Wildlife Special-Eagle (1997)
|Year Of Production||1997|
|Running Time||48:40 (Case: 50)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||John Downer|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I am really enjoying this series of Wildlife documentaries. I previously reviewed Tiger .
Eagle is another excellent entry in the series of programs made by the BBC called Wildlife Specials. This particular program was made in 1997 but has only just been released on DVD in this region. The program is narrated by the grand master of wildlife documentaries, David Attenborough and he appears briefly at the start of the show.
This show gives you an incredible insight into eagles, the various breeds, their lifestyles, hunting habits, adaptations to their habitats and how they interact with each other. The highlight here is the incredible footage that is included, especially the eagle-eye views of prey as the eagles swoop in for the kill or soar over mountain ranges. Some of this is obviously done with tricks and super-imposition but it doesn't really matter as it gives you a real insight. There is also some great underwater photography from the perspective of fish and sea snakes which get taken by eagles. The thing which really amazed me about these birds of prey was the incredible range of habitats they live in and foods they hunt. Their prey includes Salmon, Tortoises, Monkeys, Hydraxes, Flamingoes, Sea Snakes, Deer and Kangaroos depending on where they live. The shots of prey being taken are quite amazing especially the sequence showing an Eagle hunting Flamingoes.
The show covers eagles in America, Asia, Africa & Australia and includes breeds such as Golden, Bald, Crowned, Steppe (from Asia & Africa), the huge Marshall Eagles from Africa (2 metre wingspan), the amazing White Bellied Fish Eagles who have dogfights with each other, the forest dwelling Crested Serpent Eagle, and the magnificent and 1 metre tall Philippines Eagle and Australia's own Wedge-Tailed Eagle.
The only minor criticism I would have of this program is that, like Tiger, it is only 50 minutes in length. I would have thought that packaging both together on one disc would have been reasonable.
If you enjoy nature documentaries this is a very good quality one featuring excellent photography. I am keenly awaiting the local release of the other titles in the series, Leopard & Serpent.
The video quality is mostly excellent.
The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is quite probably the original aspect ratio.
The picture was clear and sharp throughout. There was some grain in some scenes which was probably inherent in the original footage. There was no low level noise.
The colour was excellent throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding.
There were no noticeable artefacts.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear, easy to read and exact to the narration.
The audio quality is good.
This DVD contains one audio option, a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.
The narration was clear and easy to understand at all times. There was no music of note.
The surround speakers were used to add atmosphere which added to the overall feel of the show. I utilised the Dolby ProLogicII facility in my amplifier to achieve this effect.
The subwoofer was not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included an ability to select scenes and turn the subtitles on and off but nothing else.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This documentary will be released in Region 2 on 23 August 2004 in exactly the same format. It does not seem to be currently available in Region 1.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is good.
The disc has no extras.
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|