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June 5, 2007

'Why do store-bought DVD movies always seem to have a noticeable pause at some point during the film?'

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That was the question addressed to J.D. Biersdorfer in his "Q&A" feature in the Circuits section of the April 19, 2007 New York Times.

I've noticed this also — it seems to happen about two-thirds of the way through the movie.

The answer follows.

    Pauses Are Normal in DVD Movies

    A standard DVD can hold about 4.7 gigabytes of data on a single layer on one side of the disc. To fit the movie and all the extra features on a single disc, many commercial DVDs have two layers of data on one side of the disc, doubling its capacity.

    When a dual-layer disc needs to switch to the next layer of information, a pause usually occurs, sometimes in the middle of a film scene. Some DVD boxes even carry the fine-print warning, "Layer transition may trigger a slight pause."

June 5, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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