8.1 C
New York
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Advertisement

Discovery Atlas: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

discoveryatlasunited-states-flag-orb-icon1

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640kbps); Dolby Digital 2.0 (320kbps)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Region: A
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 3
  • Studio: Discovery Channel
  • Release Date: November 10, 2009
  • List Price: $49.98 [amazon-product align=”center”]B002KLQ2YA[/amazon-product]
BestBuy.com:
Discovery Atlas: Complete Series (3 Disc) - Widescreen Subtitle
Purchase Discovery Atlas: Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop with us for more Blu-ray releases at Amazon.com
Overall
rating3-5
The Collection
rating4
Video Quality
rating3-5
Audio Quality
rating3
Supplemental Materials
rating1-5

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

More Screen Captures (47 Total)

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Collection

rating4

The Discovery Atlas Collection is a series of travelogues that ran on the Discovery Channel focusing on individual nations. Their unique interpretation to the genre, however, was to include a spin that, rather than focus simply on geography or nature, focused on a select group of people from each nation dealing with the modern conditions in their world. The series focus on the changing social conditions, the meeting of the old and the new, and the challenges facing both young and old in this new global economy helps it to stand out from a crowd of travelogue series on the air.

BDDefinition-SouthAfricaRevealed-b-1080The series breaks down like this:

South Africa Revealed: Home to more plant species than the entire US and more animal species than Europe and Asia combined. The world leader in wildlife conservation. 10% of the country is set aside for wildlife conservation and1/3 of the population is Zulu.

The episode follows a black gold miner owning his first home after 25 years of hard work, a young girl part of the first generation of blacks born into freedom determined to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and gain a college degree, a wildlife conservationist/vet. There’s also a focus on the challenge facing the nation and its fight against HIV/AIDs than anywhere else in the world.

France Revealed: Narrated by Candace Bergen, France Revealed shows the new France with a focus on the Eiffel tower receiving 6 million visitors a year, world’s most visited monument. A bullfighter is followed and free-runner in Paris slums is profiled. Also “revealed” are a bomb disposal expert and a rock climber.

Japan Revealed: Narrated by Masi Oka,  Japan Revealed shows Geisha in Kyoto, Japan’s original capital city, how schoolgirls in Tokyo influence trends around the world and the country’s the summer festivals.

Mexico Revealed: Edward James Olmos narrates this episode that features the history of the Mayan Empire and the pre-Hispanic ruins. Young cliff divers are shown and a monarch butterfly preserve is explored among the many other splendors of Mexico.

China Revealed: James Spader narrates this episode dedicated to the most populous country on the planet with its 1.3 billion people. China is expected to be the world’s next superpower. The ancient clashes with the modern; capitalism and commercialism. There are more construction projects in China than anywhere else in the world.

Italy Revealed: Narrated by Isabella Rossellini, the “floating city” of Venice, built on the profits of the maritime trade is explored. Sicily, the stronghold of the mafia and Milan the fashion capital of Italy are examined through the lives of a fashion designer and a free diver. Italy has more world heritage sites than any country in the world. A female teenage auto racer is and in Siena, the most dangerous horse race in  the world is run with neighborhoods pitted against each other.

Egypt Revealed:  Omar Metwally narrates this episode on Egypt. It shows the ruins of Luxor built for the pharaohs, the celebration of Ramadan, the Nile, the desert oases away from the Nile, date gardens; traditional roles of women in rural areas and examines how men run Egyptian society holding 98 percent of government positions.

Russia Revealed: Dan Oreskes is the narrator for this episode on the new post-communist Russia. The episode follows a reindeer herdsman in Siberia. In the capitol of Moscow, more than 100,000 millionaires thrive along with the Russian mafia — the population has swelled to over 10 million. In Dagestan the ancient traditions are finally reviving after many years of communism. St. Petersburg, is the cultural capitol of Russia with theatre, opera and the circus. A 17-year-old training at a circus school to be an aerial acrobat is profiled.

India Revealed: Narrated by filmmaker Mira Nair, this episode turns its attention on the home of the world’s largest democracy with 1/6 of the world’s entire population. It shows Mumbai the center of the Bollywood phenomenon, Indians below the poverty line,  New Delhi and the growing middle class in the new economy.  A wedding planner with a booming business and a swami profiling the nation’s ingrained caste system are profiled.

Australia Revealed: Actor Russell Crowe narrates this episode focused on the nation continent. It is the oldest landmass on Earth. After its humble beginnings as a penal colony for the British Empire, Australia now has one of the world’s highest standards of living. The episode profiles a lifeguard, the celebration of Australia Day, extreme rowing marine sports, Australian Rules Football, a camel wrangler in the heart of the Australian desert and camel races. The outback and aboriginal paintings along with the convergence of ancient civilization and the new Australian nation are also focused on.

Brazil Revealed: Sela Ward narrates this look at the home of Carnival the largest celebration in the world. It looks at a river merchant who carries provisions deep into the Amazon. The Amazon River carries 20% of all the world’s fresh water. The importance of soccer to the nation is profiled along with a woman learning to Samba in preparation for Carnival and others preparing for the big celebration. The country is also the world’s biggest producer of beef and a professional rodeo rider is profiled.

Video Quality

rating3-5

BDDefinition-IndiaRevealed-d-1080The Discovery Atlas: Complete Collection was originally captured in high definition and it is provided in this Blu-ray collection in a three-disc 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encoding. The picture quality is a bit inconsistent, an obvious result of various sources. There are moments when the image shows amazing clarity and stability yet others where it is flat and soft. Video noise and blocking are sometimes issues and occasional color banding shows up in the sky.

Audio Quality

rating3

BDDefinition-JapanRevealed-c-1080The audio on this release is provided in two options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1(640kbps) mix and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320kbps) mix. Neither mix offers anything very exciting. The 5.1 mix only provides very little low-level ambience in the surround channels and some weak low frequency support. The 2.0 mix is a little tight in the soundstage with some subtle stereo effects across the front.

Supplemental Materials

rating1-5

BDDefinition-ItalyRevealed-a-1080The only supplements offered are a few bonus vignettes that offer some additional cultural information on the countries included. They claim to be in high definition, but they look much more like up-scaled standard definition to my eyes.

The supplements provided on this release are:

  • Bonus Vignettes (1.78:1; 1080i/60):
    • Italy
    • Egypt
    • Russia
    • Brazil

The Definitive Word

Overall:

rating3-5

BDDefinition-ChinaRevealed-b-1080Discovery Atlas is an engaging travel series that puts the focus back on people rather than nature and geography. Although its video and audio don’t quite reach the levels we’ve seen from documentaries of this ilk from the likes of the BBC, it is still a solid effort from the Discovery Channel and should be a welcome addition alongside similar materials.

buynow

BestBuy.com:
Discovery Atlas: Complete Series (3 Disc) - Widescreen Subtitle
Purchase Discovery Atlas: Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop with us for more Blu-ray releases at Amazon.com

facebooktwitter

Advertisement

Related Articles

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

1 COMMENT

  1. […] TheaterByte » Discovery Atlas: Complete Collection Blu 26 Nov 2009… the entire US and more animal species than Europe and Asia combined.. China is expected to be the world's next superpower.. A female teenage auto racer is and in Siena, the most dangerous. Video noise and blocking are sometimes issues and occasional color banding shows up in the sky. TheaterByte » Discovery Atlas: Complete Collection Blu […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

300FansLike
0FollowersFollow
722FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Criterion gives us a brilliant new 4K restoration on Blu-ray of Jim Jarmusch's 1999's indie classic about a loner assassin who follows the way of the samurai.
%d bloggers like this: