How to Use Nico Nico Douga

What Is Nico Nico Douga?
Nico Nico Douga (ニコニコ動画), also called "Nico Douga" or simply "Nico Nico", is a Japanese video site. It's similar to YouTube. When translated to English, "Nico Nico Douga" means "Smiling Video"...which is why their logo is a TV with a face inside.

Part 1: Joining Nico Nico Douga | Part 2: Watching Live Videos | Part 3: Using Timeshift

Part 1: Joining Nico Nico Douga
NOTE: Nico Douga is now available in English!! This section can be ignored if you want.

Registration is pretty easy, but there are a lot of steps involved. There are several websites that tell you what to do, step by step. You can visit one of the sites below, or use a search engine to find something else:

When you finish registering your account, please read "Part 2" of this page.

Part 2: Watching Live Videos
NOTE: Certain broadcasts (such as sporting events) might be marked "Japan Only", and will block foreign IP addresses.

In most cases, the URL to your live video will be posted weeks in advance. The URLs look similar to this:

NOTE: Those paragraphs you see [in the image above] describe what the video will be about.

1 - Video Airdate: when the video will air. Written in YYYY/MM/DD format (ex: 2010/12/23). The kanji at the end is just the day of the week [ex: (木) means (Thurs)].

2 - "Doors Open" Time: this is the earliest time you can enter the broadcast room. The time is written in 24-hour/"Army" format (ex: 14:57). You can convert it to your timezone on this page. As stated earlier, you should enter the broadcast room at this time, to avoid getting locked (or kicked) out.

3 - "On Air" Time: this is when the broadcast actually starts (ex: 15:00).

4 - Countdown Clock: counts the remaining time until the video starts. Written in HH:MM format (ex: 1時間 6分). 時間 means "hour(s)", and 分 means "minute(s)". This clock is real-time, so it'll automatically update WITHOUT you refreshing the page.

5 - Doors/Gateway: these doors will "open" at the times announced above (#2 and #3). The silver door is for free members; the gold door is for premium members. Gold members pay a subscription fee, and are NEVER kicked out of a video room. (^^) Open and closed doors look like this:

6 - Order a Premium Account: click here to buy a premium account. It's a tricky process that (usually) involves a Japanese credit card, or a Japanese convenience store. I won't explain how to buy an account here, but you can search online to learn more.

1 - Comments Window - user-submitted comments go here. These comments will also scroll across the video. Sometimes this is cool (ex: someone made a really nice ASCII art), but it's mostly annoying (as you can see in the image above). To stop the scrolling comments, click on the button (which I highlighted in red) that looks like this:

2 - Comments Textbox - enter your comments here. They'll be displayed in Area #1 (and they'll also scroll on the video too, if you didn't turn this feature off).

3 - Comments Attributes - click the green button to change the way your comments look. Edit its font size, font color, etc.

Part 3: Using Timeshift
The JP niconico site is now available in English. To view the JP niconico Live site in English, scroll to the bottom of the page and change the "Language" setting to "English (US)" from the drop-up list. The user interface is in English, but program titles and descriptions are still in Japanese.

To use timeshift, you must be logged in. You can log in or sign up for a free account by clicking on red "Login" option on the page header bar on the niconico Live page.

Free users can reserve a timeshift until 30 minutes before a program's start time. Premium users can reserve a timeshift as long as timeshift is available for that program, even after its broadcast.

To timeshift a program, click on the button with a clock on it that says "Reserve for Timeshift" on the program page or the niconico Live page. A popup will appear saying that the timeshifted program will be available for viewing 30 minutes after its broadcast and how long the program will be available for timeshift viewing. Click the "Reserve Timeshift" button to reserve the timeshift. The popup will then change to one saying that the program has been "Added to timeshift reservation."

You can see your list of timeshifts by clicking the "Check the Timeshift reservation on My Page" link on the popup. You can also access "My Page" by hovering over the "Menu" option located on the upper right hand corner of the page header bar and selecting "My Page" from the drop-down list.

Premium users have 30 timeshift slots. With a free account, you have 10 timeshift slots. To watch a timeshifted program, click "Watch." Viewing rights for timeshifted programs differs from program to program, so always check if there is a date and time (in red) by which you can watch a timeshift before it expires. For most timeshifts, once you start watching the program, you are given 24 hours + program duration until your viewing rights expire. So if you start watching something, you should finish watching it as soon as possible, and check the viewing rights before and after if you started watching a timeshift.

If you use up all your timeshift slots, you will need to delete a program to clear up a slot. You can do so by clicking on the red "[Delete]" option.