Downloading video from stubborn pages

Agreed, “I can’t watch my opera in HD” might seem a first world problem to some. It isn’t though! It’s important! Opera is …. Anyway: For the opera lovers, finding videos in decent quality is much like a treasure hunt. (I am not talking about things commercially available here. Do buy your stuff, support the artists!)

Especially one thing I found quite annoying connected to ARTE in particular: On ARTE’s streaming pages, mysteriously, the real HD resolution doesn’t even show up as an option – even though the file is on the server. Now that’s a bugger. A way around that I found in a great little program that is called captvty.

Important notice: Whether it is legal to actually use it, on which site, and everything else is not what I am discussing here; I am not a lawyer. I am writing this to show a method to add to your arsenal that might work so you know about it, just in case your life depends upon a specific recording. The program itself seems to be perfectly legal.

So here’s a brief walkthrough for …

Downloading videos with captvty

1. Go to and download the zip file there.
2. Install. (According to my Kaspersky antivirus, it should be okay.)
3. Click the top left symbol there once you open the program.
4. Paste the link to the page you want to inspect in there, and click “rechercher”

Your mask should now look something like this.



The files are nicely named, the last numbers tell you the resolution. The first one, with “1280×720” is the best resolution you got, so this is what you have to choose.
5. Click “télécharger” next to it.
6. Patience. (Download time is dependent on the host server and your download speed.)
7. Finally, take a moment to look at your Energy/System settings. (You’ll find them in your windows settings. Just type ‘setti …” into your windows search box after pressing the windows key, and you should get right to it.) Now you go to System -> Power & Sleep.”


walkthrough2 (1)

8. Set at least “Sleep” to “Never.” You can switch it back as soon as you finished your download.




4 thoughts on “Downloading video from stubborn pages

  1. Well, I have a Mac, so I tried the method they suggested for Mac (application PlayOnMac, which is a wrapper for Wine). I now have Wine, a virtual C drive, various Windows components, and this thing actually opened. I was able to see listings of all sorts of soap operas etc on the main channels. I found Arte and selected classical music. A fine list came up. Using the right button to select something, I got its display page. Then the thing crashed. I killed PlayOnMac but the last couple of Windows windows are still there. Maybe a reboot, later.

    It was a cool idea, though.

    • Finding something in these listings is like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, pasting the direct link in the interface you get when you choose the top left button seems to work most of the time.

      Alternatives are all sorts of Firefox and Chrome plugins like GetThemAll, or just pressing F12 and trying some detective work. However, depending on how the page is coded, you won’t be able to see the streamed video as a file there; you’ll only see the script getting it to you in the “Network” tab.

    • I just tried it and I am not sure it gets at all the hidden files, and furthermore, I would be careful with that program. Mr. Kaspersky doesn’t like it, at least some components of it.

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