JME.TV - internet streaming service alternative to NHK/TV-Japan

Several years ago I used to subscribe to TV Japan, a Japanese language cable TV network featuring live NHK news and weather, as well as a variety of programs ranging from drama to music to anime to sports (including baseball and sumo) and language education and kid shows, etc.

It was expensive, because it required a cable TV subscription with its monthly fees as well as the TV Japan monthly fee, so I eventually dropped my subscription (and also dropped my cable TV subscription - because 1000 channels with nothing I was interested in actually watching was doing nothing for me).

A few years later I signed up for D-Library Japan, an internet-delivered video on demand streaming service (that I watched on my TV set through a Roku box) with Japanese language programming, but minus the ‘live’ content and diversity of programming offered by TV Japan. There was not a lot of content that interested me, but it was only 10 USD per month, so it was ‘OK’.

Late last year IIRC they suspended D-Library Japan programming - with the promise that it would be superceded by an improved service.

Evidently that service is now available: JME.TV

It looks like it’s a cross between what was available from TV Japan and from D-Library Japan - delivered via internet to a PC/app or through a Roku box or other set-top box.

And it looks like it is being offered for 25 USD per month, or 250 USD for an annual subscription (with the first month free, if you sign up soon).

I’m probably going to sign up for the full year of service - and use it as my main source of Japanese language broadcast content (other than anime, which I access through Crunchyroll and HiDive).

For more info:

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I signed up for the full year, with the 30-day free offer.

Just finding my way around, between the live NHK World Premium service and the on-demand and NHK World services. So far I have been using my web browser to access NHK World Premium - while I have an app on my iPhone (and on some of my Android tablets) for accessing the NHK World English service, I have not yet figured out if (or how) I may be able to access the live NHK World Premium service via an app.

While viewing NHK World Premium video via my browser there is a popup setting that appears as if it may permit selecting Japanese subtitles, but at least so far I have not been able to turn that setting to ‘on’ - and I don’t yet understand the implications of what looks like two different choices for audio - in fact, when I have tried to make other selections there, either nothing has happened, or in some cases I seem to have paused the broadcast (even though it looks like I should still be seeing the live broadcast).

I have also seen occasional, unexpected brief ‘freezes’ of the broadcast (where it just cut out as if it were buffering, but I did not see any visual indication of bufering) - unexpected since I have pretty decent high-speed cable internet service - so maybe the problem was somewhere else upstream? But then I’ve also been dealing with problems with my MacBook Pro recently, and so I can’t rule out that as the source of any such problems.

The video player has a ‘jump back to review the last 10 seconds’ on-screen control, which is good, and you can also drag the time slider back to view earlier parts of the broadast (but I have not played with that much yet), along with a ‘jump forward by 10 seconds’ on-screen control, which appears when you are viewing earlier material - along with a LIVE control that you can click to go back to the LIVE stream.

I haven’t (yet) figured out if or how to bring up a program schedule while watching live, or other navigation items, other than keeping those items in a separate open browser tab (but that should not cause problems).

Here’s an example screen shot of the live NHK World Premium screen, with the controls that I mentioned above (however, note that my screen shot captured only the screen overlay, but not the content - I will have to do further investigation into whether and how I may be able to capture screen shots of the live content, and whether (and how) it may be possible to ‘record’ the live stream - it’s possible that due to DRM content-protection they may be preventing (or, at least, attempting to prevent) such recording - but I will need to do more to figure that out:

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In general, I’m expecting that this will become an important tool for consuming native language content - both video and audio, but also for whatever text overlays pop up as a normal part of their video broadcasts. I also expect that I will be displaying the service on my large-screen TV by ‘piping’ my computer screen display to the TV via the computer’s external display support through one of the TV’s HDMI ports.

Apparently, the formerly-available cable-TV service “TV Japan” that I mentioned in my first post has been discontinued as of March 31, 2024 - and, rather JME.TV is intended to replace that, at least, in the US and Canada (along with replacing the former D-Library Japan video-on-demand service which was discontinued last year).

If you live outside of the US or Canada, presumably they offer some other platform(s) for accessing NHK World Premium and on-demand video etc.

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I just saw that they have advertised some ‘popup events’ to share info about the service - in Orange County CA, New York, NY, and Boston, MA - some of those have already come and gone, but it looks like there is an upcoming event in Boston later this week, and another one in New York in early May - each of those in conjunction with various Japan-themed festivals (that I was not aware of):


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Just wanted to mention that the current ‘30 days free’ promotion ends tomorrow, April 30.

So far I have only been watching NHK World Premium via web browser (and briefly via the app on my iPhone) - I have not yet watched on my Roku box or separate Roku TV, nor have I tried the app on my iPad, nor have I watched any of the on-demand JME Select content.

In the Apple app store the app is getting resoundingly trashed in the reviews - primarily due to lack of a DVR-like ‘time-shifting’ feature, but also due to other perceived issues.

The lack of time-shifting is a big deal for anyone who previously watched TV Japan (or who watches any other cable content) - but it is also a glaring omission when compared with other streaming services.

It also makes it difficult to use the broadcasts as listening or reading practice material, as it is makes reviewing what you have just heard or seen on the screen somewhat inconvenient, even with the ‘go back ten seconds’ feature that they do provide.

I have not yet followed through with my goal of finding a solution to recording and playing back the live-streamed content.

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