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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Geography > Travel > Documentary > Visions Of Italy + Visions Of Britain & Ireland (Acorn Media Blu-ray Sets)

Visions Of Italy + Visions Of Britain & Ireland (Acorn Media Blu-ray Sets)


Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: B



I have been waiting for a while with particular interest in when Acorn Media would issue their HD-shot Visions series in Blu-ray.  With a format war over and few such travelogue programs even available in the format, they have issued two sets of this fine series for starters.  We have previous covered all of them on DVD, as the following links will show:









Scotland with Wales




Finally, these shows (early triumphs in HD production that have rarely been equaled since most producers have an almost junkie-like tendency to mess with every aspect of the frame) can be seen at their best and though they are older HD productions as the technology moves along, they hold up because they were so well conceived and ambitious in the first place.  We get the same extras (especially extra footage) as before too and anyone who has an HD/Blu-ray set-up will get a real kick out of how good this still looks.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is an across the board improvement over the DVD editions and even looks a little better than HD satellite feeds of the same footage.  Yes, there are some detail limits since it is older HD, but the color, depth and incredible scenery make up for that throughout all four Blu-rays and there are even demonstration moments at times.  The poorest shots are of clouds and sky, which are boring and a waste of time.  Otherwise, you will see image quality here superior to most new films made in the last five years or so, plus footage far superior to just about any HD shoots of the same locations to date.


The older DVDs had Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but you get slightly better Dolby Digital 5.1, plus PCM 2.0 Stereo, but they are not that much better than the DVDs.  That is a shame, but we guess the sound recording was not as state-of-the-art for a lossless format and the PCM is just not that good.  All programs are narrated, but you get a music-only option that is convenient, but some might even experiment and play different music altogether.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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