How to Watch German Movies and German TV in the US
I‘m frequently asked HOW to watch German movies or German TV shows here in the US. Generally, I turn to Netflix or Amazon… maybe I slip a German DVD into my multi-region player. But that’s just a tiny percentage of the German Programming available to us here. You tube, apps and certain websites make watching German TV easier than ever. (Even Tatort!). The availability is almost overwhelming!
My generous readers shared all the different ways that they watch German Programs with me. I’ve done my best to sort them out. Some are free, some require a monthly fee. Some can be watched on TV, others are best for devices (and can then be streamed to TV).
How to See German Movies and TV in the US
Netflix- ($8.99 per month)
Netflix seems to be a favorite for many people. There are LOTS of movies and programs available in the German Language. Once you start watching German language programming, more will come up as suggestions.
Put “German Language Movies” or “German Language TV” in the search bar.(Not all will be German, but most will.)
You can DUB some of the movies in German (look under the subtitle option)
Set up a separate profile on your Netflix account JUST for the German programming, and it will give you more German movies.
Dark (Fair warning… this is confusing because of the time travel)
Criminal (the Germany edition)
This Amazon product connects to your TV, and will allow you to stream 500000 movies and Television programs. Including ones from Germany. And it’s voice activated, so you can search without typing (although I’m interested to know how it deals with a German accent). Find all your favorite Netflix shows, Youtube, HBO and many many MANY more.
You can also download extra apps to enjoy, like RTL, ZDF, The Germany Channel, and ARTE. There’s even a channel devoted to Tatort! Some require extra monthly payment.
See more about the Amazon Fire Stick here–> Fire Stick
MHz on Amazon Prime ( $7.99 per month)
Do you have Amazon Prime, ?a Roku? iphone? Android? an Xbox One?Then you can look for MHz. This subscription service has loads of international programs especially mystery and drama series. (Tatort!)
Watch on your TV or device (ipad, phone, laptop).
Learn more about MHz here—> MHz
Kanopy (Free with a Library Card!)
In the past, the Goethe Institute has partnered with Kanopy to share documentaries, foreign films, classics, and educational films. While there are plenty of films for adults (search “German Films” or “German Language”), the real treasure is in the KID’S section. They have Muzzy German Language for Kids films! Perfect for young German Language Learners.
Learn more about Kanopy here–> Kanopy
Want to watch movies and video streams with friends around the world? The Streamparty platform allows you to watch videos together with people you care about or future friends all across the world, TOTALLY IN SYNCH! on multiple services, right on their website! This set up is perfect for anyone in a long distance relationship! (Believe me, I’ve tried watching movies simultaneously with long distance friends… there’s always a funky lag… Streamparty eliminates that!)
Sign up here–> Streamparty
YouTV (Free for basic, then from 5.99€ per month)
Quite a few people recommended this App to me. The way I understand it, you can choose to record any German programs (from German TV) with a click (there is a LONG list of available programming!). Later you can watch your recorded shows on your device. Sort of like a DVR, but for German TV that you can watch here. (I think you can’t watch live, but I’m sure someone will let me know if I got that wrong.)
Go to the site, and you can scroll though the TV listings, or search through categories. They have a nice selection for the kids! (Including Biene Maja!)
The app is available from all the usual places… Apple TV, iOS iPhone, Watch and iPad, Android smartphone, Android tablet, FireTV, NVIDIA Shield, Android TV, Roku, Windows Universal, Xbox One, Samsung, Panasonic, LG , and Chromecast.
It starts free, but that doesn’t give you as many programs. At 5.99€ per month, but if you pay more, you get more “users” and more storage.
Learn more about Youtv here–> YouTV
Sling TV has a special “German Mosaic” package that runs $20 a month. You get News, lifestyle, and entertainment programming from your favorite German channels. Plus, included for no cost: English-language news, sports, and entertainment from around the world. (Tech Guy uses sling to watch Soccer).
You get DW, Prosieben SAT1 Welt, and My German TV.
It’s a bit pricier than the other programs… but you can use it on up to three devices at once (Opa watches Fußball, Mom watches her programs, and kids watch KID tv… all at once).
Learn more about Sling TV here–> SlingTV
German TV and News Websites
Quick note- Some programs are barred from being shown to IP addresses (computer location addresses) outside of Germany. There is a work around for this. It’s called a VPN. With such a service, your computer tricks their computer into thinking you are in Germany. Sounds like high tech espionage, doesn’t it? Almost like James Bond… (Although in my case, I’m more like Inspector Clouseau. Thankfully Tech Guy handles this stuff).
You can learn more about it, and get one HERE–> VPN
Click to Deutsch in the language, and you will find a display of programs. SOME will play without a VPN, most won’t.
Find it here–> Arte.tv/De
Find all of ARD 1’s shows, including news and series (like Charite). You can also see movies, children’s programming, documentaries and MORE. Again, for most of the programs you will need a VPN.
Find it here–> ARD1
TV shows (including the end of Lindenstrasse), News and more. Some work, some need VPN.
Find more here–> Das Erste
Series, documentaries, the Heute program, and a lot of children’s programming (and tween shows)
find it here–> ZDF
WDR has News, culture, politics, series, and some great shows… check out Land und Lecker (love this one) and they have the Maus…
Check out the Hobbyraum for kid activities.
How to Watch German Movies with Free Streaming
For free streaming Shows, music and podcasts. You can record streams or convert downloaded movies to the format you want using Movavi.
Just click in, (search Europe, then Germany) and you will find a LONG list of German Radio stations and TV stations streaming live on your computer.
OR Find it here–> Streema
Not only does the Goethe Institute have great resources for language learning (for ALL ages), they have playlists for Spotify. Everything from pop to politics.
Check out their #Ersatzprogramm here–> Goethe Institute
EVERYONE knows about Youtube, but did you know you can find TONS of German programs there?
Type German Language TV into the search bar and way too many selections come up.
You can drill down and search for specific programs and movies (most likely you will find them)
A few good channels and shows to look for:
DW – Deutschewelle
BR -Bayrischer Rundfunk
Die Biene Maja
But there is another way to see great German movies that haven’t been released here in the US.
You will need an ALL REGION DVD PLAYER. Dvds sold in Germany will not play on American players. (I don’t know why). A simple player isn’t that expensive, and it opens up your world!
Find one here–> All Region DVD Player
Then you can play all of the German DVDs that you packed into your suitcase (well, I did). You can order from Amazon.com
Like- Drei Haselnusse fur Aschenbrödel, or Fünf Freunde, or Ziemlich Beste Freunde
You can also order films from Amazon.de!
WHEW! That’s quite a list. I will keep adding to it as I find more ways to watch German TV and German Movies.