Each linguistic region of Switzerland has their own state-owned and private range of television channels which can be obtained from a standard receiver. Most television programs are shown in the regional language, although some channels have dual-language options.
SRG/SSR is the Swiss national public broadcaster. It provides two French-language TV channels, two Italian, three German and one channel in Romansch. The Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has a full list of the licensed television and radio broadcasters operating in Switzerland. English-language programs are available and programs marked "VO" mean they are shown in the version originale (original language). French television is also commonly available from across the border.
All houses in Switzerland with a working TV or a radio must pay for a licence. The annual cost is CHF 20 and allows unlimited access. It is very easy to subscribe directly online. It is mandatory and fines of CHF 5,000 will be imposed if you are found to be not complying. The OFCOM offers a complete guide on fees and how to pay.
For a wider range of programs you can subscribe to a monthly cable service. Many properties are already wired for cable service, but you can set-up a connection when you subscribe for service as well. Average price is around CHF 300 a year.
Satellite dishes are another option for a wider range of channels, including Foreign language channels. Note that some landlords may require approval before dish installation. Average price is around CHF 300 a year, with dish installation costing around CHF 150.
Streaming shows online can allow you to watch shows from your home country. However, there is a risk of viruses and it infringes on copyright. An example is Sidereel. There are many other websites like this.
Most home sin Zurich are quipped with internet service. There are several companies providing broadband Internet access in Switzerland. Packages are often offered together with cable service. Swiss websites end in .ch.
Prices range on company, packages, and speed. For the cheapest packages, expect to pay around CHF 43 with better packages around CHF 200 a month.
Switzerland has one of the highest rates of high-speed internet connections in the home, meaning that internet cafes are not as popular as in other cities. Most video rental shop and train stations have a few internet terminals. The tourist office is also a great resource for finding a location. Expect to pay about 5 CHF for 20 minutes. It is also possible to send emails, SMS (text messages to cell phones) or short text faxes from just about every public phone booth for less that 1 CHF. Some public phone booths allow you to browse the internet.
Internet "hotspots" providing access in areas throughout the city. Many of the wifi hotspots are free, but located in a cafe or restaurant and it is expected that you buy something. Chain cafes are the most likely options, like Starbucks, but also look for independent shops that will usually have a sign identifying "wi-fi".
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