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Who Needs a TiVo?
October 11, 2004
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In the last year or so many things have changed in the file sharing scene. One of the biggest changes is probably the increase in the quality of T.V. show “rips." Episodes of popular shows began to show up on file sharing networks like iMesh in the days and months following the collapse of Napster. Early “rips” where often low quality and only the most popular shows could be found. The Simpson’s was by far the most available show on P2P in these early days.

The biggest change in this scene probably was the entrance of a new technology, dubbed BitTorrent. One of the first things it was widely used for, is exchange of TV shows. To this day it remains one of BitTorrent's mainstays. While shows had been traded via IRC and Usenet for sometime, this technology brought it to the Internet mainstream.

Now it is possible for people to get nearly every show, often in higher quality then available on their sets. HDTV is available only in certain areas, and only to people with expensive HDTV sets. However, groups with names like “LOL” cap these DVD quality shows and they become available to the masses.

The main sources for these rips are two channels on EFNET, and their official WebPages. BTefnet and TVtorrents.net. Both #bt, and #tvtorrents offer TV shows, often with in an hour or so of there airing on TV. Users can download them to their hard drives and watch them when ever it is convenient for them, commercial free. Depending on the popularity of the show and the speed of the downloader’s line it is often possible to obtain these crystal clear “rips” in less time then it takes to watch on TV.

These elite groups that actually “cap” the shows don’t actually release them via BitTorrent. Instead they are released to private FTP servers that only a very limited number of people have access to. Each of those two channels that bring these episodes to BitTorrent have at least one person with access to these FTP’s, and bring them to the larger community.

Worth noting, when talking to people who are regulars in these channels you often here that they are actually willing to pay for this content. Often the downloader’s are people not living in the U.S. who do not want to wait for shows to come to their countries. Or people to busy to be able to catch the shows when they air. They all say that they would be willing to pay a fair price to download each episode from a server at high speeds, and enjoy the episode commercial free at their leisure. This seems as yet another instance of an established industry missing out on potential profit.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Reviews

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