Thursday, 9 February 2012

TV programmes

I have mentioned before that we don't have a television.  We got rid of it almost two years ago and I haven't missed it at all.   I was paying a monthly subscription to Digiturk and the only English channels of any interest to me were BBC World (24 hour news) and BBC Prime.  The problem with Prime was that it showed endless repeats.  Home makeover programmes, comedies, dramas, etc...but years old.

The only "current" programme was the soap Eastenders and that was two weeks behind the UK. So we cancelled the Digiturk subscription and got shot of the TV.

I discovered a website on the internet which streamed live TV from the UK and I took out a monthly subscription which was a fraction of the cost of Digiturk.  This worked well for several months until suddenly one day the site crashed and was out of action for over a week while maintenance was undertaken.  Unfortunately when it was up and running again it had so many problems with some channels being unavailable for several days...usually when there was something I particularly wanted to I cancelled the subscription to that too.

Since then I've found a couple of websites that upload TV programmes after they have been transmitted so I can watch my favourite programmes free of charge, usually the following day.  It's great because if I don't have time to watch, I can catch up whenever I want to.   With the awful weather we've had recently, there's nothing better than having a pyjama day and watching back to back episodes of series like Masterchef!

I love the dramas and documentaries produced by the BBC and there are two that I am particularly enjoying at the moment.

"Protecting our Children" is a 3 part documentary about social workers in Bristol working in the area of child protection. It's of  special interest to me because social work was my career before I moved to Turkey.   Social workers generally get such bad press, particularly in the area of child protection.  Although in recent high profile cases they may well deserve the criticism thrown at them, it's rare to find someone praising the good work that they do.

This programme in my opinion, is realistic and sensitively done, and is well worth watching.   There's also  this article in the Guardian about the programme which I found interesting.

"Call the Midwife" is a lovely drama about midwives in the 1950s.   The BBC do period dramas so well.  The costumes, scenery and continuity is first class.   You might also be interested in this article in The Telegraph  in which Monica Fitten tells of her experiences as a midwife in the 1950s.

Has anyone watched either of these programmes?  Let me know what you think.


  1. I'd love to be able to watch some current BBC programs even if a day or more old...please where would I find these 2 websites? I don't have a TV connection either (tired of USA TV) so this would be fantastic!

  2. Theanne this is the site I use 99% of the time:

    One thing that can be irritating is the pop-up ads that appear whenever you click a link to a programme. But after a while you get used to it, and just keep deleting them. Of course some sites will offer you a premium service which is faster and ad-free but it costs you. I'd rather put up with the ads and get programmes free...its a matter of personal choice.

  3. I, too, am really enjoying "Call The Midwife" on tv but would say if you ever get the chance then please read the books, they are lovely and a real snapshot of social history.
    Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy that as well!!

  4. We use which is 5 euros a month and somehow tells the english tv system that we live in England and lets us watch all the iPlayer programs (no adverts/trailers on BBC).
    I love the Midwife series (especially Chummy). I read the autobiography of the main midwife some time ago and loved it and the TV series is just as good.
    Nothing else much at the moment. Except BBC radio of course.

  5. Ayak, look into iPortal.

    It costs £5 a month via PayPal, has fantastic customer service and has never let me down.

    I've used it for about 4 years.


  6. Milorni. Welcome and thankyou for reading and commenting on my blog. Much appreciated. I'm sure I would love the books..will definitely add to my boooks to buy list.

    Rosie and SP. I am using Expat shield which does exactly the same thing, ie provides a UK IP so I too can watch BBC and ITV iPlayers. But it's absolutely free so I would be reluctant to pay. However if it becomes a problem in the future I will most certainly look at iPortal. Thanks for the advice.

    And Rosie...I like Chummy too!

  7. I used to use expat shield...but it took over the computer, and did the same on Brother in Law's computer too (numpties the lot of us) so I now use Identity Cloaker which is cheap and good.

    I love the midwives series....and will be looking for the books for my next am wondering if there will be a further series of Borgen...the Danish political soap!

  8. I watch on tvcatchup so I can watch on the iPad and not be tied to the living room or on bbc iplayer. Ive watched call the midwife but can't bring myself to watch protecting our children. I tried to adopt but was deemed unsuitable in my middle class haven, mainly down to the hours we worked. I said, why change until I need to change but that was seen as a lack if commitment. I tend to end up getting frustrated with programs watching badly treated children thinking how HOW could they have said it would be wrong to allow me to adopt when I see what is tolerated.

  9. Fly: I know what you mean about expat shield..I have persevered with it and don't allow it to take over my pc! I haven't come across Borgen but then you know politics isn't really my thing.

    Kv: I can understand perfectly why you would avoid watching it. However what seemed different to me about this programme is how the focus is really on protecting the children rather than tolerating neglect. If this is a sign of improvements being made generally in the UK then I'm relieved to see it. I'll never understand some of the criteria for adoption. I know vetting has to be thorough, but flexibility and assessing every situation individually should be the way it's done in my opinion...and not just concentrating on working hours, or age, etc.

  10. Ayak, I'm watching Call The Midwife with great enjoyment, having read the second of Jennifer worth's books and loved it. I haven't see the other programme.

    Even though we're in the UK most of the time, I watch very little TV nowadays and didn't even spot Call The Midwife until the 3rd episode. We don't have TV at all in France and Scotland.

  11. It's brilliant isn't it Perpetua? I'm definitely going to get the books

  12. I was wondering how it gets through all the blocks... I can never watch any tv from the US because everything is blacked out. I will check into those things as well next time we go. :)


  13. Terri: I don't understand how it all works. Turkey introduced new internet policing legislation last year and as a result lots of websites have been blocked...adding to the 1000s that they have already blocked. Who knows how long I'll be able to continue to watch these TV websites? I'm making the most of it while I still can.

  14. We download programmes from torrent sites, but you do have to watch your download and upload limits.
    It is often possible to find Turkish subtitles so my family can enjoy the shows as well.

  15. Peter. Being a bit of a computer numpty I didn't know what torrent sites were. I went to Wiki to look it up and can't get the Wiki site, but I think I have a general idea.
    We have the unlmited bandwidth tariff with ttnet which makes life easier.


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