Most new TVs are Saorview compatible, but set-top boxes can be bought for €69
COME December 31, 2012, the traditional television aerial will no longer pick up the television channels, unless you have a set-top box, or a television with an in-built decoder.
As Michael Redmond of Redmond Electric in Gorey points out, each television in the home will need an individual decoder, so if you haven't started preparing for the switchover, it might be a good idea to get started sooner rather than later.
'Our set-top boxes start from €69,' he said. ' You can also get them with a digital recorder for €99, where you put a USB stick or a flash drive into the front of it. This allows you to record onto a hard drive.'
'Anyone who has an older television, and doesn't want to replace it, will need a set-top box, which will be the means of converting the new signal,' he explained. 'With the set-top box, you get the extra channels, and far better quality picture and sound. You will also be able to get RTÉ in HD, which will be great for GAA matches and so on.'
He said that nearly all new televisions are already Saorview compatible. 'If you're thinking of replacing your television in the next year and a half, make sure your new television has a Saorview tuner built into it,' he said. 'You will need to buy a receiver for any other television in the house that isn't Saorviewapproved.'
Michael said that the prices of Saorview televisions start at €129 for a small 16" LED television, and go up to what you want to spend.
'Prices range up to €2,500 for a 55" Samsung LED smart television,' said Michael. 'Whatever your budget, we have a television to suit, with prices such as €129, €149, €179, €199, and €299. For instance, a 32" Saorview television starts at around €299.' He said that in some cases, people will need to have adjustments made to their television aerial. 'In other cases, it will come in on your existing aerial, but you won't know until you bring the box into your house and you try it,' he said.
If you're starting from scratch, you can get a Saorview or wideband aerial, which costs around €29. There are lots of technicians out there who can help get you set up. If you already have a Freeview box, you will need to get a combi-receiver to get both the Irish channels and the existing free to air channels.