RTE Launches Soarview: A Digital Terrestrial Television in Ireland
To introduce Digital Terrestrial Television “Soarview” to Ireland, major steps have been taken in an EU mandate. In October 2012, an analog switch came into existence. On that month, Soarview’s trial phase was introduced to over 90% of residents in Ireland. It came with free digital TV entertainment by using the Walker set-top box.
The first channels which went air in this newly launched service were RTE1, RTE2, The TG4, and RTE Mewsa. Later on, the service expanded its presence to the TV3 band and various radio stations.
But what to expect with this new digital terrestrial service launched in Ireland?
RTE Director, Cathal Goan, during innovative digital trial launch, explained Soarview as a revolutionary change in the broadcasting network in Ireland which offered viewers the opportunity to view more HD channels in the country, along with digital teletext, higher quality sound output, and programme menus on the screen. But when it comes to looking closely at Soarview, the HD picture was not offered yet and was scaled to be available by spring 2011.
According to the RTENL, the Irish residents will be able to access free viewing and HD quality pictures in movie channels, interactive shows, and sports and drama shows. On the creation of generating reality and realization of this vision with authorized set-top box and integrated digital TV, the pressure still persists.
The RTE has limited number of STBs currently which are approved and they also come from Walker Technology. There is virtually no competitiveness in price due to lack of competition. So, it is very important to resolve this situation by the manufacturers in the digital terrestrial television domain. Because of changes in specification when compared to EU, the set-top box prices are still high.
However, it might change soon since the launch of Triax TR110 DT receiver and Fortech Star HD receiver. It’s time to pay attention to the presence of PVR and HD when it comes to choosing set-top box, so your box may be ready to work with any changes in future which will come along.
It would also be nice if you own a set top box which has Mheg5 software that can support the interactive and upcoming interface. Another best alternative for you is to choose the combination of a satellite and digital terrestrial in one set-top box. For doing this, the best choice is the Edison VIP2 satellite and the Edison Argus Combo.
Unfortunately, a lot of time is required by the Government of Ireland to embrace such new changes. Hopefully, it will be required and forced to make change once the analog signal is completely shut down in 2012 and people accept the change.
It is still the question whether Irish people will be enjoying the satellite TV or not. For residents, there is a paid option to sign up to Sky, but they will still be paying for service which is free already.