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Let's say your title is a bit ... racy. And maybe, because you're a good citizen, you don't want it to play on sets where parents have enabled parental control.

Using DVD Script, the solution is surprisingly simple. First, create a script - call it, say, "Verify Parental Controls" ...

That script only requires two simple commands - but it'll give us a window into the ways you can use those system variables (SPRMs) we covered back in Part 2 of this series (...link forthcoming).


If you refer to the comprehensive, useful, awesome list of SPRMS in DVD Studio's help file (just search SPRM - or use a cheat sheet), you'll see that the DVD player's Parental Restriction is stored in SPRM 13. Turns out Parental Restriction is a number between 1 and 8. A value of 1 corresponds to a "G" rating, 3 is a "PG" rating, 4 is a "PG-13" rating, 6 is an "R" rating, and 7 is an "NC-17" rating. If there's no parental control set, then SPRM 13 will have a value of 15.

So when we're writing a parental control script for our R-rated movie, we want to prevent the DVD player from showing our title if the value in SPRM 13 is less than 6.

We'll run the parental control script as a pre-script for our feature track. Therefore, we want the script to send the viewer somewhere else if they're not allowed to watch the feature, and just let the feature play otherwise.

Step By Step

  1. Open up your "Verify Parental Controls" script by double-clicking on it.

  2. Click the plus sign to add two new commands.

  3. Select the first Nop. In order to use the Compare Command with a value, we need to have it in one of the GPRMs. So let's copy the value from the system (SPRM 13) to one of our own variables (GPRM 0). Set the command to Set GPRM. We want to mov the value from SPRM 13 to GPRM 0.


  4. Select the next Nop. Change it to Jump away from the feature - you could divert naughty underage viewers back to the menu, but it would probably be smarter to create some sort of menu explaining why you didn't play the feature. Your choice.

  5. We only want this jump to happen if the Parental Rating (SPRM 13) is less than 6, so check the Compare Command box. The sentence should read "Execute if SPRM 13 is < to (Immediate) with value 6."


  6. Now, just assign the Verify Parental Controls script as the Pre-Script for each track that needs some age verification:


And you're all set. Just test it in Simulator and ... wait, wait, wait. How would we set up parental restrictions on the Simulator?

When you simulate a DVD in Simulator, click the Information Drawer button. It's hiding over in that nest of strange-looking buttons - see illustration. And it opens an Information Drawer that lists the current value of every single SPRM and GPRM on the disc. It's not perfect, but when you're writing scripts for DVDs, you'll find this Simulator feature hugely valuable.


Another feature you'll find valuable is the Log view in the main DVD Studio window. Now that you know all about SPRMs and GPRMs, a lot of that gibberish will start to make sense - and be helpful as you try to figure out what's going on with your scripts.


For practice using system variables, try setting up your title to play only in, say, Region 2 players. Hint: Region Code is stored in SPRM 20.

Next time, we'll go into some more advanced ways to use system variables, with a tutorial on detecting the DVD player's aspect ratio.


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Scripting in DVD Studio, Part 3 - Random Play was the previous entry in this blog.

Scripting in DVD Studio, Part 5: Aspect Ratios and Advanced-ish Math is the next entry in this blog.

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