What’s the point in DVD technology if I can’t skip ads?

I remember the days when I would go to the local video rental store to rent movies on VHS tapes. At the beginning of each tape would be a string of advertisements for movies that are somewhat related to the main movie on the tape and a whole lot of copy right notices. So I would press fast forward until I got the the beginning of the movie.

Then comes the age of the DVD. The first DVD player my dad bought was bought at a street stall in Thailand, and somehow we never managed to get it to play a single DVD. Eventually we did get a DVD player that actually plays DVDs, and I thought it was awesome, I could pop in a DVD and not have to stand by the VCR while fast-forwarding all the copyright stuff and trailers! But then again, back then, most of the DVDs I watched were pirated copies that my dad bought in Malaysia.

DVD technology not only makes movies more compact (no more bulky VHS tapes), it allows one to skip back and forth in an instant. Want to re-watch the movie? No need to spend ages rewinding the tape, just go back to the menu, or press the 'back' button a few times.

Now I have what I think is a fairly large collection of legally obtained and legitimate DVDs. I spent more than $4000 on anime DVDs, and hundreds more on TV series, movies and documentaries on DVD.

I purchased those DVDs so that I could watch the main feature. I did not buy them to watch copyright notices and advertisements. DVD technology allows you to skip what you don't want to watch, but I find that on many of the DVDs that I have purchased (mainly DVDs with origins in the US), I can't skip those copyright notices or the advertisements. I find it frustrating that even though the DVD manufacturer could've given the consumer the option to skip the copyright notices and advertising, they chose to force them to watch it.

"Movie Piracy – It's a Crime"

The most irritating unskippable advertisement would be the anti-piracy advertisements that equate movie piracy with stealing a physical object. I spend $20 to $30 on a legitimate DVD only to be forced to watch TL;DR copyright notices and an annoying advertisement about how piracy is a crime. I really doubt that anyone will see that advertisement and think "OMG! I must immediately cancel all my pirate movie downloads!". Thus such advertisements have no effect on those who download movies illegally, and only serves to annoy people who purchased DVDs legally.

Ideally, when I put in a DVD, it will go straight to the main menu where I can choose to go straight to the main feature, and any copyright notices, advertisements and company logos that the DVD manufacturer insists on including would be accessed via a menu option and everything can be skipped if I choose to do so. Sigh… one can dream…

One thought on “What’s the point in DVD technology if I can’t skip ads?”

  1. Hm, I know what problem, too. German DVDs are the same, but depending on which player one uses, sometimes you can either skip the whole scene, wind forward or go straight to the menu via menu key. Sometimes you also can press a number (if your remote has some) to jump in the middle of the movie just to press menu there, in order to skip the ads. An even easier way would be AnyDVD, which removes all that crap when you watch it on your PC… for a while I really thought about copying every DVD I bought with AnyDVD+CloneDVD just to remove the ads, but in the end it's not worth the effort and extra money you spend

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