Torrents of TV

In response to a plea on Twitter, where I’d just mentioned that I’d thoroughly enjoyed Episode 7 of Series 2 of Heroes (and with apologies for the delay), this post will take you through how I get the latest greatest episodes of my favourite US TV shows long before they are shown in the UK.

This is illegal. I am a bad bad man. Torrents can be used for good and it is only my twisted evil that is using them for nefarious purposes… umm.. that and the people who are recording the shows, and posting them online to be downloaded.

Ohhh and I’m presuming you’ve got an internet connection and a computer, then all you need is one piece of software and access to a specific website.

The software is μTorrent, the website is TVRSS.net.

First, download μTorrent from the link above and install it. It includes a built-in RSS reader to monitor RSS feeds and, when new items appear, μTorrent will start downloading them. Great eh.

Next, head to TVRSS.net, and search for the series you want to keep up-to-date with. You probably only need the show name and series number to start with. Once the search results are displayed, you should see a list of torrents, and at the top of that list is the “Search based RSS feed”.

Copy the link location of the Search based RSS feed (right-click the link) and head to μTorrent. Open the RSS Downloader and, on the Feeds tab, click Add. Paste the RSS feed link location and click OK.

Now you should filter the feeds, moving each show into a dedicated folder.

In the RSS Downloader go to the Favorites tab, and click the Add button (bottom-left). Give the New Filter a name (to match the show name) and with it still selected, enter a Filter (typically the show name) and enter a location where the files will be saved (I keep three different shows in three different folders). You can also select a feed from the drop-down list, but typically the filter should be enough (especially as you can’t easily see what feed it is you are selecting).

Here’s what mine looks like:

That’s it. Each time you start uTorrent, it will check the RSS feeds and, if it finds any new items will start to download them. Simple.

Almost.

I would suggest you spend sometime getting a good RSS feed. If you just search for “Heroes” you’ll get around 4 or 5 different downloads for each episode. These are usually a different format or by a different person (or group). Alternatively you can filter the results in uTorrent’s RSS Downloader, again this will take a little experimentation but is pretty easy to figure out.

Full details of this can be found in the provided uTorrent RSS tutorial, and if you aren’t sure about torrents at all then check out the uTorrent Guides.

Any questions? (I’ll happily deal with the ethics of doing this separately)