Imperium-Fall of Great Empires (2004)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||197:00 (Case: 200)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.75:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Imperium : Fall of Great Empires is a German made television series which was recently shown on SBS here in Australia. For the local television showing, an English voiceover was added as were English subtitles for the mostly German speaking academics who are interviewed. This same version is included here.
This is an excellent documentary series giving some fascinating insights into the great empires of history and why they eventually fell apart, were conquered or dissolved. It covers four different empires over 4 x 50 minute episodes. It uses a combination of re-enactment, computer generated models and battle plans, interviews with academics, voiceover, some archival footage and visits to modern day archaeological digs. One small quibble is that the episodes on the disc are in a different order to what is shown on the box, with programs 1 and 2 swapped.
The four episodes are:
All in all, this is a very well made series which gives a new angle on the great empires by focusing on their fall rather than what made them great. Highly recommended.
The video quality is acceptable, however jamming the 4 episodes onto one disc has lead to some low bitrate related issues.
The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio.
The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Some of the re-enactment scenes were quite soft, however, this seemed to be intentional. The low bitrate has resulted in quite obvious MPEG grain which is worst during the fourth episode. Shadow detail is fine but not spectacular.
The colour was reasonable however there was some quite obvious colour bleeding, especially from light colours.
Artefacts included some minor aliasing especially obvious in the computer generated sections and occasionally on walls, some mild edge enhancement and some moire and minor macro-blocking in Episode 4.
There are no subtitles streams, however yellow subtitles are burnt in for the foreign language speaking academics.
There is no obvious layer change - it is probably between episodes.
The audio quality is good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.
The music by Klangraum is very very serious but does its job.
The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere when the disc was played with Dolby Prologic II..
The subwoofer added some bass to the music but this was a function of my amp's bass management rather than the soundtrack itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included music and the ability to select episodes.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I can find no evidence of this series being available anywhere else in the world.
The video quality is acceptable but no more.
The audio quality is good.
The set has no extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, 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)|