Monthly Archives: August 2012

RTE Extra Choice – land of confusion


confused in Dublin writes: 

I’m confused, RTE Radio 1 Extra on DAB carries RTE Choice programmes. While RTE Radio 1 Extra (formerly RTE Europe) on satellite carries the same programmes as RTE Radio 1. 

On Digital Television RTE Radio 1 Extra carries RTE Choice programmes but has RTE Radio 1 EPG details for all programmes. 

Meanwhile the output on RTE Choice (DAB) is the same as RTE Radio 1 Extra and is ID’ed in audio as RTE Radio 1 Extra. 

Some confused questions: Does RTE Choice exist any more? Why is Radio 1 Extra not on digital satellite with the same programmes as the terrestrial broadcast? Why doesn’t RTE Radio 1 Extra (terrestrial) not carry RTE Radio 1 programmes until frequency splits? 

A possible fix to this mess, which was highlighted to RTE operations in 2008 (when medium wave was switched off and “second helpings” programmes were shifted to RTE LW / Extra) is the following. 

Swap RTE Radio 1 and RTE Radio 1 Extra on digital satellite. This would have RTE Radio 1 on the wider footprint transponder to more of Europe where weekend sport and weekday racing would be heard by the widest audience. RTE Radio 1 Extra could carry the frequency split / minority programmes to Ireland / UK on the Astra 2D footprint. RTE Choice programmes could be aired on Radio 1 Extra when frequency splits weren’t active (unless right holder issues exist). Such a move would end the RTE Radio 1 / RTE Radio 1 Extra simulcast on satellite and offer ‘EXTRA’ RTE programmes to our nearest neighbours where a large Irish diaspora lives. 

On DAB and DTT the identity crisis that is RTE Choice / RTE Radio 1 Extra demonstrates that there is really only one service on these two channels. This could free up a channel for something else. Any takers?  

And LW 252, as this is one service unlike the two transponders on satellite, RTE radio 1 and frequency split programmes are broadcast and this seems to do what is expected of it.

I won’t lose sleep over it but it is land of confusion. 


Katzenjammer cover the Genesis song ‘Land of Confusion’

UPDATE Feb 2013 – RTE closed RTE Radio 1 Extra on Sky 0142 on the wider european footprint. Alternative content programmes are no longer available on satellite, and RTE Radio 1 is now only available on satellite on a UK / Ireland beam in Europe.

Kingston Regatta 1898 – a sports radio first.


Marconi had been commissioned by the Dublin Daily Express to report the progress of the Kingston Regatta (July 20–22nd July 1898). He did this from a steam tug, sending ‘wireless’ messages back to the harbour where they were subsequently telephoned to Dublin. Becoming what many believe to be have been the first ‘live’ transmission of a sporting event in the world, in the process he gained immense publicity for the technology and his Company.


and from

In July 1898 the first public presentation of wireless telegraphy took place. Marconi had been commissioned by the Dublin Express to send telegraphic reports from the Kingston Regatta to its editorial offices. From on board the tug, Flying Huntress he observed the yachts racing in the Irish Sea and telegraphed his impressions directly to the land base in Kingston. The Dublin Express was able to keep its readers informed with extra pages on the current progress of the Regatta. With hindsight it is tempting to assign symbolic value to this episode in technological history. There are early indications here of what already appears to have been accomplished in our fast-paced media age: events being followed by the mass media in ‘real time’ with their highly sophisticated telecommunications equipment. What Marconi could only strive for in 1898 has been achieved in our time: the period between the occurrence of an incident and its announcement elsewhere has been shrunk to a minimum and is almost tending to zero.

and from

“We understand that Marconi is coming to Dublin with his apparatus.” (Freemans Journal, 1898) Some months earlier at the Kingston Regatta the communicative possibilities of Marconi’s apparatus quickly came to light; “…he was watched with interest by many gentlemen who had been invited to witness the novel application of Marconi’s discovery to the uses of journalism.” (Kildare Observer, 1898)