New digital TV service launched


A NEW digital television service has been launched this week which could prove popular in recessionary times, as it does not involve any monthly payments to a service provider.

Sat4Free, which is based on the FreeSat service available in Britain, provides access to 76 digital television channels, including BBC One and Two, ITV, Channel 4, Cbeebies, Film4 and BBC News, as well as a selection of British and Irish radio stations.

The number of available channels is expected to reach more than 100 by the end of the year. The service also provides access to the interactive content provided by the BBC.

The service does not currently broadcast Irish stations but will carry RTÉ International, the highlights channel which will include content from RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4, when that becomes available on FreeSat, possibly by the end of the year.

Sat4Free is being sold through Tesco, Atlantic Homecare, Woodies DIY and Powercity shops. A standard version will cost approximately €299, depending on the set-top box chosen, while a high-definition version will retail for about €100 more.

"We are selling the box with an installation package so everything you need is in the box," explains Dermot Fahy, managing director of Irish Power Products, which has launched the service in association with British consumer electronics distributor Alba.

Included in the box is a voucher for free installation.