Ever wondered how long it takes for a private “TV” tracker to add an available torrent for a show that just aired? Or, what is the difference between pre-times for a specialty TV tracker such as BitMeTV, and a 0day tracker, and a public tracker such as Mininova or ThePirateBay? These questions and more explained, as we take a look into the inner workings of television torrent pre-times, TV scene releases, and their impact at various trackers.
Pre-times at TV Trackers - An Intro
We should first explain that most “TV Trackers” such as BitMeTV, TVTorrents.com, TV.torrents.ro, TVTorrentz.org (and others) don’t precisely label the pre-times on their torrents (with the exception of bitt.tv). But with a little bit of intuition and deduction, they can be ascertained fairly easily. Take for example, BitMeTV: Each torrent is accurately timestamped for when it was added to the tracker. Thus, if we know the official time that the same release was pred, and we compare it to when that torrent was added to the tracker, we can pinpoint* the pre-time. IRC “Torrent Racer” (aka. Tracers) channels do this 24/7 for scene releases, but not every release is shown; nor are all trackers represented (as most are 0day trackers in the race, not specifically TV trackers).
*A note about sites that add their own pre-times to torrents (i.e. - ”Uploaded 44 seconds after pre.”) — this ‘time’ is not necessarily accurate, and doesn’t take into consideration for their *presource
- being off. Usually this ‘off’ time is only a matter of seconds, something of which a #Tracers channel will take into consideration.
To reiterate, most TV trackers are not represented in a #Tracers channel, so a manual computation is needed to calculate a pre-time. We can do this by using the time in which a scene release is displayed in a #pre channel, and look at when a particular tracker added it. Subtracting the difference will output the pre-time for that torrent.
For this example we’ll use BitMeTV. We took an average popular scene torrent (non “internal”):
Next, we found the exact same release pred in a #pre channel (such as the one set up at irc.p2p-net.eu/pre). Note
: this is not a private tracker’s #pre channel.
Notice that in the screenshot above, we have an accurate time displayed (on the left) for all messages in the channel, aka ‘timestamping’. If you’re using mIRC, you’ll need to turn “Timestamp” on in order to see the when the pres come out in real time in the channel window. To do this, go to Tools > Options… then go to IRC > Messages, and place a checkmark in “Timestamp events” :
To make the timestamp accurate to the second, simply change the timestamp setting from [HH:nn] to [HH:nn:ss] as shown on the right. Click ‘OK’ to save.
The pre-time calculation: This release was pred at 20:32:22 in the #pre channel, and BitMeTV added the torrent at 8:40:02 (or 20:40:02). Thus, the pre-time (or difference) for this torrent is 7 minutes, 40 seconds.
Taking this a step further; the above show (My Name Is Earl, Season 4, Episode 11) originally aired from 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM. It was pred 2 minutes and 22 seconds afterwards (keeping consistent with the half-hour timeslot), and it was available for download as a torrent from BitMeTV 10 minutes later. Not bad, but 0day trackers won this battle:
0day Trackers Pre-times:
Using a #Tracers channel, we can view the race for the same torrent among other private trackers. Below is a look at the pre-times. ScT won the race with a pre-time of just 31 seconds, and TorrentLeech came in 8th place at 3 minutes, 54 seconds. (For this torrent, all Top 8 finishers beat BitMeTV’s pre-time).
In the image above, the torrent was on ScT’s tracker in less than three minutes after it finished airing (falsely assuming that the show ended sharply at 8:30 PM, when certainly it was a little before this). Regardless, it’s a great pre-time.
Other TV Trackers Pre-Times:
Here’s a look at when the same torrent was added at some of the other private TV trackers:
- http://bitt.tv = 20:33:20 (pre-time: 58 seconds)
- TvTorrentz.org = 20:37:00 (pre-time: 4 minutes, 38 seconds)
- BitMeTV = 20:40:02 (pre-time: 7 minutes, 40 seconds)
- Tv.torrents.ro = 20:48:58 (pre-time: 16 minutes, 36 seconds)
- TvTorrents.com = 20:50:00 (pre-time: ~18 minutes)
- FeedTV.org = 21:11:03 (pre-time: 39 minutes, 41 seconds)
Be advised that the above stats are not necessarily indicative of typical tracker pre-time behavior, and are only a reflection of one torrent.
Public Trackers: TV Pre-Times
TPB — The exact same torrent (My Name Is Earl, Season 4, Ep. 11) became available as a public
torrent on ThePirateBay at 05:02:07 on Nov. 21, which when converted to our standard timezone, is 23:02:07 (Nov. 20). Thus, TPB’s pre-time for this particular torrent was 2 hours, 29 minutes, 45 seconds. Likewise, TorrentReactor mirrored TPB’s public version just 2 minutes after that.
Mininova — A public version of the torrent showed mininova until 23:01:58 (apparently, if stats hold true, was 9 seconds before TPB). However, mininova did have earlier versions of the same torrent at ~21:00, but all were flagged as private.
IsoHunt — A search for this torrent came up blank until around 23:20, when IsoHunt finally mirrored either TPB, Mininova or EZTV.
…So what happened? It would seem that the torrent was uploaded to either TPB or EZTV first (probably the former), and then EZTV (or TPB) added ThePirateBay’s unique ‘eztv tracker URL’ to the torrent. From there, mininova, IsoHunt and others quickly mirrored it, since each has the exact same tracker URL:
Without question, there is a direct connection between EZTV and TPB for torrents (and ‘pre-times’ amongst public trackers). Our facts show that TPB offered this same torrent publicly at a much earlier time - in fact, over two full hours prior with a pre-time of just over 21 minutes (seriously!), and it used only TPB’s public tracker. Furthermore, “eztv” did not exist in the tracker list of that torrent, but it was removed, edited or replaced in favor of EZTV’s release. A search for this now comes up empty. Thus, someone had upped a ’scene’ torrent very early on, only to have it substituted with a “eztv” release 2.5 hours later. We’ll investigate this further at a later date.
Scene Release Blogs, 1-Click Hosting Sites
Most scene-release blogs (Zerosec.ws, ScnSrc.net) all carried this same scene release by 21:00, thus beating out all public trackers by at least two hours. They got it goin’ on, which is why they rule the roost for 1-Click Hosters (Rapidshare, MegaUpload) and continue to be a great source for P2P leaked material.
another great informative post sharky! scnsrc.net seems faster than zerosec.ws in most occasions.
Not That Smart Says:
Yeah, diitto, another interesting read. That is funny about that torrent at TPB being substituted: makes you wonder if the uploader is thinking to himself “Why do I bother doing this shit?” doesn’t it. Further investigation would be interesting… perhaps.
I get the feeling that the racing is not as serious at TV trackers than at the mid-high level 0day’s and general content ones. Lately I been getting all my TV (well, the TV I get through torrents anyhow) from TV.Torrents.ro and sometimes they are quite late and beaten by a large margin by low-level general trackers. Sure, it’s great to get it as fast as possible after pre but …
This has made me curious about Usenet now: I have discovered the joys of Giganews combined with Newzbin of late - that’s where I’ve been getting my TV eps from. I shall do a little poking about to see how the pre times are there. Anecdotally ATM I think they’re pretty good times, not beating the like of ScT, ACE etc. but certainly within 10 mins I’m seeing a report at Newzbin - the files are uploaded to Usenet before the reports are made so it’s been quick at times. Considering the speed of Usenet I think it’s highly like I have them on *my* HDD before I would if I’d grabbed them from a winning tracker by a few minutes at least. Interesting to know, good that they compete - but for the end user a few minutes is neither here nor there of course.
Anyhow, again, as usual, thanks for the read and all the best to you.
Reminds me of when the first episode of season 4 of Ross Kemp on Gangs was uploaded to TheBox.bz before it had finished broadcasting. Now there’s a pre-time.
Our pre-times are always up there with ScT and often no.1
Ross Kemp was only thier as it was shown on Sky earlier.
Fuck pre times. Same shit still getting downloaded.
Not That Smart Says:
@TheBox: of course its the same stuff getting downloaded but you’re missing the point dude.
It is a good thing for scene releases to spread as fast as possible so people can down them wherever they come across them. This doesn’t just magically happen for no reason - there has to be a framework to drive people to move files between topsites and from topsites to trackers quickly. So the top scene trackers have competition of sorts - “torrent racing” - to compete with each other on who has releases first. This drives the propagation of files - an aim of many scene trackers in general is to have low pre times. Incidentally this is why scene trackers leave releases in multiple .rar files: extracting the contents means lost time and potentially losing the race.
The same kind of thing has been happening for years prior to bittorrent existing with “racers” moving releases between scene topsite servers (after the race by the release groups themselves to make the release before others). Racers gained extra “credit” (usually the ability to download more from said topsites) for getting releases onto servers first, as well as prestige in the scene - but it also served the overarching purpose of spreading releases fast through the entire scene.
You may think it’s unimportant - however you’re not seeing the big picture here: what you aren’t getting is that if these racers didn’t occur at topsite level then then releases wouldn’t leak out to (top level) trackers as fast - or at all - which then effects how quickly you get release on average down the chain. Pre times serve an important purpose in the piracy pyramid. Myself - as I mentioned above - arent too fussed about when I get releases as long as it’s shortly after pre, but I know that the reason that’s able to happen is because of the racing that’s going on higher up the piracy ladder.
good review ty
but i have a question how to see “0day Trackers Pre-times:” on irc channel what is irc command ? or its on another channel?
It’s in the #Tracers IRC channel. A public one can be viewed here:
BMTV unrars content, so that takes time. Plus, My Name is Earl is not that popular, so the pres on some sites aren’t as fast.
Tracers Admin Says:
04 • AceTorrents Says: 22.11.08 at 7:59 am
Our pre-times are always up there with ScT and often no.1
Are you kidding me? Your Average is 3-5 place, 95% of the time following in that spot after SCC, GFT and SCT.