Ireland's new free digital TV service is called Saorview - it provides RTÉ One, RTÉ Two (in HD - handy for sport), TG4, 3e, TV3, plus some news and radio channels. To get these stations you need a Saorview decoder box. We have a TV in the kitchen in our house that received the RTÉ channels via analog signal and a "rabbit's ears" aerial. We also have an old Sky box which we use as a free-to-air decoder for mostly British channels. So I decided to get Saorview to replace the old analog signal.
|Great ads for Saorview.|
Setting up the box (€79 bargain in Harvey-Norman) is a cinch - the Installation menu sets up all the stations for Ireland. The aerial is a bit of a problem. I bought the indoor aerial and while it is not bad, it is not perfect. I changed this for an outdoor aerial which I put in the attic - much better. It is also cheaper (€33) - I really recommend the outdoor aerial for better signal and easier setup.
I do feel that whoever decided that a these channels needed a new decoder got it wrong. Surely the channels could have been made free on existing free-to-air decoders, or they could have been made available through Sky. Currently they are available to Sky subscribers only - even though they are free. I get BBC, ITV, etc on the Sky box - there are also easily available on Freeview decoders. But these decoders don't do the Irish channels, and Saorview does not do the British channels. I now have two digital decoders in my kitchen. A bit of a mess - bit for just over €100 I have free digital channels in good quality. Not bad!