RTÉ has soft launched its digital terrestrial service, Saorview, today. The announcement comes ahead of the official launch of the service in the spring of 2011.
Announcing the launch RTÉ said “RTÉ’s new Digital Terrestrial Television service, saorview, is available on a trial basis. RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3, TG4 and RTE News Now are being broadcast from today.”
RTÉ will also be broadcasting its radio services, including Radio 1 and 2FM as well as its range of digital stations such as 2XM and RTÉ Choice. A fill list of channels is available here.
RTÉ has been testing its digital service for the past year, since the beginning of October the broadcaster has been testing a high definition service which will launch next year.
In related news RTÉ NL, the division of the company responsible for upgrading Ireland’s broadcasting infrastructure, has officially approved a number of set top boxes capable of receiving RTÉ Digital.
Previously most devices sold on the state were designed for the UK’s Freeview system however due to differences in digital encoding many of these devices will not be able to receive RTÉ’s digital broadcasts
Ireland will be using the modern mpg4 encoding system over the UK’s older mpg2 encoding. The BBC are currently testing mpg4 DTT in London.
With less than two years to go before the shut down of the of analogue TV spectrum today’s release formally launches Ireland’s move towards DTT.