Visions Of Italy + Visions Of Britain &
Ireland (Acorn Media Blu-ray Sets)
B Sound: B- Extras: C Episodes: B
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
Scotland with Wales
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.
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.
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