Writing in January 2011, the ASO (Analogue Switch Off) is now in less than two years. This means sometime between November 2012 and end of December 2012 a TV that is not compatible with Irish Digital Terrestrial will not work via the aerial socket.

Some retailers are still selling ordinary and Portable TVs that are not compatible. These are effectively NOT Televisions but Monitors and should be sold as such. You are entitled to a refund or replacement if you are sold one.
A notice with “Freeview is not available in Ireland” doesn’t protect the Retailer, because that doesn’t specifically point out that the Digital part of the set doesn’t work (Many Freeview sets are fully compatible) and also about 15% of people in Ireland can get Freeview overspill (You listening Tesco?).

A Set-Box for UPC Cable, Sky, Freesat or Saorview (Irish Digital) is only a solution for existing old TVs, not new TVs. Under Irish Law a TV must be “fit for purpose” for at least two years. That means if it’s portable it should still be portable in January 2013. That means if it’s sold as a Television and not a Monitor  it must be able to receive Irish Digital TV via built-in tuner and aerial socket today.

TVs that only do Analogue or have UK Freeview only are not “Fit for purpose”. It’s dishonest for a retailer to sell them as anything other than Video Monitors (require SCART, Composite, S-Video, HDMI or computer Inputs, and to be clearly labelled.)

… the technical requirements for Irish digital terrestrial television (DTT) (now SAORVIEW) receivers were first published by the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources in February 2008. …

… In December 2008 RTÉ published its Minimum Receiver Requirements. It subsequently appointed a company to test receivers for compliance with the these requirements and instigated an approval process for manufacturers. RTÉ did not add any further technical requirements beyond what was already required in the Department’s specification …

… Key elements of the receiver specification include the following:

1. The receiver needs to be capable of decoding both Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) MPEG 4 signals. This is important as RTÉ is planning to replace its current SD RTÉ Two service with an RTÉ Two HD service on SAORVIEW. More HD services are likely to follow in the future.

2. The receiver needs to have MHEG5 middleware to decode RTÉ’s proposed new Digital Aertel Service and other possible interactive services. …

via RTE’s official website (15th December 2010 update)

See Sale of Goods Act and also Irish Times

Launch originally to start in Autumn 2009