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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, 11 November 2012
Peter Henderson

9:02 PM

Gus: A Humax HD Fox T2 should have no problems receiving Saorview (at least mine doesn't).

On the north coast Moville is the nearest Saorview transmitter.

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Peter Henderson's 75 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
David Campbell
6:58 PM

I have a Samsung TV with built in Freeview (not Freeview HD)in my bedroom. I have other TVs with built in HD Freeview downstairs.
I get my Freeview from Carnmoney.
I expected to get RTE on the Downstairs tv but not on the upstairs but am surprised (and confused) to find I can receive all the RTE channels on my Samsung upstairs.
I am sure it is a Freeview decoder as it doesn't pick up any other BBC HD or UTV HD channels.
To make me even more confused, I then took the Samsung to BT24 where it receives from Divis. After doing a scan, I could receive 75 dtv channels but none of the RTE ones.
Bringing it back home and rescanning for Carnmoney, I again get all RTE channels.
I'm not complaining - just wondering why I can get them with a Freeview decoder from Carnmoney when all the published information states that Freeview HD decoders are required.


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David Campbell's 5 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:09 PM

David Campbell: Are you sure that you are receiving RT from Carnmoney Hill and not Clermont Carn?

Select one of the RT channels and bring up the signal strength screen. Carnmoney Hill is on C48 and Clermont Carn is on C52.

Both Clermont Carn and Carnmoney Hill are vertically polarised and I believe that the bearings from your location aren't too far apart.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

7:38 PM

David Campbell: If you get the 8 Saorview channels (including TV3, RTE News, etc.) then you're picking that up from Clermont Carn as Dave says.

Compare the coverage maps for Newtownabbey vs Ballynahinch (BT24) from Clermont Carn: Clermont Carn transmitter | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

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Michael's 358 posts GB flag
Friday, 30 November 2012
David Campbell
7:27 PM

Dave and Michael: Thanks for your reply.
I was pretty sure that all my signals came from Carnmoney (I'm BT37 0FR) - now I'm not so sure.
I've checked the signal info for RTE1, - I don't know if this can be used to identify anything;-

Frequency - 722000 khz
Service ID - 044d
Multiplex - TSID 03e9, ONID 2174,
Network - RTENL 1 (ID3201),
Signal Strength - 92%

Does the signal from Clermont Carn not require a Freeview HD decoder to receive it.


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David Campbell's 5 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:40 PM

David Campbell: That's Clermont Carn!

722MHz is C52 and "RTENL 1" is the network ID of Saorview, the Republic's terrestrial television transmitter network.

The NI Mux (aka NI Mini-mux/NIMM) which is broadcast from Carnmoney Hill carries only RT One, RT Two and TG4.

Freeview standard definition signals use the DVB-T format. Freeview HD signals use DVB-T2. The NI Mux uses DVB-T2 even though pictures are in standard definition, hence a Freeview HD receiver is needed to pick it up.

Saorview uses DVB-T hence a Freeview standard definition only receiver can probably receive it. However, the pictures carried on the Saorview signal are encoded using MPEG4. Freeview standard definition pictures are encoded with the earlier MPEG2 format and hence many non-Freeview HD receivers don't have the capability to resolve MPEG4 pictures. Evidently you are lucky and yours does.

So not only do you not need a Freeview HD receiver to watch the Republic's channels, but you can receive the full complement of Saorview services rather than the three carried on the NI Mux.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Saturday, 1 December 2012
David Campbell
11:59 AM

Dave Lindsay: Thanks - it actually makes sense now.
I can receive 4 RTE channels on channels 50 - 53 and full RTE on 800 - 814ish on Freeview HD TVs and just the 800 - 814 channels on the standard Freeview. I presume I'm receiving the 800's from Clermont Carn whilst the 50 - 53 come from Carnmoney.
Bring on the Champions League!

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David Campbell's 5 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
12:37 AM

I have digital television but cannot get rte1, rte2,tv3 and tg4. what can i do to get these station, or what equipment do i require and what Price is it.
thank you.

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JUNE's 2 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

10:00 AM

JUNE: The answer depends on whether you receive RT etc from:

1. a Saorview transmitter in the Republic, or;

2. one of the three transmitters in the North which carry the NI Mux. This only carries RT One, RT Two and TG4.

Knowledge of your location would allow us to work out which of the above may be available.

Number 2 is intended to cover the areas that number 1 doesn't reach. In some areas both will be available.

For number 2 a Freeview HD receiver will definately be required (even though pictures are broadcast in standard definition).

For number 1 a Freeview HD receiver will definately work, although some standard definition receivers are found to work.

If you previously received RT in analogue, then this must have been from a transmitter in the Republic and therefore number 1 may apply subject to installing a suitable receiver (i.e. the current RT aerial may be fine).

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

10:04 AM

JUNE: Or of course for number 1, a Saorview set-top box will work.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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