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Topic # 160422 6-Jan-2015 11:49
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I got a Chromecast for Christmas and have been playing with it and it's great fun!  But now I'd like to try to get BBC iPlayer working on it (and maybe some of the other UK channels, I'm not interested in Netflix or American services).

I've got a Galaxy S3 as a phone (Android 4.3), and a Galaxy Note 10 tablet (Android 4.1.2), with the latest updates installed (I'm not really interested in running anything other than stock).  I've got a Netgear DGND3700v2 router.

My understanding is that the iPlayer app supports Chromecast.  However the BBC iPlayer app on the Play Store says "This app is incompatible with your device" and won't let me install it.  Is this maybe because they know I'm in NZ and shouldn't be using it?

Where do I go from here?  My understanding is that I need to someone get the BBC iPlayer app onto my phone, and then I need to do something in my router to override the Chromecast's hard-coded DNS addresses.

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  Reply # 1209206 6-Jan-2015 13:29
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You would firstly need to make the google play store think you were in the UK so you could download the apps.
They are geo-blocked in the play store.
To do this you need to install the Hola unblocker app on your android device.
(1)
Them go into settings/application manager and find "google play store"
Clear the data and the cache.
This resets google play to the point where you have never accessed it - so it doesnt know where you are. 
Start Hola unblocker and you shuld be able to find your google play store app and open it (at this point you can set where you are pretending to be). Set it to the UK. When google play connects it asks you to sign in. It should then think you are in the UK. Search for UK apps and install.
Once you have got the apps you want - switch Hola off and go back to (1) When you log back into google play it will think you are in NZ again.

You can clear the play store app and start it again with Hola as often as you want and start it up in any country Hola supports.

(2)
The other thing you need is a geo-unblocker for your internet connection. Try unotelly or unblock-us. They both have a free trial.
Even if you have the apps installed the content wont stream unless you are unblocked. Most of these are easiest set up in your router. You need to change your default ISP DNS servers to the unotelly or unblock-us provided DNS servers.  Have a look at these sites...

(3)
Yep - you probably need to block google DNS that is hardwired into the chromecast.
This would require some rules to be set up in the router - provided it supports this sort of thing.
This is worth read: http://help.unotelly.com/support/articles/200579-how-to-use-chromecast-with-unotelly






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  Reply # 1209217 6-Jan-2015 14:02
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Maybe try the filmon app? It appears to be free for SD quality, and I have found it works ok with chromecast for english channels, and you don't need to go through a proxy.

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  Reply # 1209223 6-Jan-2015 14:05
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What I have done to get this working is to have a router running DD-WRT what sorts out the DNS problem with the Chromecast by routing the Google DNS servers to Unotelly IP addresses .

To get the app onto my devices I have a google account that says it is in the uk and added this to my device, (don't think you need an address in the uk but if you do just use one on the NZpost youshop site) and I usually use Tunnel Bear as the VPN client to make it think I am in the UK at the time I installed the App.
If there are updates needed for it you won't usually see them unless you are connected to a UK IP I have found.

It would usually say the device is not eligible if it was a location problem (you can also try installing it from the online app store too) so it may be that the version of android on the SIII may not be compatible with the app or the screen is too small.
If it is due to the version of Android I would say install Cyanogenmod on it.



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  Reply # 1209250 6-Jan-2015 14:29
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Thanks guys!  I'll give these suggestions a try and report back.

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  Reply # 1209287 6-Jan-2015 15:15
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To save you from having to log out and log in every time you want to download apps on the Play Store, can't you just find the apk on the internet and sideload it? Then you can just focus on the other steps for the router and chromecast..




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  Reply # 1209322 6-Jan-2015 15:38
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You can have multiply accounts setup in the APP store, once you have added your extra google account (turn off email syncing etc if you don't want that stuff) you can just click the menu button at the top right and where it has your email address you click and it gives you the options to use the other google accounts.

It would save having to use the VPN but you may not always be up to date with your apps as I have found it will only prompt me for the updates when I am connected to the VPN.

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  Reply # 1209327 6-Jan-2015 15:49
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Did that Chrome browser plug in for BBC iplayer continue to work?  I used it for the commonwealth games a while back.




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  Reply # 1209329 6-Jan-2015 15:50
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mattwnz: Maybe try the filmon app? It appears to be free for SD quality, and I have found it works ok with chromecast for english channels, and you don't need to go through a proxy.

That works brilliantly!

I've only played with it for 10 minutes but there are heaps of channels, including the UK ones that I want, and the quality is really good.

Of course this is really only good for live TV (although they do offer some recording and a large on-demand library of old movies, etc).  I'm guessing that the BBC iPlayer app would allow me to watch anything that's been on BBC TV over the last week or so?  That would be good to get going.



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  Reply # 1209357 6-Jan-2015 16:17
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sonyxperiageek: To save you from having to log out and log in every time you want to download apps on the Play Store, can't you just find the apk on the internet and sideload it? Then you can just focus on the other steps for the router and chromecast..

Thanks for the suggestion.  I found the latest version and side loaded it onto my phone.  The app seems to work just fine, it lets me browse channels and TV shows, and talks to my Chromecast.  But when I try to watch anything I get an error that simply says "An error has occurred".  No mention of location but I'm assuming it's because I'm not in the UK.

So next step is to get the router / DNS side of things sorted.



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  Reply # 1209463 6-Jan-2015 19:34
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Well that was easier than I thought!

I blocked 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 on my router and tested it by trying to ping them and the ping failed, showing that the blocking was working.

Then I signed up for a free 14 day trial with dns4me.com (no credit card needed) and told my router to use their DNS service.  After restarting everything the BBC iPlayer app started casting video to my Chromecast just fine, in fact I was very impressed with the quality of the streaming.

The dns4me.com service has to know your IP address before it will work properly, and since I'm not on a static IP I either have to log in and update my IP address whenever it changes (i.e. when I turn the router off) or set up a dynamic DNS (my Netgear router allows this and Netgear even run their own free service via No-IP).

Next step is to see if I can get ITV and Channel 4 working, I believe they have their own apps too.

One side note: TV3 and 4 on-demand works great when casting from a Chrome tab.  TVNZ doesn't work for me, I just get a black rectangle where the video should go.  If I mouse over the video space then I get the controls come up, but pausing and restarting still does nothing for me.  Does it work for anyone else?

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  Reply # 1209486 6-Jan-2015 20:17
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One side note: TV3 and 4 on-demand works great when casting from a Chrome tab.  TVNZ doesn't work for me, I just get a black rectangle where the video should go.  If I mouse over the video space then I get the controls come up, but pausing and restarting still does nothing for me.  Does it work for anyone else?


I think it might be the DRM on TVNZ that is causing you problems. I wonder what would happen if you used Firefox and mirrored the session for TVNZ?

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  Reply # 1209488 6-Jan-2015 20:20
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With 4 on demand I found you have to have your device set to UK time to work, I don't know if the ITV app supports Chromecast or not yet.

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  Reply # 1209693 7-Jan-2015 09:18
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Bananabob:

One side note: TV3 and 4 on-demand works great when casting from a Chrome tab.  TVNZ doesn't work for me, I just get a black rectangle where the video should go.  If I mouse over the video space then I get the controls come up, but pausing and restarting still does nothing for me.  Does it work for anyone else?


I think it might be the DRM on TVNZ that is causing you problems. I wonder what would happen if you used Firefox and mirrored the session for TVNZ?


Yeah I asked this question on the main Chromecast thread.

Tried my inlaws Chromecast and found the same thing.  Did a straight mirror thing from the Chromecast app, (the mirror said it was a Beta feature), and when we fired up the TVNZ on demand app on the android tablet it went blank when the show started.  The pre show advertisements played on both the tablet and the tv, but not the show, which played on the tablet only.

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  Reply # 1209712 7-Jan-2015 09:49
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Bananabob:

One side note: TV3 and 4 on-demand works great when casting from a Chrome tab.  TVNZ doesn't work for me, I just get a black rectangle where the video should go.  If I mouse over the video space then I get the controls come up, but pausing and restarting still does nothing for me.  Does it work for anyone else?


I think it might be the DRM on TVNZ that is causing you problems. I wonder what would happen if you used Firefox and mirrored the session for TVNZ?


TVNZ on demand works no problems for me and I use it daily. I normally fire it up on my PC and cast the tab to the Chromecast once the video starts playing.




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  Reply # 1209725 7-Jan-2015 10:06
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For what its worth - I wondered if it was just me - but I have found that Android apps seem to buffer/stutter/not work and generally be a bit fragile.

The bbc iplayer app for example would play ok on android for 20 minutes of so - then start pausing every few minutes.
I even downloaded a whole program first (they let you do that and watch for something like 7 days) - this started doing the pause thing.
Finally I found a post where the BBC said it was an android issue and that they had notified google and that there wasnt anything they could do about it. http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv/android_4.3.3_downloads Accessing BBC iplayer via a PC web browser works fine.

Likewise I downloaded the channel5 (uk) app to the Fire TV. Has worked once or twice when I first installed it - Hasnt/wont work since. I see lots of people saying its a terrbile app that wont work. Yet going to their website on a PC browser works fine.

The UK 4od app on my Samsung smart TV (not Android AFAIK)  seems to just decide to stop quite randomly sometimes. Again - access via a PC browser is fine.

If you look at the reviews of a lot of apps on google play you get quite a chunk of users that have issues.

I'd have to say that the interfaces on some of the apps is really bad as well - quite often they only show a very small amount of content compared to the full website versions.

Perhaps the streaming protocols/methods that a PC might use are more robust than however the apps handle it - I dont know.
What I have found the most reliable means of getting content to the TV is just streaming to the chromecast from my PC - so I have kinda decided that seems the way to go these days.
 




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