About that 'Play All' button

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Sven Lorenz, May 29, 2004.

  1. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

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    It just annoys me when reviewers make a big fuss about the lack of a 'Play All' button.

    I mean, is anybody really THAT lazy?

    I'm not against having such a button - but on the list of priorities it's somewhere between the cast and crew biographies and the colour bars.

    So I'm wondering - does anybody (aside from some reviewers) actually care about that button or do you want to select an episode, watch it and then return to the episode selection menu (which is the way I prefer it)?
     
  2. Rhoq

    Rhoq Supporting Actor

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    I prefer to be able select each episode individually. I rarely have a need to "Play All".
     
  3. Dillon*G

    Dillon*G Second Unit

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    I dont care if there is a play all button because I usually dont have the time to watch all the episodes on a disc at one time.If there is a play all button that's fine because other people will be happy.
     
  4. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

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    Just to make sure - I'm not complaining about the fact that there is a 'Play All' button but about how stupid it is that some reviewers spend half their review complaining about the lack of one.
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I guess that's possible. After all, some people are so arrogant that they assume their own preferences to be the norm, and have to ascribe bad or insulting motives to anyone who prefers something else. [​IMG] There is apparently no limit to human depravity. [​IMG]

    In fact, "laziness" has nothing to do with it. Some shows (e.g., NYPD Blue, Babylon 5) have plots or subplots that flow smoothly enough from one expisode to the next that bouncing back to the menu when you do plan to watch all four episodes on a disc becomes a distraction. (Even more so on a sets that return you to the menu for the episode that you've just watched, or where playing the next episode is not the default on the menu you are taken to.) This has nothing to do with the amount of "effort" required. Similarly shows should always give you the ability to skip the main titles (heck I wouldn't mind an extra choice like "play all, no titles") and shows that usually have a "previously on..." recap should make it the default setting but put in a chapter stop to let you skip it. (As opposed to the absurd practice on NYPD Blue of making it at totally separate video clip that plays and then returns you to the episode's menu instead of playing the next episode.)

    In short there are perfectly legitimate and non-lazy reasons for wanting such a feature.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    When there's a gallery of thirteen deleted scenes, I absolutely want to have a "Play All" feature. I don't like to sit down to watch a DVD and have to keep a remote in my hand the entire time, or to have to pick it up and continually cycle through menus every 45 seconds. With television series, for the reasons Joseph mentioned, I feel the same way. Having the ability to view all of the episodes consecutively or individually would be my preference. That way I could decide for myself, and I don't see any reason why a set wouldn't include that ability.


    My memory is a little fuzzy on this point, but Warner released some Powerpuff Girls DVDs where the opening titles and end credits were displayed only at the very beginning and very end of the full set of episodes. That approach wouldn't work for all TV series, but it's one I wouldn't mind seeing more widely adopted just to save me a click or two.
     
  7. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Well, I like to know if there is a play all feature or not, though the inclusion or lack of one has never been my deciding factor in buying a series.

    I wish though that a studio like Warner would put chapter stops in each episode of a show like Friends, but that's a whole nother thing.

    I do like the feature of a play all though because I like to watch a TV DVD as I fall asleep, and it is just easier then when their is a play all feature.
     
  8. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    I, personally like the 'play all' feature, especially since I can sit through a 6-episode run on a disc. It's not crucial, but it is nice. Take 'Friends' for example. The storylines between episodes usually coincide with each other, so it's nice to have that flow without having to first revert back to the menu. Like I said, it's not a 'big' deal, and I won't complain if a certain set lacks it, but it's nice to have.
     
  9. RossH

    RossH Stunt Coordinator

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    The "Roger Ramjet" discs had two options (if my memory serves)...Play All with intros & credits, and Play All without intros & credits.

    Of course, the intro for that show is about as long as the episodes , so I can see why they did it that way.

    I could go either way on this...I like watching the Buffy and Angel credits each time, but could do without the Simpsons intro each time, for example. As long as there's a chapter stop at the end of the intro, so you can skip it if you want, I'm pretty happy. Course, as long as my favourite shows make it to DVD in the first place, then I'm very happy!
     
  10. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    In short, the option to "Play All" should be a standard on every TV-on-DVD release, in my opinion. However, about reviews: the lack of a "Play All" feature ought to come up in any review if it's not there, but it shouldn't be more than a couple-three sentences. "Half the review" is certainly taking things too far. I can't say as I've ever seen a review that covers it for more than a brief paragraph, though. Except for maybe a couple of my own, back when I was reviewing. [​IMG]
     
  11. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I also find it unforgiveable to not have a Play All option. Not to the extent that I wouldn't buy it, but enough that I will remember my annoyance and would skip "on the fence" titles without the feature.

    It's not lazy when you don't have to go back to the chapter headings on a movie to see the next sequence, the film is meant to keep going. With a play all feature you get the same effect from shows, 2+ straight hours of entertainment in which a certain flow does develop.

    On discs like this I generally find myself almost surprised when the shows run out and the disc ends. I get that "aww, I was really into that". No need to give me that feeling every 20 minutes.
     
  12. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Take an extreme example - wave 2 of the Walt Disney Treasures (admittedly not TV on DVD) had no play all feature. When you're watching the Goofy shorts, having t press the play button every 8 minutes can be a real pain.

    I have to say this is surprising, just because of the general variation in the Simpsons intro from episode to episode.
     
  13. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Sme folks watching DVD on their computers do not have a remote control, so, yes, a Play All feature is essential - particularly for a series of shorts.

    XP Media Center comes with a remote, so this will be less of an issue now, but, still a good idea.
     
  14. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    I personally like the play all feature. Mostly do to when I am ready to watch some tv on dvd... I do it like a marathon and watch the full season anyway.It just makes it that much easier to sit back... relax and enjoy hours of your favorite show. Another problem that I personally have is that my 70yr old mother loves TV on DVD as well... but she is afraid of technologyand won't try to learn the remote so that means I have to go into her room about every 45 minutes to put on the next episode for her. :p)

    That being said... I don't get upset if its not there. I mean it only takes a few seconds to go to the next episode anyway.

    But I do agree with David.. it really should be standard to have it.
     
  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Also, don't forget that there are people traveling by plane, train, bus, and car who like that "play all" feature. If I'm in the passenger seat while my wife is driving across the state, I like to pop in something on my portable player and hit "play all". On the way back, when I'm driving, it's her turn. I have a friends who flies to Europe about every 2-3 months on business. He always asks me if something has a "play all" feature so he knows which ones to take on those loooong plane trips.
     
  16. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Agreed that a "play all" feature is most appreciated. The other thing that is perhaps even more appreciated would be chapter stops segregating the opening credits/theme song.
    Yes, it only takes a few seconds to fast forward, but it would be nice anyway.

    Steve
     
  17. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    I agree Steve... That there should be a chapter stop right after the opening credits/theme song... That is another thing that should be standard in the releases. I think I am the only one into TV on DVD that wouldn't use this though... for some reason whe3n I watch my tvshows marathons I like to play the opening credits with each episode... but thats just me... I am wierd that way! :p)
     
  18. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    Kinda off topic...do any of the Stargate SG-1 seasons feature a "play all button"? I'm just finishing season 2 and about to start S3. Neither of the first two seasons have one.
     
  19. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    Nope, and they don't have chapters after the opening either. MGM has no clue when it comes to their TV products...

    Gord
     
  20. cole_b

    cole_b Agent

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    "play all" or lack of the same doesn't bother me a whole lot. the only set where it's actively annoyed me is Buffy S2, which has those elaborate menu animations that are neat the first time, but quickly get tiresome.

    higher on my list of pet peeves is not having a chapter stop after the credits. it's most annoying on the DS9 sets, where some episodes have one, but others don't, so pressing the chapter forward button might send you halfway into the first act.
     

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