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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Sports > Baseball > Nature > Elements > Houston Astros World Series Champions 2017: Special Edition Blu-ray Box Set + Official Documentary Blu-ray/DVD Set (both Shout! Factory releases)/Mygrations: Season One (2016/Fox/National Geographic D

Houston Astros World Series Champions 2017: Special Edition Blu-ray Box Set + Official Documentary Blu-ray/DVD Set (both Shout! Factory releases)/Mygrations: Season One (2016/Fox/National Geographic DVD)



Picture: B/B-/C Sound: B/B-/C Extras: C/C/D Main Programs: B+/B-/B



Now for a few special interest releases...



Each year, after Major League Baseball wraps up another season, they do a great job of celebrating the climax over who won the World Series by creating memorabilia and programming to commemorate the event. Because it takes so many games to win, they do a small and large video release to cover everything, going back to the early days of DVD to really capture all the excitement in detail. It is a very smart thing and this time, for 2017, it is how the Los Angeles Dodgers (you know, the ones originally from Brooklyn so many decades ago) put up a good fight, but lost to the Astros from Houston. Houston Astros World Series Champions 2017: Special Edition Blu-ray Box Set and the Official Documentary Blu-ray/DVD set have been issued by the MLB (now via Shout! Factory) and it is as rich a thorough as usual.


This battle took all seven games, dragging out the suspense and possibilities of whom might win and lose for the longest time and for fans on both sides, a very torturous period. Reliving it the long way is a great thing for fans wanting to capture the moments that stuck with them the most, only enhanced and multiplied by the availability on the box set of four different soundtracks (though many might not understand Spanish, so make that three in many cases) and this also means more possibilities of seeing ands hearing things in a new light , which I cannot recall from hardly any other sports releases on home video to date, as good as many of them are.


No big fan of either team, it is still interesting and of course, seeing people tormented over something you're not a fan of is always an odd experience like a franchise film series you have zero investment in the characters of. The Documentary is more personal and to the point, usually not feeling pretentious and usually well edited like the one here. The two releases are therefore for passive (documentary only) active (box set) and fanatical (both) fans and as compared to previous releases in the series, up to the MLB's high quality standards of content presentation.


Many wonder why the Blu-ray are not 1080p, a fair question as we head into the 4K era and the Japanese are about to try out 8K sports broadcasting, but apparently the programs are not being produced on the latest cutting edge equipment, though they still play fine for what they are. The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Documentary looks good, ut you can see some edge issues and motion blur, while the 720p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the games in the Box Set can appear thinner on larger screens, they blur less.The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Documentary looks good, but you can see some edge issues and motion blur, while the 720p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the games in the box set can appear thinner on larger screens, they blur less. Are they 720p to fit the discs? I doubt it. Maybe the MLB just wants to save higher definition copies for later releases for some reason.


The Documentary is offered with a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that sounds good, if inconsistent soundfield-wise as many audio portions are just talking and simple stereo. The DVD is also included in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital. 5.1 sound mix that are weaker still, but passable. The Box Set offers four versions of DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless sound, but the audio between the four tracks have a slightly wider range of quality than you might expect, so be careful of volume switching and high playback levels just in case you get too carried away watching the game. No need to damage any equipment over this.


Extras for both releases include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the box set features a SleeveStats insert booklet containing official stats, game trivia and more; also included are four audio options, allowing viewers to watch the games while listening to either the television broadcast, Astros or Dodgers Radio Network announcers, or a Spanish-language version of the broadcasts. I liked the Astros track best.


Bonus features on the Documentary include Regular Season Highlights, Clinching Moments, World Series Highlights and the World Series Parade which brought the city together for an emotional celebration.



A group of 20 people attempts to follow the Wildebeest's migration for 200 miles through the African Serengeti. The group is made of up various experts, scientists, athletes, military, and extreme survivalist will try follow one of the greatest migration done by land animals, without weapons or guides, attempting to cross Africa's wilderness, the Serengeti to follow the Wildebeest. The human 'herd' will test their mettle, themselves and each other in the first season of Mygrations (2016).


While man has nearly mastered the planet with their intellect, machines and tools, to return to nature is a reverting to the laws of nature and the laws of the jungles, survival of the the fittest. Make no mistake, only the strong survives, the wild will kill those who are old, weak, or too young. As they trek father each day, there are those who would drop out when they are no longer able to move forward. They will face animals, terrain and other dangers, but even more dangerous when they are not fighting against nature, they are fighting themselves and each other. Each one will test themselves and mankind's ability to work together over come difficulties that one can not accomplish alone.


National Geographic follows a group of people to make a journey across the Serengeti. While it is about surviving in the wild, it is more about the humans and their journey than the animals (but isn't man an animal too?) The group is filled with genius in their respective fields, but that all means nothing in the face of survival, nature is not as forgiving. Even if mankind is a species who has superior knowledge, if he/she does not knows how to use it correctly, it proves to the difference between knowledge and wisdom. In the end it comes down to two types of people, the ex-military and civilians ...and not everyone will make it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital sound are very average with everything from motion blur to location audio limits, so have patience if you tae this one on. There are no extras.



- Nicholas Sheffo (Astros) and Ricky Chiang


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