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Michael Watterson's picture


Netherlands DTT operator KPN to get BBC channels as well as the existing Cable Operators that have been doing BBC for years.

KPN’s IPTV bbc1_wide_99platform Interactive TV will now start to carry BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four and BBC HD. The operator said it will continue to distribute BBC Entertainment on its platforms.

We are pleased to offer television viewers in The Netherlands the chance to see these channels on the rapidly growing TV platforms such as interactive TV and terrestrial. The agreement contains BBC HD, which offer a range of BBC HD programming from major sporting events such as Wimbledon to the music events such as The Proms, but also historical dramas

Said Ian McDonough, SVP and general manager EMEA, BBC Worldwide Channels.

While BBC channels are Free To Air on Astra 2D (Freesat), they are not Free To Carry. UPC pays BBC, ITV and C4. Sky must pay UK FTA channels for EPG on Irish package, even though those channels pay Sky for UK EPG placement.

Michael Watterson's picture

More Obvious Tech news

It seems UK Tech shops are not good on the Advice..

The consumer organisation Which? made 154 visits to shops including Currys, Comet, Richer Sounds, John Lewis and some independents – and found that a third of shops were very poor or poor in terms of staff knowledge.

Anyone who has bought any electrical item on the UK high street will be amazed the figure was so low. In fact the report echoes this reporter's experience almost exactly: "Not one visit to electrical giants Comet and Currys could be rated as ‘excellent’."

Secret shoppers visited Currys five times to enquire about digital TV and were recommended a DVD recorder rather than a cheaper personal video recorder. Staff generally confused HD Ready and full HD TVs. Many staff also struggled to tell researchers how many hours of TV different PVRs could record.

Researchers were also recommended expensive, and useless, cables.

John Lewis and Richer Sounds came out on top, although Which? said even these were hit and miss – only eight of 154 visits were excellent.

See El Reg<

We at Techtír expect an Irish survey would be much much worse Sad

Michael Watterson's picture


We have just had "Young Scientists" at the RDS, though some of it didn't sound much like science. Still, it's good to see it still running and helping to generate interest.

Engineers Week

This year Engineers Week, organised by Engineers Ireland, runs from 14 – 20 February. Once again the IRTS plans to participate in centres through the country. Currently under consideration are Athlone, Cork, Cavan, Dundalk., Mayo and Limerick.

The IRTS is also involved. IRTS news<

Engineer's Week Website<

What is Engineers Week?

Engineers Week is a week long programme of nationwide events with the aim of celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. The aim of the week is to create a positive awareness and spark enthusiasm about the engineering profession to people of various ages with little or no engineering background.See the FAQ <on their Website.

Advert for Walker TV

Whilst recently looking at "Walker"  (<)............noticed some of their LCD TV's are boasting integrated SAORVIEW, which is handy from what little I know.

But can anybody tell me, on the on the other hand, some of their LCD TV's they have with...... "Integrated Satellite For Irish TV"?

What is the context of this statement - regarding  "Irish TV"?

Are they overstating it's capabilities?

Exact Ad Below:


  • 2 x HDMI<
  • 1000 PAGE TEXT

Recession Proof TV

I have been unemployed for several months now, and whilst trying to look for the best deals around for almost everything, was thinking of getting rid of Sky.  At the mo have (SD) Sky+Box & Sky-Box in another room @ E48 per month (no sports or movies). To be honest it may not sound like much money  - but all considered & the fact that there are actually free alternatives out there!

Initially had ATT, and even despite all the  fancy aerials and booster things had a mediocre picture at best. So then got Chorus Cable and wasn't bad but then NTL came along  (2007) and screwed it all up. Got rid of it - and went for the Sky and bar the price, am still impressed with the quality. Initially I thought of getting rid of the extra room but briefly looking at some of the (future) options out there and analysing exactly what channels we could  easily compromise, thought'...... get rid of Sky altogether!

For me' Irish Channels are a must, I just can't live without "Tubridy" ......(like hell !).....more likely CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Prime Time & Vincent Browne (so I can see where all the money I'm going to save on Sky is going to go) etc.

Michael Watterson's picture

Digital Dividend is problem for Cable TV and Broadband

Cable TV uses 110MHz to 872MHz for TV and also Broadband download.

Michael Watterson's picture

Death Of Mobile TV. Long Live Mobile TV

Despite early optimism due to roll out of Italian DVB-H, and Nokia Handsets there just isn't a market for Mobile payDTT or dedicated Mobile TV. See Beginning of end for Mobile TV<. Some phone handsets can do regular DVB-T and also "on the go" people only want short snippets, YouTube etc rather than conventional full length TV programs.

Comreg now has abandoned plans to Licence DVB-H in Ireland. Trials started in 2008. Now no VHF or UHF spectrum will be auctioned for DVB-H.

Both O2 and Three did tests and in the last consultation with Comreg, only Vodafone responded, simply to indicate no interest.

Most small Netbook Computers with Nvidia Ion can even run Saorview HD channels perfectly, many with optional HDMI output. A DVB-T USB stick is €10 to €30 depending on if it's a single or dual tuner.

See MobiDTV Dual DTT USB 2.0 stick/tuner< <(8th November 2010)

News via Broadband TV News< (read more).

Michael Watterson's picture

Ka-Sat Launch is Success

Mission Overview at ILS<

<21:52> Blue touch paper worked

 Final Ka-Sat separation at 7:03am tomorrow [Update: Success]

If successfully commissioned (will take till end May 2011) will carry Ireland's 1st TV Satellite Service (Saorsat)<, The Backup and Fill-in for Terrestrial (Saorview): Coverage Explained<

Official Blog at ILS<

<21:54> 1st stage separation OK

After 3:45 all OK, 2min next separation.

<21:58> stage2 OK
<21:58> All systems OK

<22:01> 3rd Stage shutdown

<22:01> orbiter separation

<22:02> Breeze M engines OK

<22:11> Breeze M 1st burn complete. Spacecraft out of Radio contact for 1 hr.

Launch Orbits

Michael Watterson's picture

Triax releases two boxes for Saorview

Basic HD MPEG4 + MHEG5  Terrestrial Set box (Aerial only)  TRIAX TR112

Combo HD MPEG4 + MHEG5 Satellite DTT box (Aerial and Dish for FTA) TRIAX ST-HD537

TheST-HD537 will be able to do full Interactive and all future applications on Irish TV via aerial. It will not have Freesat EPG. There is a possibility that it will use Internet for UK TV Program guide. It's unkown if the Freesat Interactive (MHEG5) will work on the Satellite part.

[Edit Update: Huge problems with early version of the ST-HD537 Don't buy either of these without reading the issues are fixed.]

Do Not use the Triax TR110. It is not compatible.<

Both are expected to be Certified for Irish Digital Terrestrial, Saorview.

via page 5 on  December 2010 PDF newsletter<

Set Top Box/Integrated Digital Television< 

lawhec's picture

Getting Saorview in Northern Ireland

This article has been updated on February 2012 to update certain information and to remove stuff that is no longer relevant.

lawhec's picture

RTÉ in Northern Ireland - as it stands, as it should progress and for the future

Anyone buying a copy of the Belfast-based Irish News this morning will see the headline on the front page “RTE digital coming north”, with the article below it featuring the grins of Joe Brolly and Ryan Turbity. Two further pages inside the paper gives more to this story, though half of it contains a picture of a 10-element contract aerial.

The main event behind the story is that the Irish News has “learned” that RTÉ1, RTÉ2 and TG4 will be available on the Freeview platform in Northern Ireland by the time the digital switch over occurs here, though some rights to programming (e.g. sports) will be blocked the same way as viewers to those channels on Sky or Virgin are being done so right now. It says an announcement is expected to be made soon which will also include the BBC being given “greater” access in the Republic too.

Michael Watterson's picture

Digiguide purchased by EBS New Media

I have been using Digiguide for Progam Listings on my laptop for nearly 10 years.


GipsyMedia purchased by EBS New Media Ltd.

Michael Watterson's picture

Is this the cheapest UK "High Street" DVB-T2 box?

via Currys UK Website<

The Digihome DVBT2-665 Digital Receiver is a sure means to get access to High Definition Freeview channels. This digital Freeview HD receiver has an HDMI digihome-dvb-t2-665output to transmit the signal to your HD ready TV.

But the DVBT2-665 Digital Receiver is also backward compatible: thanks to a SCART connector, you can be sure almost any television set can be hooked up to the DVBT2-665 Digital Receiver. This glossy little black box will find its place near any TV.

Join the HD revolution with the great-value Digihome DVBT2-665 Digital Receiver!

Connectors Scart plug,
Audio outputs, 1x optical out, 1 x HDMI

Included accessories -remote control

DIGIHOME Freeview HD Digital TV Receiver
Product code: 639261 £49.99

In theory should work Freeview, "Freeview HD" and Saorview, even though not Saorview Certified.

Michael Watterson's picture

ARM based Server

ZT Systems announced what it says is the first commercially available ARM-based development platform for the server market. The Ubuntu Linux-based R1801e 1U rackmount server employs SSD (solid state disk) storage and eight ARM Cortex-A9-based computer-on-modules (COMs), providing 16 600MHz cores while using less than 80 Watts, the company says.

Michael Watterson's picture

RTE 2 HD Lite

RTE 2 up-scaling (up converting) regular programs and Transmitting in HD.

RTE NL test now SD Test Card.