Watching UK TV Channels in Spain

Watching UK TV Channels in Spain by Panoramic Villas

No doubt you can still visit the local bar who has probably piped in your favourite footy match via an Abu Dhabi /Arab satellite into a special box; but the days of villa owners bringing a Sky Freeview box over in their suitcase to provide clients with the free to air UK channels is potentially about to end.

In the future it is probably going to be a little more complicated to watch UK TV channels in Spain

So, Whats Going On?

Can we say at the outset that we at Panoramic are not the world’s leading authority on all things technical (who is these days) hence we reserve the right to be wrong. Initially, these changes were scheduled for December 16th 2012 and despite the fact that we have indeed now lost channel 5, we are still hanging in there with the other popular channels, for now…

Opinions differ as to whether the change over/switch off has been delayed because of seasonal staff shortages or whether the whole project which is destined to cause a bit of a headache is being stalled until everyone is better prepared; but don´t be surprised to turn on your TV and find its already a done deal.

There have been so many rumours over the last year about losing BBC and ITV channels so we would like to try and clarify the situation a little. Firstly, this is not a situation of Sky’s making, much as we do like to blame them for most things. All the UK channels we receive in Spain are on Astra 28.2E. The list below is destined to be transferred at some stage if not already by the time you read this, to the new Astra 2F Satellite which is out of the geographical area for Spain, hence we will probably lose these channels sooner rather than later.
4Seven ITV 1 Anglia West
5 star ITV 1 Central East
5 star +1 ITV 1 Central South
5 USA ITV 1 Central South West
5 USA +1 ITV 1 Granada
Channel 4 London ITV 1 Meridian North
Channel 5 Region 1 ITV 1 Tyne Tees +1
Channel 5 Region 1 +1 ITV 1 Wales +1
Channel 5 Region 2 ITV 1 Westcountry West +1
Channel 5 Region 3 ITV 1 Yorkshire East
Channel 5 Region 4 ITV 1 Yorkshire West +1
Channel 5 Region 5

Even more important and popular channels could be potentially removed over the coming weeks.

What Might This Mean to You the Property Owner and the Holiday Clients… and is There a Solution?

It could mean you lose all our BBC, ITV, C4, C5 and Freesat channels rendering your Freesat/Sky box useless. However, if you have a Sky subscription for your Sky channels/subscription channels this will not be affected.

Assuming this does happen (and it is almost certain to, it is really just the timescale that is in doubt) the most likely remedy will be an internet driven solution. The days of traditional TV even in the UK are numbered, however the various solutions and we will outline some below, will ALL require an internet service to your home.

One solution is a new fixed internet TV box to replace your freeview/Sky box called the Britbox.

Full details can be found here –

Britbox logo

To state the obvious, this is not our product and we are not on commission so we will leave owners to read and assess the merits of this and the respective costs and contract commitments.

However, these days with so many iPads and laptops taken on holiday there are numerous other low cost solutions to the problem which may well prove just as successful if not more so.

Provided the holidaymaker is made aware of what they may need to bring (assuming they have it) AND all importantly that they have the required technical nous to get the whole set up and running. They can get UK channels on the TV in Spain without too much hassle.

So How Can We Watch Our Favourite Programmes Whilst On Holiday?

Well assuming someone in the holiday party has either an iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or a laptop (as you probably all know) it’s possible to download an App for the following…

BBC iPlayer, ITV player, Channel 5 player, Sky GO (assuming you have a Sky subscription in the UK). However, in order to use these Apps/Channels on any of these appliances in Spain you need to buy/download to your appliance something called a VPN (virtual private network).

I hope you are ready for this… A VPN network basically fools the respective TV provider, be that the BBC, SKY etc etc into thinking you are still in the UK and not in Spain where you cannot receive these channels. It reconnects your internet to a UK based IP address, so your Spanish internet provider is then re routed through your chosen VPN which shows you are using a UK IP address and not a Spanish one and voila! You are connected.

Sorry if that sounds a little complicated, it’s actually not too difficult at all and with a little research can be navigated very easily.

VPN Express App

VPN Express AppOn your Apple device try downloading and buying some credit for the ‘VPN Express App‘, this works very well and is very simple.

My Expat Network App

My Expat Network AppThe internet is full of other alternatives, some better than others; ‘My Expat Network App‘ is another you may wish to explore.



Apart from the afore mentioned popular channels you may wish try downloading free apps for “Filmon Free” and also “TV Catch-up”.

If you wish to play your Tablet or Laptop through the TV in your villa or apartment you will need an appropriate HDMi lead or quite possibly an HDMi lead and an adaptor at one end which plugs into your device and the other HDMi end into the TV.

If no HDMi is available on your device as stated you will need an adaptor or alternatively a VGA lead (from your laptop) which will potentially go from your laptop (monitor out) into your TV. Have a read up on this as it will get confusing if we try to explain further!


Take your tablet /laptop /leads/adaptors and make sure a VPN network is downloaded.

MAKE SURE your Villa or Apartment has the internet, this will be tricky to establish the exact speed, but this will not be as fast as the UK and is with any system, a little fingers crossed.

MAKE SURE your Villa or Apartment has a modern flat screen TV as an old (fat) TV will not have the required HDMI sockets.

We hope this helps!

Now view our great selection of properties in Spain

Costa del Sol villa owners! Want a flexible, easy, cost free, villa rentals service? Click to find out more

Share Button