Should You Get Cable or Satellite TV from TrueVisions in Thailand, or Save Your Money?

Cable or Satellite TV from TrueVisions in Thailand is Expensive. is it Worth It?

If you live in Thailand long enough, one thing you'll ponder is whether or not it's a good idea to get cable or satellite television. Cable TV in Thailand is expensive, very expensive compared to Thai salaries; so many people don't have it. Most Westerners and foreign expats, however, do seem to get cable TV and, if they do, just about the only choice is UBC cable, now known as TrueVisions. TrueVisions offers a lot of channels in both cable TV and satellite TV, but is it worth it?

If you don't have cable/satellite TV in Thailand, what do you get? Basically, if you don't have cable or satellite TV in Thailand, you don't get much of anything. When I first moved here, I had a basic TV set up in my apartment. What that meant was this - five Thai TV channels (all in Thai language, so I didn't understand anything), two Indian channels (all in Hindi, so I didn't understand them either), one Chinese channel (CCTV), which aired in Chinese, one Australian channel (thank God the Aussies speak English) and BBC World. So, out of 10 TV channels, I had two I could understand. One showed news 24/7 and the other had a lot of strong Aussie accents. After two months of this, I ordered satellite TV from TrueVisions.

What do you pay for cable or satellite TV from TrueVisions in Thailand? TrueVisions has several packages to choose from.

TrueVisions Platinum Package - For 2,155 baht a month (around $62, very expensive for Thai salaries), you get 86 channels. These include HBO, Cinemax, CNN, BBC World, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, six sports channels, MTV, Bloomberg, the History Channel and more. Right now, they're also running a special for free installation, which is a good deal as installation normally costs over $130.

TrueVisions Gold Package - For 1,567 baht (around $45) a month, you get the TrueVisions Gold Package. You get 75 channels, including all of the above from the Platinum Channel but missing some of the extra movie channels, National Geographic Adventure, MGM and a few others. Personally, I think this is the best deal as the Platinum Package doesn't include enough good extra channels to make it worth another $17 a month. The special for free installation also applies.

TrueVisions Silver Package - For 905 baht (around $26) a month, you get the TrueVisions Silver Package. It has 63 channels, but most of these are the already free government channels (they tout that you get 'great reception'), so this package is basically a complete waste of time. With this package, you don't get CNN, BBC World, National Geographic, Animal Planet, or basically any channel you would actually watch. At $26, it's a complete rip-off and a total waste of money, so avoid this.

True Knowledge Package - For 495 baht (around $14.25), you get just about nothing. All the free government channels, and a bunch of lame Thai 'knowledge' channels. This package isn't even worth mentioning, let alone buying.

Deposits - Don't forget, when you get cable or satellite TV with TrueVisions, you also have to give a deposit for their equipment. At between 2,000 baht ($57) and 4,000 baht ($114) it's a fair amount of money to hand over, especially as you have no guarantee you'll ever get it back.

Weird rules for people who live in apartments whose past tenants haven't paid - TrueVisions has stupid rules like, if you live in an apartment where a previous tenant hasn't paid their cable bill, you either can't get cable or satellite TV at all, or you have to pay an enormous deposit (one friend had to pay over $600), just so they'll hook you up. Why they blame you for somebody else not paying their bill is beyond me?

Overall, getting cable or satellite TV from TrueVisions in Thailand is expensive and a bit of a pain in the rear. You have to hand over a big chunk of money to get it and then hope you get the deposits back when you cancel it.

On the plus side, cable or satellite TV from TrueVisions in Thailand is usually hooked up very fast. I ordered mine one day, and they had it hooked up two days later, a far cry from the weeks it can take in the US.

If I had another choice, I wouldn't get TrueVisions satellite TV. There are a lot of pointless channels or some really great-looking channels (like one with Korean soap operas) but, as they don't offer English subtitles, you can't actually watch it unless you speak Thai or Korean. However, if you don't pay for cable or satellite TV in Thailand, you end up feeling a bit isolated and have no idea what's going on in the outside world. So, you may want to do what I did, bite the bullet and pay for it, while bitching all the time that it's a huge waste of money.

And a quick addition, don't pay for satellite, (which is an extra 150 baht plus per month on top of cable fees). In rainy season, which can last for six months, every time it rains the satellite disappears, sometimes for an hour at a time. Stick with cable TV and you'll be a lot less disappointed.

Published by Cassandra James

I m a British-American writer currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. I ve been writing for Associated Content since 2007 and was named one of AC s Top 100 Writers for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. I primarily w...  View profile

  • TrueVisions cable and satellite TV in Thailand is expensive.
  • English subtitles are not available for many of the shows on TrueVisions TV.
  • Deposits and monthly fees are expensive with TrueVisions cable and satellite TV.

3 Comments

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  • Brendon 5/19/2014

    I have www.cablestreamer.com - work on a basic internet, it has 350 HD channels from all over the place, all the best cable shows, and 3000 + movies and mini series, I tried it all but so expensive and no where near as good. This box works worldwide also, took it to Australia, Singapore - perfect.
    Forget anything else in Thailand, for Thailand cable tv - www.cablestreamer.com

  • steve 7/23/2012

    Here in Lopburi I have UBC cable tv (80 channels) with no set top box at only 100฿ a month, but it's prety naff, somtimes the site is down, sometimes a channel broadcasts one channel one day & a different one the next. One of the channels broadcasts sport ie.MGP , SBK , F1 etc. with no commentary sound & adverts without any sound at all. "WHAT A GREAT COMPANY" !?!?

  • Skuntala 5/5/2012

    it is so very up setting when the picture always gone when yoou are watching movies or news or sports but when they are in intermission pictures are on. now it is rainy season i can't do anything. they also have a lot of advertising which shouldn't because we pay for the channels without them

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