Best way to view Crunchyroll on TV?
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Posted 4/18/10
I was wondering if anyone knew the best (relatively cheap) way to view Crunchyroll on a TV in full 720p? I currently have a PS3, but it has a hard time running anything past SD quality, and navigating CR is a mess in it.

Here's the options I've looked at:

Apple TV (with Boxee) - Looking at ~$200 range for one of these; don't know how well it works with full 720p videos, anyone know?

Small computer (e.g. the Zotac MAG) - ~$300 price range, and again don't know how well it'll run 720p video

Laptop (netbook or standard size) - $300-500, not sure how well a netbook will do for the video, but I know the standard laptops won't have a problem.

Anyone have experience with any of these? I don't mind spending a bit more if I'll get more use out of the device (such as a laptop). Looking at the prices it seems the cheapest way is the Apple TV, assuming CR runs well on it, but there might be other options out there I haven't thought of.
Revolver Dogelot
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Posted 4/18/10
I built a HTPC (home theater PC) for a friend of mine a little over a month ago that ran 500-600 dollars and he hooks it via HDMI to his LCD HDTV. It works just fine and looks great. The only catch is that a PC or laptop will not also output audio on a video card output (which is what you need to get the video to your tv) without either hooking up the spdif cable on your motherboard to graphics card (which can be fairly complicated to impossible) or you could opt for some speakers which are honestly not that bad as long as you don't go uber high end. It is also possible you might have a pc with a native SPDIF (optical audio) output from the motherboards built in audio which most modern HDTV's actually support though in my experience this hasn't become the norm yet.

Now cost wise I would bet the Boxee would be the least expensive and it definitely works. But if you want the highest quality video and high quality audio you pretty much have to run it through a PC to a TV.

hope my post was needlessly complex enough for you.
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Posted 4/19/10 , edited 4/19/10

Karkarov wrote:

The only catch is that a PC or laptop will not also output audio on a video card output (which is what you need to get the video to your tv) without either hooking up the spdif cable on your motherboard to graphics card (which can be fairly complicated to impossible) or you could opt for some speakers which are honestly not that bad as long as you don't go uber high end.


Kinda weird, when you think about it, because HDMI was designed to support both video/audio transfer. Still, what I do is I use a typical audio jack (3.5mm) to stereo RCA into an amplifier from the audio out (headphone), which in my opinion is a much cheaper option (assuming you have a sound system set up with your TV system). Alternatively, you can just route the audio to the TV if it has built-in speakers, or if you have a DVD set-up, you can re-route the sound through the DVD player if it has an audio in.




EDIT: something you might want to read, just in case you didn't see it, already:
Boxee cannot view 480p or 720p video
Revolver Dogelot
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Posted 4/19/10 , edited 4/19/10

edsamacKinda weird, when you think about it, because HDMI was designed to support both video/audio transfer. Still, what I do is I use a typical audio jack (3.5mm) to stereo RCA into an amplifier from the audio out (headphone), which in my opinion is a much cheaper option (assuming you have a sound system set up with your TV system). Alternatively, you can just route the audio to the TV if it has built-in speakers, or if you have a DVD set-up, you can re-route the sound through the DVD player if it has an audio in.


The issue is that most motherboard manufacturers haven't started supporting on board HDMI with onboard audio chipsets yet for the most part. There are a couple boards I have seen that do this but they aren't really made for performance as time goes on though we should see this step up quite a bit which will make the prospect of an HTPC much cheaper.

However as a result your only option for now is to get a separate graphics card which you connect to the TV via HDMI or DVI and that will net you extremely good picture quality so long as you get a decent card (anything in the $80+ range with HDMI should be fine). However gfx cards as you might guess from the name only export the video and unless connected in a sorta complex way to the motherboard with special cables they can't export audio at all. Even then only gfx cards with HDMI out will export that audio because the other connection types found on them only support video.

And yeah, Boxee is not the quality solution thats for sure. It is alot cheaper than what I suggest though. You are right about the headset Ed that actually works really well and I do it sometimes myself when I want to watch something or listen to music late at night. Most people who have the bank for HDTV's and HTPC's also have the extra dough to get the speakers too though. Lets face it, we aren't talking about the average mans solution here.
Ronin
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Posted 4/19/10 , edited 4/19/10
I only get TVs that natively support a bunch of different inputs (VGA, DVI, HDMI, RCA, 3.5mm audio, RCA audio, S/PDIF, etc) , makes it much easier to connect whatever I want to my TV. That plus a Network Switch and and KVM Switch so I don't have to fiddle with the cables too much.
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Posted 4/19/10
Just a few weeks ago I purchased an Acer Revo 3610 to use as an HTPC. Its specs are very similar to the Zotac box you referenced - same processor, same ION graphics. It works well as a media box but CR has a problem with it. You can read the details in my post here http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-624091/subtitles-causing-video-stutter/.

The short version is the videos themselves play fine. Even at 720P they play smoothly (as long as you're running Flash 10.1 and recent Nvidia drivers). The problem is with the soft subtitles. Every time a line of subtitles appears or disappears from the screen there is a noticeable stutter in the video. If I turn off the subtitles it's perfect. I have yet to figure out what is causing this. Logic would indicate the CPU was too underpowered for the job, but the resource monitor didn't show any excessive CPU usage during playback. On the contrary, there still seemed to be plenty of headroom for the CPU. Other people have noticed this issue even on far more powerful PCs than my Atom box. Hopefully this will get resolved at some point, but it's something to be aware of before you go the small PC/netbook route.

As for Boxee, I've installed it on my HTPC and as the others are saying, the Boxee Beta is still VERY Beta. The CR app only plays SD versions of videos, and that's when I get it to play at all (it usually doesn't). When it does play the Flash video isn't hardware accelerated (despite the fact that I have Flash 10.1 installed) so the SD video is very choppy on my HTPC. At this point Boxee is not the way you want to go to watch CR. Hopefully this will all be cleaned up by the time Boxee goes final. If you want CR on your TV right now you'll still need to go through a web browser.

There are a few more options coming in the near future. The first is the Popbox from Sybas (the company that made the Popcorn Hour boxes). It's a settop box that plays various Internet media content. Cruncyroll is actually one of the media content partners for the Popbox. Now it's not out yet so we don't know how it performs with CR videos, but since CR is an official content provider for the box one would assume it won't have any problems with it. It's scheduled for Spring 2010, so it should be coming out any time now. It's something to keep an eye on.
http://www.popbox.com/

The second option is the Boxee Box by D-Link, which is coming out later this year. Like I said earlier, currently Boxee isn't ready for prime time, but the software should (hopefully) be polished by the time they roll out their branded hardware.
http://www.boxee.tv/box

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Posted 4/20/10
Thanks for all the replies everyone; definately lots of ideas.

I'm scrapping the Boxee options since as you all said it only plays SD video (and poorly at that).

That popbox seems something to keep my eye on; I'll have to see what the verdict is with CR once it gets released, expecially if it's more affordable than a high powered HTPC, and if Crunchyroll streams the videos to it in a better manner than Flash (being a partner, I can see them getting a direct stream unlike the Boxee app), it might be the smoothest option.

Guess I can wait a few more months
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Posted 4/20/10
Just to clarify, Boxee should be able to support HD but just not in this BETA stage since high quality videos were stuttering on it. Boxee Box will most likely fully support HD when it comes out. Plus, I'm sure they'll use hardware that supports Flash 10.1's hardware acceleration which will make it smoothly play HD videos in Flash elements. But yea, waiting for concrete info is your best bet.
Posted 10/29/10 , edited 10/29/10
I spent a fortune customizing my laptop on the dell site to get optimum playback capabilities for Full HD and Blu-ray play/writing. I simply connect it to my HD TV via HDMI. That's all I was after, something to play Full HD and Blu-ray and also be able to connect well to HD TV. The battery life sucks though seeing it's got powerful processors it's constantly plugged in to a wall socket whenever I'm watching a movie or an anime marathon on CR. If I new I would unexpectedly spend so much I should have got a top end Sony Vaio laptop instead, that way I could have the one TV remote manage all three products including PS3 and have taken advantage of the free Sony PS3 promomtion they were doing with the Vaio. I already got a free PS3 when I bought my HD TV. I'm just greedy.
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Posted 12/28/10
CR, please do consider writing a TV, PS3 or Xbox app.
I have a brand new LG TV that gets Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Cinema now, Youtube etc, all built into the set.
What it can't get is Crunchyroll :(
I also have a Wii and a Playstation3, those can get Netflix, but they cant get Crunchyroll.
so, the way I have to watch Anime is through the PS3 and it's media streamer app
that accesses my home network and can transcode my downloaded Anime and play it at 720p or even 1080p.
I'd much rather get a subscription to Crunchyroll and not have to go through the whole download, assemble, unarchive mess.

Please, please write whatever apps, or make whatever deals you need to make this happen, there's a lot of us
who would like to come out from the cold and join CR. :)

Ronin
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Posted 12/28/10

Starman97 wrote:

CR, please do consider writing a TV, PS3 or Xbox app.
I have a brand new LG TV that gets Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Cinema now, Youtube etc, all built into the set.
What it can't get is Crunchyroll :(
I also have a Wii and a Playstation3, those can get Netflix, but they cant get Crunchyroll.
so, the way I have to watch Anime is through the PS3 and it's media streamer app
that accesses my home network and can transcode my downloaded Anime and play it at 720p or even 1080p.
I'd much rather get a subscription to Crunchyroll and not have to go through the whole download, assemble, unarchive mess.

Please, please write whatever apps, or make whatever deals you need to make this happen, there's a lot of us
who would like to come out from the cold and join CR. :)



With our iOS and Android apps out we've covered a large chunk of the new mobile market so our next new project will most likely be PS3 so more people can easily watch our videos on their TVs but we're still gathering information on how to set that up. So I can't say for sure if it will actually be our next project.
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Posted 10/11/11

Starman97 wrote:

CR, please do consider writing a TV, PS3 or Xbox app.
I have a brand new LG TV that gets Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Cinema now, Youtube etc, all built into the set.
What it can't get is Crunchyroll :(
I also have a Wii and a Playstation3, those can get Netflix, but they cant get Crunchyroll.
so, the way I have to watch Anime is through the PS3 and it's media streamer app
that accesses my home network and can transcode my downloaded Anime and play it at 720p or even 1080p.
I'd much rather get a subscription to Crunchyroll and not have to go through the whole download, assemble, unarchive mess.

Please, please write whatever apps, or make whatever deals you need to make this happen, there's a lot of us
who would like to come out from the cold and join CR. :)



I second this! I also recently purchased a new LG tv and LG BluRay player; they both play Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, and some other Cinema program? I would love to see Crunchyroll as an app through Wii or another gaming system and would happily pay for it.
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Posted 10/11/11
I use the boxee application on my laptop. I was under the impression that any laptop with an i class processor (Nehalem or Sandy Bridge) can out put sound over HDMI. My laptop also has an IR sensor so I can use my remote to control the boxee app.
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Is there any progress regarding the popcorn hour app?
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