System Parameter Register Memories Details

In order to use the SPRMs, you need to know what the range of values is for these registers and what that information means. The following sections list the most common bits used when authoring DVDs. All SPRMs are 16-bit values, although only certain bits are described. See Using Bit-Wise Operations for information on using the “bit-wise and” operation to isolate specific bits of the 16-bit value, allowing you to use only those bits that are necessary.

SPRM 0: Menu Language Description Code

Each DVD player has three types of language settings: Menu (SPRM 0), Audio (SPRM 16), and Subtitle (SPRM 18). These values are based on a two-letter code for each language spoken. The code is derived from the lowercase ASCII value of each letter.

For example, the letters “en” represent English. The lowercase “e” is converted to an ASCII value of 101 decimal or 65 in hexadecimal. The lowercase “n” is converted to an ASCII value of 110 decimal or 6E in hexadecimal. When concatenated together in hexadecimal, the value is 656E. The decimal value of 656E is 25966.

See Language Code Table for a complete listing of all of these language values.

It is useful to know the setting of this SPRM when dealing with multiple-language projects. By reading the value of SPRM 0, you can determine the language the viewer wants to see the menus displayed in. For instance, if you have a project that has menus in more than one language, you can display menus in the language the viewer has selected.

SPRM 1: Current Audio Stream Number

The DVD specification allows for up to eight different audio streams. This SPRM lists the current stream being played or the last one selected by the viewer.

The value range for this SPRM is 0 through 7, where 0 is the first stream and 7 is the last stream.

Stream number
SPRM 1 value
1
0
2
1
3
2
4
3
5
4
6
5
7
6
8
7

This information is useful when tracking which audio stream was last selected or played. It is very useful when determining which button to highlight when jumping to a menu where audio streams are selected. This is especially important if the viewer is allowed to change the audio stream while viewing the movie.

SPRM 2: Current Subtitle Stream Number

The DVD specification allows for up to 32 different subtitle streams. This SPRM contains two sets of values.

The first value shows which of the 32 streams is selected. These values range from 0 through 31 with 0 being the first stream and 31 being the last stream. The second value of this SPRM is a display flag that tells you if the subtitle is turned on or off. The flag has a value of 64 for on and 0 for off.

To obtain the value of the stream that is selected and displayed, add 64 to the value of the stream. For example: Stream 1 has a value of 0. If you add that value to the value of the display flag “on” (64), you get a total of 64. Stream 2 has a value of 1; if you add the value of the display flag on (64) to it, you get a total of 65.

The following table lists the possible settings for SPRM 2:

Stream number
SPRM 2 value with the stream selected and display off
SPRM 2 value with the stream selected and display on
1
0
64
2
1
65
3
2
66
4
3
67
5
4
68
6
5
69
7
6
70
8
7
71
9
8
72
10
9
73
11
10
74
12
11
75
13
12
76
14
13
77
15
14
78
16
15
79
17
16
80
18
17
81
19
18
82
20
19
83
21
20
84
22
21
85
23
22
86
24
23
87
25
24
88
26
25
89
27
26
90
28
27
91
29
28
92
30
29
93
31
30
94
32
31
95

Similar to SPRM 1, this information is useful to determine the last subtitle stream selected by the viewer. If you have a menu for subtitle selection, you can use this information to highlight the corresponding button for the correct subtitle.

SPRM 3: Current Angle Number

Similar to SPRM 1, the DVD specification allows for up to nine multi-angle MPEG video streams. This SPRM lists the current stream being played or the last one selected by the viewer.

The value range for this SPRM is 1 through 9, where 1 is the first stream and 9 is the last stream (the value does not start at 0 as with SPRMs 1 and 2). If there is only one angle, the default value is 1.

Knowing which multi-angle stream was last selected or played is very useful when determining which button to highlight when jumping to a menu where multi-angle streams are selected. This is especially important if the viewer is allowed to change the multi-angle stream while viewing the movie.

SPRM 4: Current Playing Title Number

Each track, story, and slideshow element in your project is a title. You can have up to 99 titles in your project. All of these are assigned numbers based on their order in the Outline tab’s By VTS display. SPRM 4 shows the number for the currently playing element.

If your project does not have stories, the VTS number shown in the Outline tab’s By VTS display matches the SPRM 4 value. Because stories are not placed in their own VTS, including them in your project affects the SPRM 4 values. For example, you could have a project with two tracks, with Track 1 in VTS 1 including 2 stories (Story 1 and Story 2) and Track 2 in VTS 2. The SPRM 4 values for this project are:

  • Track 1 = 1

  • Story 1 = 2

  • Story 2 = 3

  • Track 2 = 4

SPRM 5: Current Title Number in Video Title Set (VTS)

In projects created with DVD Studio Pro, the title number within the current Video Title Set (VTS) number is 1 for all elements, except stories. Each story within a track is assigned to a higher title number, starting with 2 (the track itself is number 1).

SPRM 6: Current Title PGC Number

In projects created with DVD Studio Pro, the Program Group Chains (PGC) number is 1 for all elements, except stories. Each story within a track is assigned a number, starting with 2 (the track itself is number 1). This value matches the SPRM 5 value except in the case where a track, story, or slideshow has not yet been played. In that case, it is set to 0.

SPRM 7: Current Part of Title Number

The Part of Title is the current chapter number of the track being played.

This SPRM is useful if you need to know the last or current chapter played for that track. There may be reasons to jump to the beginning of the last chapter played from any menu, not just resume to the last place in the video. An example of this would be a training film that requires the viewer to resume watching the chapter from the beginning if they do not watch the chapter in its entirety.

SPRM 8: Current Highlighted Button Number

This SPRM is the last button number of the current or last menu displayed. You can use this SPRM to track the last button position that the viewer selected. The value is calculated by multiplying the button number by 1024 (this SPRM uses bits 10 through 15 to count the buttons).

The table below lists the button number and its value:

Button number
SPRM 8 value
1
1024
2
2048
3
3072
4
4096
5
5120
6
6144
7
7168
8
8192
9
9216
10
10240
11
11264
12
12288
13
13312
14
14336
15
15360
16
16384
17
17408
18
18432
19
19456
20
20480
21
21504
22
22528
23
23552
24
24576
25
25600
26
26624
27
27648
28
28672
29
29696
30
30720
31
31744
32
32768
33
33792
34
34816
35
35840
36
36864

SPRM 9: Navigation Timer

This is the timer used to count down pauses and still frames. DVD Studio Pro automatically loads this timer for timeouts and pauses. There is no real use for it in scripts.

SPRM 10: Timer Target

This SPRM is used in conjunction with SPRM 9. It is loaded with the PGC that is activated when the Navigation Timer (SPRM 9) expires.

It is loaded and set by DVD Studio Pro, and there is no real use for it in scripts.

SPRM 11: Player Audio Mixing Mode for Karaoke

Karaoke-capable DVD players can blend several audio streams together.

Note: Refer to SPRM 15 to identify whether or not a DVD player is karaoke-capable.

The primary stream is usually a music-only track in stereo (L and R). It is usually stream number 1 or 2. To those streams you can mix a melody stream (M) or vocal streams (V1 and V2). The melody stream and the vocal streams are usually stream numbers 3, 4, and 5. The values of SPRM 11 are listed in the table below:

Bit description
Bit
Bit value
Reserved
0
1
Reserved
1
2
Stream 3 added to stream 1
2
4
Stream 4 added to stream 1
3
8
Stream 5 added to stream 1
4
16
Reserved
5
32
Reserved
6
64
Reserved
7
128
Reserved
8
256
Reserved
9
512
Stream 3 added to stream 2
10
1024
Stream 4 added to stream 2
11
2048
Stream 5 added to stream 2
12
4096
Reserved
13
8192
Reserved
14
16384
Reserved
15
32768

The value can be any combination of the above values (excluding reserved) with 0 indicating that no streams are added. A value of 3072 indicates that streams 3 and 4 are added to stream 2 (1024 + 2048).

SPRM 12: Country Code for Parental Management

This SPRM lists the intended country code for the disc’s parental management feature. For the United States this is 840.

SPRM 13: Parental Management Level

SPRM 13 lists the parental management level that the DVD player is currently set for. This is set by the viewer and is used to prevent children from watching movies with mature content.

SPRM 13 can be useful in several ways. In some cases there may be more than one version of a single movie on a single DVD disc. Larger discs such as DVD-9s can contain both the R- and PG-rated versions of the same movie. By reading the value of SPRM 13, you could determine which version of the movie to play.

Another use for SPRM 13 is to check the DVD player’s current parental setting. If the disc is rated higher than the DVD player is currently set for, you could have a script that jumps to a menu explaining that the disc cannot be played unless the player’s parental setting is changed.

Important: DVD Studio Pro does not include a parental rating in its projects, so all DVD players that support parental management will set SPRM 13 to 15 when playing a DVD Studio Pro authored disc.

Below is a list of the numeric values of SPRM 13.

MPAA rating
SPRM 13 value
G
1
2
PG
3
PG-13
4
5
R
6
NC-17
7
8
Disc not rated
15

SPRM 14: Player Video Configuration

Every DVD player has several modes of video display. These are divided into the display mode and the aspect ratio. By reading SPRM 14 you can tell what modes the player is currently in. Bits 8 and 9 of SPRM 14 are used to determine the current display mode (whether the video needs processing for display on a 4:3 monitor) and bits 10 and 11 are used to determine the aspect ratio of the monitor (4:3 or 16:9). The first eight bits in SPRM 14 are not used.

The following table shows the combinations for the display mode bits.

Display mode
Bit 8
Bit 9
Total
Normal (no processing)
0
0
0
Pan-scan
256
0
256
Letterbox
0
512
512
Reserved
256
512
768

The following table shows the combinations for the aspect ratio bits.

Aspect ratio
Bit 10
Bit 11
Total
4:3
0
0
0
Not specified
1024
0
1024
Reserved
0
2048
2048
16:9
1024
2048
3072

SPRM 15: Player Audio Configuration

Each DVD player can have several types of audio capabilities. Most players can handle Dolby Digital (AC-3), Linear PCM, and MPEG Audio. There are other audio options such as DTS and SDDS, as well as karaoke capabilities.

By reading the values of SPRM 15, you can see which audio options the player has. This could be useful if you have two types of audio streams and want to play the proper one for that player. For example, if the player is capable of Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio, you might want to play that stream instead of a stereo PCM stream.

Here is a table of the values for SPRM 15:

Player audio configuration
Bit
Bit value
Reserved
0
1
Reserved
1
2
SDDS karaoke capability (option)
2
4
DTS karaoke capability (option)
3
8
MPEG karaoke capability first bit
4
16
MPEG karaoke capability second bit
5
32
AC-3 karaoke capability
6
64
PCM karaoke capability
7
128
Reserved
8
256
Reserved
9
512
SDDS capability (option)
10
1024
DTS capability (option)
11
2048
MPEG capability first bit
12
4096
MPEG capability second bit
13
8192
AC-3 capability
14
16384
Reserved
15
32768

Bit 4 (MPEG karaoke capability first bit) is off when the player is not MPEG karaoke-capable, and on when it is. Bit 5 (MPEG karaoke capability second bit) is always off.

Bit 12 (MPEG capability first bit) is off when the player is not MPEG capable, and on when it is. Bit 13 (MPEG capability second bit) is always off.

There is no bit for regular PCM capability because all players must support it.

SPRM 16: Initial Language Code for Audio

This SPRM is the initial audio language that the viewer has set the DVD player to. It can be assumed to be the primary spoken language that the viewer wants to hear.

As with SPRM 0, these values are derived from a two-letter code for each language spoken. The code is derived from the lowercase ASCII value of each letter. See Language Code Table for a complete table of all of these language values.

It is useful to know the setting of this SPRM when dealing with multiple-language projects. By reading the value of SPRM 16, you can determine the spoken language that the viewer wants to hear. If you have a project that has audio streams in more than one language, you can play the appropriate spoken language that the viewer has selected. If the viewer must choose a language from an audio menu, this SPRM value can be used to select the appropriate button highlight.

SPRM 17: Initial Language Code Extension for Audio

SPRM 17 is rarely used but has several values. It can be used to flag an audio stream as audio for the visually impaired or for director’s commentary.

Contents
SPRM 17 value
Not specified
0
Normal captions
1
Audio for visually impaired
2
Director’s comments 1
3
Director’s comments 2
4

SPRM 18: Initial Language Code for Subtitle

SPRM 18 is the value of the initial subtitle language setting of the DVD player. It is a preference set by the viewer.

Many feature films that are put onto DVD are subtitled in several languages. By reading this SPRM, you can preselect the appropriate subtitle stream to the viewer’s preferred language. In the case of a subtitle menu, you can preselect the appropriate button highlight.

As with SPRM 0, these values are derived from a two-letter code for each language spoken. The code is derived from the lowercase ASCII value of each letter. See Language Code Table for a complete table of all of these language values.

SPRM 19: Initial Language Code Extension for Subpicture

Similar to SPRM 17, SPRM 19 is an extension code for more in-depth information about the subtitle stream. It covers such areas as subpicture size or whether the subtitle stream is for children.

Contents
SPRM 19 value
Not specified
0
Captions with normal size characters
1
Captions with larger size characters
2
Captions for children
3
Reserved
4
Closed captions with normal size characters
5
Closed captions with larger size characters
6
Closed captions for children
7
Reserved
8
Forced captions
9
Reserved
10
Reserved
11
Reserved
12
Director’s commentary with normal size characters
13
Director’s commentary with larger size characters
14
Director’s commentary for children
15

SPRM 20: Player Region Code

In order to have some control over which parts of the world can play a disc, a regional coding system was developed. With this system, all standalone DVD players are manufactured to support a single region, and DVD players used by computers have a setting that configures the player’s region (with a limited number of changes allowed).

This SPRM returns the value of the DVD player’s region code.

The globe is divided into eight sections:

  • Region 1: Canada, United States, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, and some islands
  • Region 2: Japan, Western Europe (including Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Balkans), South Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East (including Iran and Egypt)
  • Region 3: Southeast Asia (including Indonesia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macao)
  • Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, South America, most of Central America, Papua New Guinea, and most of the South Pacific
  • Region 5: Most of Africa, Russia (and former Russian states), Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and North Korea
  • Region 6: China and Tibet
  • Region 7: (Reserved)
  • Region 8: Airlines, cruise ships, and other types of transportation

Here is a table of regions and values for SPRM 20:

Region
SPRM 20 value
1
1
2
2
3
4
4
8
5
16
6
32
7
64
8
128