With storm rachel trending on twitter it seemed like half of Ireland was nearly looking forward to a storm. I find the Met Eireann short range forecast page very useful for figuring out what the next 8 hours hold. It has separate pages for Wind, Rainfall, Temperature and Pressure.
I welcome Eircom’s announcement that they are going to invest in fibre with a 100 million euro rollout. But I wish they would spend the money on enabling all exchanges in Ireland for broadband. We live in Upperchurch in the Tipperary Hills and it looks like we will never see the exchange at Rossoulty being enabled for broadband.
This means using slower connection speed technology such as wifi (if you live in the right area) or satellite. The 3G broadband products do not offer sufficient bandwidth. So while the towns and cities in Ireland prosper, rural communities will continue to suffer.
We spent the weekend in wexford. It is great to see how the old and the new exist side by side. The opera house is fantastic and there is plenty to see and do. I can recommend the bookcentre for coffee only 1.40 for an espresso.
I have been on a long hiatus from this web site due to a number of project and work commitments but I have come out of hibernation to mention that Ireland finally has terrestrial broadcasting of digital channels. Up untll now our reception of RTE1 and RTE 2 was so bad you couldn’t watch a hurling or soccer match on the TV as you could not read the scoreboard. With the advent of the digital broadcasting service we now have crystal clear pictures which meant our loss to south africa in the rugby while disappointing looked good on the TV.
The best part about the digital service was that no extra hardware had to be purchased or installed. Our TV in the sitting room has a built in MPEG4 digital decoder and we have a UHF aerial in the attic (not outside, but inside) for TV3 and TV4.
All I had to do was scan for digital channels and it found the 4 Irish TV channels. 2 High Def test channels and 10 digital radio channels. The TV guide feature is very nice and similar to the EPG service on satellite. The high definition test channels are stunning and slates on a roof never looked so beautiful and clear. The service is under testing and is due to be officially launched in spring 2011.
All in all I am very impressed with digital TV. RTE has more information about Saorview and how to receive it. At the end of 2012 the old analogue transmission will be switched off as mandated by the EU. Every home will need a digital receiver for each TV. RTE 2 has switched to High Definition Lite since Dec 2nd 2010 which means that the cheap SD receivers will no longer display the channel.
The only option for home owners is to purchase a set top box that supports high definition. Powercity sell the only approved saorview box (as of Nov 2010) which is made by walker for 100 euros including delivery. More boxes are expected to appear on the irish market in early 2011. Hopefully competition will drive down the prices to reasonable levels.
5 years ago wireless broadband would have looked like a safe investment. The advent of 3G has meant serious competition with large mobile phone companies.
Providing wireless broadband to rural areas requires good sites for access points with clear line of sight.
Companies have came and gone in the last number of years as they did not understand the logistics of providing wireless broadband and underestimated the issues involved in providing access to remote users.