One of the things that British expats in France always seem to ask is “How do I get to watch British TV?” in my new country.
It’s not a sign that they’re not willing to adapt to new ways or adopt new practices, but for many expats, keeping up with the news or their preferred soaps and comedy shows is a way to keep in touch with home and of course, carry on watching their favourite programmes!
We spoke to Gary Carlyle-Cook, a man who really understands that often expats want to carry on watching the telly from home. Several years ago Gary’s sister moved to Spain and loved her life as an expat, but she missed her favourite soap opera on TV: EastEnders! Gary helped sort out her problem and enabled her to watch British TV easily and legally. More and more expats started asking him for help and he built up a level of expertise and know-how that led him to start his own family business, born from a genuine intention to help people – a feeling Gary still enjoys to this day.
How does Watch British TV do it?
Well, first and foremost – what they do is legal and that is important because it is possible to break the law by watching British TV overseas. Gary’s company allows clients to watch British TV via the internet. In the simplest terms, programmes on British TV stations are viewable via the company’s UK based server, shared via internet to a client’s computer which can be connected to the TV.
Watching TV has moved on apace in the last few years and this way of catching up with programmes from home has become increasingly simple, secure, speedy and economical. Gary is so confident that he can help people watch British TV from France (or anywhere else for that matter) that he’s offering a free trial. Lots of people, particularly those who aren’t very familiar with working via the internet worry that it might be too difficult to set up the service. “Not so” says Gary “Our friendly and safe service comes from years of experience of helping people get British TV and content abroad via the internet and satellite”.
Many companies offer a free trial for their VPN (Virtual Private Network) service – basically this means that a client’s IP address (Internet Protocol – a code that defines a computer’s address on the internet) is amended to allow access to UK on-demand catch-up services such as Iplayer, 4OD, Film 4, etc. The connection speeds are fast and there is no buffering; it’s legal because the company aren’t capturing copyrighted streams, they are simply redirecting the programmes through their UK servers to their clients. Gary stresses that “after we change the IP address we encrypt the connection so it cant be snooped upon if in a hotel or on WIFI. That can happen a lot in foreign countries as some people obviously prey on tourists”.
Gary says that very often, customers will want to upgrade to get the VPN service on their TV rather than their computer screen. Also increasingly popular is TV via satellite as well as SKY TV subscriptions.
There are certain ways for expats in France can continue to watch their favourite home grown programmes it seems…