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Life on Earth [Blu-ray]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My dad watched this series when it was originally broadcast in the 70s and watched it with me decades later in my youth. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful series now on blu ray, very informative. 4:3 frame ratio, sound very clear. Colours are quite well defined & levels of detail are very good for a documentary released in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lee09
If you want to understand the evolutionary process and why life on earth is so varied, disparate and yet has common elements, there is probably nothing that surpasses this. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ram
The original masterpiece re-mastered (as best the BBC can) to Blu-Ray quality from the original 16 mm film negatives. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Scott Carrick
Colour is more vibrant compared to the SD version and sound is better but not amazing. Worth buying if you're a Attenborough fan as I am.Published 7 months ago by Mr. Vince Marsh
Fantastic bluray version of this classic series, the footage is great. I recommend this disc to all animal lovers especially, I really enjoyed it.Published 9 months ago by Mr. T. Jenkins