The new channel consists of NHK’s English TV programs that used to be broadcast via several satellites worldwide, and the translated edition of popular Japanese programs produced by the private TV broadcasters.
If you are outside Japan, you may enjoy watching it only with broadband Internet connectivity. But due to restrictions on broadcast rights, domestic access request from inside Japan is blocked by detecting the viewer’s location by his/her origin IP address.
This project is rooted from the idea of former NHK chairman Keiji Shima, that intends to build up a worldwide 24-hour TV channel in association with BBC and ABC, but he resigned the position because of impeachment scandal and died before he complete what he has thought.
Inspired by brand new 24-hour international channels like France 24, Deutsche Welle and Aljazeera English service, Japanese government and the ruling party have demanded to set up more substantial information resources to let the world know more about Japan in order to gain the country’s presence in international communities.
As Japanese terrestrial TV broadcast switches into digital, broadcasters can no longer bring you the time signals telling accurate time, due to the time lag caused by video/audio compression and decompression processes especially required for digital broadcast and its viewing.
In response to the expectations of the clock’s fans who has lost opportunity to see it, NHK has released several editions of the virtual clock app in forms of Adobe AIR-basd app, iWidget[J] (for NTT DoCoMo’s cellphone handsets) and blog widget for major blog platforms.
On the other hand, individual Macintosh software developer Mr. Nobuatsu Sekine developed and released the iPhone/iPod app a couple of weeks ago, allowing you to read and listen to news scripts provided by Radio Japan or NHK’s overseas broadcast in seven languages – Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.
(This link will launch your iTunes to download the app.)
Since the app shows you the transcripts of news headlines and also makes you hear fluent story reading by native speaking news anchors, it would be a great tool for your daily-basis language learning, and the app developer hopes so.
1-seg (one-seg) is a mobile terrestrial digital audio/video and data broadcasting service in Japan. Usually it airs the same programs simultaneously with the land-based TV channels do.
In March, Japan’s state-run TV/radio broadcaster NHK started broadcasting the 1-seg programs in weekday’s lunch time, specifically designed for office workers having their lunch break. The programming is now called “1-seg 2(one-seg-two)” since it has a new different program content from that of the land-based TV channels.
In the programming, the live show, called “1-seg lunch box”, starts at noon everyday, and popular bilingual anchorwoman Ayako Kisa[J] introduces useful tips, business manners and the previews of nightly drama series aired on the broadcaster’s land-based channel. It ‘s also convenient for busy TV drama fans who have missed to check up the previous episodes but want to catch up the story progress, since the live show sometimes digest previous episodes in a few minutes.
Prior to NHK’s fore-running service launch, Tokyo MX (Tokyo’s local independent TV broadcaster similar to NY1) also started another “one-seg-two” service, which broadcast two programs at a time by using two segments in a channel.
As a result, the service name “one-seg-two” has double meanings which may confuse consumers. As Tokyo MX started the service in last June, the company neglected to register its name as the trademark or the servicemark. Tokyo MX keeps discussing NHK to standardize the name as to stand for a specific feature, but MX’s continuous effort has not yet reached a good conclusion.
Japan’s national TV station NHK is not just a broadcaster but also quite active in technology development. For example, the organization is driving forward the Ultra-HDTV format (7680 x 4320 pixels, also known as Super Vision), which is to be deployed in Japan 2015.
On the web, NHK first expanded to Youtube and starting today, the organization now also offers NHK Street, a mobile web video site. The service is only available to subscribers (315 Yen/2.90 USD/2.00 Euros per month) and can’t be accessed outside Japan.
The crucial point: Users will be able to view video in high quality on their handsets, similar to TV broadcasts. Images will be transmitted at a maximum of 30fps, supposedly the highest in the mobile industry.
Based on the new technology (dubbed “Media Cast Movie”), NHK is now also able to offer full-length broadcasts instead of short clips. The technology was jointly developed by Tokyo-based start-up Aquacast and powerhouse Hitachi.
Japanese copyright holders in the music, TV and movie industry are known to be very protective of their contents when it comes to distribution on the web. Youtube has been “cleaned” several times in the past after complaints filed by media companies from this country.
Now, for the 1st time for a major TV network, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK (aka Japan Broadcasting Corp.) started putting contents online on a NHK channel on Youtube. The channel is dubbed NHKonline.
The first video posted features Japanese super model Fujiwara Norika promoting NHK’s “Save the future” initiative. With the G8 summit in Hokkaido this year casting its shadows ahead, NHK says they would like to raise public attention on the global warming issue by bringing up environmental topics.
NHK will present a total of 20 hours of material, including dramas, music shows and documentaries focusing on the environment on its main TV channel from June 6th to June 8th. There will be some 30 clips shown on Youtube taken from those shows through late July.
This interesting move might pave the way for other Japanese TV networks to go the NHK way. The LDP, Japan’s most powerful political party, was a little faster and started a Youtube channel in December last year.