Manchester United-The 80's (1996) (NTSC)

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Released 18-Feb-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Menu Animation & Audio
Notes-80s Overview
Biographies-Cast
Active Subtitle Track-Links to team bios
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 60:32 (Case: 62)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring None Given
Case Click
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 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 is the second DVD in the series of Manchester United best team programmes picked by ex-players and managers. This disc covers the decade of the 1980s and those picking the team are Ray Wilkins, Gordon Strachan (now manager of Southampton), Mark Hughes and former manager Ron Atkinson. Unlike the previous disc, each member of the panel is individually interviewed for their selections with various backdrops.

    The 1980s promised much for Manchester United but was to be a decade of frustration with little to show for it. Two F.A. Cup wins in 1983 and 1985, plus an appearance in a League Cup (now called the Worthington Cup) final in 1983 is all they had to show for all their efforts. It was during this period that they began to develop a stylish and fluent attacking style of play that has carried on until the current day. Many of the former players for the club in this period have gone on to managerial success.

    There is the usual offering of comprehensive background detail on each of the players nominated in the team of the decade, as well as those of the managers. In addition, there is a short video profile on the players and some trivia. One interesting piece of trivia I gleaned from watching the games was that during this period, where suitable United played in blue as their away strip.

    The team nominated consists of: Gary Bailey (Goalkeeper), Mike Duxsbury (Right Back), Arthur Albiston, who was also nominated in the 1970s team of the decade (Left Back), Kevin Moran and Paul McGrath (Centre Back), Gordon Strachan (Right Wing), Arnold Muhren (Left Wing), Ray Wilkins and Brian Robson (Midfield), Frank Stapleton and Norman Whiteside (Centre Forward/Strikers). The managers were comprised of Dave Sexton, Ron Atkinson and current United Manager and now a Sir, Alex Ferguson.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Special Note: This disc is encoded in NTSC format, regardless of what the packaging states. As a result, unless your equipment is capable of NTSC playback this disc may be unviewable.

    Like the previous disc in this collection, this transfer shows up all the faults that material from this era can possibly show. Again, like the previous disc, much of the footage looks to have been taken from video sources, although some film footage is in evidence here and there, and there is a certain lack of quality about the entire presentation. For TV this may have been fine, but for a DVD, with the superb quality that can be achieved, this can be seen as little more than average quality VHS.

    Unlike the last disc, the interviews with the players and managers are done separately, and thus all exhibit their own problems. Ron Atkinson is interviewed against a bright background, as is Gordon Strachan, although in his instance the background is so bright it blooms, whereas Ray Wilkins is interviewed at home (so it seems) and the quality is so good it makes the rest pale by comparison.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Grain is heavily in evidence in film footage, which for the most part is reasonably watchable. Video footage has a distinct blurriness to it, although not quite as objectionable as it was on the previous disc. In many instances, there are brightness problems, possibly already part of the footage (you see it all the time nowadays on bright sunny days with marked shadows over the ground, so it's nothing new) which bloom the backgrounds into shapeless masses. What sharpness there is comes from some better quality footage, but for the most part blurred is the order of the day.

    The colours tend to bleed through constantly (eg: 2:36 on the edge of Gordon Strachan's shirt). Solid colours look a little better overall, but mostly the colours look faded and washed out.

    There are artefacts galore on this disc, including a couple I've never seen before. Constant MPEG artefacts can be seen including macro-blocking and pixelization (eg on the crossbar at 35:51). There are some fabulous (sic) tracking errors (24:24 and again at 44:48) and I got my first taste of microphony at 13:15 and again at 14:20. There appears to be constant interlacing errors throughout the disc, probably because this is NTSC. Your eye will notice some jerkiness from time to time. The film stock does exhibit some minor flecks and marks on the print, but with all the other problems these are minor.

    There are no subtitles on this disc and it is single layered.

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

Audio

    The audio quality on this disc is slightly worse than the video. As with the first disc, this is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 kilobits per second. During the menu, the crowd noises are cut into the rear, but the interviews are far superior to the 1970s disc. Only Gordon Strachan's contribution is a problem here, primarily due to his accent and the outdoors location. The centre channel is again used by the football footage, but at a much improved volume this time around.

    There is no problem with the dialogue (except for the accents) and syncing is very good.

    The only music is from the main menu and the opening and closing credits. It is the same music as used on the first disc.

    The only surround channel usage comes from the main menu audio loop and there is no usage of the subwoofer at all.

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

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    Highlights of games are played behind what is meant to simulate a football, with an audio track accompanying. One thing I missed on the first disc is that the music plays only on the first loop. After that it is silent (either that or there is an elongated loop time that I missed).

Notes

    Same as the first disc: notes on the decade of the 80s and the disappointment that they were.

Biographies-Cast

    Complete biographies on the team of the decade, including full playing careers and some trivia notes.

Active Subtitle Track

    Same deal as the first disc. Activate the football when it appears on-screen and you get a detailed rundown on the event being discussed, be it an F.A Cup run, League Cup or a player's profile.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc does not appear to be available in Region 1.

Summary

    Due to the poor nature of the audio and video, this is strictly for fans. This was made for TV in the mid 1990s.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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