BBC TV shows on iTunes (but only in the UK!)

I travel with my iPod loaded up with TV shows and movies that I watch on the iPod or with the iPod hooked up to aTV set using a Monster cable (takes output from the iPod and displays it on a TV set). * Blog entry updated Feb 24 with new info on this cable. The image quality of the TV shows is very good and it is convenient watching them this way. If you travel with DVDs, you have to watch them on your computer because they will not play on European DVD players. North America is a different “region” from Europe and most DVD players play one region only. You can find software for your computer that lets it play both regions.

In Europe, the connectors on the back of a TV set are different than in the US. They use SCART connectors to attach DVD players, Video, Satellite boxes, etc. to the TV. My Monster Cable came with a SCART adapter, but if yours doesn’t, these adapters are easy to find.

We just finished the first season of “Mad Men” from AMC. I bought it at home on iTunes and put it on my iPod, then connected it to the TV set in the vacation rental to watch the episodes. (Great show!)

BBC has announced that it is going to sell its TV shows on iTunes, but only in the UK. The iTunes software is the same in North America and the UK, but your account determines what you can purchase. If you have a US address and credit card, you only see the things sold in the US. Recently iTunes brought US TV shows to the UK, but they more expensive in the UK. We pay $1.99 per episode, but in the UK it is £1.89 – almost double the price.

Read more on the BBC website: BBC TV programmes put on iTunes. BBC shows including Life on Mars and Little Britain have been made available to download from digital store iTunes.

I hope that they bring the BBC TV shows to the US iTunes, but until then I am going to see if I can do something with my current UK address and my UK credit card to get a UK iTunes account and download the last version of Spooks (which is not out on DVD until October).

One would think that I only came to England to watch TV and movies. I assure you this is not the case, but these winter evenings are long! Hiking and exploring during the day, vegging out in front of the TV or reading books at night.

* Note: The Monster Cable (Monster AI ITV IP-10 iTV Link for iPod) that I use only works with older iPods (the iPod Video and iPod Photo). Steve has the iPod Classic (the new one – confusing name) and it does not work with that.

Apple now sells a cable to connect both the new iPod (iPod Classic) and the older iPods (iPod Video) to a TV set.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

One thought on “BBC TV shows on iTunes (but only in the UK!)”

  1. Heya, if you need to open an iTunes account for a country other than your own, you can follow the instructions at

    They have full instructions on how to do it without a Credit/Debit Card, and currently have Spanish and UK Gift Cards available. Looks like they’ll be adding more soon.

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