Saorsat

saorsatSaorsat is the name given to the infill free-to-air satellite television service put in place by 2RN to deliver Irish television services to the 1% to 2% of homes that are not covered by the SAORVIEW Digital Terrestrial Television service.
The RTÉ services on Saorsat are exactly the same as those on Saorview.

Due to the topography of Ireland, some areas have always been impossible to reach via terrestrial transmissions. This is because terrestrial signals need a line of sight and cannot, for example, go through mountains or deep down into valleys.
Therefore, Saorsat was launched to provide free-to-air access to television services via satellite for the 2% of households who are not able to receive Saorview.

The facility for other channels to be carried on the service is available but is a business decision for other broadcasters to make.
Saorsat is available on the EUTELSAT KA-SAT 9A, which is a narrow-band satellite with a footprint on the island of Ireland. To receive SAORSAT, you will need a satellite dish equipped with a Ka band LNB and a DVB-S2, Saorsat set-top-box. 2RN recommends that anyone wishing to access the Saorsat service should seek the advice of a specialist satellite installer.

Website: www.saorsat.ie



eutelsat-kasatEutelsat KA-Sat 9° East

Saorsat uses the KA-Sat at 9° East and not the satellites at 28.2° east, which most Irish channels currently use. This will means that viewers will probably need two systems, one for Saorsat and one for Sky or the UK’s Freesat service.
KA-SAT is a narrow-band satellite operating in the Ka band as opposed to the normal DTH Ku band (which Sky and Freesat use), with a spot beam being dedicated exclusively to Ireland which will also provide coverage throughout Northern Ireland.

It is claimed that the spot beam with frequency reuse means reception in Britain and continental Europe is not possible. However even the tightest spotbeams have overspill. It is almost certain that some reception will be possible in the UK using larger dishes. RTÉ states that the chosen satellite option will cost approximately €1.5 million per year.

RTÉ said the combined offering was designed to be the most cost-effective solution for viewers and broadcasters; to offer for the first time 100% coverage of free-to-air public service television services in the Republic of Ireland; and to provide full national back-up coverage on satellite in the event of an emergency or catastrophic failure of the DTT system.
Approval for the revised National DTT plan and the new Saorsat satellite service was announced by the Minister for Communications at the end of July 2010.


 

Reception of Saorsat

saorsatmapEvery one in Ireland should be able to receive the Saorsat service, including Northern Ireland. It will use a tight spotbeam focused on Ireland. Coverage should be better than terrestrial version Saorview and is expected to have the same content and channels. There have even been reports that Saorsat has been received in the Isle of Man, South West England and parts of Wales.

A 80cm dish is required in Ireland along with and a KA-Band LNB. You will also need a DVB-S2 HD Satellite Receiver.
The Saorsat frequency is 20185 Left hand circular polarisation. It is necessary to trick the receiver into thinking it is still connected to a Ku LNB so use the following parameters:

To receive Saorsat will inevitably involve either the installation of a new satellite dish or modifying and re-aligning an existing dish to face in the right direction to receive service. Therefore the services of a professional installer will almost certainly be involved. In the vast majority of cases, existing satellite installations are set up to receive UK Free-to-air services and will not receive Saorsat without some remedial work.

A standard 80 cm solid dish is recommended for most parts of Ireland. Areas in the North West, and South West of Ireland may need a 100cm dish. In many situations smaller high performance or Ka specific dishes can be used. A good quality satellite dish should cost no more than €35. Do not use perforated dishes, as these are not recommenced for KA-Band reception.

In addition to a suitable dish, a KA- band LNBF is required. LNBF is the unit that sits on the end of the support arm, in front of the satellite. You need an LNBF capable of receiving the Saorsat specific frequencies. A good quality LNBF should cost no more than €35. Your local aerial/satellite installer will know all about this.

KA-SAT @ 9E
20.185 GHz, Left Circular Polarisation,
DVB-S2 QPSK,
SR 25000
FEC 2/3


 

Reception of Saorsat in the UK

UKSaorsat is broadcast on a very small spotbeam focused on the island of Ireland. The reason for using such a tight beam is to prevent overspill in to the United Kingdom and any copyright issues. There is some overspill in to the UK, though this is limited, reception should be possible in West Wales and north Devon and Cornwall.

Outside these areas reception is going to get more difficult, as the signal drops off quickly and the possibility of interfering beams using the same frequency. Larger dishes will not help much.
No one really knows  where the cutoff is, so it may be worth trying.

Reports suggest that rain and fog can cause quite a drop in signal quality and picture should remain unaffected.

Confirmed reports
North west Devon – 80 cm dish
Gwynfryn, Wrexham – 80 cm dish
Swansea – 120 cm dish


 

EPG
Channel
Encryption
SID
VPID
APID
Audio Bitrate
101
RTÉ One
Clear
5101
5101
5201 E
192 kbps
102
RTÉ Two HD
Clear
5102
5102
5202 E
192 kbps
105
RTÉ News Now
Clear
5103
5103
5203 E
192 kbps
104
TG4
Clear
5104
5104
5204 Ir
192 kbps
107
RTÉ Jr
Clear
5107
5107
5207 E
192 kbps
108
RTÉ One +1
Clear
5108
5108
5208 E
192 kbps
200
RTÉ Radio 1 FM
Clear
5226
N/A
5226 E
128 kbps
202
RTÉ Radio 2 FM
Clear
5227
N/A
5227 E
128 kbps
203
Lyric FM
Clear
5228
N/A
5228 E
160 kbps
204
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
Clear
5229
N/A
5229 I
128 kbps
201
RTÉ Radio 1 Extra
Clear
5230
N/A
5230 E
128 kbps
205
RTÉ Pulse
Clear
5231
N/A
5231 E
112 kbps
206
RTÉ 2XM
Clear
5232
N/A
5232 E
112 kbps
208
RTÉ Gold
Clear
5234
N/A
5234 E
112 kbps
209
RTÉ Chill
Clear
5235
N/A
5235 E
112 kbps
209
RTÉ Junior
Clear
5235
N/A
5235 E
112 kbps
         
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