 4 and 5. Unfortunately although you can watch all of these from the UK, they are normally inaccessible htmlIt's something most of us find out fairly quickly when we move or travel abroad.

  19. Hi, I would like to know if I purchase the annual subscription, can I access my tunnelbear from more than one device. I ask because I have children that are electronic hogs. I have a smarttv that I would like to use this on but if they are using it can I still access my tunnelbear from another internet ready device or will I have to purchase a subscription for each device?

    1. Hmm...good question! I am thinking because you must download it on the device you are using it probably are limited to that device only... However it does give you the option to sign in, so it's worth a try to try to sign in on another device...Maybe try the cheapest option first so you can test it before buying more expensive subscription... Best wishes! Let us know if it works!...

  20. Will I be able to watch World Cup 2014 which is going to broadcast on BBC and ITV?

    1. probably! If they post them to BBC iplayer and ITV player you will... You could always take out the 4.99 subscription first if you want to and see before going to the upgrade... it would let you view probably two hours' worth of viewing time... good luck!

  21. thanks for the article. For those who live outside UK and want to access iTV, you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.

  22. Thanks for the article Jeanine. I don’t see iTV coming to my country anytime soon. However, there are plenty of workarounds available to access it here in my country. Personally, I use UnoTelly for more than a year and I can access iTV like I am in UK.


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