Post Reply CR Roku App Update: Thoughts and Problems.
81337 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
Offline
Posted 8/15/14 , edited 8/15/14
So first I just want to say: 'Yay finally an app update!' and I am really happy we got one, especially with an HD fix on it.

But... that is about where it stops being good. For me at least.

I rewatch A LOT of series. Having no way to browse through a shows episodes without first having to search for it is mildly annoying. Adding onto that if you have already watched the series/episode you now first have to click on the episode and then proceed to rewind the episode (think old VCR movies here) to get to the beginning. No start from the beginning option.

Another thing, sort of tied to the first, but a problem on it's own. The search function is kind of... out of the way it seems. Rather than just being a choice on the Home screen you have to use the play/pause button to access the Anime, Drama, Search, and Settings functions.

Currently have not watched anything as of yet that is a simulcast, but right now it seems that the new Roku app tailors itself to simulcasts, or shows you have never watched before, that are in your queue. But if something you have watched before is in the queue, it has become completely useless, unless you feel like rewatching that one episode.

I still have more things to test on this such as: What happens when I watch a show I was in the middle of watching, but was a rewatch, will I be able to easily get to the next episode, and if I do will I again have to rewind the entire episode. Or will it be like the other series I wanted to rewatch but had not started and will simply just stay on that one (last) episode with no way to move to a different episode without first searing for it.

Another small peeve and this is just me probably: But the thumbnails look... jarring... I know the videos are in HD now which is great, but the thumbnails for the episodes honestly look like they are SD quality which I am sure is more something to do with blowing up a small picture to let it fit on my larger screen than anything.

As I look into more of the app update I will be posting more thoughts and issues here.

Sadly as it stands right now HD is the only good thing coming from this app update. Otherwise the functions of the older app were preferable.

**UPDATE 1: More problems**
So I just watched a simulcast I was two episodes behind on, it gave no option or anything of going to the next episode anywhere. Meaning I would either 1) Have to get out of the app completely to let it "update" the queue, or 2) search for said simulcast and manually go to the next episode.

I am assuming this works against ALL shows in the queue, effectively meaning that now:
Rewatching shows: frustraingly annoying/practically impossible to do easily.
Binge Watching a completed show: Again frustratingly annoying, especially since you would first have to search for a show and do each episode one by one (have yet to use the search function this way to see how it works, will be next test)
Where as before I could just keep the CR app open and find an episode I wanted to watch on a simulcast, I now have to constantly exit the app and let it "update" to keep things current on the simulcast queue. This is also the only way to "update" lists on your queue for completed shows or rewatches (which you still have to rewind like an old VCR movie to watch from the beginning).

**UPDATE 2: Some pluses**
As was mentioned below, navigation accelerates the longer you hold down, which makes rewinding the episode much faster. Though it would be highly more preferable to just have a start from beginning button as before.

Currently when the app is not being used it seems to go into a sleep mode, turning the screen black. Where as before you had the bouncing Roku logo. This is probably not a big thing for anyone, but for me well I don't turn off my TV anymore, and my TV is in my room, so having this will have one less light on in my room when I am asleep I guess (though it did make for a useful light when midnight restroom trips were called for).

Reiterating from below conversation and what I have already said: The only major + so far is the HD. Which really other than on the scenery porn shows or high action shows, that already looked damn good, this HD effect is less noticeable. So really it feels like right now from my stand point we are sacrificing functionality and navigation of the app, for some shows to just look spectacular in HD, and some other shows to look decent enough on a TV.

**UPDATE 3: Current and Final Thoughts after 12 or so hours of using this app post update**
As it currently stands, the app update is not awful. It is not good. But it is not by far the worst thing there is.

The current set up CR has implemented with this update is for daily simulcast use. It is painfully obvious they did not set this up expecting people to binge watch through multiple episodes of one series, rewatch any shows, or have a reason to go back to the beginning of a show.

It is perfect probably if all you do is watch simulcasts, and keep up with them every week.

You get on the app, you watch your shows for the day/week, get out of the app to use a different part of the Roku, come back another day/next week and watch again. The app works the same as the last version where it tracks where you left off, so if you finish an episode, it will go to the next, this works perfectly for simulcasts, you watch the episode, get out of the app, the app "updates" so the next episode will be ready. You would only do this once a week for simulcasts so it wouldn't be jarring at all.

The downside is this effects all shows. So you can not binge watch shows without having to get off the app and start it back up, after every single episode. So every 20 or so mins you would have to get out of the app, back in, start the next episode, with all the loading this takes, it can easily take 15-30 seconds per episode just to do this, probably longer.

I'm sure in time, most of us will get used to this feature, but I really do hope us users can push CR to get a fix in, there NEEDS to be a better way to move between episodes right now for series we are binge watching, rewatching, or have a lot of episodes. Going to the search function for something in your queue seems way too roundabout, as well as the fact I don't want to have to close the app and restart it after EVERY episode.

Really the biggest downside right now seems to just be the navigation for me. Everything else is not that big of an annoyance, or an improvement.
42650 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
60 / M / Earth
Offline
Posted 8/15/14
So HD is good, I can see why many people wanted that now, but it isn't an astounding change, more like you start to notice details you hadn't seen before. I think I agree that the functionality loss in the queue isn't really worth the difference.

It is weird to press the pause button. My thumb tends to stay there afterwards instead of moving up to the OK button and I sometimes wonder what I did wrong that I didn't go where I thought I was going.

In the plus column, the whole catalog is available now, in the alphabetical stripe, and the popular stripe, too, but that's too awkward to navigate effectively. But since the genre browsing is gone, that makes me depend even more on the website.

At least the alphabetical stripe goes a full letter at a time with fast forward and reverse buttons. But it takes longer to start the "Anime" icon vs. the search one, probably cause it has to load the whole catalog.

I did notice that most navigations "accelerate". The longer you hold a button, the faster it moves. Video rewind, stripe navigation, etc. Thought that was kind of neat, at least.

I find the new queue functionality much less pleasing. To advance to the next episode after watching (without going to the search or full listings), you have to completely exit the app and come back in. Not fun if your show is somewhere in the middle of your queue. So now I have to use a browser to pop the show to the top of the queue, watch an episode, exit, come back in and play. Kind of workable if you are focused on only one show, but I'm not that single-minded usually.

For the problem of rewinding watched episodes, that can be alleviated somewhat by using Beardfist's Chrome (browser) extension to "reset" all the episodes of a show at once. At least then they all start at the beginning. (but you have to manually start to watch the first one sometimes to get it to be first in the new queue.

It does "remember" where you left off though, both within episodes and also which episode you left off, just like it used to. It just doesn't feel that way due to the radically different navigation.

I find it less friendly that you have to navigate to the listings page to remove something from your queue now. All in all, I'll be using the browser more to manipulate things. I already was popping the next days shows to the top of my queue every night... Still no way to manipulate the queue order from the app that I can see, so that's no different.

The history stripe does work now, where before it would just give me an error. But it only goes back about 40 or so shows, so re-watching there is only useful if it is the last episode, and then it is in the order you watched it, so that can be a bit chaotic...

All in all, your happiness with it just depends on how important HD is to you. Some of the navigation is just acclimation, but the queue navigation loss is probably the thing I miss most.
81337 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
Offline
Posted 8/15/14

asharka wrote:

So HD is good, I can see why many people wanted that now, but it isn't an astounding change, more like you start to notice details you hadn't seen before. I think I agree that the functionality loss in the queue isn't really worth the difference.

It is weird to press the pause button. My thumb tends to stay there afterwards instead of moving up to the OK button and I sometimes wonder what I did wrong that I didn't go where I thought I was going.


Yeah being honest, with a 50" HDTV using and HDMI cable for the Roku, I am sure I will only notice the boost in quality on scenery/action porn-esque shows, like SAO, Glasslip, AgK, etc... pretty much the ones that already looked really good without having to worry about HD.


In the plus column, the whole catalog is available now, in the alphabetical stripe, and the popular stripe, too, but that's too awkward to navigate effectively. But since the genre browsing is gone, that makes me depend even more on the website.

At least the alphabetical stripe goes a full letter at a time with fast forward and reverse buttons. But it takes longer to start the "Anime" icon vs. the search one, probably cause it has to load the whole catalog.


I assume this is in the Anime/Drama list sections, which I have yet to touch yet, I personally never really did before anyway, I am on the site enough I usually found the shows I wanted to watch while on the site, then used the Roku to just watch.


I did notice that most navigations "accelerate". The longer you hold a button, the faster it moves. Video rewind, stripe navigation, etc. Thought that was kind of neat, at least.


I did notice that and was just about to add it into my list as a plus actually. It makes getting to the beginning nicer, but really it was much more useful to just have the play from beginning button.


I find the new queue functionality much less pleasing. To advance to the next episode after watching (without going to the search or full listings), you have to completely exit the app and come back in. Not fun if your show is somewhere in the middle of your queue. So now I have to use a browser to pop the show to the top of the queue, watch an episode, exit, come back in and play. Kind of workable if you are focused on only one show, but I'm not that single-minded usually.


THIS is probably the most jarring/glaringly big problem I have. I used to barely tab out of the Roku app except on Sundays when I used Netflix or when I added multiple new shows to the queue so it could "update". Now it is pretty much saying I have to do it after every episode if I am focused on one show, or after every few simulcast episodes to make sure it registers I watched it.


For the problem of rewinding watched episodes, that can be alleviated somewhat by using Beardfist's Chrome (browser) extension to "reset" all the episodes of a show at once. At least then they all start at the beginning. (but you have to manually start to watch the first one sometimes to get it to be first in the new queue.

It does "remember" where you left off though, both within episodes and also which episode you left off, just like it used to. It just doesn't feel that way due to the radically different navigation.


Yeah I noticed it remembered where I was after I did the first in and out of the app.


I find it less friendly that you have to navigate to the listings page to remove something from your queue now. All in all, I'll be using the browser more to manipulate things. I already was popping the next days shows to the top of my queue every night... Still no way to manipulate the queue order from the app that I can see, so that's no different.

The history stripe does work now, where before it would just give me an error. But it only goes back about 40 or so shows, so re-watching there is only useful if it is the last episode, and then it is in the order you watched it, so that can be a bit chaotic...


Like you I did most of my manipulation of the queue and such on the website, so removing from the queue usually came from there as well. But I do remember it used to have the add/remove from queue option before, and I probably used it a few times after finishing a series.


All in all, your happiness with it just depends on how important HD is to you. Some of the navigation is just acclimation, but the queue navigation loss is probably the thing I miss most.


This is pretty much the biggest part, HD will be the clincher for some shows. But personally don't think it was worth the loss of easier navigation and functionality.

Also another plus maybe, will see what it does/doesn't do here. But it seems my TV now goes into some sort of sleep mode with the CR app active, rather than the bouncing Roku emblem.
9013 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/15/14
The D-pad on the roku remote was intended to be used to navigate though previous & next episodes with left and right arrow, as well as to go back with the up arrow, but it seems that only the up arrow on the D-pad works for now. Hopefully it gets fixed soon cause navigating through episodes in the queue is a pain in da butt now
HD seems fine and everything else seems to be working nicely
39007 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39
Offline
Posted 8/15/14 , edited 8/15/14
WOW This is awful.

Everything everyone posted as being a minor annoyance is just so much worse then a minor annoyance. It would be really cool if someone who actually watches videos using the roku would desing the interface. Either this is a mountain full of bugs or someone decided to be different for the sake of being different. On a positive note, it can't get much worse.
29141 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/15/14 , edited 8/15/14
Thanks for upgrading to HD.

However the UI changes to the queue, e.g., binge watching problems, the slow load times, the jangly graphics in the thumbnails, the lousy navigation, the lack of play from beginning, are a major disappointment.

Also, I have a problem with white lines in my display. Since I don't have these problems on Amazon or Netflix (using all the same devices and in HD) and didn't have the problem when it was SD, I'm guessing this is the fault of the update as well. Using a Roku 1.
50047 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M / WV
Offline
Posted 8/16/14 , edited 8/16/14
Rewinding and fast forwarding don't give a thumbnail or time stamp so you are really just guessing where you hit play again.

Another issue I have that others may or may not is when video is paused. When paused, the top 1/4 or 1/3 of the screen is blocked. Sometimes I like to pause the video to catch up with dialogue or take in all that is on screen to catch details or what not. The PS3 has done this for years and I stopped using it for streaming purposes for this very reason.
11026 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/16/14
Give me back Genre browsing!

I suggest everyone send a complaint to Crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.com/help?topic=contact

Unfortunately since this is the PS3 version ported over, I doubt they will care to fix it.
One Punch Mod
85879 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / Boston-ish
Offline
Posted 8/16/14 , edited 8/16/14

psychjay wrote:

Give me back Genre browsing!

I suggest everyone send a complaint to Crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.com/help?topic=contact


Why should people do that, when Bjaker (Support Manager) has opened a topic explicitly for collecting suggestions such as this.

Please post your feedback, with specific suggestions, in the Roku 2.0 Help Us Improve thread which is stickied at the top of this Roku forum.
You must be logged in to post.