On 24th July 2011 Japan will switch to digital TV. During the build up they put a message in corner of the analogue channel saying ‘Analog’ in katakana (アナログ), and at the bottom of the screen was a reminder that the analogue TV will soon be switched off. By moving to digital you can get access to of extra Japanese TV channels of variable quality.
Here is a notice that was put through our letter box reminding of the digital switchover. On the back they even had a helpful map telling you which direction to point your TV aerial in.
With this in mind I thought it was about time that I installed the digital TV box that had been left in my flat by Leo Palace. It was brand new, in its box, and complete with installation instructions fully in Japanese. Fortunately the pictures were easy to follow.
Here is the box which I successfully opened…
To reveal a black digibox, some cables, a remote control, batteries, and some instructions. The first thing I had to do was to insert the conditional access card into the digi box.
Then I plugged in the cables and connected them to the TV.
Here’s the remote control. As well as controls for the digibox you can programme it to adjust the volume, and switch on/off your TV. This was the hardest of the steps as I couldn’t work out what the instructions were trying to say, but with a bit of trial and error I got it working with the TV.
Next I turned it all on, switched the TV to the AV channel, and pressed the button to start the channel scan.
After scanning it got about 12 channels. Some are ‘proper’ channels with a channel number, and some seem to be supplemental channels that don’t get a proper number. Here is a list of the channels I got, along with a link to the Wikipedia page of each. The channels you get will vary from area to area.
|1||011||NHK G||NHK General TV from Japan’s public broadcaster.|
|2||021||NHK E 1||NHK Educational TV|
|-||023||NHK E 3|
|3||031||tvk 1||TV Kanagawa – local station.|
|5||051||TV Asahi||You can visit the HQ in Roppongi.|
|6||061||TBS 1||Tokyo Broadcasting System. The hardest working man on TV – Monta Mino, does the breakfast show.|
|7||071||TV Tokyo 1||Specialises in anime.|
|8||081||Fuji TV||Variety, drama, news, TV, sport|
|9||091||Tokyo MX1||Tokyo Metropolitan Television|
|12||121||OUJ||Open University of Japan|
Here is the main menu screen. Selecting the first option brings up the TV guide.
This is the TV guide, which is fairly self explanatory; you scroll through it to see the programs and can jump to any of the channels from here.
In my case, I just turned the TV off.