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Old 04-30-07, 09:11 PM   #1
Quadparty
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DVD Talk review of 'Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series (5-Disc Set)'

I read Randy Miller III's DVD review of Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series (5-Disc Set) at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=27821 and thought that while I think anyone would be foolish to watch the show without David Attenborough's narration, I do think the DVD makers missed an opportunity.

How difficult would it have been to release these DVDs with two audio-tracks - one with the Attenborough voice-over and one with the voice-over from Siggourney Weaver? This is the type of optional extra the DVD format is made for.
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Old 04-30-07, 09:36 PM   #2
Adam Tyner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadparty
How difficult would it have been to release these DVDs with two audio-tracks - one with the Attenborough voice-over and one with the voice-over from Siggourney Weaver?
Technically not difficult at all, but since this is a BBC release, they simply may not have had the rights.
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Old 05-01-07, 10:31 AM   #3
slop101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadparty
How difficult would it have been to release these DVDs with two audio-tracks - one with the Attenborough voice-over and one with the voice-over from Siggourney Weaver? This is the type of optional extra the DVD format is made for.
Actually, it'd be more difficult than just adding another audio-track, as the version with Weaver's narration omits scenes that are in the Attenborogh ones. So they'd have to do some sort of branching, which wouldn't be worth the trouble since you'd just be getting edited episodes.
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Old 05-07-07, 05:40 PM   #4
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Wow, I'm a bit stunned at the 3/5 rating for picture quality. I just watched the DVD Boxed Set and, aside from a few scenes with image problems, the image was mostly pristine and looked as good as DVD can get. True that it's not HD quality, but everyone knows that DVD isn't a true HD technology. On a SD scale, this set deserves a 5/5.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:21 PM   #5
Randy Miller III
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I tried watching in on three different displays, and still saw the same digital artifacts.
I'm normally not a huge stickler for image quality, but the problems I saw were bad enough to make note of.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:17 PM   #6
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I see the comments on the video quality, but a 5 star system is a little to vague for me.

if the HD version is 10 on 1-10 scale and it may not quite be a 10, but pretty close where would the standard def version fall? Granted there are some scenes with bad encoding (I'll say the combed problems are problems with the encode as well as pixelization). There are scenes (like the bird scenes) where I just can't see how they'd even work on DVD. The bandwidth isn't enough for a scene with that much motion. The MPEG design expects there to be a lot of static image in a scene and with something like the birds it ain't going to work. ALL the tricks will be used, all motion vectors will be used, there will also be bluring of the image both pre-encode and as an artifact of encoding. So those scenes should look like crap, I'd expect that. But, I work with MPEG all the time, I understand these shortcomings.

I'm just curious will this set in SD be good enough as a father's day gift. Now, these fathers do have HDTV so... it will be a step down, but will they still get a great show visually? After all this series is one about visuals, not so much sound or anything else. When the series is about the visual display does the SD verision really stand out or is it just OK?

I see what the original review says, and one other person gave it a 5/5. But any other feedback? I can always try to convince the father(s) to get HD players, but... that ain't too likely.
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Old 06-05-07, 06:01 AM   #7
Shannon Nutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadparty
How difficult would it have been to release these DVDs with two audio-tracks - one with the Attenborough voice-over and one with the voice-over from Siggourney Weaver? This is the type of optional extra the DVD format is made for.
It may not have been difficult, but this is a case where you're getting what's best for you...the Attenborough track is vastly superior to the Ripley track. Besides, I think the Weaver versions were shorter, so there would be gaps with no talking at all.
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Old 06-05-07, 09:40 AM   #8
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Man, am I torn.

I have the SD version still in shrinkwrap, but I'm jonesin' for the HD-DVD version. But the SD version has an extra 260 minutes of material (10 minutes per episode of behind the scenes footage, times 11 episodes, plus the 2.5 hour "Planet Earth: The Future" companion series). But the HD-DVD version is in HD.

I'm loathe to pop the shrinkwrap on the SD version if I'm going to get the HD-DVD version, since I can eBay the SD for more if it's unopened. But I *might* want to keep the bonus disk from the SD set and donate the rest to my local library for a tax writeoff. But I don't know if the 10 minute x 11 episode behind the scenes stuff are all on the bonus disk or if they're tacked on to each episode. And I don't know if the HD-DVD version will be more "knock my socks off" than I expect the SD version to be. I watched it when it aired on Discovery (SD) and it was damn fine. While the HD reviews have been consistently good, some reviewers have complained about it not being as good as it could be, leaving me to wonder if the step up from the SD to the HD versions is justified.

The HD-DVD version is 53.47 after 20% discount at DDD. It's OOS at DVD Planet, but would be 55.96. I spent 34.98 out of pocket for the SD version from B&N (I had a $10 gift card and a coupon). New SD sets are fetching $50 on eBay.

Arrgh! Someone, quick, give me a tiebreaker here!
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Old 06-05-07, 10:14 AM   #9
slop101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff D
I see the comments on the video quality, but a 5 star system is a little to vague for me.

if the HD version is 10 on 1-10 scale and it may not quite be a 10, but pretty close where would the standard def version fall?.
Those aren't the same scales. IOW, a 5/5 for an SD-dvd isn't the same thing as a 5/5 on an HD-dvd. The quality rating on a dvd (SD or HD) is only comparable within one format - not to another.

So obviously, a 5/5 rating for video on an HD-dvd is much better than a 5/5 for an SD-dvd.
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Old 06-05-07, 05:05 PM   #10
Jeff D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbuzz
Arrgh! Someone, quick, give me a tiebreaker here!
You're going to have to be the guinea pin... sacrifice your shrink wrap and give a good opinion! =)

I've got the HD recordings, but not the discs can only assume they are close to the same (minus whatever directv has done to refomat the source) maybe I'll rent some of the SD dvds to check them out. If I do I'll report back, but my opinion will be hypercritical but with respect of the limitations of DVD and MPEG specs.

Last edited by Jeff D; 06-05-07 at 05:12 PM.
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