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KeyHoleTV: Watch Live Japanese TV Online!

March 2020 update: I have found a better way to watch Japanese TV Online, check out AQ Stream!!!

Have you ever wanted to know how to watch real-time, live Japanese TV for free? Maybe you’re trying to learn Japanese, but want to hear real Japanese and not the type you hear in Anime. Well, there is a free program called KeyHoleTV that will let you do just that. KeyHoleTV is part of a project by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs testing out P2P (peer to peer) technology. You can also stream your live video using the same technique with a program called KeyHoleVideo. While the audio and video isn’t the highest quality, it is watchable. KeyholeTV has a decent, but limited selection of channels. The more prominent channels are TBS, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, and Fuji TV. There are also a few smaller channels and user broadcasts that change randomly. If you’re interested in downloading it, here’s a step by step guide.

1. Download KeyHoleTV

Head over to and download the file labeled “SetupKHTV4.26.exe ” or you can click here: Download KeyHoleTV.

2. Install KeyHoleTV

3. Run KeyHoleTV

When you run KeyHoleTV for the first time, you will see a window like the one below. Just type in a username and password and click “Start Registration” to sign up. You will need this username and password each time you start the application, so don’t lose it!

4. Channel listings

KeyholeTV Starting screen

After successful registration, you will see the channel listings for KeyHoleTV. On this screen, you will see the channel name, a preview picture of what’s currently playing, and the number of viewers watching that specific channel. When you see a high number of people watching, it usually means something good is on. Remember that here in the United States, we are about 14 hours behind JST (Japan Standard Time).

So a lot of the popular shows and Anime will come on at odd times for us. Here is a listing of the current channels as of today. The channels are always changing. Match the beginning of the channel name with the English in red:

KeyholeTV Channel Listings in English

Once you have started watching a channel, you must click the blue stop button to select another channel to watch.

5. Premium Module

New with this version is a Premium module key. By purchasing this key, you will get a faster bitrate. You are probably wondering how much faster it is, so I decided to buy a premium account to test it out. Is it faster? Yes, but not by much. I do not notice any skipping what so ever where I did see very choppy sound sometimes on a standard account. If you are serious about watching Japanese TV Online, it may be worth the purchase.

So there you go. If you are using this to help you with learning Japanese, I hope you get a lot out of KeyHoleTV. I will be updating this page when I see new channels, so bookmark the page or subscribe to my RSS Feed, so you don’t miss anything. Below are a few TV Guide Japan type websites so if you know Japanese, or can figure out what the kanji means, you can have a better idea of what’s playing.

(OUTDATED) A brief explanation of the buttons:

  • KeyholeTV Online Button Logs you on and off of the server. Sometimes you will see errors saying that you are not connected to the server. Just click the button Off, and then back On to log back in.
  • KeyholeTV Mute Button Allows you to mute the sound. Trigger On and Off.
  • KeyholeTV Video Button Allows you to stop and start the video.
  • KeyholeTV Update Channel Listings The channel listings refresh every now-and-then. Use this button to manually update the channel listings for KeyHoleTV.
  • KeyholeTV Watch Channel Button After you have selected a channel in the channel listings window, click the Watch button to view the channel.
  • KeyholeTV Search Channel Listings Right now, you don’t have to worry about this button as there are not many channels available on KeyHoleTV. However, in the future, this button is going to be a must-have.
  • KeyholeTV Chat with the Broadcaster I haven’t seen any broadcasters chatting, but I assume that KeyHoleTV has the option of allowing the viewers to chat with the presenters. There is a popular channel that features actress Risa Ishimoto, not sure if you can chat with her or not.
  • KeyholeTV Video Tab This tab allows you to view the video window.
  • KeyHoleTV Program Tab This tab allows you to view the channel listings.

KeyHoleTV, what will you use it for?

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What do you think?

Written by xorsyst

Comments are closed.


  1. No problem. I was going to write this post a few weeks ago, but my KeyholeTV wasn’t connecting for some reason. I just thought it was a problem with the Keyhole server, so I put the article on the backburner. Turns out it was my firewall that was blocking it! I was so mad that I un-installed it. Glad you liked the article.

  2. Hi all, sounds great !!
    Is there a way to make the player working on Linux (or is there a native linux player) ?
    I tried with Wine but it didn’t work :'(


  3. @Abu: I haven’t heard of a way to make it for with Linux, sorry.
    @Oka: just right click on the image, and selet “save as”.
    @vicious: easy way to find the anime is watch the stations with the most people. usually they are watching anime or a gameshow.

  4. I hope that I can get TBS tonight because they are showing Japanese MMA called dream 1 at 3pm Japanese time tomorrow which is around midnight tonight(-6 gmt) my time. Wish me luck, and thank you!!!!

  5. I know how to save a picture. It’s just that I can’t save this one. When I right-click it only says “Save Background As…”, and not “Save Picture As…”

  6. Hey, thanks a lot, this is great!! Just one question: the guide says: “On this screen you will see the channel name, a preview picture of whats currently playing, and the amount of viewers watching that specific channel. ”
    I can see the channel name and the preview pic, but I can’t find the information about the amount of viewers watching the channel?? Has it been disabled somehow or am I just going blind? :9

  7. Hmm, that is weird. :? Oh well, other than that, it works perfectly so it’s not such a big problem, would’ve just been interesting to see the number of viewers. Thanks anyway!

  8. hello!! thanks for this!!

    I was just wondering if you could add something, if possible. My PC does not support Japanese characters so I have no idea what channel I’m watching (hehe!). It’s all just squares so I can’t even look up what channel it is.

    I was hoping you could post like a guide as to what channel is what based on the channel Thumbnails? Just a request, if its ok.

  9. not to be blunt, but how do i know there is no spyware or trojans in this program?

    if this program comes from the japanese Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs some reference to this fact should be around?

  10. Thank you for recommending this programme! :D I’m really excited to watch some proper TV (finally!) However, like one of the earlier commentators, I don’t seem to have TokyoTV on my list either (if the characters are the same as in your screenshot)

    In terms of the broadcaster part… is it the person doing the streaming/casting?

  11. @xorsyst: Thanks for your reply :) I’ll look forward to Tokyo TV coming back.

    On another note, I watched a bit of a channel called “オダイバ” (Odaiba?) but I can’t seem to find this channel with Google. Does anyone know where I can find the TV schedule please? Thanks!

  12. What are the system requirements for Keyhole TV? I’m running Windows 2000 and I keep getting “Load Library Error 126” when I try to launch the program.

  13. Hmm… i am so happy and at the same time so dissapointed to find this software :)
    I’m happy that i can watch Japanese channels because there is no way of receiving them where i live, i am only dissapointed with the sound quality, and the picture seams to skip lots of frames too.
    Anyway thanks so much for this software ! Thank you :)

  14. Take a look at TVkoo it works at least 50 times better and the sound and video quality are 10/10 :)
    Right now i’m trying to watch a channel with 96 users watching it and theres no picture at all. I guess the p2p thing is not actually working at all …

  15. I was no proposing to go and use TVkoo, i was just saying that with TVkoo i am able to watch channels with great quality and great sound.
    I have the feeling that KeyHoleTV uses archaic audio/video codecs and the P2P doesn’t work (my upload shows it doesn’t).
    I was wondering Why ? Do you have any idea why the quality is so bad ? Or any diea if it will get better ?

  16. Not sure honestly. It definitely isn’t the best quality I have seen, but its watchable. Usually the reason for not using the highest quality bitrates etc is to keep the functionality across the board.

    KeyholeTV isn’t as old as TVkoo and a few other streaming services out there. So in time, I believe we will see things get better. When I originally wrote this post on Valentines day, they were on version 3.02 I believe. In the space of less than 2 months, they have already released 4 versions. They are constantly at work on KeyholeTV.

  17. Are you sure it doesn’t has any kind of spyware or something that can somehow ruin your p2p programs??
    It’s free + Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs makes me think about some kind of conspiracy :S

  18. Check out my march 28th comment. I go into detail about how the company behind KeyholeTV works with the Japanese government on a number of projects for many years. This page has been viewed over 15,000 times and not one person has complained about spyware.

    P2P is an emerging technology that takes the burden and cost off of the designers and lets its users handle the bandwidth needed to make the program works. Enjoy KeyholeTV.

  19. Well i don’t see any upload going on whyle using KeyHoleTV but with TVkoo i upload with 1mb/s and download with 1.5mb/s.
    That’s why i think that P2P doesn’t actually work in KeyHoleTV.
    Anyway … i hope they not only release new version but also improve with new versions :)
    Thanks again for the software.

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