Thursday, January 7, 2010

TV Question?

cross-posted on me-ander

After I blogged about getting one of those satellite dishes, I got an email from someone about a "digital box" to receive TV broadcasts, since Israel is leaving analog and going digital only.

So, my dumb as usual question is:

Vhot's dot?

What is digital vs analog?

I'd appreciate some help. Thanks!!


Unknown said...

There is a wikipedia entry on digital television. To summarize, analog television is recieving signals like your radio does. Digital television receives signals like your computer. When Israel switches to digital (like the U.S. did) an analog TV will not receive the digital signals. It would be like trying to receive an FM radio station on an AM radio receiver.

An external converter box (here in the US) receives the digital signal, converts it to the old analog type and feeds it into your TV using channel 3. I do not know if US and Israel used the same standard, but if not, a US digital converter would not work in Israel in the same way that a US television set would not work in Israel.

The wikipedia entry for this is

Whatever the equivalent of the U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in Israel is should have information on what is needed. You would also need to check what kind of sattelite dish you are getting and what kind of reception you would get. If the satellite dish is through a service, then the service would probably handle whatever conversion is needed (like a cable company).

Having looked at your linked post, I would say that you probably need something that can receive both types. Check with whatever company is setting you up so that you can get the proper signal from the satellites.

Note that many satellites encrypt (code) the signals so that people cannot get them for "free". For example, people used to tune to the satellite feed of shows to get them without commercials and to see what was happening on late night "live" shows such as the Tonight show. Often the comedians would perform things that could not be broadcast during the commercials. As a result, the networks coded the transmission so that people would have to pay for them or watch the broadcast with the commercials. Also many shows were transmitted via satellite to regional distribution centers for later broadcast at the specified time. People with satellite dishes would pick them up and see them before the announced time.

Batya said...

Wow, Sabba Hillel, thanks. It's starting to make sense.

Keli Ata said...

Hi Batya. I just got my digital converter box in June and even though I thought I'd hate it, I love digital TV! The reception is the same as cable.

There's also slightly more channels, too. For example, I get 3 different PBS shows on three different channels--


The same thing with the local NBC affliate:


There's the NBC
One shows oldies
The other Universal Sports.

Also, some channels come in as HD and others in standard definition. HD is better but you'd get one channel in HD and the other in SD.

But as I recall, you said you were also interested in sattelite so your father could watch shows from the US.

The converter box won't help with that. It's still over the air, broadcast television. You'd pick up Israeli shows only, though probably more than you get now.

I hope they resolved that tax fee for people who get broadcast only TV in Israel. And perhaps offer coupon program as we had in the US.

The gov't gave everyone $40 coupons towards the cost of a converter box. The cost around $60.

BTW: The converter box is small, about the size of a DVD player.

Side note--Israel switching to digital TV should be of concern to Jewish Israel. A lot of xtain broadcasters are using this multicasting to broadcast on several channels at the same time.

Hope this helps a little.

Batya said...

Thanks for the info. Actually, my father only watches news and history programs. So, we don't need American stations, just a show or two a day, plus the movies.

Keli Ata said...

In that case, I think a digital converter box would be the ideal and much cheaper alternative to sattelite.

And the converter box can also be attached to a DVD player.

When the US made the switch I thought about cable but it was expensive--more than my electric bill, so I decided on over the air broadcast TV and I don't miss cable at all. And there's the added benefit of not having unwholesome programs as you'd get with cable or sattelite.

You'd be surprised at how nivul peh slips into your life after watching some shows.

Big problem with kids in the US raised on a diet of cable TV and filthy language.

Sadly, some young kids make off color comments and swear even without thinking. Then it pops out in a job interview or something and they wonder why they didn't get the job.

Batya said...

From what the technician explained, those digital boxes will work where antennas once did. So, since antennas couldn't get us anything the boxes won't either.