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Quality Terms

CAM
A cam is a theater rip usually done with a digital video camera. A mini tripod is sometimes used, but a lot of the time this wont be possible, so the camera make shake. Also seating placement isn’t always idle, and it might be filmed from an angle. If cropped properly, this is hard to tell unless there’s text on the screen, but a lot of times these are left with triangular borders on the top and bottom of the screen. Sound is taken from the onboard microphone of the camera, and especially in comedies, laughter can often be heard during the film. Due to these factors picture and sound quality are usually quite poor, but sometimes we’re lucky, and the theater will be fairly empty and a fairly clear signal will be heard.

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TELESYNC (TS)
A telesync is the same spec as a CAM except it uses an external audio source (most likely an audio jack in the chair for hard of hearing people). A direct audio source does not ensure a good quality audio source, as a lot of background noise can interfere. A lot of the times a telesync is filmed in an empty cinema or from the projection booth with a professional camera, giving a better picture quality. Quality ranges drastically, check the sample before downloading the full release. A high percentage of Telesyncs are CAMs that have been mislabeled.

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TELECINE (TC)
A telecine machine copies the film digitally from the reels. Sound and picture should be very good, but due to the equipment involved and cost telecines are fairly uncommon. Generally the film will be in correct aspect ratio, although 4:3 telecines have existed. A great example is the JURASSIC PARK 3 TC done last year. TC should not be confused with TimeCode , which is a visible counter on screen throughout the film

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SCREENER (SCR)
A pre VHS tape, sent to rental stores, and various other places for promotional use. A screener is supplied on a VHS tape, and is usually in a 4:3 (full screen) a/r, although letterboxed screeners are sometimes found. The main draw back is a “ticker” (a message that scrolls past at the bottom of the screen, with the copyright and anti-copy telephone number). Also, if the tape contains any serial numbers, or any other markings that could lead to the source of the tape, these will have to be blocked, usually with a black mark over the section. This is sometimes only for a few seconds, but unfortunately on some copies this will last for the entire film, and some can be quite big. Depending on the equipment used, screener quality can range from excellent if done from a MASTER copy, to very poor if done on an old VHS recorder thru poor capture equipment on a copied tape. Most screeners are transferred to VCD, but a few attempts at SVCD have occurred, some looking better than others.

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PPVRip
PPVRips are Pay-Per-View videos which have been recorded from Hotel rooms. PPVRip is a Pay-Per-View video source.

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DVD-SCREENER (DVDscr)
Same premise as a screener, but transferred off a DVD. Usually letterbox , but without the extras that a DVD retail would contain. The ticker is not usually in the black bars, and will disrupt the viewing. If the ripper has any skill, a DVDscr should be very good. Usually transferred to SVCD or DivX/XviD.

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R5
R5 refers to a specific format of DVD released in DVD Region 5, the former Soviet Union, and bootlegged copies of these releases that are distributed on the Internet. In an effort to compete with movie piracy, the movie industry chose to create a new format for DVD releases that could be produced more quickly and less expensively than traditional DVD releases. R5 releases differ from normal releases in that they are a direct Telecine transfer of the film without any of the image processing common on DVD releases, and without any special features. This allows the film to be released for sale at the same time that DVD Screeners are released. Since DVD Screeners are the chief source of high-quality pirated movies, this allows the movie studios to beat the pirates to market. In some cases, R5 DVDs may be released without an English audio track, requiring pirates to use the direct line audio from the film’s theatrical release. In this case, the pirated release is tagged with “.LINE” to distinguish it from a release with a DVD audio track.

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WORKPRINT (WP)
A workprint is a copy of the film that has not been finished. It can be missing scenes, music, and quality can range from excellent to very poor. Some WPs are very different from the final print (Men In Black is missing all the aliens, and has actors in their places) and others can contain extra scenes (Jay and Silent Bob) . WPs can be nice additions to the collection once a good quality final has been obtained.

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DVDRip
A copy of the final released DVD. If possible this is released PRE retail (for example, Star Wars episode 2) again, should be excellent quality. DVDrips are released in SVCD and DivX/XviD.

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DVD-R
Is the recordable DVD solution that seems to be the most popular (out of DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD+R). it holds 4.7gb of data per side, and double sided discs are available, so discs can hold nearly 10gb in some circumstances. SVCD mpeg2 images must be converted before they can be burnt to DVD-R and played successfully. DVD>DVDR copies are possible, but sometimes extras/languages have to be removed to stick within the available 4.7gb.

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HDRip 720p (BluRay)
720p refers to a progrssive HDTV signal with 720 horizontal lines and an Aspect Ratio (AR) of 16:9 (1.78:1). All major HDTV broadcasting standards include a 720p format which has a resolution of 1280×720, however there are other formats, including HDV and AVCHD for camcorders, which utilize 720p images with the standard HDTV resolution.

For HDTVs themselves 720p can also have different meanings. While you might expect a 720p HDTV to have a resolution of 1280×720, this isn’t always the case. For many flat panel 720p HDTVs the actual native resolution is 1024×768. While these TVs accept 720 input signals (as do all HDTVs) they must downscale horizontally while slightly upscaling vertically to their native resolution, resulting in somewhat lower picture quality.

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HDRip 1080p (BluRay)
1080p refers to a progressive HDTV signal with 1080 horizontal lines and an Aspect Ratio of 16:9 (1.78:1). All major HDTV broadcasting standards include a 1080i format which has a resolution of 1920×1080, but the progressive HDTV broadcast standards in place right now only allow a resolution of 1280×720 (720p). Currently the only applications using 1080p signals are Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Creating a progressive 1920×1080 signal is problematic because of how MPEG-2 and AVC profiles are structured. Rather than having separate framerate limits for different progressive resolutions they assume a resolution of 1280×720 for progressive video. In practice this has turned out to be less of an issue than it might seem. By limiting 1080p video to the same framerate as 1080i (30fps), the same hardware used to decode 1080i video at 30fps and 720p at 60fps is generally capable of 1080p at 30fps.

Although all 1080p displays can produce a progressive image from 1080i video or an upscaled 720p image, some older models can’t actually accept a 1080p input signal. Since its technically outside standard HDTV specifications, neither can 720p or 1080i displays. Newer 1080p HDTVs are designed to accept these full resolution progressive signals, and in fact are generally capable of displaying 1080p video at framerates of 60fps or higher. However, practical bitrate and hardware limitations make this a purely theoretical possibility at this time.

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