Digital Terrestrial Television is recieved in the same way as ordinary TV that uses an aerial. It needs a Digital Tuner built into the TV or sa separate box like Sky or UPC uses, except not compatible. A Cable TV or Satellite TV box does not work for DTT

5. Freeview

Freeview is the brand name for the Free Digital TV channels via an Aerial in the UK (including Northern Ireland).


There are about 27 TV channels and and the main national FM and DAB stations on Freeview. Basic Freeview Receiver is DVB-T with MPEG2 and is no good for Saorview. A newer Freeview HD receiver will pickup HD in some areas as well as the regular Freeview. A CAM slot (with CAM) or built in CAM for a viewing card is needed for the small number of channels on "Subscription" Top Up TV (includes Sky Sport).

2. Saorview


Technical Launch 29th October 2010<

Full launch Spring 2011 Analogue Close down October 2012

Update 17th November 2010  * NEW *
viewer orientated non-technical explanation of Irish Digital TV, Saorview and Saorsat at SaorTV.Info<

Update 29th October 2010 

Saorview web site live< (click on logo). 

RTE Saorview sub site<

1. Analogue to Digital Changeover (DSO, ASO)

Virtually every Country is replacing Analogue TV with Digital TV. The commencing of new Digital services (DSO, Digital Switch On) and ceasing of existing Analogue TV (DSO  Digital Switch Over, ASO Analogue Switch Off) is much more rapid than the change from 405 Line to 625 line Analogue in the UK (over 15 years). Some countries (Netherlands and USA) have already turned off the Analogue TV they had since late 1940s/ early 1950s.

There is no such thing as a Digital Aerial or Digital Amplifier. Terrestrial Digital (TV via an aerial) uses the same aerials and amplifiers as 60 year old Analogue TV. The only difference is that in Ireland we used VHF (Big long rods) and UHF(short rods or grid/bowtie) for Analogue TV, but for Digital we will use UHF only. All existing TG4 and TV3 is on UHF using Analogue.

Many masts are already transmitting digital signals and this will be official for over 85% of the country by 31st October 2010. From then till mid 2011 and information campaign will "ramp up". No-one needs to "rush in" to any purchases or decisions. Most people will not need an new aerial. Some time during 2011 the Digital coverage (signals that can be received on an Aerial) will reach at least 95% and be complemented by a Satellite signal via a Dish for those that eventually will have no Aerial signal (2% to 8% of people).

Free TV in Ireland: Saorview, Saorsat, Freeview and Freesat

Free TV in Ireland


  1. Analogue to Digital Changeover (DSO, ASO)
  2. Saorview: The new Irish Free Digital Terrestrial TV service replacing existing four Analogue channels. TV via an Aerial
  3. Saorsat: The Free copy of Saorview via Satellite dish for people that can't get Aerial Signal
  4. Digital Dividend<
  5. Freeview: The UK / N.I. Free Digital Terrestrial TV service replacing existing five  Analogue channels
  6. Freesat: The Free UK service similar to Freeview, but received via a Dish.

** NEW ** Free Digital TV for ordinary Folk via SaorTV.info<

Initial Blog post here blog/watty/saortv (link) <
(Worth reading)

Official Irish DTT Website Saorview (link)< since 29th October 2010

DVB News and previous news  www.dvb.org/about_dvb/dvb_worldwide/ireland/<

Saorview Installs

This thread for discussion of Terrestrial Digital Installs

  • Aerials
  • Coax
  • Set-boxes
  • IDTV
  • MHEG5<
  • USB dongles and PCI cards
  • MPEG4 PC software

When there is specific posts / interest separate threads or Forums can be created

Michael Watterson's picture

BAI defers any further attempts at pay DTT till 2012?

Reality at last. Smile
Well nearly...

A competition could potentially be held during 2012 with a view to commercial DTT being operational in 2013.


two made particular reference to the role of RTÉNL as the main contributing factors to the failure to achieve a successful outcome.

If they believe that, then they are needing more therapy. RTÉNL is not the problem. Freesat, Sky, UPC and total lack of  real  indigenous PayTV content creators is the issue. 90% of the pay DTT Channels would have to be ones already free on satellite and the pay DTT market is about 5% to 10% of households as any DTT Pay TV can't compete with Sky or UPC that have over 80%.

Michael Watterson's picture

Irish Digital TV Announced

RTE executives met with the Oireachtas Committee for Communications  14-07-2010.

(see this word doc<)

The Irish Terrestrial Digital Television (i.e. via an aerial), called Saorview will launch 31st October 2010. In Spring/Summer 2011 the plan is to add Saorsat<, a fill-in and backup Satellite service (i.e. via a dish). Our existing Analogue TV will be turned of by (during, starting end of?) 2012.

Debate debates.oireachtas.ie<

Michael Watterson's picture

White Space Radio

Is Cognitive Radio a fantasy?

There has been a lot of nonsense written and researched, even in Ireland's Universities. Basically the "hidden" transmitter syndrome  (A is transmitting to B, C can't hear A and transmits, wiping out  B's reception) can only be solved by a central database. But how does "C" access it? Who maintains it?

Good article here


Also you can't make Transmitter Filters, Duplex filters and aerials out of software. No matter how good SDR, any radio is limited by the physical band using parts it is built with.

Firm date (31-10-10) now for Irish DTT PSB Mux launch?

According to Eamonn Ryan speaking in the Dail on 2nd March he wants the PSB Mux up and running to 90% of the population by 31st October 2010. Is this finally the 'official' launch of DTT in Ireland? Do people think it will happen? What extra relays I wonder will have to be up and and running to supply 90% coverage. Plus he wants a 'national' service by 31st December 2011. What % coverage qualifies as national. Same as current analogue reception?