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Visions of the Sea Blu-ray

United States
PBS | 2009 | 55 min | Not rated | Oct 13, 2009

Visions of the Sea (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080i
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio
English: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles
English

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A (B, C untested)

Price
List price: $29.99, Price history
Amazon: $17.81 (Save 41%)
New from: $17.70 (Save 41%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.3
1
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 2.5 of 52.5
Audio 2.5 of 52.5
Extras 2.2 of 52.2
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Documentary100%
4%
popularity
17
collections
1
fans




Visions of the Sea

 (2009)

Visions of the Sea Blu-ray features terrible video and poor audio in this disappointing Blu-ray release

Visions of the Sea is a glimpse into another world. Behold a dazzling variety of shapes and a rainbow of colors as you meet an amazing assortment of creatures. Featuring the underwater photographic artistry of Al Giddings, stunning imagery is paired with informative narration and a soundtrack that embodies the eclectic rhythms of life in the ocean. Visions of the Sea is the ultimate underwater adventure.

For more about Visions of the Sea and the Visions of the Sea Blu-ray release, see Visions of the Sea Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 1.5 out of 5.



Visions of the Sea Blu-ray, Video Quality

  1.0 of 5

The ever-expanding Blu-ray catalog includes more than a few undersea adventures, and unfortunately Visions of the Sea isn't among the best of them in picture quality. PBS has given the title a 1080i/AVC-encoded presentation that is more than just rough around the edges; it's positively rough. I have a kind of mental checklist when I'm reviewing picture quality, and Visions of the Sea checks nearly all the traits in the cons column. The video is laced with near-constant artifacts and noise, macroblocking breaks detail and texture into compressed chunks, aliasing turns fine lines into jagged stair-step patterns, and banding is readily apparent in subtle color gradients. There are occasional ghosting issues, edgy lines with black halos, color fluctuations, brightness flickering, and a strange series of periodic white flashes that lasts for about a minute past the 9:13 mark. It literally looks like someone is setting off a camera- mounted flash, which might explain the problem but doesn't make it any less distracting. Some of the colors look distorted, as if they had been artificially saturated to make them more vivid. Overall clarity is middling, sporadically sharp but often limited by the aforementioned compression problems and by the nature of undersea photography itself. A lot of the material looks upscaled from standard definition, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't. I had a single moment when I thought, "Ah, the pastel colors of that parrotfish look nice." Other than that, I really wasn't happy at all with the video quality here. Visions of the Sea doesn't hold a candlefish—terrible pun, I know, but it is a real fish—to some of the better underwater documentaries.


Visions of the Sea Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  2.0 of 5

Unfortunately, I don't have much good to say about Visions of the Sea's measly Dolby Digital 2.0 track either. Narrator Geraint Davies' slowly intoned sentences are easy to understand, but that's the best that I—and this track—can muster. I know this is entirely subjective, but the music selection here is terrible, sometimes muzak-bad and sometimes just completely incongruous, with musical non sequiturs like the jaunty Irish jig that plays over the intro. When bombastic classical music accompanies a scene of serenely floating jellyfish, the film fails to earn a comparison to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I knew I was in for trouble when I booted up the disc, got to the menu, and heard Gregorian chanting over some dated, mid-1990s down-tempo electronica. As you might expect, the music sounds compressed, with a squashed range and little-to-no bass response. I wish there was an option to turn the music off, keep the narration on, and blast something better out of my stereo.


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