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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Nature > Science > Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility + Visions Of The Sea (HD Scape; HD-DVD/DVD Combo Format)

Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility + Visions Of The Sea (HD Scape; HD-DVD/DVD Combo Format)


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



More fun scenery and mood discs have hit HD-DVD and once again, one is underwater and other is of a fireplace. This time, HD Scape issued the titles in Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility and Visions Of The Sea. It seems odd to cover such material, which we consider special interest, but they are always about issues of fidelity and performance is especially what HD-DVD is supposed to be about.


As compared to the Koch/DHX Fireplace Impressions, Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility seems a little bit clearer, but I though the DHX disc had more reds and allowed the fireplace to do more of the work in the lighting department. Obviously, you can get crazy and have both fireplace discs, but the DHX was a tad crisper in the way the wood burned, believe it or not. That leaves the music, where HD Scape has a slight edge and while both offer the sound of the wood burning and different classical pieces, but this HD Scape adds an alternate romantic classical set and Christmas music.


Visions Of The Sea is on location as compared to Aquarium Expressions, which is obviously restricted. Both are beautiful shoots, but the locations here on Sea remind one more of Planet Earth than the competing HD-DVD release. Though I liked the BBC production more, it still had its limits, even in both HD-DVD and Blu-ray, as reviewed elsewhere on this site. Two different exotic-type soundtracks are offered, but only one is multi-channel.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on both discs is very nice, colorful, nicely shot and look good for relatively recent HD shoots, even if they are not so clean and clear that you think you are looking through a window or at the real thing. Nevertheless, they do not disappoint and look especially good as compared to the anamorphically enhanced standard DVD sides, which look duller than expected in both cases. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes have good soundfields, though they are the same on both sides with the HD side having hardly any aural edge. The Dolby 2.0 alternate track on Sea is a plus and was worth including despite no 5.1 version, while the fire crackling on Fireplace here is Dolby 2.0 only.


Extras are few, including very brief (under two minutes) behind the scenes footage on Sea and previews for three other titles in the HD series. All Fireplace offers is a poem. For more on the DHX HD-DVDs, try this link:




For more on the HD Scape, try this link for their Sampler HD-DVD and enjoyable Antarctica release:





- Nicholas Sheffo


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