How to Watch NOW TV on PS3
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start by getting a VPN-enabled router
- Then get a VPN account setup
- Download and install VPN software onto your device
- Open VPN software and connect to UK-based server
- Connect VPN to VPN-enabled router
- Login to NOW TV account or create one if you do not have one already
- Enjoy NOW TV on PS3
How to watch NOW TV on PS3 in more detail:
NOW TV is an on-demand media streaming service in the UK that is growing in popularity. I discovered it a few months ago and have quickly become addicted to the awesome library of TV shows this service offers.
I began regularly watching it through my PS3, which was super simple to setup. Basically just connect your PS3 to your main WiFi network, then download the NOW TV service directly onto your PS3 and signup for a NOW TV account. Simple as that.
So when I was taking a trip to the US, I was looking forward to introducing my stateside friends to this great media streaming service, and the shows they would be able to get into on it. My friend also uses a PS3 to watch 99% of his media on his home television, so I would know exactly how to setup the service in less than a minute.
However, upon landing in NYC, getting settled into my friend's apartment and then telling him to signup for a NOW TV account -- I was disappointed to see that this great service is simply unavailable to users that are not physically located inside the UK.
I had got my mate all excited about watching some new British TV shows on-demand, only for him to be presented with this error message upon trying to signup:
Bah! I was raging, but not ready to admit defeat. There must be a way to figure out how to watch NOW TV on PS3 devices in the US -- it's 2016 for crying out loud!
So I set to find a solution that would allow my US mate to get NOW TV on his PS3 effectively and fully. It took me a bit of research and time, but I figure out a solution. Thus, I want to share this quick guide on how to do it.
Why Would NOW TV be Unavailable on PS3?
Although NOW TV is incredibly straightforward to setup on a PS3 back in the UK, clearly there was a logical reason as to why the service does not let users in the US join and enjoy the great shows they offer.
I quickly found out that the reason I couldn't access NOW TV in the states was because of licensing agreements made between NOW TV and the owners of each show they offer on the service. You see, in order to offer the shows they do, NOW TV must buy licensing rights for every show, however, these rights only grant them license to offer the shows in the UK.
So if NOW TV want to offer their service (and thus the shows on it) to users in the US, or anywhere outside the UK, they would be required to buy the licensing rights for each show in every country they want to offer them on. That comes out to a LOT of money. Thus, NOW TV just stick to offering their service in the UK.
How is NOW TV Blocking Access on PS3?
Now, to fully understand why the solution I describe below works so effectively, you should understand exactly how NOW TV manage to block users attempting to signup for the service from outside the UK.
After further research, I discovered that NOW TV uses a technical process known as 'geo-blocking'. This process acts as a door placed in front of the NOW TV service. When a user arrives on the service to signup, this wall is able to determine the location of the user by checking their IP address. If the user is located within the UK at that moment, then the wall will lift and give them access instantly -- but if the user is not located in the UK at that moment; no access is given.
So ultimately, the reason you are granted or denied access to NOW TV comes down to your IP address, since this is what NOW TV reference in order to figure out your location. This means that if you can change your IP address somehow to "show" your location as within the UK (without having to actually be located in the UK); you should therefore get past the geo-blocking wall and get access to NOW TV.
Once I knew that it was my IP address that gives away my location to NOW TV, I quickly set to researching the best methods to change my IP address to a UK-based one. As it turns out, there are a few valid approaches to changing your IP address, like SmartDNS and Proxy tools among others. However, I quickly came to the conclusion the the solution which offers the most effective IP-address change with the most benefits, is through using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short.
So the solution is to use a VPN on your PS3 WiFi connection to change your IP address and give you access. Simple! After checking out a bunch of VPN service providers (there are a lot!) I settled on using ExpressVPN, just because it offers the best value for my budget. I will therefore us this VPN as the example while I walk through the step-by-step guide below.
How to Use a VPN to Watch NOW TV on PS3
Step 1: Get VPN Enabled Router
First thing you want to do is grab a VPN enabled router, as this will allow you to install the VPN right onto your home WiFi router. You will then be able to connect your PS3 to this router, automatically connecting the console onto the VPN connection (which will change your PS3's IP address.)
You need to do this because PS3's are not VPN compatible, meaning that you cannot install a VPN directly onto your PS3 console.
PS3 >>> VPN >>> Router
You can grab a VPN enabled router online easily. Here's a quick link to the most popular ones currently available.
Step 2: Sign up for VPN
Step 2 is to pop to the ExpressVPN website and signup for one of their plans that suits your needs best. This is simply a process of choosing a plan, selecting payment method, then confirming your account signup via email.
To give you an idea, here's how the process looked for me when signing up:
This will take just a few minutes. Once your account is confirmed you will be asked to then download the software.
Step 3: Download, Install & Setup VPN Connection on Router
This process is very simple, requiring little to zero technical expertise from you. ExpressVPN actually help out in this setup process by providing a clear and concise guide on how to setup their VPN on a router, which you should check out here.
As you can see in the image below, ExpressVPN have put in a lot of effort to make their software compatible with practically every device you would ever want to watch NOW TV on, however you would have to use a Smart DNS to setup a connection directly on your PS3, which takes a lot of technical steps.
As you will see in the linked-to setup guide, you will only be required to enter the details once to get your VPN fully setup on your router. All you will need to enter after the initial settings setup is whichever server location you want to join each time you want to connect to the VPN.
Step 4: Connect to UK-based Server on VPN
With your router setup and VPN-enabled, you want to make sure you choose to connect to a server location that is based within the UK. This is the all-important step that will effectively change your IP address to make your location "appear" within the UK, even though you are actually on your PS3 sitting in a NYC apartment!
So go ahead and connect to the VPN on your router and you will then be able to jump on your PS3 and signup for NOW TV without being blocked.
If you, like me, already have a NOW TV account - then you simply sign in and start enjoying the fully unblocked NOW TV from your non-UK location. However if you don't have a NOW TV account, then go ahead and sign up for one.
The signup process with require a valid UK postcode, which you can easily find by searching in Google. This signup process should take you just a few minutes, and then you'll be able to enjoy the full NOW TV service!
Thus concludes my solution on how to watch NOW TV on PS3 consoles from outside the UK. If you followed this guide step-by-step then you will be enjoying your NOW TV media from the comfort of your non-UK location on a secure, privacy-protecting VPN connection.
To give you some more options on choosing a VPN service provider, here are the top five VPNs I reviewed for this guide that offer different levels of performance for different budgets:
Thanks for checking out my guide and enjoy watching your favourite NOW TV shows on your PS3 from wherever you are in the world!