Watching UK TV on your PS3 from outside the UK

January 25, 2011 21 comments



After living outside the UK for a while now, I have come to appreciate that UK TV is actually quite good and I miss it.

While some UK TV channels are available over the internet, if you are outside the UK, access to the sites is blocked.

This tutorial shows how to gain access to the UK TV sites from outside the UK using a PC/Mac. It also shows how to get the UK TV sites to work on a PS3.

Tutorial Steps
  1. Configuring the network
  2. Setting up a UK VPN
  3. Setting up the proxy server
  4. Configuring the PS3
Required
  • A PS3 (UK Version with the iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player icons installed)
  • A PC/Mac
  • An Internet Connection
  • Some basic networking and PC/Mac skills

 

1. Configuring the Network

A static LAN IP Address is required on the PC/Mac, because if a DHCP server ever assigns a different IP Address to the PC/Mac you would need to change the PS3 configuration.
If you are certain the PC/Mac has a static IP Address already, get the IP Address and Subnet Mast and move onto the next section, if not complete the steps below.

  1. Configure a static LAN IP Address on your PC/Mac
  2. Ensure the Address you assign is excluded from the range of IP Addresses used by your DHCP server (Normally running on your router/modem
  3. Make a note of your IP Address and Subnet Mask

 

2. Setting up a UK VPN

First a quick lesson on how networks and more specifically the internet works.

Everything (Computer, Webserver, Games Console, Internet Enabled Toaster etc) has a unique IP Address on the internet just like your home network.

A central authority allocates all IP Addresses and registers the location of the IP Addresses as they are allocated.

UK TV websites determine your location by looking at your IP Address when connecting to it, if the IP Address connecting to the TV website is not registered in the UK, access is blocked.

A UK VPN service tricks the UK TV website into thinking you are in the UK by making the connection to the UK TV website on your behalf, then sending the TV channel stream back to your PC/Mac.

Implementation
  1. Subscribe to a UK VPN service. This will cost a small amount each month however it is 100% worth paying for as the free ones can be very unreliable. A great VPN service is http://www.Overplay.net however you can compare a number of UK VPN services using a site like http://www.vpnreviews.com
  2. Configure the VPN. Each VPN service supplies its own configuration, so simply follow the instructions provided by the website. This tutorial assumes overplay.net was chosen and the Overplay VPN client was installed, however if you use another provider simply follow any VPN configuration steps provided by VPN service
  3. Open the Overplay VPN client (Shown Below), Select one of the UK sites from the drop down list and click “Connect”, entering the correct username and password when prompted
  4. OK so step 1 is complete. You now have access to UK TV websites on your PC/Mac. To test simply open your web browser and browse to the site of your choice E.G BBC iPlayer/ITV Player

 

3. Setting up the Proxy Server

A VPN cannot be configured on a PS3, so instead we need to connect to the internet via the PC/Mac with the UK VPN connection.

This is done by installing proxy server software on your PC/Mac, the proxy software simply connects to internet services on your behalf and sends you back all data it receives.

You will need to determine the network address from the IP Address from the previous step. Assuming your subnet mask is 255.255.255.0 (/24) if your IP A

ddress is 192.168.0.x, your network address is 192.168.0.0/24. If you IP Address is 192.168.1.x, your network address is 192.168.1.0/24.

Implementation
  1. Download and install proxy server software onto your PC/Mac. The best one available for a Mac is “Squidman” (http://web.me.com/adg/squidman/index.html) which is simply a management utility for the great open source proxy “squid”. A good one for a PC is “ccproxy” (http://www.youngzsoft.net/ccproxy)
  2. Configure the Proxy.This tutorial will assume the use of Squidman on a Mac, however the configuration for ccproxy is almost the same. There are two configurations required, clients and port, leave everything else unless you really know what you are doing.
  3. Clients: (Shown Below) Open Squidman, install squid when prompted then open preferences. Click Clients, then enter the network address E.G. 192.168.0.0/24
  4. Ports: (Shown Below) In the Squidman preferences panel click general and make a note of the port number. The default is 3128
  5. Start Squid. To allow the proxy to start receiving connections from devices on your network, click “Start Squid”
  6. Ok so step 2 is complete. You can now configure your PS3 to connect to the internet via your PC/Mac

4.  Configuring the PS3

The PS3 now needs to be told to connect to the internet via the PC/Mac with the VPN connection and proxy software. This will trick the Uk TV sites into thinking the PS3 is connecting from the UK.

Implementation
If you are not familiar with the PS3 configuration, check out the manual first here: http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/settings/connectadvance.html
  1. Open Settings->Network Settings ->Internet Connection Settings
  2. Click Yes when promoted to disconnect from the internet temporarily, then simply browse to the Proxy Server screen (Shown Below), click “Use” then enter the IP Address and port of your PC/Mac E.G:
    • Proxy Server: 192.168.1.2
    • Port 3128
  3. Save all configuration and exit the Settings menu system
  4. So now the PS3 should be able to stream from the UK TV sites. To test simply go to the iPlayer icon at the home screen and try stream your favourite TV show!

Important Notes
  • If the VPN is disconnected for whatever reason the proxy must be stopped, then restarted after the VPN connection is re-established.
  • You are required to purchase a UK TV license if you watch UK BBC channels

Revamp your guitar electronics!

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment


Ever wanted to upgrade your guitar electronics?

This guide shows how to install a pre-wired assembly from Rothstein guitars into a Fender Jazzmaster guitar.

There are also a few hints and tips to make this daunting task a bit easier.

Click here to download:

Fender Jazzmaster Electronics Replacement (lowres).pdf (7455 KB)

Free TOGAF 9 Exam Study Guide

December 1, 2010 6 comments
I recently passed the Level 1 + 2 TOGAF 9 exams and became a Certified TOGAF 9 Architect.
While I still have the exams and study running around my head I thought I would create a study guide for budding TOGAF architects to use.

This is a short document that highlights areas to study in order to pass the exams, it has some example questions but mainly focuses on study areas and content that should be fully understood before taking the exam. It also explains the difference between the exams and how best to study for and pass each.

Good luck for anyone taking the exams and if you have anything to say, please feel free to comment using the site, thanks.
Click here to download:

TOGAF 9 Exam Study Guide.pdf (336 KB)

Dropbox – Have all your important files everywhere

October 11, 2010 1 comment


Dropbox is nothing short of fantastic!

It syncs your files/folders across all your computers, laptops and devices (iPhone, iPad, Macs, PCs, etc..) and gives you a big chunk of space free (~2GB).

I have loads of devices, work laptop, personal laptops, iMac etc etc, before drop box I was constantly copying or emailing files around from place to place making sure I didn’t overwrite the most recent copy..blah blah blah….

Now with Dropbox I simply place files I want to be available everywhere into a nominated folder, within a few seconds (or minutes if it’s a lot of data) the files are available on all devices and even on the web if I am some place with internet access and no computer.

Whener I need access to an important file on the move, I simply fire up the Dropbox app for the iPhone and get the file.

Now the best part is, anyone can get Dropbox for free, however if you get it by clicking the link below, you and I automatically get some extra space added to our accounts for free!

Check it out, I guarantee you’ll like it 🙂
Categories: Personal, Technology

Killer Phone App – No Really…..

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Fun, Stupidity, Technology

Sinkhole swallows building!!!

June 2, 2010 1 comment

It may look like a cool Photoshop edit but this is real!

A sinkhole in Guatemala consumed an entire 3 story building.

Sinkholes are apparently caused by excess moisture in the earth beneath which eventually collapses and consumes all above.

 

Categories: Just Plain Cool, Science

Newsgroups – The Basics

May 9, 2010 Leave a comment
Lots of people have asked me about newsgroups recently, “What are they?”, “What do people use them for?”, “How do they work”, “How do I set it all up?”.
So if you would like to know the answers to any of these questions, read on……
If however you just want to download files from newsgroups and you don’t really care how it works, jump to the “Quick setup” section at the bottom of this article.
Sorry this is Windows and Mac only, I may put together a Linux guide at some point soon.

 

What are they?
Usenet newsgroups are an age old way for people to exchange information related to a newsgroup topic.
Just like a forum, people post questions and other people answer them, or people post information or files they wish to share on particular topics, allowing other newsgroup users to download the information or files.
You can find a newsgroup for any topic, yes I do mean ANY topic.
The topic of a newsgroup is normally embedded in the name following a dotted format, some random examples are below to give you a rough idea:
  • misc.legal.moderated
  • news.admin.net-abuse.blocklisting
  • rec.sport.cricket
  • alt.2600
  • alt.sex.bondage
  • alt.tv.simpsons

 

What do people use them for?
Some newsgroups are totally text based and used as discussion boaards.
However as the available internet bandwidth increases, so does the size of content posted.
Over time the size of files posted on newsgroups has grown, so nowadays it’s common to see newsgroups used to share documents, movie files, games, software and music.

 

How do they work?

Above: A News Reader, connecting to a News Server over the Internet
Below: A News Readers, connecting to a News Server which is replicating with multiple News Providers

Newsgroups consist of news servers and news readers.News readers connect to news servers over the internet to interact with the news servers.
There is a limit to the size of a post on a newsgroup, so if anything is posted above the size limit it is split into multiple parts, with each part placed onto the news server as an individual post.
To download the entire original post including all associated parts, the news reader software first downloads all the parts then assembles them together to form the complete original post.
The protocol used to transfer information between the news server and news reader is NNTP, for additional security this NNTP traffic is sometimes encrypted using SSL.
Newsgroups have evolved recently, allowing very large files to be downloaded very easily, the process is as follows:
  1. Files are uploaded to a newsgroup post, the post is split into multiple parts at the news server
  2. The multiple parts are indexed into a single NZB file by an NZB indexing site
  3. The NZB file is opened by NZB reader software which downloads all the parts and assembles the part into the original posted files

 

How do I set it all up?
You will need a news provider and news software (simple news reader or NZB reader software)

 

Choosing the right news provider
Behind the scenes there are actually numerous news servers all replicating with each other rather one single source. A news provider has simply setup one or many news servers which replicate with other news servers.
The qualities to look for in a news provider are:
  • Retention (How long they keep the replicated copies for before deleting them)
  • Coverage (How many newsgroups they host)
  • Download limits (How much you are allowed to download from the news servers)
  • SSL (If you wish to make it harder for people to see what you are posting/downloading, some news providers allow SSL encryption to be used)
  • Bandwidth (Affects how fast you can post or download information)
There is some good information about news providers here: http://www.newsgroupservers.net
However if you just want to use newsgroups as discussion groups you may find that your ISP already offers a very limited free news provider service.

 

Choosing news software
If you wish to simply use newsgroups as discussion forums (Mainly text based) you just need a news reader.
A good site to find news reader software for any platform is www.newsreaders.com.

 

However if you want to download files from newsgroups you need NZB reader software and an NZB indexing site.
  • Two popular NZB readers are Newsbin Pro (www.newsbin.com) and Newsleecher (www.newsleecher.com)
  • A great All-In-One solution is SABnzbd (www.sabnzb.org), which is a web based tool which downloads, repairs + extracts nzb files. It is available for PC + Mac
For Mac NZB readers check below:

 

NZB Indexing Sites
Two great free NZB indexing sites are www.nzbs.org and www.nzbmatrix.com, however if you would prefer to pay for a better NZB site a great one is www.newzbin.com.

 

NZB problems
Downloads are often incomplete or broken due to the underlying technology behind newsgroups. Luckily there is an easy way to repair any broken downloads!
When a post is downloaded, as well as the original zip/rar files there are also some .par or .par2 files, these contain the information required to rebuild any damaged or incomplete download.
To repair a damaged or incomplete download, simply open the .par or .par2 files up in Quick Par (www.quickpar.org.uk) and it will automatically repair the downloaded post!

 

So that’s the basics of newsgroups, the section below is a very succinct step by step guide to downloading files from newsgroups.

 

Quick Setup
1. Subscribe to www.newshosting.com or www.giganews.com (Make sure you get a package with SSL if you don’t want people to see what you are downloading)
2. Download newsleecher from www.newsleecher.com (If you like it buy it, if not search google for free nzb readers)
3. Configure newsleecher to use your news provider from step 1
4. Register at www.nzbs.org
5. Search for something you want to download at www.nzbs.org then click “Download NZB”
6. Newsleecher should intercept the NZB and start to download it automatically
7. Download and install Quick Par from www.quickpar.org.uk, for Mac par file handlers see below:
8. Once your download has finished, check and repair if needed by opening the .par or .par2 files in quickpar
9. Download a trial version of winrar from http://www.rarlab.com and use this to extract the zip or rar files you downloaded
Mac users, check out the list below for handling rar archives:

 

So in summary, you search for files to download on an NZB indexing site (Steps 4+5), you download files from a News Provider (Step 1) using an NZB Reader (Steps 2+3+6) and you repair any broken files using Quick Par (Steps 7+8).