Digital TV

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lawhec's picture

30th April 2012 - an end of an era...

The early hours of this coming 30th April will mark the closure of a chapter in European broadcasting, but few in Ireland will realise it and indeed you wouldn't blame them for not noticing. It'll be the final shut down of all current analogue television at 19.2 degrees east, the home of the original Astra satellite fleet.

Michael Watterson's picture

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)

lawhec's picture

Northern Irish DSO - a calm look before the storm comes!

While in the Republic there is some progress, albeit a bit muddy, on the horizon regarding Saorview and (hopefully) Saorsat, in the North the digital terrestrial future has a much more steady path. While exact dates have yet to be confirmed the second half of 2012 should see, bar any hiccups (which could be the case in either N.I., the Republic or even in Britain, as the London switch off is roughly scheduled to be around the time of the 2012 Olympics which could cause some headaches) the switch over take place when analogue & low-power digital signals will be shut down and replaced with higher power digital signals.

Michael Watterson's picture

RTÉ prepare children's TV for DTT launch?

RTE  today (13th September)  unveiled plans for two new programmes strands. RTÉjr will be broadcast for under sixes and TRTÉ for children aged seven to 15 on RTÉ2 from the 20th September 2010.

The new station strands will also have digital radio equivalents in RTÉjr and TRTÉ, Digital Radio is available on Saorview (DTT), DAB in Limerick and South East and online.

RTÉ Young Peoples Programme commissioning editor Sheila de Courcy said the new programme strands were "quintessential public service broadcasting for 21st century audiences".

She said RTÉjr would be a "safe, fun, magical place for children" while TRTÉ would reflect the demands of thje older cohort.

See also Irish Times

Saorview (Irish Digital Television) soft launches 31st October 2010 and full public launch between Q2 2011 and end Q4 2011.

RTE has committed to a daytime Children's Channel on Saorview.

RTE TV Autumn Season 2010

RTE Radio Autumn Season 2010

lawhec's picture

Receiving Freeview in the Republic post-DSO in Northern Ireland

If you are receiving analogue television from across the border in Northern Ireland (BBC1, BBC2, UTV, Channel 4, possible Five in a few places), you should be aware (if you're not already) that these transmissions will cease in about two years time (at the time of writing, shutdown likely to be the second half of 2012) to be replaced with high-powered digital services, known in the UK as Freeview.

The question then lies as to if the current aerial pointing into the North will be good enough? Fortunately there is a "rough" test that was developed by engineers at BBC Research & Development using teletext to see if your current aerial should be suitable after the analogue signals are closed down.

As of this moment, none of the main transmitters in the North nor any of its relays except one should require a new aerial installation for this switch over although some of the relays are moving to new frequencies within the same aerial group (Kilkeel and Gortnalee are two that may affect viewers in the Republic), so to test wherever your analogue reception is strong enough to receive at least some DTT services from N.I. after the analogue signals are terminated, do the following...

*** Please note, this test is no good if your analogue signals are coming from a "deflector" ***

Michael Watterson's picture

Kerry TV on Soarview, Saorsat

Though there is some new content planned for Irish Digital TV,  really there is nothing new. So far it's really just a replacement of Analogue with very basic repeat of RTE news and possibly the addition of TV3's "3e"

Quote:

Tralee entrepreneur Carla Horan is planning to form a new commercial TV station dedicated to Kerry.

The ambitious project would see the channel broadcasting 24 hours a day and include news and sports bulletins from across the county, along with Irish language content, a chat show, cookery, arts, gardening, fashion and holiday programmes -- and even a Kerry-based soap opera and a Kerry version of Big Brother. Live gigs at the INEC in Killarney will also be targeted for coverage by the channel; while there have been early discussions about launching a Kerry Lotto, with live TV draws.

Ms Horan (37) said plans were only at the "inception stage", but she has already brought the concept before the Broadcast Authority of Ireland and is in the process of applying for a contract to provide free-to-air TV on a digital platform. It is hoped the newstation will be broadcasting by 2013.

via http://www.independent.ie/national-...

6. Freesat

Freesat is the brand name for most of the UK Free to Air Satellite TV from 28.2E (Mostly Astra2D)

Unlike a basic FTA (Free To Air Satellite) receiver it provides

  • Detailed 7 day Program Guide (EPG)
  • Automatic list of all Channels (no manual scan or edit of transponders needed)
  • Interactive information and Advanced Text (Most Teletext is gone on UK Satellite)
  • Over the Air software upgrades (Only some FTA receivers and not on the Freesat/Sky satellite position)

A version for the Irish market has been sold with "Sat4free" branding.

The channel line up is similar to but not the same as UK Freeview. There is an HD version, which picks up the non-HD channels and works with HDTV via HDMI or regular TV via SCART.

Michael Watterson's picture

Saorview logo and first setbox?

Seen on a Retail mag for TV in Ireland and scanned by Byte 20th August 2010

saorviewsetbox1

(From IER , Irish Electrical Review, a Trade magazine for Electrical Retailers)

Quote:
Walker Technology Products Ltd., was founded in July 2005 to supply a range of televisions especially designed for the Irish market. The two directors who set the business up were previously senior executives with Mitsubishi Electric involved in the sales and marketing of the very successful market leading range of Black Diamond televisions. The Walker branded range of LCD televisions are sourced from the same factory that manufactured for Mitsubishi Electric and other major Japanese brands for distribution in Europe. Therefore insuring that Walker LCD's offer the latest features, excellent quality and terrific value for money.

4. Digital Dividend

What is the Digital Dividend?

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 strong>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.

Why is this happening?

3. Saorsat

Update 27th January  2012  * NEW *

RTE will run Saorsat on Ka-Sat 9E  and to confirm service start date soon.

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

Saor is the Gaelic for Free. Existing analogue TV (TV via an aerial)
is free. You pay a TV licence simply for having a Receiving Apparatus.
Saorsat is the name for the new all digital service that is for 2% to 8% people that won't be able to get Saorview, the Digital Terrestrial Service via an aerial. It's not a competitor to Sky, Magnet or UPC.
Simply an alternative way to deliver Saorview.

Some information here is preliminary and not yet confirmed.

When and How?

The Saorsat service is proposed to be supplied via Ka-Sat @ 9E, using Ka-Band. The Satellite is many for Internet use and has 80+ spots. One covers Ireland. The satellite was launched successfully 26th/27th December 2010. It's unlikely a service will be available before end of May 2011.

2. Saorview


saorviewlogo-s

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

Explains

  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