by right this should be on my Podcasting News Ireland blog but its early days for this meme.
BT Ireland today said they have won the competition to bring on a pilot of DTT. There was a previous pilot of DTT off 3 rock. Last year the DoC asked for interested parties to apply to provide the multiplexes etc. at that stage BT Ireland had already been chosen to provide equipment to the trial (that was 11 months ago). So now the trial may begin. Brief history of Digital Terrestrial Television in Ireland, the govt. said we should have it, to protect Irish TV and keep it FTA. The plan was to take the TX away from RTENL and set up a DIGICO or private concern to bring on the DTT signal but only one company came forward and they did not get the licence. The DTT gig was left out to rust with all the long aerial poles in RTE compounds around Ireland.
DTT today, not yet started is like North Korea saying, today we shall launch minitel (french late 1960s forerunner to the internet) RTE last year wrote this intro piece on DTT / Digital radio [pdf] Imagine if it were rewritten today to include Podcasting which was then possible in July 2005 and now a mass media concern. By the way, is it clear who will own DTT? the Govt? RTE? BT Ireland? Nobody? anoyone? come on, have I missed the press release from DoC, but the trial need not be owned by anyone, is the Minister thinking, Trial it, build it, they will come? they the investors? there is a massive leap of faith required to rollout past 3 Rock and Clermont Carn. Plus it would be nice to know if its being built for consumers or citizens.
FF like to have their cake and eat it, and while I applaude the reasons Dempsey supports DTT (Irish controlled FTA service) it may very well be a White Elephant aka Electronic Voting Machinces with BT Irealnd cast as Nedap/Powervote in this saga. In a nutshell (there is a nut), if FF think we need it to protect citizens from the evil PPV then I cant see how the DTT system can not be FTA (must carry) forever. So if tax payers money is to be spent on DTT roll out, will it be worth it?.
While most people think DTT to a STB and on to a TV set, I want / need it (or FTA DSAT) for a DVB-T/S card to PC to manage my digital experience of state owned TV output. I wanted DTT (c 1998-2000) but by the time it arrives it may be like analog MMDS trying to fight off pirate TV deflectors, a better service than the pirate but too expensive with outdated technology. Just because Ireland has never had DTT doesnt make it new. DVB-T (european DTT) is based on MPEG-2 stream, now the world cup ads on TV are advertising HD ready TV sets. Why invest in new TV sets when we haven’t even got old DTT technology? Im not hear to knock DTT. It had a really crap start with UK (on digital) & Spanish DTT service failing financially. But years later, the BBC is kicking BskyBs arse with its FTA DTT freeview. The first UK analog service will be switched off in 19 months time (Border TV – which I have DX’ed from the old doop offices in Baldoyle on UHF analog wth 90′ mast). So its time to decide has Ireland yet again saved money through inaction or wasted it, by not learning or waiting too long till the tech got too old to be functional & not future proofed for lets says MPEG-4 upgrade?
I support the efforts of the DoC to bring on DTT for the sentiments of FTA and national ownership & use of spectrum, but wouldn’t it also be a good idea to FORCE RTE TO REMOVE ITSELF FROM SKY UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT IT IS FTA ON EUROBIRD 28degEast along with FTA BBCx8 & ITVx4 services. Then re nationalise RTE relays / Cablelink / NTL at a massive saving, ie pay them nothing for it. And give us back our pipe. I will continue to buy a TV licence and would consider paying more for FTA DSAT RTE and better state broadcaster radio in this country. RTE seem to mention FTC (free to consumer) do they mean FTV or soft encryption? either way, FTA via DVB is my bottom line.
 If noel dempsey can force FAI soccer onto RTE, he can force RTE to go FTA on $ky. MAKE THIS AN ELECTION ISSUE. remember Deputy Gildea? MMDS CMI masts with explosives found at Ardara Donegal? no ‘match of the day’ – no FF TD seat.
notes: DoC = DMCNR