SD on Not being able to Fast Forward thru DVDs

I caught the end of this discussion. Now I don’t own a DVD player (I was waiting till the recordable models get cheaper) but they were talking about

A) Some movies you are unable to FF thru the opening “coming attractions”

B) The TV industry wants congress to pass a legislation that would prohibit TiVo and the like as well as Recordable DVDs to be able to FF thru commercials

What is up with this?

The DVD standard contains features for disabling the fast-forward function of the player for certain video sections. Usually, this is only used on the copyright notice screens and video distributor slates, but sometimes it is used for previews, much to the annoyance of consumers. This has fallen very widely out of favor since it pisses people off so much. It is possible for the player to disable the anti-fast-forward feature, but this is currently only found in some software players.

Everyone wants Congress to pass something. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. The right of time-shifters has been well established for decades; TiVo doesn’t do anything that a VCR can’t do.

I can attest to #1.

I have a mid-level Sony DVD player, and I can fast forward through the opening credits, epescially the studio’s logo.

However, on the few DVD’s that I have rented that DO have previews, I’ve always been able to skip them by jumping to the movie’s main menu.

That should say that I CAN’T fast-forward through the opening credits/studio logo.


Ha! You thought the RIAA would let you use your own hardware to play your own movies. :smiley:

If you ask the salesperson (or check online before), you might be able to find a player that has a secret debug menu where you can turn this off (as well as Regioning, Macrovision, etc). OTOH, this kind of “feature” is more common in the UK, since the lower prices and earlier release dates of Region 1 disks show those region 2 users they’re getting the shaft. For a while at least there were even businesses who would re-wire standard players themselves, the demand was so big.

I don’t think this info is against board rules - may the mods smack me down and send me harsh e-mails should I be wrong

When this happens, I just hit ‘root menu’ and then select play. Maybe some machines don’t have this button?

Called ‘dvd menu’ on the remote

The menu button can also be disabled, and often is during copyright notices and such.

The DVD of Roman Polanski’s “Knife in the Water” actually disables fast forward during the film itself, at the director’s request. But then, we already know what type of person he is.

I’ve been considering finally leaping on the DVD bandwagon- I don’t watch much TV and very few movies, so it’s not a big thing- and I was thinking I’d just get a DVD (player/recorder/whatever) for my PC and just video-out to a TV from there. (Presumably an S-video cable.)

Do the PC players have the same limits- the disc able to control how you watch or play the disc itself?

I try three steps during pre-movie DVD previews: first, hit the “chapter skip” button. If that doesn’t work, hit the “DVD menu” button. Last resort, push the “fast forward” (a.k.a. “rapid advance”; on mine it’s not a button but a scroll wheel). One of the three usually works. If not, I curse the DVD creators and go get a snack while the DVD gets to the main menu.

I hear that David Lynch is of a similar mind; he doesn’t put chapter stops on his DVDs, which is not fun if you want to jump to one particular part of the two-and-a-half-hour-long Mulholland Drive. Of course, if you remember where your scene was, you can jump to it using the “time search” feature. Play the movie, hit “time search”, punch in “1:50:00”, and you’re enjoying your favorite lesbian scene.

When you author a dvd, you can also disable time searches.

Sigh. I hate to see technology used for nefarious ends.

In the US, the Free DVDs Pizza Hut gave out has like 20 minutes of previews, and you can not fast foward them. My Laptop is my dvd player, and on all other DVDS I own, the root menu command is black and selectable, in the the free DVD, it is gray, and not selecteble. I think that this would be the case in a dedicated dvd-player system as well. It makes sense to block the use of Fast Foward or even chapter skip/root menu etc on the free discs, as the Film Maker/Distirbutor has a captive audience, and has to make the money up some how. The DVDs in the promotion where not “Great” movies, so I think the Companies dont mind this ‘loss leader’

Shouldn’t that say MPAA?

Meh - all the AAs are too big for their britches…

BTW, for computer DVD players, the regioning is controlled by the drive (IIRC), but the software is what plays the disk. On many players the programmers are either lazy or reasonable, and don’t program in the disabling-features. (This is unlikely to be the case with drive-bundled software, and very likely to be the case on free/open src packages)

That would probably look like crap though. Isn’t the PC expecting to send it out via VGA - even with an S-video connector? I know that computer output on TV looks like crap, I believe DVD would be the same.