TV & Radio
Ask the Expert: Things you need to know about the Digital Switchover
There’s no need to panic yet, but you could do with being brought up to speed about the big digital switchover next month. With some assistance from Harvey Norman, we’re here to help.
Granted, there’s a very good chance that you know all you need to know already about the digital switchover or that you won’t be affected by it all, but what about your friends, or probably more relevantly, your folks?
Believe it or not, there are still people out there fiddling with the rabbit-ear aerials in search of a fuzzy-free television screen and if you mention something about the digital switchover to them they’ll probably look at you like you’ve a hole in your head.
So if you know of any tech Neanderthals or if you are one yourself but are trying to pretend otherwise, here are a few questions and answers that will really come in handy before the big switch happens on October 24.
All I’ve heard so far is a bunch of technical Jargon and stuff about ASO, DSO and other such baloney. What are they on about?
Thankfully these acronyms are easy to understand and bear little resemblance to the OMGs LOLz, ROTFLs or whatever the teenagers are saying these days.
Basically, ASO is short for Analogue Switch Off.This will happen on October 24 in Ireland, on which day the old Analogue TV service will be switched off. If you’re still operating off an analogue TV by that stage, no more TV for you, your screens will go blank. Saorview is the free digital replacement for this service.
DSO, meanwhile, is short for Digital Switchover. This refers to the switch from analogue to digital television transmission. Simple as that.
Will my current TV be able to get Saorview? How can I tell?
OK we have to get a little bit sciencey here for a second. If your TV has an MPEG-4 Tuner it should be able to get the Saorview service with a suitable aerial. Best just to check your TV manual for any reference to MPEG-4 and if you can’t lay your hands on a manual – we wouldn’t be surprised - check the make and model of your tellybox, Google it and you’ll come across the relevant information.
As we’ve said, if your TV has an MPEG-4 Tuner, it’ll be sound. If it has an MPEG-2 Tuner on the other hand, you’re in trouble.
What if I have SKY or UPC, do I even need Saorview?
No, if you are paying a subscription to a Pay TV service provider, you will continue to get TV services from these companies after Analogue switches off.
That’s providing that all the televisions in your house are hooked up to Sky and UPC, however. If, for example, you have one television with a SKY or a UPC subscription and have other TVs in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom – we don’t judge – or wherever that are not hooked up to SKY or UPC and are currently working off analogue then you need to get Saorview for those.
From experience, that is the case in plenty of homes, but chances are the people in those homes think that because they have a digital service provider for one television that the rest of them will be fine as well. Well, they won’t.
Can everyone get Saorview?
Saorview is currently available to the vast, vast majority of Irish people – 97 per cent in fact – and that will increase to 98 per cent by the time of the Digital Switchover on October 24.
To check if you can get Saorview in your area, and for plenty of other information about the big switch, check out www.digitalswitch.ie