Belfast Telegraph

Switchover to digital TV completed

Irish television viewers have seen the back of snowy pictures and poor reception following the completion of digital switchover.

More than 50 years of analogue broadcasting came to an end when the original signal was switched off at RTE headquarters.

The old network has been replaced with a new service known as Saorview.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte attended the switchover at the television centre in Donnybrook and described the move to a new transmission as a historic event.

"Public service broadcasting remains vital to the social, political and cultural life of the nation," said Mr Rabbitte. "What we are doing here today ensures people will continue to have access to free-to-air television, providing a full range of services, with a strong national voice."

Mr Rabbitte added that the closure of the old analogue TV network frees up space for mobile broadband services.

People who had not prepared for the switchover by buying a set-top digital box or a Saorview-approved TV will have seen their screens go blank.

The switchover to digital TV, which provides greater choice in channels and a clearer picture, brings Ireland in line with the rest of Europe.

In Northern Ireland, the final analogue broadcast was transmitted with a special programme hosted by Eamonn Holmes aired simultaneously on BBC and UTV.

Olympic gold medalist Dame Mary Peters turned the final analogue switch off at a transmitter in Belfast.


From Belfast Telegraph