TiVo? or … TiFaux

25 02 2008

Who has time to watch TV anymore? I mean, with so many wrong people on the Internet, correcting them takes up half of a person’s day, right? Actually. I don’t know how many times I’ve been teased for my Internet usage only to hear the accusers themselves make plans around Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and Heroes. Whatever your vices may be, we can all agree that TiVo was one of the greatest things invented. Some try to bypass subscription/hardware fees by creating awesome home theater PVR PCs and media servers. Even still, you do need cable. So here’s two apps that would definitely make my “first to install” list.

By the way, not to fuel the war but…if you pay for cable, is it illegal to download TV shows? What’s the difference between TiVo and this? Oh well…


Ted stands for Torrent Episode Downloader. It checks multiple torrent sites, via predefined RSS feeds for TV shows. You can, of course, create your own feeds. I found shows like Reaper and The Sarah Connor Chronicles aren’t included in the stock feed list. However updates are always coming out with new show definitions. Creating your own feeds is extremely intuitive. The filters help you seed out the bunk seeders, allowing you to determine a minimum number of seeders, exclude certain phrases and even check for new shows only on the day of/after the show airs. Now of course availability depends on the torrent community, but depending on where you live, sometimes you can get the show before it’s done airing in your timezone. I was able to download and start watching an episode of Heroes last season before the 9PM cutoff in the Pacific region. Ted can also automatically set itself to begin searching for the next episode once it finds the most recent one. All in all, it’s a great app when paired with something like uTorrent. I’ve been using it for about a year now and absolutely love it. Ted runs on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) which means it’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux. But you know those Mac users, it’s all about looks. Good thing there’s TV Shows.

TV Shows
I haven’t had much experience with TV Shows, but it works similarly to the way that Ted does, using RSS feeds in it’s fetching of new shows. An advantage of TV Shows is that is runs as a daemon; it’s always on in the background but consumes no resources until it “wakes”, checks episodes and goes back to standby. It also allows you to set the quality of video desired from a torrent. If it doesn’t find one of the specified quality, it downloads the closest thing to it. There hasn’t been an update in quite a while but the site assures us that’s it’s not a dead project and huge update is eminent. (v 0.3.4 to v 1.0)

Tv Shows

That’s the short of it. Some torrent clients actually incorporate RSS readers so you can essentially do the same thing, but this is more of a “set it and forget it” method. Knowing that, you can set it up and go back to pwning n0Obz or whatever it is you happen to do during those ungodly hours when no one else is awake. Enjoy!