RTE has turned off the old analogue TV signal and made the switch to full digital, leaving an estimated 100,000 homes without any channels.
The changeover happened at 10am today - leaving anyone yet to buy a digital box or television with a blank screen.
The switchover was heralded by presenter Miriam O'Callaghan as “a historic day” for the network.
Following the changeover, Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte made the first broadcast speech on the new fully digital system.
He called the move “the dawn of the digital broadcast era” and said that similar initiatives were taking place all over the world.
The move would allow for better sound and picture quality, the minister said.
Mr Rabbitte called the RTE project “an achievement of which to be proud” and one of the milestones in the national broadcaster’s history.
Tom Savage, chairman of the RTE board, said that the €70m project had been delivered in difficult economic circumstances on time and in budget.
While the Saorview service is free to air, it is estimated that up to 100,000 households have yet to buy the necessary digital box or TV.
A helpline has been established for anyone having trouble with the switch.
It can be contacted on 1890 222 012. A website with advice is also available at www.saorview.ie.