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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
71
4.8 out of 5 stars
Life on Earth (Repackaged) [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£6.92+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 1 January 2016
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 1979. Picture has been cleaned up quite a bit. The series follows the history of life in clear logical steps, each episode introduces a new development along our evolutionary history, e.g. reptiles. David Attenborough as ever is flawless in his delivery. The episode on fish was fascinatingoing, fish with 4 eyes fish to fish with no eyes. Attenborough often appears on camera as well as narrating. The series contains 701 minutes of footage. Range of locations very impressive. Camera not steady when on plane. Music subtle, background music not trying to compete with narrator. Drier less dramatic/emotional more matter of a fact delivery. Fine level of grain covers footage which is very subtle and never off putting, day light shots gorgeously lit, detail good even in shadow. Even in murkier environments with less light alot of detail is captured by the cameras such as fish underwater. Low light shots less common .Wouldn't be surprised if some major restoration had been done to the film negatives before this was scanned. End point where film was still in use excellent, colurs balanced natural not aggressively bold like today. Taken digital a long time to catch up, just getting there in my opinion. Less slow motion, less fluid, filmed from further back, more static. Editing excellent very nicely cut together. Soon be 40 years old. Amazing adaptations. Develops from similar to more complex forms of life finishing with the primates. Slow motion shots of frogs leaping very impressive as is their use of tongue to catch insects. Darwin episode 1, fossils, excellent attempt to plot evolutionary history of our planet using modern examples and fossils. Music lovely. High production values in range of locations, camera quality and access to planes. Avoids overhead shots or filming from jeep following a hunt. Some graphics explaining self replicating DNA for instance. Various addaptational breakthroughs. Less emotional approach to animals. Human evolution is also covered in extensive detail. Lots of tripod shots, some stuff with insects shot in a studio and underwater, not enough light.
Awful green screen shot of attenborough in foreground locus
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on 9 December 2014
The quality of the programming is excellent, this ought to be mandatory watching for children and creationists.

The quality of the DVD playback looks like I recorded it on VHS back when it was first released.

Still worth every penny for such a ground breaking series.
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on 3 August 2017
Better than expected from an old documentary, e.g. much better picture than The Living Planet DVD . This documentary has more substance than the latest ones, AND there was a lot more nature then. The presentation by D. Attenborough is the best, as usual.
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on 19 November 2012
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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on 25 September 2017
Precious blu ray format from a great production broadcasted in the UK in 1979.
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on 24 March 2015
great dvd
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on 30 September 2017
arrived on time, good price
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on 9 January 2017
Excellen
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on 28 March 2017
Very old series , which is displayed in the DVD quality however, it was good value for money
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on 1 February 2013
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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