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How To Make Media Center Download Torrents Automatically

I have been asked about my Windows Media Center setup and how I have it setup to automatically download tv shows and email me a message when they are complete for quite some time now. Well the time has now come, long awaited I know. I have been meaning to get around to this for well over 3 months now. Sorry about that but finally here it is.

First I think it would help if you read these articles first.

How to Install and Configure uTorrent
http://www.userbytes.com/how-to-install-and-configure-utorrent/

How to Install and Configure Peer Guardian
http://www.userbytes.com/how-to-install-and-configure-peer-guardian/

How to Spot the Best Torrents for Fast Downloads
http://www.userbytes.com/how-to-spot-the-best-torrents-for-fast-downloads/

Ok so like I was saying,  simply put, I have a computer tucked away in our tv armoire that is connected to our 42 inch HDTV, and it monitors RSS feeds for television shows that I tell it to look for, and it downloads them when they are available. When the download is complete, the computer sends an email notification that it is indeed finished and ready for viewing.

My Setup

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
2.8 GHZ Intel Pentium D CPU x2
1.5 GiG Ram
500 Gig Harddrive
2 Video Capture Cards – Hauppauge WinTV PVR 150 with remote

I know its old but it has worked best for me for a long time now, since October 2006 I believe.  Media Center is Microsoft’s Digital Video Recorder, or DVR as most call it. You can pause and record live tv, schedule shows and movies to record for later viewing too.

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How to Spot the Best Torrents for Fast Downloads

Ok so in a previous article you learned how to download and install utorrent a bittorrent downloading application. I also provided you with sites in which to download torrents.

On of my favorites is http://www.thepiratebay.org. We will use that site today and I will show you how to download an episode of The Office and how to choose the best one for faster downloads.

Open your browser and navigate to http://www.thepiratebay.org

I did a search for The Office and check the box that says Video.
This was my result.

On most search sites you will see Seeds and Leechers. SEeds are the people sharing this file, while LEechers are the people downloading the files.

You will want it to be equal or better to have more seeds than leechers.

What I do is organize it by clicking on the SE to put the most seeders at the top

See how I now have one and it has a lot of seeders and very little leachers. This will guarantee me a fast download.
I will click on the first one in the list.

After clicking on the first one in the list I was presented with this page where I can view comments on this file from other viewers and download the torrent.

Since I use FireFox, this is the save dialogue box I got when I clicked on the link to download the torrent.
I just clicked ok since it was set to open my default torrent client utorrent.

UTorrent is asking me where to save the file too. I am fine with the default of My DocumentsDownloads

You can barely see it cause I had to resize the image, but I was right, a very fast download indeed.
I will have this show in 5 minutes and it will be commercial free.

Once the download is complete I will navigate to where it downloaded and watch it on my computer or media center setup.

How to Install and Configure uTorrent

Ok now that you know how to protect your internet activities with Peer Guardian, lets proceed in teaching you what you need to use to download tv shows, music and possibly movies from the internet. If you want to do it and do it fast you will want to know all about torrents and the best program to use is µTorrent.

Utorrent is the worlds most popular bittorrent client. Most of the features present in other BitTorrent clients are present in µTorrent, including bandwidth prioritization, scheduling, RSS auto-downloading and Mainline DHT (compatible with BitComet). Additionally, µTorrent supports the Protocol Encryption joint specification.

For more information on what a torrent is, and how it all works check out The Lowdown on BitTorrent or this Wiki page.
But to sum it up real fast, think of the file you want to download. Usually you would use something like LimeWire or BearShare or something, do a search, and download from a single individual that was sharing it on their computer. With Torrents, you download a piece of the file you want from many sources that are sharing it across the internet. This way you get it super fast. You are not limited to a single persons computer speed they are sharing from.

Ok lets move on and set this program up!

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How to Install and Configure Peer Guardian

PeerGuardian is an open source IP filter that is designed to block the IP addresses of certain organizations and corporations that may wish to invade a users privacy while using the Internet and peer-to-peer file sharing networks. The following tutorial shows how to set up PeerGuardian 2 for use p2p file sharing software like Utorrent and limewire.

You need this program if you do a lot of downloading of music, tv shows, movies, etc using torrents or other peer to peer programs to aquire such files.

Your internet provider and other government task forces monitor for such traffic and can prosecute if they catch you downloading illegal files.

First download the application and save it to somewhere like your desktop for easy access. Once installed you can delete the download package.

Begin by double clicking on the PeerGuardian Install Icon (the file you downloaded)

Begin the installation process by clicking “Next”.

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How do I uninstall U3 from my flash drive?

I am sure that many of you have gotten some USB Flash drives for Christmas or maybe just picked one up recently for file storage and you realized that it was hard to add files to it.
I know myself that I recently got one and it had the U3 mess installed on it which made it hard to know exactly where to put the files. It also acted like a cd rom at times. It was really annoying me.
I just wanted a simple USB drive to add files to easily.

So, the question arises. How do I uninstall U3 from my flash drive?

Most U3 smart drives come with an uninstall utility that converts the U3 smart drive into a regular USB flash drive.
This utility can be accessed from the U3 Launchpad.
Open the U3 Launchpad and click on Settings, then select U3 Launchpad Settings and click on the Uninstall tab.
Some devices have a link to the Uninstall utility under Help and Support.

If you can not find the uninstall utility on your U3 smart drive you can download it from the following locations:
Remove U3
U3 removal tool for MAC

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