Campbell D. FergusonChartered SurveyorsNews in Spain

Is access to UK TV influencing location decisions?

By April 15, 2014 No Comments

UK TV influencing location decisionsAre property buyers now deciding where to live and even moving home based on where they can access their favourite TV programmes; get their daily ‘fix’? ‘Eastenders’, ‘Match of the Day’, ‘Deal or No Deal’ and the like are all major features in the daily life of many Brits who are in Spain or thinking of coming to live here. But now, with the closure of the satellite that transmitted SKY and many other UK programmes, the transmission pattern has changed radically.

On Costa Blanca a new dish or even just a change of direction of the existing one, and all is right again. In Almeria the dish has to be larger, but it’s still practical to access the programmes that way. But on Costa del Sol it’s just not available by any realistically sized satellite dish at all. OK, so we move to one of the many free internet sources such at FilmOn, MyExpatNetwork or the like. Sometimes a masking router has to be used to stop the likes of BBC blocking the transmission outside of UK (When will they start a subscription service for expats?), but most of the channels can be accessed this way. BUT ONLY IF the internet connection service is adequate. 3 Mb download seems to be the minimum safe lower limit, but even then there can be ‘buffering’ breaks, always seemingly at the most crucial stage in any programme!

Most urban areas now have a good connection of 8 Mb or more with fibre optic giving 30 Mb plus. But conversely, some of the highest value property areas, with the big villas spread over the hillsides, have poor coverage as it’s not worthwhile for Movistar to install the expensive cabling and faster transmission units for such few subscribers. Yes, direct line-of-sight services are available in some areas, but again they can be limited in capacity.

Telephone access by Satellite is also possible, but it can be expensive and like line-of-sight, on stormy days when huddling around the TV is a comforting occupation, the signal can lessen or be broken by the intensity of the weather. So, it’s probable that ‘TV access?’ will have moved much higher up the shopping list of UK buyers and be influencing their location decisions.