DVD Player Preferences - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

The DVD Player application on your MacBook has a variety of settings that you can access and adjust via its Preferences window. To open the Preferences window, choose DVD Player→Preferences. This brings up the Preferences dialog.

This window consists of six panes:

  • Player: Settings that affect how DVD Player operates

  • Disc Setup: Settings for Audio, Subtitles, Language, and the Web

  • Full Screen: Settings that determine your full-screen viewing configuration

  • Windows: Settings for displaying on-screen information during playback

  • Previously Viewed: Settings that determine what happens when you load a DVD that you watched (or have started watching) already

  • High Definition: Settings that specify how high-definition video is displayed on your MacBook

Player settings in DVD Player

The Player settings take care of much of the automation within DVD Player.

  • When DVD Player Opens: These two check boxes affect what happens when you launch the DVD Player application. You can force DVD Player to play in Full-Screen mode and automatically begin playback every time you start the application.

  • When DVD Player Is Inactive: If you’re multitasking while watching your movie in windowed mode, you can click another window to make it active. This check box determines whether DVD Player will automatically pause while you’re working in that other application.

  • When a Disc Is Inserted: Besides automatic playback on startup, you can also make DVD Player start playing a disc automatically when the application is running already.

  • When Playing Using Battery: MacBook owners love this feature, since you can conserve power while using DVD Player by selecting this check box. The DVD Player will “spin down” the DVD whenever possible, which may cause a short delay when you fast forward or rewind.

  • When Muted: Do you answer a lot of telephone calls while you sneak a quick DVD movie at work? If so, be sure to enable this option. If you have to press the Mute button on your keyboard while a movie is playing, DVD Player automatically adds the subtitles/closed captions so that you can keep up with the dialog. Super sassy!

  • During iChat with Audio: Another option for those who like to run multiple applications simultaneously. If you’re watching a DVD and start an audio or video chat in iChat, you can choose to either mute the DVD audio or pause the DVD playback until you click Play again.

  • When Viewer Is Minimized: Enable this check box, and DVD Player automatically pauses the movie when you minimize the DVD Player window; otherwise, the movie continues playing in the tiny Dock icon.

Disc Setup settings in DVD Player

The second tab of the Player Preferences window consists of these controls:

  • Language: DVDs are designed to be multilanguage-aware. You can control the language used for the audio, subtitling, and menus in this section.

  • Internet: Some DVDs with DVD access support can access information on the Internet. Mark this check box to allow that function.

  • Audio: Click this pop-up menu to specify the default audio output signal that you’d like to use. You can also choose to disable the Dolby dynamic range compression feature, which might enhance the sound for two-speaker systems; however, you don’t want to damage the lower-output speakers on a MacBook, so leave dynamic range compression enabled (unless you’re using external speakers).

Full Screen settings in DVD Player

These Preference settings control the default screen display settings within DVD Player.

  • Controller: To hide the controller after a defined time of inactivity; select the Hide Controller If Inactive for xx Seconds check box. To set the delay period, click in the seconds box and type a new value.

  • Displays: These options specify how DVD Player shares your Desktop with others: politely or downright rudely. You can choose to automatically dim other monitors while a movie is playing (if you have more than one display connected to your Mac), and DVD Player can stay in Full-Screen mode even if another application actually has the active window.

Windows settings in DVD Player

This pane gives you the chance to configure the behavior of the controller and status information for the Viewer window.

  • Options: Mark the Display Status Information check box, and DVD Player adds a small text box at the top-left corner of the Viewer window. In this text box, you see the name of the last task that you performed with DVD Player.

  • Closed Captioned: If you do decide to display the closed-caption text from a DVD movie, you can click the color buttons to specify the text color. You can also choose the font for your text.

Previously Viewed settings in DVD Player

This pane controls what happens when you load a disc that you’ve seen already.

  • Start Playing Discs From: If you have to quit DVD Player for some reason, the application is smart enough to remember where you were, and you can choose to begin watching from the beginning, from the last position (where you were when you stopped the last time), or from a default bookmark.

  • Always Use Disc Settings For: Select these check boxes to specify whether DVD Player should use the same settings you used the last time you watched this disc.

High Definition settings in DVD Player

The final DVD Player Preferences pane specifies how both standard DV and high-definition video from DVDs are displayed within the Viewer window.

  • For Standard Definition: You can choose to display the actual video size by default, or to use the default size provided by the DVD.

  • For High Definition: These options affect how a high-definition video signal is displayed. Your choices include the actual video size, a height of 720 pixels, and a height of 1,080 pixels.

Don’t forget to click OK to save any changes you make to your DVD Player preferences.