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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • German: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Dutch: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Dutch
  Extras
  • Isolated music score
  • Animated menus

The Complete Cosmos - Discovery into Deep Space

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 125 mins . E . NTSC

  Feature
Contract

This DVD is the second of a two part set exploring the universe in which we live.

These two DVDs are indeed worthy competitors, and together with The Planets,

is about as complete a set of space DVDs are you're likely to need. My earlier review of the first volume "The Solar System" comprehensively covers the main style elements of the set of DVDs.

This DVD "Discovery - Into Deep Space" has 12 "chapters" grouped in to 4 "themes" as follows:

Man In Space14. Space FrontierCosmic Focus20. Hubble's Eye
15. High Life21. Light Fantastic
16. Where Next?22. Milky Way
 
Pioneers17. Breakthrough!Deep Space23. Infinity
18. Earth Patrol24. Big Bang, Big Crunch
19. Robots25. Black Hoses, Dark Matter

This DVD, gives a real dimension to space. I said this about the first DVD in the series, but this is better again. Concepts of stars in our galaxy, other galaxies and the concept of the "universe" start to make sense in a new way. It starts by talking at a sub-atomic level and then continues to discuss the "universe" and concepts of it's creation and size. I'll say what I said in my previous review: This DVD made me realise how insignificant we are in the universe.

There is a great deal of concentration on the early years of space development, although I felt that this was glossed over too quickly. Perhaps there needed to be a third DVD which concentrated solely on the "Man's Journey Into Outer Space". There were just too many things that needed to be said, but were just glossed over in a quick montage. The concentration on the American space program is disproportionate in my opinion to the coverage of the Russian one, but this may be due to lack of material more than being deliberate. Either way, I was left hanging for substantially more.

  Video
Contract

The video is presented in 4:3 ratio only. It is also in NTSC, so you need to be sure that it will work with your TV. Given it was produced for TV, I guess this is to be expected. The video has a great deal of computer rendered graphics in it. This of course means a pretty nice picture quality when transferred to DVD. There is a great deal of detail in the animations, and they are very clearly presented. Unlike the first DVD in the series which has almost no real-life video, this DVD has quite a substantial amount, concentrating especially in the early part of the DVD, on man's struggle to reach space. The video is from various sources, some World War II vintage, which given it's age, transferred reasonably well to video.

  Audio
Contract

Audio is only a Dolby Stereo soundtrack. Given that this is mostly background music and narration, this is plenty. The music is appropriate and well synchronised with the video. The narration is presented in American English, British English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese. There is also a music only track without narration. Dialogue levels were very well balanced with the ambient music, and there was no problem discerning any of the narration.

  Extras
Contract

As per the first DVD, The menu structure on this disk could probably be counted as an extra. I tend to find the "multi-level" chapter effects on DVD's very annoying, and although this one is functional, I've not had reason to change my mind. I've criticised the menu structure enough in my review of the first DVD, so I'll not cross that ground again.

There is an "Update" section which contains a substantial amount of pages of updated information since the video presentation was made. It is number in the same manner as the chapters, so it is easy to cross reference back to the original material. The only quibble that I had with this was that you had to hit "pause" on each page to be able to read the pages. Ideally, this should have been done with in-built pause stops which you could "play" through. This technique is used on other DVDs such as "Video Essentials" and would have been ideal. Even a set of menus would have done (although there is a limitation on menu depth so I don't know that this would have worked).

  Overall  
Contract

I loved this DVD, and as a bit of a space nut, this was indeed a welcome addition to my collection. I have no hesitation in recommending this DVD to anyone. Even if you have "The Planets", I'd still be dishing out some extra money to buy this one. You wouldn't buy this DVD alone in my opinion, as it really works better with the first DVD being run through first. It's not essential, but I'd be getting both!


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      And I quote...
    "This DVD made me realise how insignificant we are in the universe."
    - Rob Pascale
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-717 Gold
    • Projector:
          Toshiba TLP450 LCD Projector
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-3300
    • Speakers:
          Krix Euphonix
    • Centre Speaker:
          Krix Centrix
    • Surrounds:
          Mission Dipoles
    • Subwoofer:
          Aaron SUB-240
    • Audio Cables:
          Harmony Gold Coax
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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