Budget Universal discs: No Menus?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Lyle_JP, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    I just picked up D.C. Cab this week, and noticed something I have never seen from even the most cheap, no-name DVD companies: a disc with absolutely no menu. Nothing. Nada. It's just a movie on a disc (with chapter search, but without an insert or a scene selection menu, this feature becomes worthless as well).

    Just how much further down does Universal need to sink? Just how much money was saved by not paying someone for 45 minutes worth of work to throw on a generic menu? Does this even meet the minimum DVD spec?

    -Lyle J.P.
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Most of my home-made DVDs don't have menus, so they just start up and play like a laserdisc. I don't see the point to having them if there's only one movie or item on the disc. Most menus on commercial discs are annoying; Universal's earlier titles would just start playing and only go to the menu at the end of the movie or if you hit the Menu button, but they changed that later. The best use of the menu system was on the older Columbia titles, since they didn't come up at all unless you hit the Menu button, the player would go into Stop mode at the end of the movie.
     
  3. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    That's not low. That means Universal knows what's important for a home theatre audience... the movie. I wish all DVDs are created this way.
     
  4. Terry H

    Terry H Second Unit

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    That sucks! I admit I have no use for fancy menus but I find basic menus are necessary. I frequently use scene selection to resume the movie at a certain point when my viewing is interrupted. I don't know how I'd do that without an insert or a scene selection menu.
    Another bonehead move from Universal. What a shock. [​IMG]
     
  5. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Cloak & Dagger had no menu, IIRC. The only issue for me is to remember to not start the movie until I'm ready to go.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Simple menus that have chapter selection, and any special features, and that pop up immediately when you insert the disc are ideal.

    Forced garbage before menus suck. Menus that have unskippable animation suck.

    I don't think no menus at all are as bad as those, but still, not ideal.
     
  7. dave bula

    dave bula Stunt Coordinator

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    I totally agree, Terry. I can't believe that there's anyone who would NOT want menus on their DVDs. I use them all the time.

    Shame on Universal. Perhaps someone could create a list of all the DVDs without menus, just so that the rest of us can make a point of avoiding them.
     
  8. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Ditto here! If I know up front, I won't buy a DVD that doesn't have a menu. As several people have already mentioned, I often watch a movie in multiple sittings and without a chapter selection, this becomes quite difficult. Universal disgusts me when it comes to their DVDs. At the moment, I'm boycotting all but the largest titles. I believe the last Universal title that I purchased was the W.C. Fields Box, and until they start doing better the only titles that I will consider are the remaining Billy Wilder titles.[​IMG]
     
  9. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    Hmmmm, I don't know how would you guys "survive" the LaserDisc days. Or were you guys used VHS during those days? [​IMG]

    How difficult is it to insert a disc and the movie plays right away? How difficult is it to remember at what time-mark that you stopped the movie and playing back at from that point? [​IMG]
     
  10. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Quite easy; they all have a 'Studio Selections' across the top of the case. Some of these are also non-OAR (Colossus - The Forbin Project) or open-matte (Charley Varrick). Some of these films are also Oscar winners (Missing) yet are tossed onto the lowest of low budget labels without a second thought, or even indeed mention of their awards on the box notes.

    'That means Universal knows what's important for a home theatre audience... the movie' - yeah, right...
     
  11. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    I guess for you the menu is more important than the movie. :b
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    No, for me presenting movies in their correct aspect ratio is paramount. Universal have not got a clue.
     
  13. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    aren't we talking about DVD with menu vs DVD without menu?

    or my English is not as good as it used to be?
     
  14. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Beg your pardon, I thought the topic was 'budget Universal discs' and pointing out the shortcomings of the whole range was not only acceptable but desirable.

    Your comment was 'That means Universal knows what's important for a home theatre audience... the movie' which, IMHO, is clearly not the case.
     
  15. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    If the disc has no features apart from the movie, no menu doesn't sound like a problem at all to me.

    I have no further comments on Universal's budget policy, though.
     
  16. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    This will be my last post on this thread, so please John, read this quote from the OP.



    So to stick with the original topic (not title)

    1. The topic is about the lack of menu
    2. Whether no-menu meets minimum DVD spec

    Even based on the title: the topic is "lack of menu on Universal budget titles" and not "Universal budget titles" in general.

    So to address the actual topic:

    1. Universal thinks that the movie is actually more important than the menu
    2. Even with no menu, it does meet minimum DVD spec since menu is NOT part of the must-have on the DVD spec.

    There is no mention about OAR, remastering, etc.
     
  17. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I'll consider myself sent to bed without any supper then... [​IMG]
     
  18. Chip_HT

    Chip_HT Second Unit

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    Certain players, especially those built in to TVs, don't have any sort of display, so you don't know where in the movie you are. So if you stop the disc, and have to take it out, you don't always know how far into the film you are.
     
  19. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    Breaking my own promise, I feel the need to help Chip_HT.

    You press "display" on the remote and it will tell you the time (sometimes even the choice for you to choose to see "time remainin")... on the TV screen.

    Maybe some players have the above mentioned feature but I have yet to encounter one (I've operated Emerson, Konka, and many other 'unknown brand' units and so far there is always that "display" feature.
     
  20. Jesse Blough

    Jesse Blough Second Unit

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    If a DVD has no special features then I don't mind if there is no menu. I don't have a problem with it.
     

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