There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world.
The three standards are not compatible with each other. This means a TV signal (or video) produced for one system will not play properly on machinery that's been designed for another. A non-PAL compatible television will not receive a signal or be able to produce sound and picture.
There is no TV licence fee payable in Spain; advertising supports all channels. Spain does not have a national independent broadcasting authority.
Some of the autonomous communities have a regulatory board but the only national commission is the Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (Telecommunications Market Commission) that has a small influence over the audio-visual sector.
There are a number of regional stations available to each province broadcasting in the local language such as Catalan, Basque and Galician.
TDT is the Spanish equivalent of of the UK's freeview television. Digital television provides a greater number of channels and better picture quality using transmission to a standard television aerial. TDT also allows the viewer to choose the original version language, subtitles and in the case of some sports events, different camera angles.
Digital television is phasing out analogue television across Europe, and in Spain analogue television was completely phased out in April 2010.
Free to air programming from other countries (such as the UK) may be received with an appropriately-sized and -oriented satellite dish and digital satellite receiver. Many providers also make these television services available via the Internet - a decoder will be required - this is available (usually just for a deposit) from the provider.
Alternatively, it is possible to access UK-based free-to-air (FTA) programming on the same satellite that broadcasts Sky Digital. Please note, however, that there is no legal way to access encrypted programming on that satellite while in Spain (such as Sky Digital's premium channels accessible only through a Sky subscription package, or those channels that may only be watched in the UK using a satellite receiver with a free-to-view card installed).
Satellite dishes over 1.9 metres in diameter may require planning permission from the local Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) although this varies between towns and should be checked before proceeding with any installation.
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