BitTorrent hasn’t always been the Internet’s premier source of TV shows. Before the protocol’s popularity skyrocketed, eD2K was a favored method of acquiring larger files, TV episodes included. TV Underground, a site that has been around for exactly four years, today celebrates its birthday by spreading its wings and introducing torrents.
While BitTorrent is now the most popular P2P method of transferring TV shows, it hasn’t always been the case. The eD2K (eDonkey) file-sharing protocol has also been used extensively for sharing just about any digital media, TV episodes included.
Once upon a time there was a popular TV show eD2K link site called The Real World. Of course, it wasn’t long before the site’s popularity caused it have legal problems, and in August 2005 it all came crashing down.
However, just as people recently copied The Pirate Bay when waters started to get choppy, the same thing also happened with The Real World, with the site’s database being shared around on eD2K. Soon after The Free World was born, run by an Austrian national, but that site didn’t last long either and was shut down following MPAA action.
On October 23rd 2005, exactly four years ago today, yet another site came out of the ashes. That site, TV Underground (TVU), remains to this today and claims to be the biggest site for eD2K link TV shows. TVU has a unique feature – it is believed to be the only site to run its very own eD2K server.
“We take pride in running the only P2P server sponsored by the P2P community
and not by some shady porn site,” TVU admin CheGuevara told TorrentFreak. For those interested, stats for the server (currently indexing 8.6million files) can be found here.
While eD2K remains popular, BitTorrent is the current darling of the P2P file-sharing world and is particularly popular with fans of TV shows. This is clearly something the TV Underground team wish to exploit.
“We have launched a new version of our site today to allow users to submit torrents,” CheGuevara told us. “At first we will allow users to submit torrents to seasons that already have eD2K links, but we are planning to expand to torrent-only seasons and per show torrents after the launch.”
So what motivated this development at TVU?
“We love ed2k, but we acknowledge that BitTorrent has it’s own advantages and some users prefer to use that,” they explained.
“Our mission is to spread quality TV Shows to every corner of the world. We think the current system of how the rest of the world has to wait months and years to see a show that has been shown in the US or elsewhere as totally unfair,” CheGuevara notes. “I myself am a big fan of House. It is on Season 6 right now, but where I live they are just only showing Season 4… Fair? No. You get the point.”
TV Underground will have to go a long way in the torrent world to catch up with the likes of EZTV, but with the site currently down because of maintenance, many will be grateful for an alternative.