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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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Friday, 7 December 2012
9:28 PM

Thank you your suggestions have ben very helpful


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JUNE's 2 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
12:10 PM

Living in Derry and looking to buy a new tv to be able to get RTE channels, what should I look for?

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RitchieRich's 1 post GB flag
RitchieRich's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

12:15 PM

RitchieRich: A Freeview HD TV or box will allow you to receive Saorview from Holywell Hill for you will need a separate aerial.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

12:17 PM

RitchieRich: One with a Freeview HD (DVB-T2) tuner inside it. Not just Freeview, not Full HD, not HD Ready, but "Freeview HD".

Or you could of course by a Freeview HD box if your current TV is perfectly fine (so long as it has an HDMI connection).

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Michael's 358 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

12:18 PM

Dave Lindsay: haha, too slow :)

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Michael's 358 posts GB flag
Peter Henderson

8:42 PM

Actually, if you can receive Saorview all you need is a tuner that can decode MPeg 4 signals, not necessarily a Freeview HD one (since you're in Derry you wont have access to the NI mux)

However, a Freeview HD tuner (marked DVB T2) will receive Freeview HD and MPeg 4, so that would make more sense.

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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
Sunday, 30 December 2012
3:15 PM

Hi i live in the out skirts of derry and have always picked rte signals sinc the change over i purchased two hd boxes 1 hd-foxt2 the other i-can hd box now for some reason the hd-fox t2 wont pick-up any rte signals where as the i-can box still does both work off the same aerial--any clue`s please.

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TERRY HARVEY's 2 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

3:17 PM

TERRY HARVEY: I guess that you might be receiving RT from Holywell Hill. In which case, try a manual tune on UHF channel 30 (with DVB-T mode selected, if necessary).

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

6:34 PM

Dave's quite correct Terry. That should do the trick, although my HD-FOX T2 has no problems with Saorview from Clermont Cairn.

You shlould also note the Saorview channels appear in the 800's on a Freeview HD box. On my HD-FOX T2 RTE 1 is on 835, RTE 2 836, TV3 837 etc.

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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
P. Kieran Ward

7:17 PM


I am the same as Peter, I get RTE/TG4/TV3 from Clermont Carn both via my DVB-T2 TV set and my Humax Fox T2 recorder and I am in North Belfast.

The manual tune on the appropriate channel using the DVB-T setting should do the trick!

Good luck.

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P. Kieran Ward's 89 posts GB flag
P.'s: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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