Planet Earth Disappointment!

For Christmas, I received the Blu-Ray version of Planet Earth, the remarkable High Definition Mini-series documentarty about, what else, Planet Earth.

While the cinematography of this show is absolutely amazing, I was highly disappointed with what I received in the British release of this amazing mini-series. I originally saw much of it on Discovery HD Theater, and was blown away by the brilliant colors and amazing clarity! Definitely one of the biggest reasons I am glad I made the switch to High Def…

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However, as I have since discovered, this DVD does not play well with 1080p even though it says it is 1080p in resolution. Much of the footage was wavy, and had a lot of noise in the picture. I had the opportunity to watch some of on the standard def version, and got none of the noise in the Blu-Ray version. I also was quite disappointed by the less than vibrant colors, and poor audio. I could barely hear the narrator. The best way to describe it, was like watching an old PBS documentary from the 70s, only in widescreen.

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I have since returned this to amazon, and have ordered the version that Discovery is selling on their site with Sigourney Weaver narrating. It is only 1080i, but if it is even close to what was aired on DHDT, then it will be far better than this version. I believe the US release also contains much of the bonus footage that is absent from the BBC release.

I will give my review of the Discovery Blu-Ray version once I have received it.

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6 comments on “Planet Earth Disappointment!

  1. Dusty: Yeah, it is so amazing!

    Bossy: Yes, it is available through Netflix! You definitely need to put it in your queue!

    Howard: Yeah, that was the standard def version. I received both the blu-ray and the standard def versions for Christmas… I had to return that one to Wal-Mart since I didn’t have a receipt. But I got Pirates 2 & 3 on Blu-Ray out of it!

  2. I saw this on BBC HD and the picture and sound quality was superb. But I have read that Blu-Ray discs are not always consistent when it comes to picture or sound, suffering from occasional artifacts of the type you describe. While I know you’re an advocate of Blu-Ray and I was sorely disappointed at WB’s decision on HD-DVD, I can say it’s widely reported that Blu-Ray has these kinds of problems, sometimes across the range of players, sometimes specific to individual brands and/or models.

    And I have to say, replacing Attenborough’s narration with the nevertheless wonderful Sigourney Weaver’s is an outrage. :-)))))) x

  3. Andy – Unfortunately I have to disagree on Attenborough. I found his narration to be dull, and monotonous. I prefer the narration from Weaver that I originally heard on the Discovery Channel.

    I am hoping to have the new version soon, and will report on it’s quality. As for the quality issues, I have seen this in both HD and Blu-Ray in my research. It really boils down to how good a job of encoding the studios do in the release of the High Def.

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