Sunday, March 15, 2009

Planet Earth in HD

I broke my promise and bought yet another HD-DVD. But this one is well worth it.

If you need to prove to anyone that HD is not a fad, but actually a new way to look at the televised world, look no further than Planet Earth.

This BBC series (narrated, as usual, by David Attenborough, with his usual enthusiastic voice, and music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra) shows you the earth in ways you haven’t seen before. Shot entirely in hi-def, it combines shots from space, exhilhrating "how did they shoot this?" flybys, time-motion sequences, amazing flora and fauna and some of the last shots you’ll see of species that are going extinct.

I got the HD-DVD set (4 DVDs) from Amazon for $29 (the set cost over $120 when it came out 2 years ago), but you can also get it in Blu-Ray (if that’s your thing) or DVD (just make sure you have an upconverting DVD player, or else you won’t enjoy the dazzling HD splendor). BTW, if you have an Xbox 360, you can now get the HD-DVD player for $29 – so you can get both for less than $60.

I only watched the first 2 episodes so far (there are 11 in all, and some bonus material). My favorite sequences are the colorful birds of paradise; a white shark leaping after a seal – slowed down 40 times; and one of the last snow leopards in the world (the real deal, not the Apple OS razz) hunting on a near vertical slope in the Himalayas.

Sadly, this might be the only way we’d be able to show our grandkids what the world looked like.

1 comment:

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