Reception details published for Northern Ireland's extra Irish TV services

  updated: 20:00

Following the recent press release from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirming the launch of an additional digital multiplex to bring RTE1, 2 and TG4 to parts of Northern Ireland not able to receive overspill coverage from the Republic of Ireland, Digital UK have today published reception prediction details for the multiplex, which will launch on the 24th October - the date when all remaining analogue services across the Island of Ireland will be switched off.

Brougher Mountain (Wikipedia)

The extra multiplex will broadcast from three key sites in Northern Ireland: Black Mountain for Belfast, plus Carnmoney Hill and Brougher Mountain - but will only be available to viewers with modern Freeview HD receivers, which have the neccessary DVB-T2 tuner to receive the three channels. This may provide some confusion to viewers, with an HD receiver needed to receive three standard definition channels.

Initial coverage predictions of the Saorview digital terrestrial service from the Republic of Ireland after 24th October show that many parts of Belfast and surrounding area will not be able to receive the service direct from the Republic due to local terrain. As part of the Good Friday agreement, the extra "mini multiplex" is being created to provide coverage of RTE and TG4 in many areas.

The multiplex is sometimes referred to as a "mini multiplex", because it will have a low capacity of just under 10 Mbps and will just carry three channels, as opposed to the full capacity multiplexes that can carry up to 12 digital channels with up to 27 Mbps bandwidth.

However there is a trade off between maximum coverage and maximum capacity. The parameters to be used by the "mini multiplex" will allow for maximum, robust coverage via transmitters on limited power. Powers can't be increased due to co-channel interference issues.

Generally, viewers along the north coast of Northern Ireland will not be able to receive the multiplex and in most cases will not be able to receive the services direct from the Irish Republic either. These viewers form part of 10% of Northern Irish households that will not gain RTE1, 2 and TG4 via digital terrestrial television in October. Local terrain is to blame for the "not-spots", as signals from the designated transmitters are blocked due to hills. Additional frequencies to bring these services to the North East of the province would not be available due to proximity to Scotland and Cumbria.

NI Multiplex: UHF Channels and Powers from 24th October
Black Mountain        UHF 39+, 2kW ERP
Brougher Mountain   UHF30-, 1kW ERP
Carnmoney Hill        UHF 48, 16 watts ERP

Digital UK's trade postcode checker is available at:

In contrast to the regular consumer view, the trade database provides a more detailed prediction, with information about the UHF channels and parameters of the multiplex being received.
Share on Google Plus


Post a Comment

IMPORTANT: This post is open for comments for a limited period (usually 14 days) following its upload date. You can comment with a Google Account (e.g. for G+, Gmail, YouTube, Google Play)
Comment not appearing? Comments may be subject to moderation and as such may not immediately appear on the site - comments will wait in the moderation queue until they are processed. Check back later. (Comments submitted anonymously may fail the spam filters.)

Please note: Some types of comments may be removed at the discretion of a516digital. With freedom of speech comes responsibility: Keep it clean, civil and on-topic! See the "About this website" section (link at the foot of the page) for full terms and conditions about what is and what isn't acceptable on this site.