Welcome to the brave new digital TV world – analogue to switch off next year
THE traditional television signal will be switched off across Ireland next year, it was revealed today.
Analogue will close on October 24 2012, replaced by the new national digital television network Saorview.
It will run in parallel with the Northern Ireland service Freeview.
If households that currently receive their television signal via an aerial do not switch to digital they will lose Irish television services when the analogue network is switched off.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said today: "Importantly, digital TV also uses less space in the broadcast spectrum band which means that Ireland will join many other countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world in freeing up space for other purposes, such as the provision of mobile or broadband services.
Saorview will bring in clearer picture and sound quality, more TV channels, radio channels, information services and high-definition TV.
Some 250,000 households in the Republic rely solely on an aerial to watch TV.
Mr Rabbitte said: "It is important that we help people, particularly the 23pc of people still unaware of the digital TV switchover, to understand what it is, its many benefits, when it is happening and where they can go for guidance.
"Our campaign will focus, in particular, on ensuring that the 250,000 households across the country who are reliant on the analogue TV service get the message."
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is providing guidance to the public though a new website, www.goingdigital.ie, a helpline on 1890 940 980 and the distribution of 100,000 free information booklets which will be available in post offices and Citizen Information Centres throughout the country from next week.