Ireland: First HD Terrestrial Sports Event Aired

The first terrestrial HD sporting event in Ireland was aired earlier this week with the Leinster Football Final between Laois and Dublin at Croke Park.

All analog transmission on the Emerald Isle will end in 2012 using European Union guidelines, and this week’s soccer match was viewed as a trial run for off-air HD. The Irish communications minister, while launching this week’s OTA match, urged Irish broadcasters to turn off their analog signals and go digital well in advance of 2012, if possible, according to the Irish Times.

Digital broadcasts in HD and SD are now common on satellite and cable systems serving Ireland, but local terrestrial DTV is just ramping up. This week’s sporting event marked the second phase of the country’s HD trial, which involves a portion of 500 specially equipped test households in Dublin and Louth counties.