Operation Currently Prohibited by Disc

DVD Operation Prohibited

My wife and I watch a TV show or movie together on DVD a few times a week. DVD players are great, aren’t they? You just pop in the disc and can immediately skip to anywhere in the production or fast forward or fast rewind or whatever – all with the push of a button or two. So much easier to navigate than those clunky VHS contraptions were, right? Except… every time I put in a DVD and try to skip to the content, I get this annoying message!

Wait a minute – MY DVD player, MY remote, MY house, MY TIME! Who’s brilliant idea was it to take control away from me, the paying customer of the DVD player and rental DVD, and force me to wait an extra 20 seconds for the stupid FBI warning and then another 20 seconds for the production studio’s animated logo… and often another animated logo or two before I can watch the main attraction? This ain’t some movie theater where they can stick in 20 minutes of movie commercials (trailers) before showing the movie I just paid to get in and see… this is my house, my equipment, and MY very limited time!

There was actually more control with a VHS player. I had it worked out to a science – pop in rental movie, fast forward to the 6 minute mark, and then play. It was always the start of the movie on the tape – right there, 6 minute mark every time. No waiting for this or that. No being forced to watch FBI warnings or animated logos – just me choosing to do what I want and watch ONLY what I want. The fast forwarding took about 10 seconds, true, but that’s a bit more palatable than 40 or more seconds of warnings and studio logos.

Some of you may be wondering what’s the big deal. What is but one minute of my day, right? The point is not that they cost me the better part of a minute, the point is that some munch-head decided it was best to remove control from me, the paying customer, and stick me with with FBI warnings and animated logos that I don’t care to see. I’m well aware of the FBI regulations and fines and I don’t care how wonderfully animated studio logos are. I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to sit there waiting for them to finish. I want to press a button on my remote and get the show started. That’s why I paid money for the DVD player. That’s why I rented the DVD.

What gets me more is that some DVD’s will actually cut back to the FBI warning and animated logos and play them again if I continue pressing the menu button repeatedly – like it’s some kind of punishment for trying to get right to the content I paid to see. I swear I’m going to embed one of my heels in the TV one of these days. It really is irritating… over and over and over and over and over on every DVD every time all the same garbage. FBI warning… animated logo… another animated logo… and oh – FINALLY, I get to start watching the feature. Good thing they play that FBI warning because I’ve never ever seen it before in my life. Good thing I couldn’t fast forward through it for my own good, right? Good thing. Yeah.

Ok, so I’m just a tad annoyed about this. I doubt I’m alone though. Maybe you don’t get as annoyed when you get slapped with the annoying FBI warnings and animated logos each and every time, but I bet you’d rather just get to the main feature, wouldn’t you? You enjoy other people telling you how you can control your own devices in your own home?

Maybe it’s just my DVD player. It’s a Sony. If this is just a Sony thing, I’m SO done with Sony! Does your DVD player do this too? Who made yours?

I don’t have a Blu-ray player yet. Not in any rush to get one. Please tell me they didn’t pull the same garbage with those things.

14 thoughts on “Operation Currently Prohibited by Disc”

  1. Don’t know about the Blu-Ray,but every other dvd player does the same f****&%!! thing. Blame the movie industry-they’re still mad they lost the vcr recording issue 30 years ago

  2. They make DVD players that ignore regional coding, why don’t they make DVD players that bypass these disc operations just as easily?

    I have a small work-around. My DVD player remembers the stop position of the last ten discs I’ve watched. So if I have to stop in the middle of something & I’m not at a menu, the next time I start the disc will resume exactly where I left off. No wait times. It doesn’t help for first-time discs but helps considerably on DVDs with multiple programs, like TV series.

  3. I’m also using a Sony DVD player and I just got this error when trying to skip a promo preview. I never even realize the FBI and Studios logos, just gave them some slack without thinking that was part of the crap control technology.

    I think what this technology came out of was those old rumblings about the studios wanting to make laws that would force all dvd manufacturers to make previews and logos unskippable. If they couldn’t get the law passed, they would just pay the most prominent dvd player makers to implement something like this on their own time. I’ll never buy a Sony player again.

  4. We have bluray. Rentals do that, but purchased ones don’t. I guess it’s the rental agreement. Somewhere my husband read “hit stop stop play” – we’re into the movie now, so we’ll have to try it next time.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Joyce. :) Ours is just a regular DVD player and we usually just watch (mail delivered) rentals on it. Maybe that’s the key. I guess I can understand it being part of the rental agreement, in terms of coming from the perspective of the companies involved in licensing and distribution of content, BUT it really takes away from the user experience. When I sit down to watch a movie, I’m ready to watch the movie – NOT be advertised to or restricted in what I can and cannot do with MY device. I payed for the rental (through the service) and I’m NOT trying to be advertised to. It really infuriates me when I’m ready to watch a movie, AT HOME, on my nice big screen… and they have to waste my time with ad garbage I don’t want any part of… anyway, now I’m just ranting again.

      Stop, stop, play – I’ll have to remember that and give it a try next time. I hope that does the trick! :)

  5. I understand your frustration, Gabrielle. My wife and I stopped attending movies at the local mall theater because 20+ minutes of inane ads and trailers–with the sound cranked up to annoy even people with a hearing impairment–killed the fun. Now we’re getting a similar problem with netflix, although one strategy is to start the DVD player about 15 minutes before we want to watch, turn the sound off, and come back when the “Play Movie” option is available.
    Perhaps the “free market” will offer a solution–a DVD player that let’s the buyer run the show would have a distinct competitive edge.
    A related gripe is that Apple doesn’t let me sync my iPod Touch with all three of my MacBookPro laptops–the music is all from CDs I’ve bought. iTunes won’t even sync my own Calendar! (Perhaps I could with MobileMe, but I don’t want MobileMe.) It would be great to get these e-Himmlers off our backs.

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Mark. Funny you mention the “planning ahead” strategy with the DVD player. We’ve tried that tactic in the past, too, but it’s not always feasible to do so. In recent months, we’ve been doing more watching via streaming video rather than DVD’s. There are no time-wasting trailers or ads before the presentation that way. The streaming video selection isn’t as extensive as the mail-delivered DVD titles, so streaming video isn’t always an option, and the evil “operation prohibited by disc” message reins over our would-be entertainment time.

      I hear you with the whole Apple restriction thing. It is very similar in terms of not being able to enjoy that which you have paid for in the way you would prefer. Entertainment (that we pay to enjoy) should not come with such frustrating strings attached.

  6. this is only a problem with some of my dvds. some are disney, and are the only one’s that i have a problem with on my sony dvd player. I think that some of the disney movies like nemo or cars or w\e have the problem, but that just might be because they get money for getting previews and the preview guys pay more for having the operation prohibited. it’s all about money! some disney movies like pirates of the carribean have no iddues at all, but others have that because disney is being awkward. this is not only disney, but some of my other movies, like harry potter, have no control issues. you might be able to hack your dvds… but make a backup first.

  7. this is not your dvd player!!! this is just a disk company that agreed with the dvd player guys to make it so that they could have that restriction. sony just is a dvd player maker, and is only your disk that managed to get every body on the operation prohibited by disk train.

    1. Thanks for chiming in, George. :) Yeah, I understand the media companies and hardware manufacturers agreed to make it so we, the media consumers and paying viewers, could be held as a captive audience, in our own damn living rooms, while the DVD plays through a series of commercials. It’s good for the media companies at the expense of our own enjoyment. We’ve gotten in the habit of simply inserting the DVD well before we’re going to watch a show, and just letting it cycle through all the advertisements and movie trailers. When we’re ready to sit down and watch the main feature, we’ll just switch our TV over to the DVD input, and the main menu is ready to go. It’s a pain to have to remember to insert and power up the DVD 20 minutes before watching something, but at least we don’t have to sit and wait. For the record, we NEVER watch the trailers or commercials when the “operation prohibited by disc” attempts to turn us into a captive audience in our own living room. When we forget to start the DVD ahead of time, we simply go do something else or channel surf for a while.

  8. It’s bullsh*t. I thought oh yeah I’ll get a blu ray player and enjoy the technology. Every time I pause a movie for more than ten minutes, it turns itself off and then I have to sit through 20 minutes of crap just to get back to the menu so I can try and fast forward to find where I left off. By that time I just feel like smashing the tv. I paid for this f*cking thing, I don’t need to sit thru all this crap. I bought a paid subscription to Foxtel (Australia pay TV) so I don’t have to put up with ads on free to air. Then find out although I’m paying $100 a month, I’m getting just as many ads, so then I decide to cancel that and just rent dvd’s, now this. Can’t win. Ads Ads Ads Ads Ads more f*cking ads everywhere you turn. Tv, radio, on the roads, in the streets, in your email a million times a day, bus stop, on the bus, in the taxis, on the train, on your shopping receipts, in your postbox, on your phone, car windows, restaurant tables, bars, fuel pumps, in the f*cking sky, under the water, on the sports field, on every f*cking thing you buy, on everything you see, in everything you hear. I cannot STAND the radio or TV. No I don’t need a f*cking new pair of jeans or a lawyer or a deal on curtains. If I do I’ll find you. What is the world coming to? Please just F*ck offfffff!!!!!!!!

  9. This is a perfect illustration of how companies with monopoly or oligopoly power can force customers to buy things they don’t want. We should collectively rebel against this utter nonsense! I want a DVD/Blu-ray player that fast forwards WHENEVER THE H___ I WANT TO! Absolutely ridiculous!

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