Planet Earth high-definition DVDs have sold 45,000 copies, the best-selling HD DVD yet

The high-definition DVD version of the Discovery Channel and BBC’s Planet Earth has sold about 45,000 copies. That’s “one for every five owners of a high-def disc machine, a ratio only a handful of DVDs have ever come close to,” USA TODAY reports.

Those sales translate to $3.2 million, “the biggest moneymaker yet to hit Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD.” The set actually has “a list price of nearly $100 costs more than the average DVD player,” although it retails for around $65–still more than many DVD players.

The four-disc high-definition set has been available in both HD-DVD and Blu-ray; both have the British narration by David Attenborough, and are not the Sigourney Weaver-narrated US version. There’s also a standard DVD version. Today, the Discovery Channel starts selling HD versions of the US version.

Warner Home Video’s Ron Sanders tells the paper, “This series was made for high definition. Its success points to consumers wanting to see and hear high-definition content, and there isn’t a huge amount of content available from broadcast or cable or satellite.”

The BBC’s Burton Cromer tells the paper, “In a month and a half, we’ve sold more copies of Planet Earth across all three formats than we’ve sold of The Office or Fawlty Towers. And we don’t see any letup; in fact, we’re selling more units a day than when we first streeted.”

He attributes that success in part to Oprah, who talked about the series during two episodes of her show. “If you don’t think I have a shrine to Oprah set up in my office, you’re wrong,” he said.

‘Planet Earth’ looks great in HD — and to the BBC [USA TODAY]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.