Saturday, June 22, 2024

How can you watch TV from home while in Portugal?

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Have you just moved to Portugal and are missing your country? Have you been living in Portugal for a long time, but want a better way to keep up with all the news from back home and watch your favourite soap operas? Well, here’s how you can watch English-language TV channels in your Portuguese home on your Portuguese telly, whether you’re from the UK, Ireland, the USA or anywhere else in the world.

Satellite TV

Undoubtedly the best-known and most stable option out there, satellite reception is also the most expensive. You’ll have to have a satellite dish, satellite receiver and a card. Remember that installation of a satellite dish is no mean feat, and you’ll have to have a professional do it for you, drilling holes in the walls and making changes to the property. For that, you’ll have to ask permission from the community of homeowners in your apartment building or urbanização, and some don’t allow the installation of satellite dishes. So what other options are available?

Websites

TV channels like the BBC, Sky, ITV and CNN all have their own official websites where you can watch live content and recorded programmes, but there might be blockers when accessed outside from abroad.

One alternative to this is using a third-party website that also broadcast these channels’ shows, which is fairly quick. However, it can often be incredibly annoying because of the amount of pop-up adverts that can even be misleading – they try to get you to download players, plugins or codecs which you don’t need and which may contain viruses.

Apps

There are plenty of apps on the market that you can use to watch TV content from a phone or tablet, with all the advantages of comfort and mobility in your home. Depending on what device and television you have, you might be able to link up the tablet or mobile to the big screen to watch your favourite shows. One major disadvantage, though, is that some apps can ask you for excessive permissions that verge on being abusive, so be careful what you agree to.

VPN services

Simply put, a VPN is a Virtual Private Network, a programme that permits you to remotely connect your computer to another one. Even if you’re lounging on your coach in Portugal, you can use a VPN to make your internet connection think you’re browsing from a different country. It will seem that you are connecting from home because your computer’s IP address would register as coming from there.

For this, you’ll need to contract the service with a VPN provider from that country. VPN services are currently the most reliable solution available, and totally legal, but you will usually have to pay for them.

Paid websites

Finally, you can use streaming platforms to watch the TV channels from your country in Portugal. You have to pay a monthly fee, just like any other service. The advantage of this is that they normally have better quality and streaming speed without any cables or antennae to install.

Some other options for watching television remotely involve more technical solutions that are suited to tech savvy people. These include PROXY (like a VPN, but slower) and SLINGBOX (a device that is connected to the network of the specific house in your home country), among others.

As an ex-pat living in Portugal, there are loads of ways to keep enjoying all your favourite TV shows –you just have to choose the right one for you.

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