June 07, 2018

The streaming chronicles (1/4)

In which I expand my Japanese media options with a Roku.

At minimum, switching from Dish to DirecTV (the new home of TV Japan) would run another ten dollars a month (at least $46/month plus tax), on top a new set-top box ($60) and a 24-month commitment (ugh).

A Roku Express costs less than $30 and nobody has to commit to anything. Hey, I'm already saving money! And except for the occasional buffering, the picture quality on my 720p screen is better than I expected, almost as good as a solid OTA signal (the gold standard).

Here are the Japan-specific channels I've added so far.

NHK World is a remarkably complete news and information service. Many of the features are original NHK productions with English voice-overs or subtitles, including the all-important highlights during sumo tournaments. Frankly, NHK World alone justifies the cost of the Roku.

Even better, it's a free service, as is the Roku app.

The other big draw for me is Crunchyroll. The annoying ads can be removed for $9.99 a month (or $99.99 a year), a great deal for the biggest source of anime anywhere. They've got a few live-action dramas worth watching too.

A free ad-supported Roku channel worth adding is Tubi. The anime section compares well with content providers like Netflix and Amazon. It carries a handful of exclusive titles and some Japanese movies.

HIDIVE has a smaller library than Crunchyroll but carries anime and live-action exclusives from Sentai Filmworks for $4.99 a month. That leaves Funimation as Crunchyroll's only "competitor," but at $5.99/month it'd hardly break the bank to get both.

At $9.95 a month, dLibrary Japan is still a little too expensive for an impulse buy, though its catalog keeps getting better and better. Another wait and see.

Related posts

The streaming chronicles (2)
The streaming chronicles (3)
The streaming chronicles (4)
Anime's streaming solution

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