Saturday, May 19, 2012

Movie Release Types

PDTV is an abbreviation short for Pure Digital Television. Often seen as part of the filename of TV shows shared through P2P and the Scene FTP systems on the Internet. In this case, PDTV refers not to container, bitrate or dimensions of the video, but the digital nature of the capture source. Non Scene European rippers often use the label DVBRip or DVB-rip to specify a purely digital rip of a Digital Video Broadcast (DVB), however all Scene groups use standardized labeling.

PDTV encompasses a broad array of capture methods and sources, but generally it involves the capture of SD or non-HD digital television broadcasts without any analog-to-digital conversion, instead relying on directly ripping MPEG streams. PDTV sources can be captured by a variety of digital TV tuner cards from a digital feed such as ClearQAM unencrypted cable, Digital Terrestrial Television, Digital Video Broadcast or other satellite sources. Just as with Freeview (DVB-T) in the United Kingdom, broadcast television in the United States has no barriers to PDTV capture. Hardware such as the HDHomeRun when connected to an ATSC (Antenna) or unencrypted ClearQAM cable feed allows lossless digital capture of MPEG-2 streams (Pure Digital Television), without monthly fees or other restrictions normally implemented by a Set-top box. Although different from the analog hole, Pure Digital Television capture imposes no technological restriction on what is done with the stream; playback, Mash-Ups and even recompression/pirated distribution are possible without the permission of the rights holder.

A publisher of fan-made DVD releases also uses the name PDTV, but with no connection to the more common usage explained above. The "PD" in this case refers to "planet dust" with an additional connotation of Public Domain, even though the material offered is more often the video equivalent of abandonware as opposed to anything where copyright has actually expired. Whereas pdtv content online (as described above) is indiscriminate in terms of copyright, physical DVD releases from PDTV only exist to supply fans with material not officially published to the DVD format.


HDTV-Rip is a method of copying video that involves recording HDTV television shows or movies broadcast from a high definition source (e.g. a DVB-S transmission), often with 5.1 surround sound. The recording can either be done directly through a PC video capture device, or via a networked digital video recorder box. Either during or after recording, the video may be compressed using a variety of codecs, such as MPEG-4 or H.264. An HDTV-Rip, however, does not need to be HD in its final format. It just needs to be captured from an HD source.

In the United States, fair use doctrine ensures the legality of the practice of making backup copies for personal use, especially when time shifting. Similar laws exist in other countries. Common use of the term 'HDTV-Rip' itself is in the context of p2p sharing , where it is commonly used to indicate the video quality of content. The product of an HDTV-rip is often distributed through Internet file sharing or hard copy DVDs or VCDs. Because of this, content rights-holders have endorsed the implementation of a broadcast flag in order to help prevent this method of piracy.

In Europe, DVB-rip is a method for recording from satellite decoders like SKY. They can be HDTV captured or not (576i digital transmission).


A screener (SCR) is an advance screening of a film sent to critics, awards voters, video stores (for their manager and employees), and other film industry professionals, including producers and distributors.A screener often has no post-processing.

In 2003, the MPAA announced that they would be ceasing distribution of screeners to Academy members, citing fears of piracy. A group of independent film makers sued and won a decision against the MPAA. The MPAA later reinstated the screeners with the implementation of a new policy requiring recipients to sign a binding contract that they would not share the screeners with others.

In January 2004, Academy member Carmine Caridi was announced as a person of interest in an ongoing FBI investigation into video piracy. He was subsequently expelled from the Academy after he was found to have sent close to 300[citation needed] screeners to a contact called Russell Sprague in Illinois, over a five year period. He was later ordered to pay Warner Brothers for copyright infringement of two of their films, Mystic River and The Last Samurai, a total of $300,000 ($150,000 per title).

In November 2010, Film Bank International LLC or on the web, unveiled their way of addressing piracy and unauthorized digital distribution. is able to distribute (SCR) movies, promos and television screeners through protected download links that individually watermark a screener with the recipients name and company while adding a unique traceable security signature embedded within the audio and video tracks. Their Website gives the user a choice to send the recipient a file to download or a streaming link to view the personalized watermarked screener.


The term telecine refers both to a film-to-tape transferring machine, as well as the process by which film is transferred to tape (or directly to a digital file).The telecine process is frequently used by filmmakers to transfer production footage to video, which can then be captured by various non-linear digital editing systems (e.g., Final Cut Pro, Avid, etc.).
"A telecine is the result of capturing each frame of footage directly from the film reel. This is achieved by projecting each frame of the film onto a charge coupled device (CCD). CCDs capture and record the projected video, giving Telecines a substantial increase in picture quality over both telesync and CAM. Although telecines are essentially an analog film capture, the film quality is close to that of a DVD. If a pirate has the technology and the time to produce a telecine, chances are it will pass as a DVD copy on the black market. Telecine audio comes directly from the mixing desk, which makes the telecine version of a film hard to distinguish from the real DVD. However, creating a telecine can take days of work. CCDs operate slowly, and a standard movie will take six to seven hours to capture. After capturing the video, the sound must be included and synced with each frame of video. Because they must be re-mastered, cleaned up, and packed, the full process of creating a telecine can take three to four days."


A telesync (TS) is a bootleg recording of a film recorded in a movie theater, often with a professional camera on a tripod in the projection booth (but the video is often just cam video), with a direct connection to the sound source (often an FM microbroadcast provided for the hearing-impaired, or from a drive-in theater). Sometimes the bootlegger will tape or conceal wireless microphones close to the speakers for better sound quality than just a cam.

The true definition of telesync would include the film being synchronized to the camera's own frame rate and shutter timing as done by television companies when preparing celluloid film for broadcast. A bootleg TS rarely, if ever, uses this form of synchronisation which can lead to additional temporal aliasing. A TS can be considered a higher quality type of cam, that has the potential of better-quality audio and video.

As technology gets better, the quality of telesyncs also improves, although even the best telesyncs are lossy and will be inferior in quality to direct rips from Blu-ray, DVD or digital transfers from the film itself (see telecine). Although very few at the moment, some release groups use high-definition video cameras to get the clearest picture possible.


A cam (or camming, deriving from camera) is a bootleg recording of a film. Unlike the more common DVD rip or screener recording methods which involve the duplication of officially distributed media, cam versions are original clandestine recordings made in movie theaters.

Typically, the person filming the movie will smuggle a compact digital camcorder into the theater by hiding it in their clothing or in a bag such as a purse or backpack. For this reason and people bringing outside food in, some establishments now ban customers from carrying bags or other containers into theaters. The filmer then records the movie using the camcorder as unobtrusively as possible. They may try to pick a seat as far back in the theater as possible to avoid the attention of other patrons (and to ensure proper framing of the screen) or may choose sparsely attended showtimes. The filmer may also know employees of the cinema who deliberately overlook infringement activity. Sometimes cam versions are made by projectionists themselves, either for home use or to distribute (with or without profit). These versions can be recognized easily as the audio sounds original, as opposed to "muddy" or noisy. This is owed to the fact that program audio is not recorded by the built-in microphone of the camera, but rather by a direct electronic link into the stereo monitor output of the audio rack. In parts of the world where the video standard is PAL, such as most European countries and Australia, where the standard frame rate is 25 per second, a problem with frame rate conversion can be avoided as the projectionist can speed the projector up from film's traditional 24 frames per second to PAL's 25 FPS and then use a standard PAL video camera to record the film picture.

Starting in 2001, many major motion pictures started to arrive at the theaters with unique patterns of tiny dots embedded throughout the film, known as Coded Anti-Piracy technology. If the cammer is unable to catch and blur all of these sequences, the studio will be able to determine at which theater the cam was recorded. As an additional form of deterrent, for highly popular films ushers might utilize night vision goggles to discreetly catch a bootlegger in the act of recording.

With exception of the type of cam mentioned above as made by a projectionist with access to connections in the audio rack, a cam uses audio recorded via the camera's microphone. Because of the nature of the audiovisual recording method, the audience can often be heard laughing, or silhouettes can be seen as people head for the restroom or concession stand.

The overall quality of cam bootlegs is highly dependent upon the quality of camera used, the skill of the operator in framing the screen, minimizing camera movement, and the method of encoding used before distribution (which is most commonly Xvid). Cams are generally considered to be the lowest fidelity method for duplicating video and film content, somewhat behind Telesync and markedly worse than DVD rips or screeners. For newly released films, however, cams are often the only copies available. One can often find these DVDs available from street vendors for prices equivalent to US$1-$2 (PPP) in the developing world.


A workprint is a rough version of a motion picture, used by the film editor(s) during the editing process. Such copies generally contain original recorded sound that will later be re-dubbed, stock footage as placeholders for missing shots or special effects, and animation tests for in-production animated shots or sequences.

For most of the first century of filmmaking, workprints were done using second-generation prints from the original camera negatives. After the editor and director approved of the final edit of the workprint, the same edits were made to the negative. With the conversion to digital editing, workprints are now generally created on a non-linear editing system using telecined footage from the original film or video sources (in contrast to a pirate "telecine", which is made with a much higher-generation film print). Occasionally, early digital workprints of films have been bootlegged and made available on the Internet.

There are also director's cut versions of films that are only available on bootleg; for example, the workprint version of Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler.Although movie studios generally do not make full-length workprints readily available to the public, there are exceptions; examples include the "Work-In-Progress" version of Beauty and the Beast, and the Denver/Dallas pre-release version of Blade Runner. Deleted scenes or bonus footage included on DVD releases are sometimes left in workprint format as well, e.g. the Scrubs DVD extras.