'Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series - Special Edition' - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:40 PM
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Default 'Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series - Special Edition' - High-Def Digest Review

Aaron Peck has reviewed 'Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series - Special Edition' He says the way this release was put together is "completely bonkers." Read his review to find out why.

Full review here:
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/5580..._earth_se.html
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:07 PM
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" First airing as an eleven episode series on the BBC in England late last year "

I'm presuming this is just lazy copy & paste from the new reviewer lifting from the 2007 release ? The series was shown in 2006 with episode 11 finishing in December 2006.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:33 PM
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First, why did we get a 1080i release, when the 2007 Blu-ray release of 'Planet Earth' was in 1080p?
My assumption is that the original was shot at 1080p30 or 1080i60 (most likely the second, based on the age of the material). The Blu-Ray format sadly only offers 1080p at 24fps (probably the ONLY advantage HD-DVD had over Blu-Ray). Therefore, it makes sense to present the set at 1080i to maintain proper frame rate. This COULD result in a higher picture quality - but only if the encoding is solid. Your review makes it sound like this is not the case.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:38 PM
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This time around 'Planet Earth' has been furnished with a DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1 mix.
You may want to change the Audio Formats in the left-hand column - it says its Dolby Digital 5.1
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DiscJunkie View Post
" First airing as an eleven episode series on the BBC in England late last year "

I'm presuming this is just lazy copy & paste from the new reviewer lifting from the 2007 release ? The series was shown in 2006 with episode 11 finishing in December 2006.
Should be fixed now.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:13 PM
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Good review, Aaron. I too am perplexed as to why they would introduce a new encode that is inferior to the original release. Makes no sense. A shame, since the extras on this new set are the biggest attraction for me. Glad to see them put the "Snow Leopard" feature that was previously only on the 5-disc UK set, although it still excludes the other 2 features from that fifth disc ("BBC: Natural World" & "Desert Lions"). How are the non-commentary extras spread out, i.e., are they across all 6 discs or (hopefully) exclusively on the 2 extra discs?
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:45 PM
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Your review says its 1080p in the stats just to let you know . Funny , I'm watching my hd DVD of the 2007 planet earth (same pq as 07 blu) and why would you not just use this encode !? The pq is amazing and it's 1080p through and though , lol why anything but tv shows , sports , and lower budget movies are released in 1080i nowadays is a mystery.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:49 PM
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"I can't understand why you would rejigger something that worked so well the first time."

Well, Frozen Planet has just been released... and what better way to get fans to re-buy the original than presenting a new encode?

Its almost like an Ultimate Edition.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post
Your review says its 1080p in the stats just to let you know . Funny , I'm watching my hd DVD of the 2007 planet earth (same pq as 07 blu) and why would you not just use this encode !? The pq is amazing and it's 1080p through and though , lol why anything but tv shows , sports , and lower budget movies are released in 1080i nowadays is a mystery.
I see places where it says it has the same encode as the Blu-Ray, but I am kinda wondering about that. Blu-Ray only does progressive at 24fps, whereas HD-DVD did 24, 25, and 30 (I am not sure about 50 or 60 fps). If the show was shot on film, it would make sense that it was 24fps. But, since it was shot for TV with HD cameras, I would assume it was shot at 25 or 30 fps. Therefore, it would make sense that the HD-DVD might be released at that framerate. Does anyone know?

I am still willing to bet the reason that this encode was released at 1080i was to keep them from having to convert the framerates like they did with the 2007 release. While the picture may not be as sharp, it should at least be smoother, as the framerate isn't being converted.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gravis778 View Post
I see places where it says it has the same encode as the Blu-Ray, but I am kinda wondering about that. Blu-Ray only does progressive at 24fps, whereas HD-DVD did 24, 25, and 30 (I am not sure about 50 or 60 fps). If the show was shot on film, it would make sense that it was 24fps. But, since it was shot for TV with HD cameras, I would assume it was shot at 25 or 30 fps. Therefore, it would make sense that the HD-DVD might be released at that framerate. Does anyone know?
Since my previous post, I've been researching this phenomena on other forums. The film was originally shot at 25fps; however, since there isn't a 1080p25 standard for Blu-ray, it was encoded at 1080i50. As a BBC production, that would make sense since 1080i50Hz is the UK broadcast standard. The Blu-ray standard supports 1080i50 and it would be the only way to display 25fps video on Blu-ray.

Quote:
I am still willing to bet the reason that this encode was released at 1080i was to keep them from having to convert the framerates like they did with the 2007 release. While the picture may not be as sharp, it should at least be smoother, as the framerate isn't being converted.
I believe you are correct. Since the original BD release was 1080p24, the conversion of framerates slowed down the original film from 25fps to 24fps. By reverting the new UK release to 1080i50, there should be no (or at minimum, less) judder, banding or timing issues.

Example of 1080i50 vs 1080p24: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/13069

As far as the picture being less sharp, that is dependent upon the playback device or display in your HD interconnection -- e.g., Blu-ray player, A/V receiver, and monitor/projector. So although the disc is 1080i, when de-interlaced properly, it should resolve the same as the original progresssive frame.

What does this all mean for the US Special Edition? Unfortunately, while the UK Special Edition benefits from a 1080i50 encode, the US broadcast standard doesn't allow for 50Hz and we find ourselves back to a 24Hz conversion...except now remastered in 1080i. I suspect that's the reason for the aberrations Aaron found in his review.

I may be missing something, though this seems to be the most logical explanation for the 1080i encoding in this new release. If someone has more information, please share.
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