Planet Earth II is the first essential UHD Blu-ray purchase

Although the entire series was filmed in 4K, until now the only way to watch Planet Earth II in its entirety has been in Full HD. 

That’s soon set to change with the upcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray release, which is due to be released on March 13 worldwide. 

We sat down with the team behind the upcoming release to watch some select segments from the show, and we can honestly say this might just be the most impressive Ultra HD release we’ve ever laid our eyes on. 

Reference-level UHD

This is the kind of footage you’ll want to put onto your new 4K television to make yourself feel better about the amount of money you’ve just parted ways with. 

It’s a series that shows off what the new format is capable of fantastically, whether it’s the dust that gets kicked up during a fight between two Komodo dragons, or the sheer detail visible during a slow camera pan across a meadow. 

A particularly impressive moment came during a snowstorm when the pattern on a single snowflake was briefly visible. 

The HDR is fantastic. Although this is HDR10 (rather than the more advanced Dolby Vision), the sense of depth in the images is remarkable, and color-banding during bright blue-sky sequences is non-existent. 

Images have real sparkle to them, from glistening light reflecting off a raindrop or patch of snow. 

We watched the footage on a Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-ray machine playing through a Sony KD-65XD9305 and we can’t wait to watch the show on 2017’s new batch of OLED panels, where we expect it to be even more impressive.

Sound-wise the disc has a 5.1 channel DTS-HD soundtrack which really allows Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to shine. If we could have it all we’d have wanted a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, but the experience didn’t feel lacking with ‘just’ surround sound rather than 3D audio. 

Suffice to say, this is now the disc to buy if you want to show off your new television, and we wouldn’t be surprised if retailers start loading up their televisions with this footage to show their wares. 

Planet Earth II is available to pre-order starting from today.

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.