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3D Blu-ray Review THE HTF 3D ADDICT: The Universe: 7 Wonders of the Solar System

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.

     

     

     

     


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    The Universe 3D

     

     

    Studio: A&E

    Product Release: January 11, 2011

    Ratio: 1.33:1

    Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1

    Running Time: 47 Minutes

    Rating: PG

     

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    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3

    3D Separation: 3

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2

     

     

    As 3D technology slowly continues to make its 

    way into consumer homes we are starting to see

    smaller video companies outside of the studio 

    circle begin to release their own content for the format.

     

    One such company is NEW VIDEO who is about

    to release The Universe: 7 Wonders of The Solar

    System this upcoming January after making the

    title available as a "Best Buy Exclusive" in December.

     

    Originally produced for the A&E Television Network,

    The Universe describes itself as an "exhilarating,

    unprecedented 3D tour of the seven most amazing

    wonders of our solar system."  

     

    Truth be, The Universe seems to be a hastily

    thrown together documentary to take advantage

    of the emerging format and consumers hungry

    enough to buy anything on 3D for cheap.

     

    The premise of this documentary is that you board

    your very own personal spacecraft and taken on a

    3D cosmic tour.  I don't want to discuss everything

    that this show covers for reasons I will unveil in a

    moment.  Some of the highlights of our journey

    include a visit to the Saturn moon of Enceladus

    where we watch geysers of water erupting into space.

    We take a close look at the asteroid belt, what it is 

    comprised of, and how much of a danger it poses to

    our planet based upon the myths Hollywood has

    shown us. Along the way we are introduced to

    scientists who offer their opinions on the topics

    that are at hand.

     

    All well and good, but it seems as if the entire

    experience is badly executed. 

     

    The first problem is that they made the journey

    into a hokey countdown show complete with the

    kind of over-the-top, goofy narration you would expect

    from this kind of fare.  The second problem is that

    the entire documentary is made up of cartoonish graphics

    that look rather dated.   So, with the exception of two

    or three satellite photos there isn't any actual space

    footage included here.  What you get is a computer

    graphic rendition of what scientists believe these

    "wonders" look like.

     

    The image quality and 3D rendering is perfectly fine.

    There's a decent amount of separation within the computer

    animation but one can't help but think that they took old

    footage and upconverted it.  The 3D actually looks far better

    when it is focused on live-action such as scientists and

    various nature footage.

     

    Don't expect much "In Yo' Face" 3D despite the fact that

    the show tries so hard to throw space debris at the screen.

    Most all of it stays firmly within its own dimension.  The

    only truly interesting piece of footage in this entire documentary

    consists of an actual 3D image taken from space of the Sun

    which pokes itself out from the screen towards the viewer.


    There are traces of ghosting to be seen here though nothing

    persistant enough to ruin the 3D experience.

     

    The Blu-ray features a robust 5.1 DTS soundtrack that 

    features clear narration supported by a bass-heavy

    music soundtrack.  The rears provide ambience for the

    space effects which include asteroids that pass from front

    to rear as well as wind noise.  Nothing overly immersive 

    but just effective enough.

     


     

    CONCLUSION

     

     

    The Universe 7 Wonders of The Solar System made me

    feel as cold and empty as space itself.  Anyone expecting

    impressive space footage will ultimately feel cheated by

    this feeble production filled with outdated CGI effects and

    only marginally impressive 3D.

     

    Still, for $20, I think a purchase may be worthy for those

    that have pre-teens who are interested in the solar system

    and whom will certainly enjoy learning about it with the 

    enhancement of 3D.

     

     

     

    Equipment

     

    LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

    LG BX580 3D Blu-ray Player

     

  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Ron didn't seem to think all that highly of this at full MSRP, but it is on sale for $13.99 at Amazon, so if you are wanting to build your 3D library its not a bad price.
     

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