'If you get a signal now, you'll be fine'
PEOPLE WHO already have a 'fairly strong' TV3 signal on their televisions should have no problem picking up Saorview without any adjustment to their roof aerials.
That's the feeling of Ray Corcoran from Wexford electronics retailers Joyces Expert, who have been inundated with queries about the new service.
'We've a lot of people coming in to us and asking questions about Saorview. They seem to be confused, some seem to think it comes on satellite,' he said.
A Saorview decoder hooked up to a television in an area where RTÉ and TV3 channels are already picked up on a terrestrial aerial should 'work perfectly'.
So far Ray is aware of only one brand of set-top box that is officially approved by Saorview. That box is a 'Walker' and retails for €99.99.
He notes that there are other combination satellite receivers and freeview receivers in stock which are not Saorview approved.
Of course, new televisions are nearly all Saorview compatible and have decoders built in.
'All of the new Sony and Samsung televisions are compatible. In fact, 99.9 per cent of all new televisions will receive the Saorview signal,' said Ray.
While existing aerials will likely pick up the Saorview channels, other may need some slight realignment.
However, one local firm that installs aerials recommends that people should really erect a digital aerial to ensure that they are getting the best reception.
'I would tell people that they need a proper digital aerial. People will tell you they don't, and they can get a good signal, but I think down the road they will get trouble,' said a spokesman for the company, who added that a brand new digital aerial fully fitted should cost about €90.
'Signals can be funny. Some people will say that they are getting a good enough picture, but it's not optimum unless they have the digital aerial. What's the point in spending €600 on a new television if you aren't going to get the full benefit from it?' he said.
He said terrestrial aerials will suffice for many for another year. 'But RTÉ will pull the plug on that in October 2012. After that you will need a digital aerial.'
The arrival of Saorview will see an end to ' big high BBC aerials' which pepper the skyscapes throughout the county.
' There won't be any need for them any more. Digital aerials are about 3 feet high and weigh less than a pound.'