Saorview is RTÉ’s free to air digital terrestial television (DTT) service.
EU rules mean that the current analogue ( arial based TV ) signals have to be turned off in October 2012.
Saorview is a mixed language word – with Saor meaning Free . Pronounced Sair or Seer . (They couldn’t use the name Freeview – because that is in use in the UK and would confuse people.)
The equivalent digital TV service called Freeview – in the UK has been running since 2002.
The minority (340,000) of households in Ireland still use their TV ariel for watching TV . The switch to digital TV will hardly affect the majority of the country’s consumers, who receive their TV from digital providers such as Sky (625,000) or UPC (375,000)
There will be 5 “new” digital channels – RTÉ Two HD, RTÉ Aertel Digital, RTÉ jr, RTÉ One + 1 and RTÉ News Now.
What Will You Need to Buy ?
Set Top Box
The Digital TV Saorview signal can be received on all types of televisions from most aerials using a set-top box.
There are Saorview approved set top boxes – retailing at about €100. But any UK Freeview HD set top box should be fine work.
Some households may need to adjust or replace their aerial: expect to pay about €150.
Don’t be conned into paying for a new aerial if you don’t need one. If you currently can receive TV3 through your aerial then your aerial is most likely fine and is pointing in the right direction. You should not need to do anything with your aerial.
2. If you currently receive RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4 through your aerial but do not receive TV3 then your aerial is most likely fine but for some homes it may be pointing in the wrong direction.
3. If you receive only RTÉ One and RTÉ Two through your aerial and do not receive TV3 and TG4 then you will probably need a new UHF aerial pointed at the best transmission site for your area.
You don’t need a new TV – but If you are planning on buying a new TV – you should consider a television with Saorview built in or look for Freeview HD.
Freeview televisions from the UK will not work with Saorview. But Freeview HD televisions should be able to pick up the Saorview signal.
The 340,000 households that currently just view TV via an ariel – will be made up of a high proportion of elderly , rural dwellers and those on lower incomes.
Any Television with an MPEG4 digital tuner should work. – Freeview HD uses MPEG4.
By October 2012 SAORVIEW should be accessible to 98% of the population. Approximately 2% of the population will not be able to receive the SAORVIEW service.
RTÉ is currently in the process of also developing and testing a free-to-air satellite service, SAORSAT, which will make it possible for 100% of the population to access Irish free-to-air digital television channels and services. This will provide coverage to the homes not covered by SAORVIEW.