Our blog posts may include affiliate links. These affiliate links don't cost you anything, but we might earn a few Euros if you decide to purchase something from one of our recommended website partners. Thank you for your support to help keep this platform up and running!
No matter how hard we try to adopt German culture, learn the language and become used to the norms in Germany, we all have those days where we think, “ugh, I’m tired and have zero desire to try and translate every word back into English, I just need to shut off and watch a little English TV today!”
So, on those days where you’re craving a little English TV so you can wind down and relax from a hard day at work (or with the kids), we’ve put together some helpful information for you to easily access English TV programs from Germany.
Classic German Cable
Believe it or not, there are actually a few English stations on classic German cable TV. You’ll often find programs like BBC World, CNN, Nickelodeon, BBC Prime, and Sky News. So, if you don’t want the hassle of having to buy a program, stream online, or set up a satellite and don’t mind the limited selection, there are a few options here.
If you want to book a cable package (you can book TV & internet in one package), make sure you compare prices beforehand on a website like Check24 – they’ll show you all your options and compare the best prices before you make a decision.
The second option is to set up a satellite dish, which can be more affordable than you may think (or than what I thought). It is important that the person installing the satellite dish for you ensures that it is positioned at 28.2° East so it connects to the Astra 2 satellite. Most channels offered on Astra 2 are often being broadcasted from the UK, which means if you’re living in the Western part of Germany (like we are), you will likely have a better selection of English TV shows and a better quality connection. On this network, you’ll be able to find programs like BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, and ITV.
Sky UK TV
If you’re still in need of more selection (400 more channels to be more accurate), you can also purchase a Sky HD Box Drx890 which allows you to watch UK channels in Germany (thanks to the Astra 2 satellite).
Skycards.eu offers a step-by-step tutorial on how to order your Sky Box and how to install the satellite dish.
The third option might be the answer you were expecting to read when opening this post. Online streaming is huge today, and while you certainly can download illegally, I wouldn’t recommend it. The laws are quite strict here in Germany and it’s a very risky thing to do. Online streaming programs are so cheap nowadays that it really isn’t worth the effort of watching clips of videos on YouTube or illegally downloading a sub-par quality film. Here are a few better options you can consider:
Tip: Get a VPN & protect your online data!
There is plenty of VPN (Virtual Private Network) providers that help protect your online data. A few expat favorites include NordVPN, IPVanish, HideMyAss, and PureVPN. However, purchasing a VPN for the sole purpose of hiding your IP address to gain access to content outside of Germany does pose copyright issues. I do not encourage you to get a VPN to hide your IP for streaming, but to protect your online data when surfing the web and streaming. And yes, perhaps you may gain access to the English shows you’ve been looking for, but this is not always the case.
Getting a VPN allows you to protect yourself from:
- being logged while you share files with others
- hackers on the same Wi-Fi spots as you (like in cafés and public places)
- publically showing your IP address (this allows you to remain anonymous)
Are we missing anything in the post? Feel free to let us know and we’ll update the post when need be.
New to Germany? Join our Welcome Program! Want to join our author team? Send us an email! Join our Life in Düsseldorf | Expats & Locals Community group and register for our newsletter (packed with the hottest events, seasonal activities, upcoming job opportunities and more)!