I thought when they first came out, that DVDs were the greatest thing since the remote control! Just think about what potential that they have. You never had to rewind again, you can store lots of DVDs in the space of one VHS tape, and the DVD would last virtually for ever. And best of all you can freeze frame and slow motion anything with out the jumpy tracking that VHS tapes had. The DVD is, in almost every measurable sense, a better format for movies than the VHS.

Except for one thing…..


Who is the genius in Hollywood that decided that you need to force the person that paid $20.00 or more for a DVD watch 10-20 minutes of previews, and artsy introductions before you can watch the damn movie? And does any one care how many layers of productions, films and studios there are? And why does each layer seam to have to a small special effect production to convey the studios name?

I especially hate the previews to up-coming films that you can’t avoid. The older DVDs would let you step past the previews, now all you can do is fast forward and even that is being blocked. It’s an adventure every time you pick up the remote, will the movie allow you to go strait to the menu or do I have to fast forward or can I skip the ones I don’t like? Will it be stuck on subtitles that you can’t remove with out a half an hour of study? How often do you have to poke and hope with the remote control to find the magic combination that will start the show? Let’s see do I hit the play button then the skip button then the menu, oops now I have to hit play again, nope that just brings it back to the menu, so I have to scroll past the preview then hit Ok or is it next? Damn, I’ll just give it to my teenager to figure out.

I find myself just starting the DVD, and walking away from the damn thing. I have time to go to the kitchen, make up a bowel of ice cream, do the dishes, make coffee for tomorrow morning, put away the laundry, and make sure the house is locked up. Then I can go down stairs and find that the movie is ready to play. I hit the play button only to have to wait through 5 minutes of artsy credits before the movie.

It’s just a shame, a wonderful format was developed for movies, it is next to free to manufacture in materials, can’t be erased by accident, and there is no re-winding necessary. Then they program all the usability out of the format in the search for more advertising money. I would pay extra for a DVD that was re-formatted so it was more user friendly.

Here are my specs for the extra special edition,

You can call it the PF no BS edition

1. Make the DVD case the same size as a CD case.

2. When the DVD drawer closes don’t do anything else. Don’t switch channels, don’t start the adds, don’t’ do anything. Be patient and just sit there and wait. I have a remote control with a play button; don’t do anything until I hit a button.

3. When I hit play, that’s exactly what I want it to do. Play the damn movie.

4. If I want to see previews, special features, options for the director to talk about his ideas while filming, or any other damn thing, I will hit the menu button. Until the button is pressed don’t do a thing but play the movie.

Maybe the best tool for this is a <skip the BS> button.

That would be the most used button in my house, except for maybe the delete key on my pc.



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