Does Quality Matter?

~Fufu~ Allow my wellspring of knowledge to challenge you to think outside the box on this thing known as quality.

Note: This article was written awhile back on my blog, but I also wanted some opinions from readers here at AOIA.

To be honest, I am not a picky person. As much as I like watching a visual masterpiece I do not exactly think any less of the series if it is standard definition. I am fairly adaptive and appreciative to watch a series that is 360 or 480p (just referring to the definition of quality) as I would be if it were 720p or 1080p. It is not an absolute nail in the coffin (so to speak) to determine if I watch a series and if it is, I feel that is a serious limiter. However, some people may disagree with me. So does quality actual matter? I can not speak for everyone, but again, I feel that it is not a necessary more than it is a luxury. I can remember fairly well when I used to watch series by means of streaming it or even to going farther back when the old CRT television was the in the thing. I certainly did not mind back then if the quality was superb (nor did I have a choice in the matter), so it actually does not hinder my experience today as well. Admittedly, I have moved on from streaming (with a better Internet connection than it was five years ago) and enjoying a more higher level of quality, but not necessarily a higher quality viewing experience. For me, anyway, the quality does not decide that. If anything, that falls on the elements in question (story, writing, characters, art/animation, themes, music, etc) that make up the series and of course, me as the viewer and what I take away from it. All the same, I still enjoy viewing new and older series in standard definition. As long as I can clearly see what is transpiring in a specific scene, then I am fine with whatever the definition of quality  However, this merely falls to the viewers perspective and necessarily does not echo or meant to echo anyone else’s personal stand point. Yet, to emphasize on the last point, I also do think quality also refers to the content as well as it does to the actually visual presentation. I know if the story is bad or if the characters do not represent any factors of change or whatever the show wish to impose on the viewer; it can be aesthetically pleasing as it can get, but still is not enough to cover those glaring weakness. The same goes for enjoyable or ecchi themed titles (slice-of-life, comedy genres), if they do not represent anything that gives a different viewing experience or plain enjoyable past the bland innuendos and other stale devices; the quality in how it looks will not change much. Being presentable and actually looking the part goes both ways and not in the same vein. I might be prudent in some respects, but overall I think that is another ounce that begs thought to be given to when watching or deciding to whether or not watch a series. It certainly breeds different worlds and something to consider also if watching series in higher quality in necessarily worth it. What do you think?


Why Write This Post (Notes)

  • The exact post idea came from watching Dantalian no shoka and Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi awhile back. Seeing in how I was in engaged in the series despite some individuals wanting a higher quality version rather than the low quality streamed offer.
  • I do not think DVD’s are quite out of style or obsolete either to spare another discussion. Some computers (expect for older variants) can handle Blu-ray, but I rather watch a Blu-ray on the system it was intended for. Although, in another few years another “new” thing will be out and best to stick with what you know, until it is necessary to switch over (unavailability). Again, just a personal opinion, since everyone can not afford or feel like cashing out for the latest thing. This is not a BD vs DVD debate, though.
  • Do not confusion quality with the actually key trait of art and animation. That is on a different spectrum. The quality I refer to is in appearance and also refer slightly to the quality overall with regards to the many elements (such as story, music, etc) that make up a production.
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About Moonlitasteria

Anime enthusiastic, gamer, amateur blogger, and nerd with an insatiable hunger for all things tech.
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18 Responses to Does Quality Matter?

  1. @fkeroge says:

    Well, I for one, before getting an internet connection at home, had to settle for DVDs and copies of anime from friends, and I didn’t mind the quality of the videos back then. But ever since I gained access to 720p and 1080p versions of anime, I just had to watch my anime in the highest quality possible. I don’t know why I became like this too.

    • After experiencing something in higher quality I will not doubt that it will be hard to turn back. Still to this day I watch DVD quality shows, but I do like spring for the 720p – 1080p HD videos. I am just not ready to buy BD’s yet – despite the cost.

  2. I couldn’t care less about quality. I tend to watch the low-quality versions because my computer is more willing to run them, and I’m perfectly all right with that. Like you, as long as I can see what’s going on in a scene, I’m happy.

  3. Anonomyous says:

    Sometimes the visual quality is important. Like Stein;s Gate for example. There are many instances of very dark backgrounds, to the point that with the streamed version, it was very hard to make out anything other than something moving or Okabe’s lab coat.

    Most times it doesn’t really matter. Like Nichijo. Bright colors and simple drawing style. Even in HD it won’t change much. Madoka to a certain extent as well as the characters are also draw in a simple style though the background and witches could benefit from HD.

    Now Gundam 00, Macross F and most CGI is another type that would benefit highly from HD. I recommend you take a look at the mass battles in HD and compare to the stream quality. Large differences

    • That it is, but I just can not tell the difference. Of course, if you take a .png file of a SD and HD side by side, I can not visually denied any improvements such as lighting and whatnot, although, like you saying it does work with different series genre.

      Yeah, I seen series like Gundam and more intensive one’s in both SD and HD, but far as I can see, the DVD playbacks are just as crisp; however not better visually than a BD copy I know. You pay for quality.

  4. im not picky with my visuals, granted if i can get my hands on a blue ray version il almost always get that one, but if i have to watch it in SD il be ok.

  5. moichispa says:

    I think similar to @fkeroge. It depends of availability. I watched really bad quality videos too when I had not connection at home. I even downloaded once four 1st episodes 10 MB each but I never watched one of them because the subtitles were not readable at all.

    Now I usually watch 720 or 1020p because that’s the main formats that ongoing series speedsubs use. I can watch a older series with worse quality if I can’t find a best one (about 200MB like). But not again that 10 MB thing.

    • In that case, that is a bad encode if anything else. Size usually (using that word lightly) does not affect quality, but with BD’s you can typically have a larger file size, just because of the touch up work.

      Yeah, 720p for on-going series are the norm, so I in that vein, I do not have a choice and usually just take what is available, but for older series DVD/SD versions are just as good.

  6. chikorita157 says:

    Since I have a $2000 laptop with the fast graphics and CPU with a fast cable connection, I don’t see the reason to use a lower quality video unless I am on vacation with bandwidth being a problem or I have the DVD.

    As for Blu-rays, I don’t buy them since it would limit me to playing them on the Playstation 3. Besides, the upscaling of DVDs on my Samsung 32″ looks good enough from a few feet away.

    • If you have those kind of specs and the connection, you shouldn’t limit yourself. You payed for it after all. I am just saying even with the specs and connection, I tend not to be too caught up on it myself. Although best to put your processor and graphic card to good use.

      I can not justify buying BD’s, I just do not think it would be worth it in a few years, specially when they are working on things like True HD scaling and such. And yeah, my dad’s 1080p tv always makes the DVD’s I do have look better, lol. I have trouble having to go back to my small puny flat one.

  7. Azure says:

    I suppose quality matters in some way or another. It enhances the overall viewing experience.
    I’m actually very picky about the AESTHETICS quality but when it comes to issues like this, I’m actually pretty happy with anything 270p and above. So long as the subs are readable and the images and animation are viewable enough, anything works.

    My computer can’t run anything higher than 720p without a massive lag between the video and audio anyway.

    • You make a valid point, however experience differs largely from one person to person and always may not transfer to the video quality. Although, most people do care if it is HD quality, while others may not really care at all as long as it is smooth and viewable. But I see what you mean and in that case, viewable quality sometimes is my only concern.

      Hmm…if you computer is not too old it maybe just matter of codec’s. My friend tried the Divx code and CCCP to make his 720p copies work.

  8. I personally look out for more the storyline than the visuals. But of course nice visuals would be welcomed. I’ve always been too lazy to download Blu-ray versions because of the IMMENSE amount of space they require to be stored

    • My sentiments exactly, but yeah, the visuals are not a bad thing. Yeah, space is a problem, but nothing a good 1TB portable drive will not fix. I actually have one along with a smaller 320GB portable drive, but sometimes unless their are series you are willing to keep in HD/BD it is not worth it. Some the mini-encodes I found from BD are not bad either, but in that case, I just might as well get the BD file copies.

  9. Will says:

    For having a very limited bandwidth limit, watching the low quality stream is always the option I’d use the most. So I must say, I am rather comfortable with it. Still, there is a part inside me that is willing to watch the full quality version, even if this means I must destroy out of hell my small bandwidth limit.

    30gb is simply not a lot.

    • Yeah, bandwidth is a huge issue, so I am lucky to have a stable and decent connection and yet I always complain about it being crap. If you ever have the chance I would say try it; although you might think differently, but nothing wrong with streams; I been using a few for series I am too lazy to download (aka. Dantalin and Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, when it was airing).

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