Anthology of T'ai Chi & QiGong: The Prescription for the Future (2001) (NTSC)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category New Age Featurette-Exhibition of Entire Left (Reverse) Style
Trailer-T'ai Chi: The Mulan Style
Trailer-T'ai Chi & QiGong: The Ultimate Corporate Wellness...Program
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 202:38 (Case: 240)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (124:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SMART Productions
Wild Releasing
Starring Bill Douglas
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $49.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Anthology of T'ai Chi & QiGong: The Prescription for the Future is a disc that contains a complete series of instructional lessons demonstrating the Kuang Ping Yang style of T'ai Chi.

    This instructional series includes information describing the QiGong breathing exercises and the related Kuang Ping Yang form of T'ai Chi. The series begins with the absolute basics and no prior knowledge of T'ai Chi is required to follow the lessons. The lessons progress from the basics through to the most advanced forms and it is estimated that most viewers will take around one year to master the complete style.

    This disc contains a number of remarkable claims such as "... T'ai Chi may help reduce stress damage, slow the aging process, boost the immune system, lower high blood pressure, reduce incidents of depression, anxiety and overall mood disturbance ...". While I am not qualified to make any comments as to the medical benefits of T'ai Chi, some of the claims made in the series and the testimonials on the packaging are very surprising.

    If you have had your interest in T'ai Chi piqued by the preceding, and want to learn some of the various moves, this disc will provide you with a series of easy to follow instructional lessons. Having said that, very little general background or historical information regarding T'ai Chi is provided on this disc.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This disc contains nearly four hours of footage, encoded at a constant bitrate of 4 Mbps, on one dual layered disc. As you would expect, this has a significant impact upon the quality of the video displayed.

    The full frame NTSC transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer is quite soft throughout and never displays high levels of detail. Nearly all of the transfer is set in a brightly lit studio environment and consequently no problems with shadow detail are present during the transfer. Occasionally some low level noise may be seen in the transfer with examples visible at 3:10 and 15:50 during the first lesson.

    The colour palette displayed during the transfer appear always slightly muted but this is not distracting to the viewer and does not detract from the instructional content.

    Numerous MPEG artefacts are visible throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 17:07, 17:48, 24:03, 25:42, 27:57 and 29:07 during the first block of lessons. Due to the frequency of these artefacts, they are quite distracting to the viewer.

    A large number of aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 12:52, 13:02, 14:37, 16:50 and 19:48. These artefacts are also quite distracting because of their near-constant presence.

    This transfer appears to have completely originated from a tape source and consequently no film artefacts are present.

    During a large number of scenes, some cross colouration artefacts may be seen. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:58, 1:39, 20:04 and 21:19 during the first group of lessons.

    A slight ghosting of the image is also visible during almost all of the instructional footage shot in the studio and is clearly visible at the start of lesson two. This is initially quite distracting but is eventually able to be overlooked by the viewer.

    No subtitles are provided on this disc.

    The layer change appears to occur at the start of lesson ten and is not disruptive to the viewer.

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

Audio

    A single English Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 audio track is provided on this disc.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    No problems with audio sync were detected during the transfer. An audio dropout may be heard during lesson three at 13:24 and during lesson eight at 46:18. These very short dropouts are slightly distracting.

    A small amount of instrumental music is present during the introduction and QiGong breathing exercises and this fits in well with the material presented. During the vast majority of the transfer, no musical score is present.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilised during the transfer.

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

Extras

Menu

    The basic menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Featurette: Exhibition of entire left (Reverse) style (19:35)

    This is a demonstration of a left style of T'ai Chi and it contains no specific instructional segments. This featurette is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it displays the same artefacts as seen during the main feature.

Promotional sample of "T'ai Chi: The Mulan Style A Feminine Art for Power, Grace and Health" (2:02)

    This is a short promotion for a similar series focusing upon Mulan Quan T'ai Chi. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Promotional sample of "T'ai Chi & QiGong: The Ultimate Corporate Wellness and Ergonomics Program" (3:11)

    This is a short segment explaining the benefits of T'ai Chi and why many businesses are using this in corporate wellness programs. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this disc appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    If you are interested in learning T'ai Chi this disc should provide ample instruction for most viewers.

    The video quality of the transfer exhibits a number of problems but is still acceptable when used as an instructional video.

    The basic 2.0 audio track is sufficient for the material presented.

    The minimal extras presented on this disc may be of some slight interest to some viewers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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