November 15, 2012 10:25:11 AM CET
UPC: We have had UPC TV for 7 years and recently dropped KPN in favour of UPC Internet and telephony. Apart from the fact that their pricing and customer service is good (they seem to set the standards which others follow), their TV offering is by far superior to anything else freely and legally available here. Their programming is based on 24h scheduling and the BBC programmes (1,2,3,4 World and Entertainment as well as Sky News), are broadcasted in real time along with MOST of the intenational news heavyweights (American, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Al Jazeera etc and some financial channels). You can also programme language preferences and ALL online TV programme schedules will then be in English. There are many English shows (even on Dutch and Belgian channels that are in the original English with Dutch/Flemish subtitles (handy for learning the language). It is all managed through a simple-to-connect recordable set-top box measuring about 25x12x3 cm. If you have doubts about what/when they have on offer, simply browse their online schedules now. In addition, they offer several custom movie, sport and entertainment options (including Fashion TV). There is also a 24h Dutch cullinary channel which Jamie Oliver seems to have a share in (not for nothing that there is a 15 in Amsterdam, his products are all avaible/traded here and a version of his magazine is in Dutch. The cooking channel also features different Middel Eastern and Surinam cooking stars popular here and some not-so-pretty (pun intended) lame Dutch ones. If nothing else, it will give you an overview of Dutch cooking (enough said).
Lastly, UPC have highstreet stores if you have the time of day. Oh, and most of the actual national cable network belongs to them. Their national network comprises mostly of fibre with old-fashion coax from neighbourhood distribution points into homes. And the broadcast quality is superb. HD is also on offer (including BBC).
As for Freesat and others, I dunno; but I do know of people who move here with their current Sky subscription (though you need a new dish). There is also a local service provider that will install/set-up your Skybox in NL as a new subscriber.
Having said all of that, each home in NL is (should be) provided with a TV/Radio (yes radio) connection point to which you can freely connect. This gives you basic Dutch TV offering with CNN and BBC World.