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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:22 pm Reply with quote
On the one hand, it's kind of ridiculous to think that I was alive in the pre-VCR era, so if you missed something when it was first broadcast (or rerun), you would likely never have a chance to see it again.

But in a way, that's what streaming kind of takes us back to, just with a much wider availability window. Maybe a show is up on Crunchyroll or HIDIVE for 10 years, but when it's gone, that's it. Nearly everyone who's ever going to watch it will have done so in that time, sure, but still… come next year, someone's going to read about The Rose of Versailles for the first time and have no (legal) way to watch it.

I'm also kind of bummed that probably half the stuff I've really enjoyed in the last few years never got a physical release at all. Lots of things I'd gladly pay for, but they're so niche that they aren't worth the trouble, apparently.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:23 pm Reply with quote
I_Drive_DSM wrote:
I love when these topics come up because as someone 25 years ago who was paying $25-$35 per VHS tape for 30 to 60 minutes of anime I was a BIG hoarder of my collection back then. Looking back I don't want to even know what I spent on anime in the pre-DVD era but I know it was an un-godly amount of money that probably could have went to a more useful hobby.

It could have been worse. Back when I bought LDs the cost was 2..3..sometimes 4 times that for a similar length!

Quote:
Now not only do I have every one of those titles digitally but I'm certain I could probably find every one of them online easily.

A lot of them? I'm sure you're right. But there's a lot out there which you can't find streaming.

Quote:
How many people watch anime on VHS now though? Probably none. Or if you are watching it you maybe came across a circa fan-sub or something similar. The quality is just utterly abysmal. Early DVDs are similar. If you pop in an anime DVD from 2003/04 it likely does not look good at all, and especially if there are a lot of dark colors. No standards in compression or file types, the media itself largely formatted for standard aspect. At best it's a relic just like an old VHS tape.

VHS, I think, is definately dead. Not only is the video quality abysmal but it also degrades every time you play it, and there's the constant worry of your player "eating" a favorite tape. I'm glad those days are long gone.

That said, early DVD (or LD) is not so bad. The resoloution is double that of VHS, and IMHO is more than good enough for most shows of that time. Yes, some early DVDs had horrible compression problems (and thankfully LD has none of that), but I don't think it was all that common.

I have a lot of older shows from that era on disc (mostly LD, since that's what I got into first) and frankly they have aged pretty well. The art style is usually the first thing that jumps out as being "old", not the resolution or video quality. There are certainly some shows which have had BD remasters which look a lot better, but for most shows I don't think you're gaining much to go from an LD or an early DVD to a modern release. Unless it was a poorly compressed DVD from back in the day, or if someone is spending real money to do a proper remaster, I don't think today's releases of old shows are really that much better.

Quote:
I think at best don't worry about trying to own absolutely everything. If you like something then sure go ahead and buy it. Even then you don't have to own EVERYTHING of it.

Agreed completely.


Last edited by Shiflan on Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Shiflan



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:27 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:

But in a way, that's what streaming kind of takes us back to, just with a much wider availability window. Maybe a show is up on Crunchyroll or HIDIVE for 10 years, but when it's gone, that's it. Nearly everyone who's ever going to watch it will have done so in that time, sure, but still… come next year, someone's going to read about The Rose of Versailles for the first time and have no (legal) way to watch it.


Emphasis mine. I think that's a really solid point. And it's sad in a way too. How many people, myself included, have wasted away time watching some mediocre current show while meanwhile there are absolute masterpieces out there (or at the very least, niche titles which are right up our alley) that we aren't even aware of, simply because they aren't "trending" in the moment or don't show up in the suggestions list from our favorite streaming site?
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ultimatehaki



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For me, Blu-ray is for the stuff you love. The shows that you want to revisit in the future, and know that they'll be there. The ones that you're proud to have on your shelf, like a great book. The ones where you want bonus features. The ones you want to pass on to your kids. The stuff you want to show support for. The stuff that you absolutely must have in its best, highest quality. With some shows and movies, I am simply not willing to take the chance that it might not be available some day.


Totally agree with this one. I only buy blu-ray of show I absolutely love, heck I go all out and buy special box sets if available, even though I may never even take the plastic off them (more than half still got it). But its for those rare few shows every year that I just feel like I got to support in any way possible.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:07 pm Reply with quote
I wouldn't rely on streaming as a replacement for physical collections. The end of the CR/Funi partnership offers a good example of how abruptly access can end. I was streaming Twin Star Exorcists on Funimation while I waited for the most recent disc to arrive on a Tuesday, and by the time I went back to it that Saturday, it was gone. If I hadn't made that purchase, I'd be looking at subscribing to another service just to finish it. The bubble burst and demise of several companies provides another example. Sure, a lot of titles were license rescued, but there was no guarantee, and they can take a very long time to reappear. Bandai USA closed years ago, but Funimation was only able to release Banner of the Stars this week.

There is also something to be said for reliability. I've done marathons of things with a friend where the most recent season was currently only streaming, and it's not very fun to get to the last episode and have the internet grind to a halt for whatever reason.
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chronos02



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:26 pm Reply with quote
As of now, streaming can NOT be a replacement for physical media.

This is not only because of the quality, which, as the ANN reply to the question very well says, it's quite hard to differentiate a BD encode from a stream for the untrained eye, it has more to do with the availability of the titles in question, the comfort of watching, as well as the freedom of doing so.

To get it over with first, video quality is, for now, superior on the physical media... but only for the Blu-ray (and its upgrades) format, anything DVD, LD, VHS, etc. is lower quality simply because of the reduced amount of information (well, a DVD will be better than a 480p source stream, but those are rare, since in most cases they're downscaled encodes, which are usually better than DVD). Blu-ray is superior and is quite cheap nowadays compared to the mid 2000s. Streaming will take years to get to that quality standard, so if that's you're looking for in what you watch, go BD.

Title availability is the main issue here, and it can be divided in three categories: Platforms, licence expirations, unlicenced titles.
Unlicenced titles for streaming are impossible to watch on streaming, so physical media is the only way (be it a national release or from somewhere else, Japan having the best quality releases)
Licence expirations are self explanatory, if a licence expires, the title is out, so physical is the only way.
Platforms that have the titles you like are usually split, so you have to either pay to watch that specific title, or simply subscribe permanently to ALL the streaming platforms available, neat!... AS IF!

Having the physical disc vs streaming here is an easy win for the physical medium, simply because you keep what you buy, vs having the title removed from the streaming service forcing you to binge watch it (always a bad idea, when you're forced), or having to pay for other platforms to watch the other titles you want to follow. Streaming might seem the better option here, but unless you're someone that buys a lot of anime and watches as much too, it's usually not worth it if you want to watch lots. Anime releases are somewhat scarce even today, so you're usually paying around 50 to 150$ for a full season depending on where you buy it, vs paying most of the services adds up to around 70$? And that's monthly! For something you won't keep! True you're able to watch the stuff in the meantime, but if you unsub, all that money goes down the drain, you have to live with the experience you had up until that point.
Well, being fair, there is a sweet spot from which the amount of anime you watch and the amount of media you buy cross over the line of the anime you watch and the cost of the full streaming package, and it's different for each individual, but it is an absolute value that doesn't depend on other variables, so even if someone enjoys watching on streaming more than on physical, they'd still be getting their money's worth or getting a loss vs the other option.

Now, as for the comfort of watching your anime, streaming wins by default on the "anywhere" department, be it the devices (limited by the service), locations (limited by the ISP coverage), times, and micro-location (bed, couch, wc, rooftop, garden...). However, if there's no internet access? Red Flag, this includes your grandparent's house, summer home, camp, etc. whereas physical, you either take your player with you or simply load the image of your physical medium into a pendrive/hdd. There's also the reliability of popping your disc into the player and pressing play, there are no accounts, no good or bad players, no ethernet cables stretched to your basement's cinema room, etc. It's still pretty tied with streaming though, with 4G and 5G coverage coming soon, and the plans being mostly limitless in data and speed nowadays (or so big you don't care, I have 25GB 4G/LTE per month for a super cheap price), it does lean towards streaming anyway.

As for freedom, it has to do with the licences and services problem, with a DVD or whatever, you simply plug it in and it plays, you're free to do so whenever you want, compared to that, streaming services tie you to their apps, account systems, internet access, etc. and quite frakly, it's a pain to keep track of all those accounts, the security of your passwords, keeping track fo who gets data leaks, what anime titles are getting their licences revoked, what services are dying off, if they do dumb stuff like CR, shitty encodes, bad catalogue organization and search, chinese and other asian things mixed with the "anime" category, etc.


Streaming is the future, there is no denying that, but for now, it's so half-assed that no thank you, I will keep buying my physical stuff, and maybe pay for the service that offers more than just anime, but havung to shell out 7 to 15$ per each service? yeah, no. Get yourselves together you streaming companies, you're segregating the market so much and tying the titles to specific services that it's not worth it, you don't even try to keep the titles from specific companies in Japan together... seriously, I can understand for physical media, as much as that annoys me, but for streaming? come on... you're gona get the rug pulled under your feet if the Japanese commetees make a good streaming solution for all of Japan's anime overseas, in fact, I'd like to see that, all dem western streaming companies dying off because of dumb greed over exclusive licences for streaming media. Well, that might be a bit too much, but they need a good slap to wake up.
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Top Gun



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:33 pm Reply with quote
Initial gut reaction to question: "Dude, are you nuts?! Shocked"

More coherently, if streaming had actually delivered on its initial magical fantasy promise, of having Everything You Could Ever Want Available Now and Forever, I would happily pay for streaming. But it didn't, and in a realistic world it never could, so I have no interest in spending money to essentially rent titles that can be yanked out from under me at any given moment. Likewise, the only way I would invest in digital purchases is if they operated on a model like Steam or GOG, where I have a reasonable guarantee (at differing levels) that they will be accessible to me indefinitely. If I put money into anime, I want it to be for keeps. And that's why I currently sit a good 4 or 5 orders into this current holiday sale barrage, with 3 or 4 certain to follow. Sure, my unwatched physical backlog is probably at 200 titles by now, and I may not ever get to all of them in a lifetime, but eh, it makes me happy, and I figure that's what counts.

Violynne wrote:

10 years from now, what you like today will not be what you enjoy later. This is a promise you can take to the bank.

Yeah, this is absolute nonsense, at least for me. There are books I first read or movies I first saw 25 years ago, and I will still happily consume them for the umpteenth time today. There are games in my collection I've easily played more than a dozen times over a couple of decades. And a few of my all-time favorite anime series remain those I saw at the very start of my fandom almost 15 years ago. (Mid-2000s [adult swim] was just about the cream of the anime crop.) I'd find it a very sad existence indeed if my tastes completely rewrote themselves as I journeyed through life. Hell, if anything, they've done nothing but expand over time, and today there are shows I enjoy greatly that I never would have given the time of day several years ago.
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LetMeLive



Joined: 15 Jul 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:29 pm Reply with quote
^^^ I certainly agree, I still listen to music I first listened to decades ago.

Hell, I am rewatching the original DragonBall and I watched that in 1995 as a kid, and I am still enjoying it (probably moreso than when I was a kid, the adult jokes are hilarious).

I think the difference with streaming readily available (and other... questionable sources), especially for DUB people like myself, is to:

1) Make sure the dubbed version is readily available. Since anime is (obviously) made in Japan, subbed versions will always have a higher likelihood of being available from numerous sources. ReZero and Evangelion, two huge anime franchises, are perfect examples of dubbed folks getting boned.

2) Quality. I'll only buy a blu-ray unless its some obscure title that will never be revisted by the mainstream anime community. And if it's blu-ray, I'm gunning for it to be a rescan of the original film so it will have been remastered.

3) Collectors editions. If I'm buying an anime series, it better be a collectors edition of some sort.

We're talking about me buying one to two series a year, in blu-ray, as some sort of collectors edition. I'd never buy just a regular DVD for no reason. Let me tell you, Escaflowne remastered and then upscaled on my 4k blu-ray player on a 65" 4k TV is a masterpiece. It's the best quality the show will ever have, and I'm willing to pay for it.

So yes, there is certainly a reason to buy hard copies. Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Evangelion, Slayers, all are amazing shows that I will absolutely rewatch every couple of years, and if kids ever come my way, I'll certainly show them.
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configspace



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:33 pm Reply with quote
In addition to impermanent nature of online licensing, there's also the fact that there are differences between the broadcast/streaming version for Japanese anime anyways vs the BD versions, where you not only always get revised/improved animation but sometimes extended content within the episodes or extra content as OVAs that come with the BDs.
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crosswithyou



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:01 pm Reply with quote
I'm also a person who likes to have a physical collection. When it comes to anime, I generally buy things to support them rather than for the rewatch value. I mean, I do rewatch stuff now and then, but usually it'll be via a non-disc source. I just like being able to display something I like on my shelf (though it's more like my floor recently...).

The same goes with manga and music. Yeah, I could buy eBooks or digital music, but I prefer to have something I can hold/display, and I like the booklet and extras that come with CDs. Of course it comes at the expense of storage space though.
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EricJ2



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:06 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
I wouldn't rely on streaming as a replacement for physical collections. The end of the CR/Funi partnership offers a good example of how abruptly access can end. I was streaming Twin Star Exorcists on Funimation while I waited for the most recent disc to arrive on a Tuesday, and by the time I went back to it that Saturday, it was gone. If I hadn't made that purchase, I'd be looking at subscribing to another service just to finish it. The bubble burst and demise of several companies provides another example. Sure, a lot of titles were license rescued, but there was no guarantee, and they can take a very long time to reappear. Bandai USA closed years ago, but Funimation was only able to release Banner of the Stars this week.


The whole explosion of Streaming and DRM caused a lot of low-tech folk to confuse the two and LITERALLY think they were the same thing--
One of the big problems that kept DRM around so long were the analyst articles that said "Digital is more popular than ever!", and then loaded the figures down with how many new subscribers and Emmy awards Netflix and Amazon Prime were getting, as if that "proved" how crazy the public was for movies in any electronic form.

They're not even the same thing: DRM thought it was going to (snicker! Laughing ) "replace" physical disk, but Streaming--as in Netflix and Crunchyroll--has already replaced cable-TV. Streaming's what you sit down on Tuesday night to watch, whether you know what you're watching or not.
By saying "All my shows are on CR", you're basically hoping they'll be in rerun rotation for perpetuity, regardless of license or network issues. Back when we first got VHS, dependence on broadcast was what we were hoping to prevent, by having the shows around when we wanted them.
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luffypirate



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:30 pm Reply with quote
I could never change over to digital. Most of my favorites aren’t available outside of physical discs. GunBuster, Evangelion (soon to change), Macross Plus, Natsuiro Kiseki, Kodomo no Jikan, Yojōhan Shinwa Taikei, etc. I watch them all the time. Plus, it’s fun to collect. I want to maybe share the hobby with my children when they are older (age appropriate titles of course)
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TheAncientOne



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:45 pm Reply with quote
From the article:
Quote:
They don't own it, and can't make it availble forever.

To the extent the company itself still exists, co-productions would seem to be an exception to the latter.


Chester McCool wrote:
Plus, correct me if I'm wrong, but places like Crunchyroll don't have the movies, OVAs, and TV specials for their series, or BD extras that always come on the Japanese release.

HIDIVE seems to do a better job at that than any other service at this point.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:35 am Reply with quote
Violynne wrote:


Anime is like video games. Try going back and play your PS2 collection.

Yep, it's just like that.

And re-releasing this year just in time for Christmas....the original PS1. So yea, turns out a lot of people do just that. Wink

I will never fully trust streaming services. I also will never fully trust a physical copy will be there 10 years later if I decide to buy it then. Thanks Aniplex for that wake up call. If it's a show I will probably "one and done" then streaming is fine. Otherwise I get the physical release. The same applies for buying manga physical copies and digital.
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Takizawa-Shinzou



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:37 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Blu-rays are better quality than streaming, it's true, but to be honest, with a lot of anime it's hard to tell the difference. Most digitally made anime (which is to say, pretty much everything made in the last 17 years) compresses really well.


No. This is FACTUALLY untrue. The differences are extremely easy to see if you have decent eyes at all. Streaming quality IS BAD. Even on the major players like Crunchyroll and Netflix, their bitrates are way too low for 1080p h264. HIDIVE is even worse, using even just a 1/3rd of what CR/Netflix use for the same resolution. Their compression artifacts are hard NOT to notice. Extremely distracting, in fact, in high-motion action scenes. I remember watching KonoSuba on CR and every time Megumin did "Explosion" I wanted to cry at how much the screen was pixelated. And no, it's not my 1Gig internet connection. I later got a few of the blu-rays from Japan and it's a non-issue on those. I can repeat this on basically any anime with action. Pixelation and compression artifacts are just extremely prevalent on streaming anime. It's an inherent issue of streaming in general. HEVC won't fix this because even if the sites went to HEVC, they'd just lower the bitrates to save data/money while keeping the quality low. Streaming sites (and fans) focus too much on getting things out fast. But quality comes at a cost of time. And it simply takes longer to encode higher quality.

With the way in the industry is going, physical media will ALWAYS have a place because streaming/digital media will ALWAYS be overcompressed and look like a pixelated mess during action scenes. Not to mention all the color banding issues that's extremely common in almost every streaming anime and not on DVD/bluray.

I don't mean to sound like a jerk but anyone that says "with a lot of anime it's hard to tell the difference" clearly isn't looking or isn't really paying attention. Pause your anime once in awhile. You'll see how ugly streaming quality really is.

Saying "Most digitally made anime .... compresses really well" makes no sense. The quality of a compression has nothing to do with the anime itself, but rather the encoder and the settings used to compress it.

So while your overall answer is correct (No, it's NOT safe to replace your discs with Streaming), the specifics are not entirely correct. This isn't an opinion. Visual quality is something we can prove. And it's proven to be freaking terrible on every streaming site, compared to disc media. It's passable for most people. But you know what else is "passable" for most people? 480p. And we all know how awful 480p is on any decent display. The average consumer may be fine with streaming quality but the it's still a fact that pixelation and compression artifacts are extremely prevalent on streaming - far more so than on Bluray (where it actually is hard to find).


As for myself, I'm in the "if I love it, buy it" group. That means anything I would give a "masterpiece" or "excellent" on ANN's rating scale. The more I want to rewatch it, the more I know it will be worth buying. K-On! deserves it, for example.
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