Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007)

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Released 2-Oct-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Interviews-Cast
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 488:57
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

This three disc set forms part of a new 11 disc box set called Le Tour de France - The Ultimate Collection 2003-2007 from Madman Entertainment. This 2007 set was previously released by Madman in 2007 and was the first race released by them rather than Roadshow. The style of disc production is quite different from the Roadshow one with more material included in the main feature and a smaller array of extras. This time each stage is 24 or 25 minutes rather than the previous 10-15 minutes. Accordingly it is spread over three discs rather than two. This new 11 disc set includes all the highlights releases for 2003 - 2007 along with an extra disc of documentaries, which I will review separately.

Similar to 2006, this race was again full of controversy and allegations of doping leading to some major disqualifications during the race. Also like 2006 this was a wide open race with many riders in with a chance of winning including Cadel Evans in his third race.

The race itself is made up of 21 stages spread over 3 weeks which this year kicked off in London for the first time. Each stage is very different and they include hard slogs up mountains, time trials, 200Km+ flat out racing and all sorts of combinations. Each stage has its own winner and for many riders this is an achievement of a lifetime, in fact some riders try for years just to get accepted into one of the teams and start in the great race. In total the riders cover over 3500 kilometres and it is only when you sit down and watch these DVDs that you start to realise how far that really is.

In terms of the overall race, there are four main categories, overall, climbs, sprints and youth. The overall classification is won by the person with the lowest total time over the 21 stages. The person leading this competition each day gets to wear a yellow jersey signifying they are in the lead, but at the end of the day if they are no longer in the lead they must relinquish it. The climb classification is a prize for the best mountain climber in the tour and points are awarded in the various climbs included in most stages. The leader here gets to wear a red polka dot jersey. The sprint stage is similar except that points are awarded for pre-designated sprint portions of each stage. The best sprinter in each of these gets points which go toward the final classification win. In this case a green jersey is worn by the leader.

As mentioned above, the coverage is expanded in this set compared to previous (about 8 hours in total) with more race highlights, more interviews and more magnificent photography of the beautiful scenery. The quality of the photography is improved in this coverage and for the first time the vision is widescreen...but more on that below. Disappointingly the menus are not as interesting and do not feature stage maps or text versions of the results as they have in previous years. Robbie McEwen provides an intro to many stages.

Overall, this set features more footage than previous sets and the coverage is enhanced accordingly. A quality set providing excellent coverage of a competitive race.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is very good, an improvement on previous years.

The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which would be the original aspect ratio or close to it. For the first time the race is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, despite some graininess. Shadow detail is fairly irrelevant as most shots are in strong daylight.

The colour was very good with no colour artefacts.

From an artefacts perspective, there was quite a bit of minor aliasing especially during helicopter shots and some macro-blocking in backgrounds.

There are no subtitles.

The layer changes were not noticeable and must have been placed between stages.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The audio quality is good.

This DVDs contain one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

Commentary was clear and easy to understand.The music was funky never overpowered the action.I did notice some minor audio sync issues in some interviews.

The surround speakers added some atmosphere when played using Dolby ProLogic II.

The subwoofer was not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu was simpler than previous efforts with a still picture and the ability to either play all or choose stages and bonus interviews.

Intro by Robbie McEwen (0:25) - Disc 1

Quick intro to the race.

Bonus Interviews (2:58) - Disc 1

Two extra short interviews with Cadel Evans, Erik Zabel. Zabel is funny...'I am too old for this sheet'.

Bonus Interviews (2:41, 2:44) - Disc 2

A short featurette on the condition of the three crashed Aussie riders plus an interview with Cadel.

Bonus Interviews (1:12, 2:59, 1:21) - Disc 3

An interview with Michael Rasmussen and two more with Cadel.

R4 vs R1

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

This set is only available in Region 4.

Summary

A great souvenir package of highlights of the world's greatest bike race, in widescreen for the first time.

The video quality is very good.

The audio quality is good.

The set has a small collection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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