Digital TV in Japan and setting up the digibox

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.

japan tv channels

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.

japan digital tv switchover notice

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…

japan digital tv digibox 1

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.

japan digital tv digibox 2

Then I plugged in the cables and connected them to the TV.

japan digital tv digibox 3

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.

japan digital tv digibox 4

Next I turned it all on, switched the TV to the AV channel, and pressed the button to start the channel scan.

japan digital tv digibox 5

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.

Number Channel Name Details
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.
4 041 NTV Nippon Television
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
092 Tokyo MX2
11 111 イッツコムチャンネル (jp)
112 イッツコムチャンネル
12 121 OUJ Open University of Japan

Here is the main menu screen. Selecting the first option brings up the TV guide.

japan digital tv digibox 6

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.

japan digital tv digibox 7

In my case, I just turned the TV off.

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