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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remastering for Blu Ray - worth the upgrade
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...
Published on 19 Nov 2012 by Marcel Bartnik

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A flawed release
Life on Earth as a series would get 5 stars from me but unfortunately this bluray release suffers from some unforgivable flaws. While it is great to see this classic in HD and mostly the film is greatly improved as several reviewers attest, the same is not true of the commentary which is badly edited and in places jumps from one topic to the next, missing out parts of, or...
Published 15 months ago by S. J. Wey


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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remastering for Blu Ray - worth the upgrade, 19 Nov 2012
By 
Marcel Bartnik (Luxemburg) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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.

The sound quality is also better than before, although here (as with other extensively remastered material) the difference is not as stunning as it is for the picture quality. In addition, the sound is not really a major factor for a documentary anyway (at least in my opinion). It is now clearer and the likeable and engaging voice of David Attenborough accompanies each episode marvelously.

Recommended without reservation - even for those who already own the DVD versions. I can only hope that the other Life series will also benefit from this treatment - so far only the present series as well as "The Trials of Life" have been remastered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful upgrade, 30 Nov 2012
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John Chandler (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archival quality edition, 1 Feb 2013
This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but with a few issues, 6 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Pretty good but with a few issues.

The bluray edition appears to have been heavily processed. For instance in one episode when it's supposed to be raining in the Galapagos, you can't actually see the raindrops, it looks like it's been subjected to noise reduction, either that or my eyesight's failing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life On Earth Blu Ray, 11 Feb 2013
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Mr. Eric Woods "EWUK" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I watched this on TV when it was first aired, and to now watch on Blu Ray, is a dream come true, Okay the footage is dated but the documentry has been gived a facelift, and is worth a watch again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Lease of Life, 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have always love this series, and watched the original on tv when I was a boy where I was completely captivated and impressed by it episode after episode. I bought the original series on DVD when it was released, and was hoping for a Blu-ray release which has come in time to celebrate David Attenborough's 60 years of inspirational broadcasting. For episodes which were filmed in the 1970s and with an aspect ratio for the tvs and film of the time of 4.3, the overall quality is very good with a good balance of colours and contrasts, although some noise is still apparent which can only be expected from such an old recording. The sound, although in stereo, is very clear and defined. I am pleased the production team behind this new release kept the 4.3 aspect ratio intact so we have no clipping of the original film, and for die hard fans of 16.9 they can adjust the settings via their DVD players - although I think they would be missing out on the 'whole' dynamic experience of 'Life on Earth'. Please do not expect 'Planet Earth' type visual quality which was flimed in HD and relatively recently, but expect the 'best' quality version of the series presently available, and expect to be captivated and immersed within Sir David Attenborough's energetic and charismatic narrative, and the beautiful and wonderful sights and sounds of Life on Earth.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A flawed release, 24 Sep 2013
By 
S. J. Wey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Life on Earth as a series would get 5 stars from me but unfortunately this bluray release suffers from some unforgivable flaws. While it is great to see this classic in HD and mostly the film is greatly improved as several reviewers attest, the same is not true of the commentary which is badly edited and in places jumps from one topic to the next, missing out parts of, or even whole, sentences. For example check the transition in the Amphibian episode between David Attenborough talking about poison arrow frogs and then tree frogs with waxy skins. The first part of the sentence is cutoff so it starts halfway through his explanation of why frogs need to guard against drying out, basically you miss where he states this is a problem for amphibians. I have noticed several such bad cuts so far. Whoever did this seems to have not been paying full attention. Another annoyance is it is very hard to distinguish between selected and deselected options in the bluray menu, the visual cue is so subtle I can barely see it; several times I have turned on subtitles by mistake trying to select the right episode. This a shocking lack of attention to detail; quite disappointing given the stature of this series in BBC and TV history
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5.0 out of 5 stars A legend of natural history for the screen., 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Life on Earth [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Awesome. The content though not filmed in hd still remains stunning quality. The microscopic work fascinating. Everyone should have a copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life on Earth [Blu-ray], 9 Mar 2014
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Mr. Ian H. Kilshaw (Bicester UK) - See all my reviews
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An excellent format to enable us to watch the programmes again. Blu-ray gives higher quality that a conventional DVD. The price was excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment, 12 Oct 2013
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I have been meaning to watch something from David Attenborough for a long time as friends would always tell me they are an amazing insight into the world we live in. This was the perfect intro series start with, where better to start than the beginning of life :). I gave this 5 stars because the series is full of information, well presented, and just great to watch.
I couldn't stop watching it.
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Life on Earth [Blu-ray]
Life on Earth [Blu-ray] by Sir David Attenborough (Blu-ray - 2012)
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