Top positive review
Another F1 season review winner from Duke (Blu-ray is REGION FREE)
20 January 2015
According to the listing page this is "REGION B/2" however the disc is actually coded for all regions (ABC) and is not 1.33:1 either, it's proper 16:9 widescreen 1080i60.
For those looking to import from Amazon UK to North America: I ordered this from the UK website and it plays on all three of my North American Blu-ray playback devices. This was a problem with the 2011 and 2012 season reviews, they were not only locked to REGION B but also were authored in 1080i50, this release is authored in 1080i60. Europeans have no problems with 1080i60 discs, virtually all electronics there are multisystem, but in North America there are many players that won't play 1080i50-authored discs so this release from a playback perspective is a winner for all. Why the difference? Duke did not do the 2011 and 2012 Blu-ray reviews.
So this marks the second year in a row American F1 fans can watch the season review on Blu-ray, and the difference over the DVD season reviews is absolutely huge. Duke places the entire season review on the first disc running around 4 hours, the second disc holds all the special features. Okay it's not very often you're going to watch the entire season review in one sitting (or any four hour movie for example) so spllitting up longer running times over two discs doesn't bother me any more than getting up to flip a record every 20 minutes, however the picture quality is terrific and doesn't seem to be affected negatively at all by arriving on a single disc so I won't knock off any stars for it. This is the best looking disc since the 2011 disc which was split up over two BD50s.
The 2012 review probably had the worst picture quality of all the Blu-ray reviews but they crammed almost 5h30m (main review) on a single Blu-ray which resulted in no shortage of content and very little aspects of the season being missed.
For the subject matter itself those who enjoy the technical aspects of F1 will enjoy the in depth looks at the engine changes and rule changes that begin this review. However those looking for more in depth looks at the events of P1~3 and any footage of qualifying will be disappointed. Perhaps with such a long season this is a sacrific made of moving to a four hour review. I welcome more information and would love to see the 5+ hour review plus the additional 2+ hour featurette found on disc 2 of the 2012 review become more commonplace but just splitting up the running time a little better to enhance picture quality.
The dts-HD Master Audio track found on the disc is a real winner, very loud and very dynamic, the disc itself is authored pretty loud and before that glorious 10 second F1 logo snippet pops up when you load a disc be sure to tame your volume a little. Vroom! Vroom!
Special features on Disc 2 offer in car camera footage of most of the highlights of the season, most notably will probably be the one entitled "Mercedes break the golden rule" on lap 2 of Spa. There's approximately one for each track.
Mercedes allowed this season to be interesting and exciting because their drivers were allowed to race each other. This doesn't always happen within a team, let's hope when March 15th rolls around that Williams, Ferrari, McLaren-Honda, Red Bull, at least one or two of these guys are on the tail and we get a really exciting, tight battle involving several teams. The review could have done with more insight into the Hamilton vs. Rosberg rivalry.
Final words? I'm watching on a 60" Panasonic VT60 plasma, one of the best television sets ever made. This Blu-ray looks terrific and if picture quality and audio quality are important to you this is a winner.