IT might be the smallest satellite TV station launch in history, but the 20 or so staff at Singapore International Television (SITV) believe their pint-size international TV broadcast will start a new trend. ''An hour a day is not really very much,'' admitted deputy director Aileen Lim when she spoke to us from Singapore. ''But the transponder space was available, it was relatively cheap, and it's a good way to gently start exporting Singaporean culture abroad.'' The team started running daily test broadcasts on Christmas Day to ensure they were up and sending by New Year's Day - and Aileen says they have already got some fan faxes. ''I must say, we were pretty amazed. We've had faxes from people all over Asia over the past couple of days, and so far they've all been very encouraging,'' she said. The official launch tomorrow would be very low-key, she said. No ribbons, no bows, no guests and no photographers. ''This is like an experiment for us, starting slowly with just an hour's broadcasting. We didn't want a big fanfare, and anyway, we felt that a lot of people might be feeling a little delicate after the night before,'' she said. For the 6,000 or so Singaporeans in Hong Kong, the new service is unlikely to cause huge waves of excitement unless they live in Discovery Bay - one of the few places where buildings are equipped to pick up the signal from the Palapa B2P satellite. SITV, which is ''subsidised by, but not controlled by'' the Singapore Government, has rented time from Australia's Nine Network, and will be broadcasting between 10 pm and 11 pm, with a half-hour local news programme. People in countries within a large geographical area - stretching from northern Australia to southern China, and from Papua New Guinea to the Maldives - will be able to see it, except those in Singapore itself, where the Government has banned satellite TV.