Downloading a movie is sometimes like heading into Oblivion. You have no certainty of exactly what you’ll end up with. Be it a crappy movie in great quality or (even worse) a great movie in crappy quality.
For instance, you’ll never want to watch your favorite movie in cam format, which sounds as if you’re standing in an empty factory hall. Quality matters – higher definitions are there for a reason.
If you’re in need of a great script, check IMDB. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more information about the download itself, there are two things you’ll need to do.
Learn the different release formats and become best buddies with ‘VCD Quality’.
VCD Quality is a release news website. What does this mean? Whenever a new movie release is set free online, an info page on VCD Quality is added. This page includes the following information:
- Date (date of the release)
- Type (the type of release, we’ll clarify this further on in the article)
- Release (the name of the film and the specific release)
- JPG/NFO (a supplied JPG and/or NFO file, explained further on in the article)
- IMDB (a link to the IMDB page of the movie)
- CD# (the number of CD’s or files of which the release consists)
- Group (the name of the group ‘responsible’ for the (encoding/filming/… of the) release)
- Rating (three ratings; respectively judging the video- and audio quality and the movie on its own)
Also available, but often not filled out, are the format (AVI, MKV, etc.), the trailer and other miscellaneous information about the producer, the cast, the genre and the plot.
VCD Quality also automatically provides a link to cdcovers, where you can find your DVD covers, and an Amazon link to purchase the given DVD.
As mentioned above, most movies are accompanied by one or multiple JPG’s and an NFO file. The function of the JPG file should be pretty obvious. It’s a full size screen capture of the movie, so you can have a sneak quality peek.
Next, the NFO… An NFO (derived from info) is, as you may have deducted, a file which contains various information about the release. The NFO is always supplied by the encoders, and most often contains things like the video/audio-bitrate, screen resolution, language, etc.
You can download these NFO files from VCD Quality as an image, or in the original format. After which you can open it in a special NFO reader or in good ol’ MS Notepad.
There are a lot of different types of releases and it’ll come in very handy sometimes if you know them. We’ll try to give a brief, concise explanation of the most important types. Check this forum post for more (detailed) information.
- Cam (filmed with a camcorder, the video and audio quality are often poor)
- Telesync (a cam with an external audio source, sometimes filmed with a professional camera)
- Telecine (filmed directly from the reel, good quality)
- DVD Screener (uses a non-retail DVD as a source, sometimes with a counter or other text on the screen. Most often, you’ll periodically find a “Do Not Copy” text on the screen). These copies are also produced for award ceremonies purposes such as the Oscars.
- DVD Rip (uses the final retail DVD as a source)
- TVRip (ripped from a (mostly digital) TV source)
- R5 (uses R5 DVD’s, comparable to DVD Screeners – also has scrolling text and black and white scenes to separate them from retail DVD’s)
- VCD (aimed to fit on a standard CD, most of the time its slightly less in picture quality)
- XVCD (a VCD which uses higher quality rates, but aren’t recognized by all VCD players)
- x264 (an upcoming video codec, which allows a very high picture quality in relation to the file size)