TV and Radio

Information (not too technical) regarding Broadcast systems

LW Radio

Most of these appear to be still running, though some are closing and some changing to DRM  (Autumn 2011)

Day time Reception in Limerick, Ireland 29th October 2011, 15.00 UTC
Radio is Sony ICF2001D with no external aerial.

TV and Radio (Satellite & Terrestrial)


Other posts and Forums<
(By Astral TV)<<<

Introduction and links<

Saorsat speculation<

Saorview Content Speculation<

Saorview Awareness<<

Terrestrial Forum<

Saor is Gaelic (Irish) for Free and is pronounced "seer" as in seering meat in a pan.

Saorview is Digital Terrestrial in Ireland using DVB-T (DVB-T2 tuners will work), HD, MPEG4 H.264. HD downsampling on SCART is needed for non-HDTV with setbox. MHEG5 middleware. A regular UHF aerial is used for reception.

MW After Dark in Ireland

After Dark you can get UK, French and German Radio in Ireland on ordinary AM or MW radio.

Here are the MW stations with Meters for "wireless sets" (from Media UK, but we added the Wavelengths)

Restoring an "Invicta 29"

Invicta Model 29  portable Battery radio from 1957

It's based on the Pye  Jewel case P114BQ (Battery only). The  Pye P131MBQ is earlier model with chassis rather than PCB, but mains built in. The PAM 712 and PAM 716 portable Attaché Radio are also supposed to be the same (Pamphonic).

Moved to<

Government DTT Warning published in 2008

Excerpt Below is historic Archive of Information published in 2008 by the Irish Government.

Information on DTT Receivers

Setboxes and TVs for Saorview

We now recommend only Saorview approved set-box or TV is purchased.

Approved Products List.<

At present there is no approved true PVR, So you may want to use a PC with DVBviewer and Dual DTT USB stick or a Humax "Freeview HD" HDR / PVR, though it's not certified nor fully compatible.

SCART and Component

  1. There is no difference in quality between RGB and Component unless there is something wrong with TV. The option is there for non-european TVs that only have Component. If you have two SCARTs on TV, one may not do RGB but only Composite. Composite IS poorer than RGB. Also on some receivers a separate menu selects the high Quality RGB mode rather than Composite on the SCART output.
  2. Sky boxes don't do it. There are standard pins for this but few SCART devices do this.
  3. The only advantage of component is if you have only one RGB SCART on TV and it has Component input too. Then you can use two devices without a true RGB switch box,
  4. There is no Wide screen switching on Component. SCART has two signalling wires at least to most TVs. Component has none. You are better with SCART as the TV will automatically do 16:9 and 4:3 when you change channel, or when station switches to 4:3 etc.

RTE Current Sites

Some RTE NL Site Locations
Site Name Coordinates Easting Northing NGR NGR NGR Altd H m


Saorsat Coverage

There is not currently (December 2010) ANY satellite in service that could deliver Irish Domestic Television without Encryption. The UK mainland is a market TWENTY times bigger than the Irish one. Even "home produced" content would be much more expensive if it could be received in Mainland UK other than by using large mast and big aerial pointed at Ireland on parts of Welsh coast and Cornish coast. 

[Update: Ka-Sat entered service commercially for Internet Applications 31st May 2011. RTE Tests have been received since 26th May 2011]

The solution for RTE NL is to use a Satellite deisgned for Internet coverage that is was launched 26th/27th December 2010. It should be available for use around end of May 2011 if everything works.

Satellite Distribution Systems

There are two kinds of Satellite Distribution

  1. Distribution of the Modulator signal in a Satellite TV Set-box. Every connected TV gets the same channel, which ever is on the set-box.
  2. Distribution of the LNB signals to several or many satellite receivers for each TV. Every TV can have different channels.

You can't use a TV distribution amplifier to "split" the LNB signal from the Dish. The LNB at dish either goes via a Multiswitch to the Sky box IF in (screw on connection) or direct to Sky Box IF in (screw on connection).

The F180 (or any other TV distribution amp, or any kind of splitter) can't be connected to LNBs or IF inputs on any Satellite Set-box.

TV RF = 175MHz to 862MHz

Satellite IF from LNB = 950MHz to 2100MHz with 13V or 18V feed to LNB and 22kHz signal on/off feed to LNB from Set-box.

There are four groups of channels on LNB from dish.

TV & Radio on PC / Laptop

Windows DVB<

Various MCE versions may have the SW you need. The "Free" Included versions usually only work with supplied card, so if you want one application, you will have to buy it. Only the MCE included with Windows 7 is a viable free solution. FFDshow  and VLC's codecs are very poor performance for H.264 /AVC/MPEG4

Windows 7 Media Centre Supports Terrestrial & Satellite Digital as long as there is a BDA driver. Supports EPG and MHEG5 interactive

Video Senders

There is great variation in quality of transmitter, receiver (for 2.4GHz and FM bandwidth used, should be < 15MHz) and the 433MHz reverse link. If the FM video TX and RX are properly designed then the WiFi and Video will co-exist

WiFi channels are 5MHz each and typical 802.11g uses 3 channels completely and a bit on each side. (22MHz)

Properly designed Video Senders use 15MHz wide channel 

Comreg since 2009 have now approved 5.8Ghz for Video Senders and other SRD (short range devices)

1. Radio Frequency Plan for Ireland (Revision 1) (ComReg Document 08/90R1)<
2. Permitted Short Range Devices in Ireland (Revision 4) (ComReg Document 02/71R4)<
Date of Entry into force 22/12/2009

Stereo and Surround Sound.

Digital Myths and Legends

DAB in the UK isn't high quality, hasn't got the bitrate for the MP2 Codec. Some channels on Satellite may use 256k MP2 stereo rather than 128k MP2 stereo of DAB.

For similar, nearly but not quite CD quality, but probably good enough you need
256k MP2, 192K VBR MP3 and 128K AAC. Most UK DAB is 128K or less.

DAB+ testing here was of course experimenting with "as cheap as possible" Not improved quality, i.e. 32k to 46 k AAC approx.

Note that only "produced for Cinema" has complete Surround Sound, which is nothing to do with "HD", high quality or true "being there surround sound" but is more about artifical effects and post production mixing.

There is nothing whatsoever "more hifi" about Dolby Digital compared with high enough bit rate for full HiFi for whatever codec you use.

What is a PVR

VHS was

  1. a TV tuner,
  2. electronic timer, only a small number of scheduled events
  3. cassette Video Tape recorder.

Play back quality is poor.

A "PVR" Personal Video Recorder" (bad acronym) has:

  1. Two Digital Tuners. So you can record one channel while watching another and use a TV to view that doesn't receive the Digital Service.
  2. An almost unlimited scheduler for recording, often entire series automatically and on-screen program guide for a week to pick programs to record.
  3. A computer type Hard Disk for the recordings.

Since the signal is digital, it's recorded as it is, so playback is live quality.