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Planet Earth II Finally Available For Sale in 4K UHD With HDR

by on February 13, 2017

Stephan Jukic – February 13, 2017

The extraordinary sequel to the genuinely legendary original BBC series “Planet Earth” is finally getting its 4K UHD release for consumer audiences after a lot of back and forth by its producers with experimentation through limited 4K HDR broadcasts in the wake of an initial HD-only release.

The BBC has announced that the new multi-part epic nature documentary series is already available on pre-order from Amazon UK in 4K UHD Blu-ray and will be shipping to buyers as of March 13, 2017. The “Planet Earth II” multi-part documentary series will not only feature ultra HD resolution in all its lovely sharpness, but will also come with HDR for a much broader level of detail, realistic contrast variation and deep, realistically saturated colors.

On the other hand, all of the HDR benefits of the 4K HDR Blu-ray release will only really be available to viewers who own a 4K TV with full HDR display specs and of course who also have a 4K Blu-ray player handy. “Planet Earth II” will also come with high-end 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio formatting for sound, so if you really want the best possible experience from this documentary series, having a solid piece of sound bar technology in your home would be a great idea too.

Given what we’ve seen of HDR mastering and its ability to make 4K content look stunning to an unprecedented degree, we’re inclined to believe Lesley Johnson, Operations Director for BBC Worldwide when he says that “The Picture Quality is astonishing. For the first time viewers can experience at home the picture quality viewed in the edit suite”.

HDR vastly improves picture quality, color saturation and realism in mastered content

HDR vastly improves picture quality, color saturation and realism in mastered content Like Planet Earth II

Johnson elaborates further by explaining that, “The vastly improved compression of UHD Blu-ray with HDR means the experience is up to 10 times better than any broadcast or streaming service can provide.”

Other experts with a knowledge of what the documentary’s HDR mastering means also seem to agree. According to Jonathan Cheesemur Director of European Creative Services for Sony:

“The depth of field and pin-sharp resolution are stunning in Ultra HD Blu-ray and perfectly showcase the filming techniques used by the Planet Earth II production team. Ultra HD Blu-ray delivers a high data rate, far exceeding that of streaming services. Viewers will be amazed by the truly immersive experience when watching this landmark series in the very best possible quality.”

In other words, if you get your hands on a copy of the documentary and have the above-mentioned HDR viewing technology in your 4K TV, you should be quite nicely blown away by the incredibly realistic visuals of our diverse world that the series creates.

Planet Earth II is the long-anticipated sequel to the original and award-winning 2006 documentary of the same name and is richly narrated by Sir David Attenborough with background music created by Hans Zimmer (who also made the music for several famous Hollywood movies such as “Inception”, The Dark Knight Trilogy and “Interstellar”). The series of episodes covers the natural world in 117 different locations scattered across 40 countries around the world, from burning deserts, to frozen mountains and all sorts of ecosystems in between.


As for pricing, well the documentary series isn’t selling too cheaply. A copy of Planet Earth II in 4K HDR Blu-ray with an HD version of the content included will cost £40 from the Amazon UK website. Since 4K Blu-rays aren’t region-specific like their HD counterparts, this ultra HD copy can be played by anyone in the world with their own locally purchased UHD Blu-ray player.

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