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Where to find streaming Japanese live-action contents legally?

#1
Hi all,
I am quite happy to pay a (reasonable) subscription fee to any service that offers streaming contents, preferably a good mix of drama and documentary. I am not interested in anime. Must be regularly refreshed / updated with new contents.

I'd prefer an Android app, but a website will do if it's mobile-friendly. A set-top box isn't really what I am looking for.

Any thoughts? I am aware of Crunchyroll, but as far as I can tell it's got much more anime than drama, and no documentary.

Thanks.
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#2
Abema TV (https://abema.tv/) has free Japanese TV if you live in Japan. They have drama channels for Japanese and Western TV dramas.
If you live outside Japan, then use a good VPN service.

You can also try DramaFever, which you have to pay for. But I think a lot of dramas might be K-dramas.

Another option might be TV Japan (https://tvjapan.net/en/). They are a TV channel, but you have to live in the right area.
Edited: 2017-02-09, 2:21 pm
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#3
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I am in the UK.
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#4
I don't know of any. I just know there's a lot "illegal" options but for me that's the only option since I don't live in Japan. You just google douga + tv show name and this site will have countless other shows listed on the side. Then I usually download the flash video file because I can fastforward/rewind (I think this is SO necessary for learning Japanese and hence I don't understand why people are asking for live-streams)
and to ensure I can watch it since links do die. there's also clubbox which is a korean site but there's a lot of japanese content on there ( you just gotta google).

I did notice that tv websites are following american tv and they do stream the latest episodes for FREE like
they do it for this show and probably others on http://www.ntv.co.jp/hanseikai/ 最新話を無料配信中 and ゴッドタン http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/god/ . At one point I got this proxy server add-on to work on firefox so it seems like I live in Japan but then it didn't work the next week and so I gave up on that. The one time it did work the quality was awesome.... probably 720p.

there's also stuff on youtube... clips and whole eps of stuff
Edited: 2017-02-09, 6:27 pm
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#5
You might want to check out TVer (http://tver.jp) which sometimes works for me, but not always.  I'm not sure if it's an issue with my browser, or if it's checking country IP or what.

If you are ok with a more grey market route, there is pandora.tv, which usually has stuff uploaded pretty soon after airing.  I use a program to download the file so I can watch it on my TV instead of computer.

One service to keep an eye on might be Sling TV, which offers a lot of international options but not Japanese yet (https://www.sling.com/international).  I wrote them an email requesting Japanese, but no reply.
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#6
All the stuff pandora is probably on clubbox but higher quality since it's the original video. ANyways google if you're interested
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#7
I'd argue VPNing into Japanese Netflix is legal considering you still have to pay for it.
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#8
It's an explicit violation of Netflix's terms of service, so while you can certainly argue that it's not immoral/unethical/wrong, arguing that it's not illegal is somewhat dodgier ground, I think.
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#9
(2017-02-15, 5:14 am)Ppm215 Wrote: It's an explicit violation of Netflix's terms of service, so while you can certainly argue that it's not immoral/unethical/wrong, arguing that it's not illegal is somewhat dodgier ground, I think.

Not just this, but Netflix have really cracked down on this lately, and it no longer works for me.
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#10
How legal are options such as IPTV sold on https://japannettv.com/shop/index.php?route=common/home ??
You pay money for it, however much of the services are coming from CHina.. hehe
Most popular app for Android seems to be Sakura.
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#11
(2017-02-16, 1:03 pm)Woodgar Wrote: Not just this, but Netflix have really cracked down on this lately, and it no longer works for me.

A possible option would be to buy server time in the country you want Netflix from and setup a VPN there. Its in no way cheaper than traditional VPN services out there and requires some technical know-how to do it, but it will probably work. (Amazon servers are blocked apparently)
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#12
(2017-02-17, 5:58 am)Kvix86 Wrote:
(2017-02-16, 1:03 pm)Woodgar Wrote: Not just this, but Netflix have really cracked down on this lately, and it no longer works for me.

A possible option would be to buy server time in the country you want Netflix from and setup a VPN there. Its in no way cheaper than traditional VPN services out there and requires some technical know-how to do it, but it will probably work. (Amazon servers are blocked apparently)

I have thought of trying this, but as you say Amazon servers are already blocked, and no doubt many other popular services are or soon will be blocked as well. 

Further, don't these services charge you by the amount of data you download, whereas many VPNs are a flat fee? I can see this type of thing getting pretty expensive, even if you could get it to work.
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#13
(2017-02-17, 4:41 am)loonytik Wrote: How legal are options such as IPTV sold on https://japannettv.com/shop/index.php?route=common/home ??
You pay money for it, however much of the services are coming from CHina.. hehe
Most popular app for Android seems to be Sakura.

They're very much not legal, and are susceptible to random server outages or to completely disappearing (and taking your money with them).

That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them; you're a grown up, and we all do what we feel we have to in order to watch Japanese content abroad. It sucks that the only legal options for this are TV Japan on cable and the select programs approved for US distrib on Netflix. In the former case, you get a constant stream of Japanese, but have to watch things like "The Insects of Japan" and "A Day in the Life of a Blade of Grass in Fukuoka". In the latter case, you are limited to a crap ton of anime and a very shallow pool of dramas, which sucks for those of us who'd rather watch 逃げ恥 or other recent J-dramas.

Until a major Japanese tv channel strikes a deal with Sling or a similar service, it is what it is.
Edited: 2017-02-18, 4:17 am
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#14
Thank you for all the info. I might have to consider JapanNet in the absence of of anything better and legit. If I do pay for it I'll only pay in small instalments. I noticed that the app is not Google approved. Makes you slightly worried.
Edited: 2017-02-18, 6:15 pm
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#15
(2017-02-18, 4:41 pm)tokaimoto Wrote: Thank you for all the info. I might have to consider JapanNet in the absence of of anything better and legit. If I do pay for it I'll only pay in small instalments. I noticed that the app is not Google approved. Makes you slightly worried.

The JapanNet service I've had the most luck with is JPHD, which has a Windows app that supports it. It's mostly stable, and low cost compared to other options. It's also managed to stick around now for several years.

I still have a subscription for LiveCA. It's hellaciously expensive, but has really high quality streaming.
Edited: 2017-02-18, 6:48 pm
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#16
(2017-02-18, 4:14 am)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote:
(2017-02-17, 4:41 am)loonytik Wrote: How legal are options such as IPTV sold on https://japannettv.com/shop/index.php?route=common/home ??
You pay money for it, however much of the services are coming from CHina.. hehe
Most popular app for Android seems to be Sakura.

They're very much not legal, and are susceptible to random server outages or to completely disappearing (and taking your money with them).

That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them; you're a grown up, and we all do what we feel we have to in order to watch Japanese content abroad. It sucks that the only legal options for this are TV Japan on cable and the select programs approved for US distrib on Netflix. In the former case, you get a constant stream of Japanese, but have to watch things like "The Insects of Japan" and "A Day in the Life of a Blade of Grass in Fukuoka". In the latter case, you are limited to a crap ton of anime and a very shallow pool of dramas, which sucks for those of us who'd rather watch 逃げ恥 or other recent J-dramas.

Until a major Japanese tv channel strikes a deal with Sling or a similar service, it is what it is.

Oh I totally agree with you! I was just wondering, the above makes me a bit iffy to pay 1 year infront =/ for the subscription. but is the best we can get.
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