Watch Downton Abbey Season 6 in the US and elsewhere early

By | September 9, 2015

Downton Abbey Season 6 (or Series 6 if you’re in the UK) brings us both great news but also sadness. Although the much loved period drama is finally back for its sixth installment it also comes with the news that Season 6 will actually be the last ever of Downton Abbey.

So while sad news in one respect for fans of the British drama it is exciting times to see what the Crawley family and others have been up to. Season 6 is set 6 months after the end of Season 5 and I know plenty of people who are looking forward to watching.

Downton Abbey Season 6 will start airing in the UK on 20th September on the broadcaster ITV and in the past few weeks I’ve had tons of Americans and Australians asking me if they’ll be able to watch at the same time.

You see Season 6 won’t air until January 2016 on PBS in the US and it’s also slated for a 2016 showing in Australia too. That’s nearly 3 months after the UK! It will be difficult to avoid spoilers and annoying that you can’t officially watch earlier in your own country.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 6

Downton Abbey Season 6

However, there is a way if you’re in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or in fact any other country to watch online at exactly the same time as the UK and watch Downton Abbey Season 6 live from 20th September 2015 and I’ll show you how in the guide below. Best of all it doesn’t involve any illegal methods and you can watch on the official ITV broadcaster just like UK viewers.

Each episode is only available for 30 days after the original air date.

How to Watch Downton Abbey Season 6

Season 6 will be shown on TV in the UK on ITV, at the same time it’ll be shown live online on ITV Player the online streaming service from ITV. If you’re in the UK you have no problem accessing but if you’re from the US, Australia or anywhere else in the world then if you try to watch Downton Abbey it’ll block you with a message similar to the one below.

Blocked ITV Player

The reason it blocks you is because it knows you’re not in the UK. Every internet connection is assigned a unique identifier that helps all the bits of information know where they’re going and who requested them. The downside to that is it also broadcasts your location out to websites that you visit.

So when you visit ITV Player it knows you’re in the US, Australia or wherever you are and simply blocks you. If you’re in Europe you can sign up to ITV Essentials but it only has selected shows and doesn’t have live TV.

The solution is a product called a VPN. A VPN is a completely legal system that is made to protect your privacy and a by-product of this is it allows you to disguise your location and give the impression you’re in another country. When doing this you can choose to show you’re from the UK so when you visit ITV Player rather than receive the block message like above it’ll stream you Downton Abbey Season 6 either live at the same time as the UK or you can use their catch-up service and watch later.

The result is you can watch Season 6 in September rather than wait until January meaning you’ll have seen the full Season before it has even been shown in the US or elsewhere. Read the next section to see how easy it is to set-up and where to get a VPN from.

Where to get a VPN for Downton Abbey

If you’re streaming video online and you’re far away from the UK such as the US or Australia then you need a VPN service that is fast. I’ve put together a list of my three recommended providers. I personally use IPVanish, but the other two are equally as good if for some reason you don’t wish to use IPVanish.

You can pay monthly at around US$5-10 or you may want to sign up for longer because Downton Abbey will be shown from September to December and longer subscription lengths work out cheaper.

  1. IPVanish
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. HideMyAss

Once you’ve signed up you’ll receive a welcome email with details on how to download their software for your PC or Mac or even an app for Android or iOS devices.

If you’ve signed up for IPVanish and are using their PC or Mac software once downloaded you simply install and run the software.

Next press Server Selection on the left hand side and choose UK Media or Gaming.

The software will now take care of all the technical aspect and get you connected within about 15 seconds. You can see the image below as an example.

IPVanish UK Server

UK Media or Gaming

Once connected all you have to do is visit ITV Player by pressing this link.

If you want to watch live then press Watch Live and then ITV at the UK airing time which is given below in this article. If you want to watch on catch-up then simply search for Downton Abbey on the right hand side in the search box.

You may need to give a UK postcode (zip code) and can use any including :-

  • M13 9PL
  • N7 8DB
  • LS2 9JT
  • EH8 9YL
  • LL57 2DG

When is Downton Abbey on and more info!

Downton Abbey starts on September 20th, 2015 and airs every Sunday until November 8th, 2015 with a season finale Christmas Special to be shown on December 25th, 2015.

In the UK it is shown live at 21:00 which across the world is :-

Sunday

  • 13:00 PDT (West Coast, USA)
  • 16:00 EST/EDT (East Coast, USA)
  • 16:00 EDT (Toronto, Canada)
  • 22:00 CEST (France/Spain/Germany etc)
  • 22:00 SAST (South Africa)

Monday

  • 04:00 CST (Beijing, China)
  • 06:00 AEST (East Coast, Australia)
  • 08:00 NZST (New Zealand)

If you miss the live stream then you can watch on catch-up for up to 30 days after the episode has aired. If you do watch on catch-up you’ll need to sign up for an account. Again make sure you’re signed into a UK VPN and then use a UK postcode.

Any questions please feel free to post in the comments section.

Image courtesy of Dr Joseph Valks at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Jennifer

    What if you want to watch the show via a Roku on your tv instead of a computer? Is that possible? I live in the U.S. and would love to see Downton Abbey’s last season at the same time as the UK viewers, not to mention see the finale on Christmas Day! I would need to watch on catch-up though. Thanks for any help!

    • WatchTVAbroad

      Hi Jennifer,

      I don’t think there is a particular easy way because the ITV app wouldn’t be available on the US Roku Store. There might be a handful of work arounds but it sounds like a lot of work.

      If you have a laptop or a computer close enough it’s possible to use a HDMI cable to view on the TV though, might be worth considering,

      • Jennifer

        Thank you, that is a great idea! I would never have thought of that. Here’s to hoping I am eating some figgy pudding and watching Downton Abbey on Christmas Day!

        • WatchTVAbroad

          You’re welcome. If you get stuck at all please feel free to post… and enjoy being the envy of all your fellow US based Downton fans who’ll have to wait until January 😉

  • Eliza Butz

    ok so on itv on the watch live i don’t even see downton abbey listed. i really need to know how to watch this.

    • WatchTVAbroad

      It will be live in 2 hours and 4 minutes Eliza, it hasn’t been shown in the UK yet, but as it airs in the UK you’ll be able to watch online by pressing “Watch Live” and then “ITV”.

  • Lesley Callear Morey

    Hi, I’m trying to watch the Downtown Abbey Episode 1 now. I am on a UK IP and logged into the ITV and it says “Sorry, this video is not available.” … Any ideas why?

    • WatchTVAbroad

      Hi Lesley, I’ve just double checked and it’s working fine. What device or system are you using? (ie; tablet, computer?)

      • Lesley Callear Morey

        MacBook .. I can get through the first few minutes and then it starts from the beginning again. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong? Any help is appreciated.

        • WatchTVAbroad

          Hi Lesley. It seems to be a problem with ITV Player at the moment, it’s effecting UK viewers too. Probably an overload of people trying to watch Downton Abbey. Just checked and had the same issue. Also see :-

          https://twitter.com/technophobe_/status/645730930628427777
          https://twitter.com/wharfgirl/status/645732218401386496

          Try again in a few hours. To test see if you can skip to about 10 minutes, if that works it’ll be working (and you can start at the start again). At the moment it resets after about 5 minutes. If you can’t skip to 10 minutes then it’s still broken.

          • Lesley Callear Morey

            Thank you! I will try again!

          • WatchTVAbroad

            Appears to be working now if you hadn’t tried yet.

          • Lesley Callear Morey

            Yay! I was able to watch it! Thank you for the update!

  • Cheryl Mattison

    Can I use IPVanish on my smartphone to watch UK Downtown Abbey?

    • WatchTVAbroad

      You would need to have the ITV Player app installed on your smartphone already.

  • Norm-Anne Rothermel

    I downloaded the ipvanish, but the screen doesn’t look like the one you show. It has a list of countries. I Downloaded on to a Samsung galaxy tablet. What should I do?

    • WatchTVAbroad

      You need to connect to the United Kingdom in that list of countries and then you can visit ITV Player or use the ITV Player app.