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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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Monday, 29 October 2012
George O'Hara
1:17 PM

My tv has Digital Terrestrial Tuner (MPEG-2)
(DVB-T2/T). Will this receive rte in Ballyclare?

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George O'Hara's 4 posts GB flag
George's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

1:27 PM

George O'Hara: It will probably do.

Try a manual tune to UHF channel 39. Ensure that it is set to DVB-T2 mode rather than DVB-T mode if there is such a setting on the manual tune screen.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
George O'Hara
3:46 PM

Hi Dave, I've tried manual tuning on UHF 39 but it just doesn't work (searches on 39 then starts to move to 40 and upwards). I've emailed and they haven't replied. There's no way of setting the mode to DVB-T2 in the digital manual set up screen. Thank you anyway.

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George O'Hara's 4 posts GB flag
George's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

4:12 PM

George O'Hara: The signal you were attempting to tune into and that which this page is about is not Saorview but is a special multiplex carried on three Freeview transmitters. They are principally intended to serve areas where the Saorview signal doesn't reach, although there will be areas of overlap.

Do you have a separate aerial for RT pointing to a transmitter in the Republic? You would have used it for RT analogue previously. If you do, then this will probably be relevant. I looked on Streetview and can't see any aerials on anything but Divis, so it is probably not likely that you are served by a Saorview transmitter, but I ask just in case.

The NI Mux on C39 is broadcast from Black Mountain which is adjacent to Divis and will therefore be on a close enough bearing for many people that their Divis-facing aerials will also pick it up. I point this out as it may turn out to be the issue although there is only 8 degrees between the two at your location so it is doubtful.

If it turns out that you can't receive C39, even perhaps turned your aerial slightly clockwise, then you may be able to receive the NI Mux from Carnmoney Hill using a separate aerial. Carnmoney Hill does not broadcast all Freeview channels and those that it does, you aren't forecast to get that good a reception of them, so if you do go down this route then you would probably receive Freeview from Divis and the NI Mux from Carnmoney.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
4:19 PM

Hi .
I am in Broughshane area BT42 4HQ and have purchased a hd ready digibox with the hope of getting RTE but have tuned it in and no RTE channels have been picked up.Is it not available in my area thanks?

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Steve's 1 post GB flag
Steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

4:50 PM

Steve: The NI Mux broadcasts from Black Mountain which is adjacent to Divis and will therefore be on a close enough bearing that many peoples' Divis-facing aerial will work. The coverage area and hence strength of the signals NI Mux (Black Mountain) vs Divis (normal Freeview) may be different at some locations.

The Digital UK Postcode Checker doesn't "think" that you will be able to receive the NI Mux from Black Mountain. Predictors are never exact and should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt.

Judging by the size of aerials in your road, I guess that you don't live in a great signal area, possibly because higher terrain blocks direct line of sight to the transmitter.

I did spot that a few houses have vertical aerials pointing a bit clockwise of Divis. I reckon these are pointing at Clermont Carn in Co. Louth, so this may be an indication that reception of Soarview is possible at your location.

Saorview will give you more channels than the NI Mux (as it only carries TG4, RT One and RT Two) and your Freeview HD receiver would be expected to receive it:

What is Saorview? | SAORVIEW

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

4:55 PM

Steve: Try manually tuning your box to the NI Mux from Black Mountain. It is on UHF channel 39. If the manual tune screen allows you to select modes DVB-T or DVB-T2, then ensure that the latter is chosen.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
8:52 AM

I purchaased a I-CAN HD freeview box to enable me to recieve RTE,TG4,RTE2.Once i was tuned in it does recieve the HD channels from the Uk,So the box is not faulty, But still no RTE.Channels 51,52,53 show no signal being recieved,Do i need a new or seperate aerial to recieve these? I am in North Belfast.

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adrian's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:39 AM

adrian: You may perhaps need to be aware that the RT channels carried on Freeview that you are trying to receive are being broadcast from Black Mountain rather than Divis.

In many cases Divis-facing aerials will be sufficient in cases where Black Mountain isn't too far off Divis.

If this is your problem, you may be able to turn your aerial a bit so it points somewhere inbetween the two. In north Belfast I think this means that aerials may need to be turned a tad in the anti-clockwise direction.

The other thing is if you have a second aerial that you used to use for analogue RT and this is connected (perhaps on the roof) to the same downlead cable, then it may need removing in order to receive the NI Mux. If you do have such an aerial, then try manually tuning the digital (Saorview) signal for that transmitter. The most likely transmitter that you would be receiving from is Clermont Carn which is probably a bit clockwise of south with the aerial vertical and it broadcasts on UHF channel 52. When manually tuning, select DVB-T rather than DVB-T2, if it gives you the option.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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