Configure CouchPotato with Usenet

Couchpotato is a powerful Usenet PVR. As it is dedicated to films, it can act as an interface between your Newsreader (NZBGet or Sabnzbd are recommended), film databases (IMDb) and Usenet indexers.

Couchpotato is the central point for all these sites. It makes downloading films on Usenet very easy by linking the different sources. That's why the best bet for a successful download is to use automation to grab the release as soon as it's available.

As we’ve said, Couchpotato uses Usenet to download movies to your computer. You 'll need to have a Usenet provider like UsenetServer to download.

UsenetServer is one of the preferred server of NGProvider. And if a good price is your top priority, UsenetServer is offering completely unlimited access for only $95.40/year !UsenetServer lets you download through Couchpotato efficiently. The unlimited package from UsenetServer really is unlimited. No reduced speeds depending on the amount GB downloaded!

UsenetServer integrates perfectly into NZBGet or Sabnzbd which are our two favourite Newsreaders.

Technical characteristics of UsenetServer

      • $10/month or $95.40/year: Best quality to price relationship for a News Service provider (Abbreviated NSP)

        • 3985 days retention: They offer the best retention rates

        • 3 servers: US - DE - NL: UsenetServer has three separate servers based in the US, Holland, and in Germany.

        • 100,000 Newsgroups: all possible newsgroups are available.

Couchpotato can be downloaded from the official site: https://couchpota.to/ (don't use the modified fork on GitHtub).

Couchpotato can be used for Usenet or Torrent. In this tutorial we are using Usenet since it is better than Torrent:

  1. The ratio system for Torrents is annoying. With Usenet you can download as much as you like without depending on others and on the politics of private trackers!

  2. Faster downloading speeds: Usenet speeds are much higher and do not lose speed because of a bad UP.

  3. Older content more available: Indexing is more comprehensive since it doesn't rely on other users but on the news service providers' retention. UsenetServer has more than 3985 days retention.

  4. Usenet is safer: The Usenet network is confidential and secure. Torrent is a public network, open, not confidential and closely monitored. Usenet is safer because you don't have to share files (and your IP address) with anyone

couchpotato settings_searcher usenet

Usenet Configuration

After downloading: click on the bottom left for the Settings tab

Couchpotato settings

On all the following pages you can also get the advanced options (top right)

couchpotato show advanced

Searcher Tab

For the Movie Search and Basics do the same as I have.

couchpotato searcher

Usenet Providers tab

Couchpotato Usenet providers index nzb

The second part of the Search tab is the most important since it is the indexer that will send requests to Couchpotato and the NZB to NZBGet or Sabnzbd.

For Newznab indexers I entered: Usenet-Crawler - 6Box - NZBGeek - NZBPlanet - Dognzb - NZBFinder

  1. Usenet-crawler: this is my favourite Newznab. It finds the most films for me. I tried a few Newznab referencers and Usenet-Crawler is easily the best for Flux RSS and for Couchpotato. The reasons are simple: it has the largest Newsgroup index and the most content. The paying version costs only $10 to get all the functions: more retention, more API requests. Usenet-Crawler can be used for free as well since their number of APIs is very high.

  2. NZBPlanet: this is an ideal complement to Usenet-Crawler. NZBPlanet has also manual referencing (obfuscated releases) so the NZB sent to Couchpotato are very good quality, 100% without password or viruses. (Usenet-Crawler scans Newsgroups automatically and sometimes sends releases with passwords or setup.exe). NZBPlanet has a good base of releases and sometimes finds films before Usenet-Crawler does.

  3. NZBGeek: NZBGeek is a Newznab indexer that also uses manual NZB referencing (obfuscated releases) from its members. A good Usenet indexer that completes Usenet-Crawler. If you don't have Usenet-Crawler then try NZBGeek

  4. DOGNZB: Dognzb integrates well with Usenet PVR like Couchpotato (VIP account holders get unlimited API calls each day). But the site only accepts a few new members at a time so not everyone can use it.

  5. NZBFinder: There are several different membership levels at NZBFinder.ws. Maximum level getting you access to Spotweb (NZBFinder Spotweb has a separate api key. It's located it the top right corner of the spotweb interface) and unlimited calls and downloads.

  6. 6Box: 6Box offers a generous free membership. The site’s allowed Unlimited API hits and NZB downloads!

Categories tab

This is an important part: you need some download filters to get the right film in the language you want.

couchpotato_settings_searcher_category


In the Ignored part: french, german, dutch, danish, swedish, spanish, italian, korean, dubbed, swesub, korsub, dksubs

I add a selection of filters in the Ignored section to get films in the English language.

Qualities tab

I just put my 4 favoured formats into Quality Profiles under the name BEST

Couchpotato qualities

Downloaders tab

Couchpota.to is an interface than needs an NZB downloader to download the NZB from the Usenet indexers

If you pick Black Hole then the NZB will be put in a file of your choice, but the download won't actually happen.

couchpotato black hole

My choice goes to NZBGet (in this case I deactivated Black Hole) that will import the NZB onto your hard drive then will download the file. Don't forget to install and configure NZBGet.

couchpotato nzbget

NB. If you launch Couchpotato on start up then choose the same option for NZBGet.

NZBGet Start at login

Search example

At this point Couchpotato should be fully functional. You just need to look for films. I'll show you a few examples with these films: The 39 steps - Night of the living day - Le cabinet du docteur Caligari and Meet John Doe

I typed in the name of the film and chose it from the list:

Couchpotato Usenet Search

Couchpotato will then ask my Newznab indexers. If it finds it, the result will appear. Example with: Night of the living dead

Couchpotato Usenet result

By clicking on the title you get ra range of information. The different versions, if there are any, the Newznab indexer that found it. If you click on i you go directly to the Newznab indexer that referenced it. Done means that the NZB is now on your hard drive, and NZBGet is downloading it for you.

couchpotato Usenet Release name


In fact Couchpotato has two functions: a search engine that scans your indexers to see if the film is present. In this case, then NZBGet downloads it immediately. You will find these films in the Movie Manage part.

couchpotato Usenet manage

The second function is to anticipate the arrival of a film on the Usenet network. You search for it, and the film is not yet available. But as soon as it is posted then NZBGet will download it for you. These films appear in Movies Wanted

couchpotato Usenet wanted


Downloading films

You have three methods:

  1. Using the central window. On the start page you will see various boxes than correspond to categories: In Theaters - TOP 250 - Box office - .... Click on the image of the film and choose: Add. To change or add a category you can go to Settings => Display
    Couchpotato Usenet display

  2. Search for films with Couchpotato. By default Couchpotato goes to the database IMDb which is American and an excellent resource. See the preceding example with Meet John Doe or 39 Steps. Couchpotato also has a Chrome extension that lets you add the film in one click from your task bar. It works very well with IMDb
    Couchpotato Usenet add-on

  3. Add films automatically. This is the most interesting part. You can set it up so the films are automatically downloaded. Couchpotato has a few methods for this. Go to Settings => Automation to create your Watchlists:

    Watchlists

    Couchpotato Usenet watchlists

As soon as a film is added to a list on these sites then the film will be added to your download list on Couchpotato. You can create your list from one of these sites:

Goodfil.ms: a good database. The list of films are ranked by catalogues from Netflix, iTunes, Prime, Hulu…. The best part of this site is that they index the main catalogues from Netflix, which changes from the IMDB list. You won't get the latest arrivals but the catalogues from the main video online services like Netflix or Hulu.
To link it to Couchpotato you need to choose Film: Add to your queue and Couchpotato will search for it immediately. On Goodfil.ms you can access others' lists so if you add a username to Couchpotato then Couchpotato will access all the films from this user

IMBD Public List: works well but your created list has to remain public.

Trakt.tv: I don't like this database. The site looks fancy but their system is a mess. The watch list works well though.

Hummingbird.me: for anime and manga

Automated

Sites that automatically add new things. You don't need to do anything, just sign up. Very practical for people that want latest releases from the box office and don't want to keep updating their lists.

Couchpotato Usenet automated


In conclusion: once you have configured it Couchpotato is amazingly efficient. At the beginning you tend to go for everything, then after a few days you work out your own configuration. You might prefer to select something each time, or to let IMDB import new films for you. And you can add to your lists as you go from posts made on Usenet. My favourite method is simple: I go on IMDB and manually add lots of upcoming or just-released films. I do it once a month and then let Couchpotato work for me!