How to navigate your DVD?

Navigating your DVD within a software player is quite easy: Just point your mouse to the desired button and click. The mouse pointer changes when you hover over a button and the button highlights appear. When it comes to playing the DVD in a hardware player, things look a bit different, so here's an introduction about navigating your DVD with the remote control of your DVD-Player.

The Main Menu (aka as VMGM)

nav demo vmgm When you insert the DVD into your player, the first thing, you will see, is the Main or VMGM Menu. From here you can select which title you'd like to play (if your DVD has more than one title), start a title immediately or you can jump directly to one of the titleset menus.

All buttons of the menu reside inside the translucent button panel in the bottom-left corner of the menu and they are organized in two "layers" - a "titleset selection layer" and a "titleset feature layer". Here's an illustrated sample menu to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Clicking on the picture opens a larger view in a new window, I suggest letting this window open while you read on.

The titleset selection layer

Inside the button panel, you'll find a list of the titles contained in your DVD. It has at least two entries, one for each title you authored and the addtional "...about dvdwizard" at the bottom. The active title is highlighted in orange w

hile all other entries are white. In addition, you see the Preview-Picture for the active title as background image.

When the VMGM menu is first displayed, you will find yourself in the titleset selection layer with the first title highlighted. You can navigate through the titleset selection layer by pressing the up and down keys of your remote control. When you press the "down" key, the next title will be shown in orange and the background image will change as well, the same applies to the "up" key accordingly. Depending on your hardware player, it may take a few moments, before the change appears.

Apart from selecting a title, you can start playing the selected title directly from here, just by pressing the "Play" key on your remote control. No need to change to the titleset feature layer for this.

Changing between layers

If you like to access certain features of a titleset prior to starting the title itself, you need to change into the "titleset feature layer" . This is done by pressing the "left" key on your remote control. As a result, you will find the "Play Movie" button highlighted in orange with a translucent background.

To get back to the titleset selection layer, just press the "left" key on your remote. The highlighting of the titleset feature button will disappear and you may again select another title with the up and down keys.

The titleset feature layer

Inside the titleset feature layer, you may either start playing the selected title or access one of the titlesets menus. There are at least two buttons for every titleset - "Play Movie" and "Select Chapter". Additional buttons will appear depending on your mpeg stream and options supplied when calling dvdwizard.

When you enter the titleset feature layer, you will find the "Play Movie" button highlighted. By pressing the "down" key on your remote control, you may select the next button, vice versa for the "up" key. Once the desired button is highlighted, just press the "Play" key on your remote to jump to the intended menu or start playing the title.

Here's a list of all possible buttons in the titleset feature layer along with information under which circumstances they are available: 

 

Play Button

Play Movie Button
Start selected title from the beginning
Always available     

Select Chapter Button

Select Chapter Button
Jump to chapter selection menu of selected titleset
Always available 

Select Audio Button

Select Audio Button
Jump to audio track selection menu of selected titleset
Only available for titles with more than one audio track 

Select Subtitle Button

Select Subtitle Button
Jump to subtitle track selection menu of selected titleset
Only available if option "-s | --subpic" was specified for this titleset when calling dvdwizard 

Show Information Button

Show Information Button
Displays informational text panel about selected titleset
Only available if option "-i | --info" was specified for this titleset when calling dvdwizard 

The Titleset Menus (aka VTSM menus)

A titleset on a DVD groups together one or more titles and the corresponding menus. For dvdwizard, I chose to use only single-title titlesets as I haven't come across a situation, where I would have needed more than one title in a titleset.

A titleset on a dvdwizanav demo vtsmrd-authored DVD will always have at least one menu - the chapter selection menu. More menus may be available to select audio and/or subtitle tracks or show an information panel. All of these menus have the same layout and therefore, I will only explain the navigation scheme for the chapter selection menu. You will easily be able to transpond this on the other menus.

 Again, here is an illustrated menu screenshot which opens a larger window if you click on it.

In the titleset menus, we have three different navigation layers. From top to bottom, we have a "multipurpose layer", outlined in green (in case ot the chapter selection menu, it holds the chapter thumbnails), a "menu navigation layer", outlined in yellow and a "menu target layer", outlined in red.

When a titleset menu is displayed for the first time, it will always have a highlighted "Return" button (in the middle of the menu navigation layer). Just by pressing the "Play" key on your remote control, you may leave the menu immediately to where you called it from.

Changing between the different layers is pretty straight-forward: Just hit the up or down key on your remote control and you will see one of the buttons in another layer highlighted. 

The Multipurpose Layer

The multipurpose layer of the titleset menus holds all the buttons needed for the specific task of the particular menu. For the chapter selection menu it contains the chapter thumbnails to chose the desired chapter from, for the audio and subtitle selection menu it holds the list of available tracks. It can even contain no buttons at all in case of the info panel, which isn't a menu in the common sense.

Inside the multipurpose layer you navigate through the available buttons with the cursor keys of your remote control.  When you press the down key on a button at the bottom of the multipurpose layer, you will change to the menu navigation layer with the "Return" button highlighted.

The Menu Navigation Layer

The menu Navigation Layer is mainly for multi-page menus, when there is more information than fits on a single page. This may be the case for the chapter selection menu and the information panel. If there are more than one page for a menu, you will see arrows in circles in the top-left and/or top-right corner of the button panel at the bottom of the screen. Wehn you see those arrows and you are inside the Menu Navigation Layer (that is when the "Return" button is highlighted), you may step to the next or previous menu page just be pressing the right or left key on your remote control.

For single page menus, those arrow buttons are not available and there will be only the "Return" button in the Menu Navigation Layer. This button will take you back to where you called the actual menu from, e.g. if you called the menu from a running movie with a key on your remote control, you will get back to that point in the movie, where you left it, if called from a menu, you'll get back to that menu.

The Menu Target Layer

The Menu Target Layer holds a number of text buttons, one for each menu that is accessible from the actual displayed menu. The actual menu is displayed in the layer as well, but it is shown in green and doesn't work as a button.

There will always be at least one target button in the layer - the DVD-Menu button. This button will take you back to the DVD Main Menu (VMGM) from where you may choose another titleset.

Other target buttons will be available if the corresponding title has additional features, such as multiple audio tracks, subtitles or an information panel. To navigate to the intended button, just press the down key on your remote control until you enter the Menu Target Layer and then choose your button with the left and right keys. Press "Play" and you will be forwarded to the chosen menu page.

Conclusion 

So far for the navigation concept in the menus of dvdwizard when you watch your DVD in your stand-alone hardware player. I hope you got a key to how your DVD will work and have not gotten to confused by all the layers available.

If you still can't figure out how to get your DVD running with the remote control or should you encounter any problems, just post your concerns to the dvdwizard mailing list. 

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