Normans, The: A Dynasty that Shaped the World (2004)
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||151:26 (Case: 150)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (24:39)||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|
The Normans are probably best known, certainly in Australia, for their conquest of Britain in 1066, led by William the Conqueror. The next most well known Normans are probably the men responsible for the end of the Norman dynasty, Richard the Lionheart and his brother John, who lost their lands throughout France which meant that most Normans then either became English or French, losing their direct control of Normandy. This series, by focusing on the Normans as a group of people rather than just as the conquerors of Britain, gives a broader perspective on their history and conquests in other parts of the world, such as Southern Italy. The series has an excellent term which it uses to describe the Normans; 'Appalling Christians but great churchmen'. Basically, the Normans were famous for two things - conquest and benefaction of the church - and their conquests were nearly always bloody and ruthless. They used their money to build cathedrals and other churches in order to ensure that the political influence of the church was on their side.
This series is presented in three episodes and was screened on SBS here in Australia. It is a French, Welsh, English and Australian co-production which was made in 2004. Style-wise, the series does not have a presenter, but rather a narrator who talks through the history while somewhat related images play onscreen. The series is not overly interesting visually, with a lot of shots of castles and cathedrals plus some battle recreations (some of which substitute for multiple battles). Despite this, the information presented is quite fascinating including much detail of which I was not aware about the history of the Normans, especially the second episode.
The three episodes are:
This is an interesting series which covers the Normans in a broader way than I have seen previously.
The video quality is good but has some issues.
The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio.
The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was fine without being spectacular. There was light grain throughout and some sections were heavier.
The colour was quite good however there was some chroma noise to be seen, such as at 15:50 in Episode 1.
Artefacts included some mild aliasing and jagged edges, quite a bit of shimmering especially on panning, some occasional macro-blocking (eg 15:29 ep 1), some edge enhancement and one spot of moire at 40:20 in episode 1.
There are subtitles in SBS yellow, burned in for foreign language interview subjects but not otherwise.
The layer change occurs at 24:39 in episode 2 and caused a noticeable pause.
The audio quality is very good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.
The narrator was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync when someone was being interviewed.
The music used was very suitable to the material including Gregorian chants and some Italian stringed instruments.
The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere when played with Dolby ProLogicII.
The subwoofer added some bass to the music due to my amp's bass management.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu was very simple allowing for choosing episodes or playing all at once.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This series is only currently available in Region 4 on DVD.
The video quality is good.
The audio quality is very good.
|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)|