WEBRip Meaning: What do Torrent Filenames Mean?

So, you’re searching for a movie or TV series on your favorite torrent site or Usenet indexer. But there are so many files to choose from.

This one is 1GB. And that one is 50GB. Why’s there such a big difference? And what do all of these things mean in file name? BDRip? WEB-DL? WEBRip? x264? X265? What the heck?

Now, many people will just pick one with a file size and name they like, and download. However, if you want to get the best quality video – or just get the best bang for bandwidth – it’s a good idea to know what exactly all of this stuff means.

Keep reading for a breakdown of the most common file torrent file names.

File Source

The file source tells us where the file came from, whether it’s a rip from a DVD or a download from an online distributor. And it can be a good indicator of the file’s quality on its own. Here’s a rundown of the most common types.

BluRay / BDRip / BRRip

Quality: Very Good to Excellent

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that BluRay, BDRips, and BRRips come from BluRay discs. However, there can be quite a bit of variability in how the BluRay is ripped and encoded. BRRips, for instance, are worse than BDRips.

On the top end, they’re the best quality you can find. But the poorer quality rips are often worse than WEB copies. 
 

WEB / WEB-DL

Quality: Very Good

Web downloads, usually labeled WEB or WEB-DL, are copies downloaded and decrypted from online vendors, like iTunes, or losslessly ripped from streaming services, like Netflix or Amazon.

In general, these are the best quality video files you can find, along with BluRay. Though as we stated above, the best quality BluRays are still superior. Resolutions typically run from 720p to 2160p, depending on the upload. 
 

HDRip / HDR

Quality: Very Good

These are typically transcoded versions of WEB / WEB-DL files, which makes them similar – but slightly less – in quality. However, many HDRips are still pretty good. 
 

WEBRip

Quality: Good to Very Good

WEBRip releases are similar to WEB, in that they’re taken from streaming services, but they’re ripped in a way that causes some loss in quality.

While the quality is usually good to very good, they’re not quite as pretty as the best WEB or BluRay copies. 
 

HDTV / DSRip / TVRip

Quality: Okay to Good

These are rips that come from normal, non-streaming TV, whether it’s cable or satellite, and can run from standard definition to full HD. 
 

DVD-R / Full-Rip

Quality: Okay to Good

DVD-R or DVDR files are lossless versions of DVDs, which maintains the full quality of the original DVD. They often (but not always) contain the rest of the DVD content, like extras, as well. 
 

DVDRip

Quality: Okay

DVDRips are, you guessed it, rips from DVDs, which tend to be lower quality than the lossless rips found in DVD-R. While these were once all the rage, they’ve been mostly phased out by BluRay rips, which offer better quality in a similar file size. 
 

Screener / SCR / DVDSCR / BR-Screener

Quality: Okay

A “screener” copy is an advanced copy of a movie – whether on BR, DVD, or, back in the day, VHS  – which is given out to movie reviewers, award committees, and the like before a movie is released or while it’s still in theaters.

In general, these tend to be of mediocre quality, and often have messages or watermarks on the video, before or even during the movie. However, they’re typically better than CAM copies (covered below) and are usually available before a movie hits streaming sites or DVD/BluRay. 
 

CAM / TS

Quality: Poor

CAM or Camera releases are those recorded by, well, a camera. And on the lower end, these can be quite bad. If you’ve ever had to sit through a “movie” that included shaky camera work, shadowy heads walking in front every few minutes, and a baby crying in the background, you know what we mean.

On the other hand, some Camera releases can be passable. But on average, Cam copies are some of the worst you can get. They’re usually not worth bothering with once the movie has hit streaming sites or DVD/BluRay.

TS, or Telesync, is a Cam copy with external audio. These often sound better – and sometimes look a little better also. Unfortunately, many uploads listed as TS are simply mislabeled normal CAM copies.


Video Quality

Video quality isn’t too hard to figure out: the higher the number, the better the quality (typically). Here are the common resolutions you’ll find on torrent sites and NZB indexers.

2160p (UHD) 4k

2160p is the best resolution you’ll find on torrents or Usenet, and it usually comes in the form of WEB, BluRay, or HDRips. It can be referred to as UHD (Ultra HD) or 4K, though there’s actually a slight difference in resolution between UHD and 4K.

Keep in mind that unless you have a 4K TV or monitor, you actually won’t be able to experience the full resolution. 
 

1080p (FHD) 2k

1080p is the next step down, and it can come from many of the sources listed above, from WEB to HDTV. It’s often referred to as FHD (Full HD) or 2K, though again, there’s a slight difference in resolution between the two. 
 

720p (HD)

Moving further down the resolution line, we have standard or normal HD, which is 720p. For most people, with most TVs, this is still decent quality, but don’t expect to be blown away. 
 

480p (SD)

While SD or standard definition torrents were once one of the most common types, they’re mostly relegated to old TV series and some movies these days.


Video Encoding/Compression

A video file’s resolution is only part of the story. The way the file is encoded and compressed plays an equally big, if not bigger, role in the final video quality. These are the most often used encoding standards.

Xvid / DivX

Xvid is a free version of the DivX codex, which allows video files, specifically DVDs, to be ripped and compressed with decent quality and size. It was the standard throughout the early 2000s, until x264 was released, and you’ll still find many old files that use this format. 
 

x264 / AVC

AVC or x264 is the industry standard at this point, and it’s used for the majority of the video files you find on torrent sites, at least those uploaded since 2012. 
 

x265 / H265 / HEVC

This is an updated version of x264, which provides video quality that’s just as good or better, with an even smaller file size.

Unfortunately, while x265 is considered to be the superior codec, many video players still don’t support it, which is why x264 is still the more common format on torrent sites and Usenet indexers. 
 

Full or Untouched BluRay / REMUX

Both Full/Untouched and Remux BluRay files are lossless and uncompressed, meaning they provide the best quality picture. However, their lack of compression leads to a rather huge file size, up to 50 to 60GBs or more.

REMUX copies seek to cut down on that size a little bit by only containing the movie/show itself, without any of the extra content that you’d find on a Full BluRay release.


What’s the Best File Type?

With all of those terms properly defined, it’s time to cut to the chase: which one should you download?

The truth is, the answer to that question is going to depend on your personal circumstances and preferences. How fast is your Internet connection? Are you subject to any data limits? How big is your hard drive(s)? Or do you use an online downloader and save files to the cloud? Do you collect files, or do you simply watch them once and delete them?

Overall, the best quality files are full or Remux BluRay in 2160p. However, these files are huge, often taking up 30GB to 60GBs for a single movie. In other words, they will not only max out your bandwidth, they’ll fill up even a huge hard drive in a hurry. And unless you have a 4K/UHD TV or monitor, you won’t even get the full quality picture.

On the lower end, you have files that are only around 700MB to 1GB. These are great if you don’t have a lot of bandwidth or storage space, but you will sacrifice some quality.

In general, many people seem to be happy with files in the 5 to 10GB range. Look for 1080p. WEB-DL is good, while BluRay is typically a little better.

What’s your go-to file type? Let us know in the comments.

Last Updated: 06 January 2020

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