Wed Jul 14, 2010 13:30
Movie Sources, Formats, and Scene Tags
First of all there's the type of source. This tells us how the video was obtained. I've ordered them in the priority that you (generally) would want to download them with HDDVD being most preferable and CAM being one of the least. The common types are:
HDDVD (HDDVD) -
This is the highest quality rip you're gonna find. Most of the time it is ripped into a HD format and presented in High Def Resolution (720i - 1080p). Please note that in order to play a HD video file, you need kind of a badass computer. Due to the nature of this resolution, there aren't really many videos presented in this way.
DVDRip (DVDRip) -
This should be the highest quality any normal person downloads. The source is a DVD Disc (Retail, or otherwise) that has been ripped to a video file (usually XviD). The quality on these files are usually excellent. Audio can even be presented in up to 5.1 surround sound. The file can be re-burned to a DVD with little noticeable loss in video and audio quality.
DVD Screener (DVDScr) -
A DVD copy of a film sent to critics, awards voters, video stores (for their manager and employees), and other film industry professionals, including producers and distributors. Often, each individual screener is sent out with distinct markings, which allow copies of a screener to be tracked to their source. Usually letterboxed, but without the extras that a DVD retail would contain. If the ripper has skill, a DVDscr should be very good. Usually transferred to DivX/XviD.
Region 5 (R5) -
This is a fairly new movie format. This kind of release is legal DVD released in Russia (thus the region 5 name) to decrease the level of pirated movies in that country. Retail is rushed out by the studio, so there is little to no cleanup of the film after the telecine process. As a result, you can see some scratches, hairs or other mess on the picture, but you will hardly notice it while watching. External English audio is often used, as these are supplied with Russian sound by default.
Screener (SCR) -
A pre VHS tape, sent to rental stores, and various other places for promotional use. A screener is supplied on a VHS tape, and is usually in a 4:3 (full screen) aspect ratio, although letterboxed screeners are sometimes found. The main draw back is a "ticker" (a message that scrolls past at the bottom of the screen, with the copyright and anti-copy telephone number). Also, if the tape contains any serial numbers, or any other markings that could lead to the source of the tape, these will have to be blocked, usually with a black mark over the section. This is sometimes only for a few seconds, but unfortunately on some copies this will last for the entire film, and some can be quite big. Depending on the equipment used, screener quality can range from excellent if done from a MASTER copy, to very poor if done on an old VHS recorder through poor capture equipment on a copied tape. Most screeners are transferred to VCD or XviD, but a few attempts at SVCD have occurred, some looking better than others.
Telecine (TC) -
A telecine is when the movie is copied directly from the reel digitally. Because of the fairly advanced (and expensive) equipment required for this type of rip, telecines are quite rare, but the quality is usually close to, if not on par with, a DVD Screener.
Telesync (TS) -
Think of a telesync as a 'Super Cam'. A camera is usually set up in the projector room and aligned so that the video is near perfect in aspect ratio and size. The audio is normally taken from a direct source (most of the time, a FM reciever is used on the same channel the the 'hearing impaired' headsets are used). The quality of these rips are usually watchable and enjoyable.
Camera (CAM) -
A cam is a theater rip usually done with a digital video camera. A mini tripod is sometimes used, but a lot of the time this wont be possible, so the camera may shake. Audio is taken straight from the camera's microphone, so in comedies, laughter can often be heard during the film. Due to these factors, the picture and sound quality of a CAM are usually quite poor. If you absolutely cannot wait for a movie, these are usually the first copies out.
Workprint (WP) -
Workprint copies are exactly that, working copies. It is more than often not the finished product. Flaws can range from no music to CGI graphics not added (actors in front of a green screen). Also, scenes may be added and scenes may be deleted from the final copy. Audio/Video quality is usually up there with DVD Rip's but as for enjoyment, that varies greatly from release to release.
Other useful tags:
Widescreen/Fullscreen (WS/FS) - the aspect ratio of the movie. Generally Full Screen's are 4:3 while Widescreens are 16:9
NTSC/PAL - let me break it down in simple terms. NTSC = Americas, PAL = Europian. if you want a technical outlook on it, here are the links
VCD (Video CD) -
VCD is an MPEG-1 based format, with a constant bitrate of 1150kbits at a resolution of 352x240 (NTSC). VCDs are generally used for lower quality transfers (CAM/TS/TC/VHS Screener) in order to make smaller file sizes, and fit as much on a single disc as possible.
SVCD (Super Video CD) -
SVCD is an MPEG-2 based format (same as DVD) which allows variable bit-rates of up to 2500kbits at a resolution of 480x480 (NTSC) which is then decompressed into a 4:3 aspect ratio when played back. Due to the variable bit-rate, the length you can fit on a single CDR is not fixed, but are generally between 35 - 60 minutes. To get a better SVCD encode using variable bit-rates, it is important to use multiple "passes". This might takes a lot longer, but the results are far clearer.
These are basically VCD/SVCD that don't obey the "rules". They are both capable of much higher resolutions and bit-rates, but it all depends on the player to whether the disc can be played. X(S)VCD are total non-standards, and are usually for home-ripping by people who don't intend to release them.
XViD/DivX (Digital Video Express) -
DivX is a format designed for multimedia platforms. It uses two codecs, one low motion, one high motion. Most older films were encoded in low motion only, and they have problems with high motion too. A method known as SBC (Smart Bit-rate Control) was developed which switches codecs at the encoding stage, making a much better print. The format is anamorphic and the bitrate/resolution are interchangeable. The majority of proper DivX rips (not Re-Encs) are taken from DVDs, and generally up to 2hours in good quality is possible per disc. Various codecs exist, most popular at the moment is XviD. The formal most popular codec was DivX.
CVD is a combination of VCD and SVCD formats, and is generally supported by a majority of DVD players. It supports MPEG-2 bit-rates of SVCD, but uses a resolution of 352x480 (NTSC) as the horizontal resolution is generally less important. Currently no groups release in CVD.
Is the recordable DVD solution that seems to be the most popular (out of DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD+R). it holds 4.7GB of data per side, and double sided discs are available, so discs can hold nearly 10GB in some circumstances. SVCD MPEG-2 images must be converted before they can be burnt to DVD-R and played successfully. DVD>DVD-R copies are possible, but sometimes extras/languages have to be removed to stick within the available 4.7GB.
MiniDVD/cDVD is the same format as DVD but on a standard CDR/CDRW. Because of the high resolution/bit-rates, it is only possible to fit about 18-21 minutes of footage per disc, and the format is only compatible with a few players.
The proper tag is to indicate that the show has been released before by a different release group, but that this release is of higher quality, or fixes certain flaws in the previous release (such as out of sync issues.) A reason for the PROPER should always be included in the NFO. When a group 'propers' a PROPER, it is tagged as REAL.PROPER.
If a group releases a bad rip, they can release a REPACK. A REPACK is a fixed version of the original release. It's similar to PROPER but then done by the same group. Note that a Repack is different from a fix. A fix will repair the original release whereas a repack is a new release.
A previous rip was bad, now it's ripped again properly. Similar to REPACK.
If a release is tagged SUBBED, it usually means it has hard encoded subtitles burned throughout the rip.
When something has been release subbed before, an unsubbed release may be released.
An internal release is done for several reasons. The most common reason is because it has already been released before, and with iNTERNAL in title, the release won't be nuked. iNTERNAL's are quite common. Also lower quality theater rips are done iNTERNAL so it doesn't lower the reputation of the group. An iNTERNAL release is available as normal on the groups affiliate sites, but they can't be traded to other sites without request from the site ops. Although a release is iNTERNAL, it still can be very popular. The reason for the iNTERNAL is usually included in the NFO.
When something important is mentioned in the NFO, or as a replacement for the PROPER tag, READNFO can be added to the release name.
A recode is a previously released version, usually filtered through TMPGenc to remove subtitles, fix color, brightness, etc. Whilst they can look better, it is not looked upon highly as groups are expected to obtain their own sources.
A release can be nuked for various reasons. Individual sites will nuke for breaking their rules (such as "No Telesyncs") but if the release has something extremely wrong with it (for example - no sound for 20mins, CD2 is out of sync, etc.), then a global nuke will occur. Nuked releases can still reach other sources such as p2p/usenet, but it is a good idea to check why it was nuked first in case. If a group realizes there is something wrong with their release, they can request a nuke.
NUKE REASONS - this is a list of common reasons a release can be nuked for
** BAD A/R ** :: bad aspect ratio, ie people appear too fat/thin.
** BAD IVTC ** :: bad inverse telecine. process of converting framerates was incorrect.
** INTERLACED ** :: black lines on movement as the field order is incorrect.
** OUT OF SYNC ** :: video and audio do not synchronize.
A limited movie means that it had a limited theater run, generally opening in less than 250 theaters, usually smaller films (such as art house films) are released as limited.
Stands for straight-to-video (also known as made-for-video, direct-to-video, or straight-to-DVD). A film that is released straight-to-video is one which has been released to the public on home video formats before or without being released in movie theaters or broadcast on television.
This is a variation of STV/LiMiTED. A FESTiVAL is a movie which hasn't been shown in a public theater, but has been shown on a film festival (such as Cannes Film Festival).
SE (Special Edition) -
Like the name suggests, it is a special DVD edition of a movie. Often special editions contain extra material like deleted scenes, interviews, or a making-of.
DC (Director's Cut) -
A director's cut is a specially edited version of a movie that is supposed to represent the director's own approved edit of the movie. It is often released some time after the original release of the film, where the original release was released in a version different from the director's approved edit.
Digitally remastered means that an older, not-digital movie has been re-edited, remastered and is released on DVD. Some really old movies look very bad compared to the new digital movies. When remastered, they make it look better by editing and recoloring the video, etc. Remastering generally implies some sort of upgrade to a previous existing product, frequently designed to encourage people to buy a new version of something they already own.
Rated means a movie is censored, unrated logically means uncensored. The unrated usually features more footage then a rated version, it could range from mere seconds to a few minutes.