RTÉ Ireland Chooses Eutelsat's KA-SAT for its 'SAORSAT' Free to Air Digital Service

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 
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The SAORSAT FTA Service Uses the KA-SAT Irish Beam

DUBLIN and PARIS — Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, has chosen Eutelsat’s KA-SAT for its unique satellite based approach to ensure that all homes in the Irish Republic will be able to benefit from free digital reception of the RTÉ public service television and radio channels.

In March of this year, and to complement its SAORVIEW terrestrial service, RTÉ is switching on a new digital satellite service which will provide service cover to the 1 to 2 percent of households which are beyond range of terrestrial DTT reception.

Working closely with Eutelsat (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234), RTÉNL has selected the service area of KA-SAT which is dedicated exclusively to the island of Ireland. The service will broadcast RTÉ’s five television channels RTÉ One, RTÉ Two HD, RTÉ News Now, RTÉ junior and RTÉ One +1 and ten radio stations. Eutelsat and RTÉNL have ensured that should any other broadcaster wish carriage provision, additional capacity on SAORSAT will be available for this future expansion.

For RTÉ, the combined offering of SAORVIEW and SAORSAT is the only effective solution for achieving one hundred percent national coverage of the RTÉ free-to-air public television and radio services; additionally the KA-SAT solution carries the benefit of providing full national back-up cover in the event of an emergency or a catastrophic failure of the terrestrial network.

To receive SAORSAT viewers will need a satellite dish equipped with a Ka-band LNB and a DVB-S2 set top box. The one-off cost should be within the region of €200 with equipment available from the majority of Irish retail outlets.

Des Mac Giolla an Chloig, Ceannaire Digiteach (Head of Digital) RTÉNL, said: “The extremely close co-operation between Eutelsat and RTÉNL during the KA-SAT project enabled the teams to tailor a bespoke engineering solution, which presents RTÉ with a unique opportunity to extend the cover of its public service channels to all of the population on a free to air basis for the first time.”

Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat, responded: “The integration by RTÉNL of the KA-SAT platform into its digital broadcast network is further evidence of how our new satellite is contributing to Europe’s digital infrastructure. We are delighted that KA-SAT’s service area and performance ticks all the boxes for RTÉNL and RTÉ, enabling the transmission authority and the broadcaster to put in place an efficient solution for ensuring nationwide accessto free to air Irish digital.”