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Graboid users or other systems for free video downloads.

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steve12542
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Post by raqueteer Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:26 pm

How does this program work? Do people upload videos or T.V. shows to it or are all episodes of a series available. We want to ditch the T.V. and are looking for an alternative.
TIA

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Post by CheenaGringo Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:36 pm

Out of curiosity, I did some quick research on just what Graboid is and does. Their website sure doesn't offer up much in the way of info but from other sites, I gather that Graboid is more like a search service that locates videos on many other sites and then directs you to the site which has content available.

From other Mexico forums, I have read success stories and also failure stories. It seems that your Internet service speed is the first primary concern followed by whether you have to mask your ISP to achieve connection. Some of the masking services can reduce your achievable download speed, especially when you attempt to use a free one.

From personal experience here in Albuquerque, we had 7 Mbps download speed and a VOIP phone. Streaming a video caused problems with the VOIP phone when trying to answer a call and talk but pausing the video alleviated the problem. We recently purchased a Logitec Revue Google TV Box and increased our speed to 12 Mbps. Our VOIP service was discontinued by the provider, so it is no longer hooked to the Internet. We do watch Amazon streamed videos and an assortment of other content through the box and often have one or two computers operating off the same WIFI signal. Now that we have increased to 12, we have noticed zero problems on any device using the WIFI signal.

As a test, I will download Graboid to the box and run a test to get a better idea of just what they do offer. Since they do offer a free test period with limited features, I know we won't be able to stream in HD but should get an idea to report back on here.

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Post by ferret Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:51 pm

We've been using Graboid for about two years now. LOVE IT! Still a big thank you to Tingting who mentioned it on TOB.
$14.99 a month for 50 Gigabytes which is plenty. There is a FREE trial period available. The search mode is logical. A regular program is about 400 mb or a good movie about 1700 mb...HD is about double that. We will do HD if something like a British accent is involved 'cuz the sound is so much better.
A program usually shows up the morning after it has been aired on the television. For a movie, we will wait until it shows that it has been recorded from a DVD. Camcorder versions are a little iffy.
There's a learning curve but they do have a forum for asking questions...also a 1-800 help line which is good. You'll get it in a nanosecond.
I made a chart (our personal TV guide) to keep track of programs, then cross them off the chart and delete them from the computer as we go along. Also made a file with each program listed that Graboid downloads into and I just pop the downloaded files into the appropriate subfile.
I also signed up for sidereel.com and you can track most shows...they send a daily e-mail which lets you know what aired last night (so you can download), what will air tonight and what will air tomorrow.
We use Telmex 599 peso internet connection...a 400 mb show takes about 20 minutes at 215 kps and we do it in the early a.m. or you can download overnight. Do not bother trying to stream anything at this level, it will drive you nuts. Being anally organized helps a bunch.
Ask away if you have more questions... :)
P.S. You do NOT need to mask your IP.


Last edited by ferret on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add p.s.)
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Post by sparks Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:36 pm

I've used Torrents for years and it's free. There are a number of clients out there but I used uTorrent. Install a client and then go searching Torrent sites. When you get to the "download this torrent" and click ... the client takes over. It's a pier-to-pier network so you will be sharing with others while you are online. I'd leave mine on all night after I've choosen a few. Yes you can download whole series or complete movies

Tricky part one ... you have to open a port on your router to get good speed.

Tricky part two ... it takes awhile to recognize the good download from bad ones, ones that offer speed, etc

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Post by raqueteer Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:21 pm

Thanks guys. Ferret I'm gathering that you have to download the episode or movie. Think I'll try it out for the free trial month, and see if it's worth it. Sure has to beat $90 a month for Shaw, which now has little more than ancient reruns.

The big guy is currently checking for an older episode of MI5 which doesn't seem to be available, but he hasn't signed up yet. Any answers would be much appreciated.

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Post by CheenaGringo Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:18 pm

While I am sure you would have to mask your ISP, you might take a look at Amazon Prime. We pay $79/year and as a Prime member, we have access to 1000's of free video streaming. In fact, I just checked for MI5 and they have seasons 1 -7 available for free and then seasons 8 -10 on a pay basis. On newer releases, they charge anywhere from $1.99 to $3.99 for a streaming rental. They do offer a one month free trial on Prime. While I would guess that it doesn't apply for Mexico, one of the other benefits is that they offer free two day shipping on items that ship from Amazon. Over the past three months, we have already paid for our membership with the free shipping.

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Post by ferret Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:52 pm

I'm having a hard time finding MI-5 episodes anywhere that you don't have to stream...they certainly aren't on Graboid as downloads either (except for a few odds and ends).
Mostly I'm seeing boxed sets available to buy.
Last year, I was searching for The Sopranos on Graboid because we never got to see the original series. Earlier this year, it was there...all seasons and all episodes. We downloaded them all and are watching at our leisure and on our timetable.
A specific season and episode number of what you're looking for would be helpful.
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Post by raqueteer Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:34 am

Thanks Ferret. O.K. well so far, here's the deal. We tried to download Graboid, and the computer just repeatedly downloaded the program, 3 times before we finally just ditched the whole thing. Will perhaps try again, but after today's episode are in no hurry for a repeat.

At the moment there are very few T.V. programs we're willing to watch. Some BBC stuff which you can get streaming on their own site, a couple of PBS programs, and a couple of food shows. That's about it. One T.V. because I don't really like T.V. and it's now turned into a nightly bItch session, last night it got kinda nasty. We're very resentful about the Shaw selection of rubbish. Sooooo, there just has to be a better way, and from a strictly personal point of view I'd love to tell tell them what they can do with their crappy reprogramming of Mash, Golden Girls, and other ancient crud that no self respecting satellite company would foist on unsuspecting customers.

Thanks Neil, we probably would have a bit of a problem with Amazon being in Mexico.

Thinking we may need to take up scrabble again, maybe chess as well.

Thanks all.

Any and all other methods welcome for a possible fling.


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Post by Mainecoons Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:14 am

We use torrents and download to a portable hard drive which we then plug into an OPlay and watch very good quality (usually HD) video and audio on a 46 inch LCD. For sports, TeleCable works great, we actually get a lot more U.S. sports on there than we did when we lived in Albuquerque. Plus first division English Soccer. All for about $20 per month.

I think Raqueteer's description of Shaw pretty much covers all of these pricey satellite services. We don't miss them, the expense, or the seemingly constant hassle with boxes malfunctioning, signal loss, etc. Not to mention having one of those 8 foot eyesores on your roof if you want Dish.
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Post by chelseagirls Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:18 am

ferret wrote:I'm having a hard time finding MI-5 episodes anywhere that you don't have to stream...they certainly aren't on Graboid as downloads either (except for a few odds and ends).
Mostly I'm seeing boxed sets available to buy.
Last year, I was searching for The Sopranos on Graboid because we never got to see the original series. Earlier this year, it was there...all seasons and all episodes. We downloaded them all and are watching at our leisure and on our timetable.
A specific season and episode number of what you're looking for would be helpful.

I use torrents-find them with www.kat.ph, and search for Spooks- that is what MI5 is called in the UK- all seasons/episodes are there! to download use Vuze.com- clean and reliable software, and if you upgrade to plus amongst other good stuff, you can also burn downloads to DVD directly from Vuze. Surte


Last edited by chelseagirls on Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammatical correction)

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Post by CanuckBob Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:39 am

Mainecoons wrote:We use torrents and download to a portable hard drive which we then plug into an OPlay and watch very good quality (usually HD) video and audio on a 46 inch LCD.

Thats the best way to do it MC. That is what we also do. A 2TB hard drive will hold quite a few movies......... pirat
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Post by ferret Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:56 pm

MC and Cbob...interesting way of doing things but I like things simple. Our desk is right next to the bookcase that the 50 inch HD Sony is on top of. I have a discrete cable (HDMI to HDMI) that connects the computer to the TV...so I don't have to move anything anywhere to plug it in and watch. I just turn on the TV and click play on the computer. Great sound and great picture.

Chelseagirls...thanks for the correct name for MI5...am mulling over the idea of downloading the free vuze.com to see if there's more programming available but are more than happy with the system we're using...great shows and great movies galore. Thanks for the info though.

Star Choice happens to come with the house we're renting. We only watch sports on it. BUT, we do have a subscription to MLB.com (Jays Fans) so we can watch the pre-season games and any game that happens to coincide with the unfortunate rainfade on the satellite dish that occurs with the summer storms.
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Post by mrum Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:23 am

Sparks & CB have the best method. I use Torrents for everything I want to download, Movies, Shows, Music. You can basically get anything. I have a 4 drive 8TB drive cabinet that is running raid 5 so that everything is protected in the event of a disk failure. Pump that via HDMI into a 52" HDTV and its like being at the theater. Haven't been to a move in years. The entire computer/drive setup is home built and cost us about $750.
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Post by steve12542 Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:38 pm

I pulled the plug on cable (actually, DirecTv) two years ago. I went out and bought a computer just to sit beside my big screen and act as an entertainment center. It paid for itself in 7 months.

Like most people, I first used torrents but they require seeding, leave tracks and provided unreliable results. Also, you find yourself on the front line of the war on pirating which may not cause you fear of prosecution in Mexico, but causes inconvenience as the government battles to take down torrent sites.

Fortunately, I found Usenet which is a far more elegant solution - a secure SSL encrypted link (even your ISP has no idea what you're doing which eliminates the possibility of throttling your connection to a lower speed), simple to use, extremely fast, ultra low cost. The speed of your downloads are limited only by the speed of your Internet connection. Example: A one hour HBO show is typically available a few hours after airing and downloads in 12 minutes with a 7mb connection. No bandwidth wasted on torrent uploads. No waiting for torrent seeding. A full television season downloads by hitting one button.

To see what is available, visit nzbmatrix.com, register using your trusty bogus email address and look around or do searches. Try TV:SD "Spooks" as an example. Or, Movies: Divx/Xvid "Midnight in Paris." Registration as a full member on this site costs a one time fee of $20 (when I signed up.)

New DVDs hit Usenet servers in both Bluray and DVD quality before torrent sites and immediately download at full speed. Recurring cost approx $10 per month server fee (for unlimited downloads) that is paid automatically through Paypal and can be cut off whenever you like with no contact with the provider. (It's very important to control billing. Don't use any service that automatically hits your credit card. Customer service is notoriously bad at stopping the charges.) You can share the cost with another user. (My son in college uses 1/2 my service with no degradation of my speed.) Software is free.

I often hear that torrenting is free! Why pay anything? But really, $10 a month for downloading that is secure, anonymous, requires no uploading and at maximum speed? My only concern each month is bumping up against my ISP's 250gb cap. But, that's a lot of content if you think of one hour as 1gb.

Off subject: Live streaming of sports such as tennis, football, Tour de France, the Superbowl, etc. is improving slowly. Try livescorehunter.com. Plus, you can stream BBC/ITV news and shows through a UK IP connection using free software called Expat Shield. It is specifically designed to help UK expats get their BBC/ITV fix. Just download, install and connect.

Final note: Make sure you install free Adblock Plus to avoid annoying popup ads at all websites . . . . including video streams and perhaps Expat Shield.

Everything mentioned above has been used for years. All software is free, virus free, free of annoying ads, etc. The only recurring fee in the whole setup is the Usenet server fee $10 a month for unlimited downloads.

If anyone wants a more step-by-step approach to setting up Usenet, let me know. The whole setup will take about an hour and it can be undone by cancelling your Paypal recurring payment after losing your $10. Big risk, woohoo!
I'm a CPA working tax season, so it may take a while for me to reply. But, Usenet is the answer.
Sorry for the length of my post.
Good luck to all.

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Post by mattoleriver Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:45 pm

Hi Steve,
that's interesting stuff. I've followed a couple Usenet newsgroups for several years and figured it would be a very short time 'til Usenet faded away. I've never paid any attention to anything but text groups and all of the groups that I am familiar with have lost most of their traffic due to rampant spamming, non-supporting ISPs and, a few years ago, sporge attacks. Awhile back I changed computers and due to the lack of traffic on my favorite groups I just didn't bother to configure Usenet. When I did try to configure it I got nowhere and realized that the problem was with my ISP. When I asked them about resuming service they told me that it was an unintentional systemwide mistake on their part and service was reinstated immediately. They also told me that I was the only person to complain in the nearly two months that service had been down. I'm happy to hear that there is another Usenet user out there.

Now, how about some info on dependable Usenet servers and active Usenet groups?

Thanks
George
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Post by steve12542 Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:50 pm

I just tried to post a step by step guide, but as a new member it won't let me use outside links for 7 days. I will wait the 7 days and try to either PM you (mattolerive) or post a public reply.

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Post by CheenaGringo Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:02 pm

steve12542:

This topic is of a great deal of interest to us. We have been a Dish Network customer for way too many years but recently cut back our service levels. Last Christmas, we switched to a Google TV box and would be more than interested in what we could access from the box. I don't mind admitting that I know nothing about torrents and have zero experience in that arena.

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Post by Mainecoons Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:57 am

Since you're pretty good at looking stuff up, just google "torrents" and you will find a number of sources that explain how it works. My wife gets us tons of stuff which she dumps to a hard drive and we watch using our O!Play, which translates the files into a TV signal.

We downloaded four seasons of Breaking Bad and are gradually watching the series. It is not only fascinating for all the shots of places we know in ABQ but a very gripping story as well.

Be happy to provide you a full demonstration of how to get the programs and play them next time you're in town.
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Post by raqueteer Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:14 am

So far we've had bad luck, including a trojan. Will be interested in further links. Had to do a full restore on the system to get rid of the trojan.

The current plan is to cut waaaay back on Shaw. Then wait for you whiz kids to come up with an alternate plan.


Thanks all.

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Post by steve12542 Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:07 pm

Trojans and viruses are highly unlikely in media files. I've been downloading music and video for close to 20 years. Never had a virus.

Downloading exe (executable) files or clicking on untrustworthy websites can get you in trouble.

I've had the annoying fake virus scan software that pretends to scan your computer then tells you there's a bug that can be removed for a fee. You have to work like hell to get that piece of crap off.

FYI: I spoke to a PC repairman at a party who told me that when he didn't know what was causing a software/operating system problem, he tells the client it's a virus and formats the hard-drive to reinstall the operating system and rebuild from the ground up. This is common because people buy and install software-on-top-of-software and over time burden the start-up process with too many artifacts of old software running, conflicting, etc.

The point to this post is not to say viruses aren't out there, but that they are highly unlikely when downloading video and audio files.

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Post by raqueteer Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:46 pm

Thank you Steve, it was downloading vuze among others including graboid that the virus announcement occurred, or possibly sidereel. The firewall went ballistic and warned about malicious software to our regret we went ahead. Just asked the computer savvy party in the house, and he told me those were exe files. As for me I know nothing nada, zip all about computers.

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Post by steve12542 Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:38 am

OK, the forum lets me post screen shots to give you a taste of Usenet in action.

When downloading content on Usenet:
1. You first choose what to download: This screen shot of NZBmatrix was taken today.
https://i.servimg.com/u/f43/17/33/78/57/captur12.jpg

This is the Blu-ray search page (or about 1/10 of page 1 of 130 total pages.) Several of these have French flags beside them meaning they're French language films. Don't worry, the English language versions of these films were posted over a week ago. The French uploaders were just active today. (I think you can filter them out, but I like French movies with subtitles.)

Each listing has a direct link to the IMDB movie rating website. This allows you to judge whether a movie is worth downloading. You also will get user comments regarding quality, information about subtitles, etc.

Just click on the down arrow and the movie starts downloading in your "NZB client".

2. The NZB client software takes over and looks like this. It is running in the Chrome browser. Any browser will work, but as you can see from my bookmarks, I use Chrome exclusively for finding content and downloading. (Foxfire is my normal browser.)
https://i.servimg.com/u/f43/17/33/78/57/captur14.jpg

Note how simple and clean the NZB client is. You can pause the download for specific periods of time, set it to cut off your computer when the downloads are complete, etc.

You'll note, I'm downloading last nights episode of Justified which was available within 1 hour broadcast.

Note the download rate is at my maximum 895 KB/s with 4 minutes left to complete the download. Total time to download this 1 hr episode? Approx 6 minutes. And . . . . it's commercial free. Woohoo!

Neat, right?

I hope this forum lets me provide detailed instruction on my Usenet setup. I'm starting to get concerned. If you would like the instructions now, PM me your junk email address (i.e. the one you set up to avoid getting spammed. If you don't have one, set one up at yahoo mail. ) I'll send you an email with step-by-step instructions.

You might wonder why I'm providing this info. For over a year, I've been reading and enjoying this forum with nothing to contribute. I've wondered how you expats obtained English movies/TV, but only seen discussions of satellite or other pay services. When the question of downloading came up, I saw an opportunity to jump in and contribute since I "cut the cable" in the USA two years ago.
Hope I can be of help.

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Post by ferret Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:50 am

You are being of help...a big help. And I'm following this thread carefully. Everything that you mentioned is available with Graboid...IMBD info, pausing during download, customer feedback etc.
So it'll take a lot to make this leopard change it's spots but I'm interested and thank you for taking the time to post.
We just upgraded to Telmex' highest speed yesterday and downloads are in the 605 kb/sec range...just going to start downloading Justified from last night too...a GREAT show.
What else are you watching?
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Post by steve12542 Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:45 pm

I didn't know much about Graboid, so I Googled "graboid vs usenet" and my first hit said this: "Finally I decided to download a movie with Graboid and check the log on my wireless router to see where they were getting my movie. I expected that they had thousands of sources on the internet to download from, but what I found was that every file they offer comes from one place! Their source is . . . Usenet."

So, Graboid appears to be an integrated: 1) indexing, 2) software interface and 3) Usenet provider.

Legal problem:
On its face, there are no immediate problem with this process for the user. It appears to simplifies the download setup process. My only concern would be the reasonable likelihood that the government will seize the Graboid website since its integrated system is facilitating the distribution of copyrighted material.

With my setup (which is used by many people) the three functions are separated. My indexer (NZBmatrix) has some risk, but low. My software interface (Sabnzbd) has no risk. And my Usenet provider (usenetserver) has no risk. To date, I've only read of one indexer being shut down, no software or Usenet providers have had problems. However, put these three functions together into one unit, like Graboid, and there is a clear legal problem. It should be easy pickings to shut down.

If either my indexer or Usenet server are shut down, I can simply get a replacement in less than 30 minutes. What happens when Graboid is seized? (Who knows, they may just switch overnight to a backup plan.)

Cost: It appears Graboid costs approximately twice as much per month (if $16-$19 is the price) for unlimited access. Still, a good deal for the content it provides.

Security: I couldn't find any info about Graboid providing a secure SSL connection at the price point mentioned above. Without SSL, your ISP knows what files you're downloading. I'm probably being paranoid, but the idea of logs being maintained by anyone bothers me.

Also, since Graboid is providing all three functions, does it maintain logs of your download activities? If so, the recent action by the USA (in New Zealand and other foreign countries) taking down Magaupload should give pause.

Closing remarks: If Graboid is accessing Usenet, it is doing something similar to my setup. However, separating the functions, working where no one maintains logs, using secure connections and doing it less expensively seems a better approach.
But maybe there are facts I don't have?!
Again, good luck to the Graboid community! Whatever works.

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Post by raqueteer Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:51 pm

Thanks Steve, that all sounds a bit scary to me. Definitely way above our pay scale.

A great help to all on the forum.

Cheers,
raq

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