Tuning in to Dutch television

6th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

Here's a brief guide to television and cable access in the Netherlands.

In general, the Dutch public and commercial television stations (Ned 1, 2, 3, Yorin, RTL 4, RTL 5, Net 5, SBS 6, Yorin, and Veronica) and Belgian stations (Een, Ketnet/Canvas) do not dub either films or programmes, but show them in original language with subtitles. The exception to this is programmes for the very young (like Sesame Street) and cartoons.

The German (ARD, ZDF, WDR, Nord3, West 3) stations, Italian (Rai Uno), the French language TV5 and French/German (Arte) mostly dub everything, but sometimes offer stereo viewers the opportunity to choose language.

On the standard cable system in most areas you can also find the following English-language stations: BBC1, BBC2, BBC World, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, CNN and CNBC. UPC and KPN are also beginning to offer digital and broadband possibilities.

Some of the channels (Canal+, Cartoon Network, etc) cannot be received without a special decoder box, which must be purchased and has a monthly fee.

Cable providers

UPC Cable TV and Chello Telecom
General information 0800 1872 (free)
Client Service 0900 1580 (EUR 0.10 p.m.)

You will be asked (in Dutch) to give the four numbers of your postcode to be connected, after the tone.

The west of the Netherlands
Client service: 0900 8896 (EUR 0,10 p.m)

Canal+ Digital Nederland BV
General information 0900 9325 (EUR 0.80 pm)
Service line  0900 8350 (EUR 0,20 pm)


There are a number of ways to connect to the Net. You can use your existing phone line and a modem, or jump in on the array of combination packages just starting to hit the market that can include telephone, ADSL, broadband, cable and ISDN. See each of the companies, or KPN (Telephone), websites for current combination packages.

The following is a short list of Dutch ISPs:

Chello/UPC  (broadband, digital, ADSL and Telephone)
0800 1872 (free, give post code number, then menu option 1)
www.chello.nl (English www.chello.com)

020 422 2000

Planet Internet
0900 1905 (EUR 0.10 per minute)

020 398 7656

Zon-Versatel (TV, telephone, internet)
0900 044 0440 (EUR 0.25 per minute)

KPN Telecom
0900 0244 (EUR 0,10 pm)

Video and DVDs

The Netherlands uses standard European PAL system videocassettes and video player/recorders. This is different to the NTSC system used in North America and elsewhere. The two systems are not compatible. You can purchase a dual system, but expect to pay more.

All DVDs have a "region code". Each continent has its own code and Europe is zone 2. To be sure that your DVDs from other countries play on your DVD player, it should be “region free”.

Like television and film, the Dutch do not normally dub videos or DVDs, except in the case of some children's films. Watch out for the words "nederlands gesproken" for dubbed versions.

6 April 2005

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Dutch television, cable companies

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