IPTV Services – Television Technology


Internet Speed In Spain & other parts of Europe, it should not
be taken for granted that your local internet speed will suitable
for streaming TV. If compared to the UK and other Northern
European countries with fibre optic internet, large parts of the
telecommunications infrastructure in Spain & other parts of
Europe can be slower.

Depending on the speed of your internet, this will impact the
picture quality. Usually, 2Mbs stable download speed would be
required for good quality (though not HD) TV streaming. At this
level, you will receive at most standard definition television & in
some instances slightly higher. There are also specialist
services which will allow speeds as low as 0.7Mbps to function.
HD can require 5-6Mbs.

Subscription free IPTV, are reliant on what is freely available
on the internet. There can be no genuine guarantees given with
a freely hosted service. It is reliant on no one you are paying!

Subscription based services – you are paying a provider to
host the content and to provide a standardised quality of
picture, defined channel list & supplied with a simple to use settop
box. Other features include 7 days catch up TV, 7-day
program guide & some also offer ‘video on demand’.

What is catch up TV? This type of service may be familiar to
UK users, however those overseas have traditionally been
locked out due to geographic regional blocking from UK
providers. This allows you freedom from a TV schedule, as
there is no need to be in at 8 PM to watch Eastenders or your
favourite program – you can watch it the following day or a few
days after if you have missed. No need to record (though an
option too).

Wi Fi or Cable connection? When trying to obtain the best
internet speed possible, there can be speed losses associated
with using Wi-Fi. This will depend on distance or placement of
router, in relation to the IPTV set-top box. Losses in speed can
be between 10% – 50%. When using IPTV the fastest internet
connection possible is the most important factor for picture
quality and stability. We recommend using equipment that can
accept a direct ethernet hard wire Cat 5 cable connection –
same type as your router / PC. If it is difficult to get a CAT 5 /
Ethernet cable connection, it is also possible to use ‘home
network plugs,’ which send the internet signal around your
mains power loop. You can use these if router on different floor
or room, to main television.

IPTV – subscription-based services & set-top box
These type of systems are closest in use to a
traditional type set top box (UK Sky, Freesat or similar) &
easiest to use. A receiver is supplied, which you connect a
cable directly to your router & TV. This is a paid for & hosted
service, so streams should be stable and certain boxes will also
auto update, making this the most simple to use & basic way of
receiving UK & other Northern European TV without a satellite
dish in most locations throughout the world. Pros: The easiest
system to use. Ideal for all users wanting a simple interface. As
streams are paid for & remain the same, they should stable.
Multiple language options. Good for those looking for an easy to
use, TV solution. No requirement to be technically minded. 7-
day program guide, similar to UK Sky or Freesat Catch up TV
and on demand is also available with some services. Cons: You
pay a yearly or monthly fee for the service provided. Usually
€15 – €40 per month depending on the package, some offer
just the UK free to air terrestrial channels, other packages offer
premium content.

Subscription Free IPTV This type of system offers a great deal
of flexibility. It is different to a traditional set-top box.This
equipment is more technical to use than the subscription-based
options – which offer a ‘locked down’ operating system. There
are also a larger choice of these type of systems, most of which
have customisable software and applications. Most are supplied
without the correct software installed and not configured. User
experience will be determined by performance & specification of
hardware, the interface will vary upon how equipment has been
set up with software as well as what additional applications
have been installed.

Subscription Free PTV Pro’s: Free content Cons: More
technical in use in comparison to the standard set-top box. Can
be complex to update a number of applications needed to
function. Not generally recommended for rental properties as
walking fingers can cause potential headaches – software not
as simple as satellite, cable or subscription based receivers.
Quality is variable. You are not paying for the service or
streams, so these can change as can software. Unstable
service as the number of users sharing streams online is not
properly monitored, unlike hosted alternatives. NOTE not all
hosted services are 100% either, these can also be oversold
and overshared.

Which would be the most suitable option for my
Subscription Free IPTV If you do not wish to pay monthly
subscription fees for your UK TV & are prepared to spend time
familiarising yourself with a new type of system & prepared to
accept interruptions to service. To utilise additional multimedia
content & applications, the user experience is similar to a
smartphone, rather than a traditional TV-type set-top box.
Where this type of hardware makes a little more sense, is as a
secondary system if to upgrade an older television – you can
add functionality, such a media file playback, adding internet
access for your TV, Netflix and access to other non TV-related

Subscription based services & related hardware. – The
easiest user interface for IPTV equipment – examples MAG,
Formuler, Blademedia, Opus Guaranteed quality & channel
selection (with a good service provider). Catch up TV Weekly
program guide. Video on demand content. No searching the
web for content.

Subscription based services & related hardware. – The
easiest user interface for IPTV equipment – examples MAG,
Formuler, Blademedia, Opus Guaranteed quality & channel
selection (with a good service provider). Catch up TV Weekly
program guide. Video on demand content. No searching the
web for content.

Satellite TV vs IPTV With satellite systems, there are no
restrictions on bandwidth or internet speeds nor need for the
internet itself – though optional for additional functions. Satellite
TV is not reliant on the internet for TV reception. Satellite TV
offers the highest quality format. IPTV does allow catch up TV
services outside of the UK IPTV allows multiple satellite
reception – this type of satellite content, may not be available
via satellite signal in your location – laving the only option of TV
via the internet. Hybrid systems are now available which
combine both satellite & internet.

Smart TV’s For those considering using UK smart televisions in
Spain, this will not allow you access to BBC iPlayer or the other
UK catch up TV services as these are geographically blocked.
As soon as TV is connected to the internet in Spain, the
Spanish IP address will be detected. This limits many of the
functions for expatriate users of smart TV’s. There is a
workaround for this using a UK VPN, combined with a DD-WRT
router. In summary, you would need to spend a reasonable sum
of money on top of the smart TV to access this type of
additional UK specific content as will require additional router &
VPN subscription.