Irish communications minister Eamon Ryan has announced the end of the country’s DTT trial and confirmed the MPEG-4 compression system will be used when the rollout commences in autumn 2009.
“We have reached the end of the beginning of the digital terrestrial television process. Now we move to national rollout,” said Ryan. The trial officially ends today, though from August 4 transmission provider RTE Network Limited will provide a new DTT network to test and develop new services.
“MPEG-4 is the technology of choice for DTT as it allows space for more content and for high definition channels. We want to ensure that our viewers get the best value for money in the switch to digital television – more channels, more services and better quality pictures,” said RTE director-general Cathal Goan.
The 1000-home trial in Dublin and County Louth has been in operation since August 2006. It included high definition channels, digital Teletext and audio description.
Key findings of the study showed 82% of those involved in the trial would recommend digital television to a friend, reception and picture quality being the prime reasons for doing so, and 84% were satisfied with the overall service. 92% reported satisfaction with the sound quality.