Saturday, November 10, 2007

A minor grievance

I've noticed something recently: the wait times on DVDs these days are terrible. By "wait time," I mean those portions of the DVD (usually when you first put it in) that cannot be fast-forwarded or skipped through, or clicked through for the menu. You have to watch them, every time you put in the disc.

They usually consist of a short montage telling us which studio/entertainment group/channel created the disc - sometimes, there are several of these, back to back, for the different companies who all had a hand in the disc's creation. Then, there are a few copyright notices, each with their own screen, often in three different languages. If it's a movie with commentary, then we get the warning that the commentary is pure opinion and does not reflect blah blah blah - again, in three languages. Sometimes, even trailers for upcoming movies are un-skippable, though I think there are fewer of those on newer DVDs. And finally, my favorite: "You Wouldn't Steal A Car."



(To which my mind always responds: "but what if they would steal a car? What then?")

In my experience, the worst offenders on DVD wait time are Bob the Builder, Baby Einstein, and anything from Excel films. The best seems to be VeggieTales (really!).

Don't even get me started on excessively animated menu transitions, which are often so wrongly billed on the DVD case as a "special feature."

And while we're talking about things that should not be called special features, here are a few, taken straight from my copy of The Last of the Mohicans:

- anamorphic widescreen (so I can see the movie)
- interactive menus (so I can select "Play Movie")
- scene selection
- Audio: DTS English (so I can hear the movie)
- Subtitles: English, Spanish

I think we can all agree that the above items should be considered "standard," not "special."

Just so we're all clear on my high personal standards for a DVD. Thanks.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've noticed the long wait times recently, too. Since I usually don't get to finish watching a movie in one sitting, I end up sitting through those wait times more than once. My strategy is to have some sort of craft project I can work on as a distraction--that way, the wait times don't feel like such a waste of time to me.

Hannah

Crissy Bear said...

Bridget, Jason and I are with you on all counts. I despise the, "You wouldn't steal a car campaign." In fact I started it on your video and then had to stop it because the sound track bugs me so much. I've started just starting the DVD and then doing stuff like going to the bathroom and popping popcorn to avoid having to sit through all the crude. Otherwise I find myself pushing the menu button a million times and having to see the little x out that lets you know, no you have to watch this. As for kids movies, I've noticed that a lot of the Disney ones have a little thing where you can skip ahead although no one lets you skip the multiple stealing warnings. The funny thing about the veggie tales is though that even though they are so short in the beginning Ezra hates the way they all begin with the little kids in the black and white picture and the music. When he sees that he yells, "Not that again."

Nancy said...

So, uh, Bridget, was that YouTube anti-pirate movie pirated?

Bridget said...

Hannah, that's probably the root of my problem, too. If you watch a movie in one sitting, it's no big deal to sit through that stuff once. But when it's twice, three times, etc...Grrr.

Crystal, that's hilarious about Ezra. And I press the Menu button a million times, too.

You know, Nancy, I guess it was!

Mikael said...

That is SOO true! I am glad you wrote about this. It is so annoying when I put on Makenzie's dvd 10 times a day and have to wait for all the lame stuff to pass by. Annoying. This never existed with tapes! I still think tapes are better than dvds

Hareega said...

haha you wouldn't steal a car??
that doesn't work in tucson

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