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Post Reply Video playback without plugins/DRM
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Posted 9/2/14 , edited 9/4/14
I am a bit disappointed to see that the website still requires the Flash plugin to play videos. This is understandable, as until recently Flash has been the most universal streaming video solution. But now as browsers incorporate the HTML5 <video> tag, as well as more advanced features such as the Media Streaming Extensions (MSE) for adaptive playback, and subtitles delivered with WebVTT or custom Javascript, it is now possible to deliver a much better experience than was possible with the Flash plugin - not to mention the portability and wide deployment of HTML.

There is one thing that I very much do not want Crunchyroll to implement - which is the EME spec proposed by the W3C. This extension is actively harmful - it brings us back to the days of requiring browser plugins to play video. Which plugins are available, if any, already widely varies by platform. I believe Crunchyroll to be in a great position in that it has not yet adopted this specification, and can choose not to in the future.

I would also love to see the website move to free codecs, such as VP9, however the issue above is more important in my opinion.

For those curious, a breakdown of concerns about EME can be found at the following link, which is quite well written:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/14/firefox-closed-source-drm-video-browser-cory-doctorow

(disclosure: I work full time on free codecs)
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Posted 9/2/14

TD-Linux wrote:

I would also love to see the website move to free codecs, such as VP9, however the issue above is more important in my opinion.

For those curious, a breakdown of concerns about EME can be found at the following link, which is quite well written:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/14/firefox-closed-source-drm-video-browser-cory-doctorow


I don't see CR moving to an HTML5 delivery method until it gains widespread and full support in all major browsers, which is unlikely to happen until the HTML5 specification is fully finalized, which is still a few years off.

Even if this does come in the next couple years, I can't imagine that CR could stream videos without some form of DRM, mandated by the Japanese rights holders, on a non-Flash website.
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Posted 9/2/14

eyeofpain wrote:

I don't see CR moving to an HTML5 delivery method until it gains widespread and full support in all major browsers, which is unlikely to happen until the HTML5 specification is fully finalized, which is still a few years off.


The HTML5 specification, as published by the WHATWG, is a "living document" - there are no plans for it to be "finished" in the near future. However, many elements, such as the video tag, are already stable and supported in most browsers:

http://caniuse.com/#feat=video


Even if this does come in the next couple years, I can't imagine that CR could stream videos without some form of DRM, mandated by the Japanese rights holders, on a non-Flash website.


I don't believe this to be true. DRM has all but vanished from online music stores. Terrestrial broadcast television already transmits without DRM. Headweb and GoG have opened DRM-free movie stores. While not all rights holders may be willing to let go of DRM right away, it would be great to see at least a subset offered as a starting point.

I did some research and found that Crunchyroll even offered DRM-free downloads in the past, but presumably dropped them due to lack of demand.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 9/3/14

TD-Linux wrote:

I am a bit disappointed to see that the website still requires the Flash plugin to play videos. This is understandable, as until recently Flash has been the most universal streaming video solution. But now as browsers incorporate the HTML5 <video> tag, as well as more advanced features such as the Media Streaming Extensions (MSE) for adaptive playback, and subtitles delivered with WebVTT or custom Javascript, it is now possible to deliver a much better experience than was possible with the Flash plugin - not to mention the portability and wide deployment of HTML.

The response during the Reddit AMA earlier this year made it clear that CR isn't even planning on implementing an HTML5 player any time soon, much less doing the work to create one.

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Posted 9/3/14

TD-Linux wrote:

I don't believe this to be true. DRM has all but vanished from online music stores. Terrestrial broadcast television already transmits without DRM.


Actually Terrestrial broadcast in most countries uses HDCP and HDCP compliant devices to ensure that people don't just stream TV off the air to whatever. However this form of DRM tends to get overlooked since most electronics are compliant with the HDCP specification. DRM vanishing from purchased music however makes since because record companies tend to treat it like its just a CD. Try taking something downloaded from Spotify and getting past the DRM on that.
Der Zoodirektor
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Posted 9/4/14 , edited 9/4/14
The usage of the Flash player on the website is currently part of the licensing contracts Crunchyroll has with the Japanese publishers. Crunchyroll's Japanese partners insist on the usage of DRM, so Crunchyroll cannot currently switch to HTML5 (yet). (This was pointed out in Kun Gao's AMA over at Reddit a few weeks ago.)
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55 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 9/4/14 , edited 9/4/14

TD-Linux wrote:

Even if this does come in the next couple years, I can't imagine that CR could stream videos without some form of DRM, mandated by the Japanese rights holders, on a non-Flash website.


I don't believe this to be true. DRM has all but vanished from online music stores. Terrestrial broadcast television already transmits without DRM. Headweb and GoG have opened DRM-free movie stores. While not all rights holders may be willing to let go of DRM right away, it would be great to see at least a subset offered as a starting point.

The problem, just as shinryou points out, is that the subset that are allowing it does not include the Japanese licensors of anime.

Crunchyroll is still negotiating with Japanese licensors on broadening region definitions for streaming licenses, where in many cases region definitions are organized around DVD markets and broadcast markets that haven't been relevant for over half a decade. It seems highly unlikely that enough Japanese anime licensors are going to be found among the leading edge of streaming video licensors willing to do without DRM to make a viable lineup.


I did some research and found that Crunchyroll even offered DRM-free downloads in the past, but presumably dropped them due to lack of demand.

Yes, I was a subscriber while that embedded third-party option came and then went away again.

The lack of demand was due in large part to the combination of the per episode pricing and the low video quality of the downloads, which were heavily compressed 360p video format that was offered under that format since the Japanese licensors were not willing to allow DRM-free downloads that they saw as being competitive in quality with DVDs.

If you want to see what DRM, episode pricing and release timing Japanese licensors expect for anime downloads, have a look at the anime download options currently available in iTunes or Vudu. The video quality is much higher ... but the pricing is premium per episode pricing, normally at a much high rate per minute of content than equivalent movie downloads from the same sites.
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Posted 9/4/14
DRM is half of the reason I cant watch anything on this site anymore.

And their legal team (I presume) is the reason they won't reply to my support tickets.

"Reply with two business days" my @ss. Its been several months, for all of them.
Der Zoodirektor
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Posted 9/4/14

smaudet2 wrote:

DRM is half of the reason I cant watch anything on this site anymore.

And their legal team (I presume) is the reason they won't reply to my support tickets.

"Reply with two business days" my @ss. Its been several months, for all of them.


What exactly is your issue?
9085 cr points
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Posted 9/6/14 , edited 9/6/14
Any video I watch has really, really bad buffering/speed issues.

I can watch anything of e.g. Amazon, Youtube, Hulu, etc. fine, I can't watch things on here without a ton of stuttering. My ISP down is 60 MB down, I have no issue with that part of things.

I even checked, for the amount of data that comes through for a whole season, takes me around one hour to download, or about 2-3 minutes for what it would take to download the whole episode. But, I can barely get into an episode for 5 seconds before it stutters, stalls, and I have to refresh the page 20 times to get through a single episode. A single episode becomes something like 40 minutes long, and extremely un-enjoyable.

I've tried, different browsers, clearing all data, different devices (PS3, OUYA, android), and they all crap out the same.
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30 / M / Dallas, TX
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Posted 9/6/14

smaudet2 wrote:

I've tried, different browsers, clearing all data, different devices (PS3, OUYA, android), and they all crap out the same.


This isn't really the thread for your issue, and there are multiple threads reporting similar issues.

You may want to /contact customer support, as they should have some troubleshooting steps they can try, such as changing your DNS settings.
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55 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 9/6/14

smaudet2 wrote: Any video I watch has really, really bad buffering/speed issues.

I can watch anything of e.g. Amazon, Youtube, Hulu, etc. fine, I can't watch things on here without a ton of stuttering. My ISP down is 60 MB down, I have no issue with that part of things.

Then by process of elimination, it is highly unlikely to be DRM, since Amazon and Hulu videos will also have DRM.
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Posted 9/6/14

agila61 wrote:


smaudet2 wrote: Any video I watch has really, really bad buffering/speed issues.

I can watch anything of e.g. Amazon, Youtube, Hulu, etc. fine, I can't watch things on here without a ton of stuttering. My ISP down is 60 MB down, I have no issue with that part of things.

Then by process of elimination, it is highly unlikely to be DRM, since Amazon and Hulu videos will also have DRM.


That doesn't follow...

In fact, its likely that the DRM CR is using is much, much worse than whatever Amazon/Hulu happen to use.

DRM, 'digital rights management', is just a policy, and as no two policies are ever the same, so are no two DRM softwares. The issue, not being able to download anything, is in part because they won't let anyone download more than a couple seconds of stuff. Coupled with a massive failure to actually deliver any reasonable speeds, this means that DRM is, in fact, half the problem.

Their shit was working a couple months or so back, unless their user-base has massively increased, the only thing that makes sense is a policy change, and it is most likely that it is some stupid DRM policy change.

Amazon/Hulu? They don't have these same issues because they are a much larger company with more $$$ to spare.
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Posted 9/6/14

eyeofpain wrote:


smaudet2 wrote:

I've tried, different browsers, clearing all data, different devices (PS3, OUYA, android), and they all crap out the same.


This isn't really the thread for your issue, and there are multiple threads reporting similar issues.

You may want to /contact customer support, as they should have some troubleshooting steps they can try, such as changing your DNS settings.


I have, customer support is broken, talking about my problems on the forums is my last resort. If that doesn't work, goodbye crunchyroll.

Oh, and no, I will never sign up for Netflix. Screw you.
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30 / M / Dallas, TX
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Posted 9/6/14

smaudet2 wrote:

Oh, and no, I will never sign up for Netflix. Screw you.


I see no other mention of Netflix in this thread, so I'm not really sure what this is in reference to.
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