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I've just completed my third (and probably last) viewing of DVD Aquarium. This DVD is 40 minutes of salt water fish swimming around at Sydney Aquarium. There are two 20 minute videos, ingeniously called "Aquarium One" and "Aquarium Two". That, in a nutshell, is the DVD. I hope I haven't given too much of the plot away.
"Aquarium One" has some coral in it with tentacles that swish around in the current. "Aquarium Two" only has static coral. Both scenes have exactly the same fish in them. My guess is that two cameras were set up next to each other and they just filmed away. The fish are very colourful and, well, they do funny fish things. There are several moments which are worth bookmarking for that big demo session of your home theatre.
I placed my TV next to my actual tropical fish tank in the lounge room. Perhaps it was the fact that tropical fish and salt water fish don't socialise together, but my live fish didn't seem to take much interest (about the same interest as when I flash a torch around in the tank).
In all seriousness though, there's not too much wrong with this DVD. If you're looking for a fish tank to display on your TV, then this is the DVD for you. Why anyone would want to do this is beyond me, but maybe I'm just a bit cynical.
There is only a 4:3 presentation. The video quality is pretty good, but it was obviously captured on video. Taking video of an aquarium can be painful, as lighting plays an important role in getting the right colours to play out on screen. The colours are bright and vibrant. There did not seem to be any motion artefacts or any transfer problems worth a mention.
The whole thing is set to a very, very annoying bubble noise. I am just guessing, but I'm pretty sure that Sydney Aquarium doesn't use a bubble machine that sounds like my little brother blowing bubbles through a straw in a bucket of water. As these are salt water fish, it doesn't quite make sense. The audio sounds like it is looped throughout. Playing it really loud (why you would EVER do this is beyond me) seems to highlight someone doing something in the background, maybe walking around (perhaps trying to escape the room).
A suggestion for the next version (god help us), would be to place a second audio track, perhaps some classical music, in the event that the fish get too exciting for you and you need to be kept calm. For the current version, judicious use of the 'mute' button is recommended.
If you're looking for a fish on TV, and you can't pick up your local test pattern, then this is the DVD for you.