Randy Travis-Live: It Was Just a Matter of Time (2000)
Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video-King Of The Road
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Randy Travis; George Bush
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (63:01)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Steve Binder|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I am no expert on Country and Western music but I found this a quite enjoyable disc, one which I would describe as laid-back Country and Western. All the elements of Country and Western are here; the steel slide guitar, the fiddle, lots of acoustic guitars and the very distinctive voice of Randy Travis. While they are simple songs, they have a great feel to them and most have a real message and, unlike some modern music, you can actually understand the words being sung.
This DVD was recorded at a live concert. Randy mentions that this was a really lively crowd - someone danced up the aisle! Crowds at Country and Western concerts must be a relatively quiet bunch.
The production values are excellent. The recording equipment used, both for the video and audio, was obviously top notch gear. The video was probably recorded on NTSC equipment, meaning that the image has been first processed through an NTSC to PAL conversion and then MPEG encoded. This can often cause problems but here the image is excellent, and all things considered, this is probably the best recording of a concert that I have seen.
Not just a singer, Randy Travis has also worked as an actor. Probably his biggest part, which he mentions in the included interview, is in Black Dog where he works with Patrick Swayze. He also supplies a large part of the soundtrack of this movie. Black Dog is available in Region 4 on DVD and is a disc I reviewed a little while ago.
|1. Wisper My Name|
2. Before You Kill Us All
3. Spirit Of A Boy, Wisdom Of A Man
4. Better Class Od losers
5. On The Other Hand
6. Look Heart No Hands
7. If I Didn't Have You
9. The Hole
10. Horse Called Music
|11. Shallow Water|
13. It's Just A Matter Of Time
14. Hard Rock Bottom Of You Heart
15. He Walked On Water
16. Deeper Than The Holler
17. Forever And Ever, Amen
18. Diggin' Up Bones
19. Runaway Train
The concert is presented to us at 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The footage actually starts with some hand-held material recorded during the setup for the concert which is presented mail-slotted at 1.33:1.
Sharpness is directly proportional to the length of the shot. Long shots are soft. This is not the fault of the disc but inherent in video recording. At about the focal length where a person is imaged from the waist up, the image shows some real detail and for normal close ups, the image is sharp and contains good level of detail. Shadow detail is excellent throughout the main feature and there is no low level noise at all.
Colours are very good. Randy is wearing a blue jacket that is lit with various spotlights at times and this is a real electric blue. Skin tones are excellent especially considering the coloured spots and other stage lights.
This is a perfect transfer from the encoding point of view. There is not a single MPEG artefact to be seen. Scene changes occur over two to three frames but as they don't exhibit any form of pixelization I believe that this is in the source material. There are also no video artefacts present; no video noise, no chroma noise. As I mentioned before, they have used some very nice equipment to record this concert.
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change at 63:01. This is a live concert and this occurs between songs - noticeable, but probably the best possible spot for the changeover.
With both Dolby and DTS soundtracks on offer, you are made to feel as if you are there at the concert - the recording is perfect. The surrounds seem to have been miked from the auditorium and contain the real sound of the enclosure and the crowd rather than some electronically generated echo effect.
There are Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks available for your listening pleasure. I listened to the entire concert in DTS then went back and listened to many of the songs in Dolby 5.1 and then a few in Dolby 2.0.
If there is a difference between the Dolby and the DTS tracks, my poor old ears could not pick it. Both are excellent. The Dolby Digital 2.0 track seemed to lack the fidelity of the other two tracks and of course really missed out on the ambience of the concert. All of the following comments apply equally to both the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and the DTS track.
Randy's voice as lead singer is crystal clear. He does have quite a distinctive voice and every nuance comes through clearly. The lyrics are clear and easy to understand. There were no problems with the audio sync.
The balance of the music was excellent. Every instrument was clear and distinct yet all blended together very well to produce the music.
The surrounds contain the ambience of the venue. The crowd surrounds you and the spacious feel of the building is reproduced very well. This sort of recording is so much better than 'fake' surrounds that have been artificially created.
The subwoofer bounces along with the bass line, fed from both redirected bass and constant but musical material from the LFE track. The balance between the mains and the sub worked perfectly on my setup and should on yours as well.
|Surround Channel Use|
A great animated menu that opens as a clock face. The hands sweep around to reveal the menus that contain an inserted clip of video from the concert as well as more animated backgrounds. It is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The menu loop lasts for 39 seconds.
This is an encore from the concert. Randy is at the front of the stage during this song signing autographs on all sorts of material from hats to T-shirts. This activity does not seem to detract from his singing ability. This runs for 4:32 and is accompanied by the same audio tracks as the main feature.
This is quite an interesting interview. Running for 34:03, we cover a lot of ground: his early life, musical influences, his 'rags to riches' story and many other topics including his interest in acting. He is a very unassuming guy and comes across as very friendly. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 and the video is 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced.
I could be unkind and say that this is here simply to show that Randy knows the former president, who speaks about Randy for 2:17. The saving grace of this snippet is that I agree with Mr Bush that Randy seems to be a really nice guy. It is also accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and presented at 1.78: with 16x9 enhancement.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 and Region 4 disc appear identical as far as content goes. One Region 1 site did specifically mention that they have found on other concert disc that distance shots are soft and that this disc is actually sharp throughout. How much difference there actually is is impossible to say without seeing the Region 1 version myself.
Without having personally seen the Region 1 version of this DVD, I cannot in all conscience call a winner for this one.
This disc will be a real treat for fans of Randy Travis. Even though the long shots are soft this is really as good as any concert footage is going to get.
The video is amazing considering what it has been through
The audio is excellent
The interview is a worthy inclusion.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|