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Thailand - TV

Thailand was the first country in the south east of Asia to have regular television broadcasts. The television system used in Thailand is the PAL B system, which is slightly different to the PAL system which is used in the UK. If you are taking an older style television from the UK then you will find that it probably will not work in Thailand. It is worth checking if your set is able to accept more than one type of signal as this increases the chances of it being compatible with the Thailand system.

Thailand has 6 main terrestrial television stations. These are run by the government, although different sections have their own channels, including the army. There is no requirement for a television licence and at the present time there are no plans for a change from an analogue signal to a digital signal.

The programmes which are broadcast in Thailand are mainly done in Thai. Only a very small number of programmes are broadcast in English, but with certain types of TV sets the language can be changed, but this does not work on every programme. Channel 3 and Channel 7 have a small number of English language programmes but Channel 5 only ever broadcasts in Thai. Channel 9 (also referred to as Modernine) is for Thai programmes but the NBT channel (National Broadcasting Service of Thailand) has a number of broadcasts in English. Channel 3 is the only channel which is run privately, although overseen by the government. Only channel 11 does not feature commercials.

Those who want English language television will need to have cable or satellite television installed. The main provider in Thailand of satellite TV services is True Visions UBC. This service has many English language channels available, and as with satellite services in other countries, customers are able to choose a package of channels to suit their needs. Different packages are available at different costs although there are a number of channels which are categorised as FTA (Free to Air). Cable services are also provided by True Visions and these are available in languages other than Thai and English. Channels available include Eurosport, CNN and several other well-known channels. Satellite and cable systems are being upgraded to be compatible with HD programming.

It should be noted that extreme weather in Thailand can affect the reception of both analogue and satellite television services. Signals can be hard to receive but it is advised not to try to search for new channels on your satellite system during a storm as this can lead to the deletion of other channels that you already have and it is not unheard of for an engineer to be needed to reinstall them.

In order to obtain cable or satellite services you will need to provide copies of your passport and the House Registration document for the property you are in if you have purchased it. If you are renting then the landlord will need to provide a copy of their own ID card and house documentation. On occasion you may also be asked to provide information on your visa documentation to show that you have the legal right to live in the country.

Programmes that are popular in Thailand are mixed. Many of the terrestrial channels show a lot of news and current affairs programmes although there are some entertainment programmes too. Entertainment makes up a large percentage of the programmes which are shown on satellite and cable services and the Thai people enjoy soap operas and game shows as well as news programmes.

It should be noted that in some remote areas an analogue signal is hard to pick up and satellite may be the only option for those who wish to watch television. Schools in rural areas of Thailand receive some educational programmes via satellite under a special scheme run by the government.

If you wish to take your DVD player to Thailand then you need to ensure that it is a multi-region player or one suitable for Region 3, which is the region for Thailand. Many of the DVD players sold in Thailand are locked and will only work with region 3 DVDs. This region also covers neighbouring countries.

Useful Resources

True Visions
Tel: +66 2725 2525

Read more about this country

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