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Digital Radio in Ireland

At the time of writing, most Digital Radio in Ireland is in its infancy. DAB and DTT are on trial in parts of the country. Some people have reported DRM tests on RT’s 252 LW service. RT broadcasted the 2008 All-Ireland Football and Hurling finals on DRM. Most of the national stations are available on digital satellite systems such as Freesat, Sky and using any normal Free-To-Air satellite services. Analogue radio is not expected to be switched off for a long time as Ireland is currently lagging behind other countries.

Methods of receiving digital radio in the Republic of Ireland:

• Satellite

• Sky

There are currently 5 Irish Radio stations available on Sky Digital. These are RT Radio 1, RT 2FM, RT Raidi na Gaelteacta, RT Lyric FM and Newstalk. There are rumours that Today FM and RT’s digital stations might join the platform in the future.

Freesat & FTA

Freesat has the 4 RT radio stations on its platform. These joined in August 2008. RT’s stations are available with any DVB-S receiver pointed at Astra 2(28.2 degrees East). The parameters are:

• 10.744Ghz /
• Horizontal Polarisation
• 22.000
• 5/6

Terrestrial systems

DAB

There is a DAB service currently available to roughly 50% of the Irish population from 4 sites in the North East, Limerick, Cork and Dublin. It carries the RT stations (including extra Digital only ones). It used to carry Newstalk, Today FM and a few ILR stations (depending on the site), however these channels have been removed. RT have stopped DAB rollout due to the economic downturn and the uncertainty of DAB’s future as a whole.

DTT

RTs 4 stations are the only stations available on the Irish MPEG4 DTT trial. When Boxer DTT access start a full digital terrestrial service in 2009, Communicorp’s portfolio of stations are expected to be heard on the Irish digital terrestrial system.

RTs 4 stations were also carried on the original MPEG2 DTT system.

Online:

Although not the most convienient, the vast majority of Ireland’s radio stations are available online. RT, Today FM and Newstalk also have a wide range of podcasts available. All of RTs digital stations are available through the internet now. These services are available internationally. See radiofeeds.co.uk for more details

The best way to receive stations in Ireland at the moment is via FM radio as it has the best coverage and quality.

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