Pattaya has lots of fantastic things to do but sometimes it can get just that little bit too crazy and we just want to take some time out and watch some TV.

Thankfully the options have improved a great deal in recent years and we are no longer just left with Thai cable TV offering a small selection of foreign channels or drab locally produced content.

When it comes to TV options one of the most common is True TV which is available via satellite, cable or the internet. This has been the source of choice for several years especially for sports and movie fans although it now proving quite costly and there are maybe better options available online. Whether True and their direct rivals will respond to this competition remains to be seen but here are some details about some of the alternatives.

Free Streaming

Streaming is perhaps one of the most common ways to access content these days. Free streaming is available to everyone who has a laptop, mobile device, smart TV, Chromecast or media box. This is great for accessing literally thousands of options but of course, it is heavily reliant on fast internet connections. YouTube is probably the best-known option giving access to millions of videos and TV programmes that have been posted online.

Encoders for Live Video Stream

Encoders are available as both hardware and software and are essentially a way of converting data from one format to another, usually from a camera to streamable data. Hardware encoders are dedicated processors designed to show streamable content. They come in a range of sizes from portable boxes to large permanent fixtures. These tend to be preferred by professional broadcasters because of their high price.

Software decoders are programmes that run on your computer or mobile device. The advantage is that they can easily be updated and upgraded. Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder is well known although has come in for criticism in recent years and is indeed blocked on some devices.

Google Chromecast

A popular way to stream media is using the Google Chromecast which plugs directly into the HDMI port on your TV. Chromecast works with iPhones, iPads, Android devices and both Mac and Windows operated laptops and desktops. This is a fantastic way to view TV shows, movies and sport.

Apple TV

Apple TV is a box that simplifies all your viewing and gives you access to everything you wish to listen to or view such as films, music, sport and even photos. It is once again a streaming media player meaning that it takes content from the internet and then plays it on your TV. It has been very popular but is facing increased competition from Netflix and Amazon Prime so needs to up its game if it is to remain a genuine option.

Minix Boxes

These media hubs are said to “push the boundaries of Android TV” giving access to media apps such as Kodi as well as internet radio, other streaming sites, Skype, internet browsing and gaming. These are more of an all-round entertainment system offering much more than just TV shows and films.


Netflix allows users to view a wide selection of programmes including TV shows, movies and documentaries via any internet connected device. It also has a wide selection of children’s programmes that will keep them happy and occupied. One major advantage of Netflix is that you can watch your favourite shows without being interrupted by commercials.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is viewed by many as being a superior version of Netflix and is once again a subscription service meaning no commercials during your viewing. There is a great deal of content that isn’t available from other sources that just adds to its popularity. Prime has been proven to work extremely well when streamed across multiple devices making it an excellent option for families.


Kodi has received a lot of publicity recently largely due to the fact that people were using it to illegally watch media content. Of course, not everything that is available through Kodi is illegal. It is basically a free, open-source piece media centre software that began life as Xbox Media Player back in 2002. Kodi is incredibly versatile and supports pretty much any file format for audio and video and taps into online databases such as The TVDB and MusicBrainz. It runs on Android devices, PC’s or laptops and not surprisingly is hugely popular.


VPN’s are a way of accessing content from your home country such as the BBC’s iPlayer. The VPN will disguise your location giving the appearance that you are in the country of your choice, for example, the UK or the US. Expat TV works in this manner although it is possible to purchase VPN’s online. Free options are available but it is always wise to read the reviews prior to signing up. Naturally, you should always check that you can access content legally before doing so.