SAORVIEW is available to 98% of the population of Ireland. Due to the landscape, some areas have always been impossible to reach via a terrestrial network. This is because terrestrial signals need a line of sight and cannot for example go through mountains or down into valleys.
SAORSAT is the name given to the infill free-to-air satellite television service put in place by RTÉNL to deliver Irish television services to the 2% of homes that are not covered by SAORVIEW.
The full list of TV channels available on SAORSAT is: RTÉ One, RTÉ Two HD,TG4, RTÉ News Now, RTÉjr, and RTÉ One+1. The facility for other channels to be carried on the service is available but is a business decision for other broadcasters to make.
If you can receive SAORVIEW there is no advantage in getting SAORSAT over SAORVIEW.
RTÉNL recommends that each home should exhaust all options for receiving SAORVIEW before reverting to SAORSAT. Even if you were previously unable to receive analogue television through an aerial it is recommended that you investigate getting SAORVIEW first, as its coverage exceeds analogue terrestrial television coverage in many areas.
How do I get SAORSAT?
To receive SAORSAT you will need to either install a new satellite dish or modify and re-align an existing dish to face in the right direction to receive service. Therefore the services of a professional installer will almost certainly be involved. In the vast majority of cases, existing satellite installations are set up to receive Pay or Free-to-air services and will NOT receive SAORSAT. For more information on installers click here
To receive SAORSAT you will need the following:
1. A Satellite Dish
A solid satellite dish is required for SAORSAT. A mesh dish will not work.
In some parts of the country a standard 80cm solid dish will work, but in many areas in the North West, and South West of Ireland you will need a 1 metre dish. A good quality satellite dish should cost no more than €35.
Talk to your local installer for the best specific advice for your area
2. Low Noise Block down converter – Feedhorn (LNBF)
In addition to a suitable dish, a LNBF is required. LNBF is the unit that sits on the end of the support arm, in front of the satellite. You need an LNBF capable of receiving the SAORSAT specific frequencies. A good quality LNBF should cost no more than €35. Your local aerial/satellite installer will know all about this.
3. Set Top Box
SAORVIEW recommends the use of SAORSAT Approved receivers, as these are the only receivers that have been independently tested for SAORSAT compliance. SAORSAT boxes can be purchased from a number of the registered SAORVIEW retailers. To find a retailer near you please visit SAORVIEW Registered Retailers.
** Because SAORSAT is a new service there are currently only a limited range of SAORSAT Approved receivers. More are expected to become available to retail, including more basic and cheaper options.
The installation costs will vary with the complexity of the job and depending on your location in the country. For an average two-story house or bungalow, 40 km round trip and 1 year warranty, an installation by a competent system installer would cost around €200 fully installed (dish, LNBF, chimney/wall bracket, cable-surface clipped, installation).
A service call to fit a new LNBF to a suitable existing satellite dish, redirect the satellite dish to the SAORSAT satellite, and check over the rest of the installation will cost somewhere between €70 and €100 (+ €35 if it includes the supply of the LNBF).
With any installation if you are disconnecting an old or different aerial or satellite dish and the installer can use the existing cables the cost should drop significantly. However using existing cables is not ideal as it is better to replace old material with new double-screened cable. This will ensure that the installation is more reliable as new cable will last longer than old cable.
The Good News!
As you are using a satellite dish and satellite receiver for SAORSAT, you can also use this equipment to receive other free-to-air channels, with the addition of an extra LNBF. This means you can now get all your favourite Irish and UK channels with no monthly cost!
Summary of average SAORSAT costs:
SAORSAT box: €80-100
Standard Installation cost including dish and LNBF: €200
Additional LNBF for free-to-air: €35