Once in a while I end up watching a DVD on a more normal player, usually as the result of watching something at someone else's house. I am astounded at how poor the experience is. One has to wade through irritating, poorly thoughtout and slow menues, and spend ages skipping (if you're allowed) a bunch of crap before starting to watch what you want.
When I stick a disc in my player it normally will just start up to the movie for me. I've heard this problem before, part of that is player features, part of it is the specific title you're playing. Unskippable content is lame, I agree, but if I get a disc like that I can just do a direct copy of the disc contents with the protections removed and re-burn to a dual-layer blank. Now I can play it back on the player and skip content, no change in quality. Still cheaper and quieter than a second PC in the living room.
And one of my favourite features is the reverse 10 seconds button. Great after unpausing or if you failed to catch an important line of dialog. I've never seen a standalone player with such a feature.
My Sony DVD upconverting player had a feature like that. Actually it might have been a 30 second forward-back skip, but they were one-touch buttons on the remote.
Why use a regular player? Because it "just works".
Not only does MPlayer "just work", it "just works" a damn sight beter than "proper" DVD players.
If you'll read back what you're replying to, you'll see the topic was blu-ray playback, commercial discs in particular, not DVD playback. For DVD playback on a monitor with a computer attached, yeah I would just use the PC, too. Because then I can have MadVR doing chroma upscaling. DVD playback on a PC just works thanks to DVDJon. It is the particular issues that software blu-ray players have verses standard stand-alone players I was talking about..
The experience is overall smoother.
Not for DVDs it isn't. I don't own a blu-ray player...
Do you play commercial blu-rays, direct-from-the-disc on your PC? Because if you don't then I don't know why you are replying to this, since it sounds like you have no experience in what we're discussing.
I don't have software incompatibilities or system resource issues effecting my playback like can happen on a PC
Get a better OS. I use Linux. It's marvellous, you should try it.
I've tried it and play with it in virtual machines often. Have also been checking out the new KDE 5 on a USB stick. I could switch over but there are a few pieces of software I like that are Windows only. Last weekend I built a newer machine for my mom, who I've had using Linux for months now... I was forced to give her one of my own N wireless cards as the wi-fi card she had been using in Mint 16 with no issues (a Belkin 802.11g card) wont stay connected to the wireless network in Mint 17. I tried swapping in a different 802.11g card and had the same issue. It just drops after a few minutes for no reason. My D-Link N-card seems to not be effected. Since I have the old computer and her card in my possession at this point I want to try and figure out the problem, but right now I don't want to spend any more of my free time in a terminal on a PC that sounds like a hair dryer when it gets revved up.
dedicated hardware and software for a consistent, assured compatibility experience.
Consistent compatibility with all the latest "rights management" stuff? No thanks!
I'd rather have Linux and MPlayer which are actually compatible with my rights, thankyou very much.
I want to buy the movie legally in HD and be able to watch it in full quality and without an Internet connection. I'm perfectly within the rights I purchased. I don't watch videos on portable devices and even if I did I have the know-how to rip the disc and make my own encoding. Even if I want to do something outside the rights I've been granted doesn't mean I need to resort to some self-imposed boycott of the approved equipment.