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Sickbeard and Couch potato
Hi Guys,

new to these concepts so be gentle.

I want to use sickbeard and couchpotato, however does this mean that I have to pay for a usenet account with a provider so that I am able to use these?

If your internet provider also grants usenet acces, you can use their usenet server. (usually the info is on their website somehwere)

However, Usenet works with retention, and the usenet retention from your provider is usually very low, thats the biggest reason why people take a payserver. (also far better chance to get 100% complete files. Provider newsservers are not that reliable all the time.)

Sickbeard and couchpotato are (correct me If I am wrong) available in usenet and Torrent versions.

For usenet I really would reccomend a payserver. (which one depending on your country) here in Europe there are different ones then the US.
One of the biggest pros for choosing usenet over torrent sites is that you won't have to maintain a ratio on usenet. Torrent sites basically monitor how much you upload vs how much you download. Once you go below a certain ratio your account can get frozen or banned.

With usenet your download limit is set by your provider. A lot of providers offer unlimited and you don't upload anything. Which is great!

Read this article: before you choose a provider.

It will give you a better idea on what to look for.
TBH its worth the investment. Its a lot more safer and quicker method of getting the files you need. for $10 (£6) a month its worth every penny.
If you just want to give it a try you could buy a block account rather than a subscription, $25 will buy you 180GB (you can take as long as you like to use it, it doesnt expire) from astraweb which could end up lasting you a fairly long time. If you imagine an episode of something in x264 720p should be under 2GB thats 90 Episodes or 4-5 full seasons of programmes if a season is 20 eps. Obviously data usage varies wildly depending on how you use it but it gives you an idea.

On another note I would get used to using Usenet a little before jumping into sickbeard etc. Usenet is brilliant but it can have quite a steep learning curve and It would be beneficial to understand what is going on before you start handing it all over to scripts.

When I first started I read through this guide which helped quite a bit with understanding it all
I totally recommend jumping in with both feet, right away. I use astraweb in the US, costs $11 per month, unlimited, 20 simultaneous connections. (To get the $11 deal, go through an affiliate, only they provide the discount link for that. Without the link, it is $15/m)

I set the max download limit at 900 kB/sec (that's roughly 7 Mb/s) and my download speed is always maxed out at that no matter what time of day. Unlike torrents (where the download speed is never constant and very rarely maxed out), with astraweb I know exactly when my downloads are going to finish.

I knew nothing about usenet until a year ago, but taking the plunge was the best decision. With sab/sickbeard/couchpotato everything is fully automated, requires minimum maintenance and even my wife can easily add movies to the queue using the imdb addon (couchpotato's greasemonkey imdb addon).
I just started the whole usenet experience a month ago....I also showed up for astraweb. It is completely worth the cost. Using couchpotato and sickbeard, I have been able to download well over 700gb of things I'm watching. Worth buying a month and giving it a shot.
Third vote of support on astraweb. And you could use the block purchase as pointed out earlier to try it out before committing to the monthly subscription.

Alternately I think couch potato and sickbeard guys get credit if you sign up for one of the services from the ads on their pages, so you are contributing to the coders in a very small way.
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