16 Days in September: Games Highlights of the XXVII Olympiad (2000)

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Released 7-Dec-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Olympics Main Menu Audio
Notes-Roll Of Honour
Notes-Credits
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 212:18 (Case: 210)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (111:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Various
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    For my first review of the year 2001, I am reviewing the highlights of what was one of the biggest events in the year 2000, The Sydney Olympic Games. As great as the event was, the presentation of them on DVD is not.

    The content of this disc is comprised solely of Australian medal-winning events, except for both 100m sprints. This was the first thing that bugged me, as that meant that my favourite Olympic sport - Basketball - was nowhere to be seen. Secondly, this DVD has advertisements on it! So, we pay for the DVD and then have to sit through ads (although you are able to skip them with the chapter forward button) and I'm not just talking about the seven minute ad before the menus. If you leave the disc running after the credits there are two more ads, which are both accessible from the credits area of the DVD (though why you would want to watch them again?).

    Besides the aforementioned problems, the actual way the highlights are presented is good, with the DVD separated into days. For example, Day 1 has the women's triathlon because Michellie Jones won a silver medal and the men's 200m freestyle because Ian Thorpe won a gold medal. Again, the way the highlights have been selected (medal-only events) reared its head as none of the men's triathlon is shown. Also, the ratio of time divided for event highlights fluctuates. All of Ian Thorpe's swims have the full event shown while the women's gold medal winning water polo team only get the last ten seconds shown - the least they could have provided us with was some highlights of the match. Another example is the ratio of Cathy Freeman's 400m run (the whole event is shown) compared to Annemarie Forder's bronze medal in the 10m air pistol (her whole segment lasts about twenty seconds), which was quite a surprise as no Australian women were expected to win medals in shooting events. Do they want to get any more politically correct? I'm just getting sick of it. And to add to that the Channel 7 watermark is present for all the events on this disc.

    If you can get past the obvious shortcomings of the disc and your favourite areas of the Olympics are actually on it (!) then this may be a worthwhile purchase, but for me, it goes into the never-to-be-watched-again pile.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Can you say "sub-TV broadcast quality?". I can.

    This disc is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. Although rumours state that some countries received the Olympics in widescreen, official word says that it was filmed completely in 1.33:1 with some countries cropping it to 1.78:1.

    For the most part being shot on PAL digital betacam, a good transfer would be expected, but that is not what we get. The sharpness level looks artificial, as if some DNR had taken place. Everything is quite edgy and seems too diffuse. Shadow detail is good but displays of it are fairly rare due to the content of the disc.

    Colour was excellent all around, being one of the stand-out points of this mediocre video transfer.

    MPEG artefacts in the form of macro-blocking (pixelization) is the main problem here - just take a look at Chapter 19 of Title 4, especially the water. Everything is broken up into blocks. A lot of the disc has this problem but the swimming events do seem to be the most problematic. This could be due to the fairly low bit-rate during this event - it hovers around the 5.5 Mb/s mark and never gets any higher than 7.2 Mb/s, even going as low as 2.4 Mb/s.

    This DVD is dual-layered, with the only mildly disruptive layer change occurring at 111:50. There is also a lengthy pause at 117:51 as the DVD skips to a new title.

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

Audio

    The audio isn't problematic like the video is, but it is still nothing to write home about.

    There is only one track on this DVD being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, encoded at a high bitrate of 320Kb/s.

    No problems were noted except for the awful commentary by the Channel 7 staff - at least give us a track with no commentators on it! The track itself is rather boring but nothing that isn't to be expected.

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

Extras

    WOW!, we get advertisements for extras, what a pleasure to watch! To Trans World International/Channel 7: Ads are not welcome, especially as extras.

Menu

    The menu is rather nice, having discrete options to choose from. It has the Channel 7 Olympic theme playing in the background.

Notes - Roll Of Honour

    The list of all the Australian medal winners, the same one that is on the inside cover of the DVD.

Advertisements - Credits (3)

    Three advertisements, the seven minute one at the start of the disc and two other ones. Note that once you start the ads you cannot skip back to the menu, you have to fast-forward to the end to get back to the menu. Very annoying.

R4 vs R1

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

   This disc is identical worldwide unfortunately.

Summary

    The Sydney 2000 Olympics were fun to watch on TV, but on DVD it's all downhill.

    The video quality is problematic but watchable.

    The audio quality is uniform and acceptable.

    Extras? What extras?

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Andrew Siers (I never did my biography in primary school)
Monday, January 08, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplayToshiba 34N9UXA. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha CX-600 Pre-Amp, Yamaha MX-600 Stereo Power Amp for Mains, Yamaha DSP-E300 for Center, Teac AS-M50 for Surrounds.
SpeakersMain Left and Right Acoustic Research AR12s, Center Yamaha NS-C70, Surround Left and Right JBL Control 1s

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