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DVDSP.jpgLayered menus in DVD Studio Pro can allow you to create menus with far more sophisticated-looking buttons than the native DVD standard allows.  Unfortunately, this extra functionality comes at a cost.  The layered menus that you create in DVD Studio rely on some behind-the-scenes tricks to work -- and this can make them play back in unexpected ways when viewed on computer DVD players.

When you play back a DVD with layered menus on a computer-based DVD player (but not in DVD Studio's Simulator), and you try to navigate the menu using your mouse, you have to click a button once to "select" it, and then click it again to activate it. 

The menu behaves normally:
  • in DVD players, and
  • in most software, when you use the arrow keys rather than the mouse to navigate it.

After the jump, the explanation ...

This is normal behavior for a DVDSP layered menu, and there's no straightforward way to get around it.

The "layered menu" in DVD studio is a DVDSP-specific metaphor.  Unlike "tracks" or regular "menus," the "layered menu" does not correspond to any native part of the DVD standard.

Behind the scenes of your layered menu, DVDSP actually builds a network of DVD-type menus, one for each graphical state of the button layers on your layered menu.  These menus are connected by invisble buttons set to auto-activate when each invisible button is selected.  On a normal DVD player, this means that, as soon as you hit an arrow key to select a different button, you automatically jump to the menu where that button's "selected" layer is visible.  Incidentally, this is also why you encounter a delay as you move between buttons on a layered menu.

The big catch comes when you try to play back the DVD on a computer.  Most computer DVD players don't allow the mouse to auto-activate buttons -- which makes sense: you'd go crazy if every button you hovered your mouse over automatically "clicked" itself.  Unfortunately, this breaks the layered menu's normal tricks.  On a software DVD player, if you're using the mouse, you have to click once on the button to make it "selected" -- which is what the "auto-activate" functionality would do for you on a hardware DVD player -- then click again to actually get to where the button's supposed to take you.

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