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What is VRV? Everything you need to know about the geek-centric streamer
If anime, fantasy, and gaming content is your bag, finding a one-stop-shop for all your streaming needs has become a lot easier. While the field used to be fairly crowded, Crunchyroll has largely taken over, and it’s merging with other services, including VRV. So, what is VRV?
The geeky streaming service has a pretty niche appeal. It’s likely to either be exactly what you’re looking for or have nothing for you.
If you’re on the fence, though, have a look at our breakdown. We’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about VRV, including how the merger with Crunchyroll will affect VRV’s future.
What is VRV?
VRV (pronounced “verve”) is a standalone streaming service that focuses on anime, animation, gaming, comedy, fantasy, and technology. The service launched in 2016 and has been expanding ever since.
The service bundles similar content into dedicated “channels” to let you organize your viewing according to subgenres and interests.
Is VRV worth it?
Whether VRV is worth it really depends on your viewing tastes. If all you want in a streaming service is romcoms, horror movies, or reality TV, for example, keep walking. This service just won’t give you what you’re looking for.
If you want to know whether there’s enough content to justify a paid membership, then the answer is yes. You’re getting a solid amount of stuff to watch without breaking the bank, and the more of it you want to watch, the more that value goes up.
How does VRV work?
VRV works a lot like other streaming services in that you sign up and have unlimited access to a “Premium” library. Stream whatever you want, whenever you want.
How much does VRV cost?
VRV Premium comes in at the fairly average subscription price of $9.99 per month.
Can I get VRV for free?
VRV Premium is a paid subscription service, but you have a few options if you want it for free.
First, there’s the free trial, which is by definition a limited-time opportunity. When you sign up, you can click on the 30-day free trial and enjoy the service for free for about a month. Just make sure to cancel your subscription before the trial period ends to avoid being charged.
VRV also has over 20,000 hours of free content, which varies and is updated regularly. Some channels will have exclusive series for members who have a Premium account, so heads up that you won’t have access to everything even on “free” channels.
The downside to watching your favourite content for free using this method is that you’ll have to sit through ads, and you won’t get all content as soon as you would with a Premium account.
How do I sign up for VRV?
If this kind of service is appealing to you, head over to the VRV website to sign up and start watching.
You can check out the free content first, or grab a free trial before committing to a paid membership.
Does it still make sense to sign up for VRV when it’s going to be part of Crunchyroll soon?
Crunchyroll announced in March 2022 that it would combine its library with that of Funimation, Wakanim, and VRV, hosting everything under the Crunchyroll roof.
That means VRV isn’t long for this world. We don’t know exactly how long the full transition will take, though. If you like what VRV offers, you can still sign up, but your best bet is probably Crunchyroll.
Existing Funimation, Wakanim, and VRV subscribers have been sent a code for 60 days of Crunchyroll for free to ease the transition, but it doesn’t look like new VRV subscribers will get that deal.
What channels do I get with VRV?
VRV doesn’t quite include everything it used to. Current VRV Premium channels are:
- VRV Select
You may wonder why you’d want to sign up for VRV for something like Crunchyroll, which is available as a standalone streamer. It’s a fair question, especially if you already have a free Crunchyroll account. With VRV, you can keep everything in one place, and as a VRV Premium subscriber, your Crunchyroll membership will be upgraded to Premium, giving you access to more content, simulcast for quicker access, no ads, discounts on the Crunchyroll store, and more.
But VRV does more than just bring together your existing services with extra perks. As a Premium member, you also get exclusive channels MONDO and VRV Select.
Can I get Funimation content on VRV?
As we’ve mentioned, Funimation has merged with Crunchyroll, meaning the Crunchyroll library is expanding.
While that may sound like exciting news for VRV subscribers, be warned that the Crunchyroll access you get with VRV is now going to be reduced, making a standalone Crunchyroll subscription a bit more appealing to anyone who wants all that new content.
According to VRV, “All new series from the upcoming Spring season will stream exclusively on Crunchyroll.” If you want that new content, you’ll want to cancel your VRV subscription and sign up for Crunchyroll.
It’s not clear how long Sony (which owns VRV and Crunchyroll) will keep VRV alive.
Sony is currently working on allowing subscribers to migrate their VRV watch history and queue to Crunchyroll, but that service isn’t yet offered.
What can I watch on VRV?
So, a list of channels is all well and good, but what’s on those channels? And how do you choose the right ones for you?
Some channels cast a wide net. Exclusive channel VRV Select includes a broad, curated selection of popular films and series. These include:
- Cyanide and Happiness
- My Brother, My Brother and Me
- Hidden America!
Crunchyroll, which is also available as a standalone service, has a huge selection of anime. With a Premium membership, some of those titles are even simulcast so that you can watch as they air in Japan. Popular titles include:
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Dr. Stone
- Attack on Titan
- One-Punch Man
- Black Clover
- Hunter x Hunter
Have a look around on VRV to find your favorite channels.
What devices are supported by VRV?
VRV is available on most of the major devices you’d expect. You can watch on your web browser, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Chromecast, iOS phones/iPads, Android devices OS v5.0 and above as well as Android TV, Fire TV, Apple TV, and newer Roku devices.
Can I download videos from VRV?
While VRV is an online streamer, there are probably times you’ll want to watch your favorite content when you don’t have internet access. Say you’re taking a train with spotty Wi-Fi over the holidays to see your folks. That’s a perfect time to queue up some anime. No worries. VRV is set up for that, as long as you have a Premium account.
You can download content to your device of choice through the VRV app on iOS and Android. Tap the arrow icon next to the episode you want, and it’ll be synced to your device and available in your “offline viewing” list.
Now, unlike some other streamers, VRV does limit the functionality of your offline downloads. You’ll have offline access for a limited, set amount of time (usually seven days), and you’ll have 48 hours to watch any given title from the time you press play. Because of some licensing agreements, there are some titles that can’t be downloaded, but most can, and VRV is working to expand offline availability everywhere else.
How does VRV hold up to the competition?
The most obvious competition for VRV used to be Funimation, though it mostly competed with Crunchyroll as a home for streaming anime. Now that Funimation has been absorbed by Crunchyroll, the latter service is the new big kid on the playground.
VRV’s main strength is its niche appeal. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and similar sites cast a wide net, hoping to appeal to a wide audience. Those can range in price up to $20 per month, and Amazon offers additional channels on top of that.
Read also: The best anime on Amazon Prime Video
On the other hand, VRV keeps prices relatively low while bundling a pretty carefully curated line-up of content for a more dedicated audience of gaming and anime fans.
Streaming is a crowded field, and the “streaming wars” have only heated up since the early days of Netflix. The space includes the above services as well as Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Mubi, Peacock, Shudder, Britbox, The Criterion Channel, and seemingly more new options every day. So, VRV is holding its own less as a big tent and more as a niche, targeted service for a very specific clientele. Just as Shudder knows its horror crowd, VRV knows who it’s speaking to.
Scrolling through the offering, you either get what it’s about right away, or else it’s likely just not for you.
Sony acquired Crunchyroll and VRV for $1.175 million in August 2021. VRV was previously owned by Otter Media. Otter Media is a subsidiary of AT&T’s Warner Media, which owns Warner Bros., HBO, and HBO Max.
Unfortunately not. While the streaming quality is perfectly good at 1080p, a lot of content on VRV isn’t available in 4K anywhere.
VRV is available throughout the US, but because of licensing agreements, it’s not currently available anywhere else. The company hopes to expand into other countries but doesn’t currently have a timeline to launch anywhere else.
Yes, but you’ll need to make sure you have a newer device. VRV doesn’t specify how new, unfortunately.
VRV Premium is ad-free, but if you use the more limited free service, you will have to accept ad breaks.
Yes, VRV will merge with Crunchyroll under the Crunchyroll brand. It’s not clear exactly when that will happen though.