Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled-Season 1 (2009)

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Released 7-Jul-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Travel None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 611:48 (Case: 614)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor
Beach House Pictures
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring John Vlahides
Dominic Bonuccelli
Tony Wheeler
Tamara Steward
Amelia Thomas
Shawn Low
Katherine Kane
Iain Shearer
Kerry Lorimer
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $34.95 Music Aaron D’Arcy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Lonely Planet - Roads Less Travelled follows the adventures of a diverse group of Lonely Planet guidebook writers and / or photographers as they get off the beaten tourist track to road test new routes, new places and new experiences. Not surprisingly, the locations, the experiences and the travellers themselves are a mixed bunch. Some of the roads, such as the logging track through the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia, are more off the radar than some and very rough indeed! Some destinations, such as Ethiopia, seem too dangerous to even contemplate as a lone traveller! Until you watch the DVD, of course. Even in more well know destinations, such as Spain or Israel, the travellers seek unknown sites or experiences. Parachuting off the Golan Heights anyone?

     The travellers have three weeks to explore each country. They are a diverse group in character and experience, from first timers to Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler. Some have language skills to help them get by, others don’t. Irrespective of language skills, all are willing to give almost anything a go and they often create much amusement among the locals. Things also don’t always go according to plan: the weather, local customs, food, the security situation and illness and injury frequently get in the way to enhance the experience of being “out there”. In these 13 episodes there is beautiful photography, enticing locations, colourful locals, exhilarating situations, food that might best be left to the locals and good, plain adventure. There is something here for every adventurous traveller and, in fact, many of the episodes are really about the adventure and experience of travel itself.

     Every adventure traveller, armchair or otherwise, has their own favourite destinations. Lonely Planet - Roads Less Travelled: Season 1 is a 4 disc set with 3 or 4 individual episodes on each disc so there is something to interest nearly everyone. Each individual episode runs for approximately 47 minutes. The country visited, traveller and some of their experiences are:

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Disc 4

     If your idea of a perfect holiday destination is lazing on the beach in Fiji, Bali or Phuket, Lonely Planet - Roads Less Travelled is unlikely to set your heart racing. But if exploring exotic back roads, meeting the locals, savouring local food specialities and experiencing life on the road with Lonely Planet guidebook writers sounds like your thing, this DVD is for you!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Lonely Planet - Roads Less Travelled is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 which I suspect is the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     As there are 13 separate 47 minute episodes over 4 discs in this set, many different directors of photography and the fact that a lot of the film was shot on the go with hand held camera in buses, trains and vehicles of all kinds, the sharpness does vary as does the colour, contrast and brightness. However, this in no way detracts from the viewing experience; rather it enhances it through allowing us to join in the travelling experience. This is not to say that any of the images are poor, they’re not and most of the footage is as sharp as one could expect. There are also some stunningly beautiful images of jungle, mist covered mountains, deserts, people and out of the way towns and settlements. There are minor artefacts very occasionally, but nothing distracting.

     On some of the discs the layer change is not noticeable; on others, such as 74:45 on the second disc, there is a slight pause.

     There are burnt in English subtitles in an easy to read white font which translate non-English dialogue or hard to hear or unclear English spoken by locals.

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

Audio

     Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded at 192 Kbps. The episodes are mostly voice over by either the series narrator Tony Jackson or the traveller with added music and some effects, such as vehicle motors. Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand from the front speakers. Some music and effects occur in the rear speakers giving a nice feel and my sub kicked in occasionally with a thump or two. As such, the audio does a very good job.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

     The original music by Aaron D’Arcy is catchy and appropriate. Other recurring title songs are by Speed Orange and The Blow Monkeys.

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

Extras

     No extras.

R4 vs R1

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

     I cannot find releases of Lonely Planet - Roads Less Travelled in other regions. In Region 4, each single disc is also available for individual purchase for almost as much as the 4 disc set, so the set is better value if a number of the destinations appeal.

Summary

     If exploring exotic back roads, meeting the locals, savouring local food specialities and experiencing chaotic life on the road with Lonely Planet guidebook writers sounds like your thing, this DVD is certainly for you! The video and audio are good; there are no extras but with 13 destinations and 10 hours of travel experiences they are hardly needed. Great fun and great value.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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