It’s still surprisingly recent that many holidaymakers would have to miss episodes of their favourite TV shows while enjoying a break on a (hopefully) sunny beach.
Even with the advent of video recorders – assuming the timers worked and shows didn’t move around the schedules – the limited capacity of a single tape meant certain shows would have to be missed in order to ensure the real favourites could be caught up on when you were back.
Digital recorders such as Sky+ and Freeview+ helped solve these two problems, especially when smart scheduling (also known as Accurate Recording) which allows a set to box to keep track of schedule changes was adopted by broadcasters.
But in these days of social media even the certainty of knowing that – short of a power cut – your shows will successfully record doesn’t mean you’ll be able to enjoy them the way you really want to because even a brief visit to Twitter or Facebook to share your latest holiday selfie risks having a spoiler thrust into your timeline or feed.
No-one wants big, key moments such as the return of Anthony Hopkins in Sky Atlantic’s WestWorld or the pulse-pumping opening of BBC One’s Bodyguard ruined by their online pals.
Thankfully it’s now easy to keep up to date with your favourite shows while abroad.
Not only are some services, such as Netflix, available in multiple territories, they increasingly tend to secure the rights to new and original shows in most, if not all, of the markets they operate in, meaning fans of shows such as Lost in Space or Star Trek Discovery can keep on watching pretty much wherever they’re visiting.
Even better, if you’re holidaying in the EU, new rules means your pay-TV provider has to grant streaming access to any show you could normally watch via their app while at home in the UK.
These rules, which came into effect earlier this year, mean for example that it’s now possible to enjoy your Sky and BT TV subscriptions while staying in other European Union members just as easily as you can on the commute to or from work back in Blighty.
This means an end both to having to wait until you’re back of your holiday and potentially being left out of the office conversation, and even better, no more risking spoilers and having to watch an episode already knowing what big reveal is coming. Which, as we all know, sucks big time!
While originally an EU-mandated change, these new rules are already proving popular with pay-TV customers meaning that providers should have every incentive to keep them after the UK leaves next March.