Most expats seem to miss their UK television. Here are some options:

1.Local TV

Local TV is available via aerial and satellite.

Greek TV obviously requires a fluent understanding of the Greek language. Greek TV has some international films with English language and Greek sub-titles. There are a few english language channels such as CNN, BBC News, Discovery etc available on satellite.


2. International Satellite TV

It is possible to use a satellite system to pick up TV from other countries. This depends on the strength of the signal. It was possible to receive BBC & ITV channels from Sky using a large satellite dish. Recently channels have been moved from one satellite to another and the signal strength, here in Greece, has dropped. It now requires a 3 metre dish to receive these programmes.

It should also be pointed out that most satellite companies do not allow anyone to watch their programmes outside the UK. This is due to licensing restrictions. Many expats have a Sky subscription from a UK friend or family member and transport the Sky decoder and access card from the UK to Greece.


3. International Satellite with Dreambox (or Equivalent)

This option is probably illegal as the system uses access card sharing. The person or company who set up the system hold one or more paid for access card and then share this between many others (who are their "customers"). This sharing is done across the internet and so a reliable internet connection is required, together with a satellite dish capable of receiving the channels to be watched.


4. Internet TV is the most popular way to watch UK TV over the internet. It is unclear as to the legality of it bacause trying to watch TV directly from BBC & ITV is not possible from an overseas internet connection. Filmon is a free service if you are prepared to accept standard definition broadcasts. High defintion channels are available with a subscription of around £20 per month.

A reliable internet connection is required and 2Mb, currently the most basic package, seems to work OK.

Filmon is great to watch live UK TV but catchup TV is more difficult because the broadcasters look at the IP address of your connection to determine what country your connection is from. There are ways of disguising the place of your internet connection. Two common ones are Hola and ExpatShield, both of which are free. Hola only works through the web browser, so any service which downloads an application on to the PC will not work. Expatshield sets up a VPN to a system in the UK (or other country). A VPN slows down the internet connection which can cause problems. BBC, ITV and other providers know about these services and may block them. Similar paid-for services are available, which are said to be more reliable and less prone to being blocked.

The writer recently heard about another type of service. This is an internet box which operates like a satellite or digital decoder box but streams internet TV. It is much easier to use than Filmon. It does not appear to be sold in any shops and a Google search did not show any advertisments for such a service, so it is probably availabe by word of mouth.