One of my main gripes about being here in the UAE is the truly atrocious and expensive "TV packages" that you can use.
Basically the telco here is a monopoly (Etisalat) and they provide "service" which will only be familiar to those who used to deal with "The GPO" back in the 70s for telephones.....
Etisalat own and provide the telco infrastructure (all cable), the landline service, the mobile phone service, the internet service and the TV service (OSN).
I pay around 200 quid per month for a landline, a not very reliable (but quite fast when stable) internet service and a cable TV service (OSN Western edition + Sports). My mobile is on top of that, but fortunately work pays for that.
For my 200 quid, I get almost no watchable channels except for the excellent BeIn Sports which gives my endless UK footy, including live premiership and championship games and I get to see Richard Keys and Andy Gray every day.
The "Movies" channels I get in English would all be a disgrace to the Blockbusters Bargain Bucket section... I've genuinely never heard of half of them, and those that I have (Jack Reacher, Mission Impossible, WhiteHouse Down) have all been running on loop for several months.
I get an "ITV Choice" channel, that seems to only show UK game shows, and a "BBC Entertainment" channel that shows random BBC shows at random times of the day.
Other than that my English language choices are the basic Discovery channels (2.. and I now kno more than I ever needed to know about Sharks) and E! (yikes!)
I've got AppleTV and I subscribe to Netflix, but that's still very US based and doesn't add much new stuff very often.
I have a VPN which "pretends" I am in the US which enables me to access Netflix and iTunes but not much else.
I can't run BBC iPlayer despite my VPN setup. Neither can I get any of the promised UK TV stations that purport to be available on the VPN for some reason. I have new Samsung and LG TVs in the house - none of them come with built in iPlayer as they are for this region and it doesnt get loaded into the Apps setup and isn't downloadable even if you change the geography to somewhere else in the menu.
Most expats out here complain about this, but very occassionally you hear rumours of a British expat who has it all "sorted" via VPN chicanery and they can get UK TV and all sorts - but when you dig deeper it's always a friend of a friend so I'm not convinced.
It's a longshot I know - but has anyone lived abroad and managed to get a truly decent setup whereby a VPN service will actually fool BBC iPlayer, ITVPlayer and Sky (where I am a subscriber at home still) that this is in fact the UK and can play and watch UK based TV?
I'm price insensitive (as only someone who has a choice of ITVs "The Chaser", BBCs "Antiques in the Attic" crica 2001 episode and "The Kardashians Take The Hamptons" can be) so if there's a box, a service or a vendor out there who does this stuff I will pay - provided it works!
I just want iPlayer really...... I miss the Beeb