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Old 2013-07-21, 01:35   Link #1
Urzu 7
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If I wanted a tablet primarily for fansubs and Crunchyroll...

I've wanted to get a tablet for sometime, but they are pricey. iPads seem like the way to go, but Apple is evil with how they price things. I was set on getting an iPad. I mostly want a tablet for playing fansubs and streaming content from Crunchyroll. I realized though, that I don't need a tablet with the best app store, nor do I really need an iOS gaming platform. Those things would be nice, but all I really care about is watching anime on a tablet.

Is there a great alternative to the iPad that will meet my need (playing anime videos)? Great screen like the newest iPads and good and stable OS are two things I'd like in the iPad alternative. And of course, something that runs the Crunchyroll app without a problem and something that can run HD videos (up to 1080p) as smooth as can be.

Would the Microsoft Surface be good enough for these things? Or is there an Android tablet that will take care of my needs from a tablet?
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Old 2013-07-21, 09:12   Link #2
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
Apple is evil with how they price things.
Some people feel that Apple devices are overpriced, others feel that you're getting what you pay for. I've heard a small number of Android converts who made statements like 'I always thought Apple was overpriced but then I finally bought one for myself and it was so worth it, I can't believe I was using my previous trash for so long.'

The good news for you is that your demands list is fairly small. While I don't know about the 1080p video part for non-iOS devices, iOS, Android, or Surface should be able to accommodate what you want to do. The question then becomes what other features you need or want, and what your price point is. As an example of compromises, the Ainol Novo 9 Spark looks really nice (like an iPad, hmm...) and has a really nice screen, but it lacks Bluetooth. Another Ainol tablet has a battery life of around six or seven hours, which is on the lower side for a tablet. Ainol is a small player in Android tablets, but the point is, be careful when going over the specifications. ZDNet has a small list that might be a nice starting point.

I'd advise against the Surface at this point. Even though it has Microsoft behind it, it's doing rather poorly at this moment. The screen isn't bad... unless you compare it to the tablets with high pixel density. It won't be receiving the same attention and support that iOS and Android devices are receiving.

I'm firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, so it's what I know best. Regarding pricing, Apple sells refurbished models and gives them the exact same warranty as if they were new. The iPad 3 should be capable of doing everything that you want, and with the iPad 5 likely to be released this autumn, the cost of iPad 3's should be further driven down (and of course, iPad 4's). However, it's a bit harder to get video onto the iPads. If you avoid jailbreaking, you'll probably end up remuxing or re-encoding episodes. That's a headache that you don't have to deal with on Android.
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Old 2013-07-21, 13:25   Link #3
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I just tried the Crunchyroll app on my Google Nexus 7 (Android). No lag, smooth animation, screen is probably as good as can be. 1080p might be a bit much, but it handles 720p (though doesn't have an external port for it.)The Nexus is also one of the best in its budget class (around 210e) and I'm very happy with it when it comes to reading and music as well. I'd suggest looking into it.
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Old 2013-07-21, 21:35   Link #4
Urzu 7
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Is the screen on the Nexus big enough for watching anime? Especially with the subtitles, is the screen big enough to see things well and read the subtitles fine? Also, is it simple to get fansubs running on a Nexus? How will a Nexus handle 1080p video? Will it just downscale it?
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Old 2013-07-22, 01:01   Link #5
0utf0xZer0
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Crunchyroll is easy. It has apps for iOS and Android, and I suspect performance is fine unless you stray into the really bargain bin models (for 720P at least*). On Windows tablets you can load the site via the modern UI version of IE10 but I'm not sure how good performance is since you are running the full flash site just like on a desktop PC.

*Note that quite a few tablets don't have screens that would take advantage of greater than 720P. Also, outside theatrical features a lot of 1080P anime is actually upscaled from 720P.

Fansubs are harder, because a lot of fansubs use bleeding edge subtitling formats and 10 bit encoding, which aren't exactly well supported on most tablets.

iOS: HD Player for iOS will handle 10 bit video. Not sure about 1080P + 10 bit. As of late 2012, it would crash during some particularly complex subtitling sequences (ie. OP/ED, complex signage) - not sure if that's still the case or not. However, only the fastest iOS devices can really handle it - it's been established that the iPhone 4S will drop frames, so the iPad 3 (which uses a derivative of the 4S CPU) probably will too. iPad 4 is probably fine since the iPhone 5 is. iPad Mini won't be fast enough.
(Note: unlike most Android and Windows tablets, iPads are not widescreen. Great for reading articles and such, not so great for video.)

Android: I am unaware of any solutions capable of dealing with 10 bit encodes and advanced subtitling on this platform.

"Modern" UI apps for Windows RT/8: This doesn't even have VLC yet so I'd be surprised if there's anything that can handle 10 bit on it . And no, it's not as simple as hoping someone ports the Combined Community Codec Pack to modern UI... modern UI apps don't have access to all the same APIs traditional desktop apps do, some of which CCCP relies on. Porting over all the necessary backend would be tough.

Desktop apps for Windows 8: Of course, if you're willing to put up with an interface that was never designed for touch, you can run CCCP on the desktop of a x86 Windows 8 tablet. Note that Microsoft Surface runs Windows RT and not X86 Windows 8, so it's out. Surface Pro is fine but very expensive because it's priced and specced to compare with 11 inch Macbook Air, not the iPad. And hence ships with a potent Core i5 CPU which drains battery rather quickly!
Cheap X86 Windows tablets tend to run Intel's Atom Z2760 GPU, which gets similar but slightly lower geekbench scores to my AMD E-350 powered Thinkpad X120E. The X120E plays 720P fansubs, even complex ones, just fine. 1080P with 10 bit is hit and miss though. Also, Intel's next gen Atom chip later this year may have higher performance than the Z2760. Note, however, that Z7260 tablets tend to be priced to compete with the full size iPad, not the Nexus 7 and other cheap androids. Nice variety of sizes though, everything from 8 to 11.6 inches is covered.

The other possibility, of course, is to reencode your subs as appropriate for your tablet. That takes time and effort though.
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Old 2013-07-22, 03:06   Link #6
NorthernFallout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
Is the screen on the Nexus big enough for watching anime? Especially with the subtitles, is the screen big enough to see things well and read the subtitles fine?
Yes, though it IS a small screen, admittedly. You don't exactly sit a few meters away from it. The subs are no problem to see either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
Also, is it simple to get fansubs running on a Nexus? How will a Nexus handle 1080p video? Will it just downscale it?
I decided to try this to answer you. A 1080p MKV fansubbed (.srt files I don't know) anime ep... does not run well on the Nexus. It's laggy to the point of unwatchable. Same with 720p. .avi doesn't seem to work at all. No subs either. This is with MX Player.

Right now, only Crunchyroll seems to be an alternative on the Nexus. Unless I'm doing something wrong.
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Old 2013-07-22, 03:39   Link #7
0utf0xZer0
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Aren't most .avi fansubs hardsubbed? I wouldn't expect any issues with those. Or are you trying to load an external sub file?

MKVs are not all encoded equal (neither are .avis, actually...) and performance can be dramatically different between files for various reasons - 8 bit v 10 bit encoding being a famous one. The way subs are handled varies too. Often, sub styling will get discarded. Perhaps trivial for dialogue subs, but some fansubs style sign subs to blend in with the scene better.

I'll also note that rumour has the Nexus 7 being replaced by a new model soon, which should including a faster CPU than the Nexus 7's aging nVidia Tegra 3 chip.
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Old 2013-07-22, 08:12   Link #8
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^Weirdly, the hardsubbed .avi file just plain doesn't work. The app loads it, then plops back to the library. I haven't investigated further, though, because I don't plan to use it for anime anyway.

As for the MKV, I think I tried both 8 and 10, with different sub styling, with the same result.
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Old 2013-07-22, 10:36   Link #9
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernFallout View Post
^Weirdly, the hardsubbed .avi file just plain doesn't work. The app loads it, then plops back to the library. I haven't investigated further, though, because I don't plan to use it for anime anyway.

As for the MKV, I think I tried both 8 and 10, with different sub styling, with the same result.
Okay.

I know that MX Player is supposed to be one of the best Android media players, but are the results any different using the VLC for Android beta?
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Old 2013-07-22, 14:47   Link #10
Urzu 7
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Lol. Okay, so I want a tablet primarily for Crunchyroll. Forget about trying to run fansubs on them. XD

So with the Android Crunchyroll app, the Nexus 7 runs 720p videos great?

What were people's concern with Google Chrome and privacy? It is no big deal to most people, right? It is just that google chrome pinpoints your location on google maps or something? I'm not sure I'm remembering it right. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? When Chrome first came out, some people were upset about something about it and it involves privacy.
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Old 2013-07-22, 15:05   Link #11
NorthernFallout
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Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
So with the Android Crunchyroll app, the Nexus 7 runs 720p videos great?
In my experience, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
What were people's concern with Google Chrome and privacy? It is no big deal to most people, right? It is just that google chrome pinpoints your location on google maps or something? I'm not sure I'm remembering it right. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? When Chrome first came out, some people were upset about something about it and it involves privacy.
Well... it's Google. I don't personally care, 'cause they aren't much worse than any other company. You can opt out from most of it anyway.
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Old 2013-07-22, 15:39   Link #12
Urzu 7
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Originally Posted by NorthernFallout View Post
In my experience, yes.

Well... it's Google. I don't personally care, 'cause they aren't much worse than any other company. You can opt out from most of it anyway.
Well, my point about the second thing; doesn't the Nexus only run Chrome as a browser? About Chrome and privacy, I remember some people saying it wasn't as bad as some made it out to be, but I'd like to read again what it was about before using Chrome (I use Firefox on my PC).
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Old 2013-07-22, 15:46   Link #13
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Naw, you can just install Firefox instead, though the Nexus comes with Chrome pre-installed. This is Android after all, so the choice is yours.
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Old 2013-07-22, 17:58   Link #14
Urzu 7
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What do you like to use on your Nexus and PC?

Edit: iPads don't do widescreen video well, but iPad minis have widescreens, right? So they could do widescreen video perfectly, correct? Also, does anyone know how well iPad minis play 720p videos from Crunchyroll? I think I'm gonna pick between a Nexus 7 or an iPad mini. While the best app store and iOS gaming aren't my top priorities for picking a tablet, they sure are sweet extras. I can get a 32 GB Nexus 7 off of Amazon for $190 and a 16 GB iPad mini for $340.
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Last edited by Urzu 7; 2013-07-22 at 18:35.
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Old 2013-07-22, 20:33   Link #15
spikexp
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If you want a 7 inch (or near), wait for the new nexus 7 or the new asus memopad hd 7 (which look like a killer).
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Old 2013-07-22, 21:36   Link #16
Urzu 7
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If you want a 7 inch (or near), wait for the new nexus 7 or the new asus memopad hd 7 (which look like a killer).
iPad mini is 16:9 or 16:10, right?

How is Android gaming vs. iOS gaming for iPads? Is iOS gaming much better, or not that much better?

If I got a 16 GB iPad mini, it might be okay for game storage (or might not), but I realized I'd check out e-magazines, and 16 GB is too little for games and e-magazines. I don't think I'd want to shell out the extra for a 32 GB iPad mini.

Is the support for e-magazines pretty good for Android tablets?
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Old 2013-07-23, 02:02   Link #17
0utf0xZer0
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A quick note regarding Crunchyroll: I'm assuming you're using wi-fi rather than cellular since the base N7 and mini don't have cellular data (note: that also means they don't get GPS, the cellular units have GPS). Bare in mind that Crunchyroll actually does burn data rather fast (episodes are usually about 150MB for 480P, 330MB for 720P, and 550MB for 1080P). If you're planning to use it with public wi-fi, you might need to check that the network allows and supports such usage.

(Fansubs can be even larger sometimes but at least you can load them up at home,)

All iPads are 4:3 including the Mini. That said, because the mini's screen is so large for a mini tablet (7.85 inches), that it provides a larger 16:9 picture than the Nexus 7's 7 inch, 16:10 screen. Less resolution though (1024X768 v. 1280x800).

Games: I don't keep close track of tablet games, though I have noticed the iPad seems to get more ports of PC titles. Bastion, Knights of the Old Republic and XCom: Enemy Unknown all have iPad versions but no Android version. Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition has been released on iOS while the Android version is delayed... though the iOS version has been pulled for the moment for legal reasons (which also affect the Android version). Spiderweb Software's stuff is available on both platforms.

I don't know if you have an interest in visual novels like Ever 17 or Fate/Stay Night, but many PC VNs can be converted into Android VNs using converter software and VNDS for Android. There's been talk of porting this to jailbroken iOS devices but not stock ones, and it's not out yet. THere are English patches for the iOS releases of Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head and they work even without jailbreaking, apparently.

I understand Android has a pretty good emulation scene though I think that would be a bigger deal if you were thinking of getting something like an Xperia Play, not a tablet.

Manga Reading is another scenario in which I see the iPad as a better choice due to the 4:3 form factor - better for use in portrait mode, which is preferred for reading.

Apple unfortunately gouges when it comes to pricing for storage upgrades (not that the Nexus 7 is great, unlike many Android tablets you can't expand it with an SD card).

Also, just to note: both the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini are fairly late in their product cycle right now. The Nexus 7 is due to be replaced soon with a unit that's supposed to have a much faster CPU and 1920X1200 screen. Though it's also rumoured that it'll cost $230 at launch rather than $200.

It's less clear what the iPad Mini's refresh will bring, but I would expect a CPU upgrade - and if it gets an iPhone 5 class part, I could see it being useful for you because it would get some fansub playing ability. Though I wouldn't expect to see faster than iPhone 5 performance - Apple seems to be positioning the mini as a low end alternative to the regular iPad, so the newer, faster chip will likely be limited to the iPhone and full iPad. Also, the rumour is that the next version (probably due this fall) will still be 1024X768, with a 2048X1536 retina version to come some time in the future (I wonder if they'll give the Retina version a better CPU... and how they'll price it if they do!).
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Old 2013-07-23, 19:10   Link #18
Urzu 7
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I think I've given up trying to do fansubs on a tablet. I'm probably going to get the new Nexus 7 due out very soon, even though iPads have better app support and game support. The Nexus 7 is better than an iPad mini in some other ways.

However, you say it would be better to read manga on an iPad mini. A tablet might get me to read manga more. Is a Nexus 7 still adequate for reading manga, despite an iPad being superior for that, or would I just be better off reading manga on a PC? Is it still enjoyable on a Nexus 7?
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Old 2013-07-23, 19:26   Link #19
spikexp
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I read manga on my 7 inch Kobo Vox. It's a crappy tablet (heavy, thick, slow) with a good screen (only 1024x600 resolution, but the quality is great).
It's a good size to read manga.

If you use android, get perfect viewer, it's one of the best for reading manga.
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Old 2013-07-23, 21:00   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I think I've given up trying to do fansubs on a tablet. I'm probably going to get the new Nexus 7 due out very soon, even though iPads have better app support and game support. The Nexus 7 is better than an iPad mini in some other ways.
I can watch 720p fansubs on my Galaxy S3 Android smartphone. Even the standard player had no problem with a couple of episodes of Hyouge Mono encoded with the standard H.264+AAC+ASS combination. I would assume any decent Android tablet would be equally effective. I've also watched shows from Crunchyroll and from YouTube (Sarai-ya Goyou in particular) streamed over wifi. I don't recall whether I've ever watched anything over 4G though.
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