Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has warned that with 11 months until the old analogue TV network is switched off, retailers need to ensure TVs and receivers they are selling are compatible with the new digital standards in Ireland.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has drawn the attention of manufacturers, retailers and distributors to the change in the TV standards used in Ireland.
The change to Ireland’s TV standard results from the move from a national analogue television network to a digital television network.
The current analogue TV standard will cease to be used by broadcasters in Ireland after analogue switch off on 24 October 2012.
A new digital standard has been developed which works with the new digital free-to-air network, SAORVIEW.
There are some set-top-boxes and iDTVs on the market that may work with SAORVIEW or aspects of the SAORVIEW service.
The majority of UK “Freeview” boxes and iDTVs will not decode the SAORVIEW service and unapproved receivers may not be fully compatible with all aspects of the SAORVIEW service. Here are the Approved Product Listings
Digital switchover countdown
“We have just over 11 months until the old analogue TV network is switched off. I would ask retailers to ensure that the TVs and other TV receivers they are selling are compatible with the digital standard being used in Ireland,” Rabbitte said.
“Only televisions meeting this standard are guaranteed to provide free-to-air access to the national digital television network,” he added.
Rabbitte also requested that retailers inform their customers of the new standard so they have all the necessary information when purchasing their TV equipment.
In order to receive SAORVIEW, it is not always necessary to buy a new television. Televisions bought from the mid-1990s or later should be capable of being upgraded to SAORVIEW using a SAORVIEW approved set-top box.
As with the current TV standard, SAORVIEW-approved TV sets will work with a set-top box being used to access pay TV services.
“I would urge all consumers to become aware of this change in standard and remember to ask your retailer some important questions when buying a new television set – will this television show the new Irish digital TV service, SAORVIEW? Is this TV SAORVIEW approved?
“Consumers should look out for the SAORVIEW approved logo on TV sets and set-top boxes, as this means that the TV has undergone stringent tests to ensure that it will work to receive SAORVIEW,” Rabbitte said.