March 23, 2024

Jme TV (NHK World Premium)

In its announcement for the Jme TV streaming service, NHK Cosmomedia said that "We are planning to add new features [starting in] April." The Roku app arrived at the beginning of March, though it is little more than a remake of the dLibrary Japan app it replaced.

The big new feature is the addition of NHK World Premium as a replacement for TV Japan.

The rollout actually began on March 19. March 20 was the official start date for transitioning legacy TV Japan customers to the new service, with a 30-day free trial period tossed in for current Jme TV and TV Japan subscribers. So I'll stick around for at least another month.

The only noticeable change to Jme is the addition of the three (grossly oversized) buttons pictured above.

Jme Select
NHK World Premium
NHK World Japan

Jme Select uses the same format as NHK World Japan (a six-hour block repeated four times a day) but with content based on the domestic NHK feed. The NHK World Japan button simply mirrors the live stream that is also available at the NHK World Japan website (for free).

The NHK World Premium content is the live stream used in Europe since NHK shut down its European satellite service (JSTV) at the end of October 2023.

A Schedule link has been added to the Jme website and app, though the program guides at the NHK World Japan and NHK World Premium websites are easier to follow. For the latter, plug in your time zone at the top and you're good to go.

I am baffled why NHK Cosmomedia didn't repurpose the NHK World Premium website since the programming is the same. The NHK World Japan and NHK World Premium sites are better designed and far more functional. The Jme website and app have the same lousy user interface.

I have to hope that once everything is up and running, NHK Cosmomedia will rebuild the TV Japan website as the new home page. Though at the current prices, I won't be sticking around to use it in any case.

NHK Cosmomedia grandfathered in a two-tiered subscription plan for dLibrary Japan subscribers, with the VOD tier at $15/month. I might have been tempted at the original $9.99/month rate. That temptation evaporates at $15/month. At $25/month, I don't have to give it a second thought.

So I'm gone after the trial period ends. But I'll still give it a month and a half to see how the whole thing works. The video quality so far is certainly satisfactory.

Related posts

Jme TV
NHK World Japan program schedule
NHK World Premium program schedule

Whither TV Japan
The end of TV Japan
Jme TV (grumpy old man edition)

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# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
3/28/2024 12:25 AM   
Thanks for your continued coverage of this new (old) service. Every step of JME's development to me screams a project manager that had to show their bosses they were making something "new", rather than just attempting to upgrade NHK World Premium/TV Japan & dLibrary into a product fit for 2024 (or at least something that doesn't feel completely out of date).

I'm still debating whether I want to try the service, while I could probably find enough value to justify the annual lump-sum payment I see for $250 USD, I'm not sure I want to reward them for their inability to read the room in terms of the global streaming landscape.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
4/02/2024 1:28 AM   
JME is centralising all offerings after NHK terminated their cable licenses. I don't think they are really misreading the streaming landscape with this. They basically move all their US services to a common OTT platform. That is a trend many niche providers will choose in the future as OTT is cheaper to run and much more flexible than multiple linear channel offerings.

If this sells at $25/month will be up for the market demand to decide, I guess. I guess they will offer more early bird discounts and lower the price altogether if the subscriptions are growing slow.

I know that Jme already has more subscribers than dlibrary ever had though.