Why must all long playing dvd movies pause halfway thru?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaleI, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. DaleI

    DaleI Stunt Coordinator

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    I've noticed this on most of my longer playing dvds: At about the halfway point the movie will pause--still--for half a second before continuing--like they had to change the reel or something.

    Is it common? Why? Do you mean after all this technology they haven't come up with a way to alleviate this annoying pause?
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    It's the layer-change. It's where the laser refocuses itself to play the second layer on the DVD. Some players do this so fast you can't tell, others (most), don't.
     
  3. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Greetings. Welcome to HTF, and apparently to the world of DVD.
    It's called a "layer change". This occurs on dual-layer discs. You used to denote them by their gold color, but newer dual-layer discs can appear silver, like single-layer discs do.
    From the DVD FAQ by Jim Taylor (considered to be the "official" DVD FAQ, as it is the single-best resource out there on DVD info):
     
  4. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    This is the layer change on the disc. It just a matter of how much space the movie takes up versus how much space is on the disc. An alternative would be to put material on a second disc or the other side of the disc (which some movies do). But, I assure you that will be longer than a 1/2 second pause. Yet another alternative would be to compress the material even further so it takes up less space - but that would result in poorer picture quality. You wouldn't want that. I have heard that some dvd players handle the layer change better than others, so you could research that. For now, it is a convention of DVD that you will have to get used to. IMO, a lot better than getting up to switch sides.
     
  5. TyC

    TyC Stunt Coordinator

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    This pause is the layer change. When the movie exceeds the space that a single-layer DVD provides, they must spread it across two layers. It is actually a little bit similar to your analagy of changing reels; the laser in the player must stop reading the movie on the first layer and read the rest of the movie on the second layer. How long this pause lasts, whether it causes any problems, etc. depends on the particular DVD and the player.
    EDIT:[​IMG]
     
  6. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    And one more time for good measure: It's the layer change.
     
  7. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    Jonathan Perregaux
    I've noticed that with longer movies, I will sometimes sit there and about halfway through there is a pause--sometimes for several minutes. After this, I continue watching but it seems that the movie jumped ahead or something. On many occasions it feels like they left out an entire reel of film, or just ran out of film altogether. In much rarer circumstances I'll find a bright flashlight beaming into my eyes from a curious theater usher. I thought this only happened in the movies, but I soon found that the same thing happens with my DVD player... only instead of an usher waving a flashlight, I am startled by a loud DVD menu screen.
    Do you mean to tell me that with all this new-fangled technology, they haven't come up with a way to alleviate this annoying pause?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Interestingly enough, lower end players like my own handle the layer change better than some of the top shelf players. They're usually seamless for me. Just be thankful you didn't go through laserdisc.
     
  9. Bill Zerby

    Bill Zerby Extra

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    my old sony dvp-s7000 was so good at the layer switch that i rarely even knew when it happened (and this was one of the very first dvd players EVER)

    my brand new Pioneer Elite DV-38A has a very noticable pause, go figure...
     

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