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Life on Earth [Blu-ray]

55 customer reviews

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  • Please note that this product will not play on US spec 60i Blu-ray players as the Blu-ray discs are authored to UK 50i specs.

  • Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Life on Earth [Blu-ray]
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  • Trials of Life [Blu-ray]
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  • Africa [Blu-ray]
Total price: £35.69
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Product details

  • Actors: Sir David Attenborough
  • Producers: Richard Brock, John Sparks
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov. 2012
  • Run Time: 701 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008RA57W6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,901 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Available on blu-ray for the first time ever, Life on Earth, the first of David Attenborough’s great surveys of life on the planet has been re-mastered to HD quality – sharper and clearer than it has ever been seen before. The landmark 1979 series tells the story of the development of life on Earth; from the first single-cell organism that appeared in the seas about 3,500 million years ago, to the millions of diverse and complex animals and plants that share the world with us today. It features breathtaking photography and unforgettable footage – including David Attenborough’s legendary encounter with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, remarkable film of a live ceolacanth (long believed extinct), a tiny tadpole ejected from the mouth of a Darwin frog and the amazing interior of a cave full of bats.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Marcel Bartnik on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I'm not going into the details of the content of this fabulous series that has first been broadcast in 1979 and represents the first of several series in David Attenborough's "Life" programmes - this has been sufficiently covered elsewhere. Suffice to say that even more than 30 years after its creation, it remains absolutely fascinating and instructive without being overbearing. Scientific facts are well explained, animal behaviour is analysed and presented with passion by D.A. and a considerable entertainment factor.

The question that most of you are probably asking themselves: How's the picture quality on Blu Ray as compared to the DVD release?

Well, I have both of these, having bought the DVD a few years ago and acquired the new Blu Ray release just last week. The remastered Blu Ray release is without any shred of doubt far, far superior to the initial DVD release. With the latter, I had the impression of a VHS transfer and although I loved the series, the fascination came more from its content than from the picture quality. The picture quality of the new Blu Ray has been improved to an extent that - taking into account the considerable age of the source material - it seems incredible to say the least. Contrasts are far better, colours more intense, the picture is sharper in general and many deficiencies that were visible before have been cleaned up. If you didn't know it, you would never believe that this series is almost 35 years old. Obviously, you cannot compare it to recent documentaries such as "Frozen Planet" or "Life" which have been entirely filmed with HD cameras and in a 16:9 format, but it now has a clean, vibrant and very sharp look to it that makes the various episodes also much more visually fascinating than before.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Chandler on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
As others have stated: this is magnificent and what a real upgrade compared to my DVDs. It also contains the only obvious booboo I have ever come across in a David Attenborough series: In disc 3 he talks about the penguins on the Antarctic mainland and clearly means the Emperors. However the film illustrating this is of King penguins on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia! Bloody cold too but never -40 and anyway Kings like warmer climes such as the Falkland Islands, Kerguelen, Crozet etc. and are NEVER found on the Antarctic mainland. Never mind, Sir David, you are all the better for being human! This is a fantastic prelude to the equally good Trials of Life on Blu, not as spectacular but more science based. Buy them both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Richards on 1 Feb. 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Firstly, reading all the previous reviews, bear in mind that this series was filmed in the mid-1970s and shot on 16mm film. For this reason film grain is far more obvious on the Blu-Ray version than on the DVDs I had previously. I bought this to replace the DVDs which were part of a faulty batch of BBC releases, the two layers separated rendering the discs unplayable. I'd already made copies of them before they deteriorated beyond recovery, but this looked interesting so I picked it up.

The discs appear to be fresh telecine transfers from the original 16mm films. They are presented in the original 4:3 aspect, as although 16mm film can give a 16:9 aspect it requires some vertical cropping and the shots would have been framed for 4:3 safe aspect. It therefore made sense to crop the transfer horizontally to 4:3, as anything in the edges of the frame would have been irrelevant anyway.

Bearing in mind the age of the material it really does look stunning. Yes, the sound is mono as NICAM hadn't been invented then, but it is presented in a lossless format. Yes, there's a lot of film grain, but this would have been there on the original DVDs, you just couldn't see it.

I've watched this on a 51" full HD plasma TV and it looks stunning. Is it worth replacing perfectly good DVDs with Blu-Rays? Questionable. But given that my DVD set was pretty much unplayable, yes, it was worth it.

Highly recommended if you either don't already have the DVDs, or if your DVD versions have become damaged. Or if, like myself, you've still got the original VHS versions that you recorded off the BBC in the late 1970s!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hiace Drifter on 15 May 2015
Format: Blu-ray
This series was first on TV when I was very young, so although I may have caught the odd repeat, I am essentially watching it for the first time. Before I mention the picture and sound, I first want to highlight what an amazing series this is in terms of quality and content. I am only on episode 3, but I am already astounded at the level of information given (it seems far more in depth that more recent work). Sir David (or "young Dave" as he was back then!) darts back and forth between the fossil record in various countries, to footage of animals/plants in the wild, to electron microscope stills, to diagrams. The pace is breathtaking at times but totally captivating. I have just read Richard Dawkins "Greatest Show on Earth" twice, and am buzzing with the detail and subtleties of evolution. Life on Earth takes that to the next level and shows the early stages of evolution and how some almost unchanged "relics" are still alive today. By the end of each episode I am literally left reeling at how much there is to know and see about our amazing planet. I will have to watch again and take notes! So picture and sound - well my review title gives it away! The picture is arguably as good as a 1970s documentary could look, and the detail in the microscope shots is unbelievable. It is only in 4:3 ratio (as broadcast) but that matters not one jot. The sound too is captivating, crystal clear, with David's dialogue clear and firmly in the centre of the image. You won't use this disc to test your system, but you will use Life on Earth to learn, and to inspire any children who are budding scientists.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Any plans for a region free or A/1 release? 9 10 Mar 2013
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