Susan Powter-Lean Strong & Healthy (1993)

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Released 7-Apr-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 54:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nancy DiToro
Studio
Distributor
A Vision Entertainme
Warner Vision
Starring Susan Powter
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Lincoln Apeland
Richard McHugh


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, product credits in end titles
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I've always wanted to buy a fitness video on DVD because the format can survive multiple, repeated playbacks. I've owned quite a few VHS exercise tapes over the years, and some of them have become virtually unplayable.

    It's been a long wait, because it took nearly five years since the format's introduction to Australia before the first batch of titles appeared on the market. In Region 1, there are literally hundreds of fitness titles available featuring stalwarts such as Denise Austin, Kathy Smith and Leslie Sansone, not to mention a number of Pilates titles and even a Richard Simmons title or two.

    This one is from Susan Powter - "author, businesswoman, outstanding champion of women's issues, and wellness expert" (according to her biography). Her main claim to fame is that she used to be really fat and lost 133 pounds so if she can do it so can you, and she is determined to show how - through books, audio tapes, videos, seminars, ...

    This video dates from 1993 and is the first of three titles that she has released. It features mainly low impact step aerobics, emphasizing repetition and control rather than energetic movements or dancing. The programme consists of a short introduction by Susan, followed by a complete workout from warm up to cool down. There is also a short monologue at the end of the workout designed for encouragement and motivation.

    This is a "traditional" rather than "hip" fitness video - featuring pastel coloured walls, lots of leotards and sneakers, and vaguely new age/contemporary jazz instrumental background music. However, I quite like Susan's instructional styles - she has a good sense of rhythm and pace. Her instructions are clear and she gives plenty of warning before she changes her steps.

    The "cast" of people accompanying the workout seem to be carefully chosen to reflect a diverse range of ages, fitness level, body size and gender (including a token male). The idea is that you can use the person who most closely resembles you as a "role model." Susan takes the trouble to provide alternative or scaled down movements for most of the exercises - she calls these "modifications" - so that you can follow the steps no matter what your fitness level is.

    I found this a fairly easy to follow workout, although some of the more complex routines baffled me and I had to resort to using the pause key and slow motion buttons on my DVD player to master them. Some may find the routines a bit boring and repetitive, but I don't mind them (perhaps because I am a boring and repetitive person?).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a full frame transfer, taken from an analogue video source intended for duplication onto VHS tapes.

    The quality of the composite video source is pretty much as you would expect - rather soft, with smeary colours and there are some composite video artefacts such as dot crawl.

    The quality of the video is probably acceptable if you are watching this on a small screen display, but will be somewhat painful on a projector. On the plus side, doing the exercises whilst displaying this on the projector gave me the illusion that I was attending a real aerobics class as the people on the video looked life-sized!

    There is an analogue video glitch present around 14:20.

    There is no subtitle track on this single sided single layered disc but you don't need one.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio tracks present: English and German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). The default audio track is English. I'm not sure how you would select the German audio track without using the DVD player controls since there is no audio selection menu. The quality of the audio transfer is pretty average for an analogue video source.

    I did not notice any problems with the audio, and there were no audio synchronization issues.

    I found the dialogue relatively clear and easy to understand. Background music is non-obtrusive.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are absolutely no extras on this disc, however the menu is animated and includes background audio. There is a short intro prior to displaying the menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This title has yet to be released in Region 1.

Summary

    Susan Powter - Lean, Strong & Healthy is a low impact step aerobics workout that is fairly easy to follow, and is suitable for anyone no matter what their fitness levels are.

    The video quality is rather soft and based on an analogue composite video source.

    The audio quality is average.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Friday, June 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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