A Big Change in How I Watch Anime

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Except for a few occasions spent in the rooms of my friends, or in the boardroom of a friend’s place of work, I primarily watched anime on my laptop computer over the last 6 years – the period when I watched the most anime in my life thanks to its availability online, and the community that creates attention for the particular shows.

My laptop isn’t bad. It has a 17” monitor and can play many 1080p encodes, albeit not the newer 10-bit stuff. For a 4 year-old lower-end unit with few features (only 3 USB ports!) I still get a lot out of it. It’s really just not nice to use when friends come over wanting to watch anime or movies.

I intend to upgrade and build a proper desktop for my media purposes (I’m no gamer), but that’ll take me some effort, and most especially time – which is something I don’t have a lot of. Catholics culminate the “season” of Lent by “celebrating” Holy Week, and I’ve taken this opportunity to not to have to go to the office (but not necessarily not work, ugh) and implement an interim solution for my viewing needs:

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I bought a 41” LCD TV on the cheap and set it up with a little box that plays .mkv files. The moment I set it up in my living room I did not set foot in my bedroom to touch this computer until I started writing this post.

Shopping for the best deal was grueling, taking me 2 days and through 4 stores (may not sound much, but I’m very busy so this kind of time does not normally exist in my life the past 6 months). What was fun was going through my 2TB HDD to play anime .mkvs in public. The comments from the salesmen who assisted me are precious:

They still make Macross?!?!

Wow, you have a lot of Gundam. I miss it. Gundam Wing is the best!

This is amazing in that I could really tell that people grow up watching anime over here. For many of them it wasn’t some kind of weird hobby. They were just cartoons that they were into when they were watching them. I loved how a small crowd assembled around the big TV in the showroom as I put it (and the O!Play media player by ASUS) through its paces by playing Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

Even when I got home and our trusty manservant (he’s a young guy probably just out of his teens) and I set the TV up together I showed him lots of different anime – just to let him know that there’s a bigger world than Naruto and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED reruns on basic cable.

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Now it’s going to be more fun having people over. I’m still going to need a home theater sound system to get the most out of this TV, but I’ll need to raise some cash for that – not easy while my daughter needs a lot of dental work thanks to her drinking milk formula (great for making her tall and strong, but fucks up her teeth). Still, I was able to have some good friends over last night and we made tacos and got drunk on Rum, then Vodka while marathoning some 10 straight episodes of Hanasaku Iroha. It’s great to rewatch anime in a big monitor.

Now I just wanna rewatch everything.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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41 Responses to A Big Change in How I Watch Anime

  1. Reid says:

    Your poor kiddo! I’ll say a prayer that everything will go well with her procedure(s). Your TV setup is pretty boss though. I’ve got a 34-inch TV to play games on and to watch my movies. At this point I don’t have any anime saved on a hard drive but I should probably think about it before such downloads become really really super (we SWEAR we ain’t joking – you’re in BIG TROUBLE NOW KID!) super illegal in the States, what with all the big file sharing places coming under more scrutiny than ever.

    • It’s not boss yet until I can play 10-bit encodes (probably requires me to build a computer) and I get a home theater sound system. But I’m having a great time with it so far, blasting through chunks of LotGH.

      • Reid says:

        A couple years back a coworker hooked me up with his old home theater surround sound deal fo FREE and it’s decent, but I could stand an upgrade to a new screen, not because I have to have the biggest and best but because mine only supports up to 1080i, it being an older unit.

  2. @fkeroge says:

    Where did you get one of those MKV players? I want one for our TV here… also, how much is it? I also live in the Philippines, so you don’t need to convert it to USD.

  3. schneider says:

    I could imagine the small crowd while you were testing it out. Lovely!

  4. Xard says:

    This post made me feel happy for you (because setting up new battle station is awesome) all the way untill last pic. Owwwww! Poor kid, hope that deal goes down as well as it, uhh, can. I won’t wish for it to be pleasant experience because it can’t be…

    Since moving out to my own my main method for viewing has been this new widescreen 17 laptop I have. Thankfully as of now it’s new and powerful enough to play all files with ease. Occasionally I hook the pc up to tv on dorm’s “public space” to watch film or anime together with friends but apart from that I’m stuck on this. Which isn’t too bad as this is really good for viewing. I just need to get new headphones to better enjoy my humongous music collection.

    Neat Minmay desktop picture by the way.

  5. JoeAnimated says:

    Poor Kid! My have had their share of cavities already.

    I recently got a new/used laptop, and use it all the time. It would be so hard to do it without it. And it has an HDMI out, so I plug into my 42″ LCD when we watch movies and such. I have a 5.1 sounds system hooked up when the kids don’t screw with the wires. Recently, I bought a Raspberry Pi that I plan to plug into the TV and use as a mini media center. For other stuff, I have a XBox 360 for Netflix and Funimation shows. As an engineering, I’m always wanting to tinker with my setup 😉

    • Yeah man, you know I didn’t have cavities as a kid until I was much older (around 9 or so), so this is perplexing to me.

      Gotta get me one of those home theater systems… later this year.

  6. Ryan A says:

    Still, I was able to have some good friends over last night and we made tacos and got drunk on Rum, then Vodka while marathoning some 10 straight episodes of Hanasaku Iroha. It’s great to rewatch anime in a big monitor.

    That sounds awesome. Enjoy the hardware!

    • Reid says:

      You take that back this instant, you degenerate louse! WE HAVE NO NEED FOR YOU IN OUTER SPACE!!!!

      …….

      lol juuuuust kidding, man. We all know it sucks. But I love GW anyway. Epyon is still and will forever be my favorite Gundam.

    • Well, it’s pretty obvious that he’s a casualfag at most, who only got to watch anime on TV, dubbed in Tagalog. Hating on someone like that would be incredibly douchey.

  7. kimaguresan says:

    Nice…the surround setup will make you smile when you get it. Really enjoyed the Macross Frontier movies with surround when I watched them.

    I built (hah…built) my media center using an acer revo with XBMC on it (xbmc.org), it works great, plays 720/1080p like a boss (as long as it’s not 10-bit), and passes through surround on the HDMI.

    As mentioned, 10-bit will choke it, but that’s life. Need to build a new box to handle 10-bit as the revo’s processor is not fast at all, relies on hardware to play video proper. I just keep shaking my fist at 10-bit for now.

    Enjoy the hardware, and the rum, and most of all the friends.

    • It’s killing me that my media center can’t play the Coalguys encodes properly. Can you recommend other BD rips of the Frontier movies I can try?

      • kimaguresan says:

        One of the reasons it took me so long to watch them was because of waiting for an 8-bit encode. To me, those movies kind of deserved the home theater experience. I ended up snagging the rips from Central-Anime, an old school group that took a bit longer to release, because they claim to actually have a TL. It looked good to me. If you search Nyaa you should find them (not sure is posting torrent links here is a good idea, but feel free to DM me on twitter if you can’t find them.)

      • Xard says:

        I don’t know if they’re 10p or not but Central has the most accurate subs, barring the retarded sticking to miss Sheryl for Ranka’s Sheryl-san (which makes sense in first film when they don’t yet know each other that well but is kinda awkward subtitling choice in context of second film)

  8. Digibro says:

    Nice. The worst part of watching on your laptop was always that it was too god damn quiet, besides that there’s no comfortable way for two people to watch anything on a laptop on your bed. This is much nicer, and finally that big-ass old box is gone from the other room. Next time I come over we’ll watch anime in style XD

  9. ces06 says:

    “Wow, you have a lot of Gundam. I miss it. Gundam Wing is the best!”

    OH LOL

    There was a time when I thought Gundam WIng was the best too, though. lol

    I watch stuff on my computer, and I’m pretty much satisfied with my computer monitor right now. It’s not that big (30ish x 30ish cms) but pretty good for watching stuff. And I’ve got pretty decent speakers as well.

    But then I got together at a friend’s house and watched the Doraemon 2011 movie on his home theater set. Watching UC in HD blew me away, but watching an HD movie with a home theater set complete with surround speakers blew it out of the ballpark. I never really put any thought into the viewing experience before that. It’s interesting how HD and all the new tech stuff is bringing the viewing experience to a whole new level.

    • Yeah man, when we started watching at my friend’s place with his sweet home theater set-up, it was game over. I had to do that for my own place. Then he trolls me by making me watch ALL POSSIBLE EPISODES OF SHADOW SKILL IN ONE DAY at his house. That was just fucked up.

  10. megaroad1 says:

    Sweet setup you’re getting there Ghost. The only drawback with going big screen is that the older stuff that doesn’t have a remastered/HD edition will generally look a tad poorer that when seen on the smaller screen of your laptop. The newer or remastered stuff though, looks stunning. Got the ‘Dissapearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” bluray disc last week and got the chance to run it through my 42″ LED and it just looked…mindblowing. Having a nice surround helps too.

    Speaking of, I’m sure you’ve noticed that both SDFM and DYRL get released on bluray later this year which is a mouthwatering prospect.

    I hope your little girl doesn’t get too go the dentist too often.

  11. bluemist says:

    Not sure how much that TV cost you, but you should have found something with a home-theater package already, seems more cost-effective than buying a home theater standalone. Unless you’re in a market for a high-quality sound system that is. Also, I’m pretty sure that O!Play won’t support 10bit – the hardware chip itself is incapable even with firmware updates. Because of the 10bit annoyance I’m probably going to build an actual HTPC timing it with the new PC hardware releases this year.

    • If I was willing to spend 5k more, I would’ve gotten a home theater system, an LED instead of an LCD, but only at 32″ instead of 41″ — in the end I figured I could get a sound system later but I could get a big screen only at that point. There’s no upgrading size once I’ve made the purchase already.

  12. Matt Wells says:

    Since I’m a hard copy fag (MUST SUPPORT DYING INDUSTRY/E-BAY FLEECERS), I’m stuck with either my parent’s eight year old widescreen TV or my crappy laptop. Thankfully they’re going HD and to celebrate I’m getting a region free DVD player. HOORAY FOR CRAPPY VHS RIPS OF VOTOMS AND MACROSS PLUS MOVIE IN 1080hp!

    • Reid says:

      I looked at that VOTOMS box set online…what a crying shame. To be so expensive and yet to have such crap quality is a real travesty. Maybe, and this is just a shot in the dark, if they’d actually done a remaster and cleaned everything up to look presentable, they could have sold more of the box sets, which would have had the desired effect of…preventing that hyper-inflated price tag.

      • Matt Wells says:

        The official DVD release looks like a third generation fansub tape, and you can download the entire series for free with remastered picture and colour. This should not be, yet why is it so? Friggin’ Central Park Media, they pulled this crap all the time, even with stuff like Patlabor!

        On the bright side, I should be getting a spare copy of SRW: OG2 in the mail soon. I won’t know till it arrives, but if it’s legit would like my first copy? There’s no box or manual but the cartridge still works fine and the battery is DEFINITELY intact. I know you’ve expressed an interest in the franchise, would this tickle your fancy? Kyosuke and Excellen are the main characters! Hail unto the Alteisen Reise!

        • Reid says:

          That’s terribly nice of you, Matt. Thanks a lot, my friend. I’ll let you know, just keep me posted as to when your new copy comes in and we can hash out the details then. Thanks again, dude. You are a true bro.

  13. Jay says:

    That’s why I hate to drink milk (…but yes, I have to, and I should).

    Megadeath Mall << heard that word again.

    Congratulations on the new HDTV.

  14. Hana says:

    …while marathoning some 10 straight episodes of Hanasaku Iroha.

    I bet there was plenty of love/ hate for Minchi. 😉 Hope your little hime is okay. And hope she forgives you one day for taking that pic. -_-

  15. unknown says:

    I’d watch anime on the TV but it’s sooo much easier on the PC since I’ve got some animes in weird .001 format, some that have both dubbed version (english and japanese; a pain in the ass to configure on most tvs) and since I’ve got more than 200 shows in different folders and different formats. It’s just so easier to watch on the PC because of more compatibility; all files work no second question asked; some players do not play some codecs, etc. (even got an anime in .ogg, can a tv even read that o.O).

    Sometimes I do watch it on tv but i plug the laptop; i dont rely on the tv’s internals.

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