Rudy Maxa, the most trusted name in travel, goes beyond the guidebooks to share his authoritative “tips, trips and secret places.” Now, Europe looks even better in spectacular Blu-ray. The world’s most popular destinations, hidden treasures and off-the-beaten path surprises pop off the screen in spectacular high definition, making these discs a must-own collectible for millions of travel buffs. The first three discs in this collection make up the first travel series photographed in high definition. Rudy, one of America’s foremost travel experts, is seen on more than 300 PBS stations every week, is the popular voice of The Savvy Traveler as heard on NPR, and is the contributing editor of National Geographic’s Traveler magazine.
Best of Europe: Italy offers a reasonably proficient visual experience that’s downgraded by the presence of some digital artifacting. Taken as a whole, the level of detail in the scenic vistas of Italy appear wonderfully crisp with natural colors, deep blacks, and excellent contrast. Unfortunately, the video also suffers from the presence of easily noticeable moire effects that lead to some nasty artifacting. Anytime you see lines running parallel to each other with minimal space between them, shimmering will take hold of those lines, giving that portion of the picture a lack of line consistency. A great example of this effect is a striped shirt on a tourist, or fine lines on cathedrals or building scattered throughout Italy. I noticed the problem the most in the first episode (Rome), but it still appeared in the other episodes as well. Other than that one problem and the occasional out-of-focus shot, fans of the television series will soak up every minute of the beautiful visual experience.