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Hybrid Saorview Service

  • 29-07-2012 12:54am
    Registered Users Posts: 3,659 ✭✭✭

    My hubby has asked me to post this for him:

    Is there no way when RTE/SAORVIEW were talking about and setting up Digital Terrestrial for Ireland that they could have made the System Mpeg2 & Mpeg4 compatible or would that have not been technically possible. I understand totally Mpeg4 is being adopted by other european countries as a standard and that it is HD terrestrial and its the up to date equipment in DVB-T broadcasting but if only there was Mpeg2 running along side Mpeg4 transmission (even if it was for a limited amount of time) it would have been so easy for consumers to choose existing equipment to view SAORVIEW on it. I personally have a smashing Sony HDD Recorder its an older one and it only has a Freeview (Mpeg2) tuner in it so I can hear the sound of Saorview stations but alas the Picture is blank

    - I know they want people to go out and buy brand new equipment such as a HDD Recorder or Saorview Mpeg4 Set Top Box to receive Saorview but I think its such a shame that if you already have (reasonably up to date) equipment and you are entirely happy with it and want to stick with your present equipment why should you be forced (in a way) have to go out and buy new equipment (TV or Recorder or set top box) whereas if it was technically possible to run Mpeg4 on UHF Ch51 or whatever it is then put Mpeg2 standard definition Saorview on UHF Ch 555 or something like that -

    would that have not kept everyone happy and also allow people with Mpeg2 freeview Tv sets and Recorders to hang onto their existing equipment a little longer? - I mean presumably at the end of the day they want as many people in Ireland to actually carry on viewing Saorview when normal analogue terrestrial signal gets cut off in October

    - what if a lot of people dont go out an buy new equipment capable of receiving Mpeg4, then they are going to lose all those viewers and advertisers wont be happy I shouldnt think and then I bet there are stil going to be people who complain after October that they cannot receive RTE1 or whatever and will feel its their right not to be forced to shell out money for receiving RTE1 after the analogue switch off.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 138 ✭✭Skull Murphy

    The same thing happened when tv started in this country, when we ended up simulcasting system A 405 lines because some people already had reception from British transmitters.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,907 ✭✭✭✭Kristopherus

    Speaking for myself, I find it hard to believe that the people who make these kind of long winded complaints even give 2 fUcks about Irish tv, so tough Shit.

    Very helpful indeed:rolleyes:

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,011 ✭✭✭✭Johnboy1951

    would that have not kept everyone happy

    nope ...... that's never going to happen.

    Lots would object to the waste of licence fee .... and rightly so!

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 138 ✭✭Skull Murphy

    Very helpful indeed:rolleyes:

    And deleted even before you posted your reply: have you anything to add?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,030 ✭✭✭✭Chuck Stone

    MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

    MPEG2 is the standard that was created to encode high quality videos, meant to be used for the, then emerging, DVD media. MPEG4 was developed much later, as an encoding method for devices with limited resources. Portable devices, like media players and mobile phones, use this format, as well as online stores who provide the hiring of video and audio files.

    MPEG4 is the preferred format for devices, as it yields a file that is under 1G for most full length movies. This is a far cry from MPEG2, which can only produce files with five times the size.


    I guess if they'd used MPEG2 people would have been giving out in a few years time like your hubby is now?

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 138 ✭✭Skull Murphy

    OP, the cost of your consumer equipment is nothing when set beside infrastucture upgrades; get out & have a look around, tv doesn't just arrive in your house by magic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,138 ✭✭✭snaps

    And deleted even before you posted your reply: have you anything to add?

    Do you have anything constructive to add in this thread? I think before you start judging peoples attitude here by the questions they are asking, You should think hard before making some of the cocky answers you have. 15 posts, the way you are carrying on you'll be lucky to make 20 posts here on Boards.

    Back on topic,
    Yes Mpeg 2 would have been the easiest route and a lot of people would have benefited from it (Most TV's here in Ireland are Mpeg 2 compatible), but technology and consumer demands move on. I personally think it was the right decision to go Mpeg 4 as its a lot more future proof than Mpeg 2.

    Even with the advertising campain running here about Soarview, theres going to be a lot of people caught out come October i fear. Especially around my area, the switching off of the UK channels via the deflector has had people thinking that this is the actual digital switchover and not the turning off of the Irish channels!!

    We have to just get on with the switchover, update our equipment, Its all for the best in the long run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,417 ✭✭✭✭watty

    Actually a minority of TVs in service had MPEG2 and HD would not have been possible. By 2014 we may have 4 HD channels.

    Simulcast of HD & SD as the UK has to do (because MPEG4 didn't exist when they started) practically doubles the transmission cost and spectrum used. No-one is rolling out new DTT that isn't MPEG4 only.

    Rolling out MPEG2 would have been like rolling out 405line NTSC Colour in 1972. Such a thing did exist and did have 1950s test transmission.

    Actually since 625 existed just after WWII, arguably BBC should never have started 405, but gone straight to 625. Since people here had 405 for an obsolete foreign service we should never have started 405 in 1962. This time at least common sense has won.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,691 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    There will always be new technology comimg down the track, and better systems available next year. RTE NL and the other parties went with Nordig 2.2rather than go with a secret unpublished UK based solution (which would have been redundant very quickly) or wait for DVB-T2 (which was untried).

    I think a correct decision was made, but probably for the wrong reasons.

    What was wrong was all the secrecy. Why are they not telling un about the future plans?

    Do they plan to use VHF? (This will affect UK FreeviewHD sets)
    Do the plan to use MHEG5 for a universal EPG, or will it be used as an advertising tool? If it is the latter, who would bother with it?
    Will series link ever launch? Why oh why are we still waiting for it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ardmacha

    There aren't that many people the MPEG2 sets who wish to receive Saorview, and many of these bought their set after it was obvious that they wouldn't work. A lot of TV sets are plain analogue and these would need a box or replacement anyway.

    The 405 line situation was in a different era. A TV then didn't costs much less than one of the same size now, but that was 6 weeks wages. Now a decent new set is about 3 days wages and a converter box is 5 hours work at the minimum wage. People can readily afford the change, whatever whining there is about it.

    The UK will have another changeover trauma in a few years when the SD is turned off.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,729 ✭✭✭zg3409

    What RTENL did was the right decision at the time. OK some people would need to buy a 50 euro box for an otherwise OK TV, but the system they went with is low cost for the public, can carry more channels for less cost, and is future proof for the next 10 if not 30 years.

    For technical and cost reasons I think they made the right choice. Other countries made different choices at the time. They have been saying only guy Saorview approved for years, but people (and shops) are going with non approved equipment.

    In the long term approved equipment will be good, cheap and effective, which is what we all want, and it won't be obsolete for at least 10 years. Tell that to a smartphone owner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,548 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    Just take a look at the current situation with DTT in the UK. They are missing out on a lot of the Olympic feeds (compared to FreeSat) even with 6 muxes because of the need to run SD and HD simulcasts.
    I was one of many early adopters who got caught out by MPEG2 and what I thought of RTÉNL couldn't be printed here, but once I understood the technical advantages, I have to admit they are right.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,178 ✭✭✭STB

    RTE adopted MPEG4 H264 in 2008. It was a good move and in line with the rest of Europe. It has been on in this format since Summer of 2008. The UK will have the headaches of eventually upgrading to MPEG4 all round, which in turn will cause headaches for people with legacy equipment.

    MPEG2 is 2001 lossy format. It is unfortunate that people have legacy equipment stocked by UK chains based in Ireland. This really wasnt or shouldnt have been an issue since 2009 when manufacturers shipped MPEG4 chipsets.

    RTENL will not be broadcasting MPEG2 mirror services.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,417 ✭✭✭✭watty

    Umm. MPEG2 is a 1996 format! RTE tested it in 1999

    I've been telling people for FOUR YEARS only to buy MPEG4 + HD + AAC + MHEG5.

    A lot of the problem is pathetic consumer protection and repeated "product dumping" here.

    Major retailers are STILL selling MPEG2 kit.

    They are selling DAB with no warning that most of it will never do DAB+ and that RTE coverage is poor and ONLY RTE is on it.

    It took some retailers YEARS to figure we don't use the UK phone jack system and that a UK phone or fax on an adaptor without a capacitor in it won't ring/answer.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,178 ✭✭✭STB

    My reference to 2001 and MPEG2 is of course relating to Freeview usage which is where legacy equipment and sold hardware emanates in Ireland.

    Like yourself Watty I have been using MPEG4 equipment to receive DVB-T broadcasts since 2007.