File photo. Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Digital TV

Trial RTÉ digital TV service launched

Minister Eamon Ryan says digital switchover in 2012 could net Ireland €500m by allowing more mobile and broadband services.

A NEW TRIAL DIGITAL TV service has been launched which will allow viewers in the 26 counties access to several RTÉ channels.

Saoirview will broadcast RTÉ One, RTE Two, TV3, TG4 and RTÉ News Now, according to the state broadcaster.

RTÉ plans to switch off its analogue service at the end of 2012 deadline set by the EU.

An RTÉ statement on Saorview says: “From a national perspective, moving to digital will free up radio spectrum for use by other important communications services such as broadband, mobile TV or other mobile services”.

Silicon Republic reports that over 1m people currently use the analogue terrestrial service at home.

Launching the trial service, Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan said that Ireland will gain a €500m windfall from the ‘digital divided’ resulting from the switchover as the radio spectrum released would be available for wireless broadband or new mobile services.

In a statement, Ryan said: “Digital Television will improve the television experience for the viewer, with more channels, high-definition pictures, higher-quality sound, on-screen menus and digital teletext”.