Is Roku’s JapanTV Channel Worth it? (I Say ‘No!’)

Recently a developer called LomitosCrew has released a bunch of new Roku channels related to International content. I was slightly interested in the JapanTV channel. But searching online, I could find very little about whether this channel, or this publisher, was reliable. So, I decided to take the plunge and see for myself.

As of today, December 14 2019, the description for the JapanTV Channel on the Roku says the following:

JapanTV provides streaming version of over the air content of available japanese TV channels. Enjoy your favourite japanese tv shows!”

So… no question: At $0.99 per month, it may have been illegal to have all over-the-air Japanese channel available, in such a way that all content providers were being paid their rights. But I had to check this out, just to be aware of whether such a thing was happening, given that the world of Roku is sort of rule-less.

The Channel Was Not What I Expected.

Upon subscribing to this Roku channel, I was only able to view a single over-the-air channel (despite being promised channels in the app description). That single over-the-air channel – at the time of my checking – appeared to be broadcasting online shopping (although it may have been a long commercial break).

You may also be interested in subscribing to an International channel on your Roku, as released by LomitosCrew.

You may be wondering if it’s worth it.
You have my blessings to do a similar $0.99 experiment.
But in my opinion, my recommendation is that it is not worth it.

The creators of Japan TV have made a Roku channel for just about every international country:
Canada TV, EgyptTV, Poland TV, Turkey TV, India TV, Greece TV, Indonesia TV, Morocco TV, Ukraine TV, Albania TV, Thailand TV, España TV, Italy TV, Brazil TV / Brasil TV.

I haven’t subscribed to any of these, so cannot say with any certainty whether there will be a lot of content available. But please keep my experience in mind, if you are considering subscribing to these channels, in hopes of having access to a lot of content from the country in the channel’s name.

Disappointed in Roku

I understand that Roku is a bit of the Wild Wild West. But shouldn’t there be some oversight into whether an app is delivering on what it’s promising in its description?

Upon unsubscribing from the app, you can give a reason. There are 7 or 8 reasons, and – sadly – none of them are “misrepresentation of content in app description”. :(


  1. Thank you. I almost signed up for Japan TV. Instead I signed up for dLibrary Japan on Roku. They started streaming Jan 2021. This is real. $9.99 per month and they are running Roku Express special. If you pay for 3months fee upfront you will receive Roku express. Bunch of Japanese movies and TV shows and they will get new videos all the time. This service is just started by NHK so you know its quality. OH, you can try this for 7 days free and even you sign up for the Roku Express Special you can cancel it if you don’t like it. They will charge to your account after 7days trial period of over. I am still on trial, but I know I will stay with them.

    1. Oh that’s good to know about dLibrary Japan!! Thanks for the tip!! I certainly like the idea of using a legal service like this, that makes sure that the appropriate payment is made to the content creators! Thank you again. :)

  2. hey thought I’d circle around here again. nothing ever came of my interaction w Roku & just dropped it. I’m guessing it’s just a matter of time when someone will figure out how to do it right. I’ve seen IPTV options and they look just as shady. for the time being, my mom showed me how much ad-free content is on YouTube – it’s amazing and you’d never stumble on any of it unless you search in Thai and retrain your feed to suggest stuff in Thailand! I’m guessing Japan is pretty strict about Japan OTA shows being uploaded to YouTube. seems Thailand is super lax about it!

    1. Oh that’s interesting! I imagine you’re right, that Japan is pretty strict and the broadcasters actively work to remove content from YouTube.
      I’m glad that you found good Thai content, though. Thank you for the update.

  3. I too tried one of their apps, Australian TV, how do you unsubscribe? All it showed was a shopping show and on the other it was like a screensaver. So frustrating! I certainly don’t want them getting another $1.00! If you have info I need to unsubscribe I would appreciate it if you pass it on to me please!

    1. Argggh!! Bastards! Thanks for confirming that the same thing happens for the Australian version. That sucks, though.
      I unsubscribed through the “My account” section of the Roku site at
      Under ‘Manage Account’, there should be link for ‘Manage Your Subscriptions’. I hope this helps!

  4. Hallelujah! thank you for being vocal about this. I’m guessing, much like you, you didn’t think a buck would break the bank so you just tried Japan TV like I tried Thailand TV ( I was hoping to give my parents an interface to TV they love!)

    I’m also guessing you feel the principle of putting a single channel in an app like this feels wrong – i know I do and realized it wasn’t about the money (i mean it was only 99 cents)

    I, too, had a concern over who these developers are – I’m bothered that they contact info is not readily posted on the channel store page.

    I agree some QA is called for here. I feel like you & I are not the only ones who fork over a buck just to peek & who knows how many people do this every month – i had no idea they had a channel for every country – wow.

    I know my BS detector did go off when i noticed they don’t post screenshots (the “it’s only a buck” meme took over :)

    In any case, I’ve been going back & forth with Roku attempting to give them feedback. I noticed after i cancelled, i couldn’t even resubscribe:

    I’ve been trying to get them to fix that the Roku add/remove/subscribe channel logic appears broken and that i do not believe it is a channel content issue and unfortunately the runaround is having me lose a bit of respect from what i think is otherwise a good company.

    I just asked for LomitosCrew’s contact info because surely if they are going to feature their channel, *they* must have spoken to them before putting these channels up – right?

    i think there is *huge* potential to have real TV from countries like Japan and Thailand & it’s a shame it’s not being done correctly & it’s leaving a poor impression by channels like these.

    1. Thank you so much for the thorough and helpful comment.
      Wow, that’s so interesting about being unable to resubscribe after canceling!

      I’m sorry you got burned on this too. Could you let me know if anything productive comes of your feedback to Roku?? I’d be super interested to learn more.

      Thank you again!

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