Is NHK Plus really free, and what's the difference between the NHK Plus fee and NHK On Demand?

In this article, we will explain if NHK Plus is really free, and we will also explain in detail what to look out for while using NHK Plus and the difference between the NHK Plus fee and NHK On Demand later on.

I missed an NHK program I wanted to watch."

I heard that I can watch NHK Plus, but is it really free?

I want to watch all the episodes of past NHK programs.

There are probably people who are wondering "Can I watch all episodes of past NHK programs? This article will answer these questions.

First, we will explain if using NHK Plus is really free, and also explain in detail what you need to pay attention to while using NHK Plus and the difference between NHK Plus fee and NHK On Demand later.

What is NHK Plus?

NHK Plus is one of the video streaming services released by NHK. It is positioned as a service that supplements TV broadcasts, allowing viewers to simultaneously watch terrestrial programs on devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs via the Internet. Distribution can be divided into two types: "Simultaneous broadcast distribution" and "delivery of missed programs.

Simultaneous broadcast distribution

Real-time viewing of "Sogo TV" and "E-tele" is available.

Follow-up playback" and "Rewind playback" are also supported.

Free of charge

Missed Program Delivery

Missed programs, catch-up, use of playlists, etc.

Subscription fees apply.

Official site NHK Plus

How much is the NHK Plus fee?

NHK Plus is free, but if you want to use all functions, you need to pay a subscription fee.

Basically, NHK Plus is free of charge, but the functions available are limited and anyone can watch "General TV" and "E-tele" in real time for free. If you want to use all functions such as missed broadcasts, catch-up functions, and playlists, you must pay a subscription fee.

If you want to use all the functions such as missed broadcasts, catch-up functions, playlists, etc., you will need to pay NHK subscription fees.

Official NHK subscription fee website

*You can use NHK Plus only by paying for the "terrestrial subscription".

Another attractive feature is that up to 5 people can use the service at the same time with one subscription, so if you already pay the subscription fee at home, just register NHK Plus and any member of your family can use it.

To watch NHK Plus, you need to register your ID.

You can also use [Simultaneous Broadcasting Service] and [Missed Programs Service] with a one-month time limit by using the "provisional registration" method!

If you want to enjoy both "Simultaneous Broadcasting Service" and "Missed Programs Service" of NHK Plus, you need to register for an NHK Plus ID. In other words, you cannot use all the functions of NHK Plus without paying the subscription fee. However, there are two types of ID registration: "provisional registration" and "full registration. With "provisional registration," you can use both "Simultaneous Broadcasting" and "Delivery of Missed Programs" for a period of one month without paying the subscription fee and without entering your personal information. Please note that if you do not "Full Registration" by the deadline, your password and ID will become invalid and you will not be able to use NHK Plus.

Also, if you only want to watch real-time programs, you do not need to register your NHK Plus ID. If you want to watch NHK programs on the go and do not have a TV, please use this service.

What are the features of NHK Plus?

The most attractive feature of NHK Plus is that it is free of charge. It is a privilege of NHK to be able to enjoy the contents distributed by "General TV" and "E-tele" anywhere. If you are a subscriber, you can also watch "missed programs" anytime and as many times as you want within 7 days after the broadcast ends.

In other words, if you want to watch real-time programs such as news and sports broadcasts but do not have a TV, or if you miss your favorite programs and cannot record them, you can choose between [Simultaneous Broadcasting] and [Missed Program Delivery] according to your own convenience.

NHK Plus is available only in the Japan region.

If you are only watching on TV, you can enjoy NHK programs overseas, but unfortunately, the use of NHK Plus is limited to Japan. So, if you are abroad for study or business trip, you will not be able to watch either NHK real-time or missed programs on the Internet.

You can watch the missed broadcasts one week after the broadcast.

With NHK Plus, as long as you register your ID, you can watch the programs you have missed anytime within a week. Specifically, "missed distribution" can be viewed up to one week (168 hours) after the program is broadcast. For example, in the case of the on-air drama "Kamakura-dono no 13inin", the latest episode is available for "missed delivery" for 7 days. If the broadcast time is 10/2 (Sun.) 7:00pm-7:44pm, the "missed distribution" period will be 10/9 (Sun.) 7:44pm.

The "missed" streaming period on NHK Plus is basically within a week, but for local programs, it is 14 days (except for the 6:00 p.m. news). If you are interested in local programs that are not streamed at the same time, you can check out all the local information you are interested in.

Real-time can be viewed without the need for ID registration

As mentioned above, if you want to enjoy both [Simultaneous Broadcasting] and [Missed Programs] at the same time, you need to register for an NHK Plus ID. However, you can watch real-time on NHK Plus without ID registration. (There is a time lag of about 30 seconds due to the live transmission over the Internet. Be careful of the information time in the event of a disaster, etc.!)

Next, we will explain how to use NHK Plus when you want to experience NHK Plus as a trial. The procedure is as follows

  1. Install the NHK Plus app on your device.
  2. Open the NHK Plus app and tap "Start Now".
  3. Confirm the contents and tap "Agree and Continue".
  4. Tap "Confirm and Start" to enter the viewing screen.

What is the difference between NHK Plus and NHK On Demand?

Did you know that in addition to NHK Plus, there is also NHK On Demand, a video delivery service operated by NHK? The names may sound similar, but they are actually different. The following is an explanation of the differences between NHK Plus and NHK On Demand.

Features of NHK Plus

  1. Broadcasting mode: [Simultaneous broadcasts] and [Delivery of missed programs].
  2. Channels: "General TV" and "E-television
  3. Fees: Free (subscription fees must be paid)
  4. Content of distribution: Only the latest programs
  5. Supported devices: Smartphones, tablets, PCs, compatible TVs
  6. Other: Free of charge without ID registration, domestic use only, up to 5 devices per account can be viewed simultaneously, free viewing of missed content up to 1 week immediately after broadcast, simultaneous distribution and real-time viewing

Features of NHK on Demand

  1. Broadcasting format: On-demand delivery
  2. Channels: NHK General, E-TV, BS1, BS Premium
  3. Fee: All-you-can-watch package: 990 yen (tax included)

Single item purchase: ¥105 - ¥315 (tax included)

  1. Content: Latest + past titles; more than 10,000 titles
  2. Supported devices: PCs, smartphones, tablets

NHK On Demand itself does not support TV viewing, so if you want to watch on a TV screen, you will need to use another company (via Amazon Prime Video, U-NEXT, etc.)

  1. Other: Domestic use only, virtually free for up to one month via U-NEXT (limited to the first time).

The differences between NHK Plus and NHK On Demand are summarized in the table below.

== == NHK Plus

NHK Plus

NHK On Demand

Monthly fee (tax included)

Simultaneous broadcasts] → Free of charge

Free of charge

All-you-can-watch package: 990 yen

Single item purchase: ¥105 - ¥315


General TV and E-television

NHK General, E-television, BS1, BS Premium

Number of programs

On air + latest productions (for the past week)

Latest + past productions; more than 1,000 productions

Broadcasting format

Simultaneous distribution + missed programs

On-demand delivery

Supported devices

Smartphones, tablets, PCs, compatible TVs

Smartphones, tablets, PCs, compatible TVs

Not compatible with TV viewing (via other companies)

In other words, anyone can use NHK Plus for free, even if they do not have a TV for real-time programming. Furthermore, if you already pay subscription fees at home, you can also enjoy the past week's worth of missed programs just by registering, so if you don't use NHK Plus, you're missing out.

 However, if you want to "watch past NHK programs" or "watch all episodes of your favorite NHK programs from the first episode to the latest episode", we recommend you to use NHK On Demand. Moreover, if you use NHK On Demand via U-NEXT, you can watch programs using a free trial. In addition to NHK programs, you can also enjoy movies, animations, and other works that are available for unlimited viewing on U-NEXT. We encourage you to try it out.

How to watch all-you-can-watch NHK's missed programs

To watch NHK programs, we recommend NHK Plus for real-time programs and NHK On Demand for all past episodes.

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • U-NEXT

As mentioned above, we recommend using U-NEXT for watching NHK programs because it offers a free trial and you can purchase NHK On Demand's "All you can watch package" with the points you receive and use it practically free of charge. However, please note that no matter which video delivery service you use, the use of NHK On Demand is an additional subscription.

We will explain in detail below.

Amazon Prime Video

NHK On Demand can also be viewed via Amazon Prime Video.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can subscribe to the "All you can watch package" for 990 yen per month (tax included) by simply clicking on the "All you can watch package" and watching NHK on Demand. For a total monthly fee of 1,490 yen, you can enjoy unlimited viewing of a variety of genres and more than 10,000 masterpieces previously available on NHK On Demand. In addition, the NHK On Demand application itself does not offer fast forward/reverse or playback speed changes, but with Amazon Prime Video, you can use these features. It is also a great way to watch missed programs on the big screen of your TV.

However, there is no free trial for the "NHK Marugoto Unlimited Watch Pack" that Amazon Prime Video handles. It is easy to sign up with a simple click, and be aware that you will be charged 990 yen at the moment of registration.

If you are a regular Amazon user, we recommend watching NHK programs via Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime offers a 30-day free trial. If you are not yet a member, click here to join.               → Amazon Prime HP

If you are already a member of Amazon Prime, click the following button for an additional subscription to NHK on Demand.     → Amazon "NHK on Demand" Channel Registration Page


NHK On Demand can also be viewed via U-NEXT.

If you make an additional subscription to NHK On Demand's "All you can watch package" on U-NEXT, you can experience NHK On Demand for free for one month. You can watch various NHK programs such as Taiga Dramas and TV serials. Moreover, you can enjoy unlimited viewing of about 260,000 videos, not only NHK programs.

The monthly fee for U-NEXT is 2,189 yen (including tax), which is slightly higher than Amazon Prime, but you will receive 1,200 yen worth of points each month, which you can use to purchase NHK On Demand's "All You Can Watch Pack". 990 yen for NHK On Demand, plus 1,199 yen for U You can also think of it as unlimited viewing and reading of 180,000 contents of U- NEXT. Plus, you get 220 yen in points every month, so isn't that an even better deal?

Also, unlike Amazon Prime Video, U-NEXT offers a 31-day free trial, and when you sign up for the free trial, you will be rewarded with special 1,000 yen worth of points. If you sign up for NHK On Demand with the points granted, you can use NHK On Demand virtually for free.

During the 31-day free trial period, you can watch not only NHK's missed programs, but also foreign movies and anime as much as you want.

Click here for a free trial of U-NEXT >> Try U-NEXT with a free trial

>> U-NEXT free trial application page (NHK special 1,000 point discount)

Download NHK Plus videos with FlixPal downloader

If recording NHK Plus videos takes a long time, the download method is recommended. Here, we would like to introduce the download software 【FlixPal Downloader】.

FlixPal Download er] supports not only subscription services including NHK Plus, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, hulu, HBO Max, Paravi, U-NEXT, but also TVer, NHK Plus, FOD, etc. You can download various videos from free video subscription services with the date of delivery.

FlixPal allows you to upload videos in HD, Full HD, and 4K quality. (When uploading HBO Max videos, up to 4K quality is supported.) This section explains how to upload NHK Plus and other videos to FlixPal.

1. visit FlixPal's official website and download this software to your computer.

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2. After installation, launch FlixPal and paste the URL of the NHK PLUS site into the search box of the built-in browser to access the site. [FlixPal has a built-in browser, so you can also access common sites such as YouTube and Twitter directly].

3. Next, log in to NHK PLUS and find the video you want to download.

4. Go to the playback page of the video you want to download, select the quality you want, and click "Download Now. If you want to download it along with other videos later, click "Add to Queue.

5. The video will then begin downloading. Click "Downloading" on the left side of the screen to check the progress of the video download.


There are two ways to watch NHK programs through the Internet. The first is by using NHK Plus, and the second is by using NHK On Demand. Both are video streaming services operated by NHK, but we recommend using NHK Plus for free if you want to watch only real-time programs, and NHK On Demand if you want to watch all episodes of past programs.

In addition, NHK On Demand can be viewed via Amazon Prime Video and U-NEXT. If you use U-NEXT, a free trial is offered, and you can view NHK On Demand virtually free of charge, which is highly recommended.

FlixPal downloader
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