The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sidestep the Risk of Downloading Torrents

OK, let's get real here.  Some of us download stuff from torrent sites.  I do on occasion and with rare exception, I don't care who knows it.  Yeah, it's illegal but when I want to watch something and it is not available at any price, sans the stinking, noisy, commercial-laden movie theaters......

I will download that torrent in a heartbeat.

But there is always that nagging fear.  What if that particular movie or TV episode is being monitored for download?  What if my ISP is given my IP address and forced to issue a warning from the **AA for me to stop this activity?  it has already happened to me once and while I poo-poo'ed them, clicked "I agree" not to do it again and resumed my activity, some might find such a warning intimidating.  Using the Tor extension/application for Firefox reduces your chances of this happening a bunch.

There is currently (and who knows for how long) a website that lists hundreds, even thousands of TV episodes and movies free for the clicking.  Caveats abound so read on and bear in mind that using this site isn't illegal yet.  Legislation such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA would certainly make it so.

Caveats?  Yeah, there's a bit of preperation you need to make in order to watch stuff on this site and a few things to know that will make it two-click easy.

First off, the site is  The physical servers were, the last time I checked, located in a place not particularly friendly to US copyright law.  Before you visit, do yourself a favor and install two extentions/addons to your firefox or chrome browser.  For Firefox they are:

Adblock plus



For Chrome, you can get them here and here.

These are extensions I think we should all have anyway but if you don't have them now, you will want them before visiting a show link on fastpass.  Otherwise, it will be a whack-a-mole-kill-the-friggin-popup experience and not at all enjoyable.  These two extensions stop this on the spot.

When you visit the site, the two links from that site you will find most interesting are the ones that list the TV Shows and the one that lists the movies.  Personally, I use this site nightly, so I have them in my bookmarks toolbar on firefox.  it makes it mega-easy to find the link without digging through my bookmarks for the link.

 What I find cool about this site is that the TV shows I watch are usually posted in fantastic resolution and clarity within an hour or so of the original time I would watch them on my  regular TV.  Whether it's because I am not home during that time frame or more than likely because I detest watching a 1 hour show with 16 minutes of commercials, I usually opt to watch them on Fastpasstv.  Often, by the time they are posted by someone on the West Coast, they are available for viewing in their normal time slot in my time zone.  Regardless, that show is there when I am ready for it...and as often as I want to watch it or any back episodes.

A word about currently-released movies.  Most of them are cams and the quality can vary from "watchable" to "garble".  A recent cam release of Battleship was actually pretty good but I remember trying to watch "Let the Right One In" and clicked it off within three minutes.  it was really bad.  However, you can watch many classics like Casablanca and The Rear Window in almost perfect quality.

Well, perfect for an FLV or Mpeg4 release.

And by the way, if you employ an extension called Video Downloadhelper, you can choose to download the movie or TV show for later viewing if you don't want to stream them.  Sometimes there are buffering issues that make watching it in real time problematic.  Using extensions such as this solve that problem and since the files are usually between 300 and 500 megs, they take little time to download.

How it works:

When you click a link to the show or movie you want to watch, you will be given a list of "servers" that are streaming what you want to watch.  Some of them are good and some of them suck.  Here is a representation of what you will see once you click a link to watch a show.  Note the episodes are broken down by season to make it easier for you to choose what you want to watch.

Once you choose an episode, it takes you to a page where you can choose which server you want to watch it from.  Again, there are good servers and bad servers.  I will list for you the best ones to choose but this is what you will see once you click an episode link:

The list goes on to show many servers the screenshot does not show so here is a list, in order, of the best servers to choose.  Note that just because one server is jumpy, out of sync or is buffering, does not mean that all servers are rendering the show the same way.  Changing servers can make a world of difference, even if you are downloading them via extension.  Some will give you blazing download speeds, some will make you want to run knitting needles through your eyes.  The best servers are:
Vidbux (easy-to-read captcha required)

Avoid at all costs:


These servers dance you around several links where they try to get you to purchase the privilege of using their servers so just route around the damage and use the recommended servers above.

So that about covers it for today.  I've achieved being at least a small thorn in the side of businesses who refuse to enter the 21st century and develop a business model that serves both the corporate and the customer as well.

All-Righty Then...


Unknown said...

Caveats abound so read on and bear in mind that using this site isn't illegal yet. Legislation such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA would certainly make it so.
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