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Could someone explain the differences between these two versions or more importantly, what you can't do with the Indie version?

The old netblender site had a very clear details but the sony site is very vague.

Can you for example have conditional links / jumps in the indie version.. so jump to this menu if subtitles are on etc??



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Hello Joseph.


Indie and EX are the equivalent of java-based menus and HDMV (HD movie mode) menus.

These 2 authoring styles are very are the main differences:


In Indie (java) you (can) use a single menu consisting of menu pages called menu blocks.

You can display one or more menu blocks - these cannot overlap if you load more than one!

This single menu has access to all playlists. If you need to display different parts based on the playlists, you can.

The key difference in Indie is the fact that you work with events.  


What are events?

Events are for example when...


a playlist starts

a chapter starts

someone presses the popup menu key

someone presses the colored buttons on the remote



All these events can be programmed using actions and/or conditions.

(example: if the popup menu key is presses and active audio is number 2 - then display the menu block X and set the button Y to active – this would be a common example for the main feature when a user presses the popup menu key) 


In Indie you CANNOT use the TOP MENU remote key – this is probably the most important one!



In EX (HDMV) you create menus using the IG Editor plugin.

These menus are separate units – each one tied to a playlist.

You can however tie one menu to more than one playlist – the standard example is if you author one single menu for your extra features and tie/link it to menu playlists – the extra features.

In EX you have access to the TOP MENU key (meaning this key will always load the top menu, provided you defined one in the project) and of course to the popup menu button.

In EX there are no events.  When a playlist starts does not automatically make anything happen, except for starting the playlist.

When chapter starts you CANNOT add actions to it. All you can do is manually trigger commands programmed in the movie objects or menu buttons.

For example in EX when you are watching the main feature and someone presses popup menu it will load the popup menu (provided you added one) and will trigger whatever action you programmed for the first button.

Therefore you still have the ability to add an AUTO-ACTION button, that will check the settings of the playlists and based on that you can display a specific page with a specific button selected.

The main difference between EX and Indie is that in EX if the menu is up and something happens (except for the playlist ending) you will not get an event, so the menu will not update itself.


Other differences are that Indie menus have different performances based on the BD player and there is no guarantee that the menu will play exactly the same on all players.

When using EX menus added on the Subpath (outmux meaning the menu is created as a standalone clip, thus it is preloaded before the palylsits even starts) the menus have the same performance and load very quickly.


Ex menus are a bit harder to author, since you are in charge of writing the scripts (but we will of course help you with that and there aren’t too many commends you need to know...)


Advantages of using the EX module:


-          Very fast menu loading

-          100% consistent behavior of menus across BD players

-          Top menu button is accessible

-          Resume capabilities are 100% reliable

-          Full access to scripting commands, PSRs and GPRs




The topic is actually very large and I would not like to overload you (and I probably already did that).


Please let me know, if you have any other questions or need more details.





Best regards,
DoStudio Authoring Support

Sony Creative Software




That's great, thanks very much Peter.

It sounds like indie will be just fine for us at the moment. Is there an upgrade path for the other versions if we find we need more flexibility in the future?

Thanks again.


Hello Joseph, you're welcome! Glad to help.

We do have upgrade options for DSA, so if one day you decide you need EX (HDMV authoring) you can always upgrade you indie DSA license.

And we can also provide you with a trial of any DSA module (one top of indie you can have EX (1), 3D (2) and advanced java module (3)), if you just want to evaluate the capabilities.



Ok, perfect,

Thanks Peter.

Another key difference is that with Java menus you can, as Peter said, put them all in one playlist - this will prevent the player going to blackout between menus.

You cannot, as far as I am aware, do this with HDMV menus and blackout between screens will happen.

I would be very interested to learn when it would be a good idea to use Mixed Mode authoring though.....

As someone coming from Adobe Encore and having pushed that program well beyond its limits - what would be the best option for me? I always assumed I'd be getting DoStudio EX but after reading these threads, it seems DoStudio Indie has benefits - like no black between screens??

I make special edition commercial blu-rays - mostly cult/genre releases. The discs usually have multiple audio tracks (DTS mix, alt language, commentary etc), subtitles, massive poster & still galleries, filmographies, numerous featurettes and easter eggs...

I come from a strong design and coding background, with expert knowledge in Photoshop, NLEs, After Effects, Flash, actionscript/javascript, HTML/PHP, video/audio codecs and transcoding. I also prefer to make all my of menu elements from scratch.

All that being said, which version of DoStudio would be best for me? My biggest complaint using Encore (outside of the rogue bugs) was the lack of any kind of scripting - being able to tell it 'Subtitle Track 3' is selected, so load menu X with button Y highlighted.

Thanks for any advice!

Thanks Neil for point out this additional difference.


In DSA Indie, which uses the so called BD-J authoring style, the menu is not directly tied to any playlist, or said in a different way it 'resides' in it's own layer and can access all playlists without the need to refresh itself.


In EX this is almost the opposite. When you make an HDMV menu you need to link it to one or more specific playlist(s). You could think of this as an additional track in the playlist, but since the EX menus are usually added in the subpath you are actually creating a standalone menu clip (.m2ts), which however cannot be loaded without also loading a playlist. This is why you get the 'black' when you exit the playlist.


So this is indeed an advantage that Indie has over EX.

Another advantage (which for some authors IS the reason to use Indie) in Indie is that you can use 32bit PNGs instead of 8bit indexed PNGs.


To answer Jim's question about which style would be best I'd say, if you like scripting and having full control over the disc's logic, EX is probably the best option.  HDMV/EX authoring style is consistent across players and very fast. 


And to answer Neil's question about Mixed mode there are 2 reasons I can think of now to use mixed mode:


1. If you are authoring with DSA with the advanced BD-J module you need to have access to titles (EX) as well as Indie-specific properties (e.g. events)

2. If you are authoring a 3D disc using Indie. In this scenario the reason why we recommend to add EX titles is that Indie has troubles switching from 2D to 3D and vice versa and by adding a title with a SetOutputMode scripting command you can take care of switching the playback mode from 2D to 3D and the other way round.


There are probably more reasons....





Best regards,

DoStudio Authoring Support

Sony Creative Software


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