Friday 23 March 2018

Colum Kenny: We're not all equipped to cope with brave new world of TV

RTE's Saorview is on stream, but a third of us may not be able to afford the switch, says Colum Kenny

Most viewers whose TV screens will go blank do not know it yet. Most people are not aware that by the end of 2012 it will no longer be possible to receive RTE1, RTE2, TV3, TG4 or the main UK stations through a standard roof-top aerial, or a set-top aerial (rabbits ears). That is what researchers for Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte found out.

But he is spinning the development as a chance to improve your "television experience", and to do so by paying to install an otherwise "free" new system called Saorview. Last week RTE launched Saorview, a new system that will deliver existing Irish channels as well as 3e and some extra RTE services.

But the minister's consultants have found that "with roughly a third of all TV householders (regardless of reception type) admitting that they are struggling from a financial perspective, it is clear from all of the survey data that many TV homes would find it difficult to invest any significant amount of money in new TV equipment as part of the analogue switch-off process." So what exactly happens now?

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