Ten Seasons-A Decade of Great Matches (2003)
|Year Of Production||2003|
|Running Time||165:53 (Case: 160)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Visual Entertainment Group||Starring||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
If you are a fan of English soccer then you will no doubt have been following the English Premier League since its inception just over ten years ago. This disc brings together 18 of the best games from the first ten years, as selected by a panel of experts (I have no idea who they were, but they have put together a pretty good collection of matches). There is a companion disc to this one which looks at the Greatest Goals from those same ten years which has already been reviewed here at Michael D's. The Great Matches were first shown as a series of 3 TV shows which were aired here in Australia last year on SBS, and they are presented the same way on this DVD. I won't list every game on the discs, but some of the highlights are:
Well, I have focused a little on my favourite team, but there is a great selection of classic matches on offer here which will please fans of the game generally. The presentation is a little strange, as there is no "Play All" option (you have to choose each part separately from its scene selection menu), but this is a minor niggle. The flow is also a little stilted, as the matches are not in chronological (or any logical) order. I also found the interview segments a little lengthy, and would have liked a little more action, but each match gets a reasonable run (segments vary from 7-13 minutes) and this is a pretty good overview of the Premier League up to the end of the 2001 season.
The matches on show here vary in age and the picture reflects this and their TV source to some extent, but the video transfer is not too bad overall.
The aspect ratio is 1.33:1, non 16x9 enhanced, which is the original ratio as first shown on television.
The sharpness of the picture varies, with the interviews looking very sharp (see 3:54 in Part 1) and most of the matches acceptable. There is the occasional older match, or night game, where sharpness is diminished (as at 39:27 in Part 2), but this is as good as this material ever looked on TV. There is no low level noise.
The colours are generally vibrant, though at times the picture struggles to cope when part of the pitch is in sunshine and part in shade, but this happens on most football broadcasts.
There is very little damage on show, apart from occasional minor aliasing in crowd scenes and on goal nets. This is a fairly recent show and the source looks to have been in pretty good condition.
There are no subtitles. The layer change is at 28:22 in Part 2. It is between matches and so is not too disruptive.
The audio transfer is about what you would expect of a television sports show - it does the job but is naturally not the sort of thing you would use to demonstrate your new sound system to a friend.
There is only the one audio track on offer, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track encoded at a bitrate of 192 Kb/s.
The dialogue is clear at all times, and consists of either original match commentary, interview segments with players and managers, or voice-over introducing each of the matches. Audio sync is fine during the interview segments though there is some variation in volume between matches.
The music is purely background and as such does its job well enough, with the volume nicely matched to the other sound elements..
There is very little surround activity in this stereo transfer, though crowd atmosphere is nicely rendered across the front of the sound stage. The subwoofer is not engaged.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras on the disc, but the generous selection of matches on offer here means that this is not really an issue.
The menu is static with no audio. It allows you to go to Parts 1-3 of the main show. From the sub-menu for each Part you can select one of the 6 matches in each episode. To play an entire Part, just choose the first match on offer. There is no way to play all 3 episodes in sequence.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 2 release of this DVD has the same features as the Region 4. In Region 1 it is available as part of a two-disc set with the companion Great Goals DVD. I will give the local version the nod on grounds of availability, though pricing may play a part if you have access to better discounts overseas.
This is an enjoyable disc which will please fans of English soccer. There really have been some great matches in the Premier League, and it was nice to see highlights of some of them again. The video and audio transfers do the job, and the lack of extras is not really an issue for once given the generous selection of matches on offer here.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-K350, using Component output|
|Display||SONY VPL-HS10 LCD projector, ABI 280cm 16x9 screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Kenwood. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|