While travelling recently for two months in mainland China I noticed many buildings with the English letters KTV in their signage.
At first I thought this was something to do with company names or such and had no idea what the usually very gaudy buildings were for. Later I learned they were Karaoke places and still wondered about the Latin letters common in their signs.
I finally discovered that KTV is widely believed to be an English term originating in an abbreviation of Karaoke Television. I found this to be quite odd as I'm a middle aged native English speaker and have travelled in the majority of the other English speaking countries of the world but had never seen this term before. In fact to me it has the feel of "foreigner English" a bit like the German term Handy and many Japanese terms, which look like English, are believed by many speakers of those languages to be English, but are not used, or do not have same meaning, by native English speakers.
I've also travelled in Taiwan and it's used there alongside "卡拉OK". I've also travelled in Korea and Japan, which each have their own terms and haven't seen KTV used in either country.
It does get Google hits in English speaking countries, but not many and, without further evidence, I assume it is infrequently used for Asian-themed karaoke places, or places run by and targeting Asian customers, in western countries.
But I don't know everything, so maybe this is widely used by native English speakers in some English-speaking part of the world that I never ran into.
Does anybody know the true origin and history of this term? Is it really used in English? Is it only used in "foreigner English"? Could it be due to some brand or product name in some Asian country that became genericised? - I believed that's how Germany got Handy.
I'm now (early 2015) travelling in Cambodia and have found that KTV is the usual term here too, though karaoke is also used. I kept an eye out for it in Malaysia, Thailand, and Laos and only saw it occasionally at Chinese style places.
KTV sign in Mongolian and Chinese in Inner Mongolia, China
KTV sign in Zhangjiakou, China
KTV sign in Chinese in Malaysia
KTV sign in Khmer and Chinese in Cambodia