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.

RTE Mast

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.

  • Intergration

    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 €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.


  1. conall says:

    3 cheers for bureaucracy


  2. Mares says:

    As a complete and total layperson in this regard it seems ludicrous to me that they aren’t just using Freeview, it’s easy, accessible and simple to explain/understand, surely exactly what they are looking for and RTE can still be the biggest tv provider.

  3. FRLinux says:

    You know what the best part is ? Hertzian signals are going to be phased out by European directive anyway in 2011. Most Countries have already made the switch including France which did it very successfully last year. They rolled out the service in 2005 and one year later, i’ve never seen so much publicity and interest from anyone to actually get TNT (this is how it’s called in France).

    That being said, they did add 10 free channels to the list you can *only* get via TNT, and this was a very good thing.

    Now with True HD coming out of your door (hopefully in your local reseller’s shop by december), trials of TNT-HD already begun in France (well in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the 3 biggest cities). But that show they took the train at the right time.

    We’ve been already quite late (and still are quite behind) concerning broadband in this country, and this is not nice to see that they’re getting behind on Digital TV too.


  4. Niall says:

    I suspect we will be charged for this ‘Free’ Service if a transmitter is being used!!

    But,why bother everyone is using digital boxes and dishes etc!!

    Just bought a LG with freeview unfortunately can’t use the freeview service here in this country, why oh why are we always the last to do things!!!!