Digital Terrestrial Television
So last week the DCMNR annouced a Pilot Digital Terrestrial Television service from Three Rock and Clermont Carn in Co Louth and according to media reports there will be approx 1000 Set Top Boxes given to test users during this two year pilot.
This is the kind of thing that gets me somewhat agitated about this country. The time for pilot schemes is past. Freeview is the deployed DTT solution across the UK. We should just deploy it here. The reasons are many but the most important are:
- Time to Market
A two year pilot will run until 2008 and only then will we start trying to deploy a nationwide transmission infrastructure. Given the usual delays for procurment etc it will be 2010 before this gets anywhere. With a proposed switchoff date of 2012 for analogue services this is leaving things a little tight.
Oh and the public don’t get the benifits of Digital TV until this is done.
Most of the main channels besides RTE have already intergrated their interactive services with the freeview system. RTE would be able to utilise the BBCs experience in deploying interactive services on the freeview system.
- Consumer Cost
There is a vibrant market for freeview set top boxes in the UK which has driven the cost of these units down to approx â‚¬50. Why pick a different platform where the benifits of volume are lost.
As someone who was involved in the early DTT work in RTE back in 1999 it is somewhat disapointing that it will have taken 10 years or more to deploy services to the public and this delay is due to the various ministers who always manage to messup even the simple things.