Planet Earth II UltraHD Blu-ray Review

Specs

StudioBBC
TitlePlanet Earth II
AudioDTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Negative FormatsRedcode RAW (6K)
Digital Intermediate4K
MPAA RatingUnrated
Length360 Minutes
DirectorVanessa Berlowitz, Mike Gunton, James Brickell, Tom Hugh-Jones
StarsDavid Attenborough
Review DateMarch 26, 2017
Price$34.99

Summary: Planet Earth II is the follow-up to the groundbreaking BBC nature series from a decade ago. Captured from remote, isolated locations all around the planet, Planet Earth II showcases nature in ways never experienced before. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the six hour=long episodes reveal areas of the planet most people have never experienced.

Movie Review: The Planet Earth series manages to make nature the most engrossing topic you can imagine. Careful not to linger too long in any one location, you travel all over the world seeing things you have not seen before. Not only was I completely engrossed by the episodes, my 5- and 7-year-old children were as well.

Locations that you visit are incredibly beautiful, without a soul to be seen aside from the animals that are the focus of the series. You travel from mountains to jungles to remote islands and see creatures of all sorts. Even if you never watch a documentary usually, you’ll enjoy Planet Earth II from start to finish.

Technical Review: We are still early into UltraHD reviews, but watching Planet Earth II makes me want to go back and revise many of the prior video scores down. The images here leap off the screen in their details and rich, vibrant colors. Both HDR and wide color gamut are used extensively and will show off your TV. There are rich blue waters that a sloth swims in, the bright red of crabs across the ground, and the vibrant greens of the jungle.

Images of penguins on an island are amazing, with the fine details of their coats being easy to see. As the sun sets in the background, the HDR effect of the sun really pushes the display. With the large number of crews shooting these scenes, the equipment used can often vary (and there are no notes on all the cameras used), so some scenes look better than others because of this. When it is spot on, it looks like nothing else on UltraHD Blu-ray right now and is well worth owning.

Also, for the first time I can recall, the Oppo UDP-203 does not report nits levels for the disc. It reports that it is an HDR signal, but not maximum or minimum values.

The soundtrack is a more basic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 number. During an avalanche the subwoofer brings a good rumble into the room, and as a jaguar stalks its prey the tension is ratcheted up by the soundtrack. It does a good job of placing you into the natural environment, but there are no height channels used unfortunately. No one will complain about it, as the audio is clear and easy to understand, but it isn’t as incredible as the images can be.

Special Features: There is a bonus disc with an extra 54 minutes of bonus clips.

Review System: Vizio P65-C1 display, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.

Review Summary

ProductPlanet Earth II UltraHD Blu-ray
ReviewerChris Heinonen
ProsGreat image, amazing content and information, some of the best UltraHD images you've seen to date.
ConsSome sources aren't as good as others, no immersive soundtrack.
SummaryPlanet Earth II is a wonderful combination of fantastic content and fantastic image that everyone in the family can enjoy. Some of the images are incredible and you can't believe how good it looks, and the wildlife you see is just amazing.
Value5 / 5
Performance4 / 5
Overall5 / 5