Starting tonight, Funimation will be streaming Dragon Ball Z episodes 1-15 on their website. This is just the first step in what they say will be streaming of all Dragon Ball shows, including Dragon Ball Kai, online, for free. This is an unprecedented feat for the company.
The DBZ streaming uses the Funimation "Remastered Season Sets" footage. The "orange bricks" as they're often called have video that Funimation remastered on their own, causing the loss of detail. They also blew up the picture and cropped it for widescreen, so there's also missing bits of the picture. They also messed around with the colors so that it's much brighter than intended. The better footage is easily the Dragon Box material, but Funimation has decided to go with this.
The language options for DBZ are Japanese with subtitles and English with the English TV broadcast score, with no option for the English dub with the original Japanese score. It's not clear whether the GT streaming will have the original score for the dub or the Menza replacement score.
Now, frankly, DBZ streaming does little for me. I'm collecting the DBZ Dragon Boxes, with a little bit of Kai on the side. So speaking personally, I'm only mildly interested in the original Dragon Ball series streaming, because I don't intend to purchase that until a Dragon Box release is available. And to be honest, I'm glad they're not using the Dragon Box footage for the streaming, because that sort of defeats the purpose of me shelling out so much money for a limited edition product. Why should people get it for free? The Season Set crap is good enough for free streaming. Plus this might shut down some illegal streaming of the show.
Also, dub fans who whine and complain about missing hearing the Faulconer score on television can instead watch this streaming (though they can also buy the damn Season Sets, they're super cheap now). Let the Toonami nostalgic stick to their preferred version. Hopefully the new fans will check it out in Japanese, or watch Kai when that streams.
Sure, there's no option for people to watch DBZ in English with the Kikuchi score in this streaming (at least, I don't think there is), but it's not like the Kikuchi score magically transforms the Dragon Ball Z dub into a good one. It still sucks.It's free, so you get what you pay for.
I almost want to applaud Funimation for their savviness.
UPDATE: It looks like they're actually using the Kikuchi score for the English dub option. Guess replacement music fans got trolled.