I use Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu for anime streaming, so I'll compare TAN to these three (and to fansubs). Right now, my personal favorite is Crunchyroll because they 1) have 720p available for many of their shows and 2) their video player works fairly decently. TAN uses an older version of JW Player, so it's decent. My main gripes with TAN's site are that 1) I can't get it to default to the high-def stream if available, 2) there are some bandwidth issues at times, 3) seeking in the video is hit or miss. TAN also hardcodes the subs for Hell Girl in a somewhat ugly DVD subtitle font. Crunchyroll's softsubs are a lot better. Given these, I'd probably give TAN a B, Crunchyroll an A-, and Funimation a B/B-.
Monday, February 28, 2011
TheAnimeNetwork streaming review
Over Christmas, I finally opened my copy of Hell Girl that I bought six months prior, but never had time to watch it. I was enthralled with the anime and finished it in a couple of days. But wait, it wasn't finished yet -- there were still two more seasons! I really wanted to watch them, but I didn't want to wait. So before I went for the fansub, I checked out whether it was available to steam legally. I checked Crunchyroll... negative. Funimation, who had the license for Hell Girl season 1, lost it for the rest of the seasons. Sentai filmworks picked up the license for seasons 2 and 3, so I checked out their streaming site -- The Anime Network (TAN). They had it listed, and the first two eps were free, so I checked it out... and it was good enough for me to pay for a 3 month subscription.