RTE’s Digital Terrestrial Television service is now available to 90% of the Irish population, communications minister Eamon Ryan has announced. Friday’s launch of DTT from 24 sites around Ireland means the signals can be received by 90% of the population.
Ireland’s TV households now have two years to upgrade their televisions before analogue switch off at the end of 2012. One million people still rely on the analogue terrestrial signals.
“Today’s launch of the RTE digital television service, on a trial basis, is another important milestone in the advent of free-to-air digital television to Ireland. Television viewers and the country in general will benefit from this modernisation of our television service,” said Ryan.
The new service, which will initially include simulcasts of RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3 and TG4 is still deemed only a trial broadcast. A major push will be made next year with the launch of the Saorview free-to-air platform. Ireland will use MPEG-4, but will stay with DVB-T transmissions.
Plans for a commercial DTT service failed after all three consortium rejected offers of a licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).