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Customer Review

436 of 469 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original Uncut Blu-ray UK Version of Downton Abbey, February 4, 2012
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This review is from: Downton Abbey - Complete Series 2 (Original Uncut British Version) [Region Free U.K. Import] (Season 2) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY! When I read that the American PBS version was edited and in doing so they have left out portions of the story that gave it more cohesiveness and background I was on the hunt for the UK version. Problem number 1 was the UK DVD version won't play in the US because we are in a different "region"...bummer but I kept reading and searching (I'm not a techie I'm a Granny)and discovered that if I could find a Blu-ray version AND I had a Blu-ray player I could eliminate the "non-US region" problem...yippee....found a Sony Blu-ray Disc/DVD player BDP-S185 for $79 that works great on Amazon...and two UK suppliers (one that had Downton Abbey Series 1 Blu-ray
and another that had Downton Abbey Series 2 Blu-ray in the original uncut British versions). I was a little freaked out that it might take forever for delivery to arrive but no problem with "Factory Distributor" (an Amazon UK supplier) I ordered it Jan 30 and received it Feb 3!!!! That's faster than I've gotten deliveries sent from the same state and cheaper as shipping was only $2.98.
If live in the US and want to get the original versions here's one caveat. When you search Amazon it seems to take you to PBS versions even though you've specified British versions...look carefully at the pictures. The UK version does NOT say PBS on the cover and the DVD's jewel case is predominantly blue.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 7, 2012 10:35:41 AM PST
P. Ippolito says:
Actually the US PBS/Masterpiece Classic DVD versions are the uncut versions. PBS only cut Season 1 when it aired on TV, but not on the DVDs. They cut out about 40 minutes across the entire series and reworked the 7 episodes into 4 longer ones but released the DVDs with the uncut versions and full 7 episodes. And with Season 2 they have not cut while airing as far as I can tell ... (I had already watched them on the ITV UK website when they aired in September) ... probably due to the high amount of flak they received about Season 1. The US PBS DVD releases are exactly as they aired in the UK. No need to buy a fancy players and imported discs.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2012 5:58:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2012 3:23:37 PM PDT
PBKider says:
Just a note though: I did buy the PBS version Series 1 (Blu-ray) and UK version (import) Series 1 (Blu-ray) (region free so it does play in the US)....if it says PAL then it will not play on the standard player in the US...this is NOT region free. I bought the PBS Blu-ray first thinking they were equal in format. Not so. The PBS version is 1080i and the region free UK version is 1080p. If you have a good setup and really enjoy this aspect of things there is no comparison. The 1080p version is a lot better in both picture and sound. The PBS is much more grainy throughout. With the UK 1080p there are some problems here and there with grain in the shadows at times and colors a bit over done here and there but the 1080p version really knocked me over. It does matter what setup you have but basically I found the PBS version much grainier and the sound just wasn't quite as crisp. Would some not care? I'm sure but I love the detail in the accents so the 1080p version brought the nuances out better. And the contrast, clarity, and radiance in this makes the picture a part of the dialogue that Blu-rays sometimes are capable of. For me, it was like meeting the crew all over again. The UK 1080p version also has deleted scenes which are not the end all but are fun to have. Again, I am assuming that most wouldn't care so much about this but I thought I'd bring it up.
For series 2 the big negative for me though is that in the 1080p version (import) does not have the Christmas Special on it. (I have not purchased Series 2 yet) will pay a heck of a lot more since you will have to buy that separate and it looks like at a high price. Never easy with this thing I guess. Since the import is so much better for my intentions (not an addiction for the next episode) I will buy the UK 1080p w/o the special and by the time I get there the separate Xmas special will probably be down in price.
I'm trying not to get too complicated here but if you are confused about which is which here the UK 1080p Blu-ray version says "import" in the title description on Amazon and has a number 12 in the lower right corner of the front picture....and to be sure .........I am talking about the Blu-ray versions and not the standard DVD. So much confusion in specific language about these things. (this is also edited and put in my review since it got so long here)
Update: 9/4/12 I have purchased Series 2. It is 1080p like the Series 1 import and is wonderful in both picture and sound. It does not have the Xmas special as said. The Xmas special has come down in price since the original post so it is less of a problem to purchase it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 9:19:50 PM PDT
L. Shafer says:
Thank you, PB. I was trying to figure out if the UK version includes the Christmas special and this is the only review or commentary that gave me this important info. It's not in the product specs, so buyers are left guessing. Thank you for saving me from a lot of frustration.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 9:09:14 AM PDT
smitty says:
finally!! someone out of 587 reviews to clearly spell out short and concise that the fact it has PBS UNEDITED ORIGINAL UK VERSION really means just that and I can save my $$! Thank you. I was hoping to have someone who watched the UK version purchase the PBS dvd version to confirm. Most helpful!

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 11:50:53 AM PDT
Leonard D. says:
Just a little technical info on regions for anyone that is interested. Blu-ray players can play any region DVD, but are region specific for Blu-ray discs. Most televisions and players can handle both NTSC and PAL, but not all, so if your disc does not work, that could also be the reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2012 2:32:20 PM PDT
Abby fan says:
Agree with Smitty! Finally someone clarifies that the DVDs are NOT CUT... just the tv show was edited. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012 2:51:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2012 2:53:37 PM PDT
The fact that the DVD's for the US market were not cut has not been a secret and has been known for some time. Tip off: it says original UK versions on the PBS DVD's.

As someone mentioned, the Xmas episode has been released separately by Universal in the UK and is not on the series two DVD set.

You can, if you want, get an all region DVD player readily from Amazon. There is a PAL slowdown for technical reasons. My understanding is that modern technology can now deal quite nicely with that.

And in the PT a sucker born every minute category: not only are the PBS DVD's complete but the UK Universal versions are much less expensive if you simply buy them from Amazon UK rather than from this vendor who is clearly trying to make a quick lot of bucks thanks to mark up and irrational customers.
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