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Sydney 2000 Olympics - The Opening Ceremony

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 270 mins . G . PAL


September 2000, Sydney, Australia. If you weren't there, you probably wanted to be and if you were there, you didn't want to be anywhere else. It was 2 weeks of human spirit and determination at its finest all preceeded by a spectacular opening ceremony that only Australians could really get away with.

Where were you when the Olympics in Sydney were about to begin?

This event goes for almost 5 hours so it's not one to get a repeat viewing but it's across 2 DVDs that separate the opening Ceremony onto disc one and the athletes entering the stadium on disc two.


First up, this is where the problem lies on this disc. The video is sourced from the same images broadcast on Channel 7. It's not the source that is a problem, it's the mpeg encoding used.

From what I could gather, the bit-rate is almost constant throughout which means there is no room allocated in the bit-bucket to cater for any major image shifts so they are rendered poorly and riddled with mpeg motion artifacts and macro blocking.

On the plus side though, when the image is rendered properly it looks very good. Being broadcast quality does not automatically mean that it's the best you're going to get. Colors are rich and vibrant, all the lighting is captured superbly, black levels are present but a little lacking when really needed and image clarity and sharpness are above par.

A little extra effort would have been required to put the first disc on a dual layered disc and encoded it using a variable bit rate whilst the second disc could have had very minute snippets taken out to trim down the run time and allow more overhead for encoding. But that's just me.


Audio wise there's not really much to say other than the presentation is captured as I originally watched it. I remember picking up the DAV-S300 on the day the opening ceremony was broadcast and flicking through the DSP modes to get a better surround presence produced varying results, but the information was there and I used it.

This disc is encoded in Dolby Digital 2 channel and does have the surround distinction as I remember it from it's broadcast day. Don't expect anything to be blown away by, this is more an archival DVD than anything to show off the format with.


Nothing to see here unless you count an annoying menu system and some unskippable commercials pre the main feature as an extra that you'd certainly like to see as an 'enhancement' of your purchase. :)


So you didn't spend $20 on a spoon or $40 on a t-shirt. Maybe this DVD is something that is a worthy product to purchase for your small investment into the Olympic History.

A pity about the video as Warner Vision usually have a high standard for their encoding. It is watchable and enjoybale just not that eye candy we are used to.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=339
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      And I quote...
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      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DAV-S300
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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