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Old 8th May 2016, 20:59   #1
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Default How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

This one is for the movie buffs on Team-BHP! Watched some great flicks in the recent past and no, it wasn't online, not on Netflix and not downloaded torrents. I've tried them all, only to realise that the best movies are actually on TV! What better time than a weekend to write about watching movies .

All you need is an HD box with the recording feature.

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Disclaimer: It's not technically a free method, but I'm guessing all of you already have DTH TV at home, thus there aren't any additional costs.

Related Threads:

English Movies

Hindi Movies

Last edited by GTO : 8th May 2016 at 21:08.
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Old 8th May 2016, 20:59   #2
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Earlier in 2016, Netflix launched in India, although it was a big dud. The movie collection is awful (related link). Don't salivate over the thought of getting Netflix's USA collection here either. I've used Netflix USA for almost 2 years and can tell you, IT SUCKS. There are only a sprinkling of A+ grade movies and their library mainly includes B & C grade stuff.

Why so? Simply because movies arrive on Netflix when there's no other viable revenue stream left (after the theater, pay-per-view, television etc.). It's the last option. That's precisely why, on an average, it used to take me 15 - 20 minutes to find a movie worth watching on Netflix. And even then, it was still a B or C grade flick.

Torrents? Well, they're illegal so I'm not even going to bother talking much about them. Plus, there is always the effort to find & download flicks, concerns about quality and using up your internet bandwidth (HD movies = 3 to 6 GB in size). Downloading movies illegally is cumbersome & certainly not a process for everyone.
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Old 8th May 2016, 21:00   #3
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

I'm incredibly particular about what I watch. Guess where I found the best movies? DTH TV! You're right, DTH. While most of Netflix's movie catalogue has ratings of 4 - 6 on IMDB (or 20 - 30% on Rotten Tomato), you'll see new movies every weekend on DTH with ratings of 7+ on IMDB / over 50 - 60% on Rotten Tomato. Additionally, at least 3 or 4 movies every weekend have ratings of 8/10 (IMDB) or 80+ % (on Rotten Tomato). For instance, on air last weekend were Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Dark Knight, Up in the Air, Gravity, McFarland USA, American Sniper, Gravity etc.

Want to watch at your own convenience? Obviously. Just get a set-top box with the recording functionality! My Tata Sky box currently has over 35 A-grade movies waiting to be watched and I can bet you, none of them are available on Netflix.

Why DTH beats online? The sheer variety! Not only do you have awesome English flicks, but even those in local languages (I watch at least 1 Hindi movie a week with the family). And the sheer choice - from Friday through Sunday, there are over a 100 English & Hindi movies on the tube.

In the recent past on DTH, I've seen gems such as Munich, The Insider, American Hustler, Zero Dark Thirty, The Prestige, Hurt Locker, Blow, comedies etc. Netflix can only dream about such titles. Some great Hindi movies too - Dil Dhadakne Do, PK, Talvar and so on. You'll see a lot of 2014 / 2015 blockbusters on TV, but not on Netflix.

Here's what I do:

• Refer to a curated list such as WhatsOnIndia. They have separate categories for English & Hindi movies.

• Set up the recording online from here. Note: It sends the recording command to all 3 of my Tata Sky boxes. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on how crazy your family is about movies. If you want to record only on 1 box, you'll have to do so individually from its own interface (not online).

• In total, it takes about 15 minutes to pick up the good movies every weekend. Compare that to the time wasted searching on Netflix or downloading torrents and it's a no-brainer.

Last edited by GTO : 8th May 2016 at 21:13.
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Old 8th May 2016, 21:00   #4
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

What you'll like:

• No additional subscription costs (assuming you already have DTH TV).
• No worries about internet bandwidth caps (which are still limited in India).
• No need for a high-speed internet connection. Works even if your internet is broken!
• Finding hidden gems. E.g. I'd never have known about a movie like Manjunath if it weren't for DTH.
• Wide choice every weekend. The best movies are on TV. Period.
• Saves time. 15 minutes to set up recording for multiple movies is much lesser than what it takes to download torrents or find something worthwhile on Netflix.
• Movie discovery too takes a long time (if you're particular about what you watch). On DTH, just pick from what is playing. You can be rest assured that most primetime movies are A+ / A- flicks. When the channels are fighting for eyeballs, they can't show junk.
• A+ picture quality. Nearly all movie channels are available in HD. Hence, top quality & sound.
• Fast forward through all ads .
• Subtitles are the norm on Indian television (I rarely watch a movie without them).
• Better from an ethical standpoint. No illegal downloads! Piracy is theft, whichever way you look at it.
• No need to upgrade to a Smart TV or Chromecast (if you don't already have one).

What you won't:

• You can't watch / continue the movie on your laptop / smartphone (unless you get a TV Tuner card or Tata Sky's Transfer+ box).
• Your recording will get affected during the monsoons (DTH has several blackouts when it's raining).
• You'll see the same movies being repeated over & over again on DTH schedules. The channels milk a good movie for all its worth!
• Over-the-top censoring by Indian authorities (language, adult / extreme scenes etc.)

Tips:

• If the curated list from WhatsOnIndia is too small for you, head over to IndiaTimes for full listings. However, do note that IndiaTimes doesn't include channels like Star Movies Select HD (competitive reasons?).
• Always pick the 'HD' channel for recording (most channels have HD & non-HD versions).
• Be selective while recording movies on your set-top box, else you'll end up with a lot of flicks you don't want to watch. Choose only the crème de la crème stuff. Pick A+ movies that really interest you.
• There might still be newer releases that haven't released on TV. If that's the case, head over to YouTube or iTunes to rent a movie! Odds are, you'll find it there.

If you want to watch great movies at no extra cost, save on internet bandwidth and not indulge in illegal downloads, this is your only option today. And it's a darn good one.

Last edited by GTO : 9th May 2016 at 18:02. Reason: Adding one more dislike about censorship
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Old 8th May 2016, 21:20   #5
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Shifting Gears!
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Old 8th May 2016, 21:53   #6
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

I'm guessing you watch MN+ Gold Class channel quite a lot? I don't get much time for television these days but if I want to watch a movie for sometime I land up on MN+, great channel, good collection of movies but only problem is the advertisements (JFK ran for so long I stopped watching midway). Gandhi made for a good watch and they have a better collection than the other channels.

Indian channels have started to flog advertisements out of the movies to an unbearable extent, something that really tests my patience so I've stopped watching movies on t.v altogether. 20 minute sitcoms is about as much as I can handle.

Useful thread for those who have DTH with recording facility (I still rely on good old cable). I suppose the advertisements have to be fast-forwarded? If the software is developed to be intelligent enough to cut out ads then I'm 100% getting it at that time.
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Old 8th May 2016, 22:14   #7
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Interesting!

I use appleTV connected to a UK registered credit card . Which means I get the UK iTunes and Netflix is connected to my UK credit card as well. So Im very lucky but we get a pretty decent line up from iTunes as well as Netflix. I even get all the Topgear episodes on my Netflix!

The other option is to get a VPN and tunnel out of India.

My experience is that you would still need a credit card from the respective country you tunnel into. Originally i had my UK credit card registered to our address in the Netherlands. Which meant I got the Dutch iTune and Netflix selection. Which is en par with the Indian one I would think, only no Hindi, but still pretty pathetic.

Anyway, its not so relevant for me as we are moving back to the Netherlands in two weeks.

Jeroen

Last edited by Aditya : 9th May 2016 at 07:06. Reason: Typo
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:18   #8
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Hey,

You guys should check out a software called Popcorn Time.

Its a free ware. and you can watch a very large number of new movies and TV shows.

I have added the link below.

https://popcorntime.sh/

Shiv
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:42   #9
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivs2003 View Post
Hey,

You guys should check out a software called Popcorn Time.

Its a free ware. and you can watch a very large number of new movies and TV shows.

I have added the link below.

https://popcorntime.sh/

Shiv
Unless I am grossly mistaken popcorntime is considered gray if not illegal. Already Hollywood is working to kill it. I don't think we are really talking abot illegal and semi-legal stuff here.
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:43   #10
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Here's my order of preference based on 2006-12:

- Movies in theater for current movies.
- Buying DVDs for movies > 6 months to old ones.
- If it won't release/censored in India, like 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' for example. I do download and see.

In India, downloading movies was a rare occasion. The speeds, FUP limits, power cuts didn't make it any better.

By the time movies came in Pay per view, I'd have already seen it. Maybe I'd explore this option if the option of going to theater gets limited.

IMO if we get rid of this censorshop nonsense, there is no reason to download movies/TV series in India.
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:57   #11
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

I have been using the recording feature on my T-Sky+ DVR for last 5 years. But the contents have always been late night or early morning F1 or Soccer games. Few big ICC tournament finales features in there too. However, I have totally stopped watching Hollywood flicks on Indian Television. There's simply way too much censoring for my liking.
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:58   #12
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Quote:
Unless I am grossly mistaken popcorntime is considered gray if not illegal.
To me if the site is illegal the service provider should block it. If the site is available and i am watching a video via that site i think its perfectly fine. There is no where i am downloading or distributing the content.

In fact the easiest way to watch movies is simply google for the movie and watch it with the available link. 2 years i have watched enormous number of movies that way in the US where illegal copyright downloads or usage is monitored and 100% of the time only the site is blocked. The user is not nor does he get any notice from the service provider. If you do use torrents and download, your service provider immediately send you a notice.

Now this does not stop with just movies. All live action is available online via various streams. These are small 128bits screening as well as HD screening available. Some are blocked in India while some are still allowed. Personally i dont think i am doing anything wrong in browsing a website. Atleast thats my understanding that its not like acceptable usage policy where its implied. I may be wrong and may get caught but i dont think that is going to happen. Morality should never be a reason to define whats legal or illegal.

To me even popcorn is like that. If its illegal, they have to take popcorn down.
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:58   #13
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

A great free resource :
http://www.cinemasofindia.com/

All award winning movies are here. This is fully legal and I think its by National Film board or something. You can watch for free online, or download a copy by paying little money.
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Old 9th May 2016, 13:50   #14
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Just curious, does it record the commercials as well? Also, where is the recording saved? On the STB or any external media? D2H guys have been calling me for enos now to switch over to a USB enabled DTH box to record and save stuff. I have not taken up their offer yet.
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Old 9th May 2016, 15:33   #15
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Default Re: How to watch great movies for free...without online services (like Netflix) or illegal torrents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Just curious, does it record the commercials as well? Also, where is the recording saved? On the STB or any external media? D2H guys have been calling me for enos now to switch over to a USB enabled DTH box to record and save stuff. I have not taken up their offer yet.
Yes it does record commercials. Recordings are done based on the program guide or it can be time based. It can be single or recurring. You can also set a series link where it will record all new episodes of a program. You can fast forward the commercials or any part you don't like when watching. A proper recorder has an inbuilt hard disk. The Airtel DVR I have has a 500gb hard disk. But now a days stb's support recording on a connected USB drive. But I think it does not support large drives. So managing the recordings becomes a challenge. Also, when recording is enabled via USB drive as an add on, you can only record one channel at a time. In a proper DVR you can watch one-record one or record 2 programs in parallel.

I pretty much record all programs, movies or otherwise and watch at my convenience. Great way to watch movies. One challenge was finding the movies and slots. Need to try the options listed here.
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