Customer Review

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remastering for Blu Ray - worth the upgrade, 19 Nov 2012
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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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Nov 2012 16:24:00 GMT
Really good review - I'd strongly endorse it - just hope The Living Planet comes out as well - seems odd to have skipped that to bring out The Trials Of Life - maybe TLP requires additional work.

This Blu-ray really shows what can be done with 16mm film

Let's have The Ascent Of Man and James Burke Connections next (although I suspect this is a pipe dream as they arent as attractive to sales as DA series)

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 04:37:18 GMT
Has any restoration been performed or is it simply a straight transfer from 16mm source film?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2012 22:23:13 GMT
A. Holliday says:
If not Connections, at the very least 'The Day the Universe Changed' - for my money at least as good as the Ascent of Man.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2013 09:46:01 GMT
It looks to me as if the whole series has been remastered, as a considerable number of picture defects have been eliminated.

Posted on 11 Feb 2013 17:23:43 GMT
J.D.Salinger says:
My only problem with it is not the picture quality but the terribly dated and often jarring music that accompanies it..
It is very dissonant and sounds just plain daft at times...
If they could record a new modern soundtrack then it would be perfect.
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