Here is the breakdown in the differences between the UK and US versions of LIFE:
1) Narrator: UK version, by David Attenborough, while US version, by Oprah Winfrey. I personally prefer David Attenborough's skilled narration. He is perfect at describing various scenes without his voice becoming the primary focus. This round goes to UK version.
2) Video: UK version, completely 1080p except "Plants", while US version, completely 1080i. This round goes to UK version, hands down.
3) Functionality: US version is far superior in selecting episodes than UK version
4) Packaging: Covers for US version are more busy, but in the end, it depends on your own personal taste.
For me, 1080p and the very comforting voice of David Attenborough made my purchase of the UK version a very easy decision. Since I watch each episode completely each time around, I do not mind the less superior functionality of the UK version. The front cover is no issue to me.
Contents: From the BBC Earth series, Planet Earth in 2006 brought us the world as we've never seen before. Now we get closer with Life. As stated on the package, four years in the making, filmed over 3000 days, across every continent and in every habitat, with breathtaking new high definition filming techniques developed since Planet Earth, Life presents 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world, housed in 4 BD-50 discs. The topics included (1) Challenges of Life, (2) Reptiles and Amphibians, (3) Mammals, (4) Fish, (5) Birds, (6) Insects, (7) Hunters and Hunted, (8) Creatures of the Deep, (9) Plants, and (10) Primates. It was truly a totally enjoyable and learning experience. Like a good book, one can watch it continuously to the end. The new feature in this set is the Life on location at the end of each episode. It gave me a deeper appreciation of how these remarkable videos were taken.
Video: It was filmed in 1080p and 1.78:1. If you think Planet Earth was outstanding, wait until you watch Life. The video was truly spectacular with razor-sharp images. The blacks were inky black. The colour was vibrant and natural. I particularly enjoyed the slow-motion camera shots, where details of every hair on the animal or drops from splashes of the ocean waves could be seen. Avatar may give us crisp images and vibrant colour (CGI images), but Life here presents us with the perfectly natural images: real animals in their natural habitat. Some frames were so wonderful that they looked like a piece of art. (5++/5).
Audio: The DTS HD audio here is also equally awesome. The natural sound of the animals was very well recorded and produced, very realistic indeed. The sound of buzzing of flies was so realistic that I put my hand up trying to brush them off. The background music by George Fenton was also very well done, appropriate to the scenes. The background music never intrudes into the video. (5/5)
This Life set is a truly remarkable experience. One will lose the impact if you watch this on standard DVD or on the Discovery Channel. This blu ray set is the only way to appreciate how fantastic video and audio will give one a truly ultimate rewarding experience. In my home theatre with a 12 foot wide screen and anamorphic lens, one can see every minute detail in the pictures, and the sound was very enveloping from my 9 speakers. I will give this Life set (blu ray) my highest recommendation. You won't regret it.