Watching Chelsea Flower Show coverage from US/Canada

Submitted by Jeddeloh on Fri, 05/23/2014 - 23:21

Possibly the biggest floral hoopla on earth, the Chelsea Flower Show, is happening now in Great Britain and for some unexplained reason the BBC won't let anyone outside of the UK watch their coverage.  And to make sure of it they won't let you access their iPlayer from outside the UK.  Turns out their is a workaround known as VPN (virtual private network).  A VPN basically fools the iPlayer into thinking you and your computer are parked in Merry Olde England watching the coverage.  Essentially it routes you through a British based IP address.  

I learned about this ruse through friends, Jan and Dave Dobak.  Dave had tried ExPat Shield, a free service, but it kept lagging and hanging up.  By googling "watching UK show in the US" or something similar he found a paid service that worked much better.  Only cost him $3-4 for a month.  I'd post which service he used but I can't remember.  

I wanted to watch on my Ipad so I checked the App Store for VPN apps and found several.  I went with TunnelBear because it only costs $3 a month and was easy for this non-techie to set up.  Worked great although to picture suffered from pixelation for the first few minutes (lag?) but that's a small price to day for several hours of plant lust indulgence.  The Brits take Chelsea seriously and offer at least a half hour of coverage a day.  Dobaks told me they may even show alpines in later broadcasts!  

I think it may be a little more involved to set up a computer for VPN access but that's what your friendly nerdy kid, grandkid or neighbor is for.  My nerd kid comes home from college tomorrow but luckily I didn't need him and was able to enjoy almost two hours of plants tonight.  




Submitted by deesen on Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:29


......... The Brits take Chelsea seriously and offer at least a half hour of coverage a day.  Dobaks told me they may even show alpines in later broadcasts!  ......



Not all of us do, many of us get quite exasperated by it (both Chelsea and the broadcasting!)laugh The Show ended last Saturday and for the days it has been on we have had broadcasts each afternoon on BBC1 and on BBC2 early evening. The quality of the broadcasting has, as usual, been very variable with much concentration on Chelsea's attraction to alleged 'Celebrities' and Designers who appear to have replaced the acting profession for their propensity to breakdown in tears at the drop of a hat! Those, like me, who have a strong aversion to our Capital City (mucky, expensive and full of tourists who don't realise how mucky and expensive it is) wouldn't go if it was (a) free (and for a Yorkshireman that's a strong reason to do most things) and (b) for me personally, running at the top of our road.

Submitted by Jeddeloh on Mon, 05/26/2014 - 22:35

In reply to by deesen

Well, if you could see what passes for a flower show on this side of the pond you'd understand why I was quite willing to spend a few bucks to watch the Chelsea coverage.  I will admit I'm getting a bit tired of seeing the same show gardens over and over, particularly the rather boring Telegraph garden.  Over here garden shows have indoor "gardens" with plants stuff into bark dust.  

I'm sure I wouldn't like the crowds at Chelsea either although I'd still like to go someday.  Especially if I could figure out the least crowded day.  The specialist nurseries particularly interest me.  

Sounds like you feel about London the way I feel about Los Angeles.  We recently visited for my daughter's college graduation and it was over 100 F (not sure what that is in celsius but damned hot covers it) and nasty smoggy.