Information about how to watch RTÉ from outside Ireland. Make sure you read the updates below.
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
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.
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 : 28/2/2015 : We have added a DNS Status page of what systems work with what services.
- update : 25/2/2015 : there have been some reports of Overplay SmartDNS having issues with the RTE player.
- update : 7/11/2014 : to watch Love Hate on RTÉ you can use OverPlay’s Smart DNS.
- 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.