For ALL shops & Web sites

  • You must make it clear to Customers that existing Analogue TV ceases end of October 2012.
  • Only TVs and Set-boxes with Saorview Logo can be described as Saorview Compatible
  • If you believe the TV or Setbox supports MPEG4, MHEG5, HE-AAC and HD, you can say it’s Irish Digital Compatible.
  • TV or Setbox without MHEG5 Interactive are not properly compatible

From Official RTE Web Site

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.

TVs should have Clearly with Ticks or Red Cross.

[_] Saorview Certified
[_] Irish Digital Compatible
Option only for those with UK aerials:
[_] UK Freeview HD Compatible

If it is not at least Irish Digital Compatible it should have a large heavy read cross through all three entries.
It’s likely ALL “Freeview HD” sets tick the “Irish Digital Compatible” box.

In store there should be at least one poster:

Saorview Certified ———— Certified Compatible with Irish Digital Television. Will receive “Freeview” but may not receive “Freeview HD” in Border or Coastal locations where UK TV can be received via an Aerial. Freesat is recommended (Dish and Setbox) for UK Television for most people.

Irish Digital Compatible ——- Compatible with Irish Digital Television, including Interactive Text and 7 day Guide, but not Certified.

UK Freeview HD Compatible — Will receive “Freeview” and “Freeview HD” in Border or Coastal locations where UK TV can be received via an Aerial. Freesat is recommended (Dish and Setbox) for UK Television for most people. Might be Irish Digital TV compatible. Some Freeview HD TVs or boxes may not display traditional Teletext. Currently TV3 and TG4 Text is not on MHEG5 Interactive but only on Traditional “so called analogue” Teletext.

Issues with “Freeview HD”

  • Channels may be listed from 800
  • May be no traditional EBU Teletext (may end 2012/2013 anyway)
  • Subtitles might not work
  • May stay on Winter time during Summer (no DST)

Analogue TV will close end of 2012, likely November 2012

Most “Freeview” (without HD with logo) TVs, even if HD Ready or FULL HD will not work on Irish Digital. None will work on UK “Freeview HD“. A + in a logo indicates recording e.g. “Freeview+ HD

Read this for the logic of the labelling.

Absolutely no set should be ambiguous or unlabelled. You should not mention MPEG4 as loads of dvd players, DVD recorders and TVs with integrated DVD (that won’t ever work on Saorview) mention MPEG4 (actually referring to PC file Xvid or DivX playback and not Broadcast MPEG4 via tuner). Also there are MPEG4 tuners that are not working with Irish Digital TV or HD. Note that currently on Saorview only RTE1, TV3 and TG4 have the older teletext (which is ironically digital) and RTE2 and other channels either use MHEG5 Digital Interactive Text or nothing.

As a minimum a TV needs to support DVB-T (or DVB-T2), HD, MPEG4 AVC H.264 Level 4, HE-AAC (known also as AAC+) and UK profile MHEG5 , anything less can’t be called “Irish Digital Compatible”. Consult RTE NL (link) for details. The TV only needs to be able to display HD (1080i 25fps 50Hz), it need not be Full HD. There is no advantage to Progressive TV, as all transmissions are Interlaced. Even DVD & BD only need to be Progressive in NTSC area markets (60Hz countries). A set-box must have HDMI for HD and down-convert HD to SCART. A 1920x 1080p native display  adds no sharpness at all compared to 1920x1080i display. An “HD Ready” resolution typically of  1366 x 768 and particularly displays with native 60Hz refresh will blur the video.

TVs, PVRs Set-box Certified

You can’t add this logo to any product. It indicates full compatibility certified by RTE NL on basis of passing Teracom AB testing.

Recorders and PVRs

There  will never be a DVD recorder for Saorview as video DVDs (rather than PC files on a DVD) don’t support MPEG4 or HD. Digital recorders work by simply recording the “off air” signal without change, a perfect digital copy. This means that playback is same quality as live and there are no  quality or Long play settings as there are with VHS, S-VHS and analogue input DVD recorders.

Most PVRs  will use two tuners and an internal computer type Hard Drive (HDD). Recording time varies with the transmitted bitrate of the actual program. HD uses the space nearly four times faster. Some PVRs may have BD (blu Ray) player and some may have BD record. Record will nearly always be to make a copy of the program pre-recorded on the internal HDD rather than record live.

Analogue input Recorders (VHS, S-VHS, HDD or DVD) are thus obsolete.

True PVRs work also as a set box  for older or incompatible TV sets. This is why there are two tuners, one to watch live via the SCART or HDMI and one for the internal recording. Non-HDTVs can view down-converted HD live or recorded via the SCART and HDTVs via the HDMI. Component may not be HD as it’s an American standard and only needed in Ireland for Game Consoles that don’t have HDMI or SCART.


Originally posted in 2008 and later updated by Government

Information to Retailers

Retailers are requested to ensure that all iDTV’s  for sale in Ireland will be compatible with the Irish DTT network, when it launches.  Retailers are also requested to provide information to their customers on DTT.

In addition, retailers are urged to ensure that a sufficient rane of receivers (including set top boxes, integrated digital televisions and personal video recorders) specified for use on the Irish DTT network are available to consumers for the launch of DTT services in Ireland.

The RTE free to air DTT services will use an MPEG 4 compression standard and MHEG 5 (V6) middleware   MPEG 4 is different to the MPEG 2 compression standard used in the UK.  Retailers should note that televisions with MPEG 2 tuners only, will not pick up the Irish DTT service, when it develops.

A free-to-air Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) service providing access to the existing national TV channels and some new Irish TV channels is due to be launched in Ireland in October 2010.   This service will be provided by RTÉ using a network built by RTÉNL.

The free to air DTT service will be provided by RTÉ. There are engineering tests taking place currently on the 13 main transmitter sites in preparation for service launch. These engineering tests carrying RTÉ, TV3 and TG4 are operating using the MPEG4 specifications. More details are available from RTÉ Networks Ltd

Via DCENR Website