International TV & Media

TV reception of local channels (assuming you even want to watch their tedious, advertising-driven soap opera / game show / chat show output) through a standard antenna is fairly bad. Most Thai people who can afford to, therefore, install a satellite dish in order to see the rubbish more clearly.

True UBC (the satellite TV company) is available throughout the province and also offers several packages with a decent selection of American and European news, sport, nature, children’s and movie channels, all in HD. For the foreign channels, it is quite costly to install and subscription rates are comparable to those for similar services in the west (around 300 – 2200 baht per month, depending on the package – and only the most expensive has Premiership football).

Some parts of mainland Krabi and Ko Lanta also have cable TV access. This is much cheaper, both to install and to subscribe, but the service can be unreliable and channels seem to appear and disappear randomly. The same is true of the ‘no monthly subscription’ satellite dishes, which offer 100 free channels for a one-off start up cost of around 4700 baht. Note: most of these channels are Asian; English-speaking channels on offer tend to be Christian missionary services. You can also access Deutsche Welle and TV5 (French) for an additional 3200 baht fee.

If you have an internet connection (ADSL or fibre) from a major phone company, most also provide an “IPTV” service, with some foreign channels. This is much cheaper than satellite TV, and does not cut out in the rain, but the quality of the picture depends on the connection you have. The provider will be able to advise you on this.

Most online TV media players (BBC iPlayer, Hulu etc.) do not work in Thailand, unless you use a proxy server, as your IP address is blocked. (Most expats do, however, use a proxy server and will be only too happy to tell you about it). There is also a Thai version of Netflix, if you have a credit card, with a more limited choice of viewing. Hacks exist online allowing you to register here and then switch country; Google if you want to do this.

There are two English-language national dailies in Thailand, The Nation and The Bangkok Post, both of which carry Thai and international news, sport and features. The Phuket Gazette, a weekly newspaper, has local news for that area and occasionally covers stories in Krabi – now available online only.

Current international magazines – mainly women’s glossies – are available in Krabi Town at around double the home cover price.

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Posted in Living in Krabi.