PC to TV

the new Rage !!! 
Watch downloaded movies without burning a disc !!
Simple, fun, and FREE !!
The only drawback - is there is no remote control - but for a 2-hour movie, who cares?

*** also see Composite vs Component, vs Svideo

Here we tell you . . .

  - where to get the Movies

  - how to either:

  - how to view them on your home Television system

Of course, you have all heard of video cards with "TV Out" capability.  But when it first came out there was not much need for it.  But now, with the advent of high bandwidth Internnet connections via DSL or Cable  -  everyone now has a complete "Blockbuster" video warehouse at their fingertips.  And the best part, is that it is all FREE !!  So it is time to take a 2nd look at the old, "TV Out" capability that your video card probably already has.

You can download complete movies on Newsgroups and on Peer-to-Peer platforms such as Limewire, eMule, Kazaa, etc.  The newest craze is "Bit Torrents", where you can find ANY popular movie. 

Cloned Desktop vs Extended Desktop

Cloned Desktop - place an identical copy of your computer screen on another monitor (2nd monitor) or on your TV.  This is the preferred method for watching videos from your computer onto your TV !!

Extended Desktop - make your desktop extend out to the right, placing an identical sized desktop to the right, with a duplicate of the wallpaper you have - but it will be EMPTY !!  This is if you have two monitors side-by-side, and you use the main desktop on the left, "primary" monitor, and then empty desktop with the duplicated wallpaper to the right - that is the "extended" desktop and it will show up on the monitor on the right. 

Why use an Extended Desktop with a TV-Out ??

Because some drivers do not support cloned desktops.  By itself, Windows XP supports "Extended Desktop" - not clones.  It is the Video Card drivers that may or may not support cloned desktops.  In some cases, the drivers also only support extended desktops - and in those cases they generally use the windows capability and give you a slick interface to work with.

To use your TV as the extended desktop, and view a video on it - just start the video up, then drag it over to the right.  It is best if your monitor can swicth between Digital (primary monitor) and VGA (secondary, extended Monitor).  That way you can drag the video over to the right, out of view - which places it on the extended desktop - then switch your monitor to Analog mode (VGA) and then you can set the video to play full-screen - and go to watch it on the TV.

Configure your System and Video Card for TV Out

There are many video cards and many drivers, so you will have to read the manuals and help files carefully.  All we can do is to show you how to do it with one of the most popular cards - ATI Radeon.

Example TV Out configuration - using the ATI Control Panel

*** here we use an ATI Radeon 8500 LE card - most other ATI cards are configured the same way

*** to switch between PC (analog) with TV Out (analog)  -  and PC (digital) without TV out

NOTE:  you could just leave the mode configured as "PC with TV out" all the time, but your card is likely to run better in either all digital (PC only) or all analog (PC & TV) mode.  When not using the TV out, you should switch back digital mode (PC only)to take advantage of the better quality digital mode of your Video card and Monitor

NOTE: For systems with flat panel and TV support, you cannot set both the flat panel display and TV to the same display mode.

 - using the basic Control Panel drivers for an ATI Radeon 8500 LE - this is not the Catalyst Control Center (which can also be installed and can also perform the TV out function and switching, but has a different interface):

ATI system Tray icon (ATI calls this the "ATI Taskbar Application")

You MUST have this icon present in the system tray for the following to work:

NOTE:  your custom schemes will work without the icon - but you will not be able to use the hotkeys to switch back and forth between the two most common modes:  PC Only    and    PC with TV Out

The Steps

Step 1 - open Display Properties) Connect up your TV Out to your Television system (shown further down).  Once your cabling is done - you will set up a Primary "Display" and a "Cloned" display (TV).  You cannot set the Digital Display and TV to the same display mode - they must differ to be seen as two separate entities.  For my system, the Digital Display is 1280x960 and the TV is 1024x728 (standard for most TV's).

Step 2 - setup the Display Properties setting for Cloned Display) Below we show the Display Properties (right-click on your Desktop and select "Properties").  You will see both your main Display as "1" and the second display as "2".  Some people use the 2nd display by right-clicking on it and selecting "Attached", but it is actually easier to use "cloning" of Display 1, and leave 2 "unattached".

To setup the PC and TV Out configuration, you want the PC to be at the same resolution as the TV, which in most cases is 1024x768.  This allows you to see the same thing on your computer as what shows up on the TV - which helps with resizing the video.  So do the following:

Step 3 - Make sure the ATI icon in in your System Tray

  1. if "Enable ATI taskbar icon application" is not checked, then check it and click "Apply"

  2. if "Enable ATI taskbar icon application" is already checked but you have no icon in your system tray, then uncheck it, click "Apply", then re-check it, and click "Apply" again - that will refresh it and it will show up

 

 

Interruption !!  Here we give you an Explanation of the Displays Box (to help you in the next steps)

This is very hard to understand if you go through the horrible ATI Help pages - so here we try to make some sense of it all.  The box is divided into 4 panels:

Monitor - analog monitor - can be old classic CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) with a convex (curved out) screen, or a flat LCD dual monitor (accepts both digital DVI and analog VGA cables) YPbPr   -  Y = Luma,  Pb = B-Y (difference between Blue and Luma),  Pr = R-Y (difference between Red and Luma)  -  Analog Video TV which uses 3 component video cables - R, G, B cables) which is for higher end systems.  You are not likely to have a YPbPr TV !!
TV - this will most likely be the setting for your TV, which is composite video (a single cable with a Yellow RCA jack) - you need a VGA-to-Composite adapter cable for this (see further down for cabling) FPD (Flat Panel Display) - LCD digital Monitors

Next, you need to acquaint yourself with the strange button format they used. 


ATI Control Panel Buttons
(play around with them until you get the configuration below)

On/Off Buttons - at the top of each of the 4 Panels

Mode Buttons (Primary/Clone)

Here we provide a Sample Configuration with a change being Made, to chow what happens:

Before

Dual displays - the primary is a flat panel display and the clone is an analog monitor.  For this example we will click the On/Off button to disable the FDP to show what happens.

After

The FDP is now Off - and 5 things have changed.  Reading the circled changed from left to right::

  1. the On/Off has changed to a White ON, which means "Single Display"

  2. the Monitor has switched from Clone to Primary

  3. the FDP has changed from ON (Dual Display) mode, to OFF

  4. the screen of the FDP has gone black - indicating "Off"

  5. the Display Properties (screen resolution and refresh rate) have vanished, since the display in now inactive

Default Schemes - ATI has two default schemes, shown below:

 

"Default single display" - no Hotkey
*** you could use this to return to normal single-display mode, but it is not "digital"

Dual displays - the primary is a flat panel display and the clone is an analog monitor.  For this example we will click the On/Off button to disable the FDP to show what happens.

"Switch amongst displays"
uses "Alt-F5" for the hotkey

In my case I have just one monitor but it has two modes and two cables from the video card :  analog and digital.

 

 

 

    Resume the steps !!

Step 4 - ATI Control Panel settings for "PC and TV Out" - set the 4 panels up as follows:

 


Primary Monitor (analog) - TV (Cloned Desktop)
There is no "1" and "2" since both the primary monitor and the TV
show the same Screen - the FDP is only for Digital mode of your Flat Panel Display
NOTE:  if you have a CRT monitor then also use the "Monitor" setting (it is analog only)

NOTE:  if while in Windows Display Properties, you had "attached" Display "2" before going to the Control Panel - then you would see numbers 1 and 2 beneath each of the 4 panels.  But since we are only using display "1" the two buttons instead are marked to signify either "Primary" or "Cloned" display.

Step 5) assign a Hotkey combo and save the Scheme - once you get the setup working - type in a name for it (such as "PC and TV Out") and then assign a "Hotkey" combination (shortcut key).  Just click once in the Hotkey field and then hit the key combination you want tp use !!  An easy-to-remember combination is to use CTRL-F6 to go to the TV out config, and CTRL-F5 to go back to PC only mode. Click "Save" to save your new scheme.  All of your schemes, and the default schemes are stored in the registry at the following location (although your long string of characters under the "Desktop" key will differ from mine):

Step 6) set the Overlay - if you skip this step the video may play but on the TV will just be all black.  Click the "Over;ay" button and set it to "Theater Mode".  This mode will typically expend the video to Full-Screen on the TV even if it is playing in a small window on the computer.  If not, then simply set the video player display to full-screen (for WMplayer hit Alt-Enter to switch to full-screen mode):

The video may play fine on the Monitor in analog mode, but show up as completely black on the TV
The fix for this is "Overlay Mode".  Click the Overlay Mode tab and check the "Theater Mode" box.
Theater Mode allows you to play the video in WMplayer at a normal, "non-full-screen" size
on your monitor, while at the same time it gets blown up to full size on
the TV screen. 

Step 7)  setup the PC only (digital) configuration - exit out of the ATI Control Panel to get back to Display Properties

using the button in the front of your monitor - put it back into Digital Mode

select your default PC settings - in my case it is 1280x960, 32-bit

click "Apply" and accept the new settings when asked

click "Advanced" to get into the ATI Control Panel

click the "Monitor" tab and set the refresh rate to 70 Hz or higher (TV is 60 which will cause flicker on the screen):

NOTE:  72 Kz would not bring up the FDP at 72 Hz, and my entry for "SyncMaster" would not "stay" (it kept
going away and turning back to the "Plug and Play" monitor when I would leave this screen and come
back) so I had to use 75 Hz and leave it at "Plug and Play" Monitor !!  Who cares - that worked !!

New Setting

 

click "Apply" and then accept the new settings when asked

click the "Diplays" tab

turn Off the TV and turn On both the Monitor and the FDP - you may want to ONLY turn on the FDP, but most monitors attach to Both the Analog and the Digital ports of your video card - so you cannot turn one of them On and the other Off - this is entirely dependent on the video card !! 

Click the On/Off buttons to disable the Monitor (analog) and the TV, leaving only the FDP enabled (it will be white, since white indicates a single display).  Make sure it reflects the same Refresh Rate and Resulution as your PC normally is in the "PC Only" mode:

Primary (Digital) and no Clone

NOTE:  do not use "Default Single display" for this - it is analog only and that
ruins the nice picture you have on your expensive, digital FDP !!

NOTE: This can be a difficult Step !! You may need to go back and forth, and even go all the way back to your desktop without the
Windows Display Properties showing, and then come back to Display Properties, set the resolution, go into
the Control Panel, Monitor tab, set the Refresh rate - and then go back into the Displays tab several times to get it right !!!
 

Test the configuration using the "Apply" button - go back and forth between your two new custom schemes.  Make sure the monitor switches from Analog to Digital and then back again.  Close the Control Panel and close Windows Display Properties - and test it again using the Hotkeys.  If it is OK, name it "PC only", assign a Hotkey (we use CTRL-F5), click "Save", and then click "Apply"

DONE !!!

Switching between "PC only" and "Pc and TV out" Configurations - you must have the ATI icon running in your system Tray for this to work - you can now either use the Hotkey combinations CTRL-F5 and CTRL-F6, or right-click on the ATI icon in your system tray to switch
 

 

 

 

Cabling the PC to the TV

In this case the system has a video card with 3 cables:

  1. DVI-I digital cable to the monitor.  The Primary display is the DVI cable and on this screen it is marked as FDP, which oddly, is shown on the right.  Note is is marked a "1" - and this can be switched by clicking the "2" button. 
    IMPORTANT:  you cannot set the Digital Display and TV to the same display mode - they must differ to be seen as two separate entities.  For my system, the Digital Display is 1280x960 and the TV is 1024x728 (standard for most TV's)

  2. VGA analog cable to the monitor.  The secondary display is called "Monitor" and it is the same monitor as the FDP, but it is analog and is the VGA cable

  3. S-Video cable to the TV.  The third display is the TV and it is also shown as "2" - therefore it mirrors what is shown on the Analog display

NOTE:  the 4th is shown as YPbPr and is blacked out - this would be present if you had 3 component cables (Green=Y, Blue=Pb, and Red=Pr)

The "Monitor" (analog) and "TV" are both marked as "2" and they can be setup as either Clones of the primary - or as extended desktops to the primary.  However, with the basic Control Panel, it relies on the Windows Extended Desktop drivers, and offers no Cloning.  So in this case you can only run your videos on the TV by starting them in normal (non Full-Screen) mode, dragging the title bar off-screen to the right, and then switching to Analog mode to see the video on your computer monitor so that you can then change it to full-screen mode.

IMPORTANT:  if you change the video to full-screen before dragging it to the right - the is no way to drag it over, because the title bar is gone !!! 

TIP - if you have an ATI card.  DO NOT use the Catalyst Control Center - it is very hard to understand and to get to work correctly.  You need two installs:

  1. the ATI drivers

  2. the ATI Control Panel

Connecting your Computer to your TV

This is the easiest and least expensive way !!!  But first, we must talk a bit about Television 101  .  .  .

1)  The Basics  .  .  .  Television Systems 101

The connectors:

 

The 3 most common TV video Formats:   Component, Svideo, and Composite

The highest quality is Component, followed by Svideo, and then Composite - however, few people can really notice much difference.

Most television Home Theater systems have a main "Receiver/Amplifier" that is a central hub for all the inputs (Cable box, DVD player, etc) - and it also is connected to the Television and speakers.  It sends video to the TV and Auido to the speakers (typically 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer).

Most receivers accept "composite" inputs which is one video port and two audio ports.

Composite Video (YUV) - A video color format that combines all three YUV video signals into one channel. The first video signal to include color, composite video transmits brightness/luma (Y) and colors/chroma (U and V) over one cable. NTSC, PAL and SECAM television are composite video.

Component Video (Y-U-V or in some cases R-G-B)- a video color format that maintains the three YUV video signals in three separate channels. Component video provides a sharper image than composite video and S-video. See YUV, composite video and S-video.

Analog Component Video - YPbPr - uses RCA jacks which are common on devices such as DVD players, set-top boxes, receivers and TVs. See YPbPr.

Digital Component Video - YCbCr - usually uses BNC connectors and is the norm for tape formats such as MiniDV, DV and Digital Betacam. Digital component video (YCbCr) is also natively supported by many nonlinear video editing programs (NLEs). See YCbCr and YCbCr sampling.

RGB: Digital or Analog
Sometimes, component video refers to RGB signals rather than YUV. It may refer to "digital" RGB, which is the native graphics format in the computer, and it is supported by all nonlinear video editing programs (NLEs).

Component video may also refer to "analog" RGB, especially with regard to a three-cable RGB attachment to a studio monitor or high-end video camera.

NOTE:  YPbPr (also referred to as "Y/Pb/Pr", "YPrPb", "PrPbY", "B-Y R-Y Y" and "PbPrY") is a color space used in video electronics, in particular in reference to component video cables. YPbPr is the analog version of the YCbCr color space; the two are numerically equivalent, but YPbPr is designed for use in analog systems whereas YCbCr is intended for digital video. YPbPr is converted from the RGB video signal, which is split into three components, Y, Pr and Pb :

 

Svideo (Y/C  or  Y/UV) - (Super-video) - since you can directly convert Svideo to Composite via a simple wiring change, many people think yhat the only difference is the interface pinouts.  Actually, Svideo differs from composite video on the signals as well.  Svideo splits the video signal into two different components: luminance (Y) and chrominance (C  -  where C = UV combined), which is why there are 4 connectors (4 pins).  Composite video has only 2 connectors because the video is all in one combined stream.  An Svideo-to-Composite adapter simply combines the two signals from the Svideo pins into one.

Svideo is a video color format that combines the three YUV video signals into two channels. Brightness/luma (Y) is in one channel, and color/chroma (U and V) are in another. S-video provides a sharper image than composite video, but is not as good as component video.

YUV Explained

The color encoding system used for analog television worldwide (NTSC, PAL and SECAM). The YUV color space (color model) differs from RGB, which is what the camera captures and what humans view. When color signals were developed in the 1950s, it was decided to allow black and white TVs to continue to receive and decode monochrome signals, while color sets would decode both monochrome and color signals.

Luma and Color Difference Signals
The Y in YUV stands for "luma," which is brightness, or lightness, and black and white TVs decode only the Y part of the signal. U and V provide color information and are "color difference" signals of blue minus luma (B-Y) and red minus luma (R-Y). Through a process called "color space conversion," the video camera converts the RGB data captured by its sensors into either composite analog signals (YUV) or component versions (analog YPbPr or digital YCbCr). For rendering on screen, all these color spaces must be converted back again to RGB by the TV or display system.

Mathematically Equivalent to RGB
YUV also saves transmission bandwidth compared to RGB, because the chroma channels (B-Y and R-Y) carry only half the resolution of the luma. YUV is not compressed RGB; rather, Y, B-Y and R-Y are the mathematical equivalent of RGB. See color space conversion and YUV/RGB conversion formulas.

Composite Video and S-video
The original TV standard combined luma (Y) and both color signals (B-Y, R-Y) into one channel, which uses one cable and is known as "composite video." An option known as "S-video" or "Y/C video" keeps the luma separate from the color signals, using one cable, but with separate wires internally. S-video is a bit sharper than composite video.

Component Video
When luma and each of the color signals (B-Y and R-Y) are maintained in separate channels, it is called "component video," designated as YPbPr when in the analog domain and YCbCr when it is digital. Component video is the sharpest of all.

The Term Is Generic
In practice, YUV refers to the color difference encoding system whether composite or component, and "YUV," "Y, B-Y, R-Y" and "YPbPr" are used interchangeably for analog signals. Sometimes, "YCbCr," which is digital, is used interchangeably as well, which does not help to clarify the subject. See YPbPr, YCbCr, luma, ITU-R BT.601 and YIQ.

 

2)  Join the Movie Files into one File

You will want to create a single video file, so that you do not have to get up and go to the computer during the movie.  In this case, open that wallet and buy "Boilsoft Joiner".  It is well worth it, because unlike the free joiners out there . . . it joins both AVI and MPG files seamlessly and flawlessly, and it works with Xvid AVI's..

3) Connect it up  .  .  .

NOTE on Distances:  if you are running cables over a long distance you may need an amplifier.  There are many of them available - here is one to check out:  http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=3959

Case 1)  Svideo-to-Composite

(if you have an Svideo "TV-Out" Interface on your Video Card)

All you need is an Svideo-to-Composite cable with Audio Cable included.  The most common TV-Out port on video cards is "Svideo".  That is a standard composite video format that comes in either 4-pin (the true standard) or 7-pin versions.  Some cables can connect to both 4 and 7 pin ports, since you only need the 4 pins:

*** for connectors, adapters, and cables, see www.svideo.com and http://www.svideo-rca.com/

Activate your "TV-Out" port (Svideo interface) on your video card - as shown in the following video:

Click "Play - Rewind" button to view Video

Connect your Video card's "TV-OUT" to your TV - basically, all you need to do is connect the cable to your video card, and your headphone jack on the PC speakers,, get a long set of extension cables, and run the signals to your home theater system.  Plug in the 3 composite jacks (Yellow for Video, and Red/White for Left/Right Audio), and you are done !!

If you do not have an Svideo TV-Out, there are tons of converter cables and converter boxes available for VGA and DVI video interfaces ( see www.gefen.com ):

Video from www.Svideo.com showing how easy it is  .  .  .

 

 

Case 2)  VGA-to-Composite

(if you do NOT have an Svideo port on your Video card - but have a VGA port)

Be CAREFUL HERE - there are a lot of VHA to "Component" boxes available.  There are NOT the same thing !!  You can use them only if your TV or Receiver has Component inputs !!

*** this is for video cards with just VGA, or with both DVI and VGA

For VGA you can't use a simple converter cable because the signals are very different from composite video.  You need a "box".  Make sure you get a box with a "pass-through", which means you plug your VGA cable from your computer to the input VGA port of the box, and it will have two ouput ports  -  a composite port which it the converted signal, and a VGA port which is simply an extension of your VGA cable.  The signal is passed straight through the box, hence the name "Pass-through".  There are a ton of these boxes on the market, so be careful.

Older Video cards are VGA only.  Most new cards have both DVI and VGA, or a DVI-I that carries both digital and analog. 

Sources for VGA to Composite:

Sources for VGA to Component:   http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/kd-vtca2.htm

 

Case 3)  DVI-to-Composite  or  DVI-to-Component

(if you have a DVI video card with no TV-Out port and no VGA port)

There are 4 types of DVI - there may be converter cables and/or boxes for all of these.  However, the simplest to pull TV signals from is the DVI-A or DVI-I because they already have an analog signal:

DVI-I to Component

available at http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=3176

 

 

Make your Own Svideo-to-Composite Adapter

(Thanks to Tomi Engdahl for this technique)

NOTE:  this is a simple solution, not for high quality conversion.  There are some commercial adapters based on two filters, band-pass and subcarrier frequency for C and color subcarrier band-stop on the Y line. Please note that these kind of circuits are always video standard specific, meaning you need a different circuit for PAL and NTSC video standards.

For those hobbyists out there  .  .  .  this simple adapter can be used to convert Y/C video (S-video) to a composite video. This adapter is useful in cases where your video output device has only S-video output but your signal source accepts only composite video input. This circuit works with both PAL and NTSC video standards.


This circuit can be quite easily build inside a the S-video connector case if a physically small size 470 pF (ceramic) capacitor is used. Larger capacitor values will also work, but cause picture to become "softer". The voltage rating of capacitor can be 10V or more.

This circuit works in practice quite well even though the circuit operation is not ideal. This means that impedances and signal levels not matched exactly right, but near enough to work accetably. The picture quality you get from this circuit is is good, but not as good as with best possible composite video output circuitry.

Here is the pinout of the S-video connector shown from the end with the FEMALE PINS (picture is a view on the equipment back/front panel):

 

This circuit version is juts built to be an example how the circuit can be built. If you built it yourself you might want to use components that fit nicely inside the connectors casing and build the circuit so that you cna put the connector cases in place. If you plan to have distance more than few centimeters between the connectors, it is a good idea to use shilded signal cable (75 ohm coaxial cable is the best, shielded audio cable works well to distance up to few meters).

 

Home-made Adapter Adapter from
http://www.svideo-rca.com/

 

 

The circuit diagram lists the capacitor value 470 pF. Somewhat different capacitor values would also work. Practically all capacitor values form around 400 pF to around 10 nF should work somehow acceptably.

Are there ways to improve S-video to composite video conversion ?

Some ICs that do S-video to composite conversion internally use luma trap to eliminate cross color artifacts. With a properly designed luma trap, the conversion works somewhat vetter than with my simple circuit. One IC that implements luma trap is AD725 from Analog Devices. The IC data sheet has information on luma trap design. When luma trap is used, the luma trap needs to match the video standard (PAL and NTSC) being used. For a filter that will work for both PAL and NTSC a means is required to switch the tuning of the filter between the two subcarrier frequencies.

My simple circuit described above works for all video standards without modifications. I have not designed any circuit that used this luma trap method myself and I have no plans to add this to my circuit.

I am using the adapter and still do not get colors. What is wrong ?

This adapter is designed to convert S-video signals to composite video. And it has proven to work well on this. This circuit cannot solve other possible incompatibility issues that you might have. A typical problem that causes black and white video instead of color is incomatible video standards on the signal source and the receiver. If your video signal source (for example PC video card TV output) puts out NTSC video but your TV is designed to handle only PAL standard you get usually black and white image, and with some devices video signal does not sync at all. PAL signal to NTSC TV does not work either. One very common problem with computers that have TV putput is that the default output video standard is not right for your TV. If you get problems with computer TV output, configure your video output to right standard that your TV supports and try again. The exact details how o do this configuration varies between different computers and graphics cards. Consult your computer user's manual and other documentation for exact details.

Can the circuit used in other way ?

Yes, but you will be converting an average quality signal to a higher quality signal standard.

So the picture quality will be worse than if you were using the real composite vidoe input of your TV. The reason for this is that after the circuit, the color information is still in the brightness signal, you you see some interference on the screen caused by color subcarrier which gets to the screen.

 

Getting the Movies

Now . . . movies take up a lot of hard drive space, and they can take a long time to download.  So everyone compresses them as much as possible before offering them up for download.  The most common codecs used are either Divx and Xvid for AVI files.  Sometimes MPG is also used.  A typical, 2-hour movie will be contained on 2 or 3 video files.

The best ways to get movies are:

Newsgroups - download and install Forte Agent (the best Newsreader IMO).  Then download all the names of the groups (this is done automatically during setup), and search through the tons of "binaries" groups, such as "alt.binaries.movies", or "alt.binaries.mma" (Mixed Marial Arts events such as the UFC and Pride FC), and many, many more.

Bit Torrents - these are Peer-2-Peer but they are in their own category because there is no central set of servers to connect to.  There are, however - trackers - which are servers, basically.  You simply download and install any decent Bit Torrent client (I use "Bit Comet" and love it), go to www.TorrentSpy.com and search for torrents, save the torrent you want to your Bit Comet folder, fire up Bit Comet, open the Torrent, and wait while it downloads the movie.

Bit Torrents take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete the download of a typical movie.  However, you can stack up your downloads, so there are always a few movies that are just about done downloading.  It's great !!!

Peer to Peer - not recommended -  this is programs like Kazaa, Limewire, eMule, etc.  - the problems with these, is that the movie industry and software industry has inserted tons of "fake users" wit bogus "crap files" that either do not work at all, or they run an anti-piracy video, or in some case introduce a virus into your system.  Use these at your own risk - they are OK for most because everyone runs anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities these days.  However, the Newsgroups and Bit Torrents are the way to go !!!

Converting the Movies to DVD

***  skip this section if you will be connecting your computer to your TV or Home Theater system !!!

Fortunately, DVD writeable discs have become dirt cheap, at about 25 cents a pop.  So it is no longer expensive to burn movies to DVD and watch them. 

convert to DVD using WinAVI and burn to a blank DVD disc - WinAVI is the fastest converter to DVD format and it is very simple to use:

  1. fire it up, click the "DVD" button

  2. select all the video files in the movie (make sure they are all the same name with a 1. 2. 3. etc at the end so that WinAVI can order them correctly)

  3. select "Merge into one title"

  4. click OK and wait for the DVD folders and files to be created

  5. burn the DVD !!!