What is Digital TV?

Whilst there is nothing technically wrong with analogue, digital broadcasting is much more efficient. Viewers are able to receive a perfect picture in a number of changeable screen sizes (widescreen, for instance), as well as surround sound CD-quality audio. Even better, with digital you can receive many more channels for free.

Currently, many Irish viewers cannot receive a respectable digital TV signal via their existing television aerial. The only way to remedy this - and boost the digital signal for everyone - is to switch off the existing analogue broadcasting signal for good.

This is why Ireland is aiming to 'switchover' and become completely digital by 2012. After the switchover, any TV set that hasn't been changed or upgraded to digital status will no longer be able to watch television.

What is the Digital Switchover?

All Irish TV is being switched over to digital by October 2012. What this basically means is that everyone who wants to carry on watching television channels as they do at present will have to 'go digital' in the near future. If you don't do this, you simply won't be able to receive a picture once the analogue signal in your area is turned off.

Ireland is not the only country set to go digital in the near future. Sweden and the Netherlands have already changed to digital broadcasting, and the USA is expected to become totally digital by 2009. You can either change to digital now, or wait until nearer the switchover time.

How will it affect me?

When you switchover to digital, you' will need to ensure that every television in your house can receive a digital signal. Doing this is quite simple.

You can either buy a digital set-top box that will modify your current television signal, join a monthly subscription package, contact us for Sky TV, or purchase a completely new television that already receives digital. There is no set cost to go digital - it depends completely on what equipment you buy and how much you are willing to spend.

Once the switchover has taken place, you won't lose any of your existing television channels. In fact, you'll gain more (many of which are completely free to watch). You'll also notice an improvement to your picture and audio quality, not to mention some great extras such as on-screen TV listings, pay-as-you-go television and red-button interactivity.

October 2012 is the year RTE stop broadcasting an analogue television service.

YOU MUST make the switch to Digital to continue receiving your TV programmes.


SAORVIEW is Ireland's first free digital television service. It brings you all your favourite Irish channels, crystal clear pictures, better quality sound, on-screen programme menus and digital teletext – all for free. SAORVIEW is a digital terrestrial television (DTT) service that means the signal is broadcast from transmission masts across the country and is received through a standard TV aerial paired with either a set-top-box or a new integrated digital television (iDTV).