Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

The Saor-View From The Top

Television has played a prominent role in our lives since its invention. Many have cited the move to digital to be as important as the switch to colour TV. The switch, headed by Saorview, essentially meant that analogue signals were turned off and television is now only transmitted through a digital signal. If you didn’t have a Saorview approved television, a Saorview top box or pay subscription services like Sky you would have been starring a blank screen rather than your daily soaps.

While traditional television now has huge competitors from the likes of subscription services, Netflix and Internet, the switch from analogue to digital is a welcomed change and should stand to benefit both viewers and businesses.

The immediate benefits of the new digital system include clearer sound and picture. Viewers will no longer have to suffer through snowy pictures and poor reception. Furthermore, it is the first time that 98 per cent of the country can avail of a free television service – free in that you don’t need to pay a subscription fee, though installation/ television costs plus your TV licence fee still apply. It also adds new channels such as RTE+1, RTE JR and RTE News Now.

In the long term it will free up bandwidth space which can be used for faster and more widespread Internet services. As digital takes much less bandwidth than analogue did it will be possible for broadband services to expand.

Saorview will also free up valuable new spectrum that can be used for the provision of advanced mobile broadband services. In particular, the spectrum freed up is planned for 4G broadband services. What this all means is that you will be able to access much faster Internet on your smart phone and ultimately use them to their full potential.

October 25 2012