TV Systems, Stations and Cable TV in Hong Kong

Find out what domestic and cable TV channels are available in Hong Kong, as well as television and radio licence regulations...

The transmission standard in Hong Kong is PAL. There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world.

  • NTSC - used in the USA, Canada, Japan and some other countries
  • PAL - used in most of Western Europe, Australasia and South Africa
  • SECAM - used in France and Eastern Europe

The three systems are not compatible with each other. It is not possible to watch television on a NTSC or SECAM appliance, or to use DVD or video players which are configured for these systems. Multi-standard TV, DVD or video equipment will be able to play a PAL (or NTSC) camcorder, DVD player or games console.

TV Licence

No television licence is required in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Television

There are numerous English-language channels available. Modern apartment blocks are often pre-installed with cable or Satellite Master Antenna (SMATV) provided by the management company, meaning that each apartment is able to receive free and pay channels without the need of a receiver. The cost for this is usually included in management charges or rent.

Terrestrial channels

There are two local terrestrial channels which broadcast in English: TVB Pearl and ATV World.

TVB Pearl broadcasts free of charge, mainly in English but it also shows programmes in other languages including Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. The channel has a wide selection of programmes including movies, series, documentaries, entertainment and more.

  • TVB Pearl - Television Broadcasts Limited
    At: TVB City, 77 Chun Choi Street, Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, Kowloon
    Tel: 2335 9123

ATV World broadcasts free of charge and has two channels, the 24 hour Home Channel (in Cantonese) and the 22 hour World channel, broadcasting mostly in English. A variety of programmes are shown including drama, news and series.

Satellite television

The main satellite TV provider is STAR TV. Star TV's satellite channels include: Star World (entertainment), Star Movies, Sky News, Fox News, National Geographic, Channel V (music), Star Sports, ESPN.

  • STAR TV
    At
    : 8/F One Harbourfront, 18 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon
    Tel: 2621 8888
    Fax: 2621 8000

Cable and broadband television

There are a number of cable operators, of which Hong Kong Cable TV is the most established, and a broadband TV operator, Now.

Hong Kong Cable TV's basic package includes: The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Star Sports, ESPN, Cartoon Network, BBC World, CNN International, CNBC Hong Kong, Bloomberg TV. Premium channels include HBO, Cinemax and Star Movies.

  • Hong Kong Cable TV (Cable TV Tower)
    At: 9 Hoi Shing Road, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
    Tel: 2112 6868
    Fax: 2112 7878

Cable TV can be subscribed by telephone.

  • Tel: 1832 832 (for English Press 2)

Now TV has many English-language channels on a pay-by-channel basis as well as other foreign language channels. It is possible to subscribe by telephone or online.

  • Now TV
    Tel:
    1833 888 (Customer Services Hotline)
    email
  • Subscribe via telephone Tel: 2888 0008
  • Subscribe online: Click here

Radio

Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK): The public service broadcaster operates seven networks in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. RTHK operates two radio channels in English 24 hours a day:

  • Radio 3: Local and international news, discussions and easy-listening music on the following frequencies depending on location:
  • Radio 4: The channel plays mainly classical music and some jazz on 97.6-98.9 FM
  • The BBC World Service is available around the clock via RTHK's Radio 6

Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited: Metro Radio Hong Kong consists of three radio channels. They feature news, finance and showbiz with some programming in English. Most likely to be of interest to English speakers is Metro Plus on 1044 AM, which broadcasts in several languages including English.

Commercial Radio Hong Kong: There are a number of stations but only one in English on the AM waveband, 864 AM. It is mostly a non-stop music channel playing a diverse range of tunes.