UK TV set in Spain

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09 Oct 2006 12:00 AM by barbarah Star rating in Surrey and Alicante. 15 posts Send private message

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My friend is moving to Spain near us soon and is thinking to bringing over her new flat screen TV which she's only had for 6 months.  Does anyone know if this will work in Spain?

I've been told that it wont which seems a shame really as they're not cheap.

Happily living in Spain

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09 Oct 2006 6:23 PM by Ian24A Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

A reply has been posted on other forums which suggests that it won't work if you plug it straight into the aerial connection but if you buy a Spanish video recorder and plug that into the aerial and then use a scart lead from the video to your tv , then it would- something to do with the frequency the sound element of the signal is transmitted on, I think.

Let us know how your friends get on.



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10 Oct 2006 1:52 PM by Glen Star rating. 13 posts Send private message

We purchased a new  LCD Television in the UK sent it to spain pluged it into the arial socket worked ok but mainly picks up spanish programs.( but also have a DVD player connected ) 

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10 Oct 2006 4:55 PM by terri Star rating in Salisbury / Mijas. 27 posts Send private message

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We took a Tv from Uk and works fine with Sky, I believe you can get a problem if you want to watch Spanish programs


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26 Oct 2006 7:52 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2253 posts Send private message

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UK TVs operate a slightly different frequency to Spanish TVs.  You may, therefore, find you can pick up the sound but not the picture or vice-versa.

The best way is to pass the signal through a DVD or Video Recorder.  You will need one with two scart sockets.  Simply plug the satellite decoder or the aerial socket into the DVD or video (use the video out to video in sockets).  Tune this equipment into the signal and then pass this signal with the video out to TV scart.  This also works with cable signals which some companies in Spain will tell you that you have to have a Spanish adapted TV.  Not true.  Simply use your DVD/Video as the signal collector/transmitter.


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03 Nov 2006 6:31 PM by sancay Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Anyone know howmuch LCD TVs cost in Span as I am coming out soon and have sold mine here in the UK as I was told I counld't take mine.  Many thanks
Tricia F

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04 Nov 2006 5:18 PM by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2502 posts Send private message

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Whoever told you couldnt take yours - GARBAGE - sorry but no use crying over spilt milk I guess. All electricals run on the same voltage as UK appliances. LCD's and Plasmas about the same money as the UK. EG Currently considering an LG 42" Plasma with 80gb Hard Drive and HD ready for 1800€ - thus about £1250 - think this about the same as the UK. This TV has recently been voted the best TV available in Europe - whether thats true or not I dont know but I understand LG make for Pioneer. I have a mate who has one who reckons it is the dogs dinner.

Rgds Smiley


Smiley -

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06 Nov 2006 1:40 PM by hfagan Star rating in Hove, East Sussex. 36 posts Send private message

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Is that the "dogs b---ocks" as in terrific or a "dogs dinner" as in awful.


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06 Nov 2006 3:32 PM by Twiglet Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

You can use your English TV - Only problem we have been told about is the wiring in new property can be a bit off (something to do with wires running so they don't earth or something !!) so when you are running British items they can burn out quickly - if you get an electrician to check over your wiring at your main supply they should be able to straighten it therefore you won't burn out your British items.  Obviously for toasters, kettles, hairdryers you wouldn't care too much if they burned out but for a TV you probably would !!!

Hope this is of assistance.

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10 Nov 2006 11:28 AM by Rock-Ape Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

As all the other posters have said the modern TV's will work in just about any country.

When you first plug in and go for auto tune you may be given certain options i.e. UK,Spain,Germany ,Malaysia etc. Select Spain and the set should tune in to all the available channels.

Higher spec models will do all this automatically picking up everything available.

Basically don't worry everything is going to be fine.



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10 Nov 2006 5:10 PM by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2502 posts Send private message

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Sorry Hfagan I had always thought the two the same - but just for clarity I meant that he reckons it is top class. Just as a follow up we have been searching for appliances for a new kitchen and as per the UK there are websites here with white goods cheaper than on the street. However havent used them myself and went to a local supplier with a list of price comparisons - while he could not match the internet bods he was able to discount and gave me a good deal. At least when one of them goes wrong I can go back and see him in person rather than be a faceless number once the internet supplier has spent my dough. Has also told me that if we need service or warranty call out he will be able to help by contacting manufacturer direct so there is probably added value to what he has done for us. Ended up paying about 400€ more spread across 6 appliances so peace of mind has been relatively cheap. He has been business for about 20 years down here so should be around for some time. There are discount chains here like Comet and it is always worth asking them for a deal. If they can they will - not like Comet, Dixons et al.

For all things like TVs or PC's recommend a surge protector (good quality) - lightening strikes here can be pretty fierce - burned out a PC in the office that wasnt protected and not on at the time - just plugged in and the lightening came down the mains. The problem with mains leccy I am told by my sparks is that the Spanish in their infinite wisdom sometimes use cable of the wrong capacity - even bloody telephone wire! They also do not always identify a positive from a negative so you think you have one of each when in actual fact you have two positives and 220v suddenly becomes 440v - or something like that - rightly I fear electricity as much as I fear God - if you cant see it then its more scary. What he has also told me is that the way fuseboxes are set up here with the trip system one is far less likely to get a shock than you would in the UK - probably a bloody good job if you cant tell the red from the black.

There are companies setting up who say they fit a spike where the power comes into the mains (at a cost) I am told by my sparks that it will not protect against electric power surges; simply lightening and they are a waste of time - the proper ones for PC equipment far more effective - and no, for you cynics he wasnt trying to sell me any.

Rgds Smiley


Smiley -

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29 Dec 2006 4:51 PM by sblack Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Does anyone know if a UK Freeview box is able to pick up UK channels as far away as the Costa Blanca, if so what type of aerial would be most suitable?


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02 Jan 2007 7:56 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2253 posts Send private message

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Sorry Sblack but your freeview box won't pick up UK TV on the Costa Blanca no matter what type of aerial you have.  You can pay to receive these channels through cable or stick up a huge satellite dish (2.4metres at least to get a signal throughout the day and evening).  Even a 1.8 metre dish starts dropping out once the sun goes down.

These systems are extremely expensive in Spain.  You are better off getting a cable company to hook you up if you are there all the time.

As I only visit for 5 or 6 weeks a year, I record loads of programmes onto DVD in UK and take enough with me to keep me going whilst I am there.  It's not live but it's amazing what you'll watch when you've come back from the restaurant or pub.  I have about 20 DVDs with 4 hours of kids programmes on them for when I take the grandkids over and about 50 x 4 DVDs of things like Colombo, Murder She Wrote, NCIS, CSI etc (reading back that last bit makes me feel a bit saddo) plus I leave the DVD recorder on at night to record the comedy channels from Sky.  Works for me at the moment but will hook up to cable when I'm there on a permanent basis.  As an added advantage, a lot of DVDs are available in Spain which are as cheap as the UK.  I'm talking of the economy ones from places like Carrefour, NOT the pirated ones sold to you in pubs as it's a bit disconcerting watching people walk in front of the camera when they are being recorded by someone sitting in a cinema, plus the quality and sound is pretty C***. 

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02 Jan 2007 8:10 PM by FibbyUK Star rating in UK, Surrey & Playa F.... 2349 posts Send private message

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Hi Sblack

We are in Costa Blanca, Playa Flamenca, near Torrevieja.

We have a mesh TV arial on the roof and have a contract with Cina, they are local, at La Zenia and we pay 19€ per month. That gives us all the UK channels, Sky Sports 1 & 2, Eurosport and Sky movies 1 & 2. Plus other UK channels and of course the Spanish TV.

In the UK, just to get the sport & movie channels, our cable provider would charge £35 per month!




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03 Jan 2007 11:47 PM by Patty_1 Star rating in Hertfordshire. UK. .... 1062 posts Send private message

Hi Fibby, that is great to know we are going back the end of the month and want to set this up, but you are on the web site can I ask how you are receiving that Thanks Pat



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04 Jan 2007 10:10 AM by FibbyUK Star rating in UK, Surrey & Playa F.... 2349 posts Send private message

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Hi Pat & Roy,

Well, I am so lucky to get internet here whilst we are on holiday.

How it came about was that my Brother lived in our apartment for a year, installed an ADSL phone line with wireless. He then shared it free with our neighbours and now he has moved into his own villa, they are happy to share the signal with us for free! We do of course, buy them special treats each time we visit.

What would be a good idea (and one I am thinking of putting forward to our community) is to have a wireless network set up within your building, that residents could share and contribute to. When your community is set up, put it forward to your Presidente, the cost per month would be relatively small compared to individuals paying about 30€ per month for a phone line with broadband. The signal could be code protected, so that only people who contribute, can receive it.

I am just so happy my neighbours do this for us, I don't know what I would do without internet access. I also have Skype and can talk to my family on Skype for free. I have credit with Skype also and can ring UK landlines for .012p per minute and send text messages to the UK for 5p, this compared with feeding the local phone box Euro upon Euro, or sending a text via my mobile at 25p per go, is great value for money.

So, for you, either get here and hope you can find a free "Hot Spot", which you would be so lucky to do, or make my suggestion above.

Hope this helps,




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20 Apr 2007 3:34 PM by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1112 posts Send private message

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Hi everyone,

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



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20 Apr 2007 8:52 PM by eric Star rating in redcar uk/sierra gol.... 263 posts Send private message

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Thanks foxbat

that info was very handy



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18 May 2007 6:15 PM by TechNoApe Star rating in Duquesa, Manilva. 1277 posts Send private message

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Does anyone know if a UK Freeview box is able to pick up UK channels as far away as the Costa Blanca, if so what type of aerial would be most suitable?


Hmm! Does anyone know if a UK Freeview box will actually pick up UK channels in the UK!?!

Anwser: Nope! not a snowballs chance in hell for it working for everyone here in the UK even by 2012

For Spain go for a UK SKY FreeSat System. Get a UK SKY Box (New or 2nd hand) and then phone SKY and get a FreeSat Card. Then take the whole lot out to Spain and get a local Sat Engineer to install at least a 1.7m Dish with LNB and whack your box in.

Total price (UK) £20.00 for the FreeSat Card and about £35.00 for a 2nd Hand Sat Box = £55.00

Total price (Spain) About €300 - €350 for the Sat Dish and the SKY Box you have provided installed (A big quality dish and LNB are not cheap - but worth it)

This message was last edited by TechNoApe on 5/18/2007.


Me, the Mrs and Rosie too! But we'll never, ever forget our Tyler!

We support AAA Abandoned Animals Marbella - Do you?

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27 May 2007 4:56 PM by howardandkay Star rating in Daya Nueva near Alm.... 76 posts Send private message

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Put this on another thread,(Living in Spain TV) but has deviated a bit so copied on to here   Thanks,Technoape, I did find this after I posted. What channels do you get, is it all the freeview ones? I assume you do not have to pay a monthly subscription, is that right?


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