TOS-R Goes Widescreen In Japan |
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TOS-R Goes Widescreen In Japan July 31, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: TOS Remastered , trackback

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? 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.



1. Beach Bum - July 31, 2007

Wish we could compare these for ourselves on DVD….


2. doubleofive - July 31, 2007

I for one welcome our widescreen overlords. I’ll say it again, I would rather my version of the show have 16:9 effects shots and 4:3 live action than 4:3 everything.

3. - July 31, 2007

Yeah but those old shows weren’t made for 16:9… they were made for 4:3… I mean look at that top shot… poor Scotty’s had his face chopped.

I mean I realize he’s not crutial to that shot, but c’mon.

How much else will get cut out?

4. Doug L. - July 31, 2007

Yay, just like star wars, this will be released 16 different ways in 10 different markets and with subsequent releases of the super, uber, and ultimate editions.

I’ve about had it with this project. Does anyone else notice how blurry the widescreen version of the Kirk shot is in the background? Is that just the pic, or an enhancement? I can’t tell….

Nitpicking in New York… dl

5. Trekkie33years - July 31, 2007

I’m afraid that I cannot see the point in this. Widescreen exists to show parts that would otherwise be edited out and later panned and scanned. Star Trek, being originally in full screen, doesn’t seem likely to benefit in any way from a wdiescreen presentation.
Except, of course, that Paramount can put out a $300 boxed set of the first 5 episodes IN WIDESCREEN!!

6. cheer - July 31, 2007

Bah! Why are they CROPPING? That is so stupid, and if that’s how they’re released on disc (DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray) then I’m not spending one dime.

Someone please tell these morons that widescreen is not automatically better! OAR is what counts!

7. DJT - July 31, 2007

I just wish they would show widescreen TOSR on HDnet.

8. Dennis Bailey - July 31, 2007

This is market logic, not artistic or creative thinking.

I’m enjoying the Remastered episodes, but I’m not going to put out any substantial money to purchase them. I have the original series, in its original form, on DVD now and that’s sufficient.

9. CmdrR. - July 31, 2007

I’m totally confused. Why do I want anything that’s cropped? If the effects are new why aren’t they made to match the format of the rest of the project, rather than the technology-du-jour? I’m sorry, but there’s no logical evidence to suggest that the 16:9 format is the LAST thing that will be foist upon us.
I want clear, uncut, and pretty. You got that? I’ll watch. Otherwise, this format dance is just obfuscation aimed at sucking money from my wallet.

10. AVi - July 31, 2007

Why is the color different between US and Japan? Notice the orange/yellow uniform.

11. star trackie - July 31, 2007

I hate it when they stretch a 4:3 image just to fit the new 16:9 screens. in fact, I dislike it everybit as much as I despise 16:9 movies being turned into Pan and scan for old school 4:3 TVs.

Either way, put up the horizontal black bars or verticle “pillars” and let me see the ratio as it was originally intended to be seen.

12. Anthony Pascale - July 31, 2007

guys dont read anything into the colors in the above images. I was sent the japanese images and then I created the other versions from my TOS DVDs and our effects reel. so the images have 3 sources and are done on two dif. systems. The comparison is just to see the cropping.

13. Patrice - July 31, 2007

Another BRILLIANT idea !!!

Two formats : regular 3:4 for only 230 $ a season or 16:9 at 400 $ a season !

CBS-Paramount accepts VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX or/and a kidney donation !

14. Ron - July 31, 2007

Poor Scotty. That’s just rough.

Cropping IS a lousy way to convert the show to widescreen, unfortunately. if it wasn’t originally intended to be shown in that ratio, then it shouldn’t be.

15. CmdrR. - July 31, 2007

11- I agree, the ‘stretch’ is not flattering to 4:3 originals. I honestly think 50% of the world’s population should protest in the streets, once they see what it does to their, um…
Does the 16:9 aspect ratio make your butt look big? YES.

16. Trekkie33years - July 31, 2007

#11- My point exactly. This is pan & scan in reverse.

#13- “CBS-Paramount accepts VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX or/and a kidney donation ! “*
* First born also accepted!

17. Matt Wright - July 31, 2007

Cropping is a travesty, but I think I know why they did it for the Japanese market, Japan is way ahead of us in adopting HDTVs which are of course 16:9 in shape so they are probably pandering to the masses there in Japan.

18. VOODOO - July 31, 2007

Is TOS popular in Japan?

19. John N - July 31, 2007

While cropping certainly gives the show a more “cinematic” feel, I’m as much against cropping 4:3 to 16:9 as I am against cropping a widescreen movie into a pan & scan full screen feature.

It was filmed in 4:3… maintain the artistic integrity by leaving it so. I’ve heard rumblings that you can milk more picture out of the original film elements (as they were originally cropped to fit 4:3), and if that’s so, then do it. Other than THAT, leave it alone.

20. dalek - July 31, 2007

Isnt the idea of widescreen to see more of the picture?

This shows less of the picture lol

21. scott - July 31, 2007

The majority of Japanese material is 16:9 widescreen. They are selling this in the native format. If you can play the show without rescaling, you get your best picture. If you play 4:3 in native format on the new 16:9 HDtv , you have to have side bars. The one question I have seen released is the resolution of the HD DVD. 1080p does not work well on 4:3.

22. sean4000 - July 31, 2007

I am totally opposed to this. The only widescreen trek should be Enterprise and the 10 movies. That’s all. Except to say for future shows and films.

23. Kevin - July 31, 2007

I don’t know… you’re giving up a good portion of the picture by putting this in widescreen format. I don’t think it’s a great idea… unless the dvd’s had both options… but that usually requires two sides of a disc.

24. seangh - July 31, 2007

This is a travesty and an insult to the show.

25. scott - July 31, 2007

The comparison pictures are not accurate. The 4:3 is shown on a 4:3 screen while the 16:9 is showing on a 4:3 screen. HD DVD is intended to be shown on a 16:9 HDtv. There would be no black bars. Most TV’s in Japan are already HD. Eventually we will catch up.

26. cheer - July 31, 2007

#21, you’re confused. YES, you have to have side bars — so what? It can still be full resolution. And your comment about 1080p doesn’t make any sense at all; it’s no different than 1080i at 4:3 or 720p at 4:3…720p/1080i/1080p are all, per ATSC spec, 16×9 resolutions and need pillarboxing to show 4×3 material.

Which is what we should get.

27. cheer - July 31, 2007

#25, you are REALLY confused. In order to make the original trek 16:9, IT HAS TO BE CROPPED.

This is not catching up; this is going backwards.

28. CmdrR. - July 31, 2007

I think Trek should be seen the way it was originally meant to be seen, on my Mom’s 9″ b/w Sony in snowy UHF… with Shatner.

29. paustin - July 31, 2007

this is crazy, no one in their right mind wants to see live action shots cropped….thats scotty’s head for christs sake not just the edge of the set., and if it were the edge of the set it would upset me as well. If these shots are accurate then clearly the effects shots were made with 16:9 in mind. The effects shots are slowing more in 16:9, and look great. CBSD needs to come clean, they clearly have a preference but dont want to come out and say it. it should be 4:3 it was filmed that way, the new effects should have been designed around that. SO knowing what we seem to know from those shots they only way to get the best of both worlds is swapping aspect ratios, during the show. They botched it. they are making us choose between cropping a show we’ve loved for 40 years, or pan and scanning effects shots.

30. Scott Gammans - July 31, 2007

This is obviously a “clever” marketing ploy to get us to eventually buy two versions: the 4×3 HD-DVDs coming out in November, followed by the 16:9 “special edition” in 2008 (just in time for Star Trek XI, no doubt).


31. paustin - July 31, 2007

damn the no edit button….clearly ‘slowing’ is supposed to be showing

32. Kyle Nin - July 31, 2007

Really, it doesn’t matter to me which way it goes.

On the one hand, widescreen would give the series a sort of cinematic feel, but on the other hand, TOS wasn’t really cinematic to begin with, so it would seem like it was being forced to be like that.

So, if I had to choose, I’d rather it just stay as standard, like what’s been airing on TV. But really, I don’t care which way it goes. Just as long as I’ll be able to see it in the best quality.

33. cheer - July 31, 2007

#32, I don’t understand. You want it in the “best quality” but you don’t care if they edit out part of the picture??

I’m not trying to be a jerk. I really don’t understand.

34. non-fanatic - July 31, 2007

I hate it when they try and make 16:9 out of 4:3 footage. Heads get cut off, and close-ups become frightening. Just leave it as it is.

I also hate it when people watch 4:3 footage on a widescreen tv with the image stretched-out.

35. Commodore Z - July 31, 2007

I don’t like the idea of chopping the frame to create an artificial 16 x 9 picture. Why would I want to give up part of the episode?

36. Oceanhopper - July 31, 2007

The director and producer wanted you to see it in 4:3, so that is the ONLY way it should be shown!

Would you “crop” the Mona Lisa so it would fit in a square frame?
Would you “crop” a few chapters out of Tale of Two Cities so it fits more easily into a handbag?
Of course not!

Only a philistine with no respect for the material would condone it being “widescreened”. CBS are just money-grabbing.

37. Dr. Cheis - July 31, 2007

I wouldn’t mind seeing the episodes in 4×3 with widescreen special effects. Yeah it would look strange with black bars being there sometimes and others not, but I could deal with it knowing I’m seeing all the picture, all the time.

38. Dr. Cheis - July 31, 2007

Although I will say the widescreen looks better to me… if only it were originally produced that way.

39. sean4000 - July 31, 2007

Actually I think the Mona Lisa was cropped.

40. sean4000 - July 31, 2007

Somebody help me on this. For the preview image of bread and circuses they showed kirk and party standing in front of 2 moons. that was the original film shot, right? Or was that a CG beam down party? if is was 35mm film, then the show was simply trimmed for 4X3. We could have exactly what we saw in 4X3 plus the image on the sides.

41. sean4000 - July 31, 2007

By all this I mean no zooming required. Of course this would interfere with the director’s vision so, this change should not happen. My philosophy is only add, never take away.

42. Kyle Nin - July 31, 2007

#33: “I don’t understand. You want it in the “best quality” but you don’t care if they edit out part of the picture??”

I meant best quality as far as how clear and sharp the picture looks.

43. neal - July 31, 2007


For years and years, we cinemaphiles lobbied for letterbox on home video so as to preserve the integrity of the original vision. That victory was won on some VHS and then most DVD releases. But now we have the reverse insult, as a new generation of savages crop the top and bottom instead of the 2 sides so as to shoehorn a tv image into a cinematic aspect ratio. (Where’s my blood pressure medicine!!!). I remember the horror of seeing 2001 in “pan and scan” … the beautifully crafted tracking shots utterly mangled, the artistry debauched. I wonder if the new generation of savages will tilt the view up and down to reveal the heads that they cut off.

Ugh. I weep for our species.

44. Neil - July 31, 2007

So we’ve come all this way to get movies released in the correct aspect ratio only to have the standard 4×3 stuff cropped? Ridiculous! CBS Digital could have avoided this issue altogether by simply creating shots in 4×3 and not worrying about the HD aspect ratio.

45. Kyle Nin - July 31, 2007

That’s the problem with HDTV’s. People expect to watch widescreen programming on them and if they watch something with a 4:3 picture, then it looks bad.

Though, I wonder which is worse. A 16:9 picture on a standard TV or a 4:3 picture on an HDTV?

46. mctrekkie - July 31, 2007

I’d always thought that back in the 50s and 60s they shot with normal film cameras then did a telecene for broadcast which brought it down to 4 x 3.

So, from this thread and I to gather that even though these were shot on film, back in the day the cameras were 4 x 3 instead of 16 x 9 or panavision?

It occurred to me that somewhere, locked in the closet are the real wide aspect ratio negatives, complete with an off camera red shirt touching Rand in her “no no place”, or Spock gleefully giving Chekov the finger, etc.

If they do release a gajillion versions, it will just prove to me that CBS D is being forced to be its own profit center in the huge mess that is now VIACOM/PARAMOUNT.

If they (CBS D) do the movie, and Not ILM, I’m walking. (After I see Nimoy appear, of course…. I’m no Philistine)

47. Nelson - July 31, 2007

#46- You are correct! I did a test a few month back with a real piece of Star Trek film clip. I scanned it in, matched it with a screen grab of the actual show on DVD and there is very little material left, right top and bottom. Not enough to pull out a 16 x 9 image. So cropping is the only way to go.

This is unfortunate for the purists and the HT purists too who prefer OAR.

I am very used to seeing a letterbox image on a 4X3 screen, but it’s not the same looking at 4×3 material on a 16×9 screen. It looks worse to my eye, so I can understand the desire for this.

48. billy don't be a hiro - July 31, 2007

Cropping the live action is wrong, wrong, wrong.

49. John CT - July 31, 2007

The alternative ia a middle ground that features the episodes slightly cropped in a 14:9 ratio. Most 16:9 HDTVS have this setting and it allows you to watch 4:3 material zoomed in just a *little* bit without cropping the image too much.

Generally I’d rather have the 4:3 versions of course.

50. Mazzer - July 31, 2007

As Anthony’s poll shows, the fan opinions on 4:3 versus widescreen are quite evenly split. So a choice of both formats would be good.

Personally, I want a widescreen version, but (as I’ve said several times before) it doesn’t have to be full 16:9 — it could be around 1.60:1 so that we fill more of the widescreen frame without trimming too much of the original image. This has been done with other older TV series in a transition to HDTV.

The point is that a wider aspect creates more dramatic visuals, which is why the world is switching to widescreen. Sure, it’s not the OAR for Star Trek, but at least some cropping to produce new aspect ratios for different media has been done throughout film history. The OAR should be available, I agree. But it’s not sacred.

51. steve - July 31, 2007

It’s the cropping choice that bugs me. The “cropper” could have cropped only the bottom of the frame, left Scotty’s head in the shot, and it would have looked fine. But it looks like they are just taking the same amount off the top and bottom without regard to the individual scene.

52. cheer - July 31, 2007

#42: I guess it’s more important to me that nothing be removed. I’d rather have my original DVDs; at least they’re intact. It’s why I don’t watch HBO-HD (they crop to 16×9), and it’s why a lot of the crap on TNT-HD never graces my TV (it’s been stretched out to 16×9).

I just don’t understand the objection to letterboxing/pillarboxing. Why are black bars so freakin’ offensive to people?

To create new 16×9 effects shots for a 4×3 TV show shows criminal incompetence. CBS Digital should be ashamed of themselves for this.

53. Crusade2267 - July 31, 2007

I’m not so happy with this. I liked B5 in widescreen, because thats how they shot it. But Star Trek isn’t supposed to be full of decapitated Scottys.

54. DavidJ - July 31, 2007

I honestly don’t see the big deal. I’m all for honoring the artistic decisions of the creators, but not getting to see a few more inches of Kirk’s torso or the sets or Scotty’s hairline isn’t going to ruin the show for me. As long as the STORY is left intact, I’m happy. And I’m sure the original directors would say the same thing.

Obviously I’d prefer that they shift the widescreen portion AROUND the screen to best capture the action though. Anyone who’s ever tried the “pan and scan” feature on their DVD player realizes it’s not nearly the same thing as what the actual editors do. If this cropping works the same way, then no thanks.

55. OneBuckFilms - July 31, 2007

I’d like to see both versions. 16:9 for an alternative presentation, and with widescreen versions of the new effects, and the original 4:3 presentation, as the original creators intended.

If I had to choose one version, it would be 4:3.

56. Kyle Nin - July 31, 2007

This is only for Japan, right? Because from the specs I saw on, the picture will be 4:3 for the DVD set that’s due out in November.

So, I’m not sure why people are getting so upset, unless they live in Japan.

57. star trackie - July 31, 2007

# 50, the original aspect ration SHOULD be sacred. The director composed his shots with that aspect ratio in mind. The way he cut, the way he dollys. the way he stages the actors, all depend on how he frames the scene.. A wider or more “dramatic” visual should never be at the expense of the original director’s intent.

58. Anthony Pascale - July 31, 2007

I never understand why people ask questions that are answered in the relatively short articles. As it says in the article above (now in bold for the hard of seeing) the HD-DVD/Combo release in November is EXACTLY the same as the iTunes version and broadcast versions in terms of aspect ratio (they are also in HD and full length)

59. mctrekkie - July 31, 2007

The Beheaded Scotty’s
yet another name for one of those GeekRock Seattle Bands.

They open for the Indignant Kirks.

Just so you know that I keep canon in all things Trek,

Even though I have my main everyday PC connected to the HDTV in the living room and watch Remastered Trek via an HDTV Capture Card, I Still try and stay old school and read trek in an old time PC aspect ratio ;-)

Actually while we’re talking about upgrades and add-ons to our old 60’s Star Trek Jalopy, Where is My 5.1 surround sound?.

I hope they fix the HDTV satellite feed to the affiliates for Season 2.

60. Penhall - July 31, 2007

Cropping the original image (and thus LOSING picture) is pretty crappy, IMO. Sure, it would be neat to watch TOS in widescreen, but it wasnt meant to be that way, so therefore should be left alone.

But it is annoying how the new effects are made in widescreen, and then cropped for full frame. Some of the new effects shots actually look kinda cramped like we’re missing important information….

61. Driver - July 31, 2007

Maybe the 16X9 shots were created just for the Japan market. There’s a lot of people there, money, more, money, moremoney, momoney. Greed is good.

62. Adam Cohen - July 31, 2007

I voted for 4 X 3 because i’m like that- an old school purist.

The bulk of TOS is live action, with a handful of FX shots per show. That makes me prefer the original aspect ratio/frame because that’s what makes up 90 percent of the show anyways.

63. Gary - July 31, 2007

Widescreen TOS? What a terrible, terrible idea. Look at Scotty’s head! (or what’s left of it!). Widescreen TOS only works if talented artists can digitally create and add to the sides of the original 4:3 version.

Go ahead and crop Full House, The Nanny, Cop Rock, Family Matters, Space:1999 and other garbage like that, but not TOS!

64. Lou Sytsma - July 31, 2007

I always prefer Original Aspect Ratio.

65. Mazzer - July 31, 2007

#57: I agree that a derived AR shouldn’t be at the expense of the director’s intent. That’s why I suggested an AR that’s not quite as wide as 16:9.

But I don’t agree that the original aspect ratio is always the ONLY option — there’s often room for some reframing that doesn’t break the director’s compositions.

66. DarenDoc - July 31, 2007


67. martin anderson - July 31, 2007

Europe and the UK have had Widescreen SD TVs since the 1990’s. And all HD Screens are Widescreen anyway, so I hope Europe get the two “Full Screen” and Widescreen sets of DVDs. With America, you could have the DVDs FullScreen and the HD-DVDs Wide…

68. Mazzer - July 31, 2007

Anthony — have you been told officially that Japan is showing the shows in 16:9, or are you just assuming it from the image? Where did that shot actually come from? I’m wondering if CBS tilt-and-scanned the scenes for the Japan version?

69. KevinA - Melbourne Australia - July 31, 2007

Thhe was a movie or 2 in the 70’s that experimented with variable aspect ratio’s. Maybe THE BLACK HOLE that was shown in multi-ratio in the cinema’s? I remember studio shots in 16:9 and space scenes in 2.35:1.
It was a gimmick used to highten the visual splender of the Space scenes
I would really prefer for TOS that the original set shots be 4:3 pillar box and the openning credits and space scenes etc. be in full 16:9. If it were done like this puritants could crop to 4:3 and the rest of us could experience the new effects in widescreen. Subjectively I am not as distracted when widescreen TV broadcasts fluctuate between 16:9 and 4:3. I think watching the old series with pillar boxes going to16:9 for space shots will really enhance the experience.

70. THX-1138 - July 31, 2007

Oh well, as long as they charge a jillion dollars for the thing. Chop it to ribbons. And while they’re at it, only pick one format.

That’s knowing your market!

71. trektacular - July 31, 2007

This is crap

72. Anthony Pascale - July 31, 2007

from reading the comments it seems most are against wide, but the poll (as of now) is exactly 50/50. This leads to my previously stated theory that the comments trend a bit more hard core than the votes. Of course only a tiny fraction of visitors comment.

me….i am ok with wide. I have my old DVDs so it would be nice to see the full cinematic experience. Perhaps there can be a midddle ground where they stretch it a tiny bit, crop it a tiny bit and put up a smaller pillar box….just to give it that wider cinema feel. Of course the effects are all wide so those will look great!

73. mrregular - July 31, 2007


“CBS-Paramount accepts VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX or/and a kidney donation !”

They can take a kidney. My father-in-law is having his cancerous one removed this week.

Note to CBS-Paramount: Do it right the first time. Then the fans will buy.
Don’t insult the community with overpriced repackaging of the same merchandise.

74. omf - July 31, 2007

16:9 effects with 4:3 action should be one of the options in the poll.

75. Magic_Al - July 31, 2007

At least the old pan & scan crowd could make a reasonable argument that a letterboxed movie on an average TV set was vertically challenged. To preserve the composition of the frame, the faces of the actors were very small and a closeup never felt like a closeup. Pan & scan could be brutal but it could be rationalized.

This cropping to achieve widescreen is just stupid. If you didn’t do it, the image would be just as tall and the actor’s heads just as big as intended… much bigger, in fact, because nobody had TVs this big in the 1960s. The only format where I could understand this is widescreen handhelds and very small LCDs where, once again, content is seriously disadvantaged by the size of the device and zooming helps get closer to the actor’s face.

76. Demode - July 31, 2007

Why are they not just offering both versions on the DVD set? Grrrr…..

77. Driver - July 31, 2007

Lower the price. $70.00 a season. Offer in Blu-Ray. Paramount just can’t get up to speed. The suits are out of touch.

78. Andrew J Robertson - July 31, 2007

I really enjoy the Xbox Live versions with 16:9 effects and 4:3 action. I’ve gotten used to it. I really looks beautiful. I don’t know if I can pay over $200 for cropped effects now.

79. ArcLight - July 31, 2007

Cropping old 4×3 shows to jump on the widescreen bandwagon is asinine.

I love my widescreen movies shown widescreen, but if that’s not how it was meant to be shown, don’t do it.

80. Mr_Niemand - July 31, 2007

Actually, I don’t understand why anyone would critize TOS being shown in 16:9 while at the same time praising the new special effects. Some of you say TOS should be shown in 4:3 because it was filmed that way. Well, sure it was filmed that way, but in the sixties they didn’t have CGI, either. However, many of the people who want TOS in the original aspect ratio have no problem whatsoever with the new special effects. These new effects are a fundamental change as well. If you are such purists, you should critize the new effects as well. If you have no problem with the new fx, you shouldn’t have any problems with the new aspect ratio, either.
It’s a good idea to present Star Trek Remastered in 16:9 as this is the ideal aspect ratio for HDTV and the best presentation of the series for a new audience. Or does anybody believe CBS could attract a new audicence for a television series presented in 4:3 while all recent shows are produced in 16:9? New effects is just one essential for attracting a new audience, 16:9 is the other.
Personally, I think that CBS should offer two versions of the series in HD: one version with the new special effects and a new aspect ratio (16:9) and another version which is an exact representation of TOS in its original form, that means with its original special effects and its original aspect ratio.

81. Mr_Niemand - July 31, 2007

star trackie wrote:
“the original aspect ration SHOULD be sacred. The director composed his shots with that aspect ratio in mind. The way he cut, the way he dollys. the way he stages the actors, all depend on how he frames the scene.. A wider or more “dramatic” visual should never be at the expense of the original director’s intent.”

Well, they’ve already messed up the show by including those crappy, new special effects. By including new special effects they are already disregarding the original intent of the people that where involved in creating Star Trek. These people did nice work back in the sixties, investing a lot of time, putting in a lot of effort while working on a tight budget. These people made creative decisions as well. Yet, these decisions aren’t honoured in any way. By including new effects they have already destroyed Star Trek in a way, the series has lost its charme and its originality. This crappy CGI work is lacking a soul. Some of the new effects are even really laughable, looking already very cheap even a few weeks after their creation. And now the same people who have no problem with altering a historical work of television are complaining about cropping to fit a new aspect ratio argueing that this was in disregard of the director’s original intention. Since CBS has decided to alter Trek, why should they be bound on that original aspect ratio. Sure, cropping the picture at the top and the bottom to get an aspect ratio of 16:9 is just stupid. But it really doesn’t matter because it is done to a version of the series that isn’t the original at all. They could even change the music, include new CGI-characters and it wouldn’t matter. Because CBS has decided not to preserve Star Trek in its original form. Changing the effects is an insult to all the people involved in the creation of Star Trek in the first place, so is changing the aspect ratio. But if you want new “spectacular” effects and want the original version to be altered, you are in no position to complain about the aspect ratio being changed to 16:9.

I’m a purist. I want Star Trek to be released in HD in its original form. I don’t like the new effects (they just don’t fit in) and I don’t like Star Trek being cropped to 16:9. Both the new effects and the new aspect ratio are an insult to the people originally involved in the creation of Star Trek.

From the moment I heard that they where remastering Star Trek with new special effects, it was absolutely clear to me that they would eventually change the aspect ratio to 16:9 as well. I’m really amazed that the majority of posters are so vehemently against the change to 16:9 as it was forseeable that this would happen. It won’t be long till these versions show up on TV in the US and the rest of the world as well. Then you will have to watch cropped versions of Star Trek with computer-game-like special effects. That’s progresst! The original version of Star Trek won’t probably be shown any more.

Argueing against the new aspect ratio on the basis of the creative people’s original intentions while praising the new special effects is just plain hypocritical.

82. Neil - July 31, 2007

CBS-Digital should now create CG sides to put around the old 4×3 live action shots, filling in what we’ve been missing for all of these years. ;)

83. Roadstripe - July 31, 2007

If given the choice, I would have both. I can live with black bars on either side of the live action footage.
If I had to chose between one aspect ratio and the other, I would sooner have the CGI cropped than the live action, since I’m less emotionally attached to the CGI. Too many gimmicks spoil the show.

84. trektacular - August 1, 2007

I agree with Mr Niemand, although it has been nice to see Star Trek back in the media again and this is what started it.

85. Dyson Sphere - August 1, 2007

I hate editing out scenes I remember and I’d hate editing that reduced any decent detail in the original to fit my modern LCD TV.

I probably wouldn’t mind side black bars – then the “curtain back” for space shots or some such.

86. Dyson Sphere - August 1, 2007

I hate editing out scenes I remember and I’d hate editing that reduced any decent detail in the original to fit my modern LCD TV.

I probably wouldn’t mind side black bars – then the “curtain back” for space shots or some such.

Oh, and put me in for 6.1 channel audio for “The Doomsday Machine”

87. jonboc - August 1, 2007

81- let me give you an analogy that might help you with this. Imagine a old copy of the book Moby Dick. Now imagine 6 random pages being replaced with new pages that have been printed on a new computer use a different font.

Now imagine that same book, with the top and bottom of the pages chopped off ,leaving only the center.

The two alterations aren’t really similar at all. Same with Trek.

88. Mr_Niemand - August 1, 2007

87 – Well an accurate analogy would be like this:

Imagine an old copy of the book Moby Dick. Now imagine 20 random pages (about 1/25 of the book) being replaced with new pages that contain the old text rewritten in modern English by a different author. The writing style of this new author differs somewhat from the original writing style of Herman Melville, it mainly makes the impression of having been written yesterday, containing a lot of 21st century vernacular.

Now imagine that same book done in a diffferent format, a whole new edition of the book is being produced. The publisher decides that the many lengthy descriptions of the whales found in the book don’t really interest today’s readers any more. So they cut out a lot of these “boring descriptions”, abridging the book to about 400 pages and rewriting about 20 pages in modern English and thus making it suitable for average readers today. The publisher states with these changes new readers can be attracted. All the important story elements are still there, all what’s cut are basically some description not very important to the main story.

The two alterations are simliar with the second one being more severe. Nontheless, I would strongly criticize the first alteration as well. I would not keep my criticism limited to the second alteration.

I would like to text to be kept the way it was first published, however if the publisher decides to have the text published in a different font that would be no relevant change at all since this has been done many times since the first publication of the book (and is really common practice).

89. Cervantes - August 1, 2007

Well I’ve grown up used to the “standard” tv look of STAR TREK ORIGINAL SERIES…but I have to say that if we get all the episodes done in WIDESCREEN somehow…then I will be very, very pleased indeed…purely for how CINEMATIC this show will then look. I’m willing to lose a bit of the filmed frame quite happily, but SOME shots are ALREADY very closely filmed, and it will need someone with a very careful and “painterly” eye to do it justice…

90. Mr_Niemand - August 1, 2007

continuing 88:

The font used in a book corresponds to the medium a film may be stored on or distributed in (VHS, laserdisc, DVD, HD DVD, Blu ray, television). If you change the font, none of the original text will really be changed. If ýou change the medium, the film won’t be changed. However, in both instances the qualitay of the presentation may be different.

91. Cervantes - August 1, 2007

Oh, and if it ends up looking a little more SERGIO LEONE in it’s look, that’s fine by me, as I like some action to be closer to me in the frame, for dramatic effect..

92. doubleofive - August 1, 2007

I just did the math, and if my calculations are correct, it would be cheaper to buy an Xbox 360 and each episode individually on Xbox Live than to buy all three seasons at $220 a piece on disc.

I think I may just buy an Xbox 360 and the episodes I really like for it.

The jury is still out on that…

93. THX-1138 - August 1, 2007

I like to call these threads “Let’s all learn to to TiVo!”

Hope that we follow up with “Let’s all learn to record our hard drive recorded shows to disc!”

Extras, schmextras.

94. dil - August 1, 2007

#92, add buying the larger hard drive. I can only keep 5 episodes on 20g HD. And they don’t have all episodes previously aired.
As far as Japanese widescreen, it looks like zoom on my tv.

95. Dom - August 1, 2007

In fairness, most 60s TV was shot in such a way that it would be possible to release compilations of shows in the cinema, hence the Man From UNCLE films and even the later Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers releases!

It’s not so much that the widescreen episodes are ‘cropped’ as put out in an alternate way from the norm. Yet another example of how ‘primitive’ 60s TV was often ahead of its time!

96. Will - August 1, 2007

Widesceen with creative cropping and/or artificial side extensions where they can. Easy enough to render some more wall to the left and right of the main viewscreen, for example.

97. Dom - August 1, 2007

The way 60s stuff was shot, you don’t need it! The framing was intentionally wide enough that 16:9 versions could be made!

98. Dr. Image - August 1, 2007

NOT some cropped ABOMINATION!

99. Cervantes - August 2, 2007

AS LONG AS the original 4:3 full frame version is around AS WELL , I welcome a widescreen alternative which will give CBS Digitals new visuals their full impact… Bring that “cinematic” look on.

100. Dom - August 2, 2007

Thing is, Dr Image, had ST been shot for 4:3 specifically, there would be reason for complaint. But it wasn’t. The open matte method would be used so that the image could be cropped comfortably. It’s not an ‘ABOMINATION!’ Indeed the tighter framing on the cropped versions could work to the material’s advantage. Look at how much better framed the Justice League cartoons are when cropped to 16:9 – the producers say they prefer these versions. The only producer to complain about 16:9 was Joss Whedon with Buffy. He shot 16:9, with the specific idea that they be cropped to 4:3. A bit daft really, because the cropping was removed in Europe!

A lot of movies are still shot open matte, where the TV versions remove the matte to reveal more of the top and bottom of the picture than in the cinema, thus avoiding losing up to half the screen area in panning and scanning. Films such as Aliens and the Back to the Future trilogy (IIRC) did this, for example. Occasionally, of course, boom mics and the like can slip into frame!

This isn’t desecration of a sacred text. Put simply, in areas such as Europe, widescreen is pretty much the norm and most people want their expensive HD TVs to have the full picture in use! Many shows are shot to cope with 16:9, so let’s see them this way in the era of 16:9 TV!

101. Dr. Image - August 2, 2007

OK, if you want to get serious, back in ’66, the INTENT was NOT widescreen, it was good old-fasioned 4:3 TV aspect ratio.

And how can you compare a cartoon to something this radically different and historically significant? This property should be handled with a curator’s eye and not hacked up for mass market appeal.

My widescreen TV, as most, provides a non-linear stretch to 4:3 material, not distorting the center of the image at all. This works great and most people never notice, AND you still get the whole 4:3 image.

So I say leave it alone- or give us both options.

102. Dom - August 2, 2007

Sound effect: thumps and bloody splats as I bang my head against the wall!

TV shows were shot so that the could be put into compilations and shown in cinemas, a la Man from UNCLE. Right?

TV aspect ratio was 4:3 and cinema 1.85:1. OK?

Framing in filmed TV shows: designed so that the images could comfortably exist within either for potential cinema release. Got that?

Modern TV aspect ratio is 1.78:1. Therefore, original material can comfortably exist within that format.

Releasing the revamped TOS in widescreen is not a desecration as the image was meant to fit comfortably in a tighter aspect ratio. The new FX are already generated in 16:9.

If the issue is about releasing the shows ‘as originally broadcast in the 1960s,’ then that’s about personal preference. And ditch the cartoon snobbery, please! Whether it’s a cartoon or live action production we’re discussing, it doesn’t matter. The original composition does.

Trek was shot so it could be released in either aspect ratio, so the choice to issue the revamped versions in widescreen in widescreen territories makes solid commercial sense! What does unnecessary space at the top or bottom of an image matter if it was only left there for the benefit of 4:3 TVs?

103. Ted - August 2, 2007

When a widescreen movie is shown on a 4:3 TV in “Letterbox”, or the original widescreen, it is done so the viewer can see everything that the film’s original creator intended to be in each scene. Most of the time, to fit that image on a 4:3 TV, they bastardize the film by lopping off the two ends, thus we (the viewers) don’t see everything that the director intended us to see, nor do we see the movie framed as the director intended.

Now, they want to cut off the top and bottom of the image just to fit it on a 16:9 screen? I don’t care if the new FX are in 16:9 — the rest of the show was originally intended to be on 4:3, and all of the scenes were framed to fit 4:3. The 16:9 ascpect ratio will cut out things that the creative team wanted us to see. Are we going to leave it up to some 21st century video technician to decide what the original 1967 director thought was important to keep in frame?

Doing this is just as bad as cropping the 16:9 movie to fit a 4:3 TV. Maybe next someone will crop the Mona Lisa, so all we see is her face and enigmatic smile.

104. Dom - August 2, 2007


Please, please PLEASE read what I’m saying!! When 2.40:1 cinema films and 16:9 films are cropped to 4:3, this is done so at the expense of the composition of the original shots. The films were shot in that aspect ratio and use all the available frame as they are intended for cinematic viewing.

When we shoot 16:9 in ***TV***, we still have to shoot in at least ’14:9 safe’ and sometimes ‘4:3 safe,’ in other words creating a sort of null zone where there’s picture that can be comfortably removed without wrecking the director’s and cameraman’s work. Indeed, the director and cameraman compose the shots for the very eventuality of different exhibition. In my line of business, failure to shoot with the safety area intact can lead to hefty reprimands.

For years, 14:9LB has been the compromise aspect ratio on UK terrestrial TV, allowing viewers to watch 16:9FHA material in LB with thin lines at the top and bottom of the screen. However, the material can also be arc-ed to 4:3 with acceptable results.

In the case of Star Trek and Man From UNCLE, to name a couple of old shows, it was the other way round. The directors were shooting open matte with a 16:9 safety area. This meant that all shows could potentially appear in cinemas. In other words, the composition of the shots is not compromised by the cropping to 16:9 . . . the shots are composed for usage in multiple aspect ratios in the first place.

Cinema and television are wildly different media, no matter how much the lines are blurring these days! Movies are usually shot with the usage of an entire frame in mind. TV is shot on the assumption that programmes may be seen in other formats in other territories, meaning areas of ‘null’ space are left to fill a frame if shown in a different format.

Japan choosing to use the widescreen masters is simply making an decision based on the fact that widescreen is the way things are going there. Hopefully the European release of TOS:R will be widescreen as well.

105. Jason Pittman - August 2, 2007

Widescreen effects shots are fine, and very beautiful when done properly.

No cropping, please, leave the 4:3 television masters ALONE.

106. Mr_Niemand - August 2, 2007

Have a look at this:

107. Cervantes - August 3, 2007

#106 Mr_Niemand

Thanks for the interesting link… first I’d heard of a rumoured SIMOULTANEOUS widescreen release along with the 4:3 standard version, but won’t hold my breath for it being true…

108. cheer - August 3, 2007

Dunno if anyone is still reading this, but according to Bill Hunt over at, the HD-DVD/DVD release will be pillarboxed to 4:3. I’ve sent him an email asking him to confirm this.

Of course, this doesn’t fix the real problem with the HD-DVD/DVD release of TOS: Remastered, which is the in-bloody-sane price of $217. (Mr. Hunt actually credits you, Anthony, with discovering the price (and also mentions that the price was the joke of the Comic-Con from that point forward)…

109. Michael - August 9, 2007

Lucky Japanese…I welcome 16:9. If they make the remastered episodes in HD DVD and put them in 16:9, I’m more than willing to pay the high price tag. Otherwise, I see no point to go from 4:3 upconverted SD to 4:3 HD, since I’ll still have those annoying black bars on my TV.

110. Fluke - September 25, 2007

I wonder if any of you even though how the image will look in HD.
IT IS FILM full of grain. Crop it your effectively zooming in so that GRAIN is larger. Mixed aspec is the best solution to all of it.
Considering 60s film technology, treks budget etc I am not sure the grain is optimal on the master or whatever they are using.

CBS D did screw up on these CG scenes why spend all that procesing power to render out that many more pixels? I do 3dcg and man the little bit extra on the side HURTS render time. And COSTS via a render farm. So CBS D is basicly throwing $$ away for the US market.
In the end whatever. :p HD optical is tainted with drm, least the gits are using HDDVD which is region free and accualy uses modern codecs.

111. Fluke - September 25, 2007

Well uses modern as in “so far”. BRD might use the h264 codecs someday. . . .
I can clearly say CBS D wont get my money. This desision was made the moment they didnt hire Eden FX for the efx shots.

112. prozac - February 3, 2008

I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you! prozac

113. Allen Williams - September 29, 2011

The difference between TOS and TNG is that TOS used the whole frame, while TNG doesn’t. As a result widescreen TOS is cropped and thats bad. TNG on the other hand was shot with a double matte and could in theory offer a new picture with elements that have never been seen before while losing just a little bit of the original picture. I can live with an even trade, but not a complete loss. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.