Finally #chinamug thanks for your pointers : I can't access Other Channels now that my sub has lapsed. I've scoured the Sky menu but the only remaining active interface is Services - and it doesn't seem to be an option there. I'll investigate the option of getting an old Sky box further but yes the Holy Grail remains how to manually tune in...
Depends on your Sky box model - but the Add Channels option is in Services. On a Sky HD PVR it is in Services->Options. You add them in 'Add Channels' and watch them in 'Other Channels' ISTR. You may not get an 'Other Channels' option until you've added some.
This might be helpful : https://elfknowsit.com/sky-channel-codes-all-you-need/
You won't be able to get the Irish PSB channels that way though - as they are pay-TV only on Sky I believe. (I don't think there is a FTV option for them in the Republic).
If you want RTÉ - then presumably you can watch via their web-based RTÉ Player, which has a watch live option I think? It will be on DTT
FTA in Ireland (aka Saorview), and so any cheap DVB set top box you can get in a supermarket for a tenner or two should receive it I think via a reasonable aerial feed.
In the Republic Saorview is DVB-T (though it uses MPEG4 not MPEG2 so don't expect a basic UK Freeview SD box to work), in the North the RTÉ channels are on a DVB-T2 Freeview HD mux (though in SD)
As for Sky - what you wanted from them was a 'Freesat from Sky' card (it used to be called a 'Solus') - though that may be UK only and not available in the Republic (for the same reason the Irish PSBs aren't FTA or FTV)
Last edited by noggin on 5 January 2017 12:35pm