Minister Rabbitte Launches Saorview, The New National Free to Air Digital Terrestrial Television Service for Ireland ‏

Saorview Channel Line Up

The national launch of Saorview, RTÉs free to air DTT service, took place today and was attended by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

At the national launch the Minister said, “With the national launch of Saorview today, Ireland at last enters the era of national free to air digital broadcasting. This will bring new opportunities to our Irish broadcasters ensuring that they continue to compete with their European counterparts and will also benefit TV viewers by offering a wider array of TV channels, programme guides, information channels and some high definition content”.

At a cost of €70m RTÉ and RTÉ Networks Limited (RTÉNL) have been building and rolling out the new digital terrestrial television network. This digital network will replace the current analogue network which is nearing obsolescence.

The launch of Saorview forms an integral part of Ireland’s national digital switchover strategy which provides for the ultimate closure of the analogue TV network at the end of 2012. In achieving this strategy there remains much work to be done. Minister Rabbitte added, “The recent research commissioned by my Department shows that at least a quarter of a million Irish households are reliant on the analogue service and with the national launch these households have 18 months to move to digital TV before the analogue TV network is switched off.

Whilst I, and my officials will work to ensure that information and assistance is available to all Irish households, I would like to take this opportunity to call on industry stakeholders to work together during this period to provide for easy to use and accessible digital TV equipment and services so that the transition to digital is straightforward and affordable”.

The Saorview package will include the following channels:  RTÉ ONE, RTÉ TWO HD, TV3, TG4, RTÉ NEWS NOW, 3e, RTÉ junior, RTÉ ONE + 1, and a RTÉ Aertel Digital (a modernised version of the current teletext service), the line up will also include all of RTÉ’s radio services.  In order to receive Saorview you will need a Saorview set top box and aerial, or a Saorview approved digital television.

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