Time is running out to jump on the digital TV bandwagon – the entire country will make the switch on October 24. So if you want to ensure you still have a television service by October 25, what do you need to do?
What do you have to do?
Let’s assume you already know what digital TV is – that it offers better picture and sound quality, etc – and that you’ll benefit from additional TV and radio stations. So what exactly will you have to do in order to jump on the digital bandwagon?
The digital signal is sent from television masts around the country – but your television has to be able to decode it. This can be achieved in one of two ways – either through a set-top box or an in-built decoder. If you are already subscribing to Sky or UPC then you won’t have to take any action because you already have a digital service – however, if you don’t, you’ll either need to buy a set-top box or a new integrated television. Set-top boxes typically cost from €50-€80 – while others that come with added features, such as pause and rewind buttons, may cost as much as €100.
You should look for boxes that are Saorview approved – this is not a case of Saorview encouraging you to buy certain models, it just proves that the set-top box has been independently tested and is able to receive all digital TV services. Alternatively, you could splash out for an integrated digital TV – but again you should look for one that is approved by Saorview only. If this is your plan then you’re going to have to pay a little more – so check out the electronics voucher codes section of Moneysaver.ie to see if you can secure any savings with electrical retailers.
What about the aerial?
Many people are confused about whether they will need to replace their existing TV aerial to pick up digital TV. In the majority of cases, the answer is “no” as your existing aerial will work perfectly well – but there are some exceptions.
To test, check whether you receive RTE1, RTE2, TG4 and TV3 through your existing aerial. If the answer is “yes” then you’ll be fine. If you pick up all these channels except TV3, then you should still be fine but the direction of your aerial may need to be adjusted. However, if you only get RTE1 and RTE2 then you may need a new UHF aerial – and you’ll need to ensure that it’s pointing towards the nearest transmission centre in your area. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a digital aerial, so you should not be fooled into buying one.
Saorview is already available to 97 per cent of the population so there’s no reason to wait around – make the switch now.