Saorview ( Saor meaning Free in Irish) – is the name of the digital TV service provided by RTE. The changeover to digital television is going ahead on 24th October 2012 and all the Irish channels (RTE1 Rte2 , TG4 and TV3) will be transmitted in digital format and the current analogue transmissions will be switched off.
If you currently subscribe to a digital TV service such as Sky Ireland or UPC and you use them to watch RTE , TG4 and TV3 – then you can continue to do this after the changeover to Saorview.
BUT – If you are one of the two hundred thousand households that currently view TV via an aerial – then you may have to buy some new equipment to carry on watching these channels after the changeover to Saorview.
If you need to make the switchover you will see the words ‘October 24’ on the bottom right hand corner of your television screen.
Beware of door to door sales people who are trying to persuade people to buy new aerials and receivers. Some of these people are even claiming to be from RTE or Saorview – and could be getting you to pay for something you don’t need.
Will I need a New Aerial ? ……Probably Not.
Don’t be conned into paying for a new TV aerial if you don’t need one. If you currently can receive TV3 through your aerial then your aerial is most likely fine for Saorview – and is pointing in the right direction. You should not need to do anything with your aerial.
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 it may just be pointing in the wrong direction.
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 for Saorview. Get quotes from 3 suppliers before you go ahead with any work.
What other Equipment will I need to get Saorview.
You will need a digital decoder (set top box) which can recieve the Saorview signal OR a television with a Saorview compatible digital reciever built in.
Set Top Boxes : There are some Saorview approved boxes -The price of these set top boxes start at about €80. A UK Freeview HD reciever should work too. As long as the receiver has MPEG4 it should be fine. (UK Freeview boxes won’t work – just Freeview HD) .
You don’t have to buy a new TV to get Saorview – your existing TV will work with a set top box as mentioned above. But – if you are thinking of upgrading your television soon — you should get one with a Saorview compatible digital receiver built in. (Then you won’t need a separate set top box)
Freeview televisions from the UK will not work with Saorview. But most Freeview HD televisions will be able to pick up the Saorview signal.
Another option is to Join Sky and get TV via a satellite. The monthly charges start at €25 and installation and equipment are FREE when you sign up online. Visit Sky Ireland here
SKY will work with your existing TV – you won’t need to buy a new aeriel or a set top box. You will need to pay a monthly subscription ( min €25) – but for that you will also get access to Sky1 , BBC digital channels (BBC 1 BBc 2 BBc3 BBc4) as well at ITV channels (1,2,3,4) Cbeebies, CBBC along with Sky 1 , Sky Atlantic, Gold Dave and several others.
Ring LoCall 1890 940 980 (English language) and 1890 940 970 (Irish language) to find out more about Saorview