Warning! Since I'm giving away a lot of info. here, I reserve the right to delete or F-lock this post at anytime. You might want to c&p this entry into a text file or save the post as a PDF for safe-keeping.
Note: I download BluRay files of SPN because 1) I don't have a BluRay player (yet) and 2) Even if I did, neither my PC or my MacBook will play those discs. Since I'm a screencapper, I want the best possible video to cap from and that means BluRay is the best option. Though I download every episode of SPN, I still buy it on DVD each season.
We'll just be talking about SPN here, but you can find most TV shows (cable or not) on the sites I'll list below.
I download High Definition versions of SPN during each currently airing season and once the BluRay discs come out I then go after those for downloading. For each there are more than one type of file:
AVI Files: These are only 350mb in size and 624 x 352 in resolution. Fine for watching an episode you've missed, but not good for capping.
MKV Files: These are quite large at 1GB or bigger and are 1280 x 720 in resolution. This is the best type of file for capping purposes.
High Definition (HD): Broadcast quality and usually with various network or station logos on the screen as you see when the episode airs.
Logo-Free: Just what it says...no annoying network logo on the screen and with the credits included like you see on the DVD versions.
BluRay: The Holy Grail of downloads. Logo-Free and in the best quality you'll see.
When downloading MKV Files you'll often find them in 2 forms: a straight one-file download or split up into RAR Files.
Either way will work. I recommend getting a download of Zipeg for opening the RAR Files. It's fast and free and does a great job. :)
If you download the RAR Files, note that you have to get all the parts of each episode in order to open the files. Once you've got them all, use Zipeg to open the first part only. Sometimes you have to open not only the first RAR File, but the one inside that file that doesn't have a numbered part on it. Sorry, this is hard to describe until you've actually seen it. Once you get to that inner file folder, you'll see the whole MKV file within. When that is extracted you can take that out and delete everything else.
Obviously, I recommend getting single downloads of MKV Files since it's easier. It's not always possible though, so if you need any help with RAR Files, I'll see what I can do. ;)
WHAT TYPE OF FILES DO YOU WANT?
If you're only interested in the smaller, AVI Files:
You're in luck. These are the easiest to find and download and since they're the most popular the links usually take a while before they expire.
If you're after the larger MKV Files:
These are a little harder to find and they take a while to download because of the huge file size, but you're rewarded with great video quality. Sometimes these download links expire quickly because of lack of downloads.
If you're after the BluRay Files:
If you're after the older seasons be prepared to do a lot of digging through links to find any that are still active. Again, the files are huge, so be patient about the downloading time. If you're going after all the seasons of SPN on BluRay, my advice is to start with the oldest seasons and episodes first and work your way to the present. I had a terrible time finding a link to download the Pilot, so I imagine that one is going to be next to impossible to find. The older the seasons the less active links you'll find. Be persistent and keep digging!
These first 2 sites require you to have a login to access the links. It's free and easy to do and I found a lot of the BluRay files on these sites.
HD-BB.org -- Register, login, and then you can plug Supernatural into the search field and easily find what you're looking for. If you just want the BluRay files just put in "Supernatural BluRay" and you'll narrow it down just to those.
Note: If you're on the site for a while it tends to log you out.
TVFreeload -- Works much the same way HD-BB does, but tends to have a little less. Again, cut to the chase and use their search field to get straight to the Supernatural files. Their search works a little differently. I recommend putting in just Supernatural and then look through the list and narrow in on the specific Topic links (I use Supernatural and Supernatural Season 7).
The rest of these do not require registering. Just look through the comments for whatever type of file you want in the show and episode you're interested in.
RLSLog.net -- This is where I send everyone when they need a download of some TV show. *g* Note, that once in a while the site does go down, but it'll reappear before too long. Again, if you're just after SPN, use the search field. I did get started on my BluRay search here and found some links that were still active, so it's worth a try to look here.
SceneReleases -- Like with RLSLog, sometimes this site goes down (like now, I see...grrrr). It's basically a copy of that site anyway, but sometimes they have different shows, so don't dismiss it entirely.
I just found these next 2 sites recently, so I'm not as familiar with them, but they look like good options for anything other than BluRay downloads.
Free DLA -- With this site there's no comments, just a big list of links to download from.
SceneSource -- This one has links in the comments and IMO it's a little easier to read than RLSLog or SceneReleases. Like those 2 sites, you'll recognize a lot of the same usernames. No doubt everyone cross-posts to the same sites. ;)
FILE HOSTING SITES
On the download sites you'll find a lot of links to different file hosting sites. Some will be familiar and others won't.
Note that a lot of file hosting sites have limits for people who use them for free. Sometimes you won't be able to get a full download of a file because it exceeds their free user limit.
Also note that with any file hosting site, the links usually expire over time from lack of use.
File Serve -- Usually the fastest download, but also the quickest to expire. There is no download limit (that I've found) for free users. Great for downloading 1GB or over files.
Wupload -- Another good one with no limit on file size.
Uploadstation -- No file size limit, so it's good for the big files. Often you'll see RAR Files listed here.
FileSonic -- Has a file size limit, so it's really only good for the smaller AVI Files.
FileFactory -- Also has a file size limit, I believe. Haven't used this one too often to be sure.
FileKeen -- It's rare to find this one, though a got a lot of my BluRay files thanks to this host. The best thing? If you have a Download Manager you can use it with these files. I recommend Flash Get. FileKeen will give you a regular hyperlink instead of a download button to click after the capcha, so this works perfect for Flash Get. I know Flash Get helped a lot with the big MKV files and sped up the downloading process. Highly recommended for using whenever possible!
There are lots of others you'll see out there, of course, but these are the ones I'm most familiar with and use often.
About finding logo-free downloads of Season 7...
Back in Season 6 I was only able to get logo-free downloads for the first 2 episodes. Who knows what will happen this time?
With 7x01 I had already gotten one download on Friday night (with logo & ads). Saturday I got another one, thinking it might be logo-free...it wasn't. A little later on that day, one popped up that said "Proper". That set my radar off that it might be different. I downloaded it and it was indeed a logo-free version. It helps to look for file names that are a little different from all the rest. ;)
With 7x02 I had just about given up hope of finding a logo-free file. However, late last night I spotted some links that said "WEB-DL DD5 1 H 264-RUSH". Another difference! Sure enough....it's the logo-free version. A big giveaway this time was the file size. The first download I got of the episode Friday night was only 921mb. That's really small for a MKV File. But it looked good, even with the logo. The new "RUSH" file however is over 1GB. Go big if you want quality picture! :D
Best of luck everyone! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. :)