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Coral Reef Adventure [Large Format] [WMVHD]

Liam Neeson , Howard Hall , Greg MacGillivray    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible DVD! June 27 2004
By A Customer
This DVD has beautiful underwater scenes of coral reefs and sea life, and occasional flyovers of mountains and reefs look amazing. The music and narration are finely balanced. If you live outside the US or Canada like me, you can still play the WMVHD DVD! As long as you own a region free DVD-ROM drive in your computer, or own a copy of DVD Region Free, you can still play the high definition version on disc 2 in any country with no DRM license hassles. You got to have a powerful pc (especially the CPU) to play it though! You should also have a HDTV connected to your pc as well to make the most of the quality.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft has a lot to learn about HTPCs May 18 2004
By A Customer
I bought this for the HD WMV version on disc 2, hoping to play this with my HD capable Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC). I have had nothing but problems:
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best HD content yet! Jan. 9 2004
If you own a high end HTPC (home theater personal computer), and a HD capable display, you owe it to yourself to buy this movie. Simply put, the Microsoft WMV transfer in high definition (both 720p and 1080p) is the best image I have ever seen on our home theater's very expensive projection system($30k JVC Lcos system).
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.
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Disc 1 contains both Widescreen (16x9) and Full Frame (4x3). It walks you through the selection for full-frame or widescreen, then the selection for DTS or Dolby Digital 5.1. It was very simple, no looking around for the audio and video selection, like some DVD's. In DTS, the sound is incredible. In Dolby Digital 5.1, the sound is only slightly less so.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh!
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 more
Published on Dec 30 2009 by Some Bloke
3.0 out of 5 stars Coral Reef Adventure (Blu-Ray)
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 more
Published on Dec 28 2009 by R. Barefoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars HD-DVD Wow!
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 more
Published on April 13 2004 by "spite_check"
5.0 out of 5 stars WMVHD
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
Published on Feb. 9 2004 by Amaury Gravy
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful silent world!
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 more
Published on Jan. 26 2004 by Emily
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a very descriptive title
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
Published on Jan. 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Message, Great Imax film - should be a great DVD
I can't wait for this to come out on DVD. If you're looking for the same kind of message - make sure you check out Captain Jon Explores the Ocean (avilable now on Amazon). Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003
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