Ireland’s public broadcaster RTE has confirmed it will be using MHEG-5 as the middleware for the Irish digital terrestrial system.
“Our principal initial objective with reception equipment is to encourage the development of a competitive horizontal market,” says Emer Conlon, IT project manager, RTÉ Publishing. “The key reason for selecting MHEG is the broad consumer choice based on existing product development in other markets and the short-term availability of receiver products using existing supply channels. We have seen the success of MHEG in the UK and elsewhere and that simply isn’t the case for other middlewares. MHEG has very strong manufacturer support.”
RTÉ has initially specified the MHEG 1.06 profile with the addition of HD capabilities with the broadcaster looking at further options as the DTT project develops.
The news was welcomed by David Cutts, MD of S&T and founder of IMPALA: “A vibrant supply chain is vital to support the effective rollout of new platforms and services. Over its years of success manufactures have consistently supported MHEG, via a stringent conformance regime and the development of country-specific profiles. We are pleased that these benefits have been recognised by RTE.”
MHEG-5, which has been a part of the UK terrestrial system since its launch in November 1998, had been mooted as Ireland’s middleware of choice since the involvement of the Swedish Boxer. At that time the possibility of a Nordic-wide rollout was on the cards, and although this did not proceed, RTE did join the Nordig alliance and will use Teracom’s testing facility for set-top boxes entering the Irish market.