Whether you’re a TV buff in your home country or not, many expats agree that the few English channels available on Seoul cable TV helps those susceptible to bouts of homesickness – just turn to channel 52 and you can pretend you’re watching Oprah with your best friend. There are several channels on regular cable that air American and French TV shows and movies, and there are other channels that can help expats learn Korean and teach about Korean culture.
Which channels you receive always depends on which cable provider you choose – some basic cable providers include the Discovery Channel, while others include MTV. The following is a list of channels you may count on being included in your cable package:
- SBS: Korean Network
- Medical Health TV: Mostly oriental medicine oriented
- MTV: In English and Korean
- KBS2: Korean Network
- KBS Korea: Korean Network
- KBS1: Korean Network
- Q Channel: Korean Entertainment
- MBC: Korean Network
- EBS: Korean Educational Network
- KTV: Korean Network
- EPG: Korean Network
- OCN: Movie/drama Channel (mostly in English)
- OCN Action: Similar to OCN, with more action movies/dramas.
- Discovery: Discovery Channel Asia (English).
- National Geographic: National Geographic channel.
- MBN: Korean network.
- NHK World Premium: Network for Japanese people living overseas.
- Daegyo Broadcasting: Korean network
- Food Channel: Western style food TV.
- YTN: 24 hour news network (Korean).
- Arirang TV: Korean cultural television (mostly in English).
- Channel V Korea: Korean music channel.
- m.net: Korean music channel.
- Home CGV: Movie network (mostly in English).
- MBC: Korean network.
- Buddhist TV Network: Modern day Buddhist television.
- PBC: Catholic television (Korean).
- Dong-a TV: Seoul network.
- STAR Sports: Sports network (mostly English).
- Drama Net: Korean drama network.
- ON Gamenet: Online game network.
- Tooniverse: Cartoon network (Korean).
- OUN: Korean university network.
- Living TV: Travel and leisure network (Korean).
- Real Estate TV: Korean real estate network.
- Christian TV (CTS): Christian Korean network.
- MBC-ESPN: Sports network (Korean).
- SBS Golf: Korean Golf Network.
- SBS Sports: Korean sports network.
- Baduk TV: A channel focusing on the popular board game.
- OnStyle: Fashion and drama in English and Korean. (English)
- BBC World News: The latest world news in English. (English)
- Australia Newtowrk: Drama, sports, games shows, as well as Aussie and world news. (English)
HBO: Usually, you will have to order this channel specially.
Basic cable is easy to get and relatively inexpensive. Depending on what part of Seoul you live in, you can arrange to have your internet and cable combined for one convenient monthly bill. There are countless cable companies operating around Seoul and it is much easier to obtain the help of a Korean friend or coworker to order the installation. You can contact the Korean Cable TV Association (02)735-6511), or C-VISION Tel:
(02) 753-6781 to find out which companies provide services for your area. There is a small installation fee of around 30,000 won, and installation happens almost as soon as you order it. Your monthly bill will depend on how many televisions you own and which package you choose from the cable company.
If you’re looking for channels with languages other than English or Korean, your best bet is to get satellite service. In Seoul, satellite service doesn’t come cheap and installation alone costs around 600,000 won. You will need to choose a satellite company in Seoul (list to follow) and you will need your alien registration card in order to do business with said satellite company. Aside from installation fees, you will pay a monthly bill (price varies according to which package you choose and what equipment you require). As with your other monthly bills, you can pay for your satellite at your bank’s special ATM. Installation does not take very long once you order it – approximately three days – and once installation is complete you’re ready to go! Here are some of the satellite providers in Seoul:
- Unique Communications:(02) 749-0301
- Sky Master Company: (02)701-6363
- Ehwa Satellite Company:(02)415-4700
- Seki Communication: (02)2231-7989