Television in Hong Kong

Television in Hong Kong

Television in Hong Kong has two broadcast television networks, ATV and TVB. The latter, launched in 1967, was the territory's first free-to-air commercial station, and is currently the predominant TV station in the territory. Paid cable and satellite television have also been widespread. The production of Hong Kong's soap drama, comedy series and variety shows have reached mass audiences throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Broadcast media and news is provided by several companies, one of which is government-run. Television provides the major source of news and entertainment for the average family.


Digital television

Although Hong Kong is not required to follow the Mainland China's standard,[1] Hong Kong government still decided to use DMB-T/H as the digital television broadcast standard and the official commencement of digital TV broadcasting began at 7 p.m. on December 31, 2007 as the first digital TV signal transmitter in Tsz Wan Shan went online earlier in December.

In October 2007, both broadcasting companies had agreed in November 2007 to utilise MPEG2 video format for simulcasting channels (TVB Jade, ATV Home, TVB Pearl and ATV World), and the H.264 format will be implemented for all digital broadcasting only channels.[2]

For the audio codec, usual DTMB set-top boxes will support MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (MP2) for stereo audio tracks, and Dolby AC-3 for surround sound audio tracks. TVB will also implement the use of MHEG-5 technology for providing interactive features, named "TVB Interactive", and providing a logo for consumers to identify set-top boxes with MHEG-5 middleware support.[3] The official specification defines standard-definition broadcasting will be in 576i at 25 frame/s and high-definition broadcasting in 720p at 50 Hz or 1080i at 25 Hz.

Digital television will be available to Hong Kong citizens in several phases, depending on the completion of corresponding transmitters. All major transmitters are expected to be completed on or before August 15, 2008 covering at least 75% of Hong Kong population.[4]:

Set-top boxes

The Office of Telecommunications Authority of Hong Kong has announced there will be two versions of set-top boxes available in the market at the very start of HDTV transmission, one is the basic-tier receivers, with basic reception of signals transmitted and restricted to standard-definition contents and decoding of MPEG-2, and another one the higher-tier receivers, which receives all standard-definition and high-definition contents as it can decode both MPEG-2 and H.264 content, and comes with a higher price. Logos and labels for consumers to identify the class of the set-top box were released on November 28, 2007.[5]

OFTA promises the final price for basic-tier receivers will be "a few hundred" Hong Kong dollars and a higher-tier receivers will be "more than a thousand Hong Kong dollars". As of June 2007, company in PRC made basic-tier receivers are available for more than HK$ 1000 and higher-tier receivers were also made later with price range from HK$ 1500 to over HK$ 2000. All standard-definition only TV sets will require a set-top box to receive TV signals after the planned termination of analogue TV broadcasting and transmission in the future (currently planned in 2012).

Subscription networks

  • NOW TV (PCCW-HKT Interactive Multimedia Services Ltd): provides sixteen free channels and over eighty pay channels with programmes broadcast in English language, Cantonese and Putonghua.
  • HKBN bbTV (Hong Kong Broadband Network Ltd): provides over seventy pay channels.
  • TVB Pay Vision: provides over thirty pay channels, included 8 TVB channels, and Celestial Movies, a movie channel which screens movies produced by Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd., the parent company of TVB.
  • Star TV (Satellite Television for Asian Region Hong Kong)

See also

  • List of television stations in Hong Kong


  1. ^ The Statement of the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology on The Implementation Framework for Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting, Page 3, retrieved February 11, 2008PDF (90.5 KB)
  2. ^ Paper: "Legislative Council Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting on Progress in the Implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting", retrieved November 28, 2007 PDF (41.9 KB)
  3. ^ TVB Interactive logo. Retrieved December 3, 2007.
  4. ^ Estimated Coverage of Digital Terrestrial Television (7 transmitting stations), retrieved May 30, 2008PDF (2.08 MB)
  5. ^ Higher-tier set-top box label, and Basic-tier set-top box label. Retrieved December 3, 2007.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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