Bye-bye Bunny Ears / Israel Switches From Analog to Digital TV

The final switch from analog to digital technology will have no effect on customers of 'HOT' and 'Yes.'

Beginning today, analog broadcasts in Israel are no more. They have been with us since television in Israel began in 1966, with educational TV.

Does it matter to you? Only if you get your TV channels via rabbit ears on the boob tube or a bigger antenna on the roof.

One thing not known is how many households in Israel are still watching television the way they did it in 1966. There are certainly tens of thousands, possibly more than 100,000 households. Until now they could watch Channels 1 and 2: now they won't be able to get any TV signal at all.

The final switch from analog to digital technology will have no effect whatsoever on customers of the HOT cable TV company and the Yes satellite television broadcast company.

If you have an old type of TV and have lost your signal, you can switch to digital by buying a converter. Available at most electrical appliance stores, it will pick up channels 1, 2, 10, 33 and 99, for which you pay nothing.

The signal you will see will be better than the analog signal you had been getting until now. The converter will cost between NIS 250 to NIS 400 and comes with an antenna.

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.