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CS4 DVD preview error with menu duration set and no video/audio selected

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James Lummel
CS4 DVD preview error with menu duration set and no video/audio selected
on Jan 23, 2009 at 8:50:35 am

I was checking to see if a bug I ran across in Encore CS3 existed in CS4 and found that this bug creates a Preview problem in CS4, though the DVD will play properly when rendered (unlike in CS3, the DVD would NOT work in half of the DVD settop players tested or in PowerDVD on a computer when the bug was present).

Here is how to create a test project (in both CS3 and CS4) for testing for this bug:

1. Open new NTSC project (not sure about PAL)
2. Grab a still menu from the library, no animated buttons (should be set 'First Play')
3. Import a short video as a timeline, set end action as 'Return to last menu'
4. Add as many chapter points to the timeline as there are buttons on the menu (spaced evenly)
5. Set menu 'end action' as Chapter 1 of the timeline
6. In the Motion tab for the menu, set 'Duration' to 00;01;30;00, uncheck 'Hold Forever' and set 'Loop#' to None.
7. Link each button to a chapter on the timeline
8. Save project and preview. Render out and play in PowerDVD (if you have it), you could laso use a R/W disc for test in a settop player.

This is a very simple project with 1 menu and 1 timeline, and after the menu is displayed for 1 minute and 30 seconds it should automatically start playing the timeline and return to the menu when done.

In Encore CS3 this project Previews OK, but the DVD disc created hangs at the menu in almost half of the settop boxes it's played in and 100% of the time when played on a computer with PowerDVD software. We found this out AFTER about a 1000 dvds had been replicated BTW!

In Encore CS4 the rendered DVD disk plays fine in the settop boxes I tested it with (even one known to not work with the CS3 DVD) and in PowerDVD. But when I preview it in Encore, moving between the buttons using the player arrows starts playing the timeline without selecting a button and using the mouse to directly click a menu button will NOT jump to that chapter but will start playing the beginning of the timeline (it's actually executing the DVD menu's end action when this happans). Once written to a DVD it plays fine though.

The menu times out ok when previewing, after 1:30 it starts playing the timeline and then returns to the menu afterwards.

Has anyone else tried this out on their CS3 or CS4 and run into the same problem? In CS3 the work around to allow the DVDs to operate properly in all settop DVD players was to add the menu background as the Video in the Motion tab, and to set the Audio to a 1:30 silence audio clip. This forced the menu to become an animated menu (using just a 1:30 second silence clip alone WILL NOT work!!, you need the video and a BMP file will do), but took up valuable DVD disc space I sometimes can't afford (I do 3 and 4 hour DVDs at times).

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Jeff Bellune
Re: CS4 DVD preview error with menu duration set and no video/audio selected
on Jan 23, 2009 at 12:20:51 pm

Your results aren't surprising - motion menus require something animated. Video and/or audio.

A motion menu with nothing isn't a motion menu, and to expect it to behave as such is unrealistic.

You might consider adding a Feature Request on the Adobe web site to allow static menus to time out.


The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0

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James Lummel
Re: CS4 DVD preview error with menu duration set and no video/audio selected
on Jan 23, 2009 at 6:34:29 pm

Thanks for the reply Jeff, but a menu with a duration isn't a motion menu! It's a menu with a timeout, and Encore versions 1.0, 1.5 & 2.0 worked fine with a duration but no audio or video settings (as long as 'Hold Forever' wasn't checked, as this would hang at the menu on some settop boxes which were unable to handle the conflicting directives). It also works with most other DVD authoring software to have a menu timeout as well, it's part of the DVD spec.

Then in CS3 the DVD previewed fine in Encore but hung when played on PowerDVD and many settop boxes when a menu duration was set (in the same manner that leaving 'Hold Forever' while setting a 'Duration' did in previous versions, though different DVD players were affected).

Now in CS4 the DVDs play fine in settop DVD players and in PowerDVD, but won't preview properly. Selecting anything other than the current button results in the end action being executed.

This is a bug, not a feature as earlier version of Encore handled this properly! This bug was introduced when Blu-ray authoring was added to Encore - which, with things like pop-up menus, handles menus differently than DVD does. Though they fixed the DVD scripting part in CS4 over the errors introduced in CS3, now Encore won't preview a menu with a duration properly as it did on all 4 previous versions (1.0, 1.5, 2.0 & CS3).

My question is has anyone else encountered this bug and is there a work-around? Using the test project I descibe can others recreate the situation I encountered?

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