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Also see the Terminology article for help

 

UK TV

  • After the launch of Astra 2E satellite in 2013, it took over the main duties in 2014 for UK Sky, Freesat and Republic of Ireland
  • The UK Spot beam provides maximum signal (for 45 cm dishes) over the UK and Ireland with a sharp roll-off of signal level outside this region
  • For this reason, many folks in Southern Spain are experiencing issues getting a signal.

 

UK TV Options

  • Satellite
    • Large dish pointing at Astra 2E to get all the UK channels (From £1000)
      • The Oasis del Mar I community is currently looking at installing a system for the complex, rather than owners having individual dishes
    • Smaller dish pointing at a ‘foreign’ Astra (From £300)
  • IPTV (needs internet connection)
    • One thing to consider is that different service providers may provide a better ‘optimised’ connection to a particular IPTV provider
    • It takes around 800 to 1000 mega bytes (1GB) per 1hour of IP TV programme, so you don’t want any download capped limits
    • Smart TV (from £350)
      • Most Modern TVs (and Blu-ray players) come with ‘smart’ features. Exactly what you get varies depending on the manufacturer and how old the TV is.
      • One thing to note is that these services are usually aimed at the country you are in (e.g. Spain). So, you can download Spanish films etc. Sometimes you can swap this to the ‘UK App Store’, but these apps may then not work in Spain.
      • Even if there is no 'app', you may have a web browser that allows you to navigate to a particular TV streaming site (e.g. Filmon.com)
      • Most Smart TVs have a 'remote' app suitable for a IOS or Android device.
        • As well as acting as a remote control, often pictures and videos can be streamed back to the TV from the device
        • Some TVs allow streaming from the TV back to the app on the device
        • Requires both devices to be on the same network, although some also support 'Direct Wifi Connect' technology 
    • Android/Linux Box (from £70)
      • Droidplayer
        • While there are many 'boxes', perhaps one of the best known boxes, comes pre-loaded with Android and XBMC
        • It is also useful to get a wireless keyboard with mouse/trackpad (£15)
        • Pros
          • Lots of flexibility using any android app as well as software like XBMC
          • After you buy the box, there are no other subscription costs (unless you install an app which needs them!)
        • Cons
          • You may need to play with this a bit to get it working as required. 
          • Perhaps not as ‘easy’ to use
          • UK Catchup apps probably will not allow you to access them from Spain
          • Other apps may, but they are illegal. They could be stopped at any time.
      • Mag250 /254
        • A linux based box
        • Designed to be run with a subscription
          • Ntv.mx (also supports XBMC)
          • justiptv.com
          • packages including Freesat and Sky as well as other countries satellite channels (From £15/month)
          • Subscription company takes a satellite feed and encodes all the channels onto a server. The server then broadcasts these onto the internet, which the box then receives.
        • Pros
          • Intuitive, easy to use menu system for switching channels
          • Can access some catch up/video on demand (VOD) services
          • Can take the box and subscription back home (or to another country)
        • Cons
          • Needs a subscription (monthly or annual)
          • Illegal, despite what they may say
      • Chromecast by Google (from £30)
        • Plugs into the HDMI socket in your TV
        • Draws power from a TVs USB socket, or external power supply
        • 'Casts' from an Android (Tablet, Phone) device or a Laptop across a WifI connection to the Chromecast from the Chrome Web Browser.
        • A growing selection of Android Apps, that can be installed onto the Chromecast
        • Pros
          • Cheap!
        • Cons
          • Still maturing as a product (e.g. not all Web pages can be 'cast' from a browser to the TV. It depends on the software technology used to built the site)
          • Most of the 'legitimate' TV apps (e.g. BCC iPlayer) are not going to work in Spain, without a VPN.
  • Laptop (needs internet connection) (from £300)
    • Perhaps the most ‘familiar’ of the technology solutions, a computer may be used to access various content
    • A modern laptop should allow HDMI connection to a TV. Older VGA connections can be sent to the tv with a suitable converter/cable.
    • An apple TV (see below) can be used to stream the Macbook contents onto the TV
    • Various websites allow access to Film and TV streams. Some may not be available outside of the UK
    • Easy to support a VPN connection
  • Slingbox (needs internet connection)  (From £100)
    • Plugs into your Sky/Freview box back in the UK. Streams the audio and video onto the internet
    • Using a ipad/iphone/android tablet/phone or a laptop (Windows and Mac) to view the stream
    • Sends ‘remote control’ signals back to allow you to navigate menus, change channel
    • Also a ‘techie’ way of using XBMC as a client for receiving the slingbox stream
    • Pros
      • Legal
      • Great if you have an internet connection running back home
      • Allows you to watch programmes recorded on your box back home (e.g. a sky+, Humax PVR)
    • Cons
      • No use if you don’t have a home in UK to stream it from!
      • Need to consider how you get the picture into the TV, if that it important to you
  • Apple TV (needs internet connection) (From £70)
    • Small box that can pick up Wifi, or a network cable
    • Designed for a modern TV as it only supports HDMI cable for connecting the TV
    • Sign up for a free Apple account (or use the one on you iphone, ipad)
    • Both the Apple TV and your device (e.g. Macbook, Ipad etc) need to be on the same network (e.g. Wifi)
      • Note from IOS 8 (Oct 2014), The apple TV and device should be able to make a 'Direct Connect' without needing a network
    • Stream movies and TV Series in English, pay-per-movie
    • Slowly more apps for the Apple TV are being developed. e.g. there are a few News apps now. 
    • Pros
      • Legal
      • Great if you already use apple products
      • Can ‘throw’ your ipad/iphone/macbook screen up onto the TV, using Airplay. This means most apps can be shown on the TV.
      • You can download a movie/tv programme on your device where there is a good internet connection. Then stream it back to your Apple TV back at home.
        • Note. You may need at least some level of internet connection to initially get streaming to work. A movie on the macbook, when streamed to the apple TV, initially checks your accounts to make sure they all have permission
      • Can use your ipad/iphone as a remote for the apple TV
      • Great quality (both Standard Definition and High Definition supported)
      • New movies, tv series (Rent and/or Buy)
    • Cons
      • No actual ‘live’ TV, just films, tv series