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Showing 1-10 of 354 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 472 reviews
on July 6, 2011
Our family had long been on the pre-order list waiting for this 2-dvd set to arrive. Now that it has, we all agree that if we had known what an excellent ("excellent" is truly an understatement. "Magnificent" would be more accurate!)set this would be, we would have all been a lot more impatient for its arrival, but then we might have missed the surprise. By all means, start at the beginning with the Big Bang (track one on disc one), and then when you've seen Black Holes (track two on disc one),... well, we won't say more, but be prepared for some surprising revelations. It is just incredible how far astronomers have come since the last round of dvds dealing with how the universe works, especially with how "black holes" work and the part they play in completing the circle on "how the universe works". This program will catch you up in no uncertain terms, and it's our bet that you'll love every minute of it. The graphics are superb, and keep in mind that they are illustrating information that has not been presented so beautifully and clearly before (as far as we know). Even if you have been following technical research closely, you'll be thrilled to see the fresh twist on the computer graphics. Personally, we found the scientific and philosophical aspects so unforcedly entertwined as to make this series a joy for those who lean toward either "pure science alone" or toward "intelligent design" (we have both in our family). This series can speak to us all in its effort to do justice to what in anyone's terms can be unreservedly recognized as "magnificent design". Once again, in our family's unanimous view, this is, at least to date, an unparalleled presentation, which we unconditionally recommend.
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on November 5, 2011
This DVD set provides an excellent introduction to astronomy and cosmology:

- The technical level of the presentation is enough to satisfy most science enthusiasts, yet accessible for the whole family (my 10-yo daughter was totally hooked).

- The script is clear and narrated very well.

- The short interviews with scientists add variety and show their passion and excitement.

- The graphics are highly effective and stunningly vivid, even without Blu-ray.

- Most importantly, the information will (or should) blow your mind. This is stuff every educated and inquisitive person needs to know.

- Last but not least, the price is a bargain.

Needless to say, highly recommended!
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on July 8, 2014
If you are even remotely curious about astronomy, this is for you! Test drive it by watching it on TV if you must but I guarantee you will learn something no matter how old you are.

The CGI in this series is top notch and the program is totally immersive. The explanation by the scientists is spot on for novices and you need not be embarrassed to replay certain parts or watch with the closed caption turned on because you want to understand.

Also, the re-watchability rating on this is very high. When you own this you are not pressed with having to get things the first time. So you watch it again later and the second time around you will understand the parts you got before better and be astonished at the stuff you missed.

If you wonder about the after life, whether there is a God or doesn't matter. This program doesn't try to sway your beliefs one way or another.

And lastly, it is beautiful. The world we live in and the surrounding universe with it's stars and planets is magnificent. And you can explore this all from the comfort of your home.
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on December 22, 2014
I'm a big fan of these genre of shows (e.g. Cosmos, Into the Universe with Stephan Hawking). This is one of my favorites. The narration by Mike Rowe is superb, he has a way of talking to you like a friend you've known a long time. Not condescending or superfluous as some shows can be. Another thing I quite like about this show is the musical score. It's queued up very well with what's going on in the show, but maintains an air of calmness. In fact I've come to watch this to help me fall asleep, not because it's boring (they keep it quite interesting), but because Mike Rowe and the music are so calming. The show manages to be insightful and educational, while also being cinematic and entertaining. To this end most shows sacrifice one thing or the other.

It's no longer on Netflix, and the visuals are very well done, worth getting BluRay for.

If you're coming to this genre of documentary after enjoying the Cosmos, Interstellar, Stephan Hawking's work, or any other similar work, this is a great show to get more content and a better understanding of How the Universe Works.
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on October 16, 2012
...with beautiful video. However, it's repititious both from a content and re-use of the same video perspective. Same beautiful shots over and over, like a reality TV show would do. To the point where I'm looking forward to the end of the episode due to the annoying 'repeat' factor.

To reiterate, very informative, beautiful video and sound, however, presented in a format that can become very annoying.
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on April 16, 2017
Awesome video. I loved it. My students loved it. Even my most challenging socializers. It kept their attention and they kept saying, "Wow!!!" or "that's crazy!" They could not fathom the vastness of the universe and this helped them to give them a broader perspective and helped them to start thinking "out of the box" when it comes to our environment, earth and our universe.
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on July 8, 2012
First off, HD quality is good to great. HD sound is also good to great.

How the Universe Works is a fantastic blend of live shots on location (like the shots from CERN), fantastic special effects, smooth narration (Mike Rowe - guy from "Dirty Jobs"), and guest cameos from some of the big names in astronomy/physics/theoretical physics/etc.

Reasons to consider How the Universe Works:
1) HTUW goes into far greater detail than Wonders of the Solar System
2) HTUW features numerous big names in astronomy/physics. In addition to the narrator, these people share in explaining the concepts
3) Fantastic special effects which do justice to the events they are recreating
4) Great explanations of complex concepts

Reasons to consider Wonders of the Solar System:
1) The location shots can be pretty interesting
2) Brian Cox (assuming you like his style, delivery, etc)
3) The series offers a bit more human personality then How the Universe Works
4) Avoids going into great (sometimes boring) detail into the concepts (good for beginners)
5) Features more real life images, as opposed to CGI models (which are fantastic when done in both series)

If you're a fan of astronomy/science, then I'd recommend picking up both series as they work well together and do not overlap much. For example, HTUW goes into great detail regarding the Big Bang, while this is not touched on in Wonders of the Solar System (for obvious reasons). Regardless of which one you get, be sure to take a look at Carl Sagan's earth-shattering series, "Cosmos". The series is, even today, ahead of its time.
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on January 10, 2012
All of the reviews on this Spectacular series say it all. I normally do not write reviews but this series deserves another 5 Star rating! The only down side I can see is that there are not enough episodes.

This 2 Disc set includes the following 8 episodes;
Disc 1) Big Bang, Black Holes, Alien Galaxies, Extreme Stars.
Disc 2) Extreme Planets, Supernovas, Alien Solar Systems, Alien Moons.

There are plenty of experts, and Mike Rowe does a great job narrating. In the episode Big Bang, the camera pans away from Dr. Michio Kaku in Central Park. It begins with a close up of him with a bottle of water and pans back in a seamless overhead view that eventually takes you to the edge of the universe.
Another favorite of mine is the size comparison of Earth to our Sun, and then our Sun to other giant stars in the episode Extreme Stars. Earth almost disappears when put next to our Sun, not to mention how our Sun shrinks in size compared to Eta Carinae, disappearing altogether when Eta Carinae is compared to Betelgeuse. And we haven't seen the largest star, VY Canis Majoris.

We live in a beautiful and magnificent Universe, one that Pioneer Productions did an OUTSTANDING job for the Discovery Channel.
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on August 6, 2016
This is one of the best series I have seen that follows in the steps of COSMOS. I loved that as a kid. I am a science teacher and have used this in my classes. It is interesting, maintains student interest and the CGs are amazing. I love how they make it understandable to anyone from probably 8-10 years old and up. I also like the humor they included, which again keeps your interest.
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on June 22, 2016
Mike Rowe does an amazing job narrating "How the Universe Works". The Blu-ray picture and sound are really good. This is one of the best "space" documentaries out there. Definitely competes well against "Through the Worm Hole".
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