There are two domestic, free TV stations in Hong Kong: Television Broadcasts Ltd (TVB) and Asia Television Ltd (ATV). Each of them provides one Chinese and one English language channel. However, as a result of the relatively short broadcasting time (nine hours a day), and the poor choice of English programs, virtually all expats opt for pay TV (cable TV).
The two main service providers, PCCW’s Now TV and I-Cable’s Cable TV, offer a wide variety of pay TV and free satellite channels. News channels such as BBC, CNN and Fox News are each priced at HK$12 per month, while movie channels like HBO and Cinemax costs around HK$55 each. Channels catering to kids such as Nickelodean and Cartoon Network cost between HK$12-$40 each per month.
Documentary channels are available from $8 each and a package of 6 Discovery channels costs HK$48 per month. Sports channels tend to be the most expensive, and each channel can easily cost HK$70-$100+ per month. As a guide, most families spend about HK$300-$500 monthly on cable, depending on the number of channels selected. These subscriptions usually require a commitment of 24 months but sometimes, due to special offers, you can avail of rebated subscriptions which are offered for a period of 12 months. Both cable services offer HD TV channels as well as foreign language channels like Zee TV, NHK world, TV5Monde, StarPlus etc.
On the whole, the movie channels tend to be very good and a wide choice is available. The Star TV channel is also a good choice and offers up-to-date television programs and live broadcasts from the US, including American Idol. However, many of the other channels show a limited range of television shows that are up to five years old and are repeated on a continual basis. It is therefore important that you select your list of channels carefully when signing up for the service.
Customers can sign up for Now TV and Cable TV services at the PCCW or i-Cable stores or through street vendors that can be found in shopping malls or along pedestrian walkways in busy districts throughout Hong Kong. However, before you sign your contract, it is always prudent to check if that particular cable TV company services your apartment block or dwelling. Once you have worked out all the formalities and have signed a contract for the television service, a technician will visit your home within 7 days to install the set up.
Hotline: 1833 888
Hotline: 1832 888