Great Barrier Reef (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 5-Apr-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 176:55 (Case: 174)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By James Brickell

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Monty Halls
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD High Resolution Audio 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The BBC natural history unit has set the standard for nature documentaries for many years. This new series keeps the same high quality standards for incredible photography, intelligent hosts and interesting subject matter. Here in Australia, this show was shown on Channel 9 with the intelligent host, marine biologist Monty Halls replaced by a voiceover from Karl Stefanovic. Luckily, this Blu-ray release retains the original host and is the full length series, which was cut by approximately 25 minutes on Channel 9, presumably to remove Monty's direct to camera scenes. I caught a little of this show on TV and we are much better off with the original commentary.

    Great Barrier Reef covers many different aspects of the reef, not just the beautiful coral and sea life. The subject is covered in some depth across three one hour episodes including the reef itself, how it formed originally, the whole ecosystem including the coastal areas, the lagoon behind the reef, the natural forces which affect the reef and the man made ones. Nighttime and daytime reef activities are covered along with many different types of animal life including lots of fish species, sharks, rays, turtles, goannas, crocodiles and more. There are some fascinating sections about parrot fish, who actually eat the reef, the spawning of the coral, the effects of tides and waves and much more.

    The photography is magnificent getting into areas not possible previously using remote controlled underwater cameras and time lapse photography. It records what happens in the reef when divers aren't around. The colours are magnificent, the fish, the coral, the sea look spectacular on Blu-ray.

    Highly Recommended in this original format.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC. According to the case some of the footage used was originally from standard definition sources, however, this is not obvious during the show.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout.

    The colour was excellent, bursting off the screen with amazing vividness. Monty occasionally looked a little red but this might be his normal colour.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

    There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good.

    This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS-HD High Resolution 2.0. Although this is not the highest quality DTS-HD format it is certainly significantly better than Dolby Digital, which graces many BBC Blu-rays. The crashing surf sounds excellent on this disc, really placing your home theatre room in the surf.

    Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear and understand.

    The music by the BBC Orchestra of Wales is great, suiting the series well.

    The surround speakers were not used.

    The subwoofer supported the surf sounds.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No extras


    The menu included music and a nice sea life cursor. Audio Navigation is available as an option.

R4 vs R1

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

    This set is available in the same format in the UK.


    A fascinating and beautifully shot BBC series about the Barrier Reef.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, May 09, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
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