Exotic Saltwater Aquarium [HD DVD]
Ambient footage of five unique tanks teeming with colourful fish and diverse aquatic life, creating the illusion of an aquarium and turning your TV into a relaxing vision of nature. With multiple menu options, you can automatically rotate between five aquarium tanks, infinitely loop the same tank, and select from four soundtracks. Tank options are: 'Classic', 'Living Reef', 'Predator', 'Shark' and 'Nautilus'.
Top customer reviews
Whilst it is priced well, it does just seem like a souped-up version of the old Aquatica Screensaver that half the world had on their Windows 98.2 computers.
The graphics; to be honest, I find it very hard to tell the difference between the HD side and the SD side, and if anything, the SD side actually handles black-areas a lot better, and doesn't seem to pixelate as much on them, (though, in the defence of the HD side, you can see the bits of food floating around a lot clearly on the pixelated black areas).
The sound; work well enough, and does give you some variety in not having to listen to bubbles all the time, but at times you don't feel as though you can get the volume you want, and that it's either too noisy or too quiet, though I respect that this will be dependant on what TV and sound-system you have.
There are also some problems with having it play all of the tanks on a loop; sometimes it will work, changing tanks every 5 minutes, however, sometimes, it will count down from a minute, and not change when the time reaches 0, don't worry, it doesn't crash, it just keeps playing the same tank over and over, and if anything, it would've been nice had this been a seperate, but intentional feature, to set it to one tank, and have that set view to continuously play over, (thus, no fading, or panning into the next tank).
It would also be nice if I could view the exact same tank for more than 5 minutes, without it panning and fading into another tank, it kind of breaks up the mood of it, (which is very theraputic, might I add).
As well as this, if you wish to change the audio track you're listening to, you have to exit right-out of whatever you're watching, and then change it in the audio-options, there is no way to randomly play the audio either.
Also, because there is no differation in the default sounds, each fish-tank sounds absolutely identical, with the same bubbling effect.
As well as this, the sleeve says there are 3 audio options, when in-fact, there are 4 audio options, (result, I guess).
Overall, I would say this is a good priced first HD-DVD, and is also something that you can put on in the background for relaxation, and it's a lot cheaper than a real Saltwater fishtank, (and not as messy either).
The options of sound are: Aquarium Bubbles - normal aquarium water sound; Sea Space - electronic music; Relaxation - Electronic music with slow long held chords of sound almost orchestral strings sounding with guitar; Classical - Real traditional orchestral classical music with horns. You pick the sound first then the tank to view and play. The sound is global to everything you choose.
On the main menu you also have an option to 'Repeat All'. This option gives you the categories of 'Full Tanks' ;'Close Ups' or 'Edited Sequences'. So they play each of the five options for 5 mins in a loop.
It seems the producers of these type of DVD's are tryng to sell the options rather than length of time of each option... and therefore selling each tank as separate DVD's that willl play for an hour without being interrupted in its loop. So for instance there are 15 options of viewing under 5 catorgories - if you include the x4 sound options then there is only room on a DVD for 5 mins of each option which spoils the relaxing effect if it is constantly being interupted. Hence why I gave it three stars as well. However I am happy to put this on instead of the mundane TV and get on with other things glancing at the 'Fish Tank' occasionally .... and the sound of water as with 'the rain' sound tracks helps you concentrate better on other things.. its just a giggle to get used to the TV sounding like its drowning in water with all those cables and electricity behind it which of course its not!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
My main goal for this disc is not to show off my system, for which I have other, better suited titles for, but rather to play in the background during parties, and for that, it's does a great job and is very pleasing.
Yes, the menus are very slow and brutally simple, but they get the job done. If they don't work for you, then you might need to update the firmware in your player.
I think it was worth the 16 clams. (Pun intended ;)
Panasonic 50" plasma (50PZ750U, recently calibrated by a highly regarded ISF professional)
Toshiba A20 HD DVD player
Onkyo TX-SR705 receiver, using HDMI
That having been said, the visuals are truly HD and are fabulous, and look great on my 50" plasma HDTV. If not, I would have returned this to Amazon for a refund. I will certainly not buy any further HDScape titles unless there is ample evidence that the menu problem has been fixed.
B000V6LSTA Exotic Saltwater Aquarium [Blu-ray]