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 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 was undergoing a massive renovation and site design when we last reviewed it nearly two years ago, so let's take a look and see what's changed.
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. 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. The guys are mostly professional porn stars, and you'll find the biggest and best here - men like Johnny Hazzard, Eddie Stone, Dean Phoenix, Jimmy Durano and Colton Ford, as well as porn stars from years gone by like Jeff Stryker. Basically, if a guy filmed for any length of time in Pornland, he probably filmed with C1R.
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 FTM transsexual 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. And C1R has finally gotten with the times and created a bareback category; it previously didn't have one because ChiChi LaRue was a staunch opponent to bareback sex. There are now a little over two dozen scenes in the bareback category, and these are pre-condom classics or scenes produced by William Higgins.
C1R has not only spruced up the site design but the videos, too. This is a bit of good news / 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 they display will depend on the size of your screen. I have a 36 inch monitor, so I was watching videos at 1600x900. The bad news is that the oldest movies don't fare very well at this large size; I found they were generally fuzzy – still fun to watch but not crisp. And even more bad news is that most of C1R's mammoth catalogue still hasn't been re-encoded yet, so only a fraction of the company's 10,000 scenes from 2,500 DVDs is available in the member area. The old catalog used to be available on an older version of the site, but this is no longer the case.
C1R offers you an unlimited streaming membership so you can watch as much as you want. But there is also a "Buy DVD" button, and if you click this, you'll head to a site called Gamelink where you can buy the DVD, but it's also a bit confusing because it also offers prices to stream the videos, but that's already included in your C1R membership. However you will find videos on Gamelink that don't yet appear on C1R; there are 1,382 DVDs loaded here, but that's still a far cry from the original 2,500 DVDs produced by Channel 1 Releasing. Also, there's a Store link on C1R that links to Channel1Releasing.com, but the link no longer works, or didn't when I clicked it.
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 scene description, and sometimes there are category tags that are clickable so you can find more of the same content (the model names are clickable, too), but these are often absent. 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 and twinks, to name but a few.
The videos are now dated, and C1R usually updates three times a week, but there is the odd week where they only add two new scenes. However the site's tour makes two glaring and inaccurate claims: daily updates and they offer 2,500 titles with over 10,000 scenes. Neither of these are true. Remember ChiChi LaRue's Live & Raw? It used to have over 1,700 recorded live shows, but these never made it onto the new site.
Let's talk about other 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 may have even been shot on film. Some of the very oldest videos weren't crisp, others were quite blurry. There are no downloads offered; you can't even pay extra to download the scenes you like. Also, the site has completely eliminated any pictures. There never were picture galleries; each scene used to have a handful of screencaps that let you preview the action, but these are gone.
C1R gets a mixed review from me. Its newer design addressed many navigation and membership issues for me, but with only 300 of the companies' 2,500 DVD titles, it's a shadow of its former self. The rest of the content used to be available in an older version of the site, but this seems to have been replace with a Gamelink upsell that requires you spend more money. While the site gets full marks for re-encoding videos and presenting them at a much larger size, they lose marks for not taking better care to provide crisp picture quality on the older releases; I'd rather they were smaller and looked better with a full screen option for those who wanted one. With just over 1,400 scenes, there's still a fair bit to enjoy here, but overall I found the new version of the site disappointing.