For reception of Saorview you need a TV aerial connected to at least one of

  • Compatible Digital TV
  • Compatible Set-box
  • PC or Laptop with a DVB-T tuner and suitable software. PCI, PCIe, PCMCIA/Cardbus, ExpressCard and USB2.0 are all suitable. Some laptops may have an integral DVB-T tuner.

See SAORVIEW approved receivers  (Official List)

There are a number of simple tests to help you determine if your aerial will receive the SAORVIEW signal:

  1. If you currently receive TV3 as an analogue service through your aerial then your aerial is most likely fine and is pointing in the right direction. You should not need to do anything with your aerial. Main exceptions are parts of Midlands that  get the new Killduf transmitter
  2. If you currently receive RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4 as an analogue service through your aerial but do not receive TV3 then your aerial is most likely fine but for some homes it will be pointing in the wrong direction.
  3. If you receive only RTÉ One and RTÉ Two as an analogue service through your aerial and do not receive TV3 and TG4 then you need a new UHF aerial and you need to have it pointed at the best transmission site for your area.

If in doubt contact the ISAA to get an approved Aerial Installer

Carlingford Village will need Saorsat. It will have no Terrestrial TV signal after ASO.


If you have a TV or Setbox and it only has Radio channels, or Sound on TV channels, then it’s not compatible. No adaptor or upgrade other than a Saorview compatible Setbox with HDMI and SCART will fix it. Many TVs sold today even as HD digital will not receive HD anywhere in the world via the the digital tuner!

Most UK “freeview” TVs will only receive the Radio channels on Saorview. If you bought it labelled as a Digital TV in Ireland  inside the last two years (since October 2008) then the retailer may be obliged to replace it or refund it. Aldi have refunded on TV set sold over a year ago. Talk to your retailer politely.

Analogue switch off is less than 18 months away, end of October 2012.

If it doesn’t have this logo, it’s not approved and may not work.

Saorview and RTE HD are not separate. Saorview IS an HD DTT spec, unlike “Freeview” (which will never support HD) the spec is 100% compatible with HD from the beginning.  So anything that is Saorview compatible will show HD. Anything that can’t do RTE HD, isn’t actually Saorview Compatible.

Summary Specifications

  • A UK “Freeview HD” box or TV (Not a HD Ready or HDTV that only has regular “Freeview”) is next best to a Saorview approved IRD (Setbox or digital TV). If you are near N.I. Border or can receiver UK Terrestrial via and aerial from the IOM or Wales, then “Freeview HD” may be a good choice, otherwise Saorview Certified is far better.
    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)
  • DVB-t (DVB-T2 will work as all support DVB-T)
  • MPEG-4 AVC  H.264 L3 video even for non-HD
  • MPEG-4 AVC  H.264 L4 video for HD
  • AAC+ support even for stereo, not just MP2 Audio
  • HD support for non-HDTVs (SCART down scaling for SD TVs) as there may not be simulcast SD & HD
  • HD only on HDMI (Copy protection)
  • MHEG5  Interactive (middleware) to the UK profile.
  • OTA (over the air) firmware/feature upgrades for Saorview certified boxes or TVs only.


  • Most UK origin Digital TVs and setboxes, especially branded Freeview” will NOT work. (“Freeview HD” will work, but not HD Ready or Full HD with “Freeview”) Some “Freeview” sets do work, but don’t guess.
  • Any  “CAMs” will not convert TVs or Set-boxes, even if claimed that they do!
  • Digital TVs that don’t work due to lack of MPEG4 (only MPEG2) can only be used with separate Set-box, not converted or upgraded.
  • The main channels will be HD only starting with RTE2 part time HD. You don’t need an HDTV, the Setbox will downsample to SCART
  • Most setboxes  advertised on eBay. Do not buy ANY receiver box  or TV from eBay, even if it claims to be compatible unless it is on the RTE NL list
  • French TNT HD does NOT do MHEG5, thus if you don’t get true Saorview, the UK “Freeview HD” is recommended. Non HD “ordinary” French TNT doesn’t work at all.
  • Some UK Freeview HD set-box and TV you must use without VHF and only select UK. Selecting Ireland may enable VHF analogue but disable some or all Digital features
  • Don’t buy ANY box that only is “SD”, i.e. no HDMI, no HD as it won’t work.
  • RTE NL Up to date  list bottom of this page on RTE NL site or on official Saorview site
  • See the Black List (link) for models known to be useless for Saorview. “Adaptor cards” for slot on existing MPEG2 only, even HD ready, TVs do not work.
  • MHEG5 may be quite important and more than just Program Guide and Teletext replacement.
  • OTA upgrades important and only on Saorview Certified equipment

    “Approved Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Receivers

    RTÉ has appointed Teracom AB to conduct receiver compliance testing for Irish free-to-air (FTA) DTT receivers. Those receivers which pass the tests thereby meeting the Irish DTT specification will be eligible to be licensed to use RTÉ’s “Saorview” logo, which will confirm to consumers that the receiver is Irish FTA DTT compliant. RTÉNL will publish a full list of compliant DTT receivers
    on its web site.


    RTÉ Free-to-Air DTT Receiver Specifications

    NorDig Unified ver 2.2. equipment requirements (link to PDF)

    RTE NL Minimum Receiver Requirements for Saorview (link to PDF)

    (RTE NL clarifications and mandatory parts of Nordig 2.2)

    Teracom comparison of Nordig 2.0 and UK D-Book (Link to PDF) (Freeview HD)