Spain is well connected and offers easy access to media in the home.
There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world. Spain and most of Western Europe uses the PAL system. Note that the system is not compatible with the NTSC and SECAM systems. This means a TV signal produced for one system will not play properly on machinery that's been designed for another.
There is no TV licence fee necessary in Spain. Spain does not have a national independent broadcasting authority, but Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (Telecommunications Market Commission) has influence over the audio-visual sector. Each linguistic region of Spain has their own state-owned and private range of television channels which can be obtained from a standard receiver. Most television programs are shown in the regional language, although some channels have dual-language options.
For a wider range of programs you can subscribe to a monthly cable service. Many properties are already wired for cable service, but you can set-up a connection when you subscribe for service as well. Average price is around EUR 300 a year.
Satellite dishes are another option for a wider range of channels, including Foreign language channels. Note that some landlords may require approval before dish installation.
Television over broadband, or IPTV, is becoming more popular. A cable box is rented for around 7 Euros per month. An ADSL line is used to deliver over 45 channels, as well as shows on demand.
Streaming shows online can allow you to watch shows from your home Spain. However, there is a risk of viruses and it may infringe on copyright. An example is Sidereel.
Internet is available in all populated areas of Spain, but is less available in rural areas. Once a telephone line is installed, Internet access can be procured through one of any number of Internet Service Providers (ISP). Services and prices vary from provider to provider, so it is in your best interest to shop around.
The most common speed is 10 Mbps. Máxima velocidad (maximum speed) or Hasta 20 megas offer speeds of up to 20 Mbps. Offers for higher speed are dependent on the quality of the line, such as length of the wire, attenuation, noise. In some rural areas, wireless technologies are used to provide wired-like services.
There is also free internet service provided by the city council: Barcelona wifi with a password "Barcelona WiFi". However, the connection is very slow.
ISPs generally offer bundled packages with phone, internet, and possibly mobile phone services. The necessary hardware may or may not be included in the cost of the plan.
Internet cafes are easy to find in downtown Barcelona, but may be more difficult outside of tourist zones. Some cafes offer their own computers and others allow you to bring in your own laptop. Prices are about 1.30 - 2.00 euro per hour.
Internet "hotspots" providing access in areas throughout the Barcelona. Many wifi hotspots are free, but located in a cafe or restaurant and it is expected that you buy something. Chain cafes are the most likely options, like Starbucks, but also look for independent shops that will usually have a sign identifying "wi-fi".
Barcelona WiFi is a Barcelona City Council service that enables you to connect to the Internet through WiFi access points, or hotspots, located in various municipal amenities and various public access points. The access if free with the website supplying a map of hotspots.
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