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How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 3
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • List Price: $49.95

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0044M2ORW[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
How The Earth Was Made: Complete Season 2 (3 Disc) -

Purchase How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

The History Channel’s popular series continues with the second season of How the Earth Was Made. The title may mislead one into believing that series would simply lay out the scientific theories on the formation of the planet as a whole, but as in Season One, this second season continues the the detailed exploration of specific geological formations on the planet, how they were formed, and how they shaped the history and formation of the planet as a whole.

Season Two does finally get into the actual formation or “Birth of the Earth,” but mostly, viewers are treated to an excitingly narrated geological history of some of the most famous places on Earth. Therein lies one of the few flaws in the series. How the Earth Was Made: Season Two spends a big chunk of its 13 episodes exploring geological formations in the United States, as if the U.S. were the center of Earth, with only a few episodes devoted to things like “Vesuvius,” “The Sahara,” and “Everest.”

Nevertheless, if you are someone like me, with only a layperson’s understanding of geology, this is the series to watch. It explains everything in a language anyone can understand, going back over each point several times in each episode to make things easy to follow, and it actually makes learning about the Earth and the powerful forces that shape it fun. When I was at school, geology was my least favorite of the sciences. I was always more of an astronomy and chemistry guy, but if I had a series like this to watch, things might have been different.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

How the Earth Was Made: Season Two arrives in a 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encoding on Blu-ray. The series is taken from various sources so image quality varies widely. There is a mix of new HD footage, HD CG effects, standard definition archival footage, and film footage. As such, the picture often shows signs of aliasing, video noise, posterization, and color banding. By far the new HD footage looks the best, but even some of that shows some compression noise. Overall, however, the image looks good enough for this sort of documentary series.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The audio is a simple DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo lossless mix. There’s nothing exiting about it considering the topic at hand and often one wishes they’d included a 5.1 mix to open that soundtstage up and really get listeners involved in the onscreen action, like the rushing flows of lava or landslides. With that being said, the mix does what is intended, offering clear dialogue and the series’ score and audio effects do not get in the way of that. They also provide some mild stereo panning across the sound field.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

There are no supplements provided on this release.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two continues the strong start for The History Channel’s geological series, steps up the “drama” and makes what can often be a dull topic exciting. This can make an excellent classroom tool for teachers. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0044M2ORW[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
How The Earth Was Made: Complete Season 2 (3 Disc) -

Purchase How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]


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