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Have you ever tried to watch BBC IPlayer, ITV Hub, Channel 4, Now TV or Sky whilst in Spain?

You normally will get a message on the screen like

“We’re sorry, something went wrong -please try again”

Whatever you do. Try again will not work.

Smart Televisions

It used to be popular to have a large satellite dish to catch Sky signals. Now, internet speeds have become much better, and there are such things as Samsung or LG smart TVs with IPTV. IPTV ( Internet Protocol Television) lets the user stream programs to your TV via an app and a streaming service. Whilst there are a few FREE providers. These are normally unreliable and often ask for email addresses and a source of malware and viruses which infect your PC.

Paid for services are very cheap these days and on the whole, mostly reliable. Most of these providers will give a good service, though buffering can be their downfall, especially when a tv show is popular, like Emmerdale or a Sky Sports football match.

VPN ( Virtual Private Network )

Virtual private networks kid the TV provider into believing you are watching in the UK even though actually you are in Spain.

Whilst many would say if you live or are on holiday in Spain you should watch Spanish TV. It is a very good way to help you get a grip on the lingo. However, sometimes you simply need to watch the programs you love in the UK, like Emmerdale, Coronation St or BBC News.

The licencing laws are the problem. So anything you do to watch the TV in Spain is not going to be straightforward.

A combination of IPTV with VPN seems to be the best solution.

Believe me, many options have been tried. I am going to point out all the variations, in order that you can make a decision based on experience.

I will provide links to the variety of products on the market.

IPTV (Internet Protocol TV)

I tried this route and tried various IPTV sources.

The way they work is each TV has its own unique MAC code. When you download and SMART IPTV app

smart

You will be presented with an opportunity to register the TV for a small one-off fee.

The link provided will encourage you to enter the MAC code from your TV and an area where you can either upload an .m3u file provided by your provider, or a link supplied by them to link to their playlist.

Often these lists are broken down into manageable groups so that you can scroll through a small list of say TV channels or a boxset normally on Netflix.

However, sometimes they may be links to old series like “The walking dead”. Often the very latest episodes are not on there. They do update frequently to keep you interested in their service. However, one of the problems I experienced was that frustrating…….“buffering“.

Having complained to our internet service provider that the quality of the signal available was “rubbish” (as at the time I was still learning about the pitfalls).

So, finally, I turned to Netflix.

Guess what !! No buffering. So, the service provider must have been giving me adequate internet speeds.

So why would the IPTV buffer and not Netflix?

The service provider must have been using a network which choked IPTV signals.

Now with VPN…..no buffering on IPTV.

Great! I was a happy bunny. The only problem was I could not watch the UK TV catchups or the live programs without IPTV.

So the mission was set!

Google and YouTube became close friends.

 

VPN is the answer.

The virtual private network masks the country and the location of your device. The added security it offered was perfect.

So, without hesitation, I subscribed to ExpressVPN. The app was available to use on many devices. So, having got the subscription, I could log on to the internet and choose a location such as London or Washinton DC for the United States.

Great except I had to watch TV on my phone, tablet or PC. I found a great app on my phone which allowed me to set up a time to be able to record any program offered by the IPTV playlist supplier. Brilliant if you want to download a film to watch on the plane!

How frustrating! I have a great TV but the app is not on TV. So again, chatting with ExpressVPN I was given a solution. I will cover the procedure on a separate page. Needless to say, it did give me access on the TV to UK Netflix. Albeit quite a complex procedure. However, the TV was purchased in Spain. The apps for ITV Hub or BBC IPlayer just were not on the TV. So I thought “no problem, I can share the app from my phone or tablet using screen sharing!”.

Oh no, you can’t.

When you have the ExpressVPN making the phone pretend it was in the UK. even though it was on WIFI, …..the WIFI itself was still in Spain.

So, as the two networks were different. Screen sharing became impossible.

So the chat screen opened up again.

The only way around sharing the phone to the TV is if the phone and TV are on the same network. Now the problem is the router provided by my internet supplier in Spain is not compatible with VPN. There are certain criteria which the router requires ( I won’t bore you with the details ). So, I was then sent to the page which ExpressVPN recommended to purchase a compatible router.

VPN Routers

Spider VPN

I could not believe the cost. So, I thought the only way I could afford one was to go on eBay and look for a used one.

It was here I found an absolute bargain. A subscription for a month’s VPN INCLUDING ROUTER was a little as £9.99 for one month (to test the quality of service)

WITH A FREE ROUTER

On investigation, I found several packages they offered me which worked out that I could pay not much than £4.50 per month if I subscribed to a 24-month contract with

SpiderVPN.

At first, I was concerned as to the quality of the service would be any good.

I have to say I was so happy once I got it.

Not only did it facilitate the apps to cast to the screen. ITV hub with catch up now available. But also the IPTV service which previously buffered now was behaving. The bonus was also that the VPN has a setting for Netflix USA which gave me access to Netflix programs not available in the UK or Spain like “The Blacklist”.

So why have IPTV?

Well obviously, BBC and ITV channels may be available with VPN. But not the catch-up or box sets. Nore would you be able to watch the latest films or Sky Premier Films or the  Sports channels offered by IPTV. Plus the IPTV services also give you loads of programs many of which may be in different languages but great for the rental market of your apartment or villa!!

Different IPTV providers offer different packages. Some, loads of channels, other loads of films or box sets. So you need to evaluate various options HERE