Friday, August 7, 2009

Pirated movie release types

Type Label Rarity
Cam CAM Common; Quality issues make this an unpopular format
A copy made in a cinema using a camcorder, possibly mounted on a tripod. The sound source is the camera microphone. Cam rips can quickly appear online after the first preview or premiere of the film. The quality ranges from terrible to very good, depending on the group of persons performing the recording and the resolution of the camera used. The main disadvantage of this is the sound quality. The microphone does not only record the sound from the movie, but also the background sound in the cinema. The camera can also record movements of the audience in the theater, for instance, when someone stands up in front of the screen.
Telesync TS
TELESYNC
PDVD
Very common
Contrary to popular belief, the video quality of a TS is not necessarily better than a cam. The term Telesync doesn't indicate better video quality but better audio quality. The CAM source is then synchronized with a secondary audio recording, either done with a professional microphone in an empty cinema (even though by Scene Rules this would be nuked since the audio is not direct, they are hard to tell the difference), fed directly from the cinema's sound system, or captured from an FM radio transmission intended for hearing-impaired customers. Often, a cam is mislabeled as a telesync.

PDVD, also known as Pre-DVD, is a release type found mostly in India and/or for Indian movies, with Bollywood movies being the majority. Low quality CAM/TS releases in India put on a DVD and sold on the streets, which are ripped by some release groups and released as PDVD rips. They are often mistaken for being DVD rips, due to the name.

Workprint WP
WORKPRINT
Very rare
A copy made from an unfinished version of a film produced by the studio. Typically a workprint has missing effects and overlays, and often differ from its theatrical release. Some workprints have a time index marker running in a corner or on the top edge; some may also include a watermark. A workprint might be an uncut version, and missing some material that would appear in the final movie.
Screener SCR
SCREENER
DVDSCR
DVD-SCREENER
VHS-SCREENER
Common
These are early DVD or VHS releases of the theatrical version of a film, typically sent to movie reviewers, Academy members, and executives for review purposes. A screener normally has a message overlaid on its picture, with wording similar to: "The film you are watching is a promotional copy, if you purchased this film at a retail store please contact 1-800-NO-COPIES to report it." Apart from this, some movie studios release their screeners with a number of scenes of varying duration shown in black-and-white. Aside from this message, and the occasional B&W scenes, screeners are normally of only slightly lower quality than a retail DVD-Rip, due to the smaller investment in DVD mastering for the limited run. Some screener rips with the overlay message get cropped to remove the message and get released misslabled as DVDRips.

Note: Screeners make a small exception here, since the content may differ from a retail version, it can be considered as lower quality than a DVD-Rip (even if the screener in question was sourced from a DVD).

Digital Distribution Copy DDC
Extremely Rare
DDC is basically the same as a Screener, but sent digitally (email/ftp/http/etc.) to companies instead of via the postal system. This makes distribution cheaper. Its quality is lower than one of a R5 but Higher than a Cam or A TS.
R5 R5 Very common
The R5 Line is a retail DVD from region 5. Region 5 consists of Eastern Europe (former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia. R5 releases differ from normal releases in that they are a direct Telecine transfer of the film without any of the image processing. If the DVD does not contain an English-language audio track, the R5 video is synced to a previously released English audio track. This means that the sound often isn't as good as DVDRips.
Telecine TC
TELECINE
Fairly rare; losing popularity due to R5 releases
A copy captured from a film print using a machine that transfers the movie from its analog reel to digital format. These were rare because telecine machines for making these prints were very costly and very large, however, recently they have become much more common. Telecine has basically the same quality as DVD, since the technique is same as digitizing the actual film to DVD. However, the result is inferior since the source material is usually a lower quality copy reel. Telecine machines usually cause a slight left-right jitter in the picture and have inferior color levels compared to DVD.
DVD Rip DVDRip Very common
A final retail version of a film, typically released before it is available outside its originating region. Often after one group of pirates releases a high-quality DVD-Rip, the "race" to release that film will stop. Because of their high quality, DVD-Rips generally replace any earlier copies that may already have been circulating.
DVDR DVDR image Very common
A final retail version of a film in DVD format. Usually a complete copy from the original DVD. If the original DVD is released in the DVD-9 format, extras might be removed and/or the video re-encoded to make the image fit the more common and less expensive (for burning) DVD-5 format. DVDR releases often follow DVD-Rips after a few hours. DVDRs will normally be larger files, (around 4.5GB). DVDRs contain the menus etc. Uncompressed copies are noted as DVD9, with only FBI and other copyright warnings removed.
BD/BR Rip BDRip
BRRip
Common
Similar to DVD Rip, only the source is a Bluray disc
HDTV or DS Rip TVRip
DSR
STV
PDTV
HDTV
DVBRip
Most common
TVRip is a capture source from an analog capture card (coaxial/composite/s-video connection)
STV (Subscription TV Rip). Digital stream rip (DSR) is a rip that is captured from a non standard definition digital source like satellite.
HDTV or PDTV rips often come from Over-the-Air transmissions. With an HDTV source, the quality can sometimes even surpass DVD. Movies in this format are starting to grow in popularity.
Analog, DSR, and PDTV sources are often re-encoded to 512×384 if fullscreen, 640×352 if widescreen. HDTV sources are re-encoded to multiple resolutions such as 640×352 (360p), 960×528 (540p), 1280×720 (720p) at various file sizes for pirated releases. In Europe, DVB-S is a method for recording from satellite decoders like SKY. They can be progressive scan captured or not (480i digital transmission).

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