Backyard Science-Volume 1 (2005)

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Released 15-Dec-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 201:20 (Case: 200)
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Guy Mansfield
Juston Schneider
Studio
Distributor
Visual Entertainment Group Starring Taron Victor Gordon
Dana Kronentel
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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 No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Backyard Science is a television programme for kids that began on ABC television a couple of years ago. It is a science show for kids aged 6-12, starring kids aged 6-12, so rather than trying to be an imitation of something like the 1980s gem The Curiosity Show, with iconic presenters Dean and Rob, this is a unique take on an educational television show. There's no lecturing adults to be seen, just a bunch of kids conducting a few experiments that seem more like play activities. The promotional blurb states that the show is fast-paced and fun, and helps children unravel the mysteries of life, the universe and everything - all from their own backyard.

    The beauty of the show is that any kid watching should instantly be able to replicate any of the experiments conducted on the show. Things like making a parachute for an action-man figure out of a plastic shopping bag, making sugar by combining flour and salt, learning how to make a really authentic looking flesh wound out of Vaseline, red food colouring and cocoa powder (I particularly liked this one) and how to rip off a table cloth from a fully laden table without disturbing the food. In addition to performing the actual tasks, there is an explanation at the end of each segment discussing the actual science behind why these things happen. Without even realising it, the kids will learn all about gravity, air pressure, inertia, force and more.

    Australian made, Backyard Science has been a success in terms of overseas sales with countries including France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, Finland and Israel all picking it up.

    What stems from this overseas success, and what is probably the biggest negative of the show, is its reliance on voice-overs for virtually all of its audio. Obviously this is a device used to ensure the programme can be easily and cheaply adapted to any overseas market, but it does leave the viewer feeling slightly disconnected from the kids on screen. Furthermore some of the voices used (it's hard to determine if they are the actual kids in the footage for this Australian version) can be a little over-the-top in their enthusiasm for the topic.

    Nevertheless, this is a fun show that is above all entertaining and very educational. This two-disc DVD for volume one features eight 25 minute episodes and comes highly recommended for that little Einstein in the family.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in the full screen aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this title is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Being a recent production, this is a pretty good effort in terms of clarity and sharpness with few problems. There are certainly no issues with grain or shadow detail.

    Colours are bright and crisp and there are no problems with bleeding or over saturation.

    I saw no compression artefacts or any other blemishes in terms of the video source.

    There are no subtitles, which is a shame.

    Both discs in this two-disc set are single layered, therefore there are no layer changes to report.

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

Audio

    Only one soundtrack is present, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo effort that is adequate for the role required of it. There is a little bit of stereo separation but nothing to get overly excited about. I don't imagine the intended audience for this film would get too excited over substantial stereo imaging anyway.

    Dialogue is excellent, if perhaps a little hammy at times.With little actual on-screen speaking there are no audio sync problems.

    There is obviously no surround channel nor subwoofer use.

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

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is yet to be released in Region 1.

Summary

    Backyard Science - Volume 1 is a DVD that features eight episodes of the entertaining kids show seen on ABC television. It's a show with the rare combination of being entertaining and highly educational. Starring kids aged 6-12 and using everyday items found at home this is a show that introduces a whole new generation to the wonders of the scientific world in a safe and easy way.

    The video quality is excellent with plenty of bright and vivid colours. I don't imagine too many of the intended audience will have too much to complain about.

    The audio is functional, even though it is just a stereo soundtrack.

    There are no extras.

 

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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