The requirement for Seamless Branching and Menu Processing to play some DVD/BD/UHD

Discussion in 'Functions Operation Guidance' started by Nice Monkey, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Active Member

    Fortunately Egreat players do support Menu Processing on DVD, BD and UHD/4K discs (folders and ISO's). This is not only nice but it is also essential for some discs with more complex content.
    The Egreat players also support "Seamless Branching" which is another essential feature needed for the same special discs.

    Examples where these features are needed tells the story. A disc may contain multiple episodes or different cuts of the same movie. These are then put on different tracks on the disc. Without Menu processing to select the right track it is impossible to play these disc as mostly desired. This is the easiest variant as each video is still on an individualTrack using a single Stream.
    On a DVD it is not directly possible to see how many Streams and Playlists are being used but on BD, 3D-BD and UHD-BD this is easy to see by just looking into the respective folders. On most discs the main movie is a single Track using a single Stream (this is a very big file forming most of the total content).

    Players without Menu capabilities or when bypassing menu Processing (on players that offer that choice too) the media player will typically select the playlist with the longest duration. Most of the time the longest playlist is indeed what is desired and will play the desired Video completely. There are exceptions to this though and the likelihood is increasing especially with UHD-BD's now. The reason for using it more often on UHD is simple as the film-industry looks for simplification of their logistics and as such scrapped the 3 regions and different discs for standard versions and special cuts. They now put all versions on a single disc with many audio languages and even more subtitle languages.
    - There may be a supplement/extra on the disc which in fact is longer in duration that the actual movie. One will then get e..g. "The making of that movie" instead of the actual movie.
    - Another problem is when there are special versions of the movie on the disc. A good example is "The Magnificent Seven 2016" which has a standard version and a special version with directors+actors comment inserted into the original movie. Obviously this version with comments is by far the longest one and will be played.
    Some players without menu processing have an option to select playlists by length. Despite being not very fancy this works remarkable well in most cases described (Xtreamer eXpress is an example).

    Next to this movies may have multiple versions/cuts of the same movie on the disc using individual streams for any deleted/added/changed scenes on the various cuts. Menu selection options will enable the viewer to select the desired version like: Theaterical Cut, Extended Edition, International Version or Directors Cut. This technique was rarely used on DVD, occasionally on BD, I think never on 3D-BD but regularly now on UHD-BD.
    The actual playback runs via a matching Playlist which pieces all corresponding streams of the played cut together. Obviously the media player must now being capable to jump multiple streams on the disc without causing any interruption of the playback. This capability is called Seamless Branching and as mentioned before already exists since the introduction of DVD. Not all media players do support seamless branching e.g. Zidoo players still will show a very visible glitch when jumping streams. The Egreat players do this correctly.

    The story does not end here as lately we see also discs with "playlist obfuscation" on it. Also here the cut is crafted using multiple streams but not to support multiple cuts but just to jeopardize playback on media players. Typically they create multiple (can be very many) playlists with the same length using all streams but all except one being in the wrong order/sequence. So when playing these discs without proper menu processing there is a very high chance that one gets the wrong sequence on some places when watching which is extremely irritating. Also one needs to find out which is the correct playlist to re-mux such a movie into an movie-only copy. "The Age of Adeline" is a good example of a disc with playlist obfuscation on it. Again here both Menu Processing plus Seamless Branching are essential features for correct playback.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    Rita likes this.
  2. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Active Member

    Removed the remark about problems with UHD BD Menus. In fact I found just one being "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" which will hang on the menu. All my other media players including PowerDVD17 have problems with this ISO. I am not sure of the root-cause. It could also be the image itself?
  3. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Active Member

    The Menu for BD Avatar Extended Edition will process but when selecting Play (for any version) it will not start playing.
    The BD Menu for "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" in fact worked on the current FW.
    Not all BD and UHD Menus are working today but most do.

    @samantha-mima no idea what you are saying here?

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