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Digital TV allows viewers to choose between the Spanish dubbed or original English version of programmes
10.06.10 - 10:28 -

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Original version option makes Spanish TV more attractive for foreigners
Drama. A scene from the series known here as ‘Anatomía de Grey’
Foreign residents who are not comfortable with the Spanish language tend to immediately reject the Spanish television channels and stick to what they know, imported by satellite. The digital era, however has started to encourage_English-speaking residents to take a fresh look at what the Spanish channels have to offer. The reason is simple: with digital TV they have the option of watching films, series and even documentaries in their original version.
While the national and regional channels do have their fair share of homemade programmes, from news broadcasts to chat shows and series, the TV guides are still packed with films and series, mainly American, that have been carefully dubbed into Spanish. Before digital TV this was the audio that all viewers had to put up with, but now in most cases viewers can choose to hear the original soundtrack at the push of a button.
This option is being discovered by more and more Spaniards who are pleased to have found an extra tool to help improve their English, or who have realised that productions always lose something, however subtle, in the dubbing.
Similarly English-speaking foreign residents are now discovering a whole range of viewing possibilities without having to resort to the satellite option.
No interruption option
Now the Spanish state-controlled broadcasting company, RTVE, has followed the example of its British counterpart the BBC and scrapped all advertising, TVE1 and TVE2 are the best for watching uninterrupted movies and documentaries. For series addicts Cuatro and La Sexta have the biggest variety, the former offering Lost, Castle, True Blood, Flash Forward and Grey’s Anatomy, according to season, and the latter showing Bones, The Mentalist, Cold Case, Family Guy and Navy, among others.
Children need go no further than Clan or Disney Channel where favourites such as Spiderman, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Lazy Town, Dora the Explorer and many others can be watched in original English version.
Whether the original soundtrack is available or not depends on whether the television is broadcasting more than one audio channel. More often than not this is the case, although sometimes, for example with the series House on Cuatro, the original alternative is not an option.
Changing language
The audio channel is normally changed using the language or audio button on the remote control for the digital decoder or the television itself if this has a built-in digital tuner.
Obviously this is no alternative option for Coronation Street or Eastenders addicts (save the unlikely case of the Spaniards discovering the delights of Britain’s favourite soaps). However switching to Spanish TV from time to time, even if it is just to watch original version programmes, could end up improving Spanish listening skills as viewers find themselves sitting through endless commercial breaks just when the episode is getting exciting.
Consult the TV listings at the following websites:
TVE1, TVE2, Clan: www.rtve.es
Cuatro: www.cuatro.com
La Sexta: www.lasexta.com
Antena 3: www.antena3.es
Telecinco: www.telecinco.es
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