Friday, August 5, 2011

How to get German television in the USA

One of the easiest ways of getting real German television into your home, is to subscribe to Dish Network. Dish provides several international programming options, one of which is a German one. Unfortunately the international channels are not included in the basic price. You have to pay extra for them. Once you are subscribed you'll be able to watch Deutsche Well, Euronews, German Kino Plus, My Sports Germany (a channel featuring full lenght sporting events), as well as Pro7Sat1 Welt. The package will cost you $29.99. According to Pro7Sat1 Welt, you are also able to receive their station through Verizon Fios TV, which is not available everywhere.
If you are lucky, some local PBS stations will carry some Deutsche Welle programming. Sometimes they will only carry the English speaking news programming though.
There are also plenty of Internet options when it comes to watching original German programming. First and foremost all of the German public tv stations have a great Internet video library. Here you can follow all your German soaps, news, and documentaries that air on ARD (http://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/servlet/) ZDF(http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/hauptnavigation/startseite/#/hauptnavigation/startseite). In addition the WDR and other regional stations offer the same service with their programming. Looking at the private sector TV station it becomes a little fishy. Even though RTL offers internet video, most of their programming is region blocked in the US. If you are looking for German comedies outside the government tv stations you can find lots of them at http://www.myspass.de/ . Myspass.de legally offers complete episodes of several comedies such as the German version of the office Stromberg and TV Total. It also features several German stand up comedians.
Another good option for German movies is Netflix. The online video rental service offers a large selection of German titles for rent or live streaming. Unfortunately the selection is rather one sided. Most of what they offer is World War 2 related. But you can find pretty much every movie Werner Herzog ever made, along with a large LGBT selection.
Last but not least, you can always go to Youtube. Good luck finding complete episodes there though.

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