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Post Reply [Updated 4/6] Our Statement Regarding Recent Video Quality Issues
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/15/17
At this point, you have encoded videos three times? Once for new releases at high quality, second at poor quality after 48 hours, and third to re-encode for higher quality again? That doesn't make sense in terms of people and server resources. Seems like a waste of $. If it is all a new infrastructure now, why were the new releases at higher quality and then downgraded? If the old and new infrastructure can work together (which sounded like it was possible if you are able to test new anime releases), why re-encode at poor quality in the first place when it could be migrated and encoded at high quality in the new infrastructure to begin with in smaller batches? Why punish the subscriber for this change? And someone actually thought if it doesn't meet CR's expectations, they should push it out to everyone anyway? (Especially without an initial heads up) At my company, I would get fired for that mentality.

I'm still questioning my 3 1/2 year subscription to you guys
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/30/17
The level of salt I'm seeing here is insane. My only issue with CR recently has been it's unreliably to work on the weekends ever since they got Dragon Ball. Besides that the occasional dip in quality ive seen only seems to happen when the site itself is chugging.

As far as that medium article being thrown around it seems like some over eager writer trying to make mountains out of molehills for outrage clicks. He and his little post sounded pathetic. I watch older episodes all the time on my old plasma and my new 4k TV and everything looks perfect. I have no idea what BS that guy did to make those screen shots appear that way. I've not seen any degradation to old Konosuba episodes or dragon maid episodes.

I just want CR to get it's servers stable again and have the service be better on the weekends.
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Posted 3/14/17
Quite silent on details but at least it's now mentioned. I hope we'll get more details soon or else I'll keep the auto renew off as well, I'm not paying for these sneaky changes.
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/14/17
I read the updated post and have a new question:

Why the hell didn't you just be straight with us? Just say:

"Hey everyone, due to changing infrastructure and encoding we are running some tests to make sure everything works out. So there may be some quality issues. Simulcasts will also briefly use these before reverting back to the old encodes. But don't worry! This is just a temporary measure."

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Posted 3/14/17

shinji wrote:

This post has been updated to address additional concerns - thank you for your feedback!


Get in the robot Shinji
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Posted 3/14/17

SemiTruckDriver wrote:


Going forward, you will see that we have updated the video experience for simulcasts and new episodes within the new infrastructure. As the transition to this new infrastructure is complete, we will re-encode all of our catalog with this higher quality.


Huge if true.

You do realise that this "higher quality" is actually "lower quality", don't you? Like, that's the whole fucking point of this drama!The bitrates have been halved from what they were, and they were already really fucking low. So no, not huge if true.
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/14/17

bernardoespanol wrote:

The level of salt I'm seeing here is insane. My only issue with CR recently has been it's unreliably to work on the weekends ever since they got Dragon Ball. Besides that the occasional dip in quality ive seen only seems to happen when the site itself is chugging.

As far as that medium article being thrown around it seems like some over eager writer trying to make mountains out of molehills for outrage clicks. He and his little post sounded pathetic. I watch older episodes all the time on my old plasma and my new 4k TV and everything looks perfect. I have no idea what BS that guy did to make those screen shots appear that way. I've not seen any degradation to old Konosuba episodes or dragon maid episodes.

I just want CR to get it's servers stable again and have the service be better on the weekends.


That "guy" is a well known digital distribution staff member elsewhere and has more knowledge on encoding videos than most folk even could imagine knowing about it. He hasn't "done" anything to the images. They are straight screen-caps. In addition rips of the videos served on CR have shown definitively that there is a significant bitrate drop. That's sufficient evidence that the quality is less than before.

Further to that, CR admit in this post that there was a significant quality decrease to trying to dispute that at this point is like trying to dispute that the sky is blue.
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Posted 3/14/17

catseyestiger wrote:

Dear CR bait and switch is clearly illegal! Your site can not sate it offers HD and not provide it. I could see a major class action law suite if things stay shady and lots of refunds for subscribers and lots of down side publicity! Honesty helps and stated policy for what's offered if important! So.....

Technically no, because videos are more complicated than images. To be considered HD, all it needs is to use images of a certain size, so they are still offering HD, it's just that the quality is fucking trash because the rest of the technical bits are bottom-tier, so even with a HD image it looks like shit. Technically they haven't done anything illegal, just shady and anti-consumer. Which is really all the reason people (including me) need to unsubscribe.
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Posted 3/14/17

bernardoespanol wrote:

The level of salt I'm seeing here is insane. My only issue with CR recently has been it's unreliably to work on the weekends ever since they got Dragon Ball. Besides that the occasional dip in quality ive seen only seems to happen when the site itself is chugging.

As far as that medium article being thrown around it seems like some over eager writer trying to make mountains out of molehills for outrage clicks. He and his little post sounded pathetic. I watch older episodes all the time on my old plasma and my new 4k TV and everything looks perfect. I have no idea what BS that guy did to make those screen shots appear that way. I've not seen any degradation to old Konosuba episodes or dragon maid episodes.

I just want CR to get it's servers stable again and have the service be better on the weekends.


CR basically admitted to everything in the post. They even updated it addressing the downgrade in quality after set amount of time. There is nothing worth defending here.
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/15/17

bernardoespanol wrote:

The level of salt I'm seeing here is insane. My only issue with CR recently has been it's unreliably to work on the weekends ever since they got Dragon Ball. Besides that the occasional dip in quality ive seen only seems to happen when the site itself is chugging.

As far as that medium article being thrown around it seems like some over eager writer trying to make mountains out of molehills for outrage clicks. He and his little post sounded pathetic. I watch older episodes all the time on my old plasma and my new 4k TV and everything looks perfect. I have no idea what BS that guy did to make those screen shots appear that way. I've not seen any degradation to old Konosuba episodes or dragon maid episodes.

I just want CR to get it's servers stable again and have the service be better on the weekends.


"I don't understand what I'm talking about, so everyone else is wrong for complaining about the issue".

The drop in quality is pretty noticeable. The article you mention was pretty factual. I mean, you can debate the wording used or whatever, but the images are the images lol. I don't know if you bothered to check, but if you can't see a difference between the images that were used as an example then I don't really no what to tell you, except to consider placing your subscription money for crunchyroll into a more worthwhile endeavour, like a pair of glasses.
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Posted 3/14/17
Excellent! Now, could you please update the Xbox One app? It hasn't been updated in about a year. It should not be that much worse than the PS4 or Windows 10 interfaces. Heck, the mobile app is better than Xbox One!
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/14/17
You said basically the same thing 2.5 years ago in reddit AMA :
https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2b26ou/im_kun_gao_the_cofounder_and_ceo_of_crunchyroll/cj12zuo/?context=9999

And YET you reduced quality instead of increasing it.
Besides, you claim you want to improve quality, but you STILL REDUCE QUALITY ON 48+ HOURS OLD VIDEOS. Your message is nothing but a PR stunt that did not give anything substantial, like many hoped.
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Posted 3/14/17
I'm reserving judgment until the promised blog post by the engineers.
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Posted 3/14/17 , edited 3/14/17
Shinji, CR, or whoever is in charge of your forums. Give us a statement, not your prepared PR BS. The longer you drag this out, the more angry response from subscribers you will get. Tell us in a clear statement at the start of your page and may be an apology to subscribers.
ergZay 
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Posted 3/14/17

shinji wrote:

Crunchyroll is always working towards serving the highest possible video quality to our users. To keep up with our growing audience and the many ways people are consuming anime, we've been working on a new infrastructure to better support the viewing experience.

Last weekend, new episodes were released through the new infrastructure to test the system's ability to serve video to large portions of the Crunchyroll audience. The encodes that some users experienced were not up to the standards of our previous system, nor up to the standards we demand from ourselves. While we had previously identified issues with the encodes, solutions for a broad rollout require us to first move completely to the new infrastructure. Going forward, you will see that we have updated the video experience for simulcasts and new episodes within the new infrastructure. This means you will experience an improved encode for future releases on the new infrastructure, which will no longer use the lower quality encodes after any amount of time. For anyone who wants further technical detail on our encodes, our engineers will be releasing a blog post shortly. As the transition to this new infrastructure is complete, we will re-encode all of our catalog with this higher quality.

Please know that it will never be Crunchyroll's intention to lessen the viewing experience. In cases like this we're grateful users reached out to us and provided feedback about the issue. We appreciate the patience with our efforts and will continue working to bring an improved viewing experience across Crunchyroll.


AWESOME! This is exactly what I wanted to here. As a software engineer (who's considered applying to you guys in the past) and as someone very interested in H264 video encoding I'm looking forward to the technical blog post.
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