KeyHoleTV: Watch Live Japanese TV Online!

Have you ever wanted to know how to watch real-time, live Japanese TV for free? Maybe you’re trying to learn Japanese, but want to hear real Japanese, and not the type you just hear in Anime. Well there is a free program called KeyHoleTV that will let you do just that. KeyHoleTV is part of a project by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs testing out P2P (peer to peer) technology. You can also stream your own live video using the same technology with a program called KeyHoleVideo. While the audio and video isn’t the highest quality, it is definitely watchable. KeyholeTV has a decent, but limited selection of channels. The bigger channels are TBS, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, and Fuji TV. There area also a few smaller channels and user broadcasts that change randomly. If you’re interested in downloading it, here’s a step by step guide.

Side Note: The added a few new features with KeyholeTV version 3.04+. First if you double click the video window, it will open up another window so you can just have the video playing without the rest of the buttons. Also, if you click the button “TOP MOST ON” it will make it so the window stays on top of whatever you are doing!

1. Download KeyHoleTV
Head over to http://www.v2p.jp/video/Viewer/Windows and download the file labeled “SetupKHTV3.13.exe” or you can just click here: Download KeyHoleTV. Also available for Linux and Mac OSX.

Watch Japanese TV online for Free

2. Install KeyHoleTV
Select English, or which ever language you are most comfortable reading, and install the program.

3. Run KeyHoleTV
After the install, run the program and then you are going to be presented with the following screen:

KeyholeTV: Starting Screen

In this screen, you will see various buttons, and the main channel guide. Below I will include a guide to the channels so you know what you’re looking at. A brief explanation of the buttons:

  • KeyholeTV Online Button Logs you on and off of the server. Sometimes you will see errors saying that you are not connected to the server. Just click the button Off, and then back On to log back in.
  • KeyholeTV Mute Button Allows you to mute the sound. Trigger On and Off.
  • KeyholeTV Video Button Allows you to stop and start the video.
  • KeyholeTV Update Channel Listings The channel listings refreshes every now-and-then. Use this button to manually update the channel listings for KeyHoleTV.
  • KeyholeTV Watch Channel Button After you have selected a channel in the channel listings window, click the Watch button to view the channel.
  • KeyholeTV Search Channel Listings Right now, you don’t have to worry about this button as there are not many channels available on KeyHoleTV. However in the future, this button is going to be a must have.
  • KeyholeTV Chat with the Broadcaster I haven’t seen any broadcasters chatting, but I assume that KeyHoleTV has the option of allowing the viewers to chat with the broadcasters. There is a popular channel that features actress Risa Ishimoto, not sure if you can chat with her or not.
  • KeyholeTV Video Tab This tab allows you to view the video window.
  • KeyHoleTV Program Tab This tabe allows you to view the channel listings.

4. Channel listings

This is the channel listings for KeyHoleTV. On this screen you will see the channel name, a preview picture of whats currently playing, and the amount of viewers watching that specific channel. When you see a high number of people watching, it usually means something good is on. Remember that here in the United States, we are about 14 hours behind JST (Japan Standard Time). So a lot of the popular shows and Anime will come on at odd times for us. Here is a listing of the current channels as of today. The channels are always changing. Match the beginning of the channel name with the English in red:

KeyholeTV Channel Listings in English

So there you go. If you are using this to help you with learning Japanese, I hope you get a lot out of KeyHoleTV. I will be updating this page when I see new channels, so bookmark the page or subscribe to my RSS Feed so you don’t miss anything. Below are a few TV Guide Japan type websites so if you know Japanese, or can figure out what the kanji means, you can have a better idea of what’s playing.


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