We Just Want Our Bookmarks Back, Blu-ray

Posted by James Segars on July 28, 2008 
Filed Under: Authoring, Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, Interactivity

O.k., we know full well that “bookmarking” wasn’t the hottest feature on HD DVD, but we’ll be honest, it was one of our most favorite, and underrated features on the ill-fated format.

Aside from the fact that it enabled consumers to create their own scenes — a modest feat that had never been achieved on DVD or BD — the bookmarking feature was incredibly simple, and convenient. And it’s hard to argue with convenience, isn’t it?

Find a particular shot that stunned you? Mark it. Uncover a goof? Mark it. Spectacular demo scene? Mark it. The possibilities were far from endless, but we loved that little feature, as you should be able to glean from this love-letter post.

Alas, where has the Bookmark feature gone to? Is it doomed to go down with HD DVD into the depths of extinct technical innovation? Is it truly incompatible with the BD spec, or is it merely being dropped because the powers that be perceive no demand for it.

Well, in case the truth resides in the latter we’re gonna take a stand, and here and now, the demand for the return of the bookmarking feature begins. After all, we just want our “Bookmarks” back, BD.

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27 Responses to “We Just Want Our Bookmarks Back, Blu-ray”

  1. Justin Sluss on July 28th, 2008 12:32 pm


  2. burndive on July 28th, 2008 1:00 pm

    Yeah, don’t hold your breath.

    They’re done pleasing the consumer. The consumer was never their customer. Consumer-pleasing features were a selling point to the studios, as they gave it a competitive edge over HD DVD, but with that gone, there’s no reason to have bookmarks, or any other useful feature.

    Profile 2.0 is probably the end of the road. Maybe there’ll be a minor update for incorporating 3D content, but nothing we actually want.

  3. Mehar Gill on July 28th, 2008 1:24 pm

    DVD’s had bookmarking features didn’t they? They stopped using them after a while as well. I looked into it and since profile 1.1+ requires local storage it could be a possibility, I doubt they will need a new profile to incorporate it,

  4. Dave Cowl on July 28th, 2008 1:48 pm

    Bookmarking should be pretty trivial to implement in BD-J for any player with persistent memory.

  5. Ryan on July 28th, 2008 4:15 pm

    I Miss HD DVD … Well, I don’t miss it necessarily but I miss reading new features, and seeing new releases anyway. Sigh.

  6. Mehar Gill on July 28th, 2008 4:34 pm

    I miss it when I see the drive sitting their on top of my 360 asking for more titles!

  7. James Segars on July 28th, 2008 5:37 pm

    @Mehar Gill – I couldn’t agree more, Mehar. Thankfully (?) I still have a little less than half of my HD DVD’s left to watch for the first time, which leaves me with ~45 fresh titles.

    It’s sad, but I’m thankful Blu-ray is still around. You’d be hard pressed to get your HD Disc-Fix otherwise.

  8. Belard on July 28th, 2008 6:13 pm

    There is a chance that the bookmarking feature has a patent on it.

    So, does this function work in that you can eject a disc, watch several other titles – then put back the orginal disc and it’ll remember the bookmarks?

  9. Mehar Gill on July 28th, 2008 6:35 pm

    @James Segars

    I have one or two, plus two discs from the Star Trek Collection to watch (I don’t want to sit through ALL those Bladerunner cuts!), I have a source who has untouched HD DVD’s, 100s of em that he never got a chance to sell so he sells them secretly to people who want them from the back of his shop (Don’t worry, its not that kind of store). Unluckily for me though he sells them for $20+ but I’m helpless since their still quality release’s! Although I did get Planet Earth for $40, it was the set that came with the Blu Ray and HD DVD discs in the same box so I can’t complain on the deals I get either.


    Ive never thought of it like that, I’m gonna look into that.

    The way they worked on HD DVD’s was you would save your bookmark and eject the disc if thats what you want. Then in the HDi menu their was a section where you can see your bookmarks and do whatever to them. I think if you powered your player down while you were watching a disc your player would resume playback when restarted.

  10. The Guardian on July 28th, 2008 8:15 pm

    I thought the color buttons on the BD remote were supposed to be for bookmarking… no?

  11. Ironman195 on July 29th, 2008 6:39 am

    I think burndrive hit the nail on the head with his comment. I wouldn’t expect to see much from the blu camp outside of profile 2.0.

    I also mourn the passing of HD DVD. I have around 100 discs and am always looking for more (I beleive that there are around 500 releases). As for blu…no thanks. I do not want to pay more money for less features. I will wait for the next thing after blu ray and take it from there. Until then, I have HD Satellite, Xbox Live and my HD DVD collection to tidy me over.

  12. Jonsson on July 30th, 2008 11:14 am

    Ironman and Burndive,

    I would be very surprised if a) Blu-ray decided to ignore the users the way you describe (they are still fighting to get the sales numbers up after all) and b) that the actions of Blu-ray will be any different than what we had seen from HD-DVD if they would have won.

    I thnk your comments are biased by the fact that the horse you bet on didn’t win.

    Personally I think that there are few people, except the real feature enthusiasts that really care about all these features. I wouldn’t and few, almost none, of the people I know (and I know a considerable amount of people in many countries) really do. At least not to the extent that they would factor it in when making a purchase.

    Having said all that. What’s to stop a manufacturer from adding such a feature if it would really give them a competitive edge? I think they will not bother because there is simply not enough potential buyers that really would care about it enough to swing them to make a purchase.

    Okay, now I stuck my neck out again :-)

  13. Mehar Gill on July 30th, 2008 11:31 am


    Called Out!

    I actually found myself using the bookmark feature a lot on my HD DVD’s, mostly due to the fact that I would never be able to gather the time to watch the entire movie in one sitting for various reasons.

    They are actually right, why would the BDA do something to appeal to people who already own a player when their is no alternative? They want to appease the people who do not have one, advertising a bookmarking feature or any other minor feature won’t make people jump on board.

  14. Jonsson on July 30th, 2008 12:38 pm

    @Mehar Gill

    Mehar, your arguments do not make sense to me. You say things like “who already own a player”.

    But most peopledo do not already own a BD player. BD is still fighting to get the sales number up so they should really be attentive to potential customers whishes. The fact that they won do not change things that much (in my humble opinion)

    And even when they have more of the market I’m sure there will be other media channels to fight.

    The bottom line is that I do not think that many people actually care enough for it to make an impact.

    You say you used it. But after all, you have engaged yourself on this site. I do not think it’s too bold a comment to say that you are slightly more of an enthusiast than the average consumer.

    By the way, I can not imagine myself whatching a movie in pieces as you seem to do. I have a huge backlog of movies that I bough but haven’t watched but I refuse to whatch a movie unless I can devote enough time to see it in it’s entirety (having 3 kids doesn’t make it any easier).

    At least it gives me something to look forward to :-)

  15. Ryan on July 30th, 2008 12:46 pm

    @ Ironman195.

    We’re in the exact same boat. I have a whole bunch of HD discs (even unopened ones to watch) and will just be enjoying HD Antenna content, and PS3. No Blu Ray though – I’m not interested in supporting the BD Association, at all. I bought the Playstation for gaming, not movies. It’s tough seeing great movies out in BD, but thankfully they haven’t been too amazing yet. The movies I am excited about either are not released, or are sub-par quality releases.

    @ Jonsson

    Absolutely correct about being biased our side lost. I was originally so pro-red it just ticked me off seeing the way things went down. I still to this day believe the other format was superior. Just goes to show you much much an influence cash & those in charge have power over. Microsoft should’ve ponied up the dough Sony was throwing around – but they are for downloads anyway, so what do they care?

    The bookmark features were great for us with rference quality systems, looking for demo material or just something quick to check a few scenes from different discs in a row. I enjoyed HDi very much so. Check out FaTF3:TD for great use of the technology regarding the cars & routes in the movie etc.

    Prices are all that will help their numbers increase, lowering of prices that is; of the discs.

    Who wants to pay $30 for a movie, when it’s on DVD in Wal Mart’s bargain bin? Or those of us who had huge DVD (or even HD DVD) collections they don’t want to repurchase. HD DVD had it as well, to be fair. It is a problem with most new technologies.

  16. Mehar Gill on July 30th, 2008 1:39 pm


    It makes perfect sense Jonsson, the people who already own Blu Ray players will be buying movies regardless of the features they come with, theirs no need to be giving those people what they want any more, I mean where would they go? Theirs no “Red Threat” anymore and someone who loves Blu Ray won’t be jumping on the digital band wagon either. Potential customers who are sitting on the fence won’t jump over a bookmarking feature, remember when DVD first came out how you could only truly book mark on a PC and not on a standalone player, did people jump ship to PC’s?

    Of course that dosen’t mean they won’t, its certainly a possibility but the BDA has bigger things to tackle right now. Its not easy to implement such a feature, it will take time and resources to do such a thing. In the end the BDA will ask themselves, is all of this worth it yet?

    I’m going to let that comment slide, I don’t have to prove anything to you.

    @Ryan -

    The Microsoft “controversy” is surprising, the media leads you one way and the employees lead you another. I highly doubt Microsoft would be touting digital downloads if HD DVD was still around and the market share was split 50/50 due to the supposed “Warner Announcement” they are probably touting it so they won’t release a Blu Ray drive, admitting defeat is not something Microsoft has done, Apple and Netscape are prime examples.

  17. Jonsson on July 31st, 2008 12:06 am

    @Mehar Gill

    Well I do not care whether or not you feel you have to “prove anything” or not but why do you then argue in the first place? Maybe it’s just me but I think that was a fairly unfriendly comment.

    I still do not think your comment makes sense and you do not seem to understand what I was saying.

    My point was that there was not enough people having a Blu-ray for the BD camp to sit idle. They still have to fight to get the numbers up and thus it is not a valid point to say that they do not need to provide features just because they won.

    If these features was something people really wanted, they would put it in to up the sales but it isn”t and they do not do it. You said it yourself. People sitting on the fence wont jump for this feature (or many other features). Thus the bottom line is that there’s not really that many people wanting this and various other features for them to bother. It’s not their fault that customer demand is not strong enough.

  18. Jonsson on July 31st, 2008 12:10 am


    Yes you’re probably right. The prices need to come down because most people choose low price above quality.

    Having said that 30$ is LESS than the normal price in Europe for a reasonably new SD DVD. I’m not going to repurchase my entire collection so the new movies is the only thing I compare prices for and there the difference is already not that enormous, at least not around here.

  19. Belard on July 31st, 2008 12:54 am

    In many ads I see in the paper, BD titles are going for about $20 – same as with NEW DVD titles. When DVD was new, $20 was considered cheap. I used to buy laser discs for $40, $50 and $80 per title! And back then, I made less money!


    Er… okay, you have a blu-ray player. You cant get everything off of SAT and the HD signal is still highly compressed. Quality of BD is still better. So every time a kid wants to watch Cars, you’re going to pay the $3-5 rental fee for 24~72hrs of usages and no extras.

    You (and others) talk about the GREAT features of the severely dead HD-DVD, refuse Blu because it won, then jump back and say “oh well, screw it! I’m so pissed off, I’m going with HD-cable or HD-SAT” and watch compressed videos with NO (NONE, nada) features what-so ever. no be-hind the scenes, no directors or actors commentary, no PIP, no deleted or re-shot scenes…. blah, if you’re in that market to begin with – then why even bother with HD-DVD or HiDef period? That is what PPP/DDL is for… Pay your bucks, watch the crappy movie and maybe never watch it again.

    Then you guys complain about the $30 price, hmmm.. the same price as HD-DVD (never mind that it was a price-war). Now that HD-DVD is dead, Blu-Ray titles sales for $15~25 on avg. DL a 24hr rental 3 times will cost your $10~$15. Do a DRM locked title to your Xbox/PS3/PC whatever costs about $15~20. Which doesn’t include your storage costs. A 500GB HD will hold about 32 15GB HD titles (no extras). This means each title eats about $3 of hard drive space. But wait theres more. You have to pay monthly electrical bills to power a computer and the drive(S) to play or simply sit there and store the data.

    250 movie titles would eat about 3.7TB of HD space (4 drives) which is about 8watts each = about 20~32 watts on mixed operations (not counting the computer power usage itself or the costs of a computer with 6 or more SATA connectors). Meanwhile 250 BD or DVD titles require no resources other than space to sit on your shelf. Oh, and if you want to take some movies with you and the family on a trip or to a friends house – so much easier to pick up a few discs than your entire Sat/Cable box… think of the time required to set all that up.

  20. Belard on July 31st, 2008 1:13 am

    OOPS accidently SUBMITTED

    You have a PS3 and some day, you’re going to want to watch something that is worth your hatred of a winning side. Look at it this way, I’m using a hated Windows PC, I lived through it. It still sucks in some ways compared to my Amiga which kicks MS-DOS and Windows 3.x and 9x in the balls. But Amiga has been dead since 1993. They peaked out at about 3million units sold in which many users like myself bought 2-3 of them. As of today, a few thousand people around the world are still using 90′s computer tech. It took about 2 years to move on and got into the PC business… man it sucked. Windows3.x is a total POS. Windows9x is a lot better, but still sub-standard to a 1992 AmigaOS in many ways. Those who still cry about Amiga should just get a Linux setup and be done with it.

    HD-DVD is dead. It was an interesting format war – something that comes around every 8-10 years. Thank god it ended earlier this year, otherwise there would be 1/4 the BD titles coming out now and 1/8th the HD titles. As we say “Da var is ovar” ;)

    Want to see BOOKMARKS on Blu-Ray? Star a campaign asking for it to be a new feature standard on Profile 1.2 and 2.2. Like DVD, Blu will be evolving for the next 10 years. Todays $40 DVD players have features and abilities that were not included in DVD players 5 years ago at $200.

    To a large degree, I don’t consider DDLs to be a format since its more of a service. It doesn’t follow any particular standard and has the ability to be killed from the provider as proven by MS recently when it has moved its Music Download service. yep, people who bought music will sooner or later, have non-operational song files.

  21. Mehar Gill on July 31st, 2008 8:21 am


    Are we reading the same comments? I never said anything that would instigate someone into “fighting”. You didn’t get my point so I will try my best to reword it,

    The commenter above stated the BDA didn’t have to create any sort of minor updates after 2.0 anymore since their is no format war they really have no other HD alternative. The people who would want a bookmark feature would be the people who already own the player, very few people who do not own one will want one. If you were the BDA and the bookmarking feature did indeed need a firmware update, would you throw your resource’s behind a feature that will only get a small miniscule fraction to jump on board or would you put your resources behind advertising, etc?


    Doesn’t U Control bring some of those features to HD Satellite TV?

  22. Jonsson on July 31st, 2008 11:13 am

    @Mehar Gill

    Yes I do think we are reading the same comments but we do not seem to see them in the same light.

    So what you are saying is that now there is not enough consumers that wants this feature but when there was a format war on they would actually continue to stuff these sort of things in?

    Strange argument but it is would be true (which I do not believe) then I’m even more happy that the format war is over.

    I still do not think that argument makes sense. None of the sides would invest in any fature that would only appeal to a “miniscule” fraction of the potential users, war or no war.

  23. Mehar Gill on July 31st, 2008 2:27 pm


    Haha oh well lets try one last time

    The bookmarking feature is the fruit that was only tasted by HD DVD owners, right? Many of those owners have either adopted Blu Ray or will when profile 2.0 comes out. People who own DVD players have never tasted said fruit so they would have no knowledge of the joy it offer (offered?). The BDA has a lot on its table right now if it wants to take the market over, if they roll out the bookmark software would the people who already own Blu Ray players buy another Blu Ray player? No they wouldn’t, so they need to do things to convince those that do not have one to jump on board. The people that already own Blu Ray players are low priority for the BDA, aside from the profile updates.

    Of course if it is something the studios can do without an update then thats a different story.

  24. James Segars on July 31st, 2008 3:55 pm

    So… I just popped in my recent BD aquisitions, Top Gun and Patriot Games, and I was stunned to find the “bookmarks” option under the scene menu!

    As The Guardian had mentioned previously, the green button does indeed create a bookmark, at least, it does so on Paramount releases.

    These are some of my first Paramount BD’s, so I can’t confirm whether or not its a new addition, or whether they’ve been there all along.

    Anyone willing to try it out so we can update the post?

  25. Mehar Gill on July 31st, 2008 4:18 pm

    @James Segars

    Ha seriously? I guess I was wrong then, I think.

  26. Jonsson on July 31st, 2008 10:18 pm

    @Mehar Gill

    Mehar, this if fairly pointless.You simply do not seem to grasp what other people say (or the implications of what you say yourself) nor what the reality is.

    James Seagers seems to prove me right on another point as well by the way. I said that there was nothing to stop manufacturers from putting it in. The BD platform with it’s Java Runtime is sufficently flexible to ad a lot of things without compromising the standard.

  27. Mehar Gill on August 1st, 2008 8:03 am


    Well in my original post I did state if such a feature did require a profile update then this could happen, I also did state on occasion that if no profile was needed the studios could easily do it.

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