Originally Posted by crimsonblake
Now that Directv offers a wide variety of Discovery owned channels, I was hoping I could finally watch Blue Planet in HD. I've read disputing reports that this was not filmed in hd, while others say it was shot on film and transferred to HD. Does anyone have a definitive answer to this? Discovery's site doesn't even mention HD, yet I have found an HD-DVD version for sale.
The BBC / Discovery co-pro "The Blue Planet" was shot in a mixture of film - above the water - and SD video below the water. The show was originally posted in 576/50i SD 16:9, with the SD video shot in this format and the film telecined to this format.
This SD edit was originally upconverted to 1080/60i for KBS in Korea via a high quality S&W upconversion - and looked pretty good by all accounts.
Discovery have also had an HD version made - this time the film sequences were re-telecined in HD, maximising the quality of the above water stuff. However the underwater stuff was shot SD video and so can only be upconverted.
Therefore the Discovery HD version is a hybrid - HD quality film transfers above the water, high-quality SD to HD upconversions for the video stuff underwater.
Of course there is no guarantee that Discovery will always air the HD version - they also have an SD edit for their original SD airings I suspect.