Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection: 2003-2007 (2003)

Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection: 2003-2007 (2003)

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Released 17-Jun-2008

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Overall Package

This is an excellent collection of five years worth of the greatest bike race in the world, covering 11 discs. With the exception of the last disc all are available separately and there is no difference between the separate sets and the discs within this set. If you have already purchased the previous individual releases there is little reason to upgrade but if you haven't or are looking for a great gift for the bike racing nut in your life this is an excellent purchase. It is packaged in two large hard cases (one with 5 and one with 6 discs) which are then housed in a cardboard slipcover.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003)

Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003)

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Released 1-Oct-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Notes-Stage Index
Notes-Race Facts
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 186:56 (Case: 180)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (92:04) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SBS
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Mike Tomalaris
Phil Liggett
Paul Sherwen
Lance Amstrong
Baden Cooke
Robbie McEwen
Bradley McGee
Jan Ullrich
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, selected highlights from the tour

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

Plot Synopsis

    Le Tour De France - what's that you say? A new movie by Luc Besson perhaps? Wait a minute, isn't this some sporting event they have that moves around France, sort of a roving Olympic Games? Wrong on all counts, sports fans! Guess what? There are sports out there besides Football, Rugby, Tennis, Cricket and a few others, although you can hardly be blamed for not realizing this, given that you'd be very lucky to hear about them in the Australian media.

    Le Tour De France is the world's premier cycling road race. It's an annual event and it's held in France during the European summer every year. It's not just a single race or even just a few races, but just like the name says it's a tour. It starts somewhere in France and ends 3 weeks later in Paris, occasionally venturing over the border into an adjacent country like Germany or Belgium. In 2003, the centenary year of the event, the riders got to race in 21 stages, consisting of 10 flat stages, 7 mountain stages, 2 individual time trials, 1 team time trial and a prologue. In all, those that completed the event covered more than 3,400 km over the public roads of France. Besides individual stage victories, the riders and teams compete for various prizes, the most prestigious of which is the Yellow Jersey. This is the prize awarded to the individual rider who has covered the total race distance in the shortest time and is awarded after each intermediate stage to the leading rider until after the final stage when it rests on the shoulders of the overall winner. There is also a Green Jersey which is the sprinter's prize and is awarded to the rider who has collected the most points during the race. Points are awarded for finishing place as well as at number of intermediate sprint locations in each stage. Like the Yellow Jersey, the Green Jersey is awarded to the rider with the most points thus far after the completion of each stage until it too rests on the shoulders of the overall winner. The best climber, or King of The Mountains, Red Polka Dot Jersey is similarly awarded based on points awarded according to the riders based on their positions as they reach the top of  the various climbs.

    There were a number of Australians competing in the various teams entered in the event, including Robbie McEwen, Baden Cooke, Bradley McGee, Michael Roberts and Stuart O'Grady, all of whom were looking for stage wins and an opportunity to wear one of the jerseys. Many of the Aussies also stood a fair chance of wining the Green Jersey as Robbie McEwen did in 2002. The Aussies made a stunning start with Bradley McGee winning the Prologue to see him the first rider in 2003 to wear the Yellow Jersey and as the first winner he actually gets all three major jerseys. The first stage was then won by Baden Cooke and McGee finished well enough to see him hold on to the Yellow Jersey. Meanwhile, Robbie McEwen had earned himself the points necessary to wear Green.

    However, the real interest was in the race for the overall winner of the Yellow Jersey. Would the American rider Lance Armstrong be able to win the saught after prize for the fifth consecutive year? This is a feat only achieved 4 times thus far in the 100 year history of the race by those that have become the great names in road cycling: Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. The real competition for Armstrong came in the form of  the big German rider Jan Ullrich, making a come back to the sport after injury, and a rider who had never finished in any of his 5 previous tours in worse than 2nd place. A worthy battle was in the making.

    Le Tour De France: 2003 The Highlights is a must-have in the collection of any cycling fan. The content is sourced from the half hour highlight coverage that was provided this year on SBS television during each of the race days. An excellent blow by blow commentary is provided by Phil 'The Voice of Cycling' Liggett, Mike Tomalaris and Paul Scherwen. One comment I would like to make to the people at SBS in respect to the coverage that they provide is that while the coverage is much appreciated, there has been a noticeable trend over the last few years to spend more and more time on aspects of the race other than the action on the road and while this background material is nice, it's the on-road action that we are tuning in to see.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Unfortunately, this transfer, which has been sourced from videotape, leaves much to be desired in the area of quality. Given that this is a live sporting event, you do have to make allowances for the difficulty involved in capturing the material and forgive some poor focus, jerky shots and the occasional dropout of the signal transmitted between the cameras mounted on motor bikes and the like, but still, the overall quality mostly didn't exceed that of a VHS tape.

    The picture is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness and shadow detail are both quite variable. Sharpness in particular left a lot to be desired with most images of the race lacking fine detail. Pre and post race material was much better in this regard. Edge enhancement was noticed at times. There was no evidence of  low level noise.

    The colour palette was bright and vivid and did a wonderful job of capturing the beautiful and varied French countryside as well as the colourful uniforms of the riders.

    Aliasing is rife on this disc and never missed an opportunity to make an appearance. The most interesting artefacts were provided by what appeared to be some ants marching across the camera lens at 11:44 and 19:25! As the material was sourced from videotape, the traditional film artefacts were absent. There was a significant amount of macro blocking present. Gibb Effect was also present and is most noticeable in the text showing the race results which is presented at the end of each stage.

    No subtitles streams have been provided on this disc. Some interviews with riders were carried out in their native languages and in these cases burned in subtitles were provided.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 92:04 during Chapter 22. It is quite fast but still noticeable as everything freezes briefly.

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

Audio

    As you might expect, the audio from this live broadcast is nothing outstanding, however it is perfectly adequate for the task.

    Only a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio track is provided. For the most part, the audio is effectively mono with everything emanating from the centre speaker.

    The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand. I wasn't aware of any particular problems with the audio sync.

    There was music, but not much of it. It was only heard on a few occasions such as during the little segment that provided a break between each day's racing and right at the end during a nice little montage of key highlights of the race.

    The surrounds only came into play for the limited musical score.

    The subwoofer had the night off, and honestly, it wasn't missed..

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

Extras

    The extras are limited to several pages of race facts and a very nice stage index based around a map of the race route that allows you to select the stage you want to view.

Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is supported by animation as well as Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio.

Notes-Stage Index

    This was rather nifty. Effectively it's the equivalent of a chapter selection menu and is based on a map of France that shows the entire race route. When you select an area the map zooms in and allows you to select the stages from that area. Once you select a stage another menu pops up that gives you some details of the stage including the distance travelled and the name of the winner. From this menu you can select to view the stage or the post stage footage. Like everything else on the disc this is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. There is no audio.

Notes-Race Facts

    This is several text pages of facts about the race including a complete listing of the final placing of all the riders in the overall classification..

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can determine this disc is not available in any region but ours.

Summary

    Le Tour De France: 2003 The Highlights is a must have in the collection of any cycling fan. What better way is there to relive the event than to watch the highlights one more time?

    The video quality left a lot to be desired.

    The audio quality is quite adequate for the job.

    The are just a couple of extras to round out the package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-655A [SACD & DVD-A], using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Gavin T
The DVD Bits - Dean B
AllZone4DVD - Lynton

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004)

Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004)

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Released 7-Oct-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Notes-Stage Index
Featurette-Flyaround
Notes-Race Facts
Outtakes
Deleted Scenes-Extra Footage
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 232:40 (Case: 240)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:01)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SBS
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Logos are everywhere
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I have had a casual interest in Le Tour de France and other bike racing for many years but never really been a huge fan. I haven't owned a bike since I was a kid and cannot be seen around the place in tight lycra. So, why am I reviewing this 2 disc set? Well, I decided that the only way to really understand this race (or more truthfully races) was to review this disc and immerse myself in it. I am really very glad that I did as it has been a fascinating and eye-opening experience. I have a new-found respect for this incredible event. I always knew it was a long race around France but I did not really understand what was involved until reviewing this 2 disc set.

    The race itself is really made up of 20 smaller races spread over 23 days which takes the field of over 150 riders from Belgium, through northern France, down the west coast, up into the Pyrenees, across the south, up into the French Alps and then on into Paris and down the Champs Elysee. The course is different each year - what I have described here relates to the 2004 race, although some courses seem to be used every year. It totals over 3300 kilometres, which is an incredible distance to cover on leg power alone. Each stage is very different and they include hard slogs up mountains, time trials, team time trails, 200Km+ flat out racing and even time trials up mountains. Each stage has its own winner and for many riders this is the 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 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 20 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. Finally, young riders in the event can compete for a white jersey, which is again determined based upon total time.

    So, the 2004 race involved the great Lance Armstrong of the US Postal team trying to win the race for a record sixth time in a row, however there were many other contenders for the title including Jan Ullrich (Armstrong's main rival for many years), Thomas Voekler (a young Frenchman who lead the race for 10 days), Ivan Basso and many more. The event saw about one third of the competitors drop out along the way due to injuries or fatigue. Other challenges they faced beside the race itself included bad rainy weather for the first week, extreme heat later in the race, cobblestones, mad idiots from the crowd and as one poor guy found out, posts by the side of the road. If you watch carefully in Stage 18 you will even see streakers! Amongst the sprinters the main contenders included two Australians, Robbie McEwen & Stuart O'Grady, who both got stage wins during the race in addition to being in contention for the green jersey. Actually this was a banner year for Australians, as they made up the largest contingent from any English-speaking country with 10 riders due to start the race.

    In the end the race was won by Lance Armstrong, the green jersey by Australian Robbie McEwen, the climber's classification by Richard Virenque and the youth prize by Victor Karpets. The teamwork required to get these results is truly amazing - riding in a leading rider's team basically means that you give up any hope of winning yourself. Robbie McEwen's effort was particularly valiant as he crashed about four times during the race and sustained a number of injuries. Amongst the extra features is a small featurette about the treatment he received during the race.

    This set contains about four hours of highlights of the race, which to my mind gave great coverage of the various stages without going over the top. Some great photography is included not only of the action but of the beautiful scenery as well. The extra features also add more depth to the coverage.

    Overall, this is an excellent production and if this piques your interest is well worth a purchase.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio which would be the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was some occasional light grain.

    The colour was excellent and well saturated with no colour artefacts.

    From an artefacts perspective, there were some mild MPEG compression artefacts. There was  some aliasing on buildings and some minor jagged edges. The picture was occasionally affected by break-ups due to the technology used for cameras on motorbikes following the action, but this is obviously inherent in the original footage and not a problem with the transfer.

    There are subtitle streams, however burned-in English subtitles are included for foreign language interviews.

    The layer changes occur at 48:01 on Disc 1 and 57:18 on Disc 2 and are not particularly noticeable.
    

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 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 included a nice motif of racing jerseys in motion with a cool music underscore. It was clear and easy to use. The action was available either through a play race function or stage by stage using the stage index. The stage index also allows access to the extra footage mentioned below and gives some details of each stage including how long it is and the graded climbs along the way.

Extra Footage - Disc 1

    Three sections of extra footage are available on Disc 1 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Flyaround - Disc 1

    A map of the race from space featuring animation. Really well done and an excellent addition to the disc.

Race Facts - Both Discs

    A text based collection of statistics including details of the final results for all competitors in the race, the top ten in the climb, sprint and youth races, details of the teams involved and an explanation and history of the various jerseys. Excellent stuff.

Extra Footage - Disc 2

    Again extra footage is available via the stage menu and are not included in the main feature. They are:

Goofs (2:24)

    Various stuff-ups, joke interviews and some Robin Williams, being his usual self.

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, maps and results of the world's greatest bike race.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has a good collection of extra material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, October 24, 2004
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
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005)

Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005)

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Released 27-Nov-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Menu Animation & Audio
Introduction
Featurette-Numerous
Notes-Results
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 243:41
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SBS
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 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Before getting started on this review I should note that although it seems strange to only be publishing a review of 2005's Tour now in 2008, this two 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 two disc set was previously released by Roadshow in 2005, however, we unfortunately did not receive a review copy at the time. The contents are exactly the same as the previous release due to SBS having moved their DVD distribution from Roadshow to Madman recently. This new set includes all the highlights releases for 2003 - 2007 along with an extra disc of documentaries, which I will review separately. Previously I reviewed the 2004 Tour & the 2006 Tour both of which I really enjoyed.

As I write Cadel Evans has moved up to second overall in the 2008 tour, however, in this 2005 tour he was a young gun on the rise who is mentioned surprisingly often. This race was the last one of Lance Armstrong's illustrious career and his control of the race is incredible. He also has an uncanny ability to rise to every challenge thrown at him by the other riders who regularly seem to work together against him and his team. This race is not as competitive as other more recent years but is definitely worth watching for the usual collection of bravery, drama, tears, blood, sweat and glory.

The race itself is made up of 21 stages spread over 3 weeks which takes the field of riders into Germany & Spain along with (of course) lots of France. 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.

This set contains about four hours of highlights of the race, which to my mind gave great coverage of the various stages without going over the top. Some great photography is included not only of the action but of the beautiful scenery as well. The extra features also add more depth to the coverage, see below for details. Each stage has its own menu which allows access to a map of the stage, the highlights and any extras for the stage.

Overall, this is an excellent production and well worth digging out and watching again if you already own the Roadshow set. The Madman set of all five races is well worth a look especially if you have not bought the previous individual sets...but more on that in a future review.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is good but somewhat affected by it source being live very mobile sport.

The feature is presented in a 1.30:1 aspect ratio which would be the original aspect ratio or close to it.

The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, despite some graininess especially in helicopter shots. 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 on passing roofs etc and some pixelation and macro-blocking which I would guess was mostly from the source material. Signal break-ups from mobile shots were also quite regular.

There are burnt-in subtitles for foreign languages but no subtitle streams.

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 and not overly annoying except in one or two spots where it was mixed too loud.

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 included a moving shot of a road, some cool music and was clear and easy to use. The action was available either through a play all function or stage by stage using the stage index. The stage index also allows access to the extra footage mentioned below and gives some details of each stage including how long it is and the graded climbs along the way.

Intro (0:37) - Disc 1

Mike Tomalaris introduces the DVD set.

Stage Extras - Disc 1

A number of extras are available on Disc 1 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Stage Extras - Disc 2

Nine extras are available on Disc 2 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Results - Disc 1 & 2

A text based collection of statistics including details of the final results for all competitors in the race, the top ten in the climb and sprint races.

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, maps and results of the world's greatest bike race - 2005 edition.

The video quality is good.

The audio quality is good.

The set has a quality collection of extra material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, July 29, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006)

Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Sep-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Main Menu Introduction
Featurette-Stage Extra's
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 249:22 (Case: 298)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SBS
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Controversy is seemingly always part of major bicycle races these days, however 2006's Tour De France is probably the most controversial ever. Before the race even started, over 30 riders were sent home by their own teams due to them being implicated in a doping scandal that rocked the sport. They were not found guilty, only implicated. This included many of the favourites such as Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso. Also, when the race was finally won after three weeks and over 3600Km, the winner failed a drug test and (at the time of writing) is still under a cloud of uncertainty as to whether his victory will stand. Despite all of this, this is a fascinating two disc set which is well put together, including lots of highlights and many extras. I was lucky enough to previously review the 2004 Tour  which featured the two riders I mentioned above.

    The race itself is made up of 21 smaller races spread over 3 weeks which takes the field of over 150 riders into Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands, along with lots of France of course. 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 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 20 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. Finally, young riders in the event can compete for a white jersey, which is again determined based upon total time.

    After the 30+ riders were sent home it became a much more open contest, with many riders in with a chance to win the event. In fact this Tour tied the record for the largest number of yellow jersey wearers during the event. Unlike many previous Tours, the winner (on the road) was not decided until the second last stage which makes it more exciting.

    This set contains about four hours of highlights of the race, which to my mind gave great coverage of the various stages without going over the top. Some great photography is included, not only of the action but of the beautiful scenery as well. The extra features also add more depth to the coverage, see below for details. Each stage has its own menu which allows access to a map of the stage, the highlights and any extras for the stage.

    Overall, this is an excellent production and if this piques your interest it is well worth a purchase.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio, which would be the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with only one noticeable spot of low level noise in a tunnel. There was some occasional light grain.

    The colour was excellent, well saturated with no colour artefacts.

    From an artefacts perspective, there was quite a bit of minor aliasing on passing roofs etc and some macro-blocking such as at 98:30 on disc 2.

    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 256 Kb/s.

    Commentary was clear and easy to understand. The music was funky and not overly annoying.

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

    The subwoofer was not used.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The menu included a nice motif of a stretched yellow jersey, some cool music and was clear and easy to use. The action was available either through a play race function or stage by stage using the stage index. The stage index also allows access to the extra footage mentioned below and gives some details of each stage including how long it is and the graded climbs along the way.

Pre-Event Media Announcement (8:59) - Disc 1

    Featurette about the pre-race announcement of the drug issues and some interviews with the disgraced riders.

Stage Extras - Disc 1

    Seven extras are available on Disc 1 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Stage Extras - Disc 2

    Eight extras are available on Disc 2 through the stage index, which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Results - Disc 2

    A text-based collection of statistics including details of the final results for all competitors in the race, the top ten in the climb, sprint and youth races, details of the teams involved and an explanation and history of the various jerseys. Excellent stuff.

 

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, maps and results of the world's greatest bike race.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The set has a quality collection of extra material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, January 22, 2007
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) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Le Tour not in Widescreen - Pendergast (Why not take a look at my bio, you might think it stinks.) REPLY POSTED

Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007)

Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 2-Oct-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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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

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

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.

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

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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Tour de France, Le-2003: The Highlights (2003) | Tour de France, Le-2004: The Highlights (2004) | Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005) | Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006) | Tour de France 2007: The Complete Highlights (2007) | Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

Tour de France, Le-The Ultimate Collection-Extras Disc (2008)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 17-Jun-2008

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports None
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 86:44
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up ?
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SBS
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 Varies
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, During second feature

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

Plot Synopsis

This is the eleventh and last disc of a new 11 disc box set called Le Tour de France - The Ultimate Collection 2003-2007 from Madman Entertainment. The set includes all the highlights releases for 2003 - 2007 along with an extra disc of documentaries, which is the subject of this review. The extras disc includes two documentaries totalling about 90 minutes. They are:

Overall, this disc is a good addition to the set.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is very good.

The first feature is presented at 1.33:1 and the second at 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced.I assume these would be the original aspect ratio although some older footage in the second feature has been cropped.

The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, despite some graininess.

The colour was very good with no colour artefacts.

From an artefacts perspective, there was some minor aliasing.

There are no subtitles.

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.

Dialogue was clear and easy to understand.

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 simple but functional.

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 only available in Region 4.

Summary

A couple of extra features to round out an 11 disc set.

The video quality is very good.

The audio quality is good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, August 06, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE