To those still using rabbit ears, the age of analog broadcasts in Israel is over. But, there is a great opportunity for all TV watchers – including YES and HOT subscribers – to get a small package of channels for the one-time payment of a DTT set-top box.
About DTT and Idan+
What is DTT? DTT stands for digital terrestrial television. It is the technology which is replacing the older, analog method. You may also hear the term Idan+. The Second Authority for Television and Radio operates Idan+, the name of Israel’s digital terrestrial network.
Dropping pay TV could save you a bundle
The average Israeli pays 196 NIS a month, one of the largest of household expenses according to a 2008 survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics. If you switch to DTT, as have 200,000 households already, you could save almost 2,500 NIS a year. Interestingly, the IDF is ending all its subscriptions to HOT and YES, which is expected to net a savings of tens of millions of shekels a year.
DTT offers the basics now, more in the future
Today with DTT, you will receive the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Channels 1 and 33, commercial Channels 2 and 10, and the always entertaining Channel 99, the Knesset Channel. Moreover, the offerings will increase over the next two years with the addition of 12 regular TV channels, 4 HD channels, and all national and regional radio stations. From the Office of the Prime Minister:
בשלב ראשון יתווספו לערוצים אלה כל ערוצי הרדיו האזורי והארצי, חינוכית 23, ערוץ 9 (המשדר בשפה הרוסית), ערוץ 24 (ערוץ המוסיקה) וערוץ HD. בשלב השני יצורפו ערוצים נוספים, כגון ערוץ בשפה הערבית, ערוץ חדשות, ערוץ מורשת וערוצי HD נוספים.
Buying a DTT converter
Most electronics stores, many online stores, and even the post office are selling the converters. (Ask for a ממיר דיגיטלי.) You can get one for your TV or even a USB version to enable you to receive broadcasts on your computer.
As The Marker reports, DTT set-top box won’t set you back that much either.
If the signal you receive is weak – it varies from area to area – you’ll need a stronger antenna, costing from NIS 50 to hundreds of shekels.
If you can’t install the converter yourself, there are companies such as Digital Box that will do it for you, though they’ll charge from NIS 400 to NIS 800 for the pleasure.
If you have a low income, you may even be eligible for a partial refund of the cost.
I hope some of you make the switch. Feel free to share your experience in the comments!