Blu-ray Review: Planet Earth Special Edition

planet earth Blu ray Review:  Planet Earth Special Edition

I remember when blu-ray was still new to the market in 2007.  Many consumers were still wondering if it’s worth to upgrade from dvd.  Then BBC’s Planet Earth came out in November and it became crystal clear how great high def can look.  This 11 episode documentary was the perfect demo material because it showcased the lush jungles, powerful waterfalls and the serene lakes and oceans around the world.

Each episode was about 50 minutes long and narrated by David Attenborough.  The episodes had a theme ranging from deserts to caves and my favorite fresh water.  The show doesn’t go into details about each location because they cover at least 5 of them per show but they show the most interesting stuff.  One episode shows Africa in a drought and the animals has to migrate and find a river.  Another episode has a humpback whales going to the breeding grounds.

I suggest watching an episode every other day.  If you do it every day, you’ll probably get a visual overload and not really appreciate the content for what it is.  By taking your time watching the documentary, you’ll notice the little details and be amazed by what you’re seeing.

This is one of my favorite nature documentaries because they cover so much variety and it never gets dull.

Grade: A


The show is presented in 1080i.  That’s right, it’s not 1080p but it doesn’t really matter because it’s still outstanding.  The natural color really pop.  I liked the clarity and different shades of blue in the underwater shots.  Having said that, the picture quality isn’t as impressive as when it first came out in 2007 because technology has gotten better since.  There’s grains in the night shots and some softness in some episodes.

Video is really important for a documentary like this and BBC did a good job with the transfer.
Grade: A-

The  show is presented in DTS-HD 5.1.  It’s a well balanced track that mainly uses the center channel for the narration.  Surrounds can be heard when Attenborough isn’t speaking and it focuses on the wildlife.  It’s not used all the time throughout the episodes but you hear it enough to know BBC truly made an effort to make the audio as exciting as the video.
Grade: A-

The special edition comes packed with extras that were never included in previous releases.  The extras include behind the scenes diaries, commentaries, music only tracks and a special episode.

Most of the new extras are in HD, except for Planet Earth Diaries, which is in SD.

Great Planet Earth Moments (46 minutes)  –  Compilation of the production crews great and bad moments.  It also show how certain shots were taken and the preparation behind it.

The Future: Saving Species (60 minutes) – Discusses the endangered species and habitats in the show and the organizations/community trying to save them.

The Future: Into The Wilderness (60 minutes) – Talks about the diminishing forests and the reasons behind it.

The Future: Living Together (50 minutes) –  Discusses why humans should be more sensitive to its habitat and the solution to it.

Snow Leopard: Beyond The Myth (49 minutes) – Follows a journalist searching for snow leopards and the myths behind the hard to find animal.

Secrets Of the Maya Underworld (49 minutes) – Talks about the Mayan culture.

Elephant Nomad Of The Namib Desert (49 minutes) – Follows a family of elephants as it discusses the hierarchy and their roles.

Frozen Planet Sneak Peek (13 minutes) – Preview for the upcoming BBC/Discovery channel show.

Planet Earth Diaries – For the regular episodes, there’s a short behind the scenes footage and the challenges they encountered.

Commentary Tracks – There’s 5 episodes containing commentary tracks from the production team.  They share their interesting stories and what it meant to be part of the documentary.

Music track – Each episode can now be heard with its isolated score.

Extras Grade: A+


If you haven’t seen Planet Earth, you it to yourself to at least watch an episode.  There’s a great chance you’ll want to watch more after seeing it.  The show is visually pleasing, informative and relaxing.  The presentation is great and the extras is phenomenal.  This 6-disc set is worth a purchase.

Overall Grade: A

pixel Blu ray Review:  Planet Earth Special Edition

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