National Geographic-Untamed Americas (Blu-ray) (2012)
|Category||Documentary||Bonus Episode-Moose:Titans of the North (50.05)|
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
National Geographic takes us to the wilds of the Americas for its latest high-definition mission release from Madman Entertainment, Untamed Americas. The title reflects the fact that this is not a program just about the wildlife of North America but rather encompasses the whole of the Americas including Central America and South America. As a result, the show is able to reflect a huge diversity of animal life across the vastness of this continent.
This series is divided into four episodes each clocking in at 45 minutes. They are:
The structure of each of the episodes is fairly similar, first giving a broad overview of the subject and then concentrating on the diversity of life that exists within these areas. So there are feeding frenzies off the Baja Peninsula, Alaskan bears chowing down on a whale carcass and penguins coping with freezing conditions on the Falkland Islands.
Nature lovers will get a buzz out of the series. The breadth of the episodes perhaps prevents it from giving a detailed analysis of the creatures on offer but nevertheless it is consistently entertaining with a few jaw-dropping moments such as an enormous school of manta rays and always shocking yet gripping footage of animals fighting for dominance within their herds like the Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.
As with other series from National Geographic this program comes to Blu-ray in the same definition as its HDTV origins-a 1080i transfer.
Before Blu-ray lovers decide to storm the castle with pitchforks for something falling short of 1080p it is important to point out that this represents an exceptional video transfer. The image quality is consistently sharp and the colours are strong and vibrant. The level of detail is superb allowing you to pick out individual strands of hair from the bears and other hairy creatures.
The question is whether it would have looked better in 1080p and the answer is possibly as there are a few minor interlacing moments which suggests that it does not quite reach the heights of recent 1080p David Attenborough series.
Nevertheless, fans of nature programmes will find that the transfer is entirely satisfactory and clear throughout.
There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired.
The sound for Untamed Americas is a strong English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.
The sound is clear and effective throughout. This includes the clear and strong narration from Josh Brolin as well as the animal sounds including scuttling claws and hoof beats.
The music is suitably awe inspiring and stirring throughout matching the strong visuals.
There is only a single extra included however it is a full-length episode entitled Moose: Titans of the North. Actually this is a pretty good episode as it gives us time to concentrate on the one animal, in particular an animal which does not get as much attention paid to it as bears and other denizens of the forest.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This is an All Regions Blu-ray.
Untamed Americas is an enjoyable sometimes amazing nature program which combines spectacular footage with a dramatic narrative and voice-over by Josh Brolin.
The picture quality is as good as 1080i gets and the sound is top-notch.
The extra full-length episode is as good as the main episodes.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|