It’s been over five years since I first wrote about NEXTV and “Watching German TV in the USA and Canada”. The great thing about Toronto-based NEXTV was that it allowed you to watch virtually the full range of German public and commercial TV channels on your regular TV – no computer needed. NEXTV’s high-quality streaming video could be fed through a Roku device connected to a TV set (via an HDMI cable for HD), making it difficult to tell it wasn’t real television. It was almost like being in Germany.
“Was” – past tense. Suddenly in early November, without any warning, it was all gone. Well, all except a limited offering of channels similar to that also offered by Dish via satellite, although at a lower price. No more ARD, ZDF, RBB, RTL, WDR, and the many other “real” German channels that were available until they simply vanished.
2016 UPDATE: Some of NEXTV’s German channels have returned, but we’re still missing a lot of what was once part of NEXTV’s channel lineup. For the details see my new blog post: German TV Options for North Americans.
I first found out what had happened when I received a desperate email from a man who wanted to know if I knew what had happened, and if I knew of any good alternatives. After checking to see if the channels were indeed gone (they were), I knew there were few if any good alternatives. Continue reading