Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Internet TV Part II

I suppose the one things that British expats want when they move to Cyprus is British television. A couple of years ago, it was possible to purchase an enormous satellite dish and pick up Sky by various nefarious means. Sky switched satellites and narrowed the footprint of their signal and that avenue closed. But the demand still existed.

Why, when you move to a foreign country and want to soak up the local culture, is there such a demand? Well for many people British TV is the best in the world and we want to watch it wherever we are. Football, rugby, cricket, Eastenders ... you name it and people over here want to watch it. So the big question is how do you do it, and what will it cost?

IPTV (Internet Protocol Televison) is the answer, and it is when your televison is streamed via the Internet, through a special box, to your televison. There are as many options as there are days in the year: some are free and some are subscription-based. By and large "You get what you pay for" and some of the paid services (especially when they have been around for a couple of years or more) are just about as good as satellite or cable television in the UK.

Is streaming legal? According to the EU, receiving illegally-acquired television programmes and films is legal for us, the end-users. If you are streaming these programmes to the end-user, then that is illegal. If you download these tv programmes and films to a hard drive (in other words if you keep them) then that is illegal.

What's the quality like? Our "black box" cost us about €150 but research shows we could have bought it cheaper. It connects to our tv and that is that. Once set-up, and we pay £17 a month (month by month and not a year in advance), the quality is astonishing. Many of the channels, including all the sports' channels are in HD (mostly 1080 and sometimes 720) and play without buffering or problems. Absolutely brilliant. Using this method there is some "tweaking under the hood" but it is simple enough. But, of course, for those who do not wish to do this, there is a slightly more expensive method.

I shall return to this in Part III ...

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