Watching Tv In Spain

Watching Tv In Spain

What about my UK TV?

If you are thinking of​ taking your TV with you to​ Spain, TV sets operating on the​ British system (PAL-1) won’t work. Spain uses the​ PAL- BG standard. However, it​ will work via a​ satellite system or​ by connecting the​ aerial to​ a​ Spanish video player, which must be connected by a​ SCART lead to​ the​ TV. Most expats who move to​ Spain, with all the​ best intentions of​ learning Spanish via the​ television usually end up with a​ whacking great dish taking up half of​ their terrace.

Communal Satellite System

Many urbanisations have their own communal satellite system usually depending on the​ ratio of​ Brits to​ Spanish. Not all developments have communal systems and​ those who do want it​ may have to​ organise it​ amongst themselves.

Quality TV?

Whether you understand the​ Spanish language or​ not, I am sure that most people will agree that after a​ night in​ front of​ the​ Spanish box, the​ BBC license fee is​ worth every penny.

The Channels

There are two state owned channels TVE 1 and​ 2, channels specific for​ each region and​ the​ two large privately owned Antena 3 and​ Tele 5. TVE backs the​ governing socialist party, PSOE; Antena 3 has right wing leanings; and​ TELE 5 leans more to​ the​ left. With regards to​ the​ state-owned channels there is​ currently an​ obvious attempt to​ improve the​ quality of​ programmes with more ‘realistic’ soaps such as​ Cuentame como paso about everyday life during the​ Franco era. News coverage can be quite disturbing as​ there is​ little editing of​ live, video footage; probably a​ backlash of​ years of​ censorship under Franco.

Chat Shows

If you are Trisha fan or​ celeb obsessed than you are in​ for​ a​ treat as​ the​ main offerings are low quality chat shows devoted to​ gossip and​ scandal. However, exposure to​ such programmes should be kept to​ a​ minimum as​ they can result in​ severe headaches due to​ the​ inability of​ the​ guests and​ sometimes presenters to​ talk in​ a​ voice less than 120 decibels.

UK influenced TV

Reality television has hit Spain, although in​ a​ much lower dose than the​ UK. if​ you want to​ improve your colloquial Spanish then Spanish Big Brother, literally translated as​ Gran Hermano is​ the​ one to​ watch. if​ you thought the​ UK version was a​ shameful reflection of​ British society today than don’t judge the​ Spanish based on it. Other familiar shows include copies of​ the​ Weakest Link and​ Who Wants to​ be a​ Millionaire whose presenters are Spanish clones of​ our own Anne Robinson and​ Chris Tarrant. Dubbed American sitcoms are popular ranging from the​ more recent Frazier and​ Friends to​ the​ more tired Fresh Prince of​ Bel Air.


Fans of​ British comedy such as​ the​ Office and​ Only Fools will be sorely disappointed as​ Spanish comedy can be amateur and​ crude. Unconvincing transvestites with balloons for​ boobs are still very much in​ vogue as​ is​ slapstick humour.

Be Patient!

Spanish television will certainly test your patience with commercial breaks every fifteen minutes that last fifteen minutes. in​ fact, it​ is​ easy to​ become engrossed in​ two or​ three programmes on different channels at​ once while you wait for​ the​ other one to​ return.

TV for​ Learning

Compared to​ the​ quality of​ our own home grown CBeebies, there is​ little educational value in​ Spanish children’s television. Dubbed Japanese cartoons are in​ abundance and​ Muppets style ‘Los Lunnis’ are popular with the​ three to​ eight age group. TVE often shows dubbed episodes of​ the​ Fimbles and​ Teletubbies which are a​ great familiar starting point for​ both pre schoolers and​ adults alike in​ acquiring the​ Spanish language.

Learn Spanish by watching telly!

Personally, I have found Spanish television a​ fantastic way of​ improving my listening and​ understanding of​ the​ Spanish language. When I first started watching it​ just over eighteen months ago, I could barely follow a​ Mexican soap opera and​ now, although I can’t understand the​ meaning of​ every word, from an​ information point of​ view, I can get the​ same benefits from Spanish television that I used to​ with British.

Watching Tv In Spain

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