- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
- Subtitles: English
- Rating: Not Rated
- Region: A
- Discs: 2
- Studio: A&E Home Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: January 11, 2011
- List Price: $39.95
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)
Okay spaceheads and science geeks, get your propeller caps out and fly your geek flags high, because the fifth season of The History Channel’s popular series The Universe arrives on Blu-ray this January. The series, which explores the phenomena of the Universe in which our tiny planet resides continues along familiar territory in season five, with a mixture of CGI effects and expert commentary from scientists and scholars.
The question for season five, for any fans of the series, however, is, is The Universe losing steam? The season does seem to be filled with a lot of retread. Is that even possible for something covering a topic as vast as “the Universe?” Well, yes, I suppose, considering that there are so many things in our ever-expanding world that we still do not know or understand.
But many of the topics covered this season, such as space probes, time travel, and magnetic storms have certainly been gone over before. This time, they are taken on from slightly different angles, such as the episode “Mars: The New Evidence.” It doesn’t just go over the idea of life on Mars again, but introduces new evidence and theories to support there being life at one point on the red planet.
Episode one of season five, “7 Wonders of the Solar System” is also available separately as a Blu-ray 3D release, which I had the opportunity to review earlier.
Despite being in 1080p, The Universe: The Complete Season Five fails to ever really impress with its HD presentation. Most of the commentary footage is soft and swarming in video noise and the CGI effects are a blend of standard and high definition that work to varying degrees f success.
The sound is a simple DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo soundtrack with mild panning of foley effects across the stereo field. The narration and commentary are clean, but the overall entertainment value of the mix is rather dull.
There are no extras provided in this set.
The Definitive Word
The Universe: The Complete Season Five loses just a little bit of steam by backtracking and offering up many topics the series has already covered, but it is still an intriguing and informative show for anyone with an interest in astronomy, space travel, and the sciences.
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