This article will explain the different ways in which Irish television viewers can watch their favorite television shows. We have endeavored to give a broad range in terms of price (free versus monthly subscription) as well as some ideas for those who don’t even own a television!
Analogue television has gone the way of the dinosaur, which means that analogue satellites are no longer operational. However, there are still terrestrial television-watching options. For instance, the majority of televisions in Ireland (98%) can receive a terrestrial digital signal. For the majority of viewers, this will provide a basic amount of popular channels with a wide variety of shows.
- Sky Satellite
Sky Satellite is the powerhouse amongst non-terrestrial satellite providers. Sky is owned by News Corp, which is responsible for Sky in the UK, as well as the Fox Network in America. In Ireland, you can expect a huge number of channels across a wide range of subjects (Sky Sports, Sky Movies, etc.) which are broadcast to you via your Sky Satellite Dish.
- Cable (E.g. Virgin)
UPC has recently announced its intention to rebrand as “Virgin Media” in Ireland. They are an example of a cable TV providing service. This is an option for viewers in Ireland. Cable TV is aptly named – it involves running a fiber-optic cable into your house, by which you’ll have access to a wide variety of television services.
Cable television has the obvious advantage over satellite in that it’s not interrupted by poor weather, which viewers in Ireland who rely on satellite transmissions will know all about!
- Online Streaming Sites (Like YouTube)
To watch most television shows, you no longer need a TV at all. There are hundreds of sites where you can watch millions of television shows. This doesn’t even need to be illegal broadcasts of the show – most television channels have their own sites where you can watch their shows and catch up with their shows. Some require you to be a subscription customer, but others don’t.
Even YouTube, which isn’t designed for television shows, has a wide range of documentaries – both professional and amateur – that you can watch at your leisure.
- Video On Demand Services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu)
Like the option above, in the 21st Century, you don’t require a television to watch television broadcasts anymore. However, if you stream using sites like YouTube above, you are seriously compromising on the quality of your viewing experience.
It’s a good job there’s another answer: You can use Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or a whole host of alternative Video on Demand sites. These are monthly subscription sites – so like cable, but with one huge benefit – you can watch what you want whenever you want. Provided the show is in the service’s library, you can access every episode at any time; so no more waiting for the show to air in its weekly slot like you would have to wait with terrestrial television.