C1R, short for Channel 1 Releasing, is a large and well-known site which has been around since 1999. Owned and operated by gay porn director (and drag queen) ChiChi LaRue, it not only offers C1R releases but videos from other directors and studios. Since 1988, ChiChi LaRue has filmed all the biggest porn stars in hundreds of movies under the Rascal Video imprint; LaRue now owns the entire catalogs of All Worlds Video, Catalina Video and Dirk Yates, which all appear on the site. C1R has just undergone a massive renovation and site design, so let's take a look at what's new.
When it comes to performers, C1R has all sorts of guys. You'll find smooth twinks, athletic jocks, mature daddies, hairy bears, hunks and more, and the performers come in all sizes, shapes and colors. The guys are mostly professional porn stars, and you can expect a lot of hunky men with well-defined bodies and big hard cocks. And they're not shy when it comes to sex on camera.
When it comes to action there is tons of variety from cock sucking and hardcore fucking to extreme fetishes, BDSM, group sex, interracial action and lots more. I found outdoor action, scenes in locker rooms, showers, garages and dungeons, and just about anywhere guys can jerk off or fuck. I found some large group scenes with five to over 10 guys, and there's also some bisexual and tranny porn. C1R has a pre-condom category that takes us back to the days when we fucked without rubbers, and there's a good selection of vintage porn. Funnily enough, while the site now includes modern bareback scenes from companies like William Higgins, there's no bareback category and even the free-form search nets no results for bareback.
C1R has not only spruced up the site design but the videos, too. This is a bit of good news and bad news. First, the good news; the videos have been re-encoded so they now appear much larger. The site uses an adaptive player, so how big will depend on the size of your screen. I have a 36-inch monitor so I was watching videos at 1600x900, although some of the older ones were a little smaller. The bad news is that this is a mammoth undertaking so not all of C1R's catalog has been re-encoded yet. So where there used to be around 10,000 scenes from 2,500 DVDs, now there are 926 scenes from 202 DVDs. The site is continuing to work as fast as they can to get the entire catalogue re-encoded, but with thousands of scenes in the queue, it'll be a while. Nevertheless, all the videos are still available on the old site if you don't mind jump around from one to another.
Another good thing about the new C1R is that they've simplified the ways you can enjoy their content. One monthly membership gives you unlimited streaming so you can watch as much as you want. If you click the "Buy DVD" button on the new site, it'll take you to the old site where the old pay-per-minute streaming and mail-order DVD options reside. I'm not fond of this, but I guess things will be in transition for a while.
You'll find videos in two sections called Movies and Scenes. The first lists the full DVDs available on the site, and each DVD's page details the performers and a description along with some category tags that are clickable so you can find more of the same content (the model names are clickable, too). Playing the video is easy, one click pops open the massive player and you start watching the video.
Under Scenes, you can watch individual scenes from various DVDs, and these appear in the order they're added to the system. You won't always see all of a DVDs scenes in sequence, but they often are. The player defaults to the highest speed available, but you can select any of a video's four speeds and the highest cleans up the picture quality quite nicely in most cases. There is a full-screen option that gives varying results depending on the scene you're watching. At the top of the Scenes homepage there's a category dropdown menu that allows you to sort the movies by dozens of pre-selected categories like blonds, bears, military or twink, to name but a few.
The C1R tour says that it's updating three times a week, but they still don't date their videos, so I can't confirm this. Also, the tour mentions the 2,500 DVD titles and 10,000 scenes, but as I already explained, they're not all available on the new site, however, if you don't mind jumping between old and new worlds, you'll find them over on the old site. There used to be over 1,700 recorded live shows from Live & Raw and Dirk Yates, but these are missing and I don't know if the site has plans to bring them back.
Not all of the changes at C1R have been positive. The site has completely eliminated any pictures. There never were picture galleries, but each scene used to have a handful of screencaps that let you preview the action. These are now gone.
Let's talk about issues. The quality of the videos varies wildly as some of the source material was shot over decades and with a mixture of equipment. Some of the very oldest videos weren't very crisp, although they were still fun to watch. There are no downloads offered; you can't even pay extra to download the scenes you like. And, as already mentioned, you'll have to go to the old version of the site to see all the videos as not all have been encoded and added to the new version of the site.
C1R's new design has addressed many of my top pet peeves with complicated navigation and too many ways to pay for the content, like unlimited streaming, pay-per-view and DVDs, but those issues pop back if you jump over to the old site. While the site gets full marks for re-encoding videos and presenting them at a much larger size, they lose marks for only offering a tenth of their previous catalog on the new site. The streaming membership is unlimited, but there are no downloads even if you're willing to pay for the scenes you like, so the only way you can get a copy of each scene is to purchase the DVD. There's a fair bit to enjoy here, and lots more if you don't mind jumping from the new to the old site.