I've never been a great TV watcher when I was in Italy. Here in Germany I don't watch TV also because I don't understand German. But sometime I miss some Italian news shows, like Anno Zero.
The public URLs are the followings:

RAI 1     mms://
RAI 2     mms://
RAI 3     mms://
RaiSport+ mms://

Unfortunately the Italian public television is not accessible from abroad: probably they check the IP address. So, to watch those channel you need to use a computer located in Italy.

But... if you have a Unix server hosted in Italy, port forwarding can do the trick:

$ sudo ssh username@yourserver.com -L 80: -Nv
$ vlc "mms://"
$ vlc "mms://"
$ vlc "mms://"
$ vlc "mms://"

The first command will ask for the password on your local computer, then the password to the destination server. The sudo is needed because you need to bind local port 80 to connect to destination address. And you can't bind port < 1024 without root privileges. The second command will launch vlc to watch RAI2.

Also, a nice thing to know if you have a running Unix and OpenSSH server, is that you can easily setup a Socks proxy to access the internet from that server.

ssh -C -D 1080 user@yourserver.com -Nv

This makes your local port 1080 to act as a Socks proxy server. On Firefox you can set it as socks proxy on localhost:1080

The option -N opens a non interactive shell, while the -v is used to display debugging messages on the console. You can remove the -v and add a & at the end of those commands to run them on background, as a daemon service.

The problem is that I have to consume precious bandwidth on my servers... so, if anybody knows a way to access Italian TV from abroad without needing to proxy like I am doing, please leave a comment. I already tried CoolStreaming and Yalp, but they don't work from abroad.

Links to read:
SSH Howto, on Ubuntu Community Documentation
Italian howto on a university wiki

18 Responses to “Watching Italian public television from abroad”  

  1. 1 Mida

    Tnx Luigi! :-)

  2. 2 Luigi

    Update: since new rai.tv site has gone live, this is nomore working. I am looking forward to find out how to fix it.

  3. 3 Andrea

    Did you find something? I also would like to see Annozero this evening.

  4. 4 Emiliano

    You solution works but it no the easiest.

    I used Expat Shield. It allows you to Watch UK TV online outside of UK.

    Did anyone find anything similar for watching ITA TV online outside of ITA?

  5. 5 Luigi

    Ciao Emiliano

    L’articolo l’ho scritto qualche tempo fa. Con quello stratagemma potevo vedere rai1 rai2 e rai3, e qualche altro canale.
    Al momento non sono a conoscenza di sistemi leciti o illeciti che siano per vedere la tv italiana dall’estero.
    C’era un bel sito ( http://www.vcast.it/faucetpvr/ ) che permetteva di registrare alcuni programmi e poterli scaricare, non so se funziona ancora.


  6. 6 Bibiana


    I’m not a very techy person so I watch Italian tv in London with this thing: itavisione.com
    Twelve channels for free. I hope it stays free because it took a lot of time to find a place where I can watch channels online.


  7. 7 fatisha

    what a cruel world lol i used to use this

  8. 8 Kevin


    Thank you. itavisione.com works great.


  9. 9 Giovanni

    Hello Bibiana,

    Itavisione.com is great! This is the only site so far that has Sky channels too.

    Thanks a lot,

  10. 10 Angelica

    Grazie Luigi,

    Sono 10 anni che vivo all’estero e la TV italian mi mancava tanto come mi manca l’Italia.
    Ora mi sento un po piu’ vicina a casa.

    Itavisione.com fino ad ora funziona alla grande.

    Grazie grazie grazie.


  11. 11 Pietro

    Itavisione.com funziona alla grande!

  12. 12 Gio

    It might be great, but it does not work on mac :-( any idea?!

  13. 13 Luigi

    Gio, sometimes the only way is to use vmware.

    BTW it looks like in this moment the mms links I posted above are working.

  14. 14 Antonio

    Who cares it doesn’t work on Mac anyway…..you cannot treat that as a complaint as itavisione provides a free service and it works! tnx to them I can now enjoy the Italian tv and watch the berlusca tv (sad I know but I watch ‘striscia’);

    at least I can feel at home for Xmas; been away for 15 years and I feel that, unfortunately we have to thank Berlusca e tutti quei ladri al governo, quei pezzenti che hanno 100 anni e nemmeno se ne vanno a fare inculo, pezzenti….hanno rovinato l’Italia!

    PS: if you knew how to use a mac you would know that u just need to install win 7 on the side or use any VM software (just like vmware) simples..chhhh

    Ciao a tutti e Buon Natale

  15. 15 Luigi

    @Antonio, be nice :) we are under xmas holidays!

  16. 16 neapoletan

    How can I improve the constant buffering ? My internet speed is 44 Mb Hi speed

  17. 17 Gianni Lo Bianco

    Grazieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, ci fa’ sentire piu’ vicini…stasera posso vedere Ballaro’


  18. 18 Dedicatd Proxies

    yuppi, Since long time waited proble is solve today. I am too happy no word to explain how it helps me.

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