Digital Terrestrial

TV and Radio (Satellite & Terrestrial)


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Saor is Gaelic (Irish) for Free and is pronounced "seer" as in seering meat in a pan.

Saorview is Digital Terrestrial in Ireland using DVB-T (DVB-T2 tuners will work), HD, MPEG4 H.264. HD downsampling on SCART is needed for non-HDTV with setbox. MHEG5 middleware. A regular UHF aerial is used for reception.

Michael Watterson's picture

DVB-T2 Lite

DVB_T2-logo The DVB Project has published details of a new profile for its terrestrial broadcasting standard, designed to support low capacity applications such as mobile broadcasting.

Version 1.3.1 of the Blue Book for DVB-T2 adds the new T2-Lite profile. At the same time the previous single profile has been renamed as the T2-base profile.

According to the DVB, T2-Lite is based on a limited sub-set of the modes of the T2-base profile, and by avoiding modes which require the most complexity and memory, allows much more efficient receiver designs to be used.

One possible use for T2-Lite enables the simulcasting of two different versions of the same service, with different bit-rates and levels of protection, which would allow better reception in fringe areas.

Download the specification here (

Development of DVB-h as mobile standard has basically been abandoned. It's unknown how this relates to the DVB-T2 "Lite" mux discussed for deployment of RTE/TG4 services in N.I. 

Michael Watterson's picture

RTEjr and RTE2 HD

Today Friday 27th May 2011 the "test channel" on Saorview became RTEjr (till 7pm each day)

RTEjr on Saorview

Also RTE2 is transmitting in HD

RTEjr on Saorview

And MHEG5 running on DVBviewer

RTEjr on Saorview

Click here  to load full size< image! 

Magner's League Rugby 28th May 2011 1920x1080p screen shot in DVBviewer< (1440 x1080i transmission)

lawhec's picture

Getting Saorview in Northern Ireland

This article has been updated on February 2012 to update certain information and to remove stuff that is no longer relevant.

lawhec's picture

RTÉ in Northern Ireland - as it stands, as it should progress and for the future

Anyone buying a copy of the Belfast-based Irish News this morning will see the headline on the front page “RTE digital coming north”, with the article below it featuring the grins of Joe Brolly and Ryan Turbity. Two further pages inside the paper gives more to this story, though half of it contains a picture of a 10-element contract aerial.

The main event behind the story is that the Irish News has “learned” that RTÉ1, RTÉ2 and TG4 will be available on the Freeview platform in Northern Ireland by the time the digital switch over occurs here, though some rights to programming (e.g. sports) will be blocked the same way as viewers to those channels on Sky or Virgin are being done so right now. It says an announcement is expected to be made soon which will also include the BBC being given “greater” access in the Republic too.

byte's picture

South Africa decides on DVB-T2 for DTT.

SADC confirms DVB-T2 for South Africa

After months of uncertainty the Southern African Development Community (SADC) digital task force has selected DVB-T2 with MPEG-4 compression as the terrestrial transmission standard for the region. Announcing the decision committee chairman Joel Kaapanda (pictured) pointed to the region’s international obligations under the ITU Region 1 Geneva ITU GE06 Agreement and the ITU’s 2015 deadline for the migration from analogue to digital television.

Walker WP11DTP Saorview STB - First Impressions

I got my first look at the WP11 set top box yesterday.

It's smaller than the older WP10, with a metal casing, painted black and a red 4 digit display for channel number, and a blue LED to indicate it's on (red for off).

Looks wise, I think it looks cheap and tacky, especially the red digit display, where many other electronics use VFD

Connectivity wise, at the back, it has HDMI, stereo phono output, optical output, USB port, Scart and of course RF loopthrough.  And then the jack input for the external power supply.

The remote layout is not great either, again it seems bland.  I hope to put up images soon.

However, on with using it!

I plugged it in, and after the short boot period, it starts with initial setup.  The setup is very easy.  Start off with language, then onto country, what resolution you want your HDMI port, and a Yes/No option for Auto scanning.

Michael Watterson's picture

Saorview Resource for Humans

New resource for Non-Technical folk (ordinary Humans) for Saorview and Saorsat (link)<, the new Irish Digital Terrestrial.

I think is a nice easy address for your friends. Comment to this post to suggest additions or corrections to the site or use this form here (link)< if you are not a Member here. 

UPDATE: RTE / RTE NL now have two excellent resources. The Information Site Saorview<  and the Coverage Site<.

lawhec's picture

Northern Irish DSO - a calm look before the storm comes!

While in the Republic there is some progress, albeit a bit muddy, on the horizon regarding Saorview and (hopefully) Saorsat, in the North the digital terrestrial future has a much more steady path. While exact dates have yet to be confirmed the second half of 2012 should see, bar any hiccups (which could be the case in either N.I., the Republic or even in Britain, as the London switch off is roughly scheduled to be around the time of the 2012 Olympics which could cause some headaches) the switch over take place when analogue & low-power digital signals will be shut down and replaced with higher power digital signals.

Michael Watterson's picture

RTÉ prepare children's TV for DTT launch?

RTE  today (13th September)  unveiled plans for two new programmes strands. RTÉjr will be broadcast for under sixes and TRTÉ for children aged seven to 15 on RTÉ2 from the 20th September 2010.

The new station strands will also have digital radio equivalents in RTÉjr< and TRTÉ, Digital Radio is available on Saorview (DTT), DAB in Limerick and South East and online.

RTÉ Young Peoples Programme commissioning editor Sheila de Courcy said the new programme strands were "quintessential public service broadcasting for 21st century audiences".

She said RTÉjr would be a "safe, fun, magical place for children" while TRTÉ would reflect the demands of thje older cohort.

See also Irish Times<

Saorview (Irish Digital Television) soft launches 31st October 2010 and full public launch between Q2 2011 and end Q4 2011.

RTE has committed to a daytime Children's Channel on Saorview.

RTE TV Autumn Season 2010<

RTE Radio Autumn Season 2010<

lawhec's picture

Receiving Freeview in the Republic post-DSO in Northern Ireland

If you are receiving analogue television from across the border in Northern Ireland (BBC1, BBC2, UTV, Channel 4, possible Five in a few places), you should be aware (if you're not already) that these transmissions will cease in about two years time (at the time of writing, shutdown likely to be the second half of 2012) to be replaced with high-powered digital services, known in the UK as Freeview.

The question then lies as to if the current aerial pointing into the North will be good enough? Fortunately there is a "rough" test that was developed by engineers at BBC Research & Development using teletext to see if your current aerial should be suitable after the analogue signals are closed down.

As of this moment, none of the main transmitters in the North nor any of its relays except one should require a new aerial installation for this switch over although some of the relays are moving to new frequencies within the same aerial group (Kilkeel and Gortnalee are two that may affect viewers in the Republic), so to test wherever your analogue reception is strong enough to receive at least some DTT services from N.I. after the analogue signals are terminated, do the following...

*** Please note, this test is no good if your analogue signals are coming from a "deflector" ***

UHF Aerials

Main kinds of aerial for UHF.

  1. Small whip. Really vertically polarised and supplied with USB sticks etc. Very poor. Telescopic on handheld TV.
  2. Dipole. usually horizontal but can be used vertical. Marginally
    better than whip. Often inside a plastic box with an amplifier. Can be
    implemented as a plate rather than rod.
  3. Yagi. A Dipole with a Reflector and one to 19 directors. 16 to 19
    directors or a boom length of wavelength x 2.5 is useful maximum size.
    After that stacking is better. For more than four stacked dipoles a dish
    may be better.
  4. Log periodic. Looks like a yagi. But all the elements are dipoles.
    poorer gain and wider band for same boom size as Yagi (but less ghosting
  5. Array of dipoles on a reflector. Sometimes called Grid or Bowtie
    aerial. Common to have 4 bows or dipoles but poorer dual element are
    available. In theory an 8 element is possible.
  6. Dish and dipole. Dish needs to double in diameter when you halve
    the frequency, so a UHF dish equivalent to MMDS would be 2600/600 = 4
    times diameter or 16 times wind load/ area!
There is no such aerial as a DTT or Digital Aerial.
Aerials are Aerials.

Michael Watterson's picture

Kerry TV on Soarview, Saorsat

Though there is some new content planned for Irish Digital TV<,  really there is nothing new. So far it's really just a replacement of Analogue with very basic repeat of RTE news and possibly the addition of TV3's "3e"


Tralee entrepreneur Carla Horan is planning to form a new commercial TV station dedicated to Kerry.

The ambitious project would see the channel broadcasting 24 hours a day and include news and sports bulletins from across the county, along with Irish language content, a chat show, cookery, arts, gardening, fashion and holiday programmes -- and even a Kerry-based soap opera and a Kerry version of Big Brother. Live gigs at the INEC in Killarney will also be targeted for coverage by the channel; while there have been early discussions about launching a Kerry Lotto, with live TV draws.

Ms Horan (37) said plans were only at the "inception stage", but she has already brought the concept before the Broadcast Authority of Ireland and is in the process of applying for a contract to provide free-to-air TV on a digital platform. It is hoped the newstation will be broadcasting by 2013.


5. Freeview

Freeview is the brand name for the Free Digital TV channels via an Aerial in the UK (including Northern Ireland).


There are about 27 TV channels and and the main national FM and DAB stations on Freeview. Basic Freeview Receiver is DVB-T with MPEG2 and is no good for Saorview. A newer Freeview HD receiver will pickup HD in some areas as well as the regular Freeview. A CAM slot (with CAM) or built in CAM for a viewing card is needed for the small number of channels on "Subscription" Top Up TV (includes Sky Sport).