The first television broadcast in Vietnam was in 1966 when the United States set up 2-channels (1-Vietnamese and 1-English) in Saigon for the Republic of Vietnam. Named Đài Truyền hình Việt Nam), the network operated until the fall of Saigon.
VTV was established with technical assistance and training from Cuba on 6 September 1970, in Hanoi, as a department of Voice of Vietnam. During the Vietnam War it broadcast intermittently from a mountainous regional.
After reunification in 1975, the former US-run stations in the south became part of the national network, and broadcasting was extended to the entire country.
Color television was experimented in 1978 and fully implemented in 1986. Vietnam Television became an official name on 30 April 1987. And by 1990, VTV viewers had two national TV channels to choose from as VTV2 was launched that year.
VTV's regional broadcasting centres are located in Ho Chi Minh City, Huế, Da Nang, Phu Yen, Nha Trang, and Cần Thơ. Programming is relayed nationwide via a network of provincial and municipal television stations. There are transmitters in most outlying areas of the country. By 2003, more than 80% of all urban households owned a television set. The percentage was considerably less in rural areas, but even the most remote village cafe has a TV and video or DVD player.
In addition, each major city and most of the 51 provinces have their own television stations.
VTV today has the following channels:VTV1 (VTV1 HD): News and current affairs, broadcast 24/24 hours . VTV1 initially broadcast on 7 September 1970. A high definition version of VTV1 was launched on 27 March 2014.
VTV2 (VTV2 HD): Science and technology, broadcast 24/24 hours. Besides, this channel broadcasting Japanese and American cartoon program (e.g: Pokémon, Yo-kai Watch, Disney Television Animation and Cartoon Network animated series), China and South Korea TV series. VTV2 started transmission on 1 January 1990. A high definition version of VTV2 was launched on 19 May 2015.
VTV3 (VTV3 HD): Entertainment channel, broadcast 24/24 hours. VTV3 was started on 31 March 1996. A high definition version of VTV3 was launched on 31 March 2013.
VTV4 (VTV4 HD): An international channel launched in 1998, offering a best-of package of programming from the three domestic channels to Vietnamese worldwide, now available at Taiwan CHT MOD Channel 215 and Malaysia at ABNXcess Channel 311. A high definition version of VTV4 was launched on 19 June 2015.
VTV5 (VTV5 HD): Serve the ethnic minority communities in Vietnam, broadcast 24/24. VTV5 was started on 10 February 2002. A high definition version of VTV5 was launched on 1 July 2015.
VTV6 (VTV6 HD): Youth and Sports channel, broadcast 24/24. VTV6 started from 8 locations on 29 April 2007.
VTV7 (VTV7 HD): Education channel, broadcast 6h-24h. VTV7 and VTV7 HD started airing on 1 January 2016.
VTV8 (VTV8 HD): a channel for Central and Highland Region of Vietnam, broadcast 5 AM to midnight. VTV8 and VTV8 HD started airing on 1 January 2016.
VTV9 (VTV9 HD): Southern-oriented channel, started on 8 October 2007, HD simulcast launched on 28 August 2015.
VTV Đà Nẵng
VTV Phú Yên
VTV Cần Thơ 1
VTV Cần Thơ 2
Since 2003, all above channels have also been made available via satellite, digital terrestrial and digital cable networks across Vietnam. The VTV itself offers 15 channels in 2 systems of pay satellite television and digital cable called K+ and VTVCab, respectively, including many international programs from Reuters, ESPN, Disney Channel, Discovery Channel, BBC, HBO plus about 40 original channels Changes to VTV regional channels were made on January 1, 2016. VTV Huế, VTV Đà Nẵng, and VTV Phú Yên ceased programming and became VTV8, a specific channel for Central and Highland Regions of Vietnam. Both the old VTV9 (which was only for Ho Chi Minh City and Southeast Vietnam regions) and VTV Cần Thơ 1 (which was only for Cần Thơ City and Hậu Giang Province) merged to form the new VTV9 for both southeast and southwest of Vietnam, while VTV Cần Thơ 2 was renamed VTV5 TÂY NAM BỘ, a bilingual Khmer-Vietnamese channel.VTV24 Not to be confused with VTV's news department.
VTV4k: a new entertainment channel, together with current VTV3. VTV4k will be in ultra high definition (4K resolution) and will be on air from the first quarter of 2017.
VTV7 Kids, VTV7 English and VTV7 News will be on air in 2020.
VTV World will be the successor channel to the now-airing VTV4 as the new official Foreign Affairs channel of the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
In mid-2016, regional varitions of VTV5, such as VTV5 Tây Bắc, VTV5 Miền Trung, VTV5 Tây Nguyên, and VTV5 Nam Bộ will be launched. There are also plans to introduce VTV5's HD simulcast in the future.
There are also other VTV channels on VTVCab, which are not shown here.
VTV has its own film production company, the Vietnam Television Film Centre, or VFC, which makes made-for-television movies and miniseries. However, only about 30% of the entertainment programming shown on VTV is made locally. The rest is imported and dubbed in Vietnamese. Shows include Korean and Chinese serial melodramas, which are the mainstay of nightly programming on VTV3.
Aside from news and current affairs programming, VTV1 devotes itself to orchestral concerts, ballets, traditional theatre, ethnic minority culture shows and films.
Also, in Chinese New Year's Eve, VTV broadcasts some programmes and comedy show like Year's Last Afternoon, News Special, Gặp nhau cuối năm, music concerts, firework shows... until 2 a.m.
Currently, VTV has 11 bureaux with stationed staff and correspondents at:
• Vientiane, Laos
• Phnom Penh, Cambodia
• Singapore (ASEAN Region)
• Beijing, China
• Tokyo, Japan
• Moscow, Russia
• Brussels, Belgium (Europe Region)
• London, United Kingdom
• Washington, D.C., United States
• New York City, United States
• Los Angeles, United States
VTV4 has been criticised by Vietnamese emigrees who find the channel's one-sided support of the one-party Communist state distressing and offensive.
According to Thanh Niên News, on 28 February 2016, VTV admitted that it had used copyrighted content without permission in some of its programs, confirming that the violation has caused its YouTube channel to be blocked. On this day, VTV, was notified by YouTube that the video sharing website had received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding videos on its official YouTube page. The page was blocked the following morning. VTV then told local press that some of its editors used some footage they found online in their news and current affairs programs without asking permission of the copyright holders. The programs were then uploaded on the YouTube page. The case was exposed after Bui Minh Tuan, 35, reported to Google that VTV had repeatedly used his flycam videos, posted on his YouTube page named Yamaha Trung Ta, without seeking his permission. Tuan, who runs a motorcycle trading company in the central province of Quang Tri, told news website ICTNews he had spent a lot of time and money to produce the aerial videos capturing beautiful scenes across the country. He claimed that over the past year he had sent many complaints to VTV, the Department of Copyright and the Ministry of Information and Communications to report around 20 copyright violations by VTV, but no response was received. Tuan decided to report the case to Google, the owner of YouTube. Since September he has reportedly filed three complaints. He told ICTNews he is not trying to seek damages and that he wants VTV to respect copyright laws. Tuan said VTV needs to make a public apology to him in a news program and hold a press conference on the matter.