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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » An idea regarding DVDs: 5InToPlay

Author Topic: An idea regarding DVDs: 5InToPlay
Member # 8096

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We watch a fair number of DVDs over here, and frankly, the producers of same are beginning to torque me off.

Why, thank you, Paramount, for making me wait to watch the stars swirl slowly around the mountain in your logo in order to get to a menu asking me if I want to go directly to the main menu or sit through the previews.

Yes, MPAA, I am in fact aware that pirating movies is a crime. Are you aware that if I was watching a pirated movie, I wouldn't be watching your PSA?...

Are you aware that not having to watch your @%$# PSA on the disk I purchased might be an inducement to piracy?!

One of the videos my daughter likes to watch requires you to push "Menu" three times, with a pause between each press, to actually get to the main menu and bypass the series of logos. And then when you select "play feature", it insists on playing a logo and an advertisement anyway.

This is somewhat the equivalent of the onslaught of previews and (increasingly) advertisements you're forced to sit through when you plunk down your $9.50 to see a movie in a theater these days: those in power figure that they have a captive audience who is going to sit tight until the movie starts, so they might as well make an extra buck or push a little branding on their "captives". With movies in theaters, this is obnoxious; with a DVD you own and watch repeatedly, it's downright abusive.

So, I had a thought. I may not convince them that they shouldn't use their power thusly, but it might be possible to strongly suggest that customers are aware of their doing so and that it's a detractor from their product.

I imagine an independent evaluation standard called 5InToPlay (which can be punchily abbreviated to 5ITP), preferably with its own nifty trademarked logo. The standard means this: in 5 seconds from the time the disk is recognized and begins playing, with no more than two button presses, you can get a DVD playing its major feature. Disks that contain multiple "main" features (collections of shows or cartoons, for example) get a bit of slack, with the proviso that a single button push will get the viewer to the main menu from which those features can be accessed.

If you play nice with the viewer, you get a li'l logo on your DVD case that says as much. If you don't, someone can look your disk up on 5ITP's web site and find out that you think it's your solemn right to inflict your thirty-second logo sequence on the viewer every single time they watch.

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Member # 7749

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I would love something like this. There is really no excuse for having to sit through mandatory advertisements every single time I want to watch a dvd.

I don't condone copyright infringement, but when the pirated versions are not only cheaper, but higher quality and more convenient, then I tend to have very little sympathy for the companies.

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Member # 124

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I illegally rip my movies to MPEGs so I don't need to sit through the otherwise mandatory intros. I like to think of it as being appropriately ironic.
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Member # 7900

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Aside from poverty and violent crimes and what not, few things aggravate me more than when I can't skip to the main menu. The previews start playing and then you see the dreaded crossed-out hand.

I don't mind previews at the movies. I'm always excited to see what's coming out next. But previews on a dvd that will be outdated in six months or less, its just ridiculous.

And then there's the overly long menu screens that probably only the creator thinks is clever.

But I like the evaluation/review idea. I can just see the little logo on the webpages for dvds on Amazon.

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Member # 5024

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It's a well known fact that pirated movies/tv shows are 1) more efficient 2) come in a variety of qualities so you can choose 3) have no commercials of any kind. The fact they are free is only relevant to people with no money. It's just a better product.

The only way that companies can compete is by offering the same amount of convenience and lack of bloody-mindedness.

As much as net neutrality is a good idea for everything else, the way to succeed would be to handle Movies/TV in the same way as cable; charge people for movie/TV bandwidth and distribute it among the relevant companies, while allowing users to decide the quality, size and file type of their movie or TV show.

If I had any money at all, I would pay for that far more readily than paying for cable, buying DVDs or even going to the movies.

Recently my family got rid of our basic cable because the cost is astronomical, the ratio of quality programming tiny compared to the vast amount of terrible television, the adverts ever-present and the available channels in basic cable becoming less and less useful. We can buy tons of DVDs for the amount we waste on cable.

Until companies provide consumers with a product they want to buy, it's going to be an uphill battle to sell to those who have another option.

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Member # 6139

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The worst offender I've ever met was a Thomas The Tank Engine dvd that--I timed it--had a cheery animated introduction into every option on the menu, EVERY time it was selected, not just the first time.

I clocked it. It took me 8 MINUTES of standing and waiting next to the DVD player to get it going.

That can be an eternity if you're a little kid wanting your after-lunch cartoon treat, or if, like me at the the, barely able to stand up from morning sickness and desperate to stagger to a brief heavenly shower while the kids are temporarily occupied.

I admit I use DVDs as a childcare help for the after-lunch naptime hour. I'm guessing that this is why Disney has a FastPlay option--so parents can stick in a disk and walk away.

I feel churlish for begrudging the DVD and my kids another 5-10 minutes before I walk away and become Bad Mommy, reading upstairs while my kids play and watch a movie downstairs.

(I homeschool, though, so there has to be some kind of break during the day, otherwise instead of going to a quiet room, I'll go to a padded one)

What I DO object to is the commercials. I got rid of TV mostly because of my kids getting branded so thoroughly while so young, and still it finds its way into my house! In fact, because we're watching the same movies a lot, it's the same commercials seen, again and again.

I hate it when my kids ask for stuff and I can practically see the little TM circle symbol floating in the air after the names of the toys they're asking for.

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Member # 8302

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Oh, yes, Thomas the Tank Engine is the worst of all the DVDs I have. The Nick Jr collection is bad, too, because there are advertisements for each of the shows on the disc and there's no way to skip it. The only good thing is that it automatically starts playing after about 10 seconds at the menu, so I don't have to stand around and wait for it.


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Member # 3383

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Would we have to wait for your fancy 5INTP logo before the menu?
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Member # 10495

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A hint: Sometimes, even if the the menu option is disabled, the next chapter button is not. On many DVDs I am able to skip trailers by pressing next chapter until I get to the menu.
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Member # 7625

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This should have a hardware solution. There's no technological reason someone can't make a DVD player that can skip directly to the menu, or plays directly. The reason none of them do is because it's a condition of obtaining a license to manufacture DVD players. source They are required to comply with "user operation prohibition" (UOP) commands on the disc.

So...5INTP as a hardware feature would be better. After all, people want to see the movies they want to see - it's not likely that they'll forego the Iron Man DVD because it doesn't have 5INTP.

A nice solution would be a legal prohibition of requiring UOP command compliance in DVD players as a condition of licensing. Then the player manufacturers would scramble to get players on the market that override or ignore UOP commands (I'm sure they are quite common in foreign markets already so it wouldn't take much time). They'd probably charge a premium for it at first but in a few years it would become a default standard feature.

Since the entertainment industry has such a powerful lobby the legal solution is probably going to be a while coming.

In the meantime it'll probably help for people to speak up and write letters to the DVD producers explaining what a crappy experience they've created and how it is counterproductive, and punishes the honest customers instead of pirates. And that might lead to a disc-based 5INTP - but I kind of doubt it, because if you're selling Iron Man on DVD, you probably don't have to worry about whether there's a market for your product.

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Member # 2859

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VLC skips right to the menu [Smile]
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