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Lessons learned on DVD, What they should NOT do on Blueray & HD-DVD?


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#1 of 67 OFFLINE   Norm

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Posted July 28 2005 - 12:01 PM

I hope there are no more Motion Menus. I tired of having to go in the other room to get the movie started for my parents. One time they though the DVD was broken because it kept repeating in the menu. I would like to see a smaller case not as tall as the current Keepcases. I remember all the fuss over the idea that it was great & different, well not anymore everything CD Size now comes in a Keepcase. No more forced warnings or trailers. Any thoughts on what didn't work on DVD?

#2 of 67 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted July 28 2005 - 12:16 PM

How about upconverting standard-definition transfers to "HD", which as I understand it still happens quite a bit on HD cable and satelite channels? This would be the equivelent of using old laserdisc and/or VHS transfers to master DVDs from, which happened a lot in the early days of DVD.

Also, of course- NO ALTERED ASPECT RATIOS!!! We don't want to see 'Scope films cropped on the sides to 1.78:1, and even more potentially damaging, we don't want to see Academy films cropped top and bottom from 1.37:1 to 1.78:1.

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#3 of 67 OFFLINE   Dan Stone

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Posted July 28 2005 - 12:42 PM

Noticeable layer changes. Any layer changes should be seamless on the new formats.
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#4 of 67 OFFLINE   Aaron_Brez

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Posted July 28 2005 - 12:43 PM

Fix "seamless" branching with better caching required on all players.

Fix layer switches similarly.

#5 of 67 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted July 28 2005 - 12:46 PM

Re Norm's post: Last night I watched a DVD that went straight to the movie after loading the disc, and automatically selected the highest quality audio format. What a brilliant idea, how did they ever think of it?? No promos/logos, just the movie. There was a menu etc., but going to it wasn't the default.

Compare that to what I watched the night before, a newer DVD: FBI warning, then a "video-theft" video, then a bunch of promos, then some logo screens...automatically on disc loading. Finally the menu, I choose play movie, then I get another FBI warning, a whole bunch more logo screens, then the movie. I suppose that's more like the "theater experience", but too bad for them they don't realise it's that theater experience with all the attendant BS that's turning us off. And why we often buy the DVDs in the first place.

Even when you pay a good buck and they earn a very good buck, they just can't let it go and say "we done good already", they just have to shove more crap in our faces. I don't suppose hi-def discs will lessen any of that, if anything they'll put more of it. But it's nice to dream.

I'd like to finally see them really start to use seamless branching, something rarely used and more rarely well-done with DVD.

I would like to see them NEVER disable user controls at any time for any disc while it's playing (even regardless of what the director may think, so no disabling during the movie either).

I would like on-the-fly enabling/disabling of commentaries.

Most of the issues I have with DVDs have nothing to do with the format, just the studios' choices in their implementation.

Re packaging: something the width/height of a CD jewel case would be fine with me, maybe thicker though. Would still allow more discs to be stored in a given rack space than current keepcases, but would be easier to read the title on the case edge (unlike the squinting I have to do on those slim keepcases). No functional reason for the size of current keepcases, we know the size of what's inside, but I suppose to marketing it's like making chip bags twice the size they need to be...

#6 of 67 OFFLINE   Jeff(R)

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Posted July 28 2005 - 01:19 PM

Quote:
Re packaging: something the width/height of a CD jewel case would be fine with me, maybe thicker though. Would still allow more discs to be stored in a given rack space than current keepcases, but would be easier to read the title on the case edge (unlike the squinting I have to do on those slim keepcases). No functional reason for the size of current keepcases, we know the size of what's inside, but I suppose to marketing it's like making chip bags twice the size they need to be...

I believe that the current size for keepcases was selected to match the height of shelves used for VHS tapes (recall how dominant they used to be.) A decrease in size for cases might be rejected by some retailers if they think it will increase theft.

#7 of 67 OFFLINE   Norm

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Posted July 28 2005 - 01:29 PM

Quote:
A decrease in size for cases might be rejected by some retailers if they think it will increase theft.
CDs seem to be fine.

#8 of 67 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted July 28 2005 - 01:47 PM

Remember when CDs used to come in packages about the size of DVD keepcases? The theft excuse doesn't work anymore, what with all the magnetic stripes and detectors just about everybody uses now. And we'll probably have RFID too, unless consumers rise up (they won't...).

I think it had to do with product differentiation, CD vs DVD, and marketing wanting a bigger package for a higher price (mainly "then").

I notice music CDs and music DVDs are often mixed together in some stores, so I will admit there is some use to the different packaging formats, you can quickly ignore what you don't want. OTOH, lots of music CDs come with music DVDs too, in a CD-sized digipak typically, but many I've bought lately are dual jewel cases. So basically, you have to read the GD package to see what you're buying...big deal, everyone should do that anyway for everything they buy.

I think roughly CD-sized packages could work for hi-def...I think people will very easily realise just from the price sticker that they aren't buying a CDPosted Image so no confusion there. Besides, they'll be in the video section, just about everybody still separates music and movies.

#9 of 67 OFFLINE   Norm

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Posted July 28 2005 - 01:56 PM

From Video Software Dealers Association, July 20, 2005.
Quote:
Differentiated Packaging & LabelingRetailers’ racks have been constructed to accommodate the width of standard DVDs and, in many cases, their height. Distribution systems have been developed around case and pallet packs based on standard DVD dimensions. Packaged dimensions of high definition DVD product must accommodate the merchandising and distribution vehicles in use for standard DVDs. Thickness of the package should be no greater than that of a standard DVD package and no less than the thickness of a CD jewel case.



However, to avoid consumer confusion, high definition DVD packaging must be easily distinguished from standard DVD packaging via a standard color scheme, labeling scheme, or other easily recognized unique feature(s), and the discs themselves should also be easily distinguishable.



Additionally, packaging should include uniformly represented and placed descriptors of all unique product features (including ratings), and uniform UPC placement and size.

Well they are going to force the Keepcase on us. I can't stand the space in the cases & when they get shipped they can slide around in the case & get scratched. Plus if its smaller I can fit more on my shelf.

#10 of 67 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 28 2005 - 02:03 PM

If the discs are bare like DVDs, the format will not be very agreeable to normal families who are already complaining about discs being scratched and the dropouts they cause. With HD this will only be worse.

#11 of 67 OFFLINE   PeterTHX

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Posted July 28 2005 - 02:12 PM

Quote:
The theft excuse doesn't work anymore, what with all the magnetic stripes and detectors just about everybody uses now.


If you work in retail you'd realize this statement is inaccurate. Stuff still gets stolen on a regular basis, music/movies/games are still the biggest shrink sector in any major retailer.

That said, DVD-Audio packaging is pretty robust from a packaging POV (not necessarily security POV).

#12 of 67 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted July 28 2005 - 02:31 PM

From selling used DVDs at flea markets and such, I've noticed the vast majority (actually, exceptions are rare) of *adults* handle the discs by putting their fingers on the playing surface. What's the matter with them? And then they complain. Who do their kids learn from?

I'm not very sympathetic with blatant stupidity. From what I can remember, EVERYBODY hates disc caddies (remember when early PC CD players and burners required them?). Never mind the large additional cost of a "permanent" external protection case, those cases had their own problems with going defective. I'm not for them, I'm for the reduction of ignorance and stupidity, not a common idea these days it seems.

Anyway, looks like the hi-def package format is mostly decided, but it's the package height I was mostly referring to as "unnecessary", and that is *not* absolutely fixed; could be roughly CD-sized in height/width but keepcase in thickness it sounds like...I'd go for that. Not that I'll be buying any for a couple years, but that's another thread...

And yeah, re layer change: that should be seamless. It would also help now and in the future if studios used a teensy tiny bit of brains when doing them, if they're not 100% seamless in whatever technology, and at least put them at a fade-out or big scene change.

#13 of 67 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted July 28 2005 - 02:36 PM

Quote:
If you work in retail you'd realize this statement is inaccurate. Stuff still gets stolen on a regular basis, music/movies/games are still the biggest shrink sector in any major retailer.


Peter: My point is the package size doesn't reduce theft necessarily, so use an "appropriately" sized package. Don't use theft as the driver for package size, though obviously something small is easy to steal. See what I said about CD's coming in a package sized about 60% of what they used to. If people want something bad enough they'll figure out how to steal it. It's a good thing cars don't come blister-packed...

#14 of 67 OFFLINE   PhilipG

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Posted July 28 2005 - 03:01 PM

I think the most obvious problem is to avoid the non-anamorphic trap (there are still dozens of DVDs I'd buy if only they were anamorphic). For HD material this means 1080p, not any sort of compromise.

#15 of 67 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted July 28 2005 - 03:27 PM

I don't even think that the VDSA knows what is going to happen. I have to ask, where would all of the confusion be between HD-DVD packaging and SD-DVD packaging? All of the HD-DVD's are supposed to have the SD version on the other side. If a title that is already out gets redone to HD, I think the retailers would get rid of any existing stocks first, or at least put them in a bargin bin.

With the current DVD's, the layer change is there because the hardware makers were not allowed to put in a "memory" chip of a few seconds to get the next layer ready for playing. All because of theft, of course.

I can't go with CD sized cases. It is hard enough already reading all of the crap on the back to make sure you're getting what you are supposed to. Can you see the back cover getting shrunk down to a CD size? I'd have to go the store with a magnifying glass! Posted Image

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#16 of 67 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted July 28 2005 - 04:33 PM

Regarding layer changes, it would be nice if the players used some kind of cache technique to make the layer changes seamless.

Would a complete lack of p&s be too much to ask?
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#17 of 67 OFFLINE   Aaron_Brez

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Posted July 28 2005 - 05:34 PM

All of the HD-DVD's are supposed to have the SD version on the other side.


I didn't get this impression. I got the idea this was just a capability they were tossing around as a benefit, and not necessarily what was actually going to happen. Has there been an article which says that all HD-DVDs will have an SD version included?

#18 of 67 OFFLINE   PeterTHX

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Posted July 28 2005 - 06:38 PM

Quote:
Would a complete lack of p&s be too much to ask?


Considering the mostly non-OAR programming of HBO-HD and other channels I'd say "yes". Posted Image

Pretty much only ShowtimeHD and HDNet Movies show 'scope films in their proper 2.35 aspect.

Quote:
See what I said about CD's coming in a package sized about 60% of what they used to.


Well, that was because of the available shelf space, not to mention environmental concerns about all the useless carboard thrown away. The actual CD jewel cases were always there.

Remember Sony tried issuing DVDs in jewel cases? Or Playstation & Sega games in jewel cases? I imagine the theft rates of those were much higher than their alpha-case counterparts.

#19 of 67 OFFLINE   Jeff D Han

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Posted July 29 2005 - 01:43 AM

If I ever get into the HD end of DVD collecting, my
wishes would be-

Economic and easy to navigate menues

Elimination of forced ads and trailers (sorry to say
we will always be forced to see the "we are all criminals"
warnings)

Invisible layer changes (I don't think this will be an
issue for most movies- each layer will have a higher
capacity and be able to store more minutes, right?)

Every title that is chapter marked has to have an insert
with chapter descriptions (this issue with standard DVD
really gripes me now)

Content that is done right the first time (reduce or
eliminate the double dipping for greed practice- I know
this is a pipe dream)
Pretty please, with sugar on top,
clean the f**king car.

#20 of 67 OFFLINE   Rutgar

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Posted July 29 2005 - 01:59 AM

Lots of good points.

A few additional comments:

The FBI warning - it's totally unnecessary since the new formats will be HDMI/HDCP only.Posted Image

Anamorphic transfers should be irrelevant since the new HD formats should be 16x9 native. (people with 4:3 HD TV sets, need to buy a clue).

If there are menus, they should be the same aspect ratio as the feature. Nothing is more of a hassle than having to adjust my screen mask after the feature has started because the menu is 16x9 and the film it'self is 2.35:1.


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