How to Get BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 outside UK

How to Get BBC iPlayer on Apple TV in USA, Australia, Canada, UAE, and anywhere else outside UK? BBC iPlayer has just been added to the new Apple TV 4 in the UK. The BBC iPlayer is one of the most sought after streaming channels in the world. So there’s no wonder that UK expats and UK TV enthusiasts in USA, Canada, Spain, Australia, France, UAE, are searching for a way to unblock and watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 outside UK. In this help guide, I will show you how to get, unblock, and watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 abroad using Smart DNS or VPN. Both methods will allow you to bypass georestrictions and thus access UK TV apps on Apple TV 4.

Unblock Watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 outside UK via VPN or Smart DNS Proxy
Unblock Watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 outside UK via VPN or Smart DNS Proxy

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Create a UK iTunes Account on Apple TV 4 – Unblock UK App Store

In order to get UK apps and channels on your Apple TV 4, you have to switch your iTunes to UK using a UK Apple ID. Follow these steps to create a UK Apple ID without the need for a credit card.

On your PC/or Mac:
1. In iTunes, log out of your current iTunes account. This step is very important.
2. At the bottom of the iTunes Store, change your region to UK.
3. Go find any free app.
4. Click ‘Get’
5. It will then ask you to create an account and will now offer the ‘no card’ option. You’ll create a new user name and password for this ‘new account’
6. Enter an address that’s local to that region while selecting no card.
7. From your Apple TV 4, log out of your iTunes account from within your settings.
8. Login with the new UK Apple ID you have just created.
9. You can now change your iTunes region on Apple TV 4 to UK and get UK apps like BBC iPlayer.

BBC iPlayer on Apple TV outside UK – Unblock with VPN

If you already use VPN, you can unblock BBC iPlayer on your Apple TV by connecting to a UK VPN server. As you can see, you’ll get the following message: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”BBC iPlayer GeoBlocked

If not, get a VPN account by signing up with a VPN provider like ExpressVPN. This will change your IP address to a UK IP address, practically tricking UK channels to think you are located in the UK.

  • Apple TV 4 does not have a VPN client i.e. it is not VPN-enabled. You have to install VPN on your router instead.
  • Once you have established a VPN connection all your traffic will appear to be coming from the UK. Hence, you can watch UK TV like BBC, iTV, Demand 5, Channel 5, TV Player, and Sky on your Apple TV 4 and other streaming devices overseas.
  • In addition to removing geo-restrictions, VPN also encrypts your traffic to prevent possible online eavesdroppers from spying on what you are doing online.

BBC iPlayer UnblockedI have tested ExpressVPN and can confirm that it unblocks BBC iPlayer on Apple TV outside UK. You can use other VPN providers to watch BBC iPlayer abroad as well.

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BBC iPlayer on Apple TV outside UK – Watch using Smart DNS

Unfortunately, installing the BBC iPlayer channel on Apple TV 4 is not enough. You still have to spoof your location in order to watch on-demand and live BBC content. You can do so using Smart DNS. Using Smart DNS allows you to bypass regional restrictions which would usually block you from watching geoblocked content like BBC iPlayer, ITV, Now TV.

  • Sign up with a Smart DNS service that supports unblocking BBC iPlayer on Apple TV. A good example would be Unlocator.
  • Setup Smart DNS by configuring Unlocator DNS codes on Apple TV 4.
  • Watch BBC iPlayer, iTV, Now TV, UK Netflix and other geoblocked apps on Apple TV 4 overseas.
  • You can also use Unlocator to unblock American channels like HBO Now, Hulu, NBA League Pass on Apple TV 4.

Signing up with Unlocator is free and does not require a credit card. In total, Unlocator helps you access around 214 geoblocked streaming app. Not all of these apps are compatible with Apple TV 4 however.

Best UK TV Apps on Apple TV 4 in 2015

  • BBC iPlayer
  • TVPlayer
  • Zattoo
  • Netflix
  • ITV*
  • 4oD*
  • Demand 5*
  • Youtube

*These apps are yet to be released on Apple TV 4.

How to unblock and watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4

Given the abscence of BBC iPlayer on older generation Apple TVs, the arrival of the BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 will come as pleasent news for UK TV enthusiasts around the world. All you need to unblock and watch BBC iPlayer outside UK is Smart DNS or VPN.

44 thoughts on “How to Get BBC iPlayer on Apple TV 4 outside UK”

  1. Boris Stringer

    Hi Isso, I am also having an issue with the BBC activation, same as John a few months ago…..did you ever find a fix for that?

  2. Hi Charles, I used your advice to set up my Apple TV to get UK apps earlier this year, everything has been working great until this weekend. I wanted to download some board games from Jackbox TV but to do so I had to switch accounts to my regular iTunes as the iTunes account I was using was not linked to any payment methods. Basically I now seem to have lost the ability to watch Netflix in the process, the app is still there but each time I try to sign in it says “Sorry, we had trouble logging you in. Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again later”.
    This is definitely to do with the DNS, as my laptop and phone will both log into Netflix fine, and when I restored the Apple TV to factory settings I was able to log into Netflix fine until I changed the DNS again.
    Is there a work around for this? Would I just have to switch/disable the accounts around every time I want to watch Netflix?

  3. Basically that seems to be the case Charles. The demo video states that after keying in the special activation code from their pc that the next step is to press “confirm” from their tv remote. I don’t seem to have that feature on my Apple TV 4K remote in order to do this.

  4. Hi Charles, I successfully installed bbc iplayer app on my Apple TV 4K through Getflix. However, on opening the app I’m being asked to sign in which is ok as I had previously setup an iplayer account. After signing in though one is asked to log on to from a pc and to key in the activation code that appears on the tv app. All of this I did successfully but I can’t seem to figure out a way around how to CONFIRM the actual code itself as a final step in the setup process. Any ideas?

  5. Hi, smart DNS works for me and also created a UK account. As BBC1 and ITV1 both have regional services in the UK I can’t seem to get these 2 channels to work. Channel 4 and 5 as well as BBC 2,3,4 and ITV 2,3,4 all work. Any idea what I’m doing wrong to get these 2 channels to work?

    1. Hello Jamester. Which Smart DNS proxy are you currently using? Are you unable to watch both live and on-demand content on BBC1 and ITV1?

  6. Hi Dick here, I can’t get past the request for a UK phone number when setting up a UK itunes account!
    Does anyone have a work around??

  7. Hi Charles, I’ve done everything you said using the Smart DNS, it’s all changed and I’m logged in. I can see the iplayer app but when I try to install it doesn’t complete loading, the circle just spins round and round. I don’t have home WiFi and I use pocket WiFi for my Apple TV but haven’t had problems downloading apps before.

      1. Yes, I’ve logged in with it and iplayer and other apps are available to download but when I click install they just don’t get anywhere.

  8. I have Apple 4 box & Getflix VPN/DNS. Previously this worked but not this time even though the Apple box says my DNS is that given by Getflix but TV player app still says “not available in your region” Any ideas please ??

  9. Anthony Papadopoulos

    This method no longer works as when you try to create a UK iTunes account you are now prompted to type in a UK cell number where a verification code is sent in order to create the new UK Apple ID. Any ideas?

  10. Does it make a difference if I buy the (new) Apple TV from the Apple Store in the UK or here in Spain. I will be using it with a Smart DNS service here anyway. Thanks.

    1. Charles Roswell

      As long as it is an Apple TV 4, that shouldn’t be an issue really. You do need to sign in to the iTunes store using a UK Apple ID to be able to download UK apps to your Apple TV though.

  11. i have sucessfully loaded iplayer to apple tv 4 and the app shows all programmes which are up to date but when i try to open a programme the video dosnt load
    there is only the loading icon showing

  12. If you switch your iTunes account to the UK will that deactivate any US apps on the Apple TV 4 like HBO, Showtime, etc?

    1. Charles Roswell

      Hi Nick. No, not at all. All the apps you have installed previously will stay intact. If you’re done installing UK apps and wish to switch back to your American iTunes account, simply sign out of the British account and sign back in using your US account.

  13. I am getting iPlayer via a vpn on my iPad. The problem comes when I try to mirror streaming content to the tv via an Apple TV box. I get a message, ” An error occurred while loading this content”. Any suggestions?

    1. Charles Roswell

      Hi Tony. Are you using an Apple TV 4 or any older version? Also, are you using a VPN or Smart DNS proxy service?

      1. Well, I bought the Apple TV box about 4 years ago, so probably not the latest. I have been trying with a VPN on my iPad and also on a router , though with an old internet protocol. Using the latter, it suddenly burst into life last night, though apparently through no action on my part. A friend locally runs Apple TV , a freebie vpn on his iPad and has no problem. All seems a bit strange and unpredictable. One suggestion which has been mooted is to flash my router with proprietary software to bring the protocol up to date and run a VPN from there. This is definitely at the boundaries of my comfort zone and I have difficulty finding a source for the software compatible with the tplink router

  14. I want to get BBC, but don’t want to lose access to my other apps – if I switch to a UK location to download BBC iPlayer, can I switch back to a US location and still use it, or do I have to remain in virtual Cornwall or something?

    1. Hi Sadie. With Smart DNS, you should be able to retain access to your local channels while unblocking BBC iPlayer at the same time. If you are using VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer, you have to turn on VPN and connect to a UK server as long as your are watching BBC.

    2. TVPlayer is now (4 May 17) requiring the Apple TV 4 location services be turned on, so is refusing to work outside UK using a DNS proxy. Any workaround for this? Worrying, since it’s only a matter of time before the others follow suit…..

  15. Hi, I’ve bought a router and set up the VPN on it with ExpressVPN, it seems to be working as when I go onto on my computer (through the router) it says my current location is London and services such as BBC iPlayer work on my PC. I have set up a UK Apple ID with a UK card, now all I need is to be 100% sure that the Apple TV will work as it if was in the UK. I recently bought a Roku stick and did the same with that but it would only show me US channels (despite me actually being in France), since I couldn’t get the Roku to work I decided to look into the Apple TV 4th Gen, I just need to be sure it’ll work because it’s quite a bit more expensive and I don’t want to invest the money if I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to get my UK telly fix on the TV rather than on my PC.

  16. I can confirm this is working, fyi, BBC Asian Network does not have a dedicated channel in BBC iPlayer but they do feature certain content from them in iPlayer.

  17. Hi there, I’ve successfully used Unlocator to change the DNS in my Apple TV 4 and watch BBC iPlayer. The downside is that Netflix no longer works. All I get is a message that basically says I’m using an unblocker or proxy which I need to turn off. Any suggestions?

  18. Isso,

    Can you confirm that you can still unblock BBC iPlayer outside the UK using Unlocator Smart DNS?

    At your advice, I’ve gone to the site to sign up for a free trial, however, there is a note on the Regions Settings page about old methods for unblocking not working going forward.

    If you can no longer use Unlocator to access iPlayer can you recommend another Smart DNS?

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