B.B. King: Live at Royal Albert Hall 2011 (Blu-ray) 2012 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

On June 28, 2011, the "King of the Blues" B.B. King played to an adoring sold-out crowd at London's spectacular Royal Albert Hall. It was another unforgettable night in the career of one of the most legendary bluesmen to ever pick up a guitar. Joining the illustrious Mr. King onstage were guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks, "songbird extraordinaire" Susan Tedeschi, The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood, Simply Red's Mick Hucknall and former Guns N' Roses axeman Slash.Rovi Rating:

B.B. King Live at the Royal Albert Hall is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory with an AVC encoded 1080i transfer in 1.78:1. Once again a live concert performance receives a generally fine and sharp looking presentation, though once again aggressive blue lighting results in rampant banding and posterizing. When B.B. asks for the upstage lights to be raised so that he can see the audience, and a battery of blue lights comes on, it's a paradigmatic example of banding, and once the camera switches to the audience, which is bathed in an hallucinogenic swirling hue, it's another perfect (if that's the right word) example of posterizing. Fine detail is quite good in the many close-ups, but it's noticeably lacking in some of the midrange and especially the far shots. There is some minor aliasing and shimmer around things like the guitar strings and, strangely, the stubble on B.B.'s face.

Shout! Factory has given B.B. King Live at the Royal Albert Hall two lossless audio options, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and an uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo fold down. This is perhaps the first live concert Blu-ray I've personally reviewed that is occasionally hampered by something that should never, ever be an issue with a release like this, namely feedback. The first time I heard a momentary high squeal, I thought I had simply mistaken some other sound for feedback, but when it happened again (and again), I knew exactly what was going on. The good news is (if there is good news), whoever was at the mixing board catches these gaffes very quickly, so you'll hear just a second or two of a high pitch squeal, which is then mitigated by some fast slider action. But something like this should have never happened in the first place, and especially not in the recurrent way it does here. Other than this admittedly minor annoyance, the rest of the audio here sounds great in both the surround and stereo mixes. Fidelity is excellent, balance is really well maintained, and the 5.1 mix offers a nice ambient hall spaciousness that shows why the Royal Albert venue is so prized by musicians.


Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Video resolution: 1080i

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: LPCM 2.0

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: LPCM 2.0 (less) 





25GB Blu-ray Disc

Single disc (1 BD)


Region A (B, C untested

Actors: B.B. King 

Directors: Jon Brewer 

Format: NTSC, Widescreen 

Language: English 

Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.) 

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 

Number of discs: 1 

Rated: NR (Not Rated) 

Studio: Shout Factory! 

DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012 

Run Time: 110 minutes 


Live Concerts: LC044


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