Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) System

LeafletWhat is a SMATV system?

A SMATV System, which consists of one or more satellite receiving dish antennas, is usually installed at the rooftop of a building. Satellite television (TV) programmes received by these antennas are distributed by cable to individual households of the building.

What kind of satellite TV programmes can a SMATV system receive and distribute?

A SMATV licensee may receive and distribute free-to-air satellite TV programmes that are intended for general reception via a SMATV system. Currently, there are more than 400 free-to-air satellite TV programmes receivable in Hong Kong. The residents of a building may use up to 10 frequency channels in the 470 - 862 MHz band for receiving free-to-air satellite TV programmes of their choices via the SMATV system.

How to get SMATV service for a building?

SMATV systems can only be installed, maintained and operated by licensed SMATV operators. The residents of a building may appoint the building management company (BM) or the incorporated owners (IO) as their representatives to negotiate with licensed SMATV operators for the provision of a SMATV system at their building through an outright purchase, a lease or a hire-purchase arrangement. Before the residents authorise their BM or IO to enter into a contract with any licensed SMATV operator to provide a SMATV system, they should clarify the terms and conditions of any contractual document which may affect their rights.

Do residents need to pay any fees for receiving satellite TV programmes?

The residents of a building need not pay any programme fees for receiving free-to-air satellite TV programmes, but charges in connection with the provision, installation, maintenance and operation of the SMATV system may apply. Such charges may be absorbed as part of building management expenditure or be collected separately by the BM, IO or the SMATV licensee.

What shall the residents do when the maintenance contract expires?

The residents of a building may either re-new the contract with their SMATV operator or enter into a new contract with another licensed SMATV operator if they want to continue receiving satellite TV programmes via the system. If the system is no longer in use, it is advisable that it be dismantled as it may no longer be covered by valid insurance against third party liabilities in respect of personal injury, death and damage to property.

Safety consideration

For safety reason, it is recommended that the residents of the building should request their SMATV operator to re-inspect and re-certify the structural safety of the dish antenna(s) of the SMATV system by a registered structural engineer once every three years.

Further Information

For further information including the satellite TV programmes receivable in Hong Kong and the list of licensed SMATV operators, please click this page.


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