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But Video Quality Beats Quantity


You’d never think people who download their movies for free would be so picky. But a sizable faction of the piracy community – which congregates on sites like Reddit, the Pirate Bay and elsewhere – has little patience for illegal services that distribute movies in a less than stellar format. Even YIFY, the torrent provider that frequently posts movies faster than the competition, has been targeted by movie buffs who preach the gospel of the RARBG download.

Let’s say you want to download a movie illegally. Sites like the Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents and dozens more have links to torrent files uploaded by various groups of unknown users. As piracy has become so entrenched on the Internet so have these groups, with each developing devoted legions of followers who wait patiently for their group to leak the newest releases. YIFY is one of the most influential groups, and you don’t need to be one of its 200,000 Facebook fans to realize it.

YIFY is currently spreading copies of five of the 10 most popular movie torrents online, with each title easily securing tens of thousands of downloads. But they’re also plagued by comments bemoaning the sometimes blurred video that occurs when uploaders sacrifice quality for a smaller, more manageable file size (usually less than 2 GB in YIFY’s case).

For many people who steal their movies, that’s just not good enough. Enter RARBG, another hugely popular torrent group that competes with YIFY. Those five popular movie torrents YIFY doesn’t have? RARBG has at least three.

That might not sound like a lot, but RARBG movies are frequently uploaded in Blu-ray or high-definition format, whereas YIFY releases are almost always in standard definition. Just be prepared to fill your computer’s storage, with “Pitch Perfect 2” available only as a 4.52 GB download and “Furious 7” at 5.46 GB.

“YIFY torrents are *transcoded with size as the #1 priority, video quality second, audio last,” wrote a Reddit user in one of the many threads debating the two services. “They are excellent for those with limited storage space (tablets, phones), those who want a quick download who may not care about top-notch quality, and for those who are bandwidth-restricted (data caps, extremely slow speed). If quality of video and sound is important to you, then you will do well to seek out other releases that focus more on the quality aspect, RARBG being one of them.”