CouchPotato is your automatic feature length video downloader from usenet or torrents. You add content you want to see to a watchlist and CouchPotato will automatically search for them and download them through your usenet downloader or torrent client. It will even rename and sort the videos for you so your archive is nicely organized for importing into Plex or XBMC. This guide assumes you have already installed CouchPotato on your operating system (Windows, Mac OSX, Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi). The torrent clients I show you how to set up with CouchPotato are uTorrent and Transmission, rtorrent, Deluge and many others are supported and the same logic applies.
For a better experience I recommend using a combination of usenet and torrents with CouchPotato. The benefits of usenet are outlined here: Comparing Usenet and Torrents – Which is Better? If you are stuck on torrents then please use a VPN like Private Internet Access or PureVPN.
Configure CouchPotato with Torrents
Go to http://ip.address:5050 to open up your CouchPotato web interface
If it is the first time you have logged in just scroll to the bottom and click the big green button
In the top right corner, click Settings under the Settings cog
Set a username and password to access the web interface
Click Searcher on the left and choose torrents as First Search.
Add KickAssTorrents and Torrentz as free providers, you can enable private trackers as well.
If you only want to leech then set your Seed Ratio and Seed Time to 0
On private trackers you usually need a seed ratio of 1 or seed time of 48 hours, adjust appropriately.
Click Categories, here you can adjust the filters that CouchPotato uses, you can have several keywords separated by commas.
You can tell CouchPotato to prefer releases with certain words if there is a group that you like or groups that embed subtitles (e.g. DKSubs or SWEsubs). Put those in the Preferred box and CouchPotato will try and get these releases first.
If there are releases with keywords that you require add them to the Required box, no other releases will be downloaded unless they contain these keywords
In the Ignored box you can put keywords for CouchPotato to ignore, if there are groups that release stuff that you absolutely hate, add their names here.
Adjust CouchPotato Qualities
Click Qualities under Searcher
Here you can adjust the quality settings, by default Best tries to get the highest resolution possible and then starts settling for lower quality. It searches the qualities from top to bottom.
You can rearrange the quality priority by hovering over the 3 lines next to the quality setting. You click and hold and drag up or down.
If Finish is checked next to the quality then it will stop searching for the other qualities on the list.
You can also delete quality settings by clicking the red x
I have removed 1080p and 720p settings because I only wanted to find SD quality releases that are not huge.
If you scroll down you can change the order the quality settings will be shown in the dropdown box. For convenience you should drag your default quality preference to the top. This is why I modified the Best quality because it sits at the top by default but I could have just as easily moved the SD profile to the top in this section.
Uncheck any qualities you are not interested in.
Disable Blackhole as a Downloader
On the right click Downloaders
Disable BlackHole by unchecking it unless you use a torrent client which monitors a watch folder for new .torrent files.
Enable Transmission Torrent as a Downloader
You need the WebUI enabled so CouchPotato can communicate with it. My linux guides for Transmission cover this, for Transmission on Windows go to Edit -> Preferences.
Click the Remote tab and check Allow remote access
Enter a username and password, Only allow these IP addresses is a security measure, if you want remote access to Transmission from any computer disable it by unchecking the box.
You can click Open web client to view the Transmission web interface.
On the right click Downloaders
Enable Transmission by checking it. Add your username and password for transmission. In Directory, choose a directory for the downloads to go to, you do not want this to be the final directory the videos will end up in. Instead you want it to be a temporary folder that CouchPotato monitors for new videos which it then renames and organizes nicely for you.
In Host put your host and port for transmission, the default is http://localhost:9091 if it's on the same machine as CouchPotato.
Click Test and you should see Connection successful.
Enable uTorrent Downloader
Note: The label system in uTorrent is quite buggy so I recommend using Transmission for Windows instead.
uTorrent uses labels to sort downloads much like Sabnzbd and NZBGet use categories. You need to open up uTorrent to do some configuration first before enabling it in CouchPotato.
Open uTorrent and go to Options -> Preferences
Click Advanced and then WebUI
Check Enable WebUI and enter a username and password
Check Alternative listening port and pick a random port that is not being used, I use 7070
Click Label on the left pane and check Use Label and Directory Rules
In the Label box enter movies and in the Contains box enter movies and click the + sign.
Now you can choose movies from the drop down menu in the bottom left corner.
Click the … button and browse to your temporary download location that CouchPotato will monitor for new releases, it should not be your final movie destination directory, that will be taken care of in the Renamer. Click the + sign to add it to the list.
Now you should see your movies label in the list. Click Apply and OK.
Back in CouchPotato click Downloaders and check uTorrent
Input your Host as localhost:7070 or replace 7070 with the port you used in uTorrent
Enter the username and password for the WebUI you just configured
Enter the Label movies and click Test.
Enable CouchPotato Renamer
To help understand CouchPotato's renaming here is a diagram. No matter which program you use to download, CouchPotato will monitor that folder as the From folder and move files to your final destination the To folder. It will make sense in a minute.
CouchPotato will monitor your From folder for new video downloads and post process them. When they are post processed the video file will have its own folder in the To folder. The From and To folder must be different for the Renamer to work. This is the key component of getting CouchPotato to work properly with usenet downloaders and torrent downloaders simultaneously, you will be feeding the downloads into the same folder CouchPotato will be watching.
You should also check Unrar in case the release you download is packaged in rar files.
By default torrented CouchPotato downloads will be symbolically linked to your To folder. This is so you can still seed the torrent. If you are not interested in seeding click Show advanced settings and scroll down until you see Torrent File Action and change it to Move. If you are private trackers you probably need to seed so leave it as link if that's the case.
I have enabled Pushbullet notifications by copying my access key from the Pushbullet settings page. Click Test to make sure it works.
Here you can also enable Plex and XBMC library updates. For XBMC you will need to have the web access enabled.
CouchPotato can automatically import your imdb watchlist. This means you can just add videos you want to see using the IMDB app on your phone or in a browser and CouchPotato will add these items to your wanted list.
For personal IMDB watchlist importing to work you will have to make your IMDB watchlist public.
The URL has this format http://www.imdb.com/user/urxxxxxxxx/watchlist that you should paste, remember to tick the box next to the URL
Scroll down to the Automated section
You can have CouchPotato automatically add all new popular videos from IMDB that meet your criteria.
You can adjust the minimum rating, which year the content was released and so on.
It is now best to restart CouchPotato
In the top right click the Setting cog again and choose Restart
Add CouchPotato Movies
Click the magnifying glass icon in the top right
Type in your video name, I am using Night of the Living Dead which is in the public domain.
If there are multiple video titles click the correct one
Then it will change so you can choose the quality preference from the dropdown, click Add
You will see a message saying it has been successfully added.
In the bottom right hand corner you will get some messages that CouchPotato is searching for the content on your torrent trackers and then snatching it (downloading the torrent file) and passing it to your torrent client for downloading.
When it's done it will rename the file nicely and put it in your videos folder.
You can check the status of your movie list by clicking Wanted
The off green color means the video has been snatched and sent for downloading, once it has been renamed and processed it will turn a nice green color.
Enjoy your CouchPotato torrent system for automatically downloading videos.