Several thousand people in the greater Dublin area are to be given free digital set-top boxes as part of the second phase of Ireland’s digital TV trial.
Iniitally 500 participants, drawn from the Dublin and Louth areas will receive specially adapted DTT set-top boxes, later rising to 1,000. The trial is being designed to provide an insight into the issues associated with the national rollout of the technology including the impact on the national network.
The pilot will continue until 2008 and will transmit from the Three Rock site in Dublin and the Clermont Carn site in County Louth. Content will be drawn from public and commercial channels including RTÉ 1, RTÉ2, TV3, TG4, Channel 6, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News 24, Sky News, Sky Sports 1, Extreme Sports and UKTV History. Only the public channels RTÉ 1 and RTÉ2 are broadcast free-to-air, the others are encrypted.
Full details of the scheme are due to be announced by the communications minister Noel Dempsey. The trial is scheduled to run until August 2008.
Separately, mobile operator O2 is this week launching a mobile TV trial in Dublin using DVB-H technology. (JC)