Question re switching audio/subtitles on the fly

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Chris Bardon, May 17, 2004.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Can anyone think of any possible reason why a disc should lock out switching audio or subtitle tracks while a movie is playing? I was going through the alien quadrilogy discs, and there were a couple points where I couldn't make out some of the dialogue and wanted to switch on the subtitles. Usually I can just use the subtitle button on the remote to cycle through the tracks, but on these discs the only way to enable the subtitles is to go to the menu, change the option, and then resume the film. It seems to me that this is an option that would have to be deliberately set, and I really can't figure out why you'd want to do this.

    I've noticed this happening with audio tracks as well, and I suppose that this could be locked out to keep people from accidentally accessing a DTS track when they don't have the hardware for it, but this is really the only reason I can think of.

    Can anyone else come up with a better reason for the subtitle switching lockout?
     
  2. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    No, I CANNOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is the one major gripe I have with various Studios regarding their DVDs. ALL DVDs should be so configured so that the Audio Tracks & Subtitles can be switched by remote on the fly. There is no reason why they should be locked out on the remote. NONE!!!!!!![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I believe that it is the same principle for subtitle tracks as well. Subtitle tracks on many DVDs are used for things other than generic language subtitles. For example, "white rabbit" presentations use a subtitle track to present icons that prompt a user to hit "enter" on their remote to access some other footage. The studio does not want that track to be accidently accessed, therby confusing the casual viewer. It must be specifically chosen from the menu for access. That's one example. Another one is a subtitle track that identifies speakers on a commentary track. And another example would be films that have certain sections of subtitled dialogue and those subtitles are player generated, rather than "Burned in" you don't want to accidently shut off that subtitle track and miss out on important dialogue.

    In the Alien Quadrilogy. Each film has the "Deleted Footage Marker" as a subtitle track. It is probably for that reason that you cannot change on the fly there. To keep someone from accidently accessing those markers.

    As to why the disc can't leave the language tracks open and lock out ones that aren't supposed to be accessed accidently, I don't know why they don't do that. I believe that on the "Lord of the Rings: EEs" you can actually access the English track with the remote, and the rest (such as the identification track for commentary speakers) are locked out.
     
  4. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    You're probably right on that one-I'd forgotten about the deleted footage marker. Still, I don't think that there's really any need to protect people from their own stupidity in this case. Really, you're probably going to confuse just as many people by locking these tracks out (why won't my subtitle button work) as you will by letting people accidentally turn them on.

    I'm really surprised that this isn't in the dvd spec-there are just some things that should be common across all discs. I keep thinking of my grandmother wanting to watch a dvd with the captions on, and trying to dig through menus to find them (sometimes they're hard to find) or using the "captions" button on the remote and finding that it doesn't work. Sure, I can find it, but for those that are a little less technologically apt I think that there should at least be a standard way that things are supposed to work.
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Solution:

    Get yourself an HTPC. One of the many many advantages of this setup is the ability to disable User Prohibition.
     

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