Friday, August 24, 2012

GVLN - Are Torrents Destroying Hollywood? Part 1

Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are torrents destroying Hollywood?  There have been a number of articles we have been reading all around in regards to just his subject.  Some complain that torrents aka peer to peer file sharing is costing Hollywood movie studios billions of dollars in revenue.  Others complain that Hollywood is doing it to itself.  We set out to see exactly what the real deal was as we have seen a lot of holes in all the stories out there.  You are going to be surprised at what we have found.   

We began by searching out a torrent software product that has an excellent overall rating.  Once we found the software and loaded it the rest was easy.  What we found was a real shocker.  We came across a host web site that could easily be compared to the Amazon of movies.  Though the selection was limited to just under 2,000 videos, the selection was still very impressive and hosted on an incredibly well laid out site where a great deal of both time and money was spent on the site.

The image to the right here is a sample screen shot of the listings from the site we are presently talking about.  If you click on the image, you will get an enlarged view.  This site has it all.  If you choose to view the info on the movie, you go to a new page where a brief synopsis of the movie is on the page along with usually 3 screen shots from the actual film.

You also have an option to watch a preview of the film you are considering.  The majority of the previews we have watched are the actual trailers for the film with only a few that were done by someone from outside of the movie studios.  Again, when you opt for the film preview, a new pop up window appears and the preview plays on the pop up.  This is some nice expensive software and design.  Again, look at the picture above.  That is a very well thought out site design.

  This site above is where we ran the vast majority of our tests.  Again the site is extremely well laid out and no expenses seem to have been spared.  Yet there is no charge for downloading any of these movies.  You read that right, no charge for downloading any of the movies on this site.  This site also has a very large Facebook fan page where they announce all their latest releases.

  On the torrent software, there are an average of between 200 and 400 seeds or people at any given time of the day or night that are both downloading these films as well as uploading them.  The way the torrent software works as you are downloading something, you are also uploading a smaller section of that same file to someone else as well as other films you have in your torrent list that others are looking to download.

  It's an exchange service of sorts.  The site we are discussing here makes the entire process seem very legitimate because of it's incredible professionalism.  What really shocked us is the new video release that showed up on the site a few days ago.  The Avengers.  This film is still being played in some movie theaters and has a release date of September 25th, 2012.  This torrent site already has the entire video available for download for free.  With hundreds of people downloading this video at any given moment during a 24 hour period, that means that thousands of people a day are getting this film before it even hits the store shelves.

  So on that end, yes, Hollywood is suffering huge losses on the potential sales of this and other titles before it even hits the shelves.  Plus as we have already said, this film is still playing in some movie theaters.  That affects the sales of tickets at the theaters as well.  The picture here shows the download from the torrent site.

This site usually offers the film in two to three formats.  1080 P full high definition, 720 P standard high definition and when available, 3D 1080 P.   The site has all three formats available for the Avengers film on line now.  More than a month before it's scheduled release date.  Amazon has a pre order price on the 3D Blu Ray version of 29.96 with free shipping and you have to wait for it.  It won't ship until release date.

  How do you estimate the loss on this one title alone?  We ran our tests for two weeks.  We were able to download about 50 films with a retail value of somewhere around one thousand dollars.  Again that was only for two weeks and we did not spend all day every day doing so.  We downloaded about 4 or 5 per day.  About 3 to 4 hours worth of time each day.

  We checked a number of items during this time.  We checked for back door attacks, viruses, open port hacks, malware, spyware and anything else that could go wrong.  We had no issues on any of the files or any of the times we downloaded and uploaded the torrents.  What about quality?  Here is where once again we were very shocked.  The quality of the torrents are extraordinarily good and the file formats used on just about everyone of these films were a universal MP4 format.  Only a couple of the films was in an mkv format.  The mkv format is not a common format and one will not be able to play the video without a special codec or video player to handle the file format.

  MP4 videos are about as universal to operating systems as MP3 audio is.  Microsoft, Apple and Linux systems can all handle these formats.  Even Andriod enabled products have no issues with this file format.  Every film we checked played very smoothly and was of true HD quality.  Only the mkv file formats had some motion issues.

Ending notes:  This ends part one of this series.  We have not mentioned the name of the exact torrent software nor the name of the site in this discussion for a reason.  The site contains illegal downloads that do hurt legitimate companies and their employees.  It is not our intention to teach people how to download illegal video files, but to educate people in the problems associated with these types of sites and issues.  We have since deleted the torrent software from our own system and will soon be deleting the downloads once this series is over.

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