Due on Blu: Planet Earth II


It looks like the Blu-ray and 4K-UHD of Planet Earth II will be released here in early August — which means Prime is likely to premiere the seven-part series late this month.

It will be interesting to see where Prime schedules the BBC’s first 4K production so long — seven months — after it went to air in the UK.

The channel has done Kiwis and its own standing a huge disservice by delaying PEII’s premiere here.

Having paid a premium for the series, it’s understandable Prime would want to maximise viewership and advertising dollars by broadcasting it when most people are watching TV.

But such is the global currency of some shows that they demand to be seen as soon as possible — which is why broadcasters in the US and Australia premiered PEII earlier in the year.

It could have been a fantastic late summer-early autumn drawcard for Prime and an invaluable platform for promoting its new-season heavyweights.

Given all the headlines and Internet video clips PEII has spawned, it’s not going to hold nearly the appeal it would have had off the back of its UK broadcast (as Channel Nine discovered to its cost in February!).

And given it will go out in SD on Freeview, David Attenborough fans may as well wait a few more weeks for its Blu-ray or 4K-UHD release (if they haven’t already imported it).

“The UHD edition of Planet Earth II may be the best reason yet to upgrade to 4K,” Blu-ray.com said. “It’s the most vivid sightseeing you can undertake without leaving home.”

Concurred High-Def Digest: “From beginning to end, the 2160p video is an endlessly dazzling, hypnotising feast for the eyes, delivering a smorgasbord of vibrant colours that never falter.”

MichaelDVD.com.au said the 1080i  video quality of the March 29 Blu-ray release in Australia was “very good” aside from a few artefacts.

“The picture was nicely sharp throughout with incredible detail. The sharpness was only marred by the motion blur due to the interlaced transfer and some occasional grain on long shots.

“There is a 4K version available which I would expect to be magnificent assuming it is not just an upscale.”

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