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Wouldn't You Like Standardized Defaults/Menus on DVD's? (1 Viewer)

James Edward

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
855
Why can't the DVD state the defaults for language, audio, aspect ratio, etc., right on the initial menu screen?

Example:

Audio (DD 5.1)

Languages (English)

Aspect Ratio (Widescreen)

Subtitles (None)

If it's what you want, you can just hit play. Why go through all the menus(or at least 1 or 2) to find out everything is already the way you want it?

I understand this is a first world issue; it's not that big a deal, but doesn't this make sense?
 

Bjorn Olav Nyberg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 12, 1999
Messages
945
Maybe the menu system is not "flexible" enough to implement it easily? Otherwise I am sure someone would be doing either this, or similar things as a gimmick - If for example you would need one menu screen for each possible option the menus would get big I guess - anyway that is my uneducated guess
 

Adam_WM

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
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1,629
Real Name
Adam Moreau
I like different menus. It's all part of the DVD experience for me.
 

MichaelPe

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 1999
Messages
1,115
Bjørn's right... you would need a different main menu screen for each possible configuration. So, for a DVD with 4 language (audio, commentary, ...) tracks and 3 subtitle tracks, that's 12 main menu screens.

Though, I agree that it would be very convenient.
 

Richard Gilmore

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
199
I can't stand the menu's that take forever to get to the main page, Star Wars AOTC is a good example. Give me an option to go directly to the selection page and I'd be a happy camper.
 

Neil S. Bulk

Senior HTF Member
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Sep 13, 1999
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3,393
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Neil S. Bulk
Motion menus have outlasted their welcome. At first they were neat, but now I just want to watch the movie. I like the DVD's that skip the menu totally and go straight into the film. Star Trek - The Motion Picture does that.

Neil
 

James Edward

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
855
What I want is simply this: Next to each option- audio, for example, I would just like to see what the DVD defaults to if you just hit play. I'm not looking to see ALL the choices that are available within each option. I can understand that that would take up a lot of space.

Does that make more sense? Or is it still not technically possible?
 

Dave_P.

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 20, 1999
Messages
983
I threw in Beetlejuice last night, and it went directly to playing the movie. I knew something was weird, taht I couldn't quite put my finger on, but in hindsight that was it! It was actually kinda cool and reminded me of the laserdisc days.
 

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
6,500
HTPC!

I use theatertek, set my options, mark the default chapter- and everytime I inert the disc it plays where I told it to start with the settings I picked- including custom aspect tweaks.

Wonderful.

-V
 

Lou Sytsma

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
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6,103
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Lou Sytsma
Nope - I like the individuality of each disc.

The annoyance factor with menus is very small.

Bypassing the menu and jumping straight into the movie is not an issue. We're usually settling into our seats and doing a last minute check to be sure we have everything before firing up the movie.
 

Jeff_HR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2001
Messages
3,593
I'd love to see menus work in a standardized way. I particularly despise the Universal practice of going to a preview instead of the film when you push play. I've learned to start Universal DVDs from the chapter selection. WB's setup is the closest to my ideal.
 

Alex Spindler

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2000
Messages
3,971
I have only two situation where I go to the configuration. One is where the DVD offers DTS and the other is the rare situation where it doesn't default to 5.1 (I think Leon is like this, maybe I'm mis-remembering). Other than those situations, every DVD is already at the perfect default.

Do you find that you have to modify these options often?

Also, I generally like motion menus, but then I don't have to navigate too often with the exception of fully exploring a disc and using the scene selections.

I never really understood the appeal of auto-playing DVDs. I understand that they're like LDs, but it just feels like a lack of control to me. More often than not I just to press Menu because I wasn't ready to watch it just yet.

And I, along with every other sane human being, hate the forced previews on Universal discs.
 

Qui-Gon John

Senior HTF Member
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Oct 2, 2000
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3,532
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John Co
I agree about the sentiments regarding animated menus and previews.

Animated Meus - I would prefer they did not have these. If they still did have them on a given DVD, you should be able to press next chapter and skip past it. This works on some DVD's but not too many.

Previews - Yes I do not like to press play and then be subjected to previews. I too, often use the chapter/scene selection to start watching movies, to avoid this. Again, if a DVD has this, pressing next chapter should skip past them and go right to the movie. Works on a few DVD's but not too many.

Easy to view menus - One of my other pet peeves is menus where you have to bust a retinal artery trying to figure out which "selection" is the currently selected item. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is one example. Just a little pixie dust or whatever, that I could barely tell was there. The currently selected option should be plainly distinguished from the other options on the menu.
 

Terry St

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Messages
393
I like different menus. It's all part of the DVD experience for me.
If the menu's are entertainingly animated or have good sound clips I'll nav through them just to appreciate the artwork. Note that I am a fan of brief or no transitions, but entertaining background/sound while the menu interface is up and functional. (e.g. Criterion's release of "The Killers" has some very stylish yet functional menus that deserve taking a minute or two to appreciate.) If it's a barebones release I'll just start the flick and select the language/subs/angle from the DVD player menus. (Zoomplayer lets you switch all of the above on the fly.)

However, what often irks me is the packaging. I hate hunting for information like the year of theatrical release, length, audio tracks, aspect ratio, or whether or not the transfer is anamorphic. Most releases have these, but even the same studio changes how this information is conveyed from release to release. If all publishers and studios would get together and agree on the same format it would be wonderful. Not gonna happen. :frowning: It would also be nice if information about the film's theatrical presentation, such as origional audio format, aspect ratio, etc. were included somewhere, even in ultra-fine print on a liner sheet. Of course, that would be too much to ask for.
 

Tony-B

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Messages
3,768
It would be great to have them say what the default options are. What would be great is just one screen that can be accessed from the front page, that has all of the sound, aspect ratio, subtitle, etc. options. I get annoyed with having to go to one menu for this, going back and sitting through some animation, going to another menu, sitting through ANOTHER animation, and going back to the main menu while sitting through all the animations that are required for that (if a resume movie option is not included in the other screens)! Also, if you are going to have a motion menu, at least make it skippable!

John, the worst offender of readibility on menus is probably Spider-Man. You can hardly see that little thing that shows what you selected.
 

Randy A Salas

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Messages
1,348
Adding on to Vince's comments, some DVD players let you choose what audio format, subtitles, etc. you want as your defaults. My Panasonic does.
 

Lew Crippen

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 19, 2002
Messages
12,060
I do as Randy and Vince have mentioned. My defaults are set in my DVD player. But I almost always check the options in any case, as the increased use of 5.1 audio for older films means that one can often choose between mono (or 2-channel) sound and 5.1.
 

John Alderson

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
564
My biggest pet peeve with this issue is what Warner Bros. seems to be doing on all their discs ever since they went to a menu instead of playing the movie right away...

If you leave the menu alone for a few minutes, it'll just start the movie on its own! It's the worst of both worlds! I put the movie in, see the menu come up, and go and get something to drink. I come back and the blasted thing is a couple of minutes into the movie already. Gee, what a logical thing to do, "He hasn't pressed anything for a while, he must want me to start the movie for him!" Bah. Both Harry Potters, The Perfect Storm, Three Kings and others have done this. Very silly.
 

Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 15, 1999
Messages
3,756
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
My 80+ Dad has failing hearing and loves the subtitle feature on most all dvds.

What he hates is trying to figure out how to navigate the menus in order to find the subtitle options. This is a guy who's computer literate and has no problem at all pointing and clicking in order to get different computer programs to do what he wants, but somehow can't transfer that aptitude to navigating the plethora of different dvd menu configurations.

I've tried telling him to just mash the "subtitle" button on the player remote, and also pointed out that he'll find subtitles under "setup" or "languages" on the dvd main menu 99% of the time to no avail.

While I myself don't have a problem getting menus to work, it would be helpful if one standardized menu could be offered in addition to the fancy ones for people like my dad.
 

DaveGTP

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
2,096
I never really understood the appeal of auto-playing DVDs. I understand that they're like LDs, but it just feels like a lack of control to me. More often than not I just to press Menu because I wasn't ready to watch it just yet.
Agreed. I just end up hitting menu too. Feels like J6P-proofing the DVD to me, no hitting play.
 

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