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America: The Story of Us Blu-ray

United States
A+E Networks Home Entertainment | 2010 | Season 1 | 720 min | Rated PG | Sep 14, 2010

America: The Story of Us (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English: DTS-HD HR 5.1

Subtitles
None

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (3 BDs)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing

Playback
Region A, B (C untested)

Price
List price: $39.99, Price history
Amazon: $27.99 (Save 30%)
New from: $24.61 (Save 38%)
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Buy America: The Story of Us on Blu-ray

TV show rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.8
/10
13
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 3.2 of 53.2
Extras 2.8 of 52.8
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Documentary100%
History72%

46%
popularity
385
collections
8
fans




America: The Story of Us

 (TV) (2010)

America: The Story of Us Blu-ray delivers great video and decent audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Sharing their thoughts on the building of America, and what it means to be an American, are a world-class group of individuals including Tom Brokaw, Michael Douglas, Meryl Streep, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Donald Trump, John Legend, Melissa Etheridge, Brian Williams and more.
DISC 1 (Episodes 1-4):
Rebels / Revolution / Westward / Division / bonus
DISC 2 (Episodes 5-8):
Civil War / Heartland / Cities / Boom / bonus
DISC 3 (Episodes 9-12):
Bust / WWII / Superpower / Millennium

For more about America: The Story of Us and the America: The Story of Us Blu-ray release, see America: The Story of Us Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.



America: The Story of Us Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

America: The Story of Us is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encode, in full 1080p and a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As with many History Channel offerings, there are some distinct quality differences due to source and stock footage and footage shot especially for the miniseries. The contemporary footage, typically interview segments and some reenactments, looks quite good indeed, with well saturated color and decent, if not overwhelming, detail. Sharpness and depth of field are both very good. Things get a little trickier with both the CGI elements, which are omnipresent throughout the series, and some of the stock footage. The CGI is never incredibly artfully done. It certainly suffices and allows the viewer to get the gist of what's being discussed, but it never rises to the high-def heights of Pixar (ironically John Lasseter is one of the talking heads in the series). Stock footage is all over the map. It's never horrible, but a lot of establishing shots of various locales suffer from softness and occasional artifacts like shimmer. The worst stock footage is probably the very grainy, blown up segments from NASA detailing the space race.


America: The Story of Us Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

Unfortunately, there are some pretty big problems to report with the two lossless soundmixes included on America: The Story of Us, at least with regard to some surround sound systems. I'm not sure whether I received defective discs for this review, or there is an authoring error, or if this is just a case of overly aggressive LFE (to put it extremely mildly), but the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is, to put it bluntly, unlistenable on some systems. It's hampered by a completely odd, and overpowering, low frequency hum which drowns out narration, on screen commentary and sound effects. It's an odd and unsettling pressure inducing vibration which I frankly couldn't stand to listen to for more than a second or two. I spot checked almost all of the episodes over the three discs and it was present on all of them. I also tried playing the discs on different players and got the same result. My Onkyo 7.1 handled this anomaly best, with just a clumsy mix being the biggest culprit (Schreiber's voice is regularly buried under the omnipresent LFE), but my Sony 5.1 system went completely bonkers, with virtually nothing but the roaring LFE coming through the speakers. Another odd thing: when toggling between the two tracks, for a brief moment the 5.1 track shows a negative bitstream!

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix is marginally better. It at least does not have the omnipresent low hum, but, wow, is it ever an annoyingly noisy track (by which I mean sound effects, not hiss or the like). It is "busy" so much of the time that one actually feels a sense of relief when things quiet down and we just get Schreiber's narration or some onscreen commentary without a bunch of whizzing effects cluttering up the soundfield unnecessarily. Even this track is hampered by some poor mixing, however. When the sound effects do gear up, they often overpower Schreiber's voicework. While it's understandable to pump up battle scenes and the like with appropriate sound effects, this is one exhausting soundtrack to listen to for any length of time. Sometimes less is more.



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