Countdown to Digital Switchover nearing end

This month marks an historical and permanent change on how we will view television in Ireland. The analogue system will be replaced by Digital Terrestrial Television on October 24.

This month marks an historical and permanent change on how we will view television in Ireland. The analogue system will be replaced by Digital Terrestrial Television on October 24.

Only those still using aerials mounted on the roof to receive their television signal will be affected by this change, as it is a completely separate system to the commercial cable services offered by Sky and other firms.

On October 24, the analogue system will finally be switched off and will be replaced entirely by the already operating digital signal of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). If your TV channels are via an aerial and you’ve ignored the annoying ads about Saorview, don’t worry.

They won’t annoy you after this date, because your TV won’t work. It is that serious. So, if you are one of the households still receiving an analogue television signal through an aerial, it’s time to upgrade your service.

Consumers still using the old analogue TV network will continue to see a ‘bug’ on the bottom right corner of their TV screens (X Oct 24) as a reminder and countdown to the analogue switchover date. This ‘bug’ will remain on all analogue TV screens until 24 October or until those TV sets have been switched to the digital network.

Information and help on the Digital Switchover is available through LoCall 1890 940 980 (English language) and 1890 940 970 (Irish language).

Lorraine Mulvey is the Digital Outreach Champion for Leitrim and Roscommon, and is working with the Leitrim Development Company. Lorraine continued: “Leitrim Development Company is delighted to be involved in the programme. Television is an important part of people’s lives, particularly those who are living alone or more isolated.

“There are two main options,” continues Lorraine.  “You can either choose to upgrade to SAORVIEW, the new national digital TV service which is a one off cost or alternatively choose to install a Pay TV service such as Sky.   Those choosing Saorview will need to ensure that their current aerial is appropriate to pick up the new service and that their television is also compatible.

“We have found that some people are confused as to whether they will still need an aerial.  Simply put yes you will and that for most people their existing aerial will be sufficient. Only those who can only receive RTE1 and RTE 2 are likely to have to change their aerial. Others may simply require re-alignment.” 

“There is also no need to buy a new television. Almost any television can be upgraded to digital with a set-top box which should have the SAORVIEW Approved logo. The important thing is to do your research before making a decision to be sure you are buying what you really need and that it is good value for money.  When in doubt buy from someone you know and trust.”

Once you have your set top box or IDTV linked to the aerial by cable, you then tune in your Saorview service using the manual that comes with your new equipment. Your aerial may need adjusting, but if you are currently picking up TV3, it’s probably fine.

Saorview is not a subscription and is not sold door to door by Saorview, RTÉ or anyone else. Similarly, there is no ‘special’ aerial needed. Ensure you, your elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours are not targeted by individuals ‘selling’ the service or equipment, by spreading the word.

For further information you can contact Lorraine Mulvey at 071 96 31715.