Alien Deep with Bob Ballard (Blu-ray) (2012)
|Category||Documentary||Bonus Episode-Deep Secrets-The Ballard Gallipoli Expedition|
|Year Of Production||2012|
|Running Time||240:20 (Case: 225)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
|RPI||$39.95||Music||Michael J. McEvoy|
|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|
There is a very interesting comparison between the BBC nature documentaries such as the David Attenborough shows and these US produced National Geographic channel shows. I have watched a few of these now and tend to find them disappointing when compared to the BBC productions. These shows seem to tend more towards focusing on the people involved and how wonderful/intelligent/brave they are rather than focusing on the nature they are investigating. The number of times that the dramatic voiceover man intones 'Dr Robert Ballard' is enough to drive you nuts. I am sure Ballard is a very learned and intelligent man, with a great love of nature but the show could focus on the nature more and the man less. Over 5 x 45 minute episodes it seemed to me that only about 5 minutes was devoted to actual footage of the actual life at the bottom of the ocean and the rest was taken up by photos of Ballard staring meaningfully out into the ocean from a cliff top or people preparing submarines or talking about how dangerous everything is.
I will stop ranting now and explain a little about this series of shows, made for the National Geographic Channel. The show sets out to investigate the life near volcano mouths under the ocean to try and understand its significance to life on Earth more generally. They do this by using deep ocean exploration equipment such as small submarines and underwater probes.
Anyway, if you are interested in submarines and underwater exploration you will probably get something from this show but if like me and my young boys you were interested in the life at the bottom of the ocean you may be disappointed because of the time it takes to get onto anything interesting. My young boys lost interest very quickly. There is too much self-important preparation, repeated footage and long winded explanation combined with incredibly dramatic music and voice over. The show is spread over two Blu-ray discs.
Despite what should be an interesting topic I just can't recommend this series. Watch the extra instead, which is significantly better.
The video quality is very good but disappointingly only 1080i.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080i HD encoded using the AVC codec.
The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was very good throughout.
The colour is excellent showing of the beautiful sea and landscapes along with the inky blackness of the depths.
There are some interlacing artefacts and motion blur when the camera moves.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which were clear and easy to read.
The audio quality is very good.
These discs contains an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1. The soundtrack is quite front focused but does add some nice surround atmosphere.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.
The music is over the top and makes use of the subwoofer to go just a little bit further.
The surround speakers provided some nice atmosphere such as bubbles and other ocean sounds.
The subwoofer pounded away reproducing the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included music and scenes.
This is the highlight of the two Blu-ray discs. The drama is turned down for an interesting show about the sunken battleships and submarines from the Gallipoli campaign. The team explore the Dardanelles looking for sunken ships. The main story line concerns an Australian submarine AE2 which made it through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmara shortly after the invasion began. There is a dramatic reconstruction of their voyage and what they achieved. Well worth watching and significantly better made than the main show.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is a Region A Blu-ray which is the same but the soundtrack is only standard DTS and there is no Region B UK release at this time. Local is best.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is very good.The extra is the highlight of the set.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|