Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 has been set as the official date of completion of the switchover to Digital TV in Ireland. On that date analogue TV signals across the island of Ireland will be no longer be broadcast.
Saorview, Ireland’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) service, which launched in May of this year, is designed to replace the current analogue TV network. Saorview is free to use but requires viewers to first purchase a set-top box or a compatible television in order to receive digital signals through a standard aerial.
Alternatively, Saorsat is available for the 2% population who cannot be reached by the conventional Saorview service. With Saorsat, viewers receive their digital television service through a subscription-free satellite and compatible television.
Digital TV offers better quality pictures, better quality sound and a greater choice of channels – including all the current Irish channels and more.
It is estimated that around 250,000 households in Ireland still rely on the analogue network.
A number of subscription-based services like Sky and UPC are also available. Current customers will be unaffected after the switchover.
aertv, a free online Irish TV service that launched last week, provides access to 11 Irish and international channels. This service will be unaffected by the switchover and works on smartphones and tablets, including the iPad. The three main broadcasters in Ireland, RTE, TV3 and TG4, all provide their own catch-up services online, so the list of alternatives to the analogue network is endless.