Customer Review

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Blu-ray?, 10 April 2012
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This review is from: How to Grow a Planet [DVD] (DVD)
This amazing series was shown on BBC in HD, I wonder why it seems it is only being released in DVD?

My only gripe with the content is the conveyed misconception about plants 'breathing' while showing computer generated close-ups of stomata opening and closing along to 'breathing' noises! Plants do not breathe!!! The exchange of gasses takes place by diffusion along a gradient. Other than this, the series was excellent and very worthwhile owning.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Apr 2012 15:55:33 BDT
This from the distributors, concerning lack of Blu-ray:

Thank you for your recent communication.

Unfortunately we decided not to release How to Grow a Planet on Blu-ray as we didn't predict it would make enough sales to cover the production costs.

While there are currently no plans to release a Blu-ray version this may happen in the future.

Kind Regards

DVD Enquiry Team

Posted on 14 Apr 2012 00:16:26 BDT
Brian Lee says:
Panasonic DMR-BWT700EB 320GB Blu-ray Disc Recorder with Twin Freeview + HD Tuners

Hi Y.J. -

This problem happens a lot - the broadcast being in HD but only being able to purchase in SD. My suggestion is - do what I do - record them in HD on a Panasonic BWT700 and thence copy them - in perfect HD quality - to Blu-Ray with the inbuilt BD recorder. See my 4* review of the unit . It's not perfect but it is a very useful machine. Oh - and it won't cost you much to record to BD as it records in Freeview DR mode - this means it can hold 6 hours' worth of HD on one standard BD - and copies 6 hours' worth to BD in just over 20 minutes! Magic!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2012 12:18:43 BDT
Y.J. says:
Thanks for the reply Brian. I do have the progs on my HD recorder, but as not much memory I am strapped for space. I have quite a collection of natural history DVD/ Blu-rays and I like to have the boxes on display, but making HD recordings for my own use seems the only alternative here and in this instance putting in case with DVD ( hope for repeats soon). We have been looking for a new HD recorder and one that disks can be made from is a good idea so I will look the Panasonic BWT700 up now!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Apr 2012 15:05:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Apr 2012 15:11:29 BDT
Brian Lee says:
Hi Y.J. -

I find the BWT700 an excellent machine despite it's niggles. Have you read through my 4* review? And all the comments?? If so, you are a very fast reader!!
BTW - in case you didn't get through all the comments, I now have a 3-D TV - and the quality of 3-D is (surprise surprise) absolutely stunning!
And I believe Wimbledon may be broadcast in 3-D this year so you can capture it on your BWT700 ready for viewing on your 3-D TV now (if you have one) or later (when you get one). I recorded some sample 3-D broadcasts last year and they were good although not as ghost-free as proper 3-D Blu-Rays, but quite acceptable.

Oh wow - it's less than £300 on Amazon at the moment - gerrit bought!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2012 15:15:48 GMT
As I am 65 now, I no longer have the golden ears and eyes of my youth. I do think that HD is only a marginal improvement on the standard size LED screens that I use. I would imagine that on a 46" screen the difference would be palpable. 3D I would like to see. If it is up to the standard of Imax it will be stunning but please not a return to the red and green cardboard specs of the '50s Hammer horror movies. Holograms must be next - Andy v Novak on your carpet!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 12:33:36 GMT
Brian Lee says:
Hi Mr T Y W Kent -

In my experience, on a screen 32" and above there is a marked difference between normal Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD). The difference (assuming the TV is a reasonably good one and correctly connected up via an HDMI lead) is easily visible on a 32", very noticeable on a 40" and absolutely stunning on anything above a 50" screen! I am actually older than you (but please keep that quiet!) and I am always knocked out by the excellent quality of well-produced HD sourced from my Panasonic BWT700 and displayed on my 52" Sony TV. Most of the BBC documentaries are nothing short of stunning quality in HD, and I now have over 200 Blu-Ray discs with films and documentaries on them - 6 hours' worth of perfect quality HD on each disc! Clearly I will never have time to watch them all, but they are there for when I do have time!

No - the 3-D system used these days does NOT involve red and green filter lenses! I have Sony TV's and they use an Active 3-D display system. You do have to wear special glasses (which are OK to wear over normal glasses if you have them) which are slightly cumbersome but the visual impact is well worth it! Basically the glasses pick up a transmitted signal from the TV which instructs them when to switch from left eye to right eye alternately. This sounds crude but the switching is done rapidly (over 100 times per second) so the wearer is not aware of the switching. What the user is aware of is the stunning 3-D effect which is a whole new - er - dimension! Colours are not affected by this switching and remain faithful to the original.

Professionally recorded Blu-Ray discs are (in the main) very well produced, and provide a great "you-are-there" 3-D experience. There are some which are simply a blatant cash-in on the 3-D tag and are very poor quality - check the Amazon comments before you buy!

Broadcast 3-D tends to be via "side-by-side" mode, where the picture is actually broadcast in two halves squashed together across the screen. This sounds horrendous but the TV contains logic to separate the two halves and stretch them out back to normal size again and then apply the left eye right eye switching as before to give the 3-D effect. It is not quite as good as the professionally recorded 3-D material but not half bad! I recorded the Olympics Opening Ceremony in 3-D high definition ( and in normal 2-D HD as well) on my BWT700 machine and the resultant pictures are little short of phenomenal! You are there! You are among the "workers" picking up the grass and carrying it - along with the shed and bench and other stuff - off site to make way for the rise of the factory chimneys at the start of the industrial revolution! And the camera angle and commentaries are totally different from the normal 2-D version! Fantastic!!

(Just put that on now - just noticed that 2 minutes in from the start there are cows on the grass fields - and they are actually eating the grass! I had thought that the grass was plastic as they rolled most of it up to cart it away! How wrong I was! And you see the difference that 3-D HD makes!!)

By the way, there is now a new model - the Panasonic BWT720 - which has three times as much hard disc space as the BWT700 and an improved EPG plus several other features as well. The BWT700 is still available and is a lower price too!

What size TV are you classing as standard size? If it is 32" or above and you can only see a "marginal" difference in quality then I suspect the TV is not connected up correctly via an HDMI lead and/or you are not watching the broadcast HD channels. The HD channels are now (on Freeview only) 101 for BBC 1 HD, 102 for BBC HD, 103 for ITV HD and 104 for Channel 4 HD. The channel numbers are different for Sky and Virgin Media but they are NOT 101 etc for the HD channels!
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