Kristen Bjorn Productions
Reviewed by GayDemon on 24 Feb 2012
Kristen Bjorn has been producing videos since the late 80s of impossibly hunky (and mostly uncut) men from around the world. His meticulously crafted and beautifully framed images of groups of men are instantly recognizable. This site serves both paying members and buyers of DVDs or digital downloads. The tour promises multiple weekly updates, 500+ exclusive web scenes, tons of movies scenes, 1000s of photos, exclusive premieres in HD and 1 download to own each week. 98 recently listed videos in the Members area can be previewed by anyone. It's been about 2 1/2 years since our last review; time to check how things are going.
The site's home page is almost identical to the tour. It is attractively presented, much less busy than in the past, and has a substantially changed menu. Current choices are Models, Members, Video on Demand, Store and Live. Below, the Latest Updates, Highest rated and Most Viewed videos, and Most Popular Models are featured. Menu options have been rearranged several times in the last few years. All material for paying members (videos, galleries and forum) is now found under the Members link. There is also a Search box which works well. Nothing on the site, except for forum entries, is dated.
There are 7 video categories: Exclusive Premieres, Casting Couch, Lovers Lane, Makin' It, Download-to-own, Movie Scenes and Free Previews. The site says there are 660 web videos; I could count only 564. The Movies Scenes section contains a rotating set of 139 scenes, primarily directed by Kristen Bjorn. As one title is added, another is removed. All scenes have been released previously on DVD. Sorting by title would be useful. If you're expecting a complete set of Kristen Bjorn-directed scenes in the members' area, you'll be disappointed. A much larger set for streaming is available on another VOD site. To be fair though, there is much more of his material here than there was in the past.
Casting Couch is the largest section, with 263 original full scenes, and this section is updated weekly. None are directed by Kristen Bjorn. Exclusive Premieres currently features 4 scenes from the upcoming release 'Jagged Mountain'; streaming only. They are supposed to be HD, but play in the standard streaming popup window at only 610x345, smaller than most other scenes. There is an HD button you can click, but it just varies the image quality, not the size. Lovers Lane has 9 bareback scenes between partners. Updating is very infrequent. Makin' It contains a variety of behind-the-scenes clips; updated weekly. Download-to-own offers a single scene for permanent download, which is changed every 10 days. Free Previews is the largest single set; available for download only with no DRM. They play at only 320x240 and are very short.
Streaming quality is OK, but many other sites do streaming much better. The modest bitrates used do mean that playback is smooth. Quality is better with downloads, but there's DRM on all but one video. A few recent episodes of Casting Couch and Makin' It have had 960x540 download resolutions. The latest Casting Couch is 960x540, but the one before that only was only 640x480, which is a pretty poor resolution for new material in 2012. iPhone/iPad access has been added since our last review.
The photo sets are separated into solo model layouts, group model layouts, movie stills and behind the scenes. Exclusive Premieres and most Casting Couch scenes also have image sets. All are carefully posed and beautifully lit digital stills, except for the behind the scenes shots, which have a spontaneous look. The images are very high quality and some of the best you'll see on a gay porn website. This makes the lack of slideshows and downloadable zipped files all the more irritating.
The Models pages let you browse photos of 498 guys. Euro and Latin guys in their 20s and 30s predominate. Disappointingly, some have no material in the membership area. Many who appear only in Casting Couch episodes are not listed at all, which is an unfortunate omission. The site may have the largest group of hunky uncut men to be found anywhere.
Kristen Bjorn-directed scenes have elaborate setups and stunning indoor and outdoor locations. Group sex action is common, with up to 12 performers, along with multiple cumshots and no-hands cumshots. Casting on most sites means solos, but Casting Couch episodes are all hardcore; mostly duos, some threesomes. The setups are simpler, but guys and action are very hot.
There are only 2 extras exclusive for members, a very quiet forum and the model interviews. The other site extras, the blog, live chat and store, are available to those in the free section, not just to members.
DRM is standard on WMV downloads and it's a pain. It requires a login every time you play a video and stops playback after your membership expires. Mac and Linux users won't be able to watch them. Even the behind-the-scenes sequences use DRM. The one download-to-own scene available at any one time is an MP4 without DRM, but it's digitally watermarked. It's unfortunate that there is not more digital watermarking and less DRM.
The delivery of material on Kristen Bjorn is OK, but pervasive DRM and minimal number of HD files are negatives. However the men are hot, the content are stunning, and there's a lot of it. If the prospect of an army of sensationally humpy guys in serious hardcore action sounds appealing, you'll just have to check Kristen Bjorn out.