How to watch RTÉ online


Information about how to watch RTÉ from outside Ireland.

If you are an Irish television license holder, and you happen to be abroad on a holiday or for business there isn’t any way you can access the programs you’ve paid your €160/year license fee. With services like the BBC iPlayer you can download the content in advance of your trip, and then watch it while you are travelling. RTÉ’s Player currently doesn’t have this feature where you can selected to watch content later.  Instead you will be pushed to the international version of the RTE Players offering. This international player is a watered down version of what you would see when in Ireland, while it’s still functional it’s just not the same as what you would get when being physically in Ireland.
This version of the player only shows a limited content, such as the Six One news or Nationwide and a selection of the in house produced content. For live content or for showing the GAA championship then you are simply out of luck. RTÉ also fail to offer a paid option like the BBC international, here the BBC give access to their content for a monthly fee which can be watched in 11 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

Watching RTE abroad

If you are away then you either have two options, wait until you get home and hope that it’s still on the RTE player, or you can use a proxy for your computer. This proxy will redirect your internet traffic through Ireland, and will appear for all intents and purposes that you are actually in Ireland. We have compared proxy offerings for a few companies that will allow you to do this. Each of them work in a similar way, where you buy access on a month by month basis. One month will probably be enough for you while you are away on your trip. Then you need to following their simple instructions to configure your Mac or Windows PC and away you go. You will be able to stream the All Ireland finals from the comfort of your hammock in Spain or while you are doing your visit to London.

Buy a VPN now for $9.95 (about €8) a month

You can get a Irish IP address for less than €7 and be online watching TV in 10 minutes. You can watch Irish TV online via this streaming website.

The easiest way to watch RTE is via the SmartDNS option. It takes about 3 minutes to set everything up, and we have guides to show you how to change your DNS settings.

Channels covered

Here is a list of what Irish channels we were able to test & what which worked.

  • RTÉ1 (live & playback)
  • RTÉ2 (live & playback)
  • RTE Jnr (live & playback)
  • TV3 (live & playback)
  • TG4 (live & playback)

We were not able to test if UPC on Demand TV or Sky Go worked, but if they do please let us know in the commends. We have put together a full list of links to what Irish channels you can view online.


  • update : 7/11/2014 : to watch Love Hate on RTÉ you can use OverPlay’s Smart DNS. It costs $4.95  (about €4) for 1 months access.
  • update : 7/09/2014 : from reports this tip above should still work for the Tipperary v. Kilkenny senior hurling final. It costs about €7.50 ($9.95). Alternatively you can watch the game on GAAGO for €14.
  • update : 1/09/2013 : the tip is still working for the Kerry v. Dublin senior football final.
  • update : 25/08/2013 for information on the Mayo v Tyrone game, see this post.
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Some Comments Left By Others

  1. Duncan Ferguson says:

    As keen followers of all aspecxts of Irish life and culture, we are very keen to access all RTE TV channels, including 1 and TG4. We used to have access when we first got Sky TV. Is this no longer possible? We would be happy to pay for these channels. We listen a lot to RTE radio through Sky.
    I should be most grateful for your advice on this matter.

    With thanks Duncan and Catriona

    • Paul says:

      Hi Duncan, currently the Irish channels (including TnaG / TG4) stream online. RTE offer steaming and a catch up service. If you don’t have an Irish IP address you will probably be blocked from accessing most of the content.

  2. Claire from Clare says:

    Thanks for this helpful information. I’m away skiing at the moment, but I wanted to make sure that I was able to get some of the 6 nations games, and with a bit of fiddling about, it worked for me. Thanks for your help. Now back to the slopes with me.

  3. michael says:

    Can I get the 6nations rugby using a proxy/ ip address? many forums say RTE strip out the header and dont allow access

    • J-man says:

      Michael it is possible to see the games on RTE or BBC ( personally I prefer th BBC’s 6 nations coverage). I use hidemyass, it costs about $80 a year if remember, and allows you to change your IP to an Irish one or UK one. And they have a money back guarantee & helpful support.

      What are you using now ? Something free ? I found that the free proxy I used was unstable, ESP. Around the times when I wanted to watch something live.

      • paul mcc says:

        Great ! thanks for the tip Jman. I got HMA working. Just not sure if the speed is always good, but that might be the speed of my ISP here in Brazil. I did find that the RTE feed was superior to BBC.

      • Neil O'Peigh says:

        I visited my brother in Germany recently and tried to watch 6 Nations on RTE using HideMyAss. Complete disaster. Just doesn’t work, borders on a scam. Three seconds of play followed by twenty seconds of freezing. Can’t understand why the “Hi it’s Paul” popup is promoting it. Getting paid to plug crap I suppose.

        • Paul says:

          Hi, overplay definitely works. Using it right now. (Will reply later, seeing as the game is now on)

        • Paul says:

          Hi Neil, now that the game is over. Sadly Ireland loosing :(
          Sorry to hear you couldn’t get HMA working. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee so you could ask for your cash back.

          There are a few reasons as to why it didn’t work, maybe the speed from HMA, or your brothers connection wasn’t fast enough. In these cases I’d suggest trying before and after connecting to make sure that you are getting speeds of over 2MB/s.

          The pop up, that you saw is indeed an ad, which we get a % of the sale if someone buys they are currently running an offer. We’ve used HMA for about 11 months, and all the other ones that are reviewed on the site. There are lots of other suppliers, but we only recommend 4, they all offer pretty good customer service, so you should really contact them. I would recommend testing the connection before a live game, to avoid disappointment.

          (updated the name on the comment from the other paul to avoid confusion)

  4. MikeGle says:

    How easy is it to set a VPN up ? I’m traveling next week and want to access the same websites I visit at home.

    • Paul says:

      Hi Mike, you can literally set one up in less than 15 minutes. If you are using a Mac the setup is really straight forward, and some of the providers supply programs that can configure your system automatically. It’s definitely something that should take less than 15 minutes though.

  5. Dave says:

    while in brooklyn set up overplay for my wife, it worked fine for a while, just now though it says dermot’s garden content is not available in your region.

    Overplay is still working ( sends me to for example )

    Has RTE indeed figured this out ? any tips ?

    • Paul says:

      Hi Dave are you using the openDNS or the VPN option from overplay ?

    • Jackie says:

      I’ve had issues with the VPN client, but the OpenDNS where you change your DNS settings on your computer does work. In fact I just checked it there from Boston.

      A good check is to see if you can view a non-RTE produced programme, like Home and Away, because some programs like the Late Late Show are open for people world wide to watch.

  6. Shane says:


    I’m having problem. I have been using HMA vpn for a year now. I have always been able to access the rte player. But now for some reason it keeps goin to the international site. The tv3 player still works perfectly though. Has RTÉ changed something or that.


    • Paul says:

      Have you tried it with the RTE app too ? or with the RTE sports player page ? Does ?

      • Shane says:

        I changed to overplay as my hma was up it works perfect now.

        Have no idea what caused the problem. never tried

        thanks for the help though


        • Dave says:

          Did you get the Overplay VPN or DNS?

          • Paul says:

            Hi Dave, I went for the VPN. It’s a little easier to turn it on or off (which is handy when you are using it with an iPhone or iPad, as changing the DNS settings for the SmartDNS is a little bit more fiddely).

  7. Dave says:

    Cheers Paul, I’ll give it a try.

  8. Patrick says:

    I want to watch RTE 1 and RTE 2 in New York so we can watch the GAA championship which starts May 19, what do you recommend?

    • Paul says:

      I would recommend hidemyass or overplay. Both have a money back guarantee if you fail to get it to work on your computer, so there isn’t really a risk.

      I guess it’s better than getting up in New York to watch the games early on a Sunday morning !

      • Patrick says:

        Should I try the SmartDNS first? The new computer is coming today and I want to see if I can watch RTE 1 tonight as a test.

        • Paul says:

          SmartDNS is cheaper, so if price sensitive,then yes. I use the VPN for my iPhone / iPad / computer when traveling and using open wifi networks to protect myself. So if you need this then I’d go for the VPN.

  9. Derek says:

    Hey Paul

    Just tried overplay, and it froze just as I entered payment details. Is it legit, I hate when this sort of thing happens…

    • Paul says:

      Hi Derek, I’ve been using them for almost 2 years and I’ve never had any problems. Open a support ticket and you’ll see how friendly they are.

  10. Francis says:

    Hi all,

    Just moved to Germany and was hoping to use HMA to view the RTE Player. It appears that RTE have blacklisted HMA’s Irish IP addresses and as a result only international content is available on the RTE Player. This was investigated by both myself and HMA, who confirmed. So not really an option for RTE access. HMA appears to work for AerTV, TV3 and TG4.

    So must take a look at Overplay, or if anybody had some other suggestions (i.e. how to set-up Tor for Ireland or other services).


  11. lillian says:

    Having moved to Germany, we would like to watch Rte1, Rte2 along with some of the english channels here in Germany. Rte Player is very limited……. what would you recommend and is it safe to use. Thanks

  12. Shane Boyle says:

    Hi all,

    It seems the same with overplay. can only watch international site for rte. but the 3 player etc work fine. so has anyone got any other ideas?

  13. Brendegod says:

    Hi I’m goin south America for a month with my iPad and was wondering can I watch the Gaa matches on rte live.i will be in rio, buenos aires and Santiago . Wat type of wifi wud I need ?

  14. Sarah B says:

    I tested overplay today, 27/08/2013 from Germany, and I was able to watch RTE live and some of the recorded programmes like Home & Away and Friday night dinner (please don’t laugh). I have the VPN option, but it also worked on the OpenDNS too (which is cheaper).

  15. Craw says:

    Has anyone else seen an issue with using aertv with vpn? I get the video for about 30 secs and then it switches to audio only? is that a problem with my vpn speed – internet speed or aertv?
    Any help appreciated – big hurling game this weekend!

    • Paul says:

      Hi Craw, I don’t have any issues, using Google Chrome & Overplay OpenDNS for Aertv. What are you using ?

      • Craw says:

        I was using the vpn with safari on iPad, have switched to smart dns and it seems to work better, as I understand it the smart dns uses your local broadband speed so is faster than the vpn.. Hoping it holds up now

  16. Cathal says:

    I always use RTE player to watch shows i have missed unfortunately lately it has stopped working for me and i can’t watch any programs! I have tried 4 different web browsers but I still can’t seem to watch anything! Plus i’m living in Ireland so i shouldn’t have a problem! I am missing all my favorite shows and this might sound sad but its very distressing! What do you think is wrong? Thing is my friend could watch it on his laptop I couldn’t on our desktop at home or my laptop!
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!

    • Stephen says:

      Went to watch last weekends show on RTE player but said that this content is unavailable in your area!!!! & im from north of Ireland! anyone else have this problem There,s not much point in rte player if you cant watch it online!!…… This what RTE Said
      RTÉ Player Love/Hate is available in Northern Ireland but some people have an IP address registered to Great Britain which means they are accessing the international version. You will need to contact your ISP to find out more….

  17. Stephen says:

    Went to watch last weekends show on RTE player but said that this content is unavailable in your area!!!! & im from north of Ireland! anyone else have this problem There,s not much point in rte player if you cant watch it online!!…… This what RTE Said
    RTÉ Player Love/Hate is available in Northern Ireland but some people have an IP address registered to Great Britain which means they are accessing the international version. You will need to contact your ISP to find out more…. How do i sort this out!! anyone!!

  18. aidan says:

    RTE Player App. Anyone know how I use the app via an Irish proxy? I know how do to set up a proxy in a browser as I already have a proxy IP address. But how can I make the app use the Irish IP?
    Thx in advance.

    • Paul says:

      Aidan, as far as I know a proxy won’t work with the app on an iPhone or iPad, is that what you are using ? A proxy only runs on a level of the browser. What setup are you using ?

  19. Tom Farrell says:

    Is there a URL for the RTE newreel loop. I want to embed this in an XML page accessed by a signage device. The device is capable of playing audio and video streams, HTTP, RTSP, and .ASX streams. I have it playing a skynews loop but I ‘m looking for a url that sources the RTE news loop, if it exsists.

  20. Danny says:

    Hi Paul,

    I’m travelling and I’m currently in Australia. I need something that will allow me access to my bank, doing the lotto, my bookies account and watching some sport but especially Cheltenham when it comes round in march.

    What would you recommend ?

    I use a mac so safari compatible is important and I’d also like to be able to switch between my current and Irish ip address without too much hassle so, for example, a program that allows me a ‘one-click’ option (if possible) from my current location to using an Irish ip.

    What service do do you suggest ?


  21. Seamus Ryle says:

    Am in Florida.
    Tried HMA, Astrill and OverPlay.
    Found OverPlay best and am using their SmartDNS with superb results watching RTE, BBC, Netflix etc.

  22. John mc nutty says:

    How to get rte live on pad in London ?

  23. niall says:

    Just wondering, would overplay work to overide the sky go ireland and england restrictions? I am currently living abroad and just set up a sky go account using dads sky go account from home because of the country block issue. Also, would the quality be decent if I hook up to the tv using hdmi? Desperate measuers here as the the new astra 2e sat just came into opperation here which resulted in me losing rte and bbc etc and the rest of europe are feeling the ssame im sure..feck!!!!

    • seamus ryle says:

      I used to install the little black box connecting the broadband on the land line to the TV. I have over 70 channels including SKY Sports & Movies, BBC, ITV & RTE.
      Assuming you have broadband, sign up to one of the VPN’s – I use – and use your laptop in a manner as if you are back ‘home’ with no geolocation restrictions. Yes, you can watch SkyGo if you have a Sky account back ‘home’ Good luck. Seamus.

      • niall says:

        cheers Seamus, I downloaded hidemyass vpn today after not being able to subscribe to overplay, it just wouldn’t accept my credit card details…very strange. Sky and bbc works well but rte is bloody slow and stuttery. Where are you based yourself?Is the connection reliable for watching rte player? There is only one server from dublin on hidemyass. Cheers, Niall

        • Seamus says:

          Hi Niall.
          Disconnect from the proxy/VPN service you may be logged into.
          Login into OverPlay account and click on “Profile” tab and click on “Add a New Payment Method”.
          Click on “Subscriptions” tab & make the payment.
          I’ve found their SmartDNS service very good for streaming films etc. You can check with SmartDNS trial BEFORE subscribing to their services.
          If any issue occurs, submit a ticket to
          I have found their customer support very good.
          Let me know how you get on.

          • niall says:

            Tried that, didn’t work and their online support did the best they could so got the other one instead, how do you find overplay for streaming rte live?Is it watchable, don’t want to pay for something that’s unwatchable, thanks, Niall

  24. darren says:

    I paid for purevpn and it definitely changes my ip ti irish one but still doesnt work

  25. seamus says:

    Hi Niall
    Strange you were unable to log on and pay the sub.
    Meanwhile I’ve arrived in the Costa Del Sol and have just watched to-nights ‘The Voice’ on the RTE player. No problems.
    A few weeks ago in Central Florida I watched the Late Late LIVE and there were no issues.
    The OverPlay SmartDns is very good.
    Meanwhile I hope HMA works out for you – is it HMA?
    Keep us posted.
    If you want to email me send it to
    Cheers agus Slan.

  26. aiveen says:

    I have exactly the same problem with Overplay and have done all u suggested and been on to customer service which was very efficient but still no joy! Am in southern spain and want bbc’s rte 1 ans =d 2 and tv3. downloaded demo of identity cloak but not showing in task bar and not working!! wtf??

    • Paul says:

      Aiveen, do you have the SmartDNS enabled ? You need to change your DNS settings either on your computer or on your router (we will try to post some info about these settings in the coming days).

  27. Mick says:

    Hi Paul,
    Couple of questions:

    – None of the proxy companies you link to seem to be offering RTE any more. They all seem to offer exactly what I can already get in Britain. Can you confirm or correct?

    – If I can get RTE/TV3 etc by proxy will it affect my capacity to access iplayer 4OD, ITV Player etc on my computer? (that would not go down well)…


  28. MONICA says:

    i would like to view the late late show in majorca for the next 4 weeks what are my options

    • Paul says:

      Hi Monica, you will just need a computer & an internet connection. RTE doesn’t block the LateLate outside of Ireland at all. It’s free to view both live & on repeat as far as I know. Have a great holiday !

  29. steve says: has good quality rte1 and rte2 streams. They also have a great xbmc addon

    • Seamus Ryle says:

      Hi Steve.
      I signed up to NTV in Spain late last year using a MAG250 STB (Set Top Box).
      I have an internet speed of between 2.0 (peak time at night) and 2.5mbps other times.
      This should be ok according to The Sky Doctor – they installed the STB .
      The buffering and freezing of pictures, regardless of what channel I was watching, resulted in a very frustrating experience. More often than not, especially while watching sports, I had to connect my laptop via HDMI cable to the TV and using OverPlay Smart DNS VPN I always had a great experience.
      I brought the MAG STB back to Ireland where I have a 7mbps download speed. The results unfortunately were similar to my experience in Spain. One can log on to website and log on for free to BBC1 – thus avoiding using the MAG STB. I have done this frequently since I came home to Ireland and the freezing/buffering continues. For comparison I log on to SkyGo, using my laptop, and I can watch their programmes without any problems 99% of the time.
      The NTV parent company, as far as I know, is based in Russia. Their online chat is based in Northern Cyprus.
      I also got a replacement STB from the Spanish supplier and there was no improvement.
      My belief is the problem is primarily with the service from NTV. Log on to their home page and one will see a litany of problems on a continuing basis.
      When I am next back in Spain I am going to try a different supplier of programmes – however not all of them carry the Irish stations.

  30. Lucy Crockford says:

    I’m hoping to watch my Irish Sky Go account in the UK…are there any updates on which is the best service to go with? Does RTE work with anything? I’m going to be working with 4G on my phone, then tethered to my laptop…any advice on this method of accessing the internet?

    • Paul says:

      Lucy : I would try OverPlay and see how you get on. You should be careful that you don’t go over the data limit on your phone though. RTE works with Overplay right now.

  31. Tomw says:

    I have a free trail of overplay, in the hope that I can watch the GAA Sunday match in the UK via my android tablet. I wanted to set up my google chromecast to cast it onto the big Tv screen, however overplay support say that it not possible as googlechrome will only use the primary google settings. I can change the DNS manually on my tablet to use another VPN provider (unblock-us) and use that to watch any region netflix so I can’t understand why I can’t do the same with overplay? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Paul says:

      Tomw : using DNS, as in their SmartDNS prodict, and then selecting your Netflix location will solve this problem for you. You can have easily switch between services. Now as to why you need to watch 2 things at the same time, well that’s another question ;)

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