Have you ever downloaded a movie only to be disappointed by the terrible quality of the print? Or that the audio was out of sync? Perhaps a few minutes of the movie were missing. Well then you’re probably wondering if there is a way to download the best movie print without thinking? Yes there is.
Before you pirate a movie, there are two things you must know that will let you know the quality of the print:
- Is it a Scene Release or a P2P Release?
- What is the source of the movie?
So, let’s start with the first point.
#1 Scene Release vs. P2P Release
A movies print could have been released by either a Scene group or a P2P group.
Even among pirates there is a code, and that code is adhered to by Scene Groups. They are organised, competitive, don’t steal others’ work, and respect their peers. To put it in another way, when you download a movie released by a Scene group you are guaranteed top-notch quality. Scene Groups are like brands in the world of piracy.
One cannot say the same for P2P Groups (except for the infamous aXXO back in the day). P2P groups are chaotic, they usually steal the work of Scene Groups, re-encode it, and release it under their own name. There are no set quality standards, or rules. Not saying that you can’t get good quality prints from a P2P, but with Scene releases, that’s a guarantee.
You can read more about Scene vs. P2P groups on this page.
Although Scene Groups have existed for years before P2P groups, P2P groups are more popular these days. Why? Because most of the movies or TV shows that you find on torrent websites are P2P releases, and torrents are the go-to place for the vast majority of movie downloaders.
So, how do you tell if a movie available for download is by a Scene Group or P2P Group?
Check For Scene Release
There are a few easy ways to check this:
- For each movie, print, and source, there is usually only one official Scene release.
- Scene releases are documented on the internet, like here.
- Scene releases are difficult to spot on torrent websites because they are flooded with P2P releases.
- Scene Groups don’t release camera or other crappy prints. So if you see a movie on a torrent website immediately after its release in the theatres, rest assured it’s a camera print and is not a Scene release.
The easiest way to download a Scene release to is head over to a website that lists only Scene releases. Examples:
Notice, both their names have the word Scn in them, that stands for Scene.
A website such as Sceper contains both Scene and P2P releases, and they’re nice enough to point it out.
Torrent websites on the other hand are full of P2P releases. And searching for a Scene release on the Pirate Bay is like (at times) searching for a needle in a haystack.
Next, let’s talk about the actual source of the movie.
#2 What Do Cam, TS (TeleSync), DVDScr, BDRIP Mean?
Have you ever read the name of a movie download and wondered what all those words meant? Some of them are easy to tell, like Cam for camera quality prints, or DVDRip for prints ripped from DVDs. But what about some of the others.
Camera prints – Someone snuck in a handheld camera into the theatre and shot the movie on it. Terrible quality, usually released within a few days of the release of the movie. Always released by P2P Groups.
TeleSync – Movies shot in the theatre using a slightly better camera. Bad, but better than Cam, quality. Always released by P2P Groups.
TeleCine – A telecine machine makes a digital copy of the movie from a cinema reel. Video quality is watchable, audio quality depends. Released by P2P Groups.
DVD Screener – A DVD Screener is an early release of a movie sent to movie reviewers, Academy members, and used for internal purposes. That’s why you’ll always see a message on these prints that will read “Property of Warner Brothers”. Quality of these prints is very much watchable, especially if you’re too impatient to wait for a better print.
Recorded from an online source – Web rips are fairly popular these days given the rise of online streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, etc. If you want to download the latest Netflix original series, those prints are web rips. Basically a pirate records the stream as it plays the show from the website.
When DVDs were the top dog for movie print qualities, DVDRip was everyone’s favourite download option. At 700 MB, DVDRips offered pirates like me the best quality-to-size ratio. As the name implies, DVDRips are movie prints ripped off from the DVD.
DVDR are the uncompressed versions of DVDRips.
BDRips, to be honest, are no different from DVDRips. Like I said, DVDRips offered the best quality-to-size ratio, and for many pirates that was good enough or perfect. So when BluRay discs began gaining popularity, it only made sense to keep the legacy of the DVDRip alive through the BDRip.
BluRay Rips (720p/1080p)
Back in the day when we upgraded our home internet speed from 4 Mbps to 16 Mbps, that’s when I upgraded my movie downloading experience from BDRip to BluRay rips. In a nutshell, the difference between the two is in the compression, and codecs. BluRay rips can range anywhere from 4 GB to 10 GB, depending on the length, and quality of the movie. They are much, much better in every respect.
I watch my downloaded movies on my Full HD TV. Although 720p are perfect, I prefer 1080p prints as they are crisper, and sharper.
As internet connections get even faster, 4K TVs become ubiquitous, and memory becomes cheaper, 4K rips will soon be the new norm. As of now, they’re not worth it.
Tips To Get The Best Quality Movie
Sure, there’s a lot more that I can tell you about getting great quality movie prints, but I think these two points cover the gist.
To optimise your movie pirating and downloading experience, remember these points:
- Be patient. Good quality prints take time to release.
- Always check Scene sources (like predb.me), and not torrent websites. Torrent websites are filled with P2P releases. Learn to download without torrents.
- Decide what quality is perfect for you. DVDRip, BDRip, 720p, or 1080p. This may depend on your internet speed, bandwidth caps, and on which device are you viewing the movie. Usually DVDRips or BDRips are perfect for movies that you want to watch on your phone or tablet. 720p prints are no doubt crisper, but you’d rather rather save all that space on your device for other stuff.
The rules for Scene vs. P2P even apply in TV shows, applications, games, and just about everything on the internet. If you have to take away one thing from this post, take this – trust Scene groups, stay away from torrents.