favourite TV programmes

Don’t miss out on your favourite TV programmes

Many readers will no longer have access to their favourite TV programmes, following the demise of BBC, ITV and other channels through parts of Europe.
There are solutions available through a range of outlets to enable you to continue viewing your favourite programmes, from professional satellite engineers, home entertainment companies and computer shops. Make sure that the option you choose is legal and has a good projected life span, i.e. it won’t turn off tomorrow!
The majority of solutions involve the purchase and installation of an IPTV box. These are boxes which connect to the internet and bring the channels directly to your TV without the need for a dish. There are issues here though.
Watching television via the internet uses a system called streaming; this means the channel you are watching is being delivered at the same time as it is being transmitted, constantly using and depleting your internet download capacity. Unless you have an internet connection which has unlimited download capacity, the use of IPTV boxes will draw down your monthly limit considerably and may deplete the allowance altogether.
The IPTV box method is viable for someone who wants to watch specific programmes at a specific time of the day, but would not suit those who watch a lot of TV during the daytime and evening. This is also not a solution for rental properties unless you have a way to automatically ‘sleep’ the box for no-activity.
IPTV box solutions will most certainly involve a monthly subscription, some have an automatic ‘sleep’ mode and some come with a ‘catch-up’ service, so you can see the programme you missed recently.
An alternative is to use your iPad, iPhone or iPod and download a free app called Filmon. There is no subscription, but this option does stream your internet. You can see all of the free-view channels and more, directly on your TV by using Apple TV. This is a small box which connects to your TV using a HDMI cable and to your device through the existing wireless network in your home. Costs for Apple TV are under €110. If you do not have an iPad, costs range from €299.
Another option involves the installation of a new satellite dish or a re-position and re-tune of your existing dish plus a new receiver giving HD versions of BBC channels currently and possibly others later.
The internet
Some, but not all, internet suppliers offer unlimited connections, including but not limited to MEO, ZON and the WoW system from Optimus. Be careful here though. Confirm that unlimited really is unlimited. Some service providers have a ‘fair access policy’ which can mean that after a certain amount of usage, they are entitled, according to their contract, to ‘throttle you back’ which means slow your internet to a crawl, almost to an unusable speed.
The difficulty is that one solution will not necessarily suit all.
To help you get the best solution for your individual needs, we have produced a flow chart which can be downloaded from our website, www.portugalresident.com, free of charge.
It will display options that are available and will hopefully steer you in the right direction. But don’t rush into anything you may later regret. Study the options, talk to local businesses and converse with friends. Make sure you are fixing the problem, and not just sticking a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches.

Get your flow chart HERE (pdf file)

Make sure the company you buy from is legitimate, has a business address and landline phone number (proves that they are not a flight-risk and gives you a number to call in case of issue).