Friday, January 20, 2006

Why DVDs Suck!

Dear Movie Studios,

The experience of watching a DVD is becoming increasingly unpleasant... As the dawn of high definition DVD's approaches, maybe you can make some much needed changes for the future.

Most importantly... When I put in a DVD I want it to go directly to the main menu. Then, after I press "play", I want the movie to start playing! That's it!

I do not want to see copyright warnings, especially in 5 different languages! Everyone knows its "illegal" to make copies of DVD's. Although I do remember something called "fair use" that says I am entitled to make backup copies... Maybe that's been repealed. But I digress...

I do not want to see previews! I will gladly accept a menu item called "previews" that I can go to later. I would even gladly accept a menu item called "advertisements". Just don't make me watch your promotional crap as a prerequisite to watching a movie that I have purchased!!! 10 years from now when I am watching a future "classic" release (say Cinderella Man), do I need to have the experience tarnished by seeing previews for Dukes of Hazard II???

Say what you will about the music studios, but at least they don't put ads and "previews" at the beginning of a music CD.

No more more corporate logos! I do not want to see the logo and animation of every company that was involved in the making of the movie! How soon before we see something from the company that provided craft services??? I don't care! The only thing I want to see and hear is the famous 20th Century Fox animation and score right before the movie starts. That's it! I don't even care if the movie wasn't made by them...

Quit disabling the "play" and "menu" buttons! If you insist on keeping all of this crap on my DVD, then at least give me the option of exiting it. Disabling buttons? C'mon! That's a trick from the spyware and adware industry. Is that who you want to be associated with? What's next, pop-up advertisements?!?

Children's DVDs should start playing immediately! By the time Elmo or Rolie Polie Olie finally make it on screen, my once agitated child has now become a screaming, crying inconsolable maniac as I scramble to try to skip through the myriad ads, previews and warnings!

Also, if children's fare had an "auto play" feature, I wouldn't have to keep getting off the couch and changing DVDs everytime my son wants to watch something different! He's mastered getting the discs in and out, but the aforementioned ads, previews, warnings and disabled menu & play buttons kind of throws him off... (Hats off to They Might Be Giants - Here Come The ABC'sfrom Universal which starts playing automatically if no buttons are pressed within 10 seconds.)

In conclusion... 2005 was the first year that DVD retail sales were flat. Considering how bad most feature films were in 2005, I don't predict the situation will get better any time soon. However, if you improved the viewing experience for your customer by eliminating the "crapware", maybe we would be willing to purchase a few more DVDs. Think about it...



michelle said...

No shit, If I hear "Hi, this is Judy Clark" one more time I think I will puke. Doesn't Judy know that a child doesnt have much patience? She should. She has made billions of dollars off of those damn dvds (that I cant copy because of a copyright) They dont want to hear her marketing ploys! Children just want to watch baby Einstein! NOW.

I wont even go into the melt downs that I have with my 2 year old trying to get the Dora video to start. Thank god for Tivo. Press a button and play. Simple.

Christopher said...

I totally agree with your list of DVD menu gripes. Last week I put in a movie and it started with the previews section. Unfortunately it also disabled the menu, fast forward, and skip buttons. The only options I had, were to watch the previews or stop the DVD. Now THAT was annoying! I think the movie studios stopped listening to the consumer a long time ago. That's why so many movies suck, and that's why DVD menus suck. Down with DVD and give us digital content delivery (without DRM)!

Chris said...

I've been doing Netflix for a few months and it's convinced me not to buy DVDs--even for movies I really enjoyed (like Lost in Translation). A few exceptions exist (Shrek 2) but anything from Universal/Sony and Focus Films has to be immediately dropped from my potential purchases because of the ads.

I'm more convinced that my purchase of a DivX/Xvid capable DVD player was wise. I can rip the movie off the DVD, remaster it to 4.7 GB, and make a relatively good copy for later viewing. And since I'm still living in the dark ages of television (my TV is so old it doesn't have built in closed captioning), the picture quality is just as good.