MasterClass (2003)

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Released 3-Dec-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Featurette-Viewers E-Mails
Featurette-The Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 71:07
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Charles Stewart

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ian Healy
Mark Taylor
Damien Fleming
Glenn McGrath
Terry Jenner
Gavin Robertson
Michael Slater
Ricky Ponting
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Don't know your googly from your leg break or a leg cutter from an in-swinger? Well, maybe this is the disc for you.

    With the Australian cricket season just about over, it's fitting to take a look at a couple of discs dedicated to the great summer game. The first one I'll be looking at is somewhat different to the usual documentary style of program. Master Class is an instructional DVD aimed at teaching some of the basics of the game to budding young cricketers. It is certainly aimed at a younger market with the hosts taking on an almost fatherly advice position at times.

    Hosted by former test stars Mark Taylor and Ian Healy, the program consists of several chapters, each dedicated to the fundamentals of the game. Bowling, batting, wicket keeping, general fielding and miscellaneous areas such as equipment and tactics are covered. Each of the fundamentals are hosted by a player or coach who is a specialist in that facet of the game. For example, Damien Fleming discusses fast bowling, Terry Jenner tackles slow bowling, while Michael Slater and Ricky Ponting handle the batting aspects of the game. There is very little entertainment value in this program, as it gets quite technical at times and really concentrates solely on the actual coaching aspects of the game. Each of the fundamental areas are broken down into various categories, so fast bowlers can learn the difference between out-swingers, in-swingers, leg cutters, and off cutters, while slow bowlers can see the differences between leg breaks, wrong 'uns, top spinners, and arm balls, all with slow motion analysis of the grip and delivery action. After discussing each aspect and showing the grip and delivery style there is often actual game footage from over the last few years which highlight that particular area being discussed. This is a good addition as it shows the theory in actual practice.

    This is quite a detailed analysis of the various aspects of the game and will prove a boon (ouch that is a really bad pun) to anyone trying to lift their game above the standard backyard cricket level. The only negative is that some of the teaching material appears to have been filmed recently (in the last 6-9 months) while some is from a few years back (the Ansett logos give it away) and is not quite the same quality as the newer material, both technically and in terms of delivery style.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This is quite a lovely transfer all round, with only a little older archival footage appearing softer than normal.

    The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and also benefits from being 16x9 enhanced.

    The new digital footage (which makes up the bulk of the program) is superb. It is sharp as a tack and brilliantly vibrant and clear. There is a mixture of other footage shown, some from a couple of years ago which isn't quite as clear as the new stuff, and this highlights just how far broadcast equipment has come in just a few years. There is also a fair amount of archival cricket footage from several games played over the last twenty-odd years. This is quite fuzzy at times. Overall there are no traces of edge enhancement, and grain is absent in the new material and not a real issue with the older material. There is no low level noise in either.

    Colours for the new footage are superb, benefiting from modern digital video equipment. They are vivid and vibrant with deep solid saturation. The brief snippets of footage from the 1970s are quite washed out and hazy looking, but nonetheless serviceable for the task.

    There are no MPEG artefacts. Other artefacts are limited to a little analogue tape noise in some of the older snippets of footage and are nothing to be alarmed about.

    There are English subtitles available and they are extremely accurate.

    This is a single layered disc so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    A fairly basic audio selection is all that we get on this disc, but it does suffer from one minor niggle.

    There is only one audio soundtrack available, this being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    Dialogue is clear and concise at all times, but the level at which this track has been mastered is alarming. I was forced to drop it down in volume a full 30dB (yes that's right 30) just to get it somewhere near my normal review volume. At my standard listening level it is loud enough to cause permanent damage so be careful when cranking it up for the first time.

    Apart from the Wide World of Sports introductory theme there is no other music.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Featurette - Viewer Emails

    During the lunch breaks of the summer test matches, viewers can send in emails asking for help with various aspects of the game that may be troubling them. This is a series of emails about batting that Mark Taylor and Ian Healy work through, providing solutions to the many and varied problems that young cricketers may be having. Total running time is 12:25.

Featurette - Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy

    A 3:56 look at the Cricket Academy in Adelaide which is sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank and is part of the Australian Institute of Sport.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is not available in Region 1.


    Master Class is an instructional DVD for budding young cricketers that is certainly aimed more at a youth market than at older players.

    The video is acceptable for the task, ranging from older archival footage to pristine and brilliantly sharp new material.

    The audio is functional but mastered at an alarmingly high volume.

    The extras are quite basic.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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