Review: Crunchyroll using XBox 360 / PS3 / PC
27271 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 6/21/14 , edited 11/29/14
Update: I got a Sony 60" LED TV, and retested. On a screen this size you could see every little imperfection and I could see compression artifacts on all platforms, but none are really worse than the other. Source material used was Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works episode 3 (plenty of dark scenes everywhere).

However, it looks like surround matrixing is messed up (no surround on PS3 / Xbox360, same signal going to all channels on PC). I checked and it's not my equipment- Crunchyroll's somehow not encoding sound correctly or something. Other apps and sites work fine in this regard, not Crunchyroll.
I've reported these issues.

I have also found that for sound it is better to stick with HDMI than optical TOSLINK. The bass weakens with TOSLINK (it is of course possible that it has to do with how this particular receiver handles TOSLINK)


==========
Since XBox 360 streaming recently went free for non-gold members I thought I'd write a comparison review between watching anime on CR using XB360, PS3, and PC.



Test Equipment:

Input:
XBox 360 slim (HDMI out)
PS3 slim (optical audio out)
PC with Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 motherboard (Dolby output through optical), Firefox browser on Windows 8.1

Output:
Onkyo TX-SR607 7.1 surround sound receiver and speaker set (Mode: Dolby Digital EX)
Toshiba 46" LED full-backlit w/ local dimming

Test Material:
No Game No Life episodes 8, 9, 10, 11

============

Results:

PQ:

HD Picture quality pretty much the same on all platforms, take your pick.

Sound:

-Xbox has great Dolby surround, everything well defined except I wished that the bass could be slightly stronger in places.
-PS3 has good Dolby surround, except the bass is kind of strange, slightly off balanced towards the loud side. The sound stage 3D feel isn't quite as good as Xbox.
-PC: The Gigabyte motherboard outputs respectable Dolby surround except things sound a bit "flat" and a bit more front-center in comparison to either of the game consoles.

User interface:

XBox 360: Very nice progress / search bar during playback. Has a little preview thumbnail as you fast forward or backwards, which is a nice touch. Variable speed FF / reverse during search. Can search through whole episode. One really nice thing about the CR Xbox 360 app is that it adjusts streaming quality based on connection speed, so if someone else in the house is gobbling up bandwidth or if your connection slows then the app automatically switches to lower quality. On PS3 you're kinda stuck stuttering, and on the PC it's the same until you manually switch quality.
PS3: Hm. For some reason, I couldn't search all the way through an episode. I can FF to maybe somewhere in the middle of an episode, where it suddenly either skips towards the back of the episode or starts the next episode. No search thumb-nailing.
PC: Really easy to search forwards and backwards through whole episodes, to be expected. No search thumbnail either, but it's no big deal. Best thing is, it happens on the CR site so you can do your CR stuff right there.

Conclusion:

If you actually have a choice between the three, I'd recommend watching on XBox 360 for the sound quality and the user interface. If you like the convenience of the CR website, just stick with a computer- You could always try getting a fancy sound card or a different motherboard later (make sure it could output a real Dolby or DTS signal for a receiver to work with, because relying on artifical modes to dress up stereo inputs won't sound nearly as good). Whichever way you go, I really do recommend watching in surround sound- Crank it up and be in the middle of the action / drama.

Edit: Using HDMI instead of optical on the PS3 apparently made the FF problem go away. I don't know whether it's the internet bandwidth on a different day or it's something with the PS3. I'll have to try hooking up the optical again to make sure


46382 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / M / Sweden
Online
Posted 6/21/14


I don't wanna be a d**k, but this should probably in the console gaming topic.
One Punch Mod
85881 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / Boston-ish
Offline
Posted 6/21/14

TheOmegaForce70941 wrote:

I don't wanna be a d**k, but this should probably in the console gaming topic.


Well, while it is about gaming consoles, it's not about gaming, so I'll leave it here unless the OP prefers to have it moved.
6166 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 6/21/14
Nice review. Thanks for sharing.
24265 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M
Offline
Posted 6/21/14
My word, what a setup. I agree with your verdict OP. The whole experience for me is better on Xbox.
14029 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / Cheshire UK
Offline
Posted 6/21/14
The problem with watching on 360 is that sometimes it will skip ahead at certain parts. The only way to see everything that happened after the skip is to rewind a second after it originally skipped. if you go back too far it will skip again.
27271 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 6/21/14 , edited 6/21/14

lorreen wrote:

Well, while it is about gaming consoles, it's not about gaming, so I'll leave it here unless the OP prefers to have it moved.


Wait, this was all about proving the superiority of the PC Master Race...
Just kidding. I don't really know where this belonged so I stuck it in General. You can move it where it's best suited.


Failism wrote:

The problem with watching on 360 is that sometimes it will skip ahead at certain parts. The only way to see everything that happened after the skip is to rewind a second after it originally skipped. if you go back too far it will skip again.


It hasn't happened to me so far, but have you reported that issue to CR? If it's an app bug it could be fixed.
20894 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M
Offline
Posted 6/21/14
Any thought on Xbox 360 Optical Audio Outpout?
33369 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Socal
Offline
Posted 6/21/14
I've used the xbox and the pc

I have recently been using pc but I might go to xbox again since it's just been sitting there. Thing I like about pc is that it's quick and easy, the annoying part is the screen adjust on my pc and then I have to switch it back. Xbox is just go online, load, and then go through their browsing, find it, then play it.
1687 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 6/21/14
I do have Crunchyroll on Xbob 360, it looks like it works well, just like the app/website
I would go on it, but...
Do I really need a membership????
14029 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / Cheshire UK
Offline
Posted 6/22/14




Failism wrote:

The problem with watching on 360 is that sometimes it will skip ahead at certain parts. The only way to see everything that happened after the skip is to rewind a second after it originally skipped. if you go back too far it will skip again.


It hasn't happened to me so far, but have you reported that issue to CR? If it's an app bug it could be fixed.



I'm fairly sure they already know. It's a problem with the encoding IIRC.
20471 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M / Pinellas Park, FL
Offline
Posted 6/22/14 , edited 6/22/14
1) PS3 does have that infamous app crashing problem but then I haven't been on it in a while.

2) The mobile platforms seem to function the best for me (in performance, quality, and much more stable connections) and those could use a review as well.
27271 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 6/23/14 , edited 6/23/14

IngramIV wrote:

Any thought on Xbox 360 Optical Audio Outpout?


Since I only have 2 optical inputs on the receiver, I had to do some reconfiguration on the receiver, plus trying to get that short optical cable to reach the Xbox which is farther away... "Interesting exercise".

However, the result for some reason wasn't good. The surround volume on optical was kind of small, and I don't hear some of those random sound effects (e.g. the "whoosh" right before Shiro goes through the door on the roof top on episode 11). Could be the difference in the receiver, could be something else. The HDMI / optical difference on the PS3 on the other hand wasn't great, if there at all.


Otaku-ish wrote:

I do have Crunchyroll on Xbob 360, it looks like it works well, just like the app/website
I would go on it, but...
Do I really need a membership????


Yeah =\ ...but I think the membership is worth it for the simulcasts. Besides that, if there is a free service on the Xbox they'd have to do some extra programming to limit the resolution the way they do it on the PC.


Romulus023 wrote:

1) PS3 does have that infamous app crashing problem but then I haven't been on it in a while.

2) The mobile platforms seem to function the best for me (in performance, quality, and much more stable connections) and those could use a review as well.


My wife has an iPad and I have a Nexus 7. As far as I could remember, the video playback on them wasn't in HD resolution... I'll have to double check.
15014 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / M
Offline
Posted 11/30/14
I think the mobile app should be included too since that is something that needs alot of updates
You must be logged in to post.