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TelecomStreaming in Switzerland: 11 FAQs on series, subscriptions and prices
TV-Streaming

Streaming in Switzerland: 11 FAQs on series, subscriptions and prices

18.02.2020

Source: istock / Onfokus

Flat rate for series junkies: besides Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Sky, Teleclub and UPC also offer streaming services. But which platform offers the best bang for your buck? Comparis answers questions on series, subscriptions and prices.

Netflix has some 130 million users worldwide. Swiss consumers have been able to benefit from the video portal’s services since 2014. Competitors to Netflix are the Amazon streaming services (Amazon Prime Video – article in German and French only), Apple TV+, Sky Show, Swisscom with Teleclub Play, and UPC MyPrime. Since March 2020, Disney+ has also been available as another major service in Switzerland.

What is streaming?

Streaming refers to the simultaneous transmission and playback of audio and video files. This is a direct connection between the broadcaster (e.g. Netflix) and the user, which takes place “on demand”, in other words after the user initiates it. This makes it possible to fast-forward and rewind, as well as pause.

How can I use the service (TV/online)?

The platforms offer flexible services and can be used on modern television sets (smart TVs) with an Internet connection. For TV subscriptions offered by telecom providers, the relevant apps, such as Netflix, are often pre-installed. Swisscom also offers Teleclub Play, while Salt offers Amazon Prime Video, Sky Show and Apple TV+. If no app is pre-installed, you can also download it via your smart TV. But watch out: not all devices support the Apple TV app. Here is a list of devices that are compatible with the Apple app. Otherwise, Apple TV+ is available on all Apple devices, the Apple TV box or on the computer via Internet browser.

The streaming service can also be used without a TV: the relevant apps are available for Apple devices, as well as for tablets and smartphones with Android. Netflix can even be viewed using games consoles such as PS4, Wii U, Wii and XBox 360. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, runs on the Sony PlayStation 3 and 4 and Xbox One and Xbox 360 games consoles.

How do the services differ?

The Justwatch film and series database (at Justwatch.com/ch) functions as a streaming search engine. It lists the films on offer by the different platforms. Netflix tends to focus on promoting its own series and films. A comparison by K-Tipp shows that Amazon has the most films on offer, while Netflix has the most series. Disney+ also offers more than 1,000 series and films. The content provided by Apple TV+, Sky Show, Teleclub Play and UPC My Prime is quite limited.

What are popular original productions?

Netflix is known for its high-quality and original own productions. There were even two Netflix productions among the Oscar nominations for 2020, namely “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story”. So far, there have only been a few original productions from Apple TV+, the best-known series being “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Amazon also produces its own content, such as “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Too Old To Die Young”. On Disney+, you can find all of the Marvel superheroes films, all the Disney classics, of course, as well as the Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian” and the Simpsons (seasons 1–30).

How much do the streaming services cost in Switzerland?

Generally, customers pay a monthly flat fee. They can then watch as many series and films as they want. Apart from Disney+ and UPC My Prime, all platforms offer a free trial. With free trials, customers do not need to enter into a long-term contract and can cancel their subscription at any time.

Subscription/pricesAmazon PrimeApple TV+Disney+NetflixTeleclub PlaySky ShowUPC My Prime
Price per month (CHF)6.40*, annual subscription for 73.10* 6 9.90, annual subscription for 99.90 11.90 to 21.90** 12.90 14.90 15
Free trial1 month1 week7 days
1 month1 month2 weeks-

(Source: K-Tipp table dated 27.11.2019)
*= Converted at a rate of 1.06 francs (as of 05.03.20) = 1 euro, it costs 5.99 euro per month, 69 euro as an annual subscription.
**= Netflix offers different price categories depending on the resolution and the number of devices that can access Netflix simultaneously.

How can I pay on streaming platforms?

Customers can pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or by PayPal.

What type of Internet connection do I need?

As a rule, any Internet connection provided by Swiss companies like Swisscom, UPC, Quickline or Sunrise will be suitable. To watch films and programmes in HD quality, the speed should be at least 5 Mbps. For ultra-HD resolution, customers need an Internet speed of at least 25 Mbps.

In what language can the series and films be watched?

Essentially, all films are offered in their original language. Most of the content is also available in dubbed and subtitled versions.

Can I download series and films for offline use?

Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, Sky Show, Teleclub Play and UPC MyPrime allow you to download individual series and films onto your device so that you can watch the series or film even without an Internet connection. With Apple TV+, only users with Apple devices can watch offline; users with other devices always need an Internet connection.

Is there any advertising?

Amazon shows advertisements before each film. None of the other providers use advertising.

Do I have access to films from all over the world?

No. Series and film junkies may well have noticed that fewer services are available in Switzerland than in the US, for example. This relates to purchasing and licensing. But a VPN (virtual private network) allows you to access services from different countries. The VPN encrypts the location of your computer and makes it look like you are accessing the service from your chosen location instead. Use of a VPN is generally legally permitted if it is not used to cover up illegal activities. A good VPN needs a stable and fast connection, so that streaming is not interrupted. Good providers therefore charge a fee. The most well-known provider, NordVPN, costs 10 francs per month. ExpressVPN costs about 12 francs and even offers a “30-day money-back guarantee” – ideal for people who aren’t quite certain whether a VPN subscription will pay off or who only want to use it to watch a specific series or film anyway, so that 30 days are completely sufficient.

Summary

These services are of particular interest to film lovers and series junkies. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video provide virtually unlimited streaming entertainment. The Disney services are also very extensive, but currently very specifically aimed towards superheroes, princesses and Star Wars. The services from Apple, Sky, Teleclub and UPC cannot match this. If you only watch a film or series every now and then, a streaming subscription is probably not worthwhile. Nor is it the right solution for those who are quite happy with traditional TV programming. If you are only interested in one particular series or film, you can watch it within the trial period, or rent or buy it. The trial phase is also recommended if you do not know whether you need Amazon Prime Video, Disney or Netflix – or all of them. The verdict of the Comparis editorial department: a streaming plan, whether Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, is definitely worth it.

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