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DVD studio Pro menu button issue....

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George MacCallum
DVD studio Pro menu button issue....
on Mar 3, 2008 at 1:13:06 pm


I know this is a simple thing, but... When i'm in one of my menus on the DVD, whenever i press the menu button it goes to the first play film, not menu 1, which is what i want.

Also if i'm playing a film from a track, then i go back into the menu (not reaching the end of the track), if i press the menu button it continues playing the track where it left it.

It's all very simple stuff.. surely there should be a "choose what you want the menu button to do", but i cant find it!!!!

I'm using DVD studio Pro 4.



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Bill Stephan
Re: DVD studio Pro menu button issue....
on Mar 3, 2008 at 6:10:48 pm

You can't fight the DVD Spec!

When you press MENU on the DVD remote, it goes to the Title Set menu if you were playing program material. Press MENU again and it resumes playing the program where it left off. That is what is supposed to happen according to spec. If you are sitting on a menu and press the MENU key having not yet played any program material, technically there is no place to resume to (essentially an undefined operation), so most DVD players will play the program in the first title set while a few others will crash or stop. You want MENU to take you to a higher-level menu, but that is not the way the DVD spec works, nor does DVDSP work this way.

Normally, the highest-level menu lives in the Video Manager (accessed by the TITLE or TOP MENU keys) and the next lower menu is the Title Set Menu (accessed by the MENU key). The problem with all of this is you cannot build menus this way in DVDSP. It creates its own non-standard menu structure. So you need to be careful that you provide all the links in the menus for where your viewers need to navigate to.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City

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Trai Forrester
Re: DVD studio Pro menu button issue....
on Mar 4, 2008 at 11:28:03 am

Whooa there, Bill!

You were doing pretty good until you said "You can't fight the DVD Spec" :-).

For sure, George, the way your project is currently set up, the menu remote key will resume back to the last Title location played (spot in the Track), unless you disable it. It may take some getting used to, and some project planning to live with it, but that's the way it is. But if I may correct Bill - Trying to Resume without resume information is clearly defined by DVD Spec;

DVD Specifications for Read Only Disc - VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS, 3.3 System Model,, page VI3-19:

"...if there is no RSM Information (this is possible if the Menu is called by JumpSS or from Stop State), the player stops. (Same as Exit Instruction)"

That's an exact quote, parenthesis and all; so be sure to pick up some resume information before your menus play for the first time, and make sure you've got your startup action to either mimic or account for what the player does when starting up from stop - As your First Play setting in DVD SP or any authoring system is only relevant when the disc is inserted for the first time, i.e., start from stop ignores even the most mundane to most elaborate First Play authoring sequence.

Anyway, back to the subject -

For those authors who just can't stand it, they can get control of the remote Menu key, and program it to traverse up and down menu hierarchies, etc. It just takes some work (and not fighting the "spec" :-). Several major Titles were authored this way and they work great.

Placing your menus in the Title domain (Track) is how it's done; because then, the 'obvious' happens when the remote menu key is operated, even while in a 'Menu'; navigation jumps (Call System) to the 'Root Menu Program Chain (PGC) in the adjacent Video Title Set Menu Domain, where then, DVD SP's abstraction layer auto-programming in that PGC's pre-command area, will link to another nearby 'dummy PGC' (your script) that can have a whole slew of "conditional' commands waiting to route navigation.

True, it would be better to set this type of structure and programming up in the Scenarist authoring program, or, redo DVD SP's commands with DVDAfterEdit, for various reasons - Better button highlight control- leaner code, etc.; but it can be done in DVD Studio Pro only, and some have thought the lag time acceptable - kinda like layered menus.

But if I may correct another statement by Bill -

"The problem with all of this is you cannot build menus this way in DVDSP. It creates its own non-standard menu structure".

It is very possible to build Menus in the Title Domain with DVD SP and you can get control of the remote Menu key this way, as I mentioned, but the idea that DVD SP somehow creates a "non standard menu structure" is simply against the facts.

DVD SP's project Menus are set up, by default, write this down - exactly like over a huge percentage of Scenarist and Toshiba authoring system created discs out there are structured. Identical. Grab a stack of Hollywood movies off your shelf and Trace out their commands and take a look at their structure.

For various reasons, most of the professional Scenarist authoring community has been loathe to place the Title Menu and other Menus in the Video Manager Domain; preferring instead to place them in the Video Title Set Menus - usually VTSM 1, just like DVD SP does. These authors will allocate their menus to other VTS's, for sure, and you can do that too in DVD Studio Pro. The Video Manager is used mostly for routing with dummy PGCs.

One reason these pro's shun the Video Manager for all but multiple language warning screens, and other startup video clips, is that no CSS encryption can be applied to the Video Manager, leaving cool menu designs 'unprotected'. But I've heard 'superstitious' reasons as well - Pro's worrying about compatibility if their menus are in there. They need fear not, Astarte DVDirector and DVD Studio Pro 1.x put all the menus all those years in the Video Manager! Those authoring systems had issues, but placing all the Menus in the Video Manager wasn't one of them. Good discs made from that authoring system played in everything (if they would start up :-)

And as far as your last comment Bill, after you said after about DVD SP's supposed non standard menu structure creates the need to - "be careful that you provide all the links in the menus for where your viewers need to navigate to." Shouldn't menus have navigation buttons that link and go to all relevent places, no matter what DVD authoring system is employed?

Anyway, good luck on your project, George.

Take care,


Trai Forrester
TFDVD Research Labs
Entering 10 years of full-time, professional DVD Studio Pro troubleshooting and support

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