Coral Reef Adventure [Large Format] [WMVHD] (Bilingual)
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Take a once in a lifetime journey across the South Pacific for a spectacular IMAX adventure. Joy; ecstasy; a spiritual high: these words describe the exhilaration of diving a pristine coral reef, and ocean explorers Howard and Michele Hall bring their love of the ocean into action. With Jean-Michael Cousteau, deep reef scientist Richard Pyle and Fijian diver Rusi Vulakoro, they explore and capture on film the dazzling underwater world of coral reefs, magical places here on Earth. This tropical excursion through the South Pacific will surprise and delight you as you fall in love with the reefs, and your heart will ache at the tragic, irretrievable loss of these fragile worlds.
Top Customer Reviews
1. There were problems with software codecs. The web site pointed to on the disc explained how I might need to manually install some components, which apparently I needed to do. Troubling, but overcome.
2. DVD-ROM required on the computer. My HTPC didn't have a DVD-ROM drive. I have a separate DVD player in my stereo stack, and DVD drives in other computers. My plan was to copy the files over to the HTPC. This didn't work because of the Microsoft DRM (Digital Rights Management). Even when I mapped the DVD-ROM on the other computer so it appeared locally, no luck. Worst of all, I only figured out this was the problem by debugging the Microsoft scripts on the disc. There was no explanation given, just a cryptic error message. Overcome with purchase of a DVD-ROM drive.
3. Bad audio format. As another reviewer has noted, the multi-channel audio is in a Microsoft format and I can't pass it over the optical connection from my HTPC to my DTS and Dolby Digital capable receiver. I have no problems with AC3 files and DTS encoded files. Not overcome - stuck with standard stereo.
4. Things cut off the screen. I'm running at 1920x1080 for 1080i resolution. My HDTV has a little overscan. The menus for configuring the player were cut off. I don't know if this is because it assumes 4x3 or the overscan, but someone needs to recognize that overscan exists. Overcome by playing disc in another computer and learning where the menu entries were.
5. Can't pause, etc. The player doesn't seem to respond to keys on my "media enabled" keyboard. The keyboard works fine in other applications. Not overcome.
BTW, the video looks awesome.
There are some downsides....
1) Requires a very beefy computer. 3.0 Ghz is recommended by Microsoft, although some are getting away with lower powered machines by using the lower-quality 720p verion
2) Proprietary audio codec requires you to have the computer decode the audio, and send it to your amplifier via analog cables. There is no DTS or DD track on the HD version.
3) DRM - You have a choice of one video player, Windows Media 9. The movie has digial rights management on it, which can only be viewed by a Microsoft player. While this implementation is much better than the T2 high definition release (which required you to have an internet connection to get authorization), it's still a bit limiting.
Despite the problems, This is right up there with the best film based HDTV content I have viewed from HDnet or HD HBO.
BUY IT NOW!!!
The film is fabulous overall. "Coral Reef Adventure" won the Giant Screen Theatre Association's Best Film of 2003. I can see why. It was filmed on location in Australia, Fiji, Rangiroa, Tahiti, and the United States. The music is by Crosby, Stills, Nash. The movie opens with "Teach Your Children Well". I loved it. There is also some music that sounds like native singing, acoustic instruments, and percussion. The video is spectacular. The colors are crisp and clear. Without a doubt, this movie has some of the best audio and video that I have heard and seen on a nature film. The display on a 65 inch rear projection TV is spellbinding. There is one short scene of hang-gliding in the mountains that is breath-taking.
Disc 2 is for the computer only. (The minimum requirements for the computer are Windows XP; Windows Media Player 9 Series (included on the disc) or Windows XP Media Center Edition; 2.4 GHz processor; 384 MB of RAM; 64 MB video card, DVD-rom drive; 1024x768 screen resolution; 16 bit sound card; and speakers.) When I inserted the DVD into the computer, it smoothly installed the required Windows Media Series 9 (and did not require a reboot!) It played the high definition picture beautifully. The movie is widescreen and plays in Dolby Digital 5.1 mode. The computer has only two very cheap-looking speakers, and the sound was surprisingly good.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This looks and feels like a made-for-TV special for National Geo - I know it was shot in high def... It just doesn't look it. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2009 by Some Bloke
I'd forgotten I'd watched this a while back and enjoyed the commentary and the camera shots. It was mostly about saving the coral reef, not enjoying it. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2009 by R. Barefoot
I bought this DVD only for the eye candy WMVHD version...and I wasn't disappointed. The video quality is simply spectacular !Published on July 19 2004 by Predescu Laurentiu
I bought this disk because it was the first-ever high definition 1080progressive scan DVD made to run on a pc that has windows media 9 and a fancy graphics card. Read morePublished on April 13 2004
The WMVHD is simply the best way to watch this movie.
720p is 1280*720 and 1080p is 1920*1080 on your computer. Read more
Unlike the last reviewer, I found the information presented in this IMAX powerful. What more proof does one need, that the oceans are DYING? Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004 by Emily
They should have called this " Chicken-little's global warming and rainforest diatribe, with a little underwater photography"
Twice the statement is made that ALL... Read more