As previously reported TOS-R made its debut in Japan (starting July 21st). This is first place to show the remastered Original Series outside the USA and it appears that the Japanese are also the first to see TOS-R in 16×9 widescreen. Here are some comparison images
live action shot USA v Japan
effects shot USA v Japan
A glimpse into the future of TOS?
TrekMovie.com had previously confirmed that CBS were making widescreen masters of the show (at the time these masters were said to be for a possible future use and it appears Japan is the first step into that future). Although all the new effects shots are being made in 16×9, these are cropped to 4×3 for USA syndication and the iTunes downloads (The 4×3 version is also the one on the forthcoming HD-DVDs …more details). The widescreen effects shots were inserted into the Microsoft XBox Live HD version, but those were mixed with 4×3 live action shots (in fact CBS later said that was a mistake). The version being shown in Japan is the one tailored to widescreen – including the cropping of the live action shots. There is no indication yet as to if or when this widescreen version will appear in other foreign markets or back in the USA. The world is transitioning to widescreen TVs and HD and Japan (like with many things technological) is ahead of the curve so it makes sense for it to be the first. According to a source at NHK in Japan they were provided with the HD widescreen masters, but for now they are just showing them in Standard Def. NHK also have a high def channel so it is possible the HD widescreen version may show up there.
VOTE: Want Widescreen?
Do you want to see TOS-R in widescreen or do you prefer the Standard version being shown. Vote in the latest poll to the right
Research and images for this article done by Ateban.