Wednesday, November 15, 2000


Why when I post a message on some bulletin boards do they not show up straight away?

This happens because your browser is not set to automatically refresh the page after you post. When you are returned to the forum index you are presented with an old version of the page which has been retrieved from your internet cache (the area of your hard drive web pages are downloaded to) rather than the web server.

To check that your posts have been added successfully, you can hit the 'refresh' button or press the F5 key, yet to make sure that you are always viewing the newest versions of web pages in future, you will have to change the settings of your browser. This way, pressing the refresh button manually will not be necessary. Here's the procedure: select 'internet options' from the 'tools' menu of your browser and prod the 'general' tab. Now click on the 'settings' button in the 'temporary internet files' section, and finally make sure that the 'every visit to the page' option is checked within the 'check for newer versions of stored pages' area.

Thursday, November 09, 2000


What are these bootleg movies the mainstream media is always banging on about?

They are illegal copies of new and old movies (though it's the unreleased blockbusters the MPAA and Co. are most keen to stamp out), created using a variety of disparate techniques, which produce varying degrees of audio and video quality.

The latest releases are reproduced and distributed either for the sheer thrill and challenge of competing with rival release groups, or to profit financially by hawking these hot-off-the-press movies on the black market.

The various forms of bootleg movies can be broken down into the following:

Cam movies are very poor quality cinema recordings usually captured by amateurs using a run-of-the-mill home camcorder. Because the camera operator has to stay hidden if he or she wants to avoid being thrown out of the cinema, tripods are rarely used and therefore the resulting movies can be very shaky. As you would imagine, sound quality is also terrible as the only microphones used are built into the side of the camera. It's not uncommon to be able to spot members of the audience wandering back and to across the screen, coughing, spluttering, having sex, and so on.

Telesync movies are high quality cinema recordings, which make use of professional video camera and sound recording technology. Unlike 'cam' movies, telesync recordings are made using a tripod, and the camera is positioned in such a way so as to avoid capturing the heads of the people in the audience. Sound is often recorded in stereo by placing microphones in strategic positions throughout the cinema. Even better quality telesync recordings are achieved as a result of filming in an empty cinema and by connecting sound recording equipment directly to the sound source.

Screeners are near perfect copies of the pre-release promotional movies which are sent to critics, video rental shops and censors etc. They are copied directly from video or DVD so loss of sound or picture quality is minimal. Screeners are usually adorned with scrolling anti-piracy and copyright restriction messages as well as tracking 'signatures' used to trace the release back to the source of the leak.

SVCD, or Super Video Compact Discs, utilize MPEG-2 encoding techniques to reduce disk capacity hogging video streams so as to fit onto one or several CD-Rs. The resulting video quality is superior to VHS and video CD.

Telecine movies are bootleg recordings made directly from a cinema reel and encoded into digital format.

TV rips are television episodes which have been captured using a PCTV tuner card and encoded using the DivX or XviD format.