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  1.    #1  
    I just got a new RCA DVD Player for Christmas. On the one hand I enjoy the picture quality, the Stereo sound, not having commercials, or having to rewind tapes.

    On the other hand the seeming lack of standardized controls is driving me insane. Some videos start with subtitles automatically. On some movies many of the functions on my remote seem to be disabled. And some videos have on-screen instructions with lettering so small that I can't read it on a 20" television.

    The kids are watching Chicken Run right now with subtitles because I can't use the control marked "subtitles" to actuate (it works fine on most movies, with Annie it defaults to subtitles but atleast allows me to turn the damn things off). I used the Ir monitor app on my VDX to make confirm that the remote was working.

    Is it me, the machine, the remote, or do some DVDs simply have poorly/faulty designed interfaces?
  2. #2  
    or do some DVDs simply have poorly/faulty designed interfaces?
    IMHO, *all* DVDs have poorly designed interfaces.

    Add to that the meaningless 'extras' they put on some of these disks, the annoying sound loops, and the mandatory warnings you have to view each and every time, and you begin to appreciate the old VCR tapes with PLAY, STOP, and FAST FORWARD.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by Keefer Lucas
    Is it me, the machine, the remote, or do some DVDs simply have poorly/faulty designed interfaces?
    I would start with the DVD Settings... it should be some sort of on-screen display menu that controls the default settings of the player itself. My Pioneer allows me to set Subtitle Off as a system-wide setting, though the manual states "some discs display subtitles even if the Subtitle Display setting is set to off". None of the DVD's we've watched thus far have had auto-subtitles displayed.

    I will agree that there doesn't appear to be any standard for the way DVD's are "packaged", meaning every discs' menu structure is different. When even the kids can't figure it out, you know there's a problem.
    .
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    MarkEagle
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  4. #4  
    you're right that some dvds have very poor interfaces. however, i do feel that the interfaces are improving, on the whole, as the media is more widely accepted. on the early dvds, you couldn't skip over, for instance, the trailers or promos at the beginning. nowadays on most dvds, you can. however, no dvds allow you to skip over the fbi warning.

    as for the subtitles, it sounds to me like either

    a. your player has some default settings which you have not set (turning subtitles off).

    b. your player is defective

    i have rented hundreds of dvds over the past two years and have never had a disc that i couldn't turn the subtitles off on. i did have one disc (can't remember what it was), where subtitles came on once or twice (for one "speech") and then vanished--but that only happened with the one disc.

    i have watched chicken run on dvd and there were no subtitles (my player defaults to "no subtitles").

    for the most part, i think the format is fantastic. in my living room i have a beta machine, a vhs, a laserdisc player, and a dvd. dvd is by far the best format, in my opinion. people will argue the merits of resolution and sound till the cows come home but for my money, the convenience, ease of use, and low cost of dvd makes it the winner.

    if you absolutely cannot get the subtitles to turn off on your discs (and chicken run is positively able to be watched without them), then your player is dogged. check www.epinions.com or do a google search for your player and model. if the subtitles thing is not mentioned in anyone's review, i'd say your player in particular is screwy. if anyone mentions the subtitles thing, i'd take the player back and switch it for another model.

    pioneer and sony make excellent dvd players.

    mc
  5. #5  
    I've got a RCA, turn it on without a disc inserted and you'll get the menu screen, at least on mine you do - it's 1 - 1/5 years old though
  6. #6  
    Posted by mensachicken
    you're right that some dvds have very poor interfaces. however, i do feel that the interfaces are improving, on the whole, as the media is more widely accepted. on the early dvds, you couldn't skip over, for instance, the trailers or promos at the beginning. nowadays on most dvds, you can. however, no dvds allow you to skip over the fbi warning.
    I have a Panasonic player that lets me skip over the FBI warnings. I surprised me at first, but I have grown the take it for granted. I believe some of the early model Apex players could also skip the FBI warning, but the government got on them about it. These were the same players that did not adhear to the regional codes.

    Have you heard of the stunt Disney pulled? They placed previews and commercials inside the track used for the FBI warning... so you had to watch them every time you loaded the DVD. They did this with the Tarzan DVD.
    "Take me where my future's lyin', St. Elmo's Fire." - John Parr
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by Tonewiz2k


    I believe some of the early model Apex players could also skip the FBI warning, but the government got on them about it. These were the same players that did not adhear to the regional codes.

    Ahhh, you gotta love APEX!!, a few family members got Apex DVD players this year for Christmas, to which I easily disabled the region restrictions, RCE and macrovision.
    Last edited by EricG; 01/06/2002 at 06:31 PM.
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  8.    #8  
    Originally posted by mensachicken

    as for the subtitles, it sounds to me like either

    a. your player has some default settings which you have not set (turning subtitles off).
    bmc
    Indeed, the underlying preferences were set to "Subtitle". I was able to switch this off and solve the problem. Yet my point remains largely the same (though many thanks for steering me in this direction). Some DVD's would allow me to turn off the subtitles using my remote, others didn't show any subtitles (undoubtedly they didn't have any), while Chicken Run wouldn't let me access the subtitle feature at all -- I had to remove the DVD, and access the machine's preference settings without a disk in it. There just doesn't seem any consistency to it (and the default on my machine was pre-set to show subtitles...how odd). I imagine thousands of older americans watching movies with insipid subtitles and no idea how to get them the hell off the screen.

    And the first AOL Subscribing/Harvard Educated marketing genius who boldly proclaims "Hey, we can force viewers to watch all our previews...and some laundry detergent ads too!!" should be hung out and shot.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by Keefer Lucas

    And the first AOL Subscribing/Harvard Educated marketing genius who boldly proclaims "Hey, we can force viewers to watch all our previews...and some laundry detergent ads too!!" should be hung out and shot.
    Funny you should mention this, I was talking to some of my home theater techno savvy friends about the future of digital television and digital (type) vcr's, and the thought was raised that with the method they are using to encode and transmit HDTV/digital television signals, it would be pretty easy for them embed a code in the transmission to disable any functions of a digital vcr, such as record, or pause, skip etc.. for example, they could disable the record function so you could not record a movie off of a pay per view station or pay channel such as HBO, or prevent you from skipping over commercials in a tv show you recorded, in theory any function of your tv or VCR could be co-opted by a code in the signal, what you are experiencing with your DVD player is only the beginning.... The (digital) future looks very grim indeed.
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  10.    #10  
    Originally posted by EricG

    ...what you are experiencing with your DVD player is only the beginning.... The (digital) future looks very grim indeed.
    In my mind it all started when the web powers that be allowed HTML scripts (or Active X, or whatever the hell they use) to disable back buttons, address windows, close windows, etc. Since when do third-parties get to dictate how I manage the interface of a product that I own outright?

    Has the world forsaken the concept of "Consumer Rights"?
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by Keefer Lucas


    Has the world forsaken the concept of "Consumer Rights"?
    Ever try to skip over the FBI warning on a DVD? Most DVD players cough up an error like this: THIS FUNCTION IS NOT ALLOWED AT THIS TIME

    (expect to see alot more of that type of error message in the future)


    Apparently, the answer is yes, under the guise of content management and by other terms such as "digitally secure".

    I stumbled on an article the other day (don't have the link handy - wish I had it) but the gist of it was , that companies, specifically record companies in this case are in violation of a (1979?) law by putting copyright control on recently released audio cd's. The thing is, they all get a percentage of all blank media sales as compensation for the unauthorized home duplication that goes on as allowed under fair-use, but by blocking consumers ability to copy (aka move files to portable mp3 players and the like) they are in violation of their agreement because they are still taking their cut of the blank media sales while preventing people from copying the cds. I guess congress is starting to become aware of this issue and may look into it...
    Last edited by EricG; 01/08/2002 at 12:17 AM.
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  12. #12  
    I guess congress is starting to become aware of this issue and may look into it...
    That has got to be the most uplifting thing I have heard about our judicial system in a long time! I'll be walking with a bounce in my step today.
    "Take me where my future's lyin', St. Elmo's Fire." - John Parr
  13. #13  
    For those interested, Here is a mention of that news item in The Register, not the same article I read but the same topic:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/23587.html
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  14. #14  
    I guess congress is starting to become aware of this issue and may look into it...
    They are the ones that let it get this bad in the first place. I doubt they will do anything significant to change this. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (or whatever it is called) is simply appalling...granting companies outrageous rights at the expense of consumer freedoms.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  15. #15  
    I skip past the FBI warning with my APEX DVD player, no customization needed. The only thing that chaps my *** is having spent another $30 for an RF modulator on top of the $75 for the DVD player so I could funnel the signal through my VCR (because my cheap TV only has one RF jack). The signal is still scrambled when the VCR is on - which is irritates me to no end. I'd rather stretch a $5 tape than scratch a $25 DVD.

    The asinine thing is: there are dozens of ways I could either acquire or distribute a movie for little to nothing.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  16. #16  
    More corporate nonsense:

    Studios nearing anti-copying tech for TV

    "As broadcast TV turns digital this year, studios are looking for ways to control how shows are recorded and traded, and they are proposing technologies that could ultimately bar consumers from freely recording TV programs from the airwaves. "

    This is what I was talking about a few messages back..

    http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200...html?tag=mn_hd
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  17. #17  
    On my computer I can skip over the FBI warning...I believe the DVD on the TV can do it when clicking the menu button...
  18.    #18  
    Thats wishful thinking on my RCA system. Hell, I can't even go straight to the menu screen....Disney forces you to watch the previews (although you can fast forward them, which you can't do for the FBI warning).

    One thing thats funny on one of my disks....you get the standard FBI warning...followed by an additional plain text warning that implores you not to copy the material. Its almost like being taunted.

    Where are the script kiddies when you need a firmware cheat for your DVD player?
  19. #19  
    Originally posted by Keefer Lucas

    Where are the script kiddies when you need a firmware cheat for your DVD player?
    There out there, you just have to turn over a few rocks to find em..
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams

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