Mobile Apps for Watching German-Language TV and Movies
Whether you’re living in German-speaking Europe or somewhere else in the world where it’s not that easy to watch German-language television, these apps allow you to watch TV and movies that the locals watch. Even if you’re in Germany, there are times when it’s nice to be able to use your smartphone or tablet device to read, watch, or listen to news and entertainment in German.To get more news about moonlive, you can visit official website.
Language-learners also love these apps. If you want to improve your listening skills, vocabulary, and pronunciation, there’s nothing better than hearing real German spoken by real Germans (or Austrians and Swiss). Watching TV or listening to the radio via a mobile app lets you do that when you have some free time almost anywhere.
There are also apps that expats can use for watching TV or listening to radio from their homeland, but here we concentrate on apps for German media. If you know of a good app for German television or movies not mentioned here, please let us know with a comment below or via Contact Us. Apps are listed below in alphabetical order. All of the apps listed are available for the iPhone and iPad (iOS) from the Apple App Store. Most are also available for Android devices, but I have not verified that. All of the apps offer a sharp HD picture (usually 720p), as long as you have a reasonably fast internet connection (12 Mbps or better).
Before we get to the apps, a few words about NEXTV and their new app. Those of us who remember the glory days of NEXTV, when this streaming television service offered a full lineup of German television channels, have been unhappy to see the diminished schedule since 2015. That was the year when NEXTV suddenly dropped most of its extensive German channel lineup. Which is why that was also the year I began looking for alternate ways of watching German, Austrian, and Swiss television.
NEXTV eventually brought back some of their former German television content, but they’re still missing much of what was offered before 2015. (See NEXTV’s German Package for more.) It now charges about $15.00 a month for its German programming, a bit high when compared to German TV Co.’s much larger channel lineup for about the same cost. Despite still subscribing to NEXTV, I have continued to seek out apps that give me access to a much wider range of German-language television and movies, also from Austrian and Swiss broadcasters. Below I have shared most of what I discovered.
These free apps allow you to view the news and entertainment broadcast by television broadcasters in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Some apps may geo-block certain live programming, but for the most part they allow you to watch video in German on your mobile phone or tablet. Using Chromecast or AppleTV, you can also use some of these apps to watch content on your regular TV set.
Most of the apps listed below are free to install and view. However, some (NEXTV International) require a paid subscription in order to view anything at all. Others (YouTV) offer some limited content for free, but you need to pay to get the full package. A few (German TV Co.) offer a free trial period, after which you need to have a paid subscription in order to continue watching.
The excellent rbb app offers a full overview of local news and culture from the German capital. The only downside is geo-blocking of the rbb livestream, which is available only in Germany. (Something shared by most of the apps listed here.) But you can read articles and watch recent nightly Abendschau newscasts, video clips, and documentaries going back a few days or weeks. I first discovered this great app when I lost access to rbb on NEXTV in 2015. The app offers an easy way to stay in touch with events in Berlin and Brandenburg. Will the new BER airport ever open? Tune in to rbb! Access to rbb is also offered in the ARD Mediathek app below.
Similar to the ZDF Mediathek we describe below, this app from Germany’s “First Channel” (Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen) lets you watch the same German television news, films, and series that Germans watch. (If you’re a “Tatort” fan, this is the app for you!) This app also offers access to Germany’s regional broadcasters (Regionalsender). Live streaming is blocked if you’re not in Germany.