You will need the internet, that is definite.. But if you can connect a 'spare' laptop to the internet and then a HDMI lead to the TV, you can use http://www.tvcatchup.com/channels free of charge..
Totally agree ... this site has recently extended the number of TV channels to include Yesterday, CBS and Sky News. ... just watching Yesterday and nostalgic trip down memory lane with Guitar Heroes followed by the Fleetwood Mac story !
Get sorted with internet connection and the rest is straightforward.
Wow! I had missed all the new channels available on tvcatchup. Some still say Premium service required but still loads to choose from, and of course no VPN is required.
I have a free VPN 'Hola' which also allows me to use tvplayer.com which also has loads of free channels, some require you to register but that is free.
With a VPN you can also access 'on demand' sites from the UK directly such as Iplayer but this can be a bit of a game as they are always trying to block access. Usually a reboot and clearing your browsing data can rectify this.
When viewing the BBC website via a VPN you can use bbc.co.uk rather than bbc.com which stops the annoying video adverts that are broadcast before news items.
We also watch Netflix without a VPN but you get a different selection to the UK. It will actually object if you use a VPN...well it does with Hola anyway.
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