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Comparing the USA and European P2P Popcorn Versions

Updated on November 15, 2015
SE version
SE version
IO version
IO version

P2P or peer to peer streaming in truly an amazing technological feat when you think about it. It is used legally and illegally to distribute Internet content. It is very difficult to trace the source of the content even without VPN because the more users streaming and sharing the content, the more convoluted tracking is but the faster and better content streams because users (peers) are using sharing, so the more, the better. When used with VPN, tracing is impossible. Most P2P is associated with torrent streaming usually movies and TV shows for free. At some point, the show must be recorded from the original broadcast and then made available to the world who use P2P. The number is in the millions for sure because free is better than paying for content, it is that simple. Of course, Hollywood and cable TV hate this because they cannot charge for the content and make money, so there has been a concerted effort to shutdown many P2P type enterprises.

Enter Popcorn-time. A very slick, Netflix-type interface, very effective, torrent streaming and downloading program for any Apple or Android computer or cell phone. Like Netflix, find what you want and click. The more peers watching and sharing the same show or movie, the more likely you will have a good, steady stream or download, of course, your own Internet connection has much to do with this. The one thing why PT is so popular that is unlike most torrent streaming, PT has very little or zero malware or viruses. Other torrent P2P programs will. Since

Since 2014, millions have enjoyed it, but there have been two PT applications up until Oct. 2015. The US or North American version,, and the European version, popcorn-time-se. They were from the same group of programmers for the most part and the resemblance clearly shows this because both looked identical except for minor variances. However, in execution, there are notable differences. Unfortunately, the US version ended in October 2015 because of a variety of internal issues and some external problems with servers required for P2P to work. Some pressure from legal entities probably also contributed to its demise as well, as it had happened before but resisted by using different servers and networks.

That leaves only the SE version, or the European version available to download and use. As said, the execution differences between the IO and SE are notable at times. The IO version was not problem free, for sure, it was a work in progress, but, it was nearly free of problems when you chose to watch a show or movie. The streaming content seldom stalled or stopped or became not synchronized. Of course, it did, but the frequency was very low. The show updater was more of problem on a weekly basis, but usually not a major issue. With SE, these two problems are much more prevalent and frequent, and I am not sure why, if the programmers who created the app shared and used the same code, perhaps, not everything was shared creating the differences.

With SE, the streaming or downloading often lags behind the playing of the show(which causes the show to stop) or the downloading\streaming is much slower than the playing and the download barely stays ahead of the playing, which is much faster in execution. The viewer needs to monitor the progress bar at the bottom of the screen. None of this happened much when using the IO version. Another anomaly with the SE version, in that, despite a user thinking that the more peers are better for streaming, it is not always the case. At times, a show may have only 25 peers and the streaming is fully completed is seconds (this was how IO frequently operated) allowing for smooth viewing from start to end with no stalls. Another SE issue is that, at times, the transmission will suddenly end and the user will need to start over again.

Lastly, I could be wrong about this, but SE actually does download the show\movie into your download file. I don't recall IO doing this or seeing the shows in download cache. All in all, the developers behind IO seem to have better code. Still, millions are happy that there remains the SE version to watch their shows for free, because, free is always better, even if you are rich. Who does not like free?


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