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In Germany you have to pay a license to watch TV, currently a whopping 17.50 € per month. Much of this goes to funding two public service television networks, ARD (6,000 million € in 2014) and ZDF (2,000 million) (see Rundfunkbeitrag). The positive side of this, especially if you're outside Germany and don't need to pay the fees, is that they generate lots of content and make it available online.

In addition to these institutions, there are similar institutions in Switzerland ( and Austria (, though the choice is less than in Germany.

You have a whole choice of TV shows available online. Some are geographically restricted, but most are available in good quality anywhere in the world. Of course, it’s online content, so the web interfaces are just as bad as anywhere else in the world, but some of the content is good, and much of it is “HDTV”, by which they invariably mean 720p. Here are some URLs:

The following sites also offer content, but I have not been able to get anything useful from them. Possibly they're restricted to access from Germany, but they're too polite to say so:

In my experience the bandwidth is not adequate for 720p TV programmes, so it makes more sense to download the images and look at them locally. There are two possibilities here:

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