Fireplace For Your HomeI am reviewing the DVD version of this video.
First, let me say that I'm wholeheartedly in favor of the idea of having a fireplace video in general. I love sitting in front of my actual fireplace. I find it very soothing. For the times I can't light a fire or aren't at home, having this DVD option is wonderful. It's great for meditating and just for relaxing. So to everyone who is simply saying "a fireplace video is a good idea" - I agree wholeheartedly.
The question is whether THIS fireplace video is better than the many others available on DVD, download, and for free on YouTube.
My first issue is that the DVD claims a run time of 60 minutes - but really the video is only 30 minutes long. It just so happens that they have two choices - one with music and one without. So sure if you watched the fire first without music, and then with music, that would add up to 60 minutes. But I find that misleading. Most people prefer it one way or the other. They should be told that, when they make a choice, they get 30 minutes of video. Otherwise it's like saying a movie is 4 hours long but really it's a 2 hour movie available with an English or Spanish soundtrack.
Next, the DVD says "Filmed in High Definition" - but then says "plays on all standard DVD players". I.e. it's NOT a high definition DVD. Why tell us that it was filmed in high definition? That creates a misleading impression. It could have been filmed in super-duper-high-definition, but when it is cut to a standard DVD, we get standard DVD resolution.
The biggest issue in my mind, though, is that they sped up the speed of the film. Again, the house I've lived in for the past 18 years has a fireplace nearly identical to the one in this video. I watch the fire quite a lot. It's as if they did double or triple speed on this video. Maybe they did it so that more of the logs would burn in the 30 minutes available? Otherwise there wouldn't be much "progress" on the logs in the half hour? For whatever reason they did it, it hurts the relaxing mood. I don't need to see a fire hyper on speed. I would simply want to watch a normal fire, doing its normal rate of burn.
Add that in to the fact that the video's lighting is not well balanced. It's cropped oddly, so that you get a fair amount of grate but cut off the top. And the center area of the flame glares with blown-out overexposed white. There's no need for that with modern cameras. This overexposure makes the logs look plasticy too. Clearly they aren't - they burn :). But again it points to just not enough care being taken with the setup with this video.
All the video had to do was point at a fire and let it run. So there isn't much going on here. I would have hoped that they could do that for the full hour, and could have done that with good lighting.
I'm reading that people who download the video version get a longer play time, and that makes me wonder why that isn't available on the DVD version.
So, to summarize, I love the concept. It's the implementation which has several issues. I'd like to see a version 2 which took care of those.
I was sent a review copy of this DVD.
Buy Fireplace For Your Home from Amazon.com
Meditation Basics Tips
Kripalu Yoga Retreat Travelogue
Lisa Shea's Homepage