A lot of Brits in Spain yearn to view and enjoy live UK TV. Some people have even set up elaborate satellite dishes to access it. We explore the many ways expats now get live UK TV in Spain.
Watching television is a luxury that everybody wants to enjoy. Everybody has their favourite channels and programmes they would want to keep in touch with regardless of what part of the world they live in or where they are holidaying.
Some people like to watch sports channels and some want to watch Coronation Street and almost all expats love to watch BBC News.
However, British television outside of the UK is something that may come difficult to European travellers especially those who wish to watch the live streaming channels from home which are restricted in the country they currently reside in or are travelling to.
How to Watch UK Live TV in Spain.
Nowadays, in this information age the internet is taking everything by storm, there is no telling to what extent the internet will battle with the satellite option for dominance on the European continent or anywhere else.
The Satellite Method.
Sky TV and Freesat have good satellite channels which have made the UK TV available in many parts of Spain. Recently, however, changes have been made which have replaced the old Astra 2 satellites with new Astra 2 satellites. This has made the satellite signals in some parts of Spain weak and not as strong as they were in the past making setting UK TV channels via satellite in those areas somewhat difficult.
For some other areas of Spain like Costa Blanca and Valencia, UK Satellite coverage is noticeably very strong and satisfying. Consequently, UK channel availability highly depends upon the size of the dish and the place where you want to set up your TV as the signals vary in different parts of Spain and the ability of the same satellite dish to catch the signals is also very crucial.
If you want to receive UK satellite TV in Spain then you need to have a satellite dish aligned with the UK TV Astra 2 group of satellites at 28 degrees east. You would, of course, also need to have a satellite receiver; a Sky Digibox or a Freesat set-top box would be acceptable.
Alternatives for Watching Live TV in Spain.
If the conventional satellite aligning system does not work for you then there is a satellite alternative called the BBC SatBack which is transmitted from theintelsat907 satellites that are situated at 25.5 degrees west. But using this alternative is illegal as it requires to illegally hack into encrypted satellite feeds employing certain key codes. These codes can be found on the internet.
The Internet Method.
If you cannot find satellite coverage in your area and are unwilling to use BBC SatBack satellite, then the most common method employed in this case is using the internet to watch streams online or IPTV.
- Using the live internet streams on our website in Spain.
Of course, you can watch the TV on the net. This is often the easiest option as you don't have to buy a box. You can just find the channels broadcast live via a player on websites. Such internet streams can be found on this website. Then you can use the site on a desktop computer, your laptop, or handheld devices such as tablets or smartphones. Whether those devices are power Windows, Android Or Apple Mac (IOS) is fine. Even Linux.
Our website offers such a service which uses subscription free broadcasts via our player.
You can watch Freeview channels online from the UK if you go here:
- Internet-enabled broadcasts via IPTV on a box.
IPTV is simply a common name for when TV data is sent via over your internet connection. This can be to a website, as above, or to a separate box. Getting a box allows you to get a dedicated device for the purpose that you can hook up to your big screen.
Having this box is handy because once you set it up you can just leave it connected and it will always be there when you want to watch a show.
Subscription based services like MAG250 IPTV boxes can be used too; you can subscribe to MAG250 IPTV services via an agent or direct via their websites.
These are essentially the same as Android boxes. Although, less open-source and more focused on just delivering the TV service.
Mag boxes can be bought on the net via various agents you can find or you can get an Android box and an IPTV subscription. The box and the subscription both cost some money but you usually get 100s of channels.
If you want a box for more than just TV you can find Android boxes on Amazon. There are more easily available in Spain. You can download and install lots of different app on them but you may find less support than getting a Mag box from a specialised agent locally.
However, note that if you need to use these services, then a minimum speed of 3 megabytes is essential for you to have. If your internet speed is lower than this then you are sure to suffer slow buffering during playback.
Adapting your router.
A substitute method of receiving British TV using the internet is by adapting your UK TV router service to access the online catch-up services like Sky On Demand, SkyGo ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer.
Although, lately these services have started to track people with more than just an IP address so are now often able to block people even if they changed IP.
Before committing to this option we suggest trying the live internet streams on our website (mentioned above). As it is essentially the same but differs in that the VPN proxy will be on your device rather than committing to buying a router.
More on Android Live TV Streaming Boxes.
Android boxes can be used for streaming live TV abroad. Think of them like an Android phone. For example, Samsung S8. But instead of having a screen and telephone components they have a TV port.
Once you have one of these you just connect it to your big screen television. Then you will need to find apps to work on it that have sources that you can view. The most common one of these is Kodi.
However, having an Android box with Kodi installed is no guarantee you will be able to watch what you want. Often you will need several apps with a different distribution of sources to create a package that matches the TV you would get if you were back at home. Even then you may be missing lots of channels and shows that you consider essential.
This is cumbersome and tricky. Not at all for the layman and only if you are very technically minded and proficient with computing technology. It is basically a makeshift and make-do option. However, if you are in the Costa Del Sol this could be the difference between watching Eastenders and having to settle for the Spanish equivalent, Eldorado!
Confusion about accessing free UK TV in Spain.
Many people have found themselves perplexed when using the free UK television in Spain, even satellite installers in Spain get confused about Freesat and Freeview. The satellite installers sometimes get the terminologies wrong making the British expats on the Costa’s in Spain more and more confused about how to receive the UK TV is Spain.
Coastal areas of southern Spain in the Mediterranean are very warm and most people who have come from the UK have retired themselves there. But a major problem is that they are not able to view BBC1, BBC2 and hundreds of other channels including sports, movies and news that they could have viewed otherwise.
They try to watch the Spanish channels which offer some English shows but some feel the quality of the shows is not as good and worthwhile so they get frustrated.
Another problem is that most programs are not offered in English.
Freesat is a brand meant for receiving satellite and designed to receive the free to air TV channels of UK television.
A Sky digibox can also be used for the purpose of receiving UK television channels. Even if the Sky digibox does not have a viewing card, it can still be used to view the major British channels like BBC and ITV channels.
Freesat digiboxes and Sky digiboxes both use the same satellite frequencies so if you cannot receive the channels with Freesat then you will not be able to receive by using Sky digiboxes so there isn’t any need to waste your money on the other. It is also worth mentioning that you don’t need to have a Sky viewing card for Sky digibox to work.
Freeview is a British free digital TV Package that is only available to people living in the UK. Most people do not understand the fact that Freeview only works within the boundaries of the UK and cannot work outside of it and this definitely does include Spain. So they end up employing this package and then regret it later.
But a Spain version of Freeview exists which is called the Television Digital Terrestrial –TDT. By using a TDT set top box in Spain you are able to view more than 35 British channels while residing in Spain. It also provides a unique option to change the Spanish dubbing soundtrack on UK and USA imported programs into their original versions.
Although this is one of the preferable options available, it is still a fiddly process. That is why we invented this site so you can get the ease of use of IPTV to avoid satellite dishes and therefore without having to buy any additional equipment. Yet all the content as if you did have your own dish. All you need is your computer/laptop and a screen.
Free to Air Channels Around Europe.
Free to Air channels are those channels which do not have to be subscribed by you. These are the British Channels available for you which are free to air and no viewing card is required for them to Air. As they are literally free to air anybody can broadcast them legally like we do ourselves.
This is a great alternative to buying and installing big dishes or messing about with setting up streams from all different sources on an Android box. We have a selection of all the main channels doing exactly that on this very website!
Choosing a method.
To recap, there are 3 potential main ways for you to choose from. Ranging from complicated and premium to easy and cheap.
Installing a satellite dish is the most expensive, potentially awkward and involves the most commitment but you may be able to get the best content as you will likely be able to pick up the official Sky TV channels in the highest quality.
This would also involve having to pay monthly for Sky as well as the installation service for the Dish. Unless Sky offers free installation in your area.
- Most expensive.
- Most channels.
- Highest commitment.
Getting a Freesat dish.
If you don't want to pay for monthly Sky premium service then you can always just opt for Freesat.
With the Freesat dish you will still get access to all the main BBC and ITV broadcasts without having to pay a regular fee.
You may find this option great if you want to keep your costs down but still want the quality a dish provides.
- One off cost.
- Main channels only
- One-time commitment.
Subscribing to an IPTV provider.
If getting a satellite is not an option at all and you have a good internet connection the finding an online IPTV provider may be the best option for you.
The best thing about this is you there is lots of providers for this on the internet that provide streams to people in Spain.
if you already have a good internet connection, you can be watching live TV again within a few minutes from now. Plus, you get a very selection of British channels this way.
You just have to decide if you want to use them on your device at home or get a dedicated box for the purpose. IE, Mag box or an android box using Kodi.
- Low regular payment.
- Hundreds of channels.
- Cancel anytime.
Accessing live streaming websites.
If you don't want to install anything and your internet bandwidth is at least 3Mbs then you could use one of the many websites that provide instant web streams. These sites have a player built into them so you don't need to subscribe. You can practically just click and play.
There are many of these sites. Some are official like the BBC1 live page and some restream with permission like TVplayer ITV 1. You will need to log in but registration is free. You can watch both sites on your main computer or install their apps to watch them on your smartphone.
Some of these may be geo-blocked and that could indeed be why you are here.
In that case, go to our homepage and sign up for the VPN we recommend.
That will give you a British IP address that you can use in Spain to get around geo-blocking and access the internet privately and securely.
For now, don't worry how all it works. I know it sounds technical but it is all rather simple and fast. Just head over to our homepage for more detials and to get the app.
- No payment needed.
- Free email registration.
- Easiest method.
As we have seen the are many ways you can start watching live TV streams again from the UK in Spain.
Which one you choose should choose will largely depend on whether you live in Spain or are just visiting from the United Kingdom. On holiday or for work.
Also, whether you just want to watch a few programmes occasionally or whether you are going to want to watch broadcasts on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading this guide. Please, be sure to share it with friends to help them receive the TV they love again from the British Isles.