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Northern Ireland "mini multiplex" (NIMM)

I have added information to the UK Free TV database to cover the so-called mini-multiplex that will carry three Irish channels, TG4, RTE1 and RTE2 in a very special multiplex from three transmitters in Northern Ireland.

I have added information to the UK Free TV database to cover th
published on UK Free TV

A special service for 80%-90% of households in Northern Ireland will see three Freeview additional channels being available. These will be:

Some homes will be able to receive the services directly from the Saorview transmitters in the RoI (see SAORVIEW - Ireland's free digital television service ), and others will, from the digital switchover date of Wednesday 24th October 2012, have a service provided from three Freeview transmitters in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland RTE1 RTE2 TG4 minimux transmitters

However, you will not be able to view these services using a standard-definition Freeview receiver - a Freeview HD box or set will be required. It is not known at this time if the NIMM will carry RTE2 in HD, as per the Saorview service. TG4 and RTE1 are broadcast in standard definition at the moment.

The requirement for a Freeview HD receiver is because the services are being broadcasting in "D-Book Option 11", which uses the DVB-T2 standard ("a new mode, option 11, is being planned for a multiplex in Northern Ireland. Receivers should be able to switch between these automatically", D-Book 7, DTG164 is defined in appendix G as: FFT size 32k, 16QAM modulation, 1/128 guard interval, PP7, FEC 64800). Digital Television - Technical guidance on the availability of TG4 in Northern Ireland after digital switchover says that Option 11 is: DVB-T2 16QAM FEC 1/2.

Update: DVB-T2 16QAM FEC 1/2 provides a bitrate for the multiplex of 12.77Mb/s.

Update: DVB-T2, QPSK modulation, FEC 2/3, 32K carriers, 9.954 Mbit/s.

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Friday, 3 February 2012

2:08 PM

I know obviously from what I have read that right now we don't yet know what frequencies Black Mountain and Carnmoney Hill but in theory, would it be practical for them to all use C36 and join up as one Single Frequency Network for the RTE multiplex?

Also, I reckon that a lot of confusion is going to be caused with those who have SD only TV sets, as they won't all realise that you can plug a Freeview HD box into an SD TV via SCART and still be able watch the RTE channels.

Finally, I think that another DVB-T2 project such as this one is fantastic as it will help to push the already booming sales of DVB-T2 equipment even further.

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Josh's 97 posts GB flag

2:27 PM

Josh: No, C36 is already reserved for COM9 in a UK-wide SFN. See More Freeview capacity - COM7, COM8 and COM9 - in the 600MHz band | - independent free digital TV advice and COM7, COM8 and COM9 part II - which transmitters are "in group" | - independent free digital TV advice . Limavady and Brougher Mountain are the two UK transmitters not planned to broadcast COM9.

You can already use the SCART connection on a Freeview HD box to watch the HD channels in SD (but not RGB!) on a non-HD set.

Quite why anyone is still selling DVB-T equipment in the UK anymore is a good question!

I've got to do the maths on the minimux configuration to work out if RTE2 will be in HD.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

3:06 PM

Briantist: Brougher Mountain may not be planned to broadcast COM9, but Divis certainly is! Looking at the template at the back of Arqiva's 600MHz Reference Offer for Layer 9, it doesn't seem that C36 is as heavily restricted in the direction of Brougher Mountain as it is to areas to the south-west and west-north-west.….pdf , page 121 has the template for Divis.

It looks like the practical antenna for C36 from Divis may well broadcast only to the north and east, though: it's specified as four tiers of two panels rather than the 8 tiers of four panels used for layers 7 and 8.

The question is, what other transmitters is that template protecting? Presumably it protects some radar stations in Ireland, as Ireland doesn't have any sites using C36 in the GE06 frequency plan. If Divis would cause too much interference (albeit at 100 kW) I would assume that Brougher Mountain would also be a problem.

Brougher Mountain is in the Layer 7 and 8 sets at 10 kW power, so I'd have to assume that 2 kW on C36 just isn't allowed. Other transmitters have been planned for reduced power on Layer 9 compared to Layer 8, for example Llanddona is listed at 20 kW for Layer 8 but only 3.2 kW for Layer 9. (Again, there's a huge bite out of the permitted template to the west.)

Happy to be corrected if you have a source.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag

3:26 PM

Mike Dimmick: I think the information I have been given about C36 was ... highly speculative.

From what I understand that on 24th October 2012 there will be frequency changes on Saorview also, but I'm not sure if any of these moves would actually free up C36.

So, looking at what is available for Brougher Mountain, C30 would appear to be in-group (group A) and is currently clear in NI after switchover (used for Mux 1 before DSO) - UK TV Frequency map - channel C30 (546.0MHz) before switchover map | - independent free digital TV advice

Black Mountain is group B, but the Divis is group A... If a SFN were possible, C30 would be in-group for Divis but way out for Black Mountain itself...

Carnmoney Hill is group B too.

Looking at what's free in NI after switchover in group B - UK TV Frequency map - channel C48 (690.0MHz) before switchover map | - independent free digital TV advice and UK TV Frequency map - channel C51 (714.0MHz) before switchover map | - independent free digital TV advice seem the most likely candidates.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Saturday, 4 February 2012

8:30 PM

Hi all, to the powers that be, 1kw of RTE on Black mountain is a cop out. to say this will feed 80 90% of N Ireland is just daft! If im not mistaken Ch5 is transmitted from Black mountain which is poor in a lot of areas. This seems to be a feed Belfast arrangement as your reception will depend on where you are in relation to the Divis tower. So how do installers know what way to receive RTE and advise cutomers, it is now Feb and the DSO is months away and info on RTE mux is getting beyond daft. This info should have been sorted at least a year ago and to be totally honest its a running joke!

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Carl's 51 posts GB flag
Iain Davies

11:02 PM

When are we going to be able to watch the Irish TV in the UK via Freesat?

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Iain Davies's 351 posts GB flag

11:40 PM

Iain the simple anwser is you wont as Saorsat will be transmitted on a satellite which uses the KA band and not the KU band which most satellites use. The KA transmission will have a spot beam ONLY on Ireland and not the rest of the UK. The reason is money. Ireland have to pay per population on programmes from say the USA, so if they are transmitted on Freesat, Ireland would have to pay for the whole of the UK population as Freeview is available all of the UK. Hopefully this makes sence

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Carl's 51 posts GB flag
Sunday, 5 February 2012

10:06 PM

Carl: And of course, if it were on the same service as UK services, people in Ireland might be distracted by the hundreds of Freesat channels they could watch...

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Monday, 6 February 2012

1:39 AM

Briantist your recent thread has shed more light on whats happening on Soarview in the north than any so far!! but yes the south can receive all freeview/Sky/sat but the soarview signal in the north seems to be restricted. I mention this as customers are asking and the info anywhere is to say the least crap.
So months to DSO what do I say pay for a full rig for claremont cairn or wait to Black mountain starts. At this stage of the game I should have this info.

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Carl's 51 posts GB flag

8:13 AM

Carl: All my information is from official sources.

I was referring to the Saorview satellite service. As it's not on Astra 2A/B/D/1N, a Soarview satellite user will NOT be viewing Freesat channels, at least not without a second dish and receiver.

If you can get a service from Claremont Cairn, you will get a wider selection of channels (including the News and Kids' offerings) than you would from the NIMM.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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