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Post Reply Crunchyroll Roku Information Update!
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/28/14

Bjaker wrote:Also, @Riandisa, would you be able to let us know what type of Roku you have? The bar at the top of the screen should fade out!!! So this sounds a little weird!

Thanks!
-B


I'm using a Roku XS. The bar does fade out while the video is playing, but it stays up the entire time while paused until unpaused.

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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/28/14

Overall I'm quite happy with it, and they are working on the issues with the queue. Pretty sure they got the message about all of the legitimate issues and problems users are having.
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Posted 8/28/14

If you press the * key when paused, the bar goes away.
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/28/14

Bjaker wrote: Also, @Riandisa, would you be able to let us know what type of Roku you have? The bar at the top of the screen should fade out!!! So this sounds a little weird!

Thanks!
-B

I had that happen to me just last night ... trying to FF past the opening in the last Nobunago Concerto, the lag in the Android Roku controller app was longer than normal and the orange bar was already halfway across the episode when it showed up. Trying to get back to the start in slower jumps, I got into a state where the bar at the top of the screen was staying on an the RW shown by the bar wasn't happening, for two or three efforts, until one of the RW's worked and put me back at the beginning of the episode, from which I was able to FF to near the end of the OP.

I think my model is 2400C ~ its the second iteration of the Roku HD in the square box (not the Roku HD in the hockey puck).

Also, regarding this:

sena3927 wrote:


Riandisa wrote: I'm using a Roku XS. The bar does fade out while the video is playing, but it stays up the entire time while paused until unpaused.

If you press the * key when paused, the bar goes away.

That's how it normally works, but it didn't work like that when the RW was in the middle of misbehaving (I have the [*] button because I am using the Android Roku app ~ my physical IR controller doesn't have that button, but I prefer the tablet controller ~ since it works on the local network, I don't have to worry about line of sight to the Roku box).
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 9/14/14
I started writing responses to several of your notes, but honestly, I don't want ANYTHING to obscure this one, so I've deleted the rest.


SailorBee wrote:

4.) "Design" - We want a streamlined identity. The design is based on the current playstation application that has had the design user-tested with lots of positive feedback, which is another reason we decided to go with it. We eventually want all of our applications to look the same when they can.


(emphasis mine)

Okay, so this is where my biggest problem with Crunchyroll is right now. I actually have a huge gripe about something Baker just said, but I'll address it here, since this is the same subject.

Someone else pointed out the massive discrepency between the positive feedback CR claims to have received, and the nearly-unanimous negative feedback, nay, overt hatred, we all see in stark contrast here on the forum.

Am I right that the positive feedback you both reference was feedback given specifically for the PS3 version?

If so, then yes, I'd believe Playstation app has good feedback. For a system where video playback is supported mostly by a game controller, it does a decent job and I'm sure people are content with it. It even has pretty nearly all of the features one desires.

And yes, I admit this is your attempt to bring us an app that you had good feedback on. That is a valid thing to want to do.

However, in soliciting no feedback from Roku users on the ported version, you have completely failed to recognize that the Roku port was very poorly executed, deficient in many ways when compared to the PS3 version, and outright broken in many ways. It is NOT comparable in quality to the PS3 app.

You cannot use good the reviews from the PS3's clean, original implementation to certify and defend a very poor imitation on this new platform. That is erroneous at best, and dishonest at worst. It's like porting Halo to a Game Boy Advance and saying, "Well, people on Xbox said it was great!"

---

As an aside, if your devs had successfully ported the app, with features intact and without game-breaking bugs front-and-center, I don't think people would be complaining, so don't be going on about how we don't agree with your vision for the product. That ain't the problem here.
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Posted 8/28/14
Still, not happy that you all forced an untested/unfinished application on us, but at least these fixes will make the Roku App tolerable again.

I also have to agree with the issue listed below. I have tons of items in my queue and being able to skip by pages instead of one by one, REALLY comes in handy on some of the longer list. It would be nice to have this feature added back.

Now I'll just go and figure out if I should use my phone or the computer to try and marathon all the series that are about to go back into the vault.


asharka wrote:


SailorBee wrote:
Here is a new look at how a show will appear in the Queue!

When you access details about the show, you will be presented with the option of viewing the full episode listing,
as well as remove it directly from the queue from this page!


So here's a scenerio. I add a long anime, like Space Brothers, to my queue. It has 99 episodes, which I can't watch in one sitting. I get to episode 53, stop and come back later.

But later, I'm fuzzy on episode 52 so I want to rewatch that first. When I go to the (new) list of episodes to go back one position, does it drop me on episode 1 instead, and I have to scroll through 51 button pushes to get where I want to start, or does it drop in on episode 52, as I would hope, the place where I left off, so I only have to arrow back one show?

Dropping in at episode 1 every time and having to scroll over to where you are is what happens if you go to the current anime or search sections and view episode the lists there, so I'm hoping that behavior isn't replicated into the new functionality queue. It needs to remember where you left off watching and put you there, or at least show the episodes as "watched" somehow without having to start them one at a time to view the progress bar for each.


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Posted 8/28/14
Thank you Guys for everything you do. The Queue was a major let down for me, but with every upgrade there will be bumps. One suggestion that came to my mind to throw out for future updates is a Beta Test round. I don't know if you have the capacity to isolate the rollout of your app updates for a few hundred or so members using various Roku, iTV, FireTV etc... That would get you realtime data over the course of a few days or weeks prior to the big reveal. If you already do this then please just take this as an extra comment on it.
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/28/14
Hello.

I would like to support Riandisa's comments, particularly in regards to the position, size and length of visibility the pause/status window. It seems too large and opaque given the minimal information it provides. It effectively blocks secondary subs found with multiple character conversations and narrative speech. Attempting to follow the secondary subs which appear at the beginning of episode 1 of Suruga Devil was a very frustrating experience. In fact, I gave up on the Roku XS last night and will connect my laptop to the TV tonight to watch the show.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment and look forward to the refinements/improvements mentioned in this thread.
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/30/14
So, if I read this correctly us roku users are having an app UI designed for PS3, which is pretty much universally hated by roku users, which is not at all optimized for use with a roku foisted on us just so CR can feel warm and fuzzy about "brand recognition"? Oh, and before I forget, there is absolutely zero chance of us roku users getting back the UI we like and that works well with our devices, right?
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 9/14/14
Hi, SailorBee, Bjaker just referred me to you post here. Hope you are having a nice day over there in the Bay Area.


SailorBee wrote:

A. BASIC PRODUCT QUALITY

1.) "Testing" - Something that has been really exciting about Crunchyroll this year, is we have had the opportunity to grow our QA team and we are continually improving our testing process. As far as User Acceptance Testing that's a really great suggestion, and has been successful with other platform releases and we will work towards conducting UAT on all of our devices and applications going forward.

An issue to think about is the difference between QA as in "meeting specification" and the issues of the quality of the specification. The problem that nowTV users and some other models have is QA as far as meeting the basic specification ~ "this is supposed to work on all Roku models".

Beta testing might have caught that, but only if any of the beta testers had the affected models.

With Crunchyroll still being a relatively small shop compared to many of the big media companies you are directly or indirectly competing against, I understand that you can't directly bench test against, for example, all 19 models of Roku that have been produced over the past six years. In that kind of setting, a closed beta test can reveal issues on hardware you don't have on hand. If unable to put together a closed beta test, it would be a reasonable contingency to have a private channel version of the prior working build available for those users with hardware you have not physically tested against that experience problems due to the "first testing code in the production roll-out" issue.

By contrast, the User Interface problems with using the "play" button as a menu button, or not having access to an episode list from the queue. is not about broken code to implement a specification, but about a broken design. Its troubling that QA testers didn't bring at least some of these problems to your attention, since it suggests that the testing they were doing did not extend to include basic UI testing procedures like specifying a set of tasks to be accomplished and logging the steps required to do so.

Beta testing would have certainly caught that, since a large number of users with a working video player for their model of Roku would have encountered one or several of the UI problems in the first build of the rewrite.


4.) "Design" - We want a streamlined identity. The design is based on the current playstation application that has had the design user-tested with lots of positive feedback, which is another reason we decided to go with it. We eventually want all of our applications to look the same when they can.

Yes, but you do have to be conscious of the fact that the PS4 application was introduced against a different background ... the prior Roku app was in general terms the most useable and intuitive Roku channel I've used on a regular basis, which has at various times included Netflix, Funimation, HuluPlus, Crackle, Viewster, and various Youtube private channels (just to list the ones that have anime).

So unlike the Playstation context, in replacing your prior Roku channel, you were competing head to head against the best in class as far as ease of use and intuitive design.

And you also have to be conscious of the fact that in moving a console app into the context of a SmartTV channel, some choices that work well with a streaming app controlled by a D-pad, 4 fire button diamond and two shoulder button controller need to be generalized to be appropriate for a generic SmartTV controller with, commonly, directions, Select, FF, Play/Pause and Rewind, and additional, often system specific, additional shortcut buttons.


6.) As for " Is there anyone at Crunchyroll willing to stand up and say that this app needs to be rolled back and re-architected?" We do not feel as though that is the case. We are all here trying to help you right now, and we are taking the steps to add as many features you guys value as possible. This application is not going to be rolled back, and this UI is consistent with our other platforms and devices.

So that is the issue here ~ if consistency with your other platforms and devices comes at the clear cost of a usability downgrade for existing Roku users, it suggests that your other platforms and devices have never been given the same usability features that Roku users were already accustomed to.

There are, it seems, two additional features that the rewrite of the Roku channel offers that were not available before. If those features had arrived without any loss of existing ease of use, the majority of complaints would have been from those users with broken video streaming.


Our design is a carefully thought out process ...

This whole episode shows that this is more an ambition of where you want to end up than an already achieved level.

A carefully thought out process wouldn't have someone holding any version of SmartTV controller, with an episode highlighted in the screen, and when they press [play], instead of the episode playing, a menu pops up. A carefully thought out process wouldn't have replaced a queue of series pages with a queue of episodes without a way to get to the series list in the queue.

The test of a "carefully through out process" is whether it ends up asking all the questions that needed to be asked. Hopefully when the hustle and bustle of getting a less broken patch rolled out has passed, y'all will sit down and think through the places in the process where questions were not asked that should have been.

Fingers crossed for a successful roll-out of the second build of the rewrite. And be sure to Hydrate, Sailor Bee ... always important to remember to hydrate when you're working hard.

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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/30/14
I have been a Crunchyroll watcher on the Roku for three years. I have had almost no complaints with the service I was paying for.

My biggest problem with the whole update is that I was never considered. I use Crunchyroll almost exclusively from my Roku so I was completely blindsided by the new app. I don't post in the forums nor do I read them often. The new app was dumped in my lap with no instructions and a button assignment that was completely different than any app I have used. When I went to the forums for answers there was barely any response from Crunchroll staff. The responses I saw were inadequate. No tutorial, no real explanation, and no sense of responsibility for the users frustration.

I believe Crunchyroll was trying to improve overall, I just don't think they considered the Roku users enough. Why wasn't there something on my Roku channel to tell me what was going on? Where was the tutorial or button map in the forums on release day? Why do you seem to think these aren't valid concerns?

I really like watching anime. I like paying a reasonable fee to help support the industry. I don't want to pay that fee to a company who seems to view me in a negative light because I am not happy with a change they have made. The responses I see from Crunchyroll tells me they can afford to lose the Roku market so we are not worth their time.

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Posted 8/28/14
Surely the best solution is to prioritise the most serious problems with the new app (totally unusable in some cases) and fix those issues immediately, then work on the annoying but less serious problems.
I would like to know when I can use CR again on my Now TV box.
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/28/14

1Pie4me wrote:

So, if I read this correctly us roku users are having an app UI designed for PS3, which is pretty much universally hated by roku users, which is not at all optimized for use with a roku foisted on us just so CR can feel warm and fuzzy about "brand recognition"? Oh, and before I forget, there is absolutely zero chance of us roku users getting back the UI we like and that works well with our devices, right?


Just nitpicking here, but this app design was originally first introduced for the Boxee Box. And the plan was from the very beginning to roll it out to all other devices.

Which is why I'm surprised by all the problems the Roku app version has considering they have had over a year to make the experience at least match the other devices.
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 9/14/14

AikenGhoti wrote:
...

SailorBee wrote:

4.) "Design" - We want a streamlined identity. The design is based on the current playstation application that has had the design user-tested with lots of positive feedback, which is another reason we decided to go with it. We eventually want all of our applications to look the same when they can.

(emphasis mine)

Okay, so this is where my biggest problem with Crunchyroll is right now. I actually have a huge gripe about something Baker just said, but I'll address it here, since this is the same subject.

Someone else pointed out the massive discrepency between the positive feedback CR claims to have received, and the nearly-unanimous negative feedback, nay, overt hatred, we all see in stark contrast here on the forum.

Am I right that the positive feedback you both reference was feedback given specifically for the PS3 version?

If so, then yes, I'd believe Playstation app has good feedback. For a system where video playback is supported mostly by a game controller, it does a decent job and I'm sure people are content with it. It even has pretty nearly all of the features one desires.

And yes, I admit this is your attempt to bring us an app that you had good feedback on. That is a valid thing to want to do.

I know that I responded to that, having read nearly every page of feedback in the original Roku Site News forum, the several pages of feedback in the Subscribers group general discussion forum, having posted there a post on how to fix the "downgrade" assuming it wouldn't be rolled back, the pages in the main Help Forum topic and the pages in the nowTV topic (where I got in trouble for not being critical enough of Crunchyroll) ... the notion of calling this specific User Interface as something receiving positive reviews is absurd.

Perhaps the Playstation User Interface (which they have made a first, unsuccessfully effort to port) was well reviewed, but from my limited use of my kid's PS3 when I was visiting Knoxville a year ago, the bar is not all that high in the competition among streaming apps on that system. If anyone had polled me after I used the PS3 app, I would have voted to keep the Roku User Interface ... and that would have been optimistically assuming a better port of the PS3 app than they in fact decided to roll out.

Heck, porting the incrementally improved prior Roku channel, and then adding HD, would likely have been similarly well reviewed.

Plus the main user base are people who are used to learning context-specific actions to control a game, which is not the user based you are aiming for with a streaming box or SmartTV app.


However, in soliciting no feedback from Roku users on the ported version, you have completely failed to recognize that the Roku port was very poorly executed, deficient in many ways when compared to the PS3 version, and outright broken in many ways. It is NOT comparable in quality to the PS3 app.

You cannot use good the reviews from the PS3's clean, original implementation to certify and defend a very poor imitation on this new platform. That is erroneous at best, and dishonest at worst. It's like porting Halo to a Game Boy Advance and saying, "Well, people on Xbox said it was great!"

Or porting a game to an Android tablet and saying, "what do you mean you don't like the controls. People on PS4 and XBox rave about our control system!"


As an aside, if your devs had successfully ported the app, with features intact and without game-breaking bugs front-and-center, I don't think people would be complaining, so don't be going on about how we don't agree with your vision for the product. That ain't the problem here.

Precisely. There would have been some negative reactions, since people tend to react negatively to having to learn a new set of habits, but if it had been a successful port, the positive:negative reactions by username would likely have 2:1 or better, as opposed to the reality of 1:19 or worse.


mozychan wrote:


1Pie4me wrote: So, if I read this correctly us roku users are having an app UI designed for PS3, which is pretty much universally hated by roku users, which is not at all optimized for use with a roku foisted on us just so CR can feel warm and fuzzy about "brand recognition"? Oh, and before I forget, there is absolutely zero chance of us roku users getting back the UI we like and that works well with our devices, right?


Just nitpicking here, but this app design was originally first introduced for the Boxee Box. And the plan was from the very beginning to roll it out to all other devices.

Which is why I'm surprised by all the problems the Roku app version has considering they have had over a year to make the experience at least match the other devices.

That seems to have been the problem ... they were trying to make the experience at least match the other devices, and forgetting that they also had to offer an experience that was equal or better to the Roku app already in place.
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Posted 8/28/14 , edited 8/28/14

agila61 wrote:


AikenGhoti wrote:


As an aside, if your devs had successfully ported the app, with features intact and without game-breaking bugs front-and-center, I don't think people would be complaining, so don't be going on about how we don't agree with your vision for the product. That ain't the problem here.

Precisely. There would have been some negative reactions, since people tend to react negatively to having to learn a new set of habits, but if it had been a successful port, the positive:negative reactions by username would likely have 2:1 or better, as opposed to the reality of 1:19 or worse.


mozychan wrote:


1Pie4me wrote: So, if I read this correctly us roku users are having an app UI designed for PS3, which is pretty much universally hated by roku users, which is not at all optimized for use with a roku foisted on us just so CR can feel warm and fuzzy about "brand recognition"? Oh, and before I forget, there is absolutely zero chance of us roku users getting back the UI we like and that works well with our devices, right?


Just nitpicking here, but this app design was originally first introduced for the Boxee Box. And the plan was from the very beginning to roll it out to all other devices.

Which is why I'm surprised by all the problems the Roku app version has considering they have had over a year to make the experience at least match the other devices.

That seems to have been the problem ... they were trying to make the experience at least match the other devices, and forgetting that they also had to offer an experience that was equal or better to the Roku app already in place.


Right. Because the Boxee app was like their proof of concept or launch pad over a year ago, which is why when I saw it on my Roku I was gravely disappointed by the poor implementation. As has been said many times over, features are missing and the controls are poor. Makes me miss the Boxee app even more so, but I'm thourougly acclimated to Crunchyroll's BS now.
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