|Year Released||1996||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||50:40 minutes||Other Extras||Isolated Music Score|
Warner Vision Australia
John Mark Ainsley
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
|Case||Super Jewel Case|
|RRP||$39.95||Music||George Frideric Handel|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0, 448 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0, 448 Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mildly|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, in credits|
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, but it is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is a little variable in quality, some portions being quite sharp, whilst others are quite soft. It is not an especially well defined transfer, with not too much depth at times. Clarity is also a little inconsistent as a result.
The colours are quite richly toned, although at times verging on being a little too dark. This is not an especially vibrant transfer. However, I believe that this is the way the documentary was filmed rather than being a transfer problem. Certainly some of the exterior lighting would made the balance between vibrancy and tone a little difficult to balance, especially since it is all filmed in London at night. The lighting used for filming the presenter, interviewees and performers also seemed to be a little over bright, creating quite pale skin tones, which did not really help the transfer. The colours were reasonably consistently rendered, and there did not appear to be any problem with colour oversaturation or bleeding.
There did not appear to be any MPEG or film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. There were a few inconsequential film artefacts, but nothing to distract from the documentary.
The vocals and narration came up very clear and understandable in the soundtrack.
Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with either soundtrack.
The soundtrack is not surround encoded, so there is limited use of the surround channels at all, and the overall sound is quite front and centre stereo. Nonetheless, it is a reasonably balanced soundtrack and there is not an awful lot to complain about here, given that it is mainly dialogue and singing. Obviously, nothing gets sent to the bass channel at all.
The Linear PCM soundtrack is solely applicable to what I have termed the isolated music score. This is a separate menu item allowing direct access to just the arias, separate from the documentary, which are sung over the top of a menu slide that gives a brief detail of the setting of the aria. This sounds very much like the sound would off a compact disc, with a higher sound level than that applicable to the documentary.
A good, if not especially great video transfer.
A good audio transfer.
The extras are reasonable, but could perhaps have been a little more expansive.
© Ian Morris
30th October 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|