Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank you Apple

I  said before that we do not have access to British TV in Casa El Willo. That is not strictly true because we do have a subscription to the version of BBC iPlayer available on an Apple iPad in Spain. Although not the same as the one available in Britain (or to those who have a spoof IP address here in Spain), there is a lot of excellent content to be viewed.

Previously, we could only watch the programmes on the small iPad screen and listen through the small speakers. No more though because now we have a 3rd generation Apple TV which allows us to stream the content from the iPad to the TV in the lounge. Apple call it mirroring and it works just fine.

The diminutive box is connected to the TV with a HDMI cable and to our router via the household wiring and a pair of Home Plugs*. The iPad streams the content wirelessly to the router and from there to the TV – voila – a perfect picture and sound on the screen. Yesterday we watched the special concert for the Queen’s jubilee followed by the first part of Oliver Twist.


Although we can watch the programmes streamed directly, the picture does stutter slightly from time to time so we have found it is better to download the content to the iPad and then watch it from there. That way, both the sound and the picture are completely stutter free.

You may argue that we had to buy both an iPad and an Apple TV to achieve this. That is true - however, the cost was a lot less than a huge dish on the roof and the iPad is useful for so much more than watching BBC programmes. I already had the Home Plugs to connect our smart TV and digibox to the Internet anyway. 

* I first of all connected both the iPad and Apple TV to our router via wireless N and that worked. However, the picture and sound would stutter occasionally which was distracting. Connecting the Apple TV by Ethernet (even using the electricity cabling in the house) solved that problem.

It is possible to connect an iPad to an Ethernet switch with an appropriate cable from Apple but that means tethering it which I don’t really want to do. 

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