On October 24th, rabbit ears and fuzzy receptions will become a thing of the past in Ireland thanks to the digital switchover. This change will affect roughly a quarter of a million households who are currently using only the analogue service.
Most people in that situation are aware of what to do, thanks to advertisements featuring cartoon animals and various versions of Gay Byrne. Saorview boxes generally retail at around €60, while practically all new televisions come with basic digital channels as standard.
About one eighth of the population, however, are unaware of the digital switchover, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Department of Communications, Energy and National Resources.
Leading national networks – the Wheel and Irish Rural Link – have entered an agreement with the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, to manage the ‘Community Outreach Digital Switchover Programme’ aimed primarily at older and disadvantaged people – especially in isolated areas.
Chief executive Deirdre Garvey says the work will “involve community and voluntary organisations in every area of the country in reaching out to the people who otherwise would not make the switch to a digital television service”.
Information can be found at goingdigital.ie
, or by calling the helpline number 1890-940980.