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When it Was a Game: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: HBO Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • List Price: $29.99

[amazon-product]B004QRUN8M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
When It Was A Game: Complete Collection - Dts

Purchase When it Was a Game: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

When it comes to documentary series about baseball, perhaps none is more thorough than Ken Burns’ excellent Baseball. In his usual meticulous manner, Burns covers the sport from its humble beginnings, bringing to light nearly every aspect of its evolution, players and owners both major and minor who influenced the sport throughout its history. And Burns doesn’t hesitate to show baseball in the fullest light, warts and all.

HBO’s When it Was a Game is the polar opposite of that. Spanning roughly 1925 – 1969 in its three parts with footage taken entirely from 8 and 16mm home-movie footage by players and fans alike, When it Was a Game is not meant to be so much an all encompassing history of the sport as it is a nostalgic look back at the halcyon days of “the boys of summer”. These are the days before free agency, when fans felt a sense of loyalty to the players and teams that doesn’t exist the same way today, the days of baggy wool uniforms and a small sixteen-team roster. This is when the hated New York Yankees truly did define the sport, when names like Roy Campanella, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Cy Young, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Yogi Bera, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris put on the uniforms, played their way into the history books, and hardly made much more money than ordinary working folks.

The series uses its home-movie footage as the backdrop for narration and commentary by numerous celebrity baseball fans, commentators, writers, and players, such as Billy Crystal, Bob Costas, Kevin Costner, Dick Johnson, Geraldo Rivera, and more to tell the story of baseball’s glory days.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Taken entirely from 8 and 16mm home-movie footage by fans and ballplayers with all original color, When it Was a Game isn’t going to look like pristine high definition, especially given the vintage of this footage, but the 1080p AVC encodement is authentic in its quality, stays out of the way of the presentation, and most of the source damage is easily forgotten once one becomes embroiled in the spectacle of this series.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

There is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mix and a Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0 mix offered for When it Was a Game. The stereo mix is excellent for the material here, with clean and clear narration and a decent spread of sound across the stereo soundstage.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

There are no supplements offered on this release.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

When it Was a Game Parts I (Peabody Award Winner), II, and III, make an excellent time killer for anyone who grew up a baseball fan. It’s arriving just in time for Father’s Day, so get out your wallets and purchase a copy for the baseball-loving dad in your life.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product]B004QRUN8M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
When It Was A Game: Complete Collection - Dts

Purchase When it Was a Game: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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