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Chris Fehily

Part 7

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Telesync copies look as bad as cams but sound better because audio is captured directly from the theater's sound system (possibly in cahoots with the projectionist). Telesyncs are released at the same time as cams.

Quality: Low.

Torrent labels: TS, TELESYNC.

Example: How.To.Train.Your.Dragon.2010.TS.XviD-PrisM.

Screeners are ripped (copied) from leaked review DVDs that movie studios send to critics, Academy voters, and film execs. Screeners show a movie's theatrical release but are degraded by sudden color changes, "Property of Whatever Pictures" overlays, or slightly fuzzy video. Screeners can appear at any time, even before cams.

Quality: Medium.


Example: The Social Network 2010 DVDSCR XViD WBZ.

R5s are ripped from Region 5 retail DVDs. (Region-coding prevents DVDs from working in players outside the countries where they're marketed - an irrelevance to pirates.) Region 5 includes Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, and other countries where legal but inferior DVDs compete with rampant piracy. R5s are released before DVD-Rips.

Quality: Medium.

Torrent label: R5.

Example: Knight and Day (2010) R5 XviD-MAXSPEED.

PPV-Rips are sourced from pay-per-view movies on hotel-room TVs. They're released before DVD-Rips.

Quality: Medium.

Torrent labels: PPVRip, PPV.

Example: Devil 2010 PPVRip IFLIX.

DVD-Rips are copied from retail DVDs and are the most popular type of movie torrents.

Quality: High.

Torrent label: DVDRip.

Example: The Graduate 1967 DVDrip XviD-Ekolb.

DVDRs are full copies of retail DVDs, including menus and bonus features but not copyright warnings, ads, and other cruft. Some DVDRs are compressed from their original dual-layer (DVD-9) format so they can be burned on cheaper, single-layer (DVD-5) DVDs. "Untouched" DVDRs are perfect copies of the original DVDs, cruft and all.

Quality: High.

Torrent labels: DVDR, DVD-R, DVD-Full, Full-Rip.

Example: Iron Man 2 (2010) DVD-R NTSC (eng-spa) [Sk].

HDTV-Rips are recorded from high-definition television signals, typically via a digital video recorder (DVR) or PC video-capture card. HDTV-Rips are labeled according to how they're sourced and encoded.

Quality: High.

Torrent labels: HDTV, PDTV, DSR, DVB, TVRip, STV, DTH.

Example: Tarzan.1999.720p.HDTV.x264.

BD-Rips and BR-Rips are copied from high-definition Blu-ray disks. BD-Rips are slightly better than BR-Rips. The resolution, 720p or 1080p, is the number of horizontal scan lines of display resolution. High-res files are big but yield sharp images. If you have a 720p display, don't bother downloading a 1080p file.

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Quality: Very High.

For iOS playback on iPad, iPhone, and iPod, try CineXPlayer (or VLC on jailbroken devices). For Android devices, there's VPlayer and RockPlayerBase. These and similar players are available from Apple's App Store or Google's Android Market, or via Cydia for jailbreaks. Apps are updated to play catch-up to the number of supported video formats. Your best bet for smooth playback on mobile devices is a standard-definition AVI file using the DivX/Xvid codec.

For TV playback, I use Western Digital's WD TV Live. Similar players are made by ASUS, Iomega, LaCie, Popcorn Hour, and Seagate. Modern players let you play videos directly from a portable USB drive or stream them wirelessly from a networked computer. Older players, like Philips' DVP5960, are cheap but can't play many now-common formats. Avoid Apple TV. Out of the box, it's limited to iTunes-compatible videos (H.264/MPEG-4). If you already own one, poke around the web for jailbreaks and hacks to play unconverted AVI and MKV files.

AVI, MKV, MPEG, and many other video formats are container formats, meaning the filename extension alone doesn't dictate the video's encoding scheme. A given .avi file can use any of scores of available compression standards, hence the need for robust media players that can interpret a wide range of formats. Container formats are confusing and average users don't need to know much about them. A video either will or will not play and, if not, you can try a different player or download a different version of the same video. For technical details, start with Wikipedia's article about container formats.

Dubbing and Subt.i.tles.

In a dubbed video, the voices of the original actors are replaced by those of subst.i.tutes speaking a different language (specifically, the local language of a foreign market). A torrent's name, filenames, or release notes indicate the dubbing language: Spirited Away [Anime] [Eng Dub]

Jet Li - Fist Of Legend [ENG DUB] (DivX)-AVI Toy.Story.3.FR.DUB.BRRip.720p.XviD-RalF Transporter 3 (Hindi Dubbed) DVDRip Dubbing works well for animation, but for live actors ranges from distracting to comical (the canonical example being G.o.dzilla movies where j.a.panese actors speak fractured, out-of-sync English). You're better off with an undubbed video that has subt.i.tles: textual dialogue overlaid as captions at the bottom of the screen. Subt.i.tles come in three flavors: Hard subt.i.tles, also called hardsubs or open subt.i.tles, are merged in the original video and can't be turned off (think karaoke). Hardsubs are inflexible but require no special software or hardware for playback.

Prerendered subt.i.tles, also called closed subt.i.tles, are embedded in the video but can be turned on or off or display different languages (like the subt.i.tles of DVD and Blu-ray disks). Newer formats like MKV can handle prerendered subt.i.tles, but older formats like AVI can't.

Soft subt.i.tles, also called softsubs or closed subt.i.tles, come as separate files that you load in tandem with the video file. Softsubs are the most common type of torrent subt.i.tles.

Support for closed subt.i.tles varies by media player. In VLC media player, for example, you can use the Video > Subt.i.tles Track menu to turn on or off subt.i.tles, choose a language, or open a subt.i.tle file.

The most common and widely supported subt.i.tle format is SRT or SubRip (.srt), named for the popular program that extracts video subt.i.tles and timing cues from DVDs into text files. You can find a torrent's subt.i.tle files in the same folder as the accompanying video or in their own folder named "Subt.i.tles" or "Subs." Filenames indicate the language: Y Tu Mama Tambien - King Kong - Downfall (Der Untergang) [Eng][Subs].srt To open subt.i.tles at any time in VLC media player, choose Video > Subt.i.tles Track > Open File. To load subt.i.tles at the same time the video starts, choose Media (or File) > Advanced Open File, select a video file, turn on the "subt.i.tles file" checkbox, and then select a subt.i.tle file. Other options let you control the subt.i.tles' font size and alignment.

Other subt.i.tle file formats include SUB or SubViewer (.sub) and VobSub (paired .sub and .idx files). For VobSub, open the .idx file, not the .sub file. Many other less-common formats exist. If you meet an unfamiliar one, read Wikipedia's article about subt.i.tles.

Text-based subt.i.tle files are easy to create and edit. (You can open an .srt file in a text editor to see its format.) If a torrent has no subt.i.tle files, you can search for unofficial fansubs created by fans of movies and TV shows. To find fansubs, visit a subt.i.tles site like or, or search the web for what you're looking for followed by the word subt.i.tles (for example, battle royale subt.i.tles).

Other Videos.

In addition to mainstream movie, TV, sports, and doc.u.mentary torrents, you can find: Adult films (p.o.r.n) Anime Awards shows Cla.s.sroom videos Concerts and comedy shows Exercise and fitness videos Magic lessons Movie trailers Music videos Newsreels Interviews Radio program videos Short films Training courses, tutorials, seminars, and webinars War footage.

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