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Northern Ireland RTE1, RTE2, TG4 special mini-multiplex from 24 October

From 24 October 2012, a special selection of services from the Republic of Ireland will be broadcast to homes in Northern Ireland. This will consist of a special multiplex from three transmitters in Northern Ireland, and intentional transmitter overspill from the Republic.

From 24 October 2012, a special selection of services from the
published on UK Free TV

Following on from the 1st February 2012, article Northern Ireland "mini multiplex" (NIMM), here is a summary of the services that will be available to most Freeview homes in Northern Ireland.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to note, however, that you MUST have Freeview HD (DVB-T2) equipment to receive RTE1, RTE2 and TG4 - even though the services are NOT provided in high definition from the Northern Ireland transmitters.

Many homes in the province will be able to get a special "Northern Ireland" mini-multiplex from one of three transmitters - Brougher Mountain (Enniskillen AND Omagh) , Black Mountain and Carnmoney Hill (both Belfast). This very special service is broadcast using the latest standards, which are called DVB-T2 and MPEG4. In the UK, these are used to provide high definition, but only in Northern Ireland are they used to provide three standard definition services from RoI.

The NIMM coverage from these transmitters is shown here:

Northern Ireland Mini Mulitplex coverage map

If you get the NIMM, you will find channel 51 is TG4, 52 is RTE ONE, and 53 is RTE TWO.

This is shown on the transmitter pages like this (Carnmoney Hill) example:

If you can't get the NIMM, you will probably be able to get the extra channels directly from transmitters in the RoI. The following map shows the transmitters:

Your existing aerial may not be the right "group", or be pointing in the correct direction.

The RoI service is called Saorview (which is Irish for "Freeview") - see Saorview interactive map.

However, even though Saorview broadcasts in DVB-T mode, it uses the MPEG4 "compression" system - most UK non-HD boxes use MPEG2 (apart from BT Vision boxes, which support MPEG4). So, again, you will need a Freeview HD box.

Set top box compatibility for Freeview, Freeview HD, Saorview and the NIMM

The services broadcast on Saorview at the time of writing are:

1 RTE One, 2 RTE Two HD, 3 TV3, 4 TG4, 5 RTE News Now/Euronews, 6 3e, 7 RTE jr, 8 RTE One +1, 200 RTE Radio 1, 201 RTE Radio 1 Extra, 202 RTE 2FM, 203 RTE Lyric FM, 204 RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta, 205 RTE Pulse, 206 RTE 2XM, 207 RTE Choice, 208 RTE Gold, 209 RTE Chill, 209 RTE Junior,

It is possible that the Freeview HD box will not place the channels on these numbers, but in the 800-899 range.

The Saorview trasmitter pages show the information like this:

Multiplex Broadcasting Services N I Ltd is the not-for-profit joint venture formed by RTE and TG4 to operate a new additional multiplex from a small number of transmission sites in Northern Ireland. The UK and Republic of Ireland Governments Memorandum of Understanding of February 2010 confirmed their intention to make TG4 available on digital terrestrial TV to much of Northern Ireland and to also facilitate the provision of RTE One and RTE Two through NImux or overspill from Saorview (the Republic of Ireland digital TV service).

Ofcom predicts that NIMM services will reach 76% of the population in Northern Ireland and that Saorview overspill will reach 56% of Northern Ireland viewers. Ofcom also predicts that the combined NIMM and Saorview coverage will reach 93.3% of Northern Ireland viewers.

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Sunday, 30 December 2012
Dave Lindsay

7:17 PM

TERRY HARVEY: As Peter says, the Saorview channels will be in the 800s (anywhere, the 835, 836 etc are examples).

For reception of Saorview you really need a separate aerial to that used for Freeview as Holywell Hill requires the aerial to be horizontal and Sheriff Mountain requires it to be vertical.

If you have a single vertically-mounted aerial, then this could be where you are coming unstuck; you are trying to receive the horizontally polarised Holywell signals with your vertical aerial.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Niall Rooney
6:14 PM

After the retuning in October, I was able to receive the RTE channels on Freeview HD, however recently the signal quality has been poor and the picture tends to break up. I live in Belfast, would there be a problem with my aerial? I able to receive all other Freeview channels including the HD channel without any problem and the signal quality is perfect.

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Niall Rooney's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

6:22 PM

Niall Rooney: Where abouts in Belfast are you?

RT channels are broadcast from Black Mountain whereas the main Freeview channels are broadcast from Divis. How close the bearings are depends on your location. You find that turning your aerial a little towards Black Mountain helps - that is so it's pointed somewhere in between the two.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

6:23 PM

Niall Rooney: How was your Channel 5 analogue signal? It was also broadcast from Black Mountain rather than Divis.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

11:09 PM

"I live in Belfast, would there be a problem with my aerial?"

Quite possibly Niall. I haven't noticed anything different at this end, and Black Mountain is fairly weak here in Jordanstown (siignal strength wise) although there's no breal up at present.

It's also possible some sort of local interference is affecting the signal.

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Peter Henderson's 240 posts GB flag
Peter's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 2 February 2013
9:39 AM

i live in annalong bt34 4yg and i used to be able to get all rte channels i am using freeview using a sky box with no subscription or card i an no longer getting rte since switch over is there any way i can get rte back please help many thanks

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ciaran's 1 post GB flag
ciaran's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

11:34 AM

ciaran: Which transmitter were you tuned to for RT (which UHF channel was it coming in on)? The answer to this question might prove useful in working out what might have changed that is causing you not to pick it up any more.

Do you have a second aerial for RT or do you only have the Kilkeel one?

If you only have the Kilkeel one, then maybe you were lucky picking up from elsewhere.

Clermont Carn is on about the same bearing as Kilkeel and is also vertically polarised, so you may be able to pick up from it. Try a manual tune of UHF channel 52.

Prior to switchover, perhaps you were receiving from Greenore which is a bit anti-clockwise of Kilkeel and is also vertically polarised. Breary Park on IoM is co-channel (same frequency) as Greenore, so perhaps it is knocking out your reception (if indeed you did receive from Greenore). For Greenore, try a manual scan on UHF channel 43. Once you've selected 43 don't press the button to scan straight away. Wait and see if it gives an indication as to strength and quality on that channel (some receivers do this).

If you can receive from Greenore, but are picking up too much interference from Breary Park, then you "may" be able to restore it by turning the aerial a bit anti-clockwise so that it points somewhere in between Kilkeel and Greenore.

Failing that, assuming that you don't have one already, a second horizontal aerial pointing to Three Rock, just south of Dublin, might do the trick. You will be able to combine the feeds from the two aerials so that the output of both transmitters can be viewed using the same receiver, or you can keep them separate and use a separate receiver.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

5:26 PM

Cairan: You cannot receive "Freeview" using Sky STB, with or without a subscription card. I suspect that what you are using is a Sky box to receive the free to air sattelite channels which don't include RTE or TG4. Freesat from sky requires a one off subscription fee and a viewing card suplied by Sky. This will not include RTE as it's only available through a basic Sky subscription. Nor is RTE available on Freesat.

As Dave quite correctly points out, you should be able to receive Saorview from Clermont Cairn in the town, and possibly Three Rock as well. To receive Saorview you need either a Freeview HD STB or TV, or an STB or TV capable of decoding MPEG 4 transmissions. Any of the Humax boxes would suffice as they've no major issues with Saorview, apart from putting the channels in the 800s.

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Peter Henderson's 240 posts GB flag
Peter's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
6:07 PM

Just a wee update on a question I asked earlier about the Humax HDR Fox-T2. It works perfectly with all Saorview and local channels, plus with an internet connection it gets Youtube, BBC Iplayer and several others. A brilliant box well worth the extra few quid.

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Alister's 3 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Peter Henderson

2:59 AM

Yep, one of the best STBs aaround Alister, as is the non PVR version (now discontinued).

No problems with either the NI mux or Saorview, other than putting Saorview channels in the 800s, which is to be expected.

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Peter Henderson's 75 posts GB flag
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