Now “Planet Earth 2” Content is Available to More People in 4K UHD, Here’s How

by on December 20, 2016

Stephan Jukic – December 20, 2016

As we’ve already reported here, the BBC has been working on putting out at least a small part of its new major documentary series Planet Earth 2 in 4K ultra HD resolution with a new type of broadcast HDR included into its formatting.

Unfortunately, the BBC has failed at delivering the HDR part of their small “Planet Earth 2” video clip release and even the 4K SDR video segment of only a few minutes that remained was available to a highly limited audience of 4K TV owners who happened to have select Panasonic 4K TV models and use the iPlayer app for these TVs.


Well, now the BBC has expanded the viewing options for its small “Planet Earth 2” segment by rolling the video out to some subscribers of both the Sky Q and Virgin content services subscribers with 4K TVs.

For users of Sky Q, the iPlayer app allows for viewing of the nature documentary series inside a “Try UHD” section of the app and while the video will only be available via Sky Q in standard dynamic range, viewers can at least get a taste of what it’s like to see “Planet Earth 2” in the razor sharpness of 4K instead of just the full HD in which the whole documentary series has been released already.

As for Virgin subscribers with the company’s new V6 TiVo box, they will indeed get to appreciate the same short clip from the documentary with both 4K resolution and the version of HDR used by the BBC functional. This is because the new Virgin TiVo box happens to be compatible with the BBC’s broadcast HDR standard, which is called Hybrid Log Gamma, or HLG.

The clip in question is tiny of course and features only a four minute segment from the “Jungle” portion of the six-part full “Planet Earth 2” series. In the video, viewers can see a “jaguar emerging from the shadows to stalk its prey…rain dropping on tiny animals and their habitats…and a frog in a shade of red never before seen on a TV” according to the BBC’s own publicity. However, the last part about the frog being viewable in a shade of red never before seen on a TV can be scratched out for viewers watching the little clip from a Sky Q subscription or the BBC’s iPlayer app on their Panasonic TVs. Only Virgin subscribers get the benefit of the HDR that will deliver that special red shade for now.


On the other hand, the BBC has promised that it will be delivering a 4K ultra HD Blu-ray version of the whole series now that DVD and HD Blu-ray versions have come out on sale.

Thus, if you’d love to see this new and huge nature documentary series in all its spectacular 4K glory, you’ll soon be able to do so one way or another. We’re assuming that the 4K Blu-ray version will come with HDR mastering that’s viewable in a broad range of 4K HDR TV models and since it will be 4K Blu-ray (which has no region coding), international buyers of the discs will also be able to enjoy them anywhere in the world.

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