San Francisco – Crunchyroll, a prominent player in the anime streaming world, is making headlines today, but it’s not the type of attention it truly needs. Crunchyroll has long been the go-to platform for anime enthusiasts, offering a vast library of anime titles at an affordable price. However, there’s a lingering issue that’s casting a shadow over its otherwise commendable service – the functionality and user experience of its app, particularly on smart TVs.

Owned by Sony, Crunchyroll was acquired from AT&T and WarnerMedia, making it one of the leading legal sources for anime content in the United States. It boasts several strengths, including simulcasting new episodes directly from Japan, offering both dubbed and subtitled versions, and housing a comprehensive collection of major anime titles spanning the last two decades.

Despite its vast content library and the joy it brings to anime fans, Crunchyroll’s app is best enjoyed on a mobile device or web browser. On smart TVs and set-top boxes such as Apple TV, Roku, PS4, and PS5, the experience is often marred by crashes and bugs, rendering it barely functional. While the app is available on numerous other smart TV platforms, it hasn’t gained a reputation for being reliable.

The problems users encounter include frequent logouts and the inability to resume episodes seamlessly. Instead, they are compelled to search for their shows and then scroll to locate the latest episodes. In an ironic twist, the app appears to have a perfect memory when it comes to the viewing history of certain shows but struggles to offer a smooth viewing experience for others.

To illustrate the issue, let’s take “Birdie Wing: Golf Girls’ Story” as an example. After watching a single episode, the app seems unwilling to let the viewer forget that it happened, repeatedly displaying it. However, the same app may not efficiently provide the next episode of a different series, such as “Spy X Family,” prompting users to perform their own searches.

The problems have reached a point where many users have ceased using the app on their TV-connected devices altogether. Instead, they resort to opening Crunchyroll on their mobile phones and employing AirPlay or Chromecast to broadcast it on their TV screens. While this workaround usually works, it can be disrupted when users compulsively engage with other apps on their smartphones, causing interruptions in the AirPlay connection.

This frustrating experience has prompted a longing for a much-needed improvement in Crunchyroll’s app for smart TVs. Users are eagerly awaiting a more user-friendly, reliable, and functional version that can offer a smoother viewing experience on larger screens.

However, despite these longstanding issues, Crunchyroll’s recent announcement doesn’t pertain to an improved app. Rather, the company (under Sony’s ownership) has revealed plans to launch anime streaming channels in collaboration with GSN for FAST TV services. These services include Amazon Freevee, the Roku Channel, LG Channels, and Vizio’s WatchFree Plus. Shows such as “PSYCHO-PASS” and “CLAMP’s Code Geass” will be streamed on these channels, initially dubbed, with the intention of introducing new viewers to the world of anime.

Crunchyroll’s other significant development revolves around its parent company, Sony, settling a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that Crunchyroll users’ individual viewing information may have been shared with third-party sites without their consent. Subscribers between September 8th, 2020, and September 20th, 2023, may be eligible for compensation of up to $30 by submitting a claim online before December 12.

Crunchyroll’s unresolved app issues on smart TVs continue to disappoint loyal users, and the absence of an announcement for an overhaul is a missed opportunity for the platform to enhance the viewing experience and cement its place as the top choice for anime enthusiasts.

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