German TV

Germans get their television programs in many ways. Ultimately though, as long as you have a dish, most programs are free to air.


Germany has had an established cable TV system for many years. Almost everywhere that I have ever been in Germany has had cable TV. The cable systems vary from one area to another but in general they carry all of the normal national stations plus the German version of MTV and one or two English language channels, a Turkish channel, all of the German regional channels. There are some regional variations. For example, in the South, you can get the Swiss and Austrian channels. This is great as ORF1, the main Austrian staton, shows the F1 races without advertising breaks. As long as you can put up with the constant references to Alex Wurtz! You may also get Eurosport but not everywhere. The English language choice normally comprises CNN with one other (usually NBC) if you are lucky.

Direct to air

German TV is transmitted on VHF and UHF. It is possible to pick up all of the national stations plus one regional station in most places. In the big cities, some of the specialist channels are broadcast on VHF at very low power.


All of the German TV channels are broadcast in analogue form on the Astra satellite. With the exception of Premiere, they are all in the clear.

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