Human Planet—BBC/Warner Bros.

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 2/5

Following in the footsteps of "Planet Earth" and "Life", this epic eight-part blockbuster is a breathtaking celebration of the amazing, complex, profound and sometimes challenging relationship between humankind and nature. Humans are the ultimate animals - the most successful species on the planet. From the frozen Arctic to steamy rainforests, from tiny islands in vast oceans to parched deserts, people have found remarkable ways to adapt and survive. We've done this by harnessing our immense courage and ingenuity; learning to live with and utilize the other creatures with which we share these wild places. "Human Planet" weaves together eighty inspiring stories, many never told before, set to a globally-influenced soundtrack by award-winning composer Nitin Sawhney. Each episode focuses on a particular habitat and reveals how its people have created astonishing solutions in the face of extreme adversity. Finally we visit the urban jungle, where most of us now live, and discover why the connection between humanity and nature here is the most vital of all.

Like Planet Earth before it, Human Planet is encoded as a 1080i/30 for its Blu-ray release. Most films on the format are delivered in 1080p24; which means that if you have a 1080p display your player or display will have to de-interlace this one to get the full benefit of the HD presentation. This is one of the reasons we include full HD video processing tests in our Blu-ray player, display and receiver reviews. Despite the interlaced encode, Human Planet looks breathtaking on Blu-ray. Shot with HD cameras, the video has an incredibly rich color palette that will really show off your home theater’s display. Fine object detail was outstanding and I rarely saw any banding, which typically is an issue with HD video based material. Shot in a vast amount of locales throughout the world, this disc has a multitude of sequences that would be great demonstration material for friends and family. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is also good though not quite as engaging as the beautiful photography. Still, dynamic range is decent and low-end extension can be impressive at times. All of the features are narrated and the balance of the mix is excellent. Overall a spectacular presentation from the BBC, but keep in mind that results may vary depending on the capabilities of your display chain.

Each episode features a 10-minute behind the scenes look at how it was captured and the work involved in bringing the story to life. You also get some more production features that give more insight into the series.

Human Planet is an amazing journey and continues my love affair with these BBC documentaries. I can’t wait to share these with my kids as they grow up as they provide amazing insight into our world that you just don’t get anymore. The presentation and features are spectacular making this a must-own for any Blu-ray owner.

David Vaughn's picture
I agree Kris...awesome Blu-ray and a must-own!