Its been a long time since anyone posted in this thread so I will try to clarify the situation regarding the use of TV's purchased in Britain for use in Spain.
The problem isnt about electrics. Any TV worth its salt will work provided that the supply voltage is between 220 and 240 volts. Yes a surge protector is advisable in areas where the supply is liable to interruption. As for spanish wiring not being up to scratch it really wouldn't matter whether the TV was bought in Britain Spain or anywhere else; the fact is that almost without exception they are bilt in Japan or under licence to a Japanese design.
The problem arises in that Britain uses a different transmission standard to the rest of Europe and that of course includes Spain. Having said that however, most televisions are now multistandard and will work anywhwere except the USA / Canada. Look at the owners manual for your TV, somewhere near the back there will be a spec sheet. On the spec sheet will be a system heading; what you are looking for is a reference to PAL B/G. If this is listed as an operating system then no problem. Simply hook up a bog standard UHF TV Antenna, point it in the same direction as other local TV antennas, select Autotune and away you go.
If the operating system is quoted as PAL / 1 or PAL / I then things get a little more complicated, but all is not lost. You will not be able to receive analogue, UT terresrial TV, BUT, take a trip to AKI, Mediamarkt or Carrefour or you shop of choice and buy a Digital Terresetrial TV box (known in the UK as a Freeview box or set top box). Plug your bog standard UHF TV antenna into the back of the box and use a SCART lead to connect the set top box to the Scart input of your TV. Chances are that the TV will autosense the Scart input. Follow the instructions supplied with setting up the set top box and again away you go.
If your TV is a dual standard set, ie PAL B/G and PAL I you can have the best of both worlds. Connect the TV antenna to a set top box (identified as RF I/P or ANT) , and connect a tv cable between the Loopthrough socket (identified RFout or TV) to the ant socket on the back of the TV and a Scart cable between set top box and TV. Switch the set top box OFF, select TV to Autotune and allow TV to tune analogue TV stations as above, then set set top box to ON. Again TV should autosense the scart cable and switch automatically if not select TV to A/V and then follow installation instructions for the set top box. Theseactions will give you access to Spanish analogue stations when the Set top box is OFF and Digital stations when the box is ON.
A set top box from any Spanish source need not cost more than about 40 Euros and you can get a good high gain UHF TV Antenna for about 25 -40 Euros.
In my house in Granada I have two TVs one is an dual standard LCD purchased here in Spain and the other is single standard TV brought over from England. One works via a set topbox and scart lead and the other is direcly connected to an antenna.
All of the statements made above apply equally to video recorders. It is more likely that the VCR you brought over from England will be a single standard ie. PAL I. This is because the changeover from VCR to DVD/HD recorders coincided generally with the introduction of Digital TV in the UK. Again however all is not lost...Check the spec sheet for your VCR. If single standard, PAL I, connect the antenna to the set top box, and a scart lead from the set top box to the VCR. Connect a second Scart lead from the VCR to the TV.
The important thing to realise is that with a single standard PAL I TV or VCR, you cannot just hook up direct to the antenna and expect it to work. It wont. But there are ways around everything and in this case the set top box acts as an adaptor but only when used with scart leads.
You may well find yourself in the position of trying to feed the tv with different signals, set top box, satellite box, DVD, VCR etc and if your TV has only one scart input you will be forever changing the scart connector on the TV. There is a simple way around this too. A company called All-in-One make an ingenious box called a scart selector box, this is rather more expensive than it needs to be at around 50 Euros, but will save a lot of messing about changing connectors over. It will take up to four scart inputs and provides a single scart output. So you stack your various input sources VCR, DVD, Sat box, Set top box and connect the scart cables from each source to the selector box. Connect a single scart from the output of the box to the TV and yet again away you go. Simply push one of the front panel mounted switches to select the source you want to watch and watch it...
Do not be tempted to buy one of the cheaper Scart multisockets that are on the market. The problem here is that the multisockets simply parallel all the sources and each source feeds another, resulting in chaos on your TV since any source which is switched on will supply a signal to the TV and if you switch off all but the required source the signal from that source will still try to feed the other sources and the result will be an unacceptable level of signal deterioration.
As with any TV system I strongly advise that during thunderstorms the antenna feed to your system be disconnected. Thunderstorms are far more common in Spain than in the UK and it would be a shame to burn out your TV, not to mention an expensive mistake...
Any LCD TV worth its salt can also be used as a monitor for a computer. This has particular advantages, when like mine half of the LCD screen on my laptop is blacked out cos one of my dogs trod on the screen and cracked it...It also means that films or other media downloaded can be displayed on the big screen at very high quality, well as good as the download will permit. Windows XP Screensavers ans wallpapers can also fe displayed on the screen as interesting pictures.
There is another proviso to the purchase of LCD TVs. Carrefour and Mediamarkt are probably the best sources. Ours is a 32" wall mounted Toshiba, and cost under 900Euros. If you are buying such a set (ie under1000euros) I would advise you to listen carefully to the audio. Generally the audio standard is not brilliant and does not match the picture standard. We do not use the TV sound at all. All the signal sources for the TV except the direct antenna feed of Spanish Analogue TV are connected to an external 5.1 audio system. Not everyone is as finicky as me when it comes to audio reproduction, but is there any point in spoiling the ship for a halfpence of tar as they used to say.
Hope all of the above helps clarify the situation. I am a radio engineer by trade and have spent the last thirty or so years building radio and TV systems in my home trying to extract every last bit of quality from the various components. If anyone has any queries I would be happy to help. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org