Monday, 22 October 2012

Digital TV Switchover in Ireland

In 2 days time the old analogue TV signal in the Republic will be switched off. For those with cable or satellite TV it looks like there is nothing to do to ensure continued reception, just keep on watching as normal.

Fo those with a TV aerial, unless the user switch to cable or satellite they will have to buy a small decoder box, unless their TV already has one built in.

According to the website - SAORVIEW is the new national free to air (subscription free) digital television service and will replace the old TV network when it switches off on 24th October 2012. SAORVIEW is available throughout Ireland to about 98% of the population Like the old TV network, SAORVIEW uses an aerial to receive the TV signals. The RTÉ subsidiary, RTÉ Transmission Network Limited (RTÉ NL) owns the old TV network and also owns the network over which SAORVIEW operates.

TV in Northern Ireland is also switching to dital this month and there is a useful download here

Going back to the website - Can I get SAORVIEW in Northern Ireland

SAORVIEW estimates
that overspill of SAORVIEW into Northern Ireland will reach about 65% of the population after analogue switch off, on October 24. In addition, RTÉ and TG4 will also be available on the Freeview network from a few sites in Northern Ireland. You will need a Freeview(HD) box or TV to receive the Irish TV channels on Freeview. According to the ARGOS website these are being sold from around €59.99 to €164.99

SAORSAT is the name given to the infill free-to-air satellite television service put in place by RTÉNL to deliver Irish television services to the 2% of homes that are not covered by SAORVIEW. Their website says As you are using a satellite dish and satellite receiver for SAORSAT, you can also use this equipment to receive other free-to-air channels, with the addition of an extra LNBF.  This means you can now get all your favourite Irish and UK channels with no monthly cost.

It will be interesting to find out if this will now mean if someone buys one of these SAORSAT satellite dishes if it will work in Britain for example as at the present time unless you do not appear to be able to watch Irish TV (apart from UTV/BBC Northern Ireland free on a SKY dish) in Britain.

Tara TV packed up many years ago and although British broadcasters's programmes are available in Ireland it is not so good for anyone wanting to watch Irish TV in Britain. You can pick up some online via the RTÉplayer or TG4 player.

According to the website they say Can everyone in Ireland get Saorsat?
"Every one in Ireland will be able to receive Saorsat.  It will have a very tight footprint over Ireland. There have even been reports that Saorsat has been received in the Isle of Man, South West England, Northen Ireland and parts of Wales."

If anyone knows more please reply on this blog.

And now with the final switch off of the analogue signal in BBC TV land, goes the Ceefax service after 38 years. What will regulars like former British Prime Minister John Major do now for their information?

TV has changed a great deal in Ireland since the listings on Saturday March 6th 1976 in The Irish Times. Just one Irish TV channel then - RTE

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