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DVD Review - Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery - ESA/Armagh Planetarium
The Hubble Space Telescope is a remarkable success story - this DVD features an 83 minute movie on the building and launching of the telescope, it's trials and tribulations, and the discoveries it has made. There are also 50 minutes of special features.
It's a very professional product - widescreen and with crystal clear, striking visuals and a specially written music soundtrack (which comes with the DVD as a bonus CD in the US version). The story of the Hubble telescope is interesting, and the images of distant objects, plus the information it has provided us about the universe is priceless. But...
Unfortunately there is a bit of a "but". The presentation is politely described by one source as "light and dreamy" another way of looking at is to say that it is slow and lacks punch. It's so light and dreamy that there is a slight tendency for the viewer to drift into a doze. If this were a commercial TV show, rather than a DVD produced by the ESA and NASA, chances are they would have packed the whole thing into about 45 minutes viewing time, giving it much more sharpness and focus.
It's not a bad DVD - not at all - and anyone with an interest in the Hubble telescope and its achievements will find it worth watching. But for the general viewer it's just a little too laid back.
A brief word on versions. The US version of this package includes an original soundtrack CD as well as the DVD. The UK/Europe version only has the DVD. Note that Amazon.co.uk lists the US version, so you need a DVD player that can handle NTSC/Region 1 DVDs (although when we looked there were some PAL/Region 2 versions listed on Amazon Marketplace). Alternatively you can buy the PAL/Region 2 DVD, which should work with all standard UK/European DVD players from Astrosales, the shop of the Armagh Planetarium.
Reviewed by Brian Clegg
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Last update 05 June 2007