NHK World on Your iPhone

Published on February 17th, 2010.

Yesterday when I was out in the field looking for some new iPhone apps to play with, I stumbled upon the NHK World app when searching for ways to stream Japanese TV to your iPhone. Although NHK World wasn’t really what I was initially looking for, I decided to give it a try. And just as I turned it on, they happened to show a documentary on GUNDAM which was very interesting.

The app is very simple, you just click on it and the stream pops up, you can’t customize it in any way but you can get a short description of the currently airing show and see what’s up next. The stream comes in two modes, 3G and WiFi. Unfortunately the 3G mode isn’t watchable (you can’t even hear what they’re saying), so you can forget about watching it on the go. But while on WiFi, it’s a decent experience.

The reason why I want apps like these is because of my desktop setup. I don’t have multiple monitors and I have no intentions on going multiple (I’m very satisfied with one monitor and 4 spaces (virtual monitors)). I love having the TV on (with Japanese audio for inactive learning) in the background, and with the iPhone I can have it just below my monitor like seen in the picture below.

So if you know of any other apps that stream Japanese TV, or other Japanese videos, let me know! I currently use NHK World and Crunchyroll. KeyholeTV is still in beta and from what I’ve seen, not so great, so that’ll have to wait.

Click here to view the app in the AppStore or just search for “NHK World” on your iPhone.

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  • ShiningStar

    Just downloaded the app and it’s not working for my. I use wifi in the office.
    Cannot download TV scedule, nor watch anything. :(

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Weird, it works for me. Is it just black or what? Maybe blocked in the office?

  • ShiningStar

    Just downloaded the app and it’s not working for my. I use wifi in the office.
    Cannot download TV scedule, nor watch anything. :(

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Weird, it works for me. Is it just black or what? Maybe blocked in the office?

  • ShiningStar

    Update got a programm list now, but the show only shows me: Please wait for the next program.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Yeah then it works, NHK World doesn’t always have something on, you gotta check the timetable. It’s getting late in Japan now.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Wup! Some news on right now^^

  • ShiningStar

    Update got a programm list now, but the show only shows me: Please wait for the next program.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Yeah then it works, NHK World doesn’t always have something on, you gotta check the timetable. It’s getting late in Japan now.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Wup! Some news on right now^^

  • http://www.bradleyfarless.com/ Brad F.

    I’ve been using this app for quite a few days. It’s horrible on 3G but over wifi my image and sound are very, very clear.

    I get a little annoyed sometimes at the “wait for next program” messages but it’s free so I can’t complain.

    It would be nice if there were a separate app in Japanese language for when I get better and want to practice by hearing Japanese.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Yeah a version in Japanese would be very nice, but a bit too much to ask for^^

  • http://www.bradleyfarless.com/ Brad F.

    I’ve been using this app for quite a few days. It’s horrible on 3G but over wifi my image and sound are very, very clear.

    I get a little annoyed sometimes at the “wait for next program” messages but it’s free so I can’t complain.

    It would be nice if there were a separate app in Japanese language for when I get better and want to practice by hearing Japanese.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Yeah a version in Japanese would be very nice, but a bit too much to ask for^^

  • http://austrianotaku.com hikky

    Hm, interesting but fails on my iPhone: http://austrianotaku.com/wp-content/2010/02/IMG_0528.jpg
    Vid and sound completely messed up (on Wifi).

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Sometimes it takes a while for it to change to the better quality version on WiFi too, so try keeping it on for a minute or 2. What your looking at is the 3G version (or low-speed version) which is totally useless.

    • http://austrianotaku.com hikky

      Nope, even after 10min it looks like in the screencap above.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Weird, seems like it can’t get the speed it wants then. I can imagine it requires pretty high speeds since the quality difference is huge.

  • http://austrianotaku.com hikky

    Hm, interesting but fails on my iPhone: http://austrianotaku.com/wp-content/2010/02/IMG_0528.jpg
    Vid and sound completely messed up (on Wifi).

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Sometimes it takes a while for it to change to the better quality version on WiFi too, so try keeping it on for a minute or 2. What your looking at is the 3G version (or low-speed version) which is totally useless.

    • http://austrianotaku.com hikky

      Nope, even after 10min it looks like in the screencap above.

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Weird, seems like it can’t get the speed it wants then. I can imagine it requires pretty high speeds since the quality difference is huge.

  • Vtokiu

    Softbank good picture horrible sound on 3G. Wifi better – thanks!!

  • Vtokiu

    Softbank good picture horrible sound on 3G. Wifi better – thanks!!

  • kalleboo

    Cool! I get the good audio version over 3G as well, not just Wifi, probably because Swedish 3G is so fast it might as well be wifi :p

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Haha well, if you’re close to an antenna it might be able to use the WiFi version I guess^^

  • kalleboo

    Cool! I get the good audio version over 3G as well, not just Wifi, probably because Swedish 3G is so fast it might as well be wifi :p

    • http://www.yonasu.com yonasu

      Haha well, if you’re close to an antenna it might be able to use the WiFi version I guess^^

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  • Thi

    Seems like we can’t use it within Japan? Always says “please wait for the next pogram”.

  • Thi

    Seems like we can’t use it within Japan? Always says “please wait for the next pogram”.

  • http://flavors.me/suaracahaya Nur

    It’s in English :-/
    がっかり。。。

    • http://yonasu.com/ yonasu

      Well yeah, NHK World is an English channel. I think you can get KeyHoleTV for the iPhone now though, but I think you need to jailbreak it.

  • http://flavors.me/suaracahaya Nur

    It’s in English :-/
    がっかり。。。

    • http://yonasu.com/ yonasu

      Well yeah, NHK World is an English channel. I think you can get KeyHoleTV for the iPhone now though, but I think you need to jailbreak it.