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The Universe: The Complete Season Six Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: N0t Rated
  • Discs: 3 (3 x Blu-ray )
  • Run Time: 616 Mins.
  • Studio: A&E Home Video/New Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • List Price: $44.95

[amazon-product]B006QVRVYA[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Universe: The Complete Season Six on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

In its sixth season, The History Channel’s successful astronomy series, The Universe, continues its trend towards spending much its time focusing on our own planet and solar system What’s more, the series has curiously moved from the realm of hard science that made it so compelling in its early seasons, to pure speculation, science fiction and disaster theories. Over the course of its fourteen episodes, season six touches on the existence of aliens and UFOs, a crash landing on Mars, possible cosmic disasters in the future of the planet and more. A brief rundown of each episode is listed below.

Episode listing:

  1. Catastrophes that Changed the Planets – A look at the colossal catastrophes that have molded the futures of the planets in our solar system throughout history.
  2. Nemesis: The Sun’s Evil Twin – A theory that our sun has a twin star that comes around every million years or so, causing havoc and affecting major changes in our planetary history.
  3. How the Solar System Was Made – Scientists trace our solar system from its birth as no more than dist and gas to the huge cluster of matter that it is today.
  4. Crash Landing on Mars – The challenges of a manned expedition to Mars are explored in this episode, particularly a scenario where a crew was forced to crash land on the inhospitable planet.
  5. Worst Days on Planet Earth – A look into the violent past of our planet reveals the chaos that led to the eventual evolution of this blue globe we live on today.
  6. God and the Universe – A discussion of the basis of religion and scientific theories in the development of the Universe.
  7. UFOs: The Real Deal – A discussion of what sorts of technology it would take for UFOs to be real.
  8. How Big, How Far, How Fast – This episode involves a look at the huge numbers in distance, speed, and size that are involved when discussing the cosmos.
  9. Our Place in the Milky Way – Recent discoveries uncovered in the closest parts of the Milky Way galaxy.
  10. Alien Sounds – A top ten “countdown” of the greatest sounds of the universe.
  11. Deep Freeze – The freezing temperatures in the vast voids of space and the speculation of life exisiting on frozen worlds.
  12. Microscopic Universe – Scientists study the strange world of subatomic particles in an effort to uncover the mysteries of the universe.
  13. Ride the Comet – An exploration of the world of comets in our solar system from the birth of the solar system to the present.
  14. When Space Changed History – How comet impacts changed the course of religion and evolution on Earth, from the Bible’s great flood to the death of the first North Americans.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

As with all previous seasons of The Universe, The Universe Season 6 was captured in high definition and comes to Blu-ray in a 1080p transfer from A&E Video/New Video. The AVC/MPEG-4 encodement looks best when displaying the numerous digital CG effects, but there is a lot of video noise in the presentation nonetheless. It is most obvious in the live HD segments with the scientific experts where detail is often a bit soft as well.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack that presents the narration flawlessly in the center. Sound effects are subtle panned out wide, but low in the mix, with clean highs and a natural midrange, but not much dynamics and no low frequencies to speak of.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

There are no supplements offered in this set.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

This series is obviously a big hit for The History Channel as it continues to be picked up for more seasons and also repackaged in numerous incarnations on DVD, Blu-ray, and even Blu-ray 3D in mega-sets, one-offs, and “special editions.” Yet, one can’t help but think that they must be running out of valid scientific ideas and have long since jumped the shark, drifting into the territory of science fiction and disaster pseudo-documentary. While there are still some parts of the series that will offer some pleasure for real science and astronomy geeks, Season Six is a pale comparison to the early seasons of this series.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006QVRVYA[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Universe: The Complete Season Six on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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