Note (January 26, 2013): The screenshots used in this post are outdated – the jpPlayer application has been updated since I last used it.
So, my plans to watch a bunch of Japanese dramas isn’t working out. So I figured I’d try streaming Japanese TV 24/7 – maybe just having something on in the background (that isn’t music) will help with learning the language.
There’s a wonderful topic at D-addicts – Comparing Options for Watching Japanese TV from Overseas
But what about some more recent reviews?
jpPlayer – updated November 26, 2012
jpPlayer – User Interface
On the left is what jpPlayer looks like with the channel listing popped up. (It’ll go away if you click off.) To access the channel listing, you have to click at far right of application.
The right are the options that appear on the user interface when you hover along the right side. I don’t know what any of them mean. Haha.
The interface is easy to use once you figure out things (took me forever to get the channel listing to appear.) However, the application itself kind of sucks. It’s an executable that uses IE. You can’t resize the window or move the window unless 1) resize the window in the .ini file and restart the application or 2) manually move the window using Windows Move option. (Which for Windows 7 was impossible for me to figure out – How do I move an off-screen Window in Windows 7?)
jpPlayer – Video Quality
Three sample screenshots from Channel NECO, WOWOW, and TV Asahi. Channel NECO is in windowed mode, the remaining two are in fullscreen mode. Saved as png so no quality loss from what I can see on the screen.
Note: When in full screen mode, the status bar at the bottom only appears if you hover towards the bottom. I kept it there so you could see the download rate. It goes away as long as you aren’t hovering over it.
jpPlayer – Channels
38 channels. The listing on the website is out of date, the channels I had were:
Movie Plus HD
J sports Plus
J sports 1
J sports 2
jpPlayer – Review *added Nov. 26, 2012*
I like jpPlayer quite a bit, but I’ve since stopped using it and switched over to iHome. No fault of jpPlayer. You can see for yourself the quality and channel selection above, you can also look at the main site that has streaming video.
The quality is great. Great channel selection. As for pricing, everyone’s opinion is different, but $30 a month is less than you’d be paying for cable TV in the States. And the fact that you have a monthly option is good if you’re cautious about putting your money towards a streaming TV source.
That all being said, jpPlayer is a live streaming app. So if your time zone doesn’t align well with what you want to watch in Japan, then you probably won’t be catching everything you want to catch. But I can say that jpPlayer app is solid. (At least if you have a Windows PC.)