Channel Five is Just the Beginning
Satellite customers in Europe, Spain in particular, are bracing for big content changes this year. United Kingdom’s behemoth broadcaster BBC is changing satellite transponders in 2013, making content previously available to neighboring countries inaccessible.
VPN provider Get Your TV Abroad (GYTVA) notes that, “for the last year the Astra 1N satellite has been covering the main free to air UK TV channels. Which gave a much stronger signal.” Now with the Astra 2F satellite becoming live, many parts of Europe will require a much larger satellite dish to pick up the new satellites weaker signal. According to the GYTVA website, “The vast majority of people will not want a really big satellite dish. Worse than that, if you live in a community, you may not be allowed a satellite dish or a satellite dish over a certain size!”
The good news is, satellite isn’t the only way. Anyone who has ever tried to watch BBC iPlayer from outside of the UK, knows about the infamous “available to play in the UK only” message.
Luckily, restrictions like these have led to a niche market to serve expats and the fix is simple.
VPN Service providers, such as Get Your TV Abroad, allow the user to re-assign their computer’s IP address to the UK. Even from a Spanish internet service provider, or ISP, a VPN connection to London makes it appear that your computer is located here, allowing access to BBC One, Two, Three Four, CBeebies, CBBC, BBC News, Sky Go, and more. For a service that is only going to run you about €7.99 a month, it is an elegant and inexpensive solution.
And, for customers who don’t want to watch these programs on their computer monitor, there is the VPN Router from Sabai Technology. This hardware device, not much different from a standard router, runs the VPN in place of the computer, extending the re-assigned IP address to any wireless device selected on the network. This means that Smart TV, Roku, Apple TV, or any combination of these devices and more, can use the VPN IP address to extend the Iplayer to your television.
For channel flippers, this setup will require an adjustment period. However, many users come to enjoy the amount of control over their media a VPN & VPN Router setup provides. Setup is relatively easy, and both the VPN and Router providers offer technical support, for less savvy customers.
Brits living in Europe who have recently suffered the loss of Channel 5 on satellite should be prepared to lose the remaining BBC channels by the Summer of 2013. By acting now, consumers can ensure no loss of service and plenty of time to get comfortable with the new arrangement.