Saorview Connect will be based on Freesat’s Metaphor product – the commerical version of the Freetime EPG – and give viewers access to a range of on demand content as well as the Saorview television channels, integrated in a new set-top box with a range of additional features.
It’s slated to launch later this year.
Noel Curran, Director-General of RTÉ, said: “Saorview has come a long way since digital switchover just a few years ago: it is now the largest television platform in Ireland. Saorview Connect will offer viewers a richer experience and, by connecting a Saorview Connect box to broadband, viewers will be able to access a wider range of content. We are pleased to be partnering with Freesat, who have successfully run their connected service in the UK for the last three years. We hope to achieve the same success with Saorview Connect.”
Planned features include an easy-to-use programme guide, including a roll-back television guide providing one-click access to catch-up programming, content recommendations, programme title search, enhanced recording capabilities, and a new standard Saorview remote control.
Alistair Thom, Managing Director of Freesat said: “Freesat is extremely pleased to partner with RTÉ and Saorview to deliver their next-generation connected service. Through Metaphor, we have been able to take our experience of operating a successful integrated television service to help other platforms integrate their own broadband services. We are delighted that Irish viewers will be able to enjoy our technology through Saorview Connect.”
According to the Nielsen Establishment Survey there are 676,000 homes in Ireland that have Saorview, 43% of all TV homes.