After ordering the HDscape Sampler HD-DVD (something I also purchased & reviewed on Amazon), I decided to take the plunge and order some more videos from HDscape. One of those videos happens to be Antarctica Dreaming, the one that stuck out the most on the entire sampler to me. I own the Xbox 360 HD DVD add on, and the video works like a charm. If it doesn't work properly, make sure you are signed into Xbox Live before starting the video. A firmware update might need to be installed that fixed menu glitches.
Its a dual format disc, meaning that it can be played on both regular DVD players & HD DVD players. The total runtime clocks in at just under an hour and a half, and can be viewed as either a nature documentary or an ambient music video with all of the same material. Contained within is breath-taking scenery and wildlife such as penguins, seals, and seabirds. It also features 6 additional mini-documentaries totaling a little over a half hour of bouns footage, and other written tidbits about the making of the film.
The video quality of the HD-DVD side ranges from average to above average. If you already own Planet Earth, know that it isn't better quality than that. But then again, I like to think of Planet Earth as the best looking HD-DVD to come out so far, so its difficult to compete with something so great. Antarctica Dreaming certainly has great footage and in some cases, excellent detail, but video issues are apparent if you are looking for them. Its most noticeable in scenes when it is snowing, and in some of the darker colors. Don't get discouraged though, it is only on a small percentage of the video and there is still plenty of things to like about the video. For what it is, I was truly impressed.
The audio seems to be toned down a little bit so that you can hear the commentator and the ambient music better. The sounds the wildlife make are very quiet and I don't know if its just me, but I would have loved to hear the sounds of nature more clearly than the ambience added. However, I think HDscape's vision is ambience, as seen from there sampler disc, where all but Antarctica Dreaming are pretty much purely ambient videos.
Overall, I would have to recommend this HD-DVD first over all the HDscape products, as this one serves as both ambient listening, and a nature documentary. The added bonus footage makes this even a better treat. If you have kids that liked the movies Happy Feet, March of the Penguins, or the newer Surf's Up, its definitely recommended. As for a nature documentary enthusiast, pick up Planet Earth first.