DVD layer changes

What is it with DVD authoring that the production houses can’t put the layer changes somewhere sensible, like preferably between scenes where there’s no sound? Looking through Michaeldvd.com.au’s reviews, they note a variety of stupidly placed layer changes:

  • The Princess Bride — The layer change is at 49:58 – it is not a good layer change, because it interrupts the score, but it only lasts a moment. The R1 Special Edition has a far better layer change – it’s inside a silent black frame after Westley is knocked unconscious.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? — The pause is a little jarring and noticeable
  • Virus — This is during a natural fade to black, but it is still quite noticeable due to the interruption to the music.

With TV series on DVD, most authors do the sensible thing and put the layer change between the episodes. But sometimes, evidently from pure laziness, they just let it fall elsewhere.

  • The Office — For some reason, the layer change does not occur between Episodes 3 and 4 (as I would have expected) but about 3:57 into Episode 4 (Title 4, Chapter 1).
  • Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em volume 2 — This is an RSDL disc, and once again the DVD authors have inexplicably put the layer change within one of the episodes instead of between them.
  • Empires-Peter & Paul and the Christian Revolution — This disc is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change occurring at 2:30 in Episode II – a crazy and infuriating place to put it when it could have more easily and logically been placed in between the two episodes.

Given it’s a well-known drawback of dual layer DVDs, surely it’s not that hard to put the change somewhere where it won’t be noticed. Crap layer changes really destroy the atmosphere of a movie or TV show, and show up a big flaw in what otherwise is a very satisfying and popular domestic playback medium.

1 thought on “DVD layer changes

  1. Tim McVeigh

    Michaeldvd are the dictionary definition of puusies.

    It’s always “They put the laver change in the worst possible place, jarring the scene, mood and score… BUT IT’S NOT TOO ANNOYING.”

    Empty sack.

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