HKTV ushers in the new with OTT platform
Rebecca Hawkes
| 21 November 2014
New over-the-top (OTT) broadcaster Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) has attracted over 250,000 people within hours of the channel's launch.

HKTV said its apps for iOS, Android and Windows had been downloaded to 670,000 devices by 20 November, a day after launch, as people sought to watch HKTV's home-produced drama series, as well as variety and infotainment programmes. Chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay hopes to attract an average audience both on-demand and live of 50,000 for each episode of its TV dramas.

The HKTV programmes can all be watched without charge, either by video-on-demand (VOD) or live broadcast via internet-connected devices. "In future, we will be open to cooperate with different platforms, extending the reach of HKTV's high quality contents to population all over Hong Kong," said a company statement.

HKTV programmes are also available through video portals or TV stations to audiences in mainland China, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.

HKTV adopted an OTT platform after it failed to win a free-to-air TV licence from the government last year. Pay-TV operators PCCW and i-Cable were awarded the licences instead, but have not yet launched their services.

The HKTV platform has 22Gbps bandwidth connecting to HKIX, and 130Gbps direct peering to other ISPs and mobile operators in Hong Kong, which the company believes will be sufficient to cater for 300,000 to 400,000 concurrent viewers.

It has warned that in the first two weeks after launch, the picture resolution will be limited to 720p to cater for more viewers, though will shortly upgrade to 1080p.

"The slogan of our new platform is 'Always Something New', symbolising a new milestone for HKTV, as well as a new milestone for Hong Kong people. We embrace changes, and embrace our new way of living," said Wong