National Geographic-Megastructures (Box Set) (2006)

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Released 10-Nov-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 156
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
National Geographic
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Slip Case
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None 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 None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Megastructures is a long running series of one hour documentaries from the National Geographic Channel in the US. They cover mostly engineering related topics and they have been shown quite a bit lately on 7Mate. I have watched a couple lately and found them interesting, featuring construction projects for major bridges, ships and other constructions. Accordingly, I decided to give this catalogue box set of three such documentaries a review. Unfortunately, they are not up to the standard of ones I have seen recently on television, with one of the three being a total waste of time.

     The three documentaries featured are:

  1. Super Copters (50:57) - The oldest documentary here (2005) and the worst by some way. This show feels like it contains about 10 minutes of worthy information spread over 50 minutes. It is repetitive and quite often boring. The voiceover track is written for excitement but the way it is spoken sounds monotonous. The show looks at a particular model of modern helicopter the Augusta Westland EH101 and talks about its features and benefits. It seems like an impressive machine but it is not well presented here.
  2. Super Rigs (51:18) - This episode from 2006 is much better but still not spectacular. It tells the story of an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico and the process of getting it back online after Hurricane Katrina. It discusses the construction, the components of the rig and the dangers involved.
  3. Super Sub (51:45) - This episode from 2006 is of similar quality to the second one focusing on a US Virginia Class submarine and its design and components including automated loading of torpedoes and other advances. There is a lot of US military rah-rah in the presentation but other developments in Europe are also covered.

     One major disappointment is that this three DVD5 box set, which has three cases in a cardboard slipcover, only really has enough content to fill a DVD9 as each disc only contains the 50 minute show and some trailers.

     In general I find this set hard to recommend as it has limited content and contains episodes of a quality series which are not the best on offer from the show.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is good. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was fine. The colour is good but nothing special.

     There were a few MPEG compression artefacts especially in stock footage and underwater scenes.

     There are no subtitles.

    There were no layer changes.

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

     This discs contain an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kb/s).

     Dialogue was very easy to understand throughout.

     The music is more annoying than value adding.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

    Trailers for other National Geographic titles only.

Menu

    The menus featured scenes from the shows and music.

 

R4 vs R1

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

    This set only seems to be available in Region 4.

Summary

     An average quality collection of episodes from National Geographic Channel.

     The video quality is good. The audio quality is good.

     No extras at all except trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, February 27, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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