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Old 2009-01-18, 21:36   Link #1
bigsocce
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The future of fansubs (5 years from now): Same as today? Less? Significantly less?

I think we are nearing the peak of fansubs (see the bell curve) and now approaching the declining part of it (in term of the amount of fansub). Legal high quality streaming will replace fansubs within 5 years. Fansubs will still be there but in much smaller number. The technology for video streaming is still relatively 'new' but it is becoming more relevant and getting better. Look at how far video streaming has come in just 2 years from youtube to hulu.

Many anime are now streamed legally over the internet in 'good' quality (see hulu or crunchyroll h264 which is free). I downloaded a fansub of Natsume and tested against the free crunchyroll h264 and there isn't much a difference. The fansub has higher picture quality but not that better (a 10 vs. a 8.5). For me, if it's there on crunchyroll/hulu from now on, I won't download the fansub anymore.

Anyway, what's your prediction about the future of fansubs (5 years from now): Same as today? Less? Significantly less?

Also, think of it from the fansubbers point of view. What will be the turning point that will cause many fansubbers to stop fansubbing? And when will the majority of viewers who depend on fansubs switch to legal video streaming?

What will cause you to make a switch from downloading a fansub to watching it on a legal streaming website? For me, I already make the switch if the anime is available.

Picture quality on par with fansub?
Translation quality on par with fansub?
No ads like on fansub?

All 3?

Last edited by bigsocce; 2009-01-18 at 21:48.
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Old 2009-01-18, 21:55   Link #2
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Well, Not ever anime company will follow and post their shows online. Even so some will prefer a fansubed/illegal copy to avoid commercials. Fansubs will never go away, whether there is a point to them or not. That being said though, We are seeing a move made towards that step. Hulu in america has already started posting some really popular shows like family guy and simpsons. If this proves profitable for the more popular show like Naruto then we theres a chance for it to be the standard. I still think its too early to tell.
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Old 2009-01-18, 22:15   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsocce View Post
What will cause you to make a switch from downloading a fansub to watching it on a legal streaming website? For me, I already make the switch if the anime is available.

Picture quality on par with fansub?
Translation quality on par with fansub?
No ads like on fansub?

All 3?
not quite the same reasons for me, I like to watch it on television as well and just don't want to sit behind a desk all the time to watch an anime movie or series or when showing something to someone else be stuck in that position either. I would buy the DVD's but I don't want to buy every series I check out and I can't buy them either which is a major problem, some series take years before they are even licensed and some never get licensed. As for the rest even the Crunchy quality cannot withstand the fansub AVI quality on TV cause it may look silly on your pc because you're so close up to the screen but for TV the quality is for most modern series very well done. (that and I use my legal right in which in my country it is allowed to download for personal viewing or with friends, it is however not allowed to upload here =P so HAHA!)

Also if you think anime streaming will remain free in the upcoming years, guess again if there is money to be smelled then they will start asking for payment, there are already certain shows that you have to pay-per-view-for on Crunchy, it is only a matter of time before the entire website follows IMO

as for the adds they will always be there, stream or no stream it is still from Japanese television and the good old sponsored by voice will be there no matter what, also fansubs don't have the usual TV commercials either so that part is quite unclear..

Fan subs in 5 years? I don't think much will change as concerned the usual downloading etc. however I do think more sites will convert themselves to wanting their members to pay for their streams because as it gets its uprising and popularity they will most likely want something in return for it from the viewers. And as long as anime isn't world wide and doesn't have a time buffer of about a year for several countries there will always be subbers
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Old 2009-01-18, 23:33   Link #4
Irenicus
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Five years is a loooong time by Internet standards.

I'd refrain from any sort of wild-eyed prediction for that reason.
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Old 2009-01-18, 23:53   Link #5
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Yeah, 5 years is a long time indeed. I think the upcoming year itself will see radical changes across the board in both fansubbing and the anime companies in Japan and the US both.
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Old 2009-01-19, 08:08   Link #6
Thingle
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Worry more about the future of DVD releases.
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Old 2009-01-19, 09:22   Link #7
bigsocce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Five years is a loooong time by Internet standards.

I'd refrain from any sort of wild-eyed prediction for that reason.
Just asking if fansubs will be around in 5 years time in significant numbers like it is today.

At this rate, I don't think it will. The switch to legal video streaming is on because the technology is there to enable high quality video stream. Hopefully, more anime studio will allow legal streaming of their anime series. Most major TV shows are legally streaming right now on hulu, tv.com etc...
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Old 2009-01-19, 10:00   Link #8
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There will always be people who prefer to keep some form of physical copy of the shows they like. I don't see an end to fansubs, while the localized DVD - or some such substitute - distribution doesn't apply a different set of values to it's customer base.

Digital distribution is all well and good, but I think most would prefer to pay for something they can keep, other than having to get it all every time they want to watch it. Heck, I'm one of them. I mean, even Youtube's making a "download" link/button available now, isn't it?
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Old 2009-01-19, 10:51   Link #9
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I'm sorry, but with 720p/1080p HDTV and 720p/1080p Blu-Ray rips of unlicensed anime, I don't see fansubs going away. Crunchyroll and other streaming sites have terrible quality, by comparison. Crunchyroll now makes you pay to watch anime in 480p, WOW!!! H264 alone will not make streaming sites competitive to fansubs with such low resolutions and bit-rates.
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Old 2009-01-21, 11:39   Link #10
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I don't foresee any major changes to fansubbing. Even with the new approach of streaming an episode within 1 hour of their Japanese airtime, there's been almost zero effect. The only anime I've seen get stopped subbing is Skip Beat! from one group. Like lubzczyk, I can't see people being satisfied with horrible quality anime when there's an alternative that's been working. I guess the only thing I could see happening is a crack down (even more) on fansubbing. Japan has been in a recession for quite some time, but with the global economic collapse they may take extreme measures which I think would be a poor investment. I plan on getting Code Geass R2 on Blu-Ray when it gets an R1 release, but for me, I can't watch an action anime with Youtube or Crunchyroll resolution. There's also no way I could watch Ef without seeing the spectacular scenes in HQ. This is just my take though.
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Old 2009-01-28, 10:56   Link #11
LiuXuande
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Fansubs account for 90% of my purchase decisions when to comes to anime-related purchases. So I'm definitely still in the mind that they are doing more good than evil. I still won't make impulse buys of a series if companies continue their current sales strategy (either at high-price box sets -only, or individual DVDs) and I, like most anime fans, only buy when I know what I'm getting.

Of course there are exceptions. Right Stuf (rightstuf.com) is still the most amazing thing in my anime purchase history, and I make impulse buys there all the time because of the awesome deals they have from time to time.

Keeping this in mind, I think most progressive fansubbers are of the same mind. The dude from Live-eviL that gets interviewed on ANN all the time probably feels the same way; he is among the older post-college crowd of fansubbers. Despite their long run, even groups like Dattebayo have given the industry a nod for positive direction in their release strategy. The only next best thing that could happen to the industry to change that would be if cable/satelite channels (IFC for example, airs subbed content movies and the like) would air concurrent, subtitled anime. I would definitely give up fansubs altogether in favor of DVR, lol.
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Old 2009-01-28, 19:13   Link #12
stubby42
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Saying that fan subbing is going to go away is a total miss understanding of the way internet technology is developing, the fact is were getting faster and faster internet connections and our capacity to store files is also increasing.

What's starting to change are companies attitudes to illegal downloading, its never going to go away because it keeps getting easier and easier to do it and as we all know from the music industries experience that trying to control your copyright with agressive tactics just makes you appear evil.

The media industries will just start taking illegal downloading into account as part of their bottom line (the minimum amount they have to earn to reach profit).

For anime and dubbing companies fan subbing is benifical because it gives an indication of what shows will be popular with forign audiences, which means they dont waste money dubbing a project that wont brake even.
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Old 2009-01-29, 01:42   Link #13
bigsocce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubby42 View Post

For anime and dubbing companies fan subbing is benifical because it gives an indication of what shows will be popular with forign audiences, which means they dont waste money dubbing a project that wont brake even.

Fansub is beneficial overall? I doubt it.
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Old 2009-01-29, 12:59   Link #14
LiuXuande
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Read my post above lol.

I'm sure MOST people that post on here (this being a torrent list site for fansubs forum) are the same way. I support the industry 100%. But am I going to buy a show based on promos alone, that's snatched up as soon as it's released? Try before you buy is my philosophy, and I own a lot of anime. In fact, horribly dubbed English promos will probably deter my purchase more than anything else.

Companies are making drastic movements towards releasing content so buyers CAN "try" before they buy, but they don't realize how diverse of a demographic they're dealing with. Take my all time Favorite anime, Honey & Clover. It's been YEARS since the airing, and just now there's a vague semblance of the first season being released. The second season remains unlicensed. To me, that's unacceptable. I purchased the Japanese DVDs for the sole purpose of having it in my collection and supporting the show I love so much, but I would not have made that purchase without the original fansubs. Hell, I would not have discovered such a gem without the subs.

TL;DR Niche titles will keep fansubs alive, and will bring in as much profit to the companies as the allegedly are stealing.
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Old 2010-04-29, 20:52   Link #15
bigsocce
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http://www.hulu.com/channels/Animati...Cartoons/Anime

There are 110 Anime Series on hulu.com

Crunchyroll also have a good collection.

The anime DVD market (especially dub) is in decline and each year less and less anime will be put out on DVD. Which mean anime studios will be more willing to license anime for legal streaming whether its Funimation (hulu) or crunchyroll or others.

Maybe 4 years from now, high definition anime streaming will become the norm.

Example of how spectacular 720p streaming can be. Watch this video in 720p. And this is today....think how much streaming technology will improve 4 years from now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGbwL8kSpEk
It's a very popular song from South Korea (almost 10 million views).
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Old 2010-04-29, 21:36   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsocce
What will cause you to make a switch from downloading a fansub to watching it on a legal streaming website? For me, I already make the switch if the anime is available.
Being available in my region is enough for me to switch to a legal streaming option. I would love if all the shows I wanted to see were available in that form. Unfortunately that hasn't happened, so I still have to resort to fansubs. For me the ideal situation is ad-supported streams, which would give a similar experience of receiving a TV channel which broadcasts anime.

The thing I don't get about people who say they prefer to have physical copies of their anime and thus will continue taking fansubs is that it seems to assume some sort of entitlement on their part. That fans somewhat have a right to have access to anime illegally if all their needs aren't met.
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Old 2010-04-29, 22:13   Link #17
alamarco
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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
Worry more about the future of DVD releases.
That's what I'd be more worried about. I just hope with all this digital movement there will still be hard copies. I love watching streams, but I'm a huge collector and even buying download-to-own isn't really a "collection".

Pirating will always be there. Music, movies, anime, manga, etc. What ever it is, people will want to get it for free. Even if it a stream was 1080p, free, no ads, no buffer waits (seamless video), etc. People would still say "I want a hard copy", "I want something on my PC", etc.

Crunchyroll does a good job. Sure you have to pay for 720p, but it's pretty cheap. For the price of one movie I can get anime for a month. Just hook up your PC to a TV and you're golden. Just wish FUNimation would get with the program and offer 720p. I don't mind paying for quality.

I still use fansubs though. If a show isn't on Crunchyroll or FUNimation you gotta watch it somehow. Without fansubs I wouldn't of bought half the DVD's I bought. I only bought one set of DVD's without having previously watched the show, and even then I had an idea of what the show was about.
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Old 2010-04-29, 22:35   Link #18
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You know, many people who want a physical copy -
1) want a DVD collection. They *collect* DVDs. They spend lots of damned money on anime and manga.
2) want an option to archive material that doesn't ever get released on DVD in their region. Currently, fansubs are the choice.
3) Don't have "an amazing broadband connection". Streaming is a disaster on many connections with stops, burps, buffering and many people don't know how to fix it. Also, many ISPs have this little thing called "data transfer caps" the streaming advocates utterly ignore in their flagwaving.

Never mind that streaming can be captured anyway, eh?
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Old 2010-04-29, 22:44   Link #19
Marcus H.
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Ironically, what Vexx points out on (2) is the same reason fansubs still exist; because markets are forced upon geographic boundaries denoted by DVD Region Locks, many people who are interested to buy DVDs but can't due to its inavailability on their respective region would end up with fansubs.

Plus, "professional" subbing companies are clearly outclassed by fansubs, who can clearly produce a better sub than those who are actually paid for their services.
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Old 2010-04-29, 22:51   Link #20
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Well said, Vexx.

1. Spent several thousand because I do want physical copies.
2. Yes, I want it for the long run and when releases are over 3 years behind over here and limited in what's available, it's very frustrating. Plus there's almost no TV airing of it over here. So fansubs is the only way to even get an idea of what a series in like before buying for a lot of places. Expecting people to buy something without any idea what it's like? Not likely.
3. Mine's alright but many countries/states can't supply it yet. Japan is light years ahead of the rest of the world in that area and Hong Kong is at that mark too. Streaming internationally...*shiver* CR may pick up 2-3 shows a season, but that's hardly covering it. It's barely more than a token effort, really. Enough to say that they're providing an option but not a good one. And surely 720p quality is possible. If fansubbers can do 1080p, why can't streamers do more than 480p? Not sure whether that would be related to number of users.
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