How We Built Britain (2007)
Main Menu Audio
|Year Of Production||2007|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The BBC has been making interesting and worthwhile documentary series for many years especially historical and nature documentaries. Another in this long and impressive history is this series, How We Built Britain, which is quite a different approach to the history of Britain. Rather than focusing on Kings or battles or the usual things, it focuses on architecture through the ages and what it reveals about the history and culture of Britain. The show is made up of 6 episodes of approximately an hour each (over 2 discs). These episodes focus on a different region of Britain and investigate the various types of architecture in each region. One key thing about this series which improves its appeal is that it does not focus only on the obvious castles, cathedrals and country houses but also looks at villages, cottages, tenements and more modern buildings.
The series is hosted and written by David Dimbleby who is a UK based political journalist. He is a convivial but informative host who keeps the series moving by never focusing for too long on any piece of architecture. This makes the series of interest to more than just architecture buffs. He also adds interesting details and anecdotes about specific buildings which attracts a wider audience. Another real strength of this series is the wonderful aerial shots and landscape cinematography which shows the beauty of the natural British Isles, not just the architecture.
Overall, an informative and interesting documentary series. Recommended.
The feature is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.
The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was good. There was some evidence of MPEG compression including mild grain in some scenes and minor blocking during motion.
The colour is very good showing off, I presume, the very lucky excellent weather, especially in Scotland.
Other artefacts on show include some aliasing, especially on wide shots, and some obvious edge enhancement. There is also some jumpiness during the end titles.
There are subtitles in English. They are clear and easy to read.
The layer change was not noticeable during playback.
The audio is very good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand although the subtitles were helpful for some regional accents.
The music is by turns majestic or lyrical depending on the nature of the building. It certainly adds to the atmosphere.
The surround speakers were only used for mild atmosphere when the soundtrack was played using ProLogicII.
The subwoofer was used for adding bass to the music only.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes music and allows for episode and scene selection.
Dimbleby discusses why he did the series and his career generally. Worthwhile.
This seems to be available in the same format in Region 2. Not available in Region 1 currently.
The video quality is good.
The audio is very good.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|