Michael Watterson's blog

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VHF Field Operation

The Greenisland Electronics Amateur Radio Society (GEARS) will be operating a station from Islandmagee for VHF NFD on 2nd & 3rd July. They will operate all bands 6m/4m/2m/70cm/1296cm

David GI4FUM

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DVBviewer pro 4.8.1 release

The changelog:


We finally added MHEG-5 support to the DVBViewer.

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RTEjr and RTE2 HD

Today Friday 27th May 2011 the "test channel" on Saorview became RTEjr (till 7pm each day)

RTEjr on Saorview

Also RTE2 is transmitting in HD

RTEjr on Saorview

And MHEG5 running on DVBviewer

RTEjr on Saorview

Click here  to load full size< image! 

Magner's League Rugby 28th May 2011 1920x1080p screen shot in DVBviewer< (1440 x1080i transmission)

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RTE ka-Sat Testing?

Update 26th March 2012

Summer time is now on us. The low key announcements so far  by RTE are covered here.

Updated 20th February 2012 (originally published 26th May 2011)

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DVBviewer 4.8.1 (€15) is out and adds improved MHEG5 support.

Update to previous released 3rd June 2011. Fixes some bugs seen below

The MHEG5 is a plug in to be purchased separately (€10).

Here is a Preview Video (youtube) of MHEG5 on DVBviewer

I will review later.

With 2nd June 2011 Version 4.8.1 of DVBviewer pro the MHEG bugs of time and video scale are fixed.


One "bug" is due to having wrong "DirectX" Renderer. On XP you need

[X] Use Custom Renderers

 [ VMR9 Custom Renderer ]

(On Win 7 use EVR Custom Renderer)


RTE 2 HD rendered correctly

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Is Unity a mistake?

Even on XP (2001) you can make the Task Bar very like an OS X or Win7 dock and put it on any edge on any of the connected screens.

Unity is the new OpenGL based GUI & Desktop on Ubuntu

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BAI take note

Another Pay TV DTT platform bites the dust.

Remember OnDigital, ITV Digital, It's TV, Boxer (only added 1000 in Sweden last year), Spanish pay DTT?

It has emerged that Telecom Italia Media had not accepted a proposal by administrator Filippo Chiusano to save the pay-TV platform. “TI Media is not in a position to make further sacrifices, [Dahlia] has serious problems, is still leaking significantly and we cannot afford to make more sacrifices,” said Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabé.

Ireland certainly can't compete in Conventional Pay DTT against UPC Cable or Sky Satellite. A UK style "top up tv" platform is hardly viable.

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Consent for New Services on Saorview

Good News: RTÉ's new Saorview services are approved. This means the Information Campaign can start.

Interesting conditions attaching to Specific Channels

  1. RTÉ Two HD Select channel is required to be carried on the second multiplex.

  2. The knowledge gained from technical trialling of the HD channel will be shared with other broadcasters
  3. RTÉ should aim to provide for full HD versions of RTÉ One and RTÉ Two as soon as practicable and by mid 2013 at the latest
  4. The RTÉjr/RTÉ Plus channel shall be carried on the first multiplex until 1 September 2011 and from 1 September 2011 shall be transferred to the second multiplex
  5. No advertising is permitted on the RTÉjr or RTÉ News Now channel
  6. In respect of RTÉjr and RTÉ News Now, RTÉ shall review Phase 2 of these channel proposals on foot of the suggestions set out in the public consultation in order to further enhance the public value of the channels.
  7. RTÉ Plus: Phase 1 only is approved and for a period of 4 years only until February 2014.

We like the "no advertising" clause on RTEjr and RTE News Now. Proper Public Service Broadcasting!

Why is it any business of DCENR how the PSB multiplexes are organised if channels are approved? That should be purely an Engineering decision.

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RTE Presentation to ISAA

Ray Maguire (from RTE) gave an excellent presentation and also a possible Brochure on Saorview with list of sites (list was correct but missing channels filled<)


  • EPG and Series link for PVRs coming when infrastructure complete. Uses Nordig PVR specification.
  • No channels above 60 will be used.
  • Channel line up approval from Regulator was expected in January. Hope it will be soon.
  • Seminars
  • Tommy and PJ Advert campaign (Cartoon fat dog and skinny cat)
  • Expect 4HD channels by end of 2013 approximately.
  • As much as possible RTE2 will be HD from May 2011. All shows that are made in HD will be HD.
  • Online Coverage checker< is live!
  • RTE's Coverage maps chopped up and linked here<

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What DSO?

We (Techtir) have had a Work Experience Student doing a survey this week. The results are very bad.

DSO Digital Switch Over. The fact that Saorview is now available officially since 29th October 2010, though full Launch is May 2011

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AGM (2011) of Limerick Radio Club

Limerick Radio Club

The AGM of Limerick Radio Club will take place on Thursday 10 February at 7.30pm in the Limerick Institute of Technology. All members are requested to attend. Further details are available from Ger McNamara EI4GXB Hon. Secretary at QTHR.

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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.

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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

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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.