DVD Menu Usability

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Hunt, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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  2. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    One thing that I don't like about some menus (I mentioned this in another thread, but it works here as well) is when you select DTS, there is another menu that comes up asking you, if you are sure you want to select DTS. I mean, is that really nessessary? This doesn't happen if you select Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby 2.0!
     
  3. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) is one of the most important aspects of engineering that most electronics companies seem to ignore.
    Dr. Norman (the author of that column) is very well-known in the HCI community, and I agree completely with what he has to say about DVD menus. There is currently no standard way to navigate, although some companies are trying.
    Why should I have to change "Languages" when I want to hear DTS instead of DD? Why are there sometimes two choices: "Return to movie" or "Play movie"? Yes, I understand that they may perform different functions, but couldn't I just return to the movie by pressing the "Menu" button on my remote? Don't even get me started on Easter Eggs... [​IMG]
    I must disagree with Brad about the DTS confirmation screen. It is necessary. Imagine someone (let's call him Joe) wanders into Blockbuster and rents a DVD. Upon inserting the disc, Joe is presented with two options: DTS and DD. If Joe doesn't know better, then Joe will permanently damage his equipment. That confirmation screen is important because it also conveys information about what the consequences of continuing with DTS may imply. (It also ensures that DTS does not get blamed for someone killing their speakers.) [​IMG]
     
  4. Marty Christion

    Marty Christion Stunt Coordinator

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    Selecting DTS audio on a DVD (when you aren't set up for it) will result in silence. If your player can't output the DTS signal: silence. If your receiver can only do DD, and it receives DTS: silence. If you have your player hooked up with the analog outputs: silence. (If your player has a DTS decoder built in, then it's a different story.)

    The speaker damage was a concern with laserdiscs, since you would get a really loud burst of static if you were hooked up using the analog outputs.
     
  5. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Here's the basics of what I think DVD menus should be like or have:

    - Skippable animations

    - Play/return to movie on EVERY page

    - DD/DTS confirmation

    - 16x9 enhancment. Even if the movie is 1.33:1.

    - Music (Silent menus are no fun!)

    - Play movie, scene selections, extras, and languages on main page.

    - Transitions.

    - Always fit the mood of the film.

    Menus that "blend" into the movie are even better.
     
  7. cafink

    cafink Producer

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