Top critical review
Great Mini series with great picture detail, but ultimately let down by technical blunders
on 12 January 2017
This is a brilliant documentary (as with many BBC docs) that is great for anyone wishing to learn about Yellowstone. This documentary is split into 3 parts: Winter, Summer and Autumn. As far as the actual documentary goes it covers almost all the basic facts about the park along with a lot of expect level specifics about the animals and climates that they have to face. It is on par with a lot of the BBC's other documentaries, such as Wild China and the Galápagos documentaries.
The reason that I have decided to give it 5 start however is due to the few technical issues that I have encountered whilst watching the Bluray version of this documentary, something that I was not pleased with and has never been present in any other of my Blurays:
Image Ghosting - I'm not certain what kind of camera they used, as it doesn't state on any of the BBC websites, nor the imdb page, but after a few minutes of watching it was very clear that there was some sort of image ghosting going on. If I knew the camera I could refer to different footage to conclude whether it was the camera's fault, or that of some sort of post-processing that the BBC has added, either some sort of frame blending, etc.but regardless I found it extremely distracting whilst watching the documentary on both my TV and Projector.
Artifacting - This is both new artifacting and also artifacting caused by the image ghosting that makes some busy scenes a little bit difficult to watch. Although the average bitrate across all three parts is 31.6Mbit/s I fail to see where or how the artifacting came to be, as it certainly isn't at the fault of any compression from the BBC. I guess it's just one of those things.
Interlaced footage - While deinterlacing is easily done on mostly all modern devices, I still see it as a very impractical way to present any sort of digital media. Along with the artifacting that I already talked about, viewing this in interlaced can make even the simplest of scenes a mess of scan lines and artifacts. Just seeing a geiser in the summer episode being chopped up across multiple scan lines made me feel bad the natural beauty which was now being almost literally crucified by one of the worst mistakes of the digital age ~ interlacing. The only reason I can tell for which they chose to do this was to save money in production, as hiring NTSC certified broadcast equipment in the US would have certainly been a lot more of a cost saving device than for the BBC to have tens of thousands of pounds worth of PAL equipment to be sent to the US with them, which would have incurred substantial travel and insurance costs.
Although a lot of these features could be considered nit-picking I rather like this Bluray as a whole. The show is of good BBC quality (as previously mentioned), the included 5.1 audio is brilliantly layered and presented perfectly across the sound stage, the overall picture quality is astoundingly sharp and beautifully vibrant, with great calibration on the colour and black levels. I would greatly recommend for any nature enthusiasts.