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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2009
I'm a big fan of this series, and I own the previous Blu-ray releases of the first 4 episodes. While this is called "The Complete Collection," it's far from it. The original discs I have are all around 100 mins, while the episodes on this set are all 43:35. More than half the original episodes are gone in these new trimmed versions (please note that some of these episodes were originally 2 hours, and some were 1 hour, so not all are drastically trimmed). I'm so disappointed in Discovery.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
I could not be more disappointed with this "collection". Then again, it shouldn't surprise me - previous DVD releases I have bought from Discovery are also trimmed from the original episodes. There are 11 episodes here, with a running time of just under 8 hours. China, Brazil, Italy and Austrailia were previously released on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and were 100 minutes a piece. You do not get those here - rather, these episodes are all trimmed down to 43 minutes, throwing out more than half the length of the original 4. I recommend purchasing them in addition to this "collection".

I am thrilled to see some of the other episodes - the only other two I had seen were Japan and Mexico, and these were previously unavailable.

Having 8 episodes on two discs does have its problem. I currently have it paused on a single frame to write this review of a sunrise over Africa. There are compression artifacts and color banding and macroblocking. Its sad - the previous Discovery Atlas releases were demo discs - this release leaves a lot to be desired.

The audio is not as dynamic on the Italy and China releases as the previous releases. Not sure what is up, but sounds like DVD audio as opposed to Blu-Ray. Quite disappointing. Also, unless I am mistaken, both of those episodes also have different narrators. I have not checked out the second disc yet.

I am quite disappointed with this set. The Discovery Atlas series is one of the greatest series ever produced, and to see them mutilated in this form is sad. I think Discovery should give everyone who purchased this copies of the full episodes free-of-charge. I would not be so upset, as it was only $30, except that this was advertised as the "Complete Collection".This is sad, sad, sad, and certainly false advertising.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2009
I agree with others. This is NOT the complete collection. Certain episodes have been trimmed dramatically in length. The standalone episodes that were released were much more involving and had way more material! Buyers BEWARE!!! Shame on you Discovery Channel!! Shame!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2009
Don't buy this version is not really complete! I watch the France, China and Italy documentary and there are not complete. The original versions of these documentaries are more than 100 min long. On this version they only last like 40 min!! I suggest buying each individually. Is not fair that they sell us a documentary that says "complete collection" on the cover when is not true.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2009
To those complaining that this edition features edited versions of the shows, you're absolutely right! At least four episodes (Italy, Australia, Brazil and China) are heavily edited. I own the original disks for those, and they each clock in at over 100 minutes. But in this new compilation of all the episodes, they are only about 44 minutes long. I'm not sure if the second season episodes (Japan, Mexico, Egypt, etc.) were also edited down to 44 minutes, or if they originally aired at that length.

At any rate, it's horrible that Discovery is peddling half-episodes. The beauty of the Discovery Atlas series (beyond its stunning looks) is that it would really explore the lives of the country's inhabitants. You miss a lot of that depth when four or five storylines get truncated into 44 minutes...
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2009
I was very excited when I saw that Discovery has released their Atlas series as a complete set. When I saw I could get a discount off from their store and get the blu-rays I immediately did it without listening to the voice in my head. It questioned how big was the box set gonna be since it had so many episodes. I remembered watching the first 4 episodes on HDTV and they were all 2hrs long. Blu-ray has more capacity, but it can't hold that many episodes per disc.

I was excited when the set came, but was confused by how it fitted in my mailbox and more confused when I saw only two discs. Nevertheless, I remained hopeful. Put the disc 1 in the player and while I was happy to be watching it, I decided to see how long was the China episode in total. It was only ~43 long, compared to the ~100 min from the on-air broadcast.

Discovery has severely shortened the episodes to a few key stories per country. I understand they did this probably to save on production cost as they fitted about 7 episodes on one disc, 5 on the 2nd, but I personally believe the cost was too great to sacrifice all the work placed into these episodes. It feels like the customer is being short-changed, not receiving as immersive an experience as the on-air versions were like.

Now for a person who hasn't watched the full versions, these episodes will do just fine. They cover the essences of each episode, so one wouldn't miss it if they never saw the full versions.

Overall, since this is the only way to get many of these episodes at a reasonable price, I would recommend this buy only for that. Know this through, should Discovery ever release the full length versions in a collectors box set, I will be selling this one and buying the new one in a heart-beat.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
I agree with most of reviews here that these shows are heavily edited. I saw the Brazil Atlas and it was 2 hr on discovery channel with commerical. and if you look at the Brazil Atlas Blu-ray you'll see that it has the running time of 94 minutes too. i really like how the show look at different people of each country so that not only you learn about the country, but its people, culture, and ways of life.

I like this show very much- i only got to see Brazil on TV so I dont know what else i miss with the rest of the shows.

if you never seen this show, then you'll be amazed and love this series- especially in hi-def, but if you saw them before on tv or stand-alone dvd/blu-ray- you'll be very disappointed... you're missing more than half of the original show!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
Have some of the series in Blu-ray, such as Brazil, but these are only about 43 mins. No where does it say they are edited. Save your money and buy the country separately. They have some extras, but still almost half the footage from the originals are missing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2010
I was disappointed to find that these are only partial episodes. I guess I'll keep my eyes open for a re-release with the full episodes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2010
These DVD's are top grade in photography. I didn't notice any color enhancing, etc. Beautiful scenery. But what I noticed that made me want to watch these again and again, is how they follow common people and happenings in each country so you can pick up on the culture of everyday life in that country. It shows people in competitions...some who win and some who lose...and follows their struggles and accomplishments with things we take for granted, like cable TV. I loved this product.
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