Downloading Movies, TV shows

November 29th, 2007

I haven’t had cable or satellite since 2003 – over 4 years. Just a DVD player and computer connected to my TV. And i think its great – easier and better suited to my lifestyle. Everybody knows how to rent a DVD from the local video store or get’em in the mail from Netflix, so today i’m just gonna discuss watching from your computer (I connect my macbook pro to my HDTV and watch it on that).

So what to watch? Well, some people really like Tivo to get shows – it saves stuff for you as it comes on TV, makes it easy to skip passed commercials, etc. I prefer to download an entire season of a TV show at once, like LOST, Heroes Season 1, or my favorite, The Wire. But sometimes you need more recent shows, like The Colbert Report.  You can also get classic movies like caddyshack or browse the latest comedies or latest action movies.

Note – the system is not perfect – if something is not popular, its hard to download. Thats why i always tell people to sort the results by number of seeders (people sharing), and only download ones that are easy to get (like 10 seeders minimum, 50+ seeders is best).

On the techie side, you’re just downloading a small torrent file from the links above, which just tells your torrent client where to get the rest of the data. Kinda like google search results tells your browser (firefox) where to get the thing you’re looking for. Once you have the torrent file, you wait anywhere from a day (new movies are popular) to over a week (Heroes season 1 is 4 GB) while your torrent client does all the downloading. What torrent client should you get? I like Azureus for Windows and Transmission for Mac OS X.

Mininova is the most popular site to get torrent files, but there are other torrent sites.

Disclaimer: Don’t download any movies you don’t already own – thats illegal.

  1. Lori
    November 29th, 2007 at 11:10 | #1

    so, is what you are describing a legal activity?

  2. November 29th, 2007 at 13:04 | #2

    …and beware of the low quality movies filmed from the back of a theater or dubbed in different languages.

    Also! The SF Public library lends out a great selection of DVDs and VHS (feature films, documentaries and TV shows) for free for 7 days with valid library card.

  3. LJP
    November 29th, 2007 at 14:34 | #3

    Game ON.

  4. jeffro
    November 30th, 2007 at 18:54 | #4

    Torrent automation. Tell it which tv shows you like and it will automatically download the torrent for the latest episode as soon as it becomes available then launch your bittorrent client and add the torrent. All you have to do is come home drunk and find the latest episode of The Office is waiting for you.

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