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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

Now this may seem a bit hypocritical, but first let me state that I don't condone this, but in quite a number of ways the TV Stations and the Cable Operators are responsible for setting our (and our Spouses? ;-) expectations quite high in the first place and then clearly not delivering.

Why the present system is not working

Example 1:

Here in Australia Foxtel would like you to sign up for their premium service and use the IQ (similar to UK's Sky+ Service) however here in Australia there is a wealth of content still delivered by the main Free to Air (FTA) Stations and yet this is only available **IF** you have the service delivered by Cable - NOT if it's delivered by Satellite.

Apparently that would require a retransmission fee that the TV Channels are not prepared to pay for - so although you see the lovely shiny adverts for Foxtel's IQ Service... come to think of it there haven't been that many lately, then it won't work for the majority of Australians who would expect to pause and timeshift TV Shows from the main Stations.

Example 2:

Related to above, my Wife starts getting interested in the TV mini-series Damages on Channel 9 at 9.30, only to find that 5 or 6 episodes in they decide to switch it to a 10.30 slot that is too late for her.

Example 3:

Channel 9 advertises "New Series" of CSI - as soon as it starts I can see it's essentially a rerun of Series 7. But now that my interest has been piqued I check the details for CSI on www.tvrage.com and find that yes CSI is now in Series 8 and it first started airing back in Sept. 2007....  sheesh!!

Example 4:

My wife is a very big fan of X-Factor in the UK and yet this show never makes it to the Foxtel supplied UK channels, so we step outside this and download them from the Internet and generally watch them a week after they have aired in the UK.

Can anyone else see the similarity with the Music Industry?

The main point here is that the RIAA have spent the best part of the 5 years or so trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle with regard to MP3 downloads and they are clearly fighting a loosing battle. It would be far better for them to approach this from the point of view that it is extremely hard to stop and or eradicate, so how can we make this experience much simpler, easier for the Customers/Public to the point that they will all flock to RIAA approved web sites for their content? Or even take on board some of the suggestions that they organise a royalty payment mechanism with the ISP's?

At the moment the Video content is still quite questionable in a number of cases and you never really know what it will be like until you view the file after it's downloaded - so there is still a lot of potential for the TV Stations/TV Studios/Film Studios to learn from the RIAA's experience and start building a consensus and/or business case of how the future might look? There will be plenty of people who will argue that it can't be done because of the myriad number of vested interests - but my point is - look at where the RIAA is now, technology will advance, ADSL is getting faster and more ubiquitous....

And don't forget from my example above, even though it might be a complex and time consuming exercise, every time I get stiffed by one of the "vested interests" above when they change scheduled times, or do reruns as "new series" etc. I revert to form 

It would be great to think what it might be like in another 3 - 5 years from now when you sign up on a TV Channel's web site and get updates via email that your new show/episode is ready for download? And would you possibly interested in these other similar shows in the Archive? And don't forget we will be debuting a new show that you might be interested in next month...  Would you like to schedule these downloads automatically?

If you make it simple and easy people will flock to it - then just add advertising to make it pay?

Anyway, that's my 2 cents for what it's worth, and below I have outlined how it is possible to make it reasonably simple enough that my wife is now able to get things without involving me

Downloading TV Shows and Movies from the Internet

Great places to search for these downloads are:
Pirate Bay - www.piratebay.org
Mininova – www.mininova.org
Newzbin – www.newzbin.com

Both of these are structured somewhat differently:

Mininova uses bittorrents that requires a bittorrent client like utorrent to facilitate the download, where as Newzbin simply searches parts of Usenet to locate the groups of smaller files that have been posted that make up the larger TV show or movie.

Mininova:

For example search mininova for “CSI series 8” and you will get a result like this

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This brings the result like…..

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Click on the link at the top of the seeds column, and this will rearrange the list so that those torrents with the most seeds is at the top (more seeds means that more people have the complete file being offered up to others)

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Now look for the particular episode that you are looking for – these are typically named in the format like s08e04, s802 or 808 – what this is referring to series 8, episode x.

BTW (By the way) it’s worth mentioning now that a typical 1 hour TV show is actually only 40 mins in length once you have removed the ads – this is then typically compressed down to an *.AVI file of only 400Mb – so be aware of this when checking the size of the download, too little or to large could be a cause of concern. If it is a DVD then it would be appropriate to be of 4.5Gb in size

If you are in any doubt it’s always worth checking TVRage.com for the actual title of the episode – Films can be checked at IMDB.com (The Internet Movie Database) – these are both very good resources to check any details regarding TV shows or Movies

Click on the link you need – here I am looking for s08e01

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So here is the link details

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So in the above example you can see the mouse is just hovering above the link to download the utorrent client – if you haven’t installed a bittorrent client yet then I’d suggest you download and install this now

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So just run this, no need to save it anywhere as it’s quite small, and we’ll install it straight away

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So here Windows is asking you to confirm that you actually want to install this – just click on “Run”

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Just accept the defaults and click on Yes

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Change the “Connection Type” to whatever is appropriate

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So at this stage just click on OK

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Newzbin:

Newzbin is a service that you have to pay for – more information can be found at:

· 1 Site Questions

o 1.1 What is the purpose of Newzbin?

o 1.2 What exactly can I do on Newzbin?

o 1.3 How do I download from Newzbin?

o 1.4 How do I use the site with my Usenet client?

o 1.5 How does the site work, and where can I download the code?

o 1.6 I can't login to Newzbin, whats wrong??

o 1.7 There's no XXX/porn/adult content. Where is it?

o 1.8 Why do I get more results on www.newzbin.com than I do on v3.newzbin.com?

· 2 Email Questions

o 2.1 I got spammed by you, what are you going to do about it?

o 2.2 None of your e-mails ever arrive in my Inbox. Why not?

o 2.3 Hotmail?

· 3 Premium Membership Questions

o 3.1 What features do I get for the Premium Membership?

o 3.2 How much do I have to pay for this service?

o 3.3 I sent a Payment, where is my premium credit?

· 4 Legal Questions

o 4.1 Are you sure that this site is legal?

o 4.2 What data do you store about me?

· 5 IRC Questions

o 5.1 Where's the IRC channel? I'm lonely!

o 5.2 What are the rules of the #Newzbin IRC channel?

 

How much does it cost? 50 US Cents a week – what do you get for your money?

http://docs.newzbin.com/index.php/Newzbin:Premium_Membership

So once you have paid, here’s how it works

Search for “CSI 8x” gets you the following:

It’s worth noting that the date matches closely the first screening date as described in tvrage.com as well as the title, although that there are a number of different file sizes – this will probably come back to the compression routines, alogrithims or config details used when compressing the original recording down to the *.AVI file

I would always tend to go for the 400Mb = 1 hour TV series type of relationship and treat anything else as potentially suspect – but that is only my personal opinion

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Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 10:18 AM Real Cool Stuff | Back to top


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