DVB-T2 HD has replaced the old DVB-T antenna standard in Germany since March 29, 2017. But this does not only bring advantages, because the switch will be expensive for consumers. Is the antenna still worth it or are other TV reception alternatives cheaper?
While consumers used to be able to watch TV almost free of charge via DVB-T, this has not been possible since the switch to DVB-T2. Since then, antenna users can look forward to HD quality from the channels, but a monthly subscription to Freenet TV and new hardware are required to receive the full channel package. The reception of public service programs via DVB-T2 in HD quality remains free of charge. However, if you want to watch the private channels, you have to buy a prepaid card for 85 euros per year, or you can have the channels activated for 6.99 euros per month. You ask yourself whether you can watch TV more cheaply with other types of TV connections?
TV connections in comparison
The good old cable connection
After numerous takeovers of local cable providers, Vodafone now has the predominance of cable TV in Germany. Many apartment buildings use a connection from Vodafone, which is passed on to the tenants in the ancillary costs. If you order one yourself, you usually pay 10 euros a month, plus between 5 and 10 euros for HD television and possibly additional channels. Attention: The additional bookings often have a term of one or even two years. In the small print, there are often additional costs such as one-off “deployment fees”.
With many providers you need an additional receiver for the HD programs, which you can buy or borrow for a fee.
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The problem with the satellite dish
A popular alternative to cable connection is the satellite dish. If you have a house, this is certainly the best place to go, as it can be set up freely. However, anyone who lives in an apartment building for rent must ask for permission from the landlord.
Since most new televisions have a built-in satellite receiver, all you really need is a satellite dish, which is available on the Internet for around 34 euros. However, if you also want to enjoy the private channels in HD quality, you have to pay again here. Since March 2021 , the HD + provider has been charging 6 euros per month or 75 euros per year from all those customers who already have a CI + module or an HD + receiver or who have integrated HD + into their TV. If you still need a CI + module to activate the channel package, you can get the combination package for 8.75 euros per month or 79 euros per year. The bottom line is that TV via satellite, like DVB-T2, is a very cheap alternative if you want to watch TV cheaply.
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TV over the Internet (IPTV)
The most modern way to receive the TV program is certainly the Internet. The variety of programs is higher here than with DVB-T2 and cable connection. In addition, this is how time-shifted television and the recording of programs work best.
But the basic requirement is fast internet access. The TV offer is usually linked to expensive DSL contracts and is more or less part of the overall package. You cannot watch TV really cheaply with IPTV. With provider 1 & 1, for example, customers pay 9.99 euros in addition to their DSL connection for television. Telekom and Vodafone offer both triple flat rates with Internet, telephone and TV, as well as pure IPTV offers that can be booked independently of the Internet connection. Providers such as Zattoo or waipu.tv, on the other hand, specialize in pure IPTV services.
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Conclusion: where can I watch TV cheaply now?
Despite the new costs for DVB-T2 and HD +: You can still watch TV relatively cheaply with both the antenna and a satellite dish. Although users have one-off purchase costs for a dish, antenna or receiver, after that they travel for the cheapest at around 6-9 euros per month.
Anyone who pays for their TV cable connection with the rent does not have to worry about anything else. If you pay for the cable connection yourself and already have it, you can also get away cheaply with a TV surcharge of 5 euros per month. However, booking a cable connection just for TV reception is not worthwhile.
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Internet television per se is the most expensive. First of all, you need a suitably powerful internet connection. For the TV package, there is an additional fee of around 10 euros per month plus any rental fees for a receiver. IPTV is well suited for frequent viewers who appreciate a large selection of programs and record many programs – most of the receivers supplied have a hard drive installed. The disadvantage: If the Internet connection is weak or fails, there is no longer a TV – and the old antenna has to adjust it again.