CouchPotato vs SickBeard, SickRage, or Sonarr for beginners

This post is a basic comparison of CouchPotato vs SickBeard or similar TV Show PVR software such as SickRage and Sonarr, for beginners. A lot of newbies who hear these words can be extremely confused about what they mean and what are they used for. This can be overwhelming to someone who is trying to build and setup a home server. Right off the bat, SickBeard, SickRage, and Sonarr (aka NzbDrone) do the same thing while CouchPotato does something different. So in essence, comparison of CouchPotato vs SickBeard can be considered the same as CouchPotato vs SickRage or CouchPotato vs Sonarr. Eventhough SickBeard, SickRage, and Sonarr do the same thing, they are slightly different and we have already presented SickRage vs SickBeard and SickBeard vs Sonarr. For some this may be a silly comparison, but for the sake of newbies let us look at the difference between SickBeard and CouchPotato.

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CouchPotato vs SickBeard

By now you may have realized that CouchPotato and SickBeard are different. Even though CouchPotato enables downloading movies and SickBeard / SickRage / Sonarr enable downloading TV Shows, they essentially operate the same way. All four of them require a reliable Usenet account as well as access to a Usenet Search index. [Read: 5 Best Usenet Search providers for Sick Beard and CouchPotato]

Couchpotato Vs Sickbeard, Sickrage, Or Nzbdrone

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CouchPotato is a script written in python that allows you to down movies automatically when they become available. It is extremely easy to add movies of interest to the queue and CouchPotato takes it over from there and downloads, renames, downloads subtitles, moves to appropriate location, updates Kodi library, and notifies you...all without any human interaction. It is an awesome PVR for Usenet and Torrents. [Read: What is Usenet and why is it better than Torrents?]

Couchpotato Description
Couchpotato Description

CouchPotato is a must have app for any automated home server or a media center.

SickBeard / SickRage / Sonarr

SickBeard, SickRage, and Sonnar (or NzbDrone) fall into the same category. They are also PVRs for Usenet and Torrents but unlike CouchPotato, they watch for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are posted they download, sort, rename, and organize them. They will also automatically download all metadata such as episode description, thumbnail, etc. that make your media center look pretty.

Sick Beard Vs Couch Potato
Sickbeard Description

You only need to have one of SickBeard, SickRage, or Sonarr. To to make a choice, you may read our comparison of SickBeard vs SickRage and SickBeard vs Sonarr.


CouchPotato vs SickBeard is not the right question to ask as they are actually apples and oranges. However, you may ask yourself SickBeard or SickRage or NzbDrone as all three do the same thing and you only need one of them. Once you decide which ones to install, you may refer to our installation guides on CouchPotato (Ubuntu/Windows), SickBeard (Ubuntu/Windows), SickRage, or Sonarr. You may also choose to use our famous AtoMiC installers that automate the installation process. Once again, this is a very basic comparison but hopefully it provided you a primer on CouchPotato vs SickBeard, SickRage, or Sonarr and eliminated at least some of your confusion.

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Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, hopeless tinkerer (if it ain't broke, fix it), a part-time blogger, and a Scientist during the day. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs.