DVD layer change triggering a "Pause" during movies?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott-C, Sep 24, 2001.

  1. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    I have a Pioneer DV-37 and have noticed on several of my DVDs that during the movie, the movie "pauses" for a second or so, then resumes itself. This seems to happen on brand-new DVDs as well as older ones that I've owned for a while, so I'm reluctant to believe it's solely due to scratches or other imperfections on my DVDs (though it could be). Is this a software issue? i.e. is it due to a layer change on a dual-layer disc? If so, does the fault for the pause belong with my player since it can't handle the layer change? It happens often enough that it's very annoying, especially when you've just cracked open a brand-new DVD and the thing freezes in the middle of a movie, even momentarily.
    (Mods: this seemed like a software kind of issue which is why I posted it here. If it's better suited for the Hardware Forum, then accept my apologies in advance...)
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    Scott
     
  2. Frank L

    Frank L Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually this topic applies both to software and hardware, so you're ok with posting it here I believe.
    Yes, what you are noticing is most likely the layer change. Every DVD-player pauses, if only for a micro-second, when changing the layer.
    The reason why you notice this on some DVDs more so than in others has to do with the encoding of the disc itself. That is, some producers put the DVD layer change on a section of the movie where you wont notice the delay (usually in-between scenes when the image is black and there is no sound - ideal), but in some cases you get the switch in the middle of a scene because it couldn't be helped (because of compression issues I would guess).
    But nothing is wrong with your player. I'd guess that new generation players are better at layer-switching than older ones.
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  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    If it helps, here is a list at DVDReview.com, which tells you all the titles with layer changes and, if known, where the change occurs. It is by no means a complete list, but it IS up-to-date, as Citizen Kane is on it. I personally haven't used it in over a year, since I've just gotten used to the whole thing. But you might like to check it out:
    http://www.dvdreview.com/movies/html/rsdl_list.html
    Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
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  5. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Frank,
    Thanks - that clears it up for me nicely. At least I know now what it is. For a while there, I was getting paranoid that I had that uncanny ability to buy every DVD with an imperfection!
    Michael,
    Actually I have lived through laserdisc side changes for about 5 years prior to getting my first DVD player in 1997 (Sony DVP-S7000). Yes, I know, the layer change on a DVD is not nearly as horrible as switching the sides of an LD (even with a LD player with auto side-switching). I'm just very picky about that stuff, nonetheless, and it does sort of bug me when I notice the layer change [​IMG]. Sometimes it's long enough (around 1.0 seconds) to break up the rhythm/flow of a movie for me, at least momentarily.
    David,
    That list you provided is a great tool - thank you very much for providing it. I plan to look at it in more detail tonight to see if I can find some of the DVDs I've identified on this list.
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    Scott
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It's interesting how reactions differ. My wife loves layer changes because:
    (a) they're so much quicker than LD sidebreaks; and
    (b) they're one of the few technical details of DVD that she's familiar with and she loves pointing them out. [​IMG]
    M.
     
  7. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    That's funny! Thanks for reminding me that I should be an optimist and look on the bright side of these things. It's hard to do though; my wife in not at all into HT but she comments on it each time it happens. I guess it bugs both of us (probably more me than her - she's much less concerned with what goes on inside all of those "big black boxes" I have piled in our den than I am. [​IMG]
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    Scott
     
  8. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    You're welcome!
     
  9. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    I still notice the pause on a Reverse Spiral Dual Layer on my player. With other ones the pause is annoying. I don't think I've got one where the break is in the middle of something important, however. It always seems to be at a scene break.
    It would be nice if the masters also did a fade out somehow for these so it wasn't quite so obvious.
    Incidentally I've never noticed the pause on my 16x DVD-ROM so I guess that's what makes some players better than others.
    Theo
     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    That's because DVD-ROMs have much lower seek times because they are required to do random access data retrieval.
     
  11. Kenneth Cummings

    Kenneth Cummings Supporting Actor

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    Sadly for me, layer changes are pain, because I happen to have a Playstation 2, which is know to have a hard time on layer changes. And if there even a minor mark on the disc, it will screw up on the layer changes(it happened to me on Fantasia 2000, the Anthology disc for Fantasia, Unbreakable, and Blair Witch Project).
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  12. HenrikTull

    HenrikTull Second Unit

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    Scott, try giving The Cell DVD a spin, on second thought, don't do that [​IMG]
     
  13. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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    Interestingly enough, I was recently told that by some folks at Laser Pacific that, although it is possible to author a disc so that some current machines can play seamlessly through the layer break, the technique used is illegal under the DVD spec -- and thus could conceivably "break" other players. So that's why we don't see it done more often.
    -bf-
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  14. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Sounds vicious so surely we don't see it done AT ALL!!! [​IMG]
    I guess it must be a bit like burning 80 minute CDRs which can apparently break some CDR units. I've never risked mine, I can tell you!
     
  15. Tony Aguila

    Tony Aguila Stunt Coordinator

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    More than anything, for me it's the loss of audio during the switch that catches my attention, even when it happens during a "silent" moment.
    That being said, I can think of two titles whose layer changes are virtually imperceptible to me, having played them on 4 or 5 different DVD players. These are Elizabeth and The Engilsh Patient. If I hadn't know where the layer changes were, I would not have been able to tell.
    But your mileage may vary. I don't know how other players will perform.
    Tony
     
  16. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

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    that's funny, my wife always says "Layer change" whenever one happens during a movie, I think it's cute.
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  17. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Well placed layer changes are not an issue, even though my player will continue without sound for a second after the pause.
    What really amazes me are the ones they are able to sneak in the middle of a scene. LA Confidential does this and it took me looking at the on screen display to figure out where it was.
    Now many are put adjacent to dialog (Space Cowboys and Me, Myself, and Irene), which can be bothersome because my player will cut some of it off.
    They have shown that layer changes can be strategically placed. Hopefully they will make the effort on more discs to do that.
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  18. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    OK, I'll bite...what's wrong with "The Cell" DVD??? [​IMG]
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    Scott
     
  19. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Scott,
    IMHO The Cell itself was wrong! I really didnt like it at all.
    Oh wait youre talking about the DVD, oh well I havent heard about anything wrong with it.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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