Communications Minister Eamon Ryan has announced that he is seeking the views of the public on a range of new channels proposed by RTÉ for transmission on digital television. Members of the public will have until the 10th of December 2010 to submit their views on the inclusion of RTÉ 2, RTÉ News and RTÉ Plus amongst others on the free-to-air service.
The switch-on of digital television was announced by the Minister on the 29th of October and will include RTÉ One, RTÉ2, TV3, and TG4. RTÉ has now submitted a proposal for additional channels on this free-to-air service, including RTÉ Two HD Select; RTÉ News Now; RTÉjr; RTÉ Plus and RTÉ Aertel Digital.
Announcing the consultation on Monday, November 15th, the Minister said: “The analogue signal will be switched off by the end of 2012. Going digital has created the opportunity for RTÉ to expand its public service offering by introducing new television channels to the digital service in 2011. Today we offer the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed new channels. We welcome all views.”
The RTÉ DTT service, called Saorview, was launched as a trial service to 90% of the country on 29th October 2010 and currently broadcasts the 4 national Irish TV channels (RTÉ1, RTÉ Two, TV3 and TG4). RTÉ appointed Mary Curtis to the new senior executive position of Director of Digital Switchover, with responsibility for an effective transition by audiences in the coming two years to digital television using the new Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) system. The DTT network will continue to be built over the next two years and will eventually reach 98% of the population. The new digital network will eventually replace the national analogue terrestrial free-to-air TV service when this closes at the end of 2012.
The consultation document is available from the website, www.dcenr.gov.ie until Friday, December 10th. For more information about Saorview, visit www.saorview.ie