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VegasCon Star Trek Products Panel: TNG on Blu-ray ‘Being Discussed’ + New Enterprise Pizza Slicer, Kelvin Salt & Pepper Shaker + more

The CBS Consumer Products presentation at the Star Trek con in Las Vegas mostly covered previously reported stuff, but there were a few new tidbits for Trek merchandise, like the USS Enterprise Pizza slicer. But the most interesting bit of information came from a response to a fan question about TNG on Blu-ray. See below for a breakdown of what is to come from CBS.

Next Gen on Blu-ray?

All three seasons of the originalStar Trek are now available in HD, but what about TNG? In a response to a question about TNG on Blu-ray, CBS Consumer Products VP John Van Citters told the crowd in Las Vegas that releasing Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray was much more "problematic" than the original Star Trek, due to how the TNG original effects shots were composited, and how that makes the transfer to HD "incredibly difficult without making them look awful." However, he also said that there is "a lot of conversations going on" within CBS on how to convert TNG to HD, and Van Citters expressed optimism noting "It is being worked on and I expect it will happen, it is just a technical challenge."

Following his talk, I confirmed with Van Citters that even though he is optimistic that the challenges will be met, as of now there is no specific plan or budget for the project within CBS. So this is still something that is a long-term project.

More CBS updates on products, Exhibition & The Experience

Here are some more highlights from Van Citters talk and from my chat with him following the presentation:

  • Think Geek will follow-up the popular Star Trek spork with a number of other "unique and fun" items, the first of which is the USS Enterprise Pizza Slicer coming in the fall (see photo below)
  • The next Star Trek poster from Alamo Drafthouse/Mondo will be the Borg queen (see photo below)
  • QMx is developing USS Kelvin salt & pepper shakers (as seen in the Star Trek 2009 movie)
  • HeroClix will be making "multiple" Star Trek miniature games, including a game set in the new Star Trek 2009 movie universe, and one in the ‘classic’ Star Trek series, with both ship and character miniatures
  • CBS is still "committed" to a new Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, but there is no news to report on progress at this time
  • CBS is hoping to bring Star Trek: The Exhibition to cities outside of California, including the East Coast, in 2011 and beyond
  • StarTrek.com will be launching a “Starfleet Academy” bookstore with Academy branded items just like those from a college bookstore

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POLL: Want your HD TNG?

If CBS remastered TNG and released on Blu-ray, would you buy it? Or would you possibly watch HD TNG via a streaming service (with advertising support) via CBS.com, StarTrek.com, Hulu or other streaming service.

[poll=609]

Sort by:   newest | oldest
August 9, 2010 1:23 pm

The pizza slicer is a bit adorable, but it’s hard to guess the scale … I’d be worried that those nacelles aren’t quite long enough to keep my fingers away from that blade :)

August 9, 2010 1:25 pm

I desperately want to be a visual effects artist on the HD remastering of Star Trek: TNG. As soon as the project goes forward, I will be putting in my demo reel and resume ASAP!

Michael Hall
August 9, 2010 1:31 pm

Daniel,

As a dilettante in the FX field myself (though I have little in the way of professional aspirations myself), I’d love to see your reel when you post it.

Cmdr Data
August 9, 2010 1:32 pm

Yeah surely they could redo the effects shots like they did with TOS, no?

I'm Dead Jim!
August 9, 2010 1:42 pm

While I applaud QMx for doing the USS Kelvin salt/pepper shaker, I think it’s kinda sad that we will likely see that before a screen accurate model of the ship.

Spambot#104
August 9, 2010 1:42 pm

There are 176 episodes of TNG. Remastering them would be an absolutely huge project. It would be worth it though.

Bill
August 9, 2010 1:45 pm

#4 No

Well, some of them yes. Although the scale would be larger. The average episode of TOS had only a few seconds of FX whle TNG often had several minutes, and their were twice as many episodes.

So “those” effects – theoretically could be redone sure.

But the problem is that the entire series – while shot on film was edited in video, meaning “all” of the footage, live action or effects would have to be re-edited frame for frame from the original prints.

If Paramount were interested in converting just one episode of TNG, it would be quite a large and expensive proposition.

August 9, 2010 1:45 pm

I know a bit about post production, and remastering TNG properly is an ENORMOUS project. You’d have to find all the film negatives, re-scan them, and re-edit every episode. All visual effects would have to be re-done. You’d have to find all the old sound effects and lay them back over the footage. All the old audio tracks. It is a massive undertaking, basically you are doing the entire series over again minus the filming. However, I want to be a part of that project. That would be awesome.

Anthony Pascale
August 9, 2010 1:52 pm

i have discussed the tech challenges before with mike okuda and he pointed out that one of the issues is all the times you see the viewscreen with someone in front of it. On TOS there were only a couple of occasions when someone walked in front of the viewscreen. On TNG they often did shots from the rear of the bridge with Picard’, Riker and/or someone partially covering part of the screen. Each of those shots would have to be manually rotoscoped frame by frame. Huge pain in the ass unless they find a way to do it automatically.

ety3
August 9, 2010 1:53 pm

I would guess that CBS would want to test the waters on public desire for HD remastered TNG.

Perhaps a special Blu-ray issuing of “Best of Both Worlds?” Yes, they’d have to redo the visual effects and scan the original film elements but only for those two episodes. If it sells well, they’d consider going forward with select episodes. I don’t think they’d jump into full season sets right away.

Unfortunately, I despair of ever seeing HD, fully remastered DS9.

I'm Dead Jim!
August 9, 2010 1:55 pm

Maybe the most we can hope for would be remastered versions of the most popular episodes.

I’m a TNG fan most of all, but some episodes are probably not worth the trouble.

Thomas Jensen
August 9, 2010 1:56 pm

Did anybody ask about possible blu ray releases of the Directors cuts/edits of ST II and VI? And a blu edition of ST:TMP with the new effects done in high def?

ety3
August 9, 2010 1:57 pm

#11 —

“Masks,” ugh. “Imaginary Friend,” gag. “Code of Honor,” yawn. …

I'm Dead Jim!
August 9, 2010 2:00 pm

@13 Exactly.

Ensign RedShirt
August 9, 2010 2:09 pm

Just to echo what Bill and Daniel Broadway said:

It’s highly unlikely it will ever happen; the most anyone can hope for is an upconvert(and based on what i saw from the upconverted DS9 tribbles episode on the TOS Blu Ray set; it’s probably best not to try; it looked pretty awful). This will be a problem for all the spinoffs outside of Enterprise, which was mastered in HD.

The TNG masters never looked particularly good to begin with, even on DVD. They were always soft with excessive grain.

webitube
August 9, 2010 2:10 pm

#11: Agreed. I mean, do we really need an HD version of “Shades of Gray”? A top 10 list of episodes voted on by fans would be a good start.

BLFSisko
August 9, 2010 2:17 pm

With all that work to do, one season could/would cost about $150 or so. Maybe it´s better to wait until they find a faster (=cheaper) way to convert the material.

Pro-Khan-Sel
August 9, 2010 2:18 pm

@ # 10, Exellent Idea! This will also give the people who will redo the Fx an idea of what is to come. Just to be fair, i would also include something from voyager and DS9.

DS9: Sacrifice Of Angels

Voyager: The Omega Directive

I would have picked two parters but I don’t want to push it.

New Horizon
August 9, 2010 2:22 pm

> The TNG masters never looked particularly good to begin with, even on DVD. They were always soft with excessive grain.

That’s probably because all of the TNG stuff was done in video, not film. Would have lost a lot in that conversion. The transfer to DVD would have been directly from the video sources, and not film sources…as that would have required a re-edit as well.

CaptainDonovin
August 9, 2010 2:23 pm

They could use a remastering, they don’t always look good on HD channels. I would love to see it though, but I agree this would be a huge undertaking.

Dr. Image
August 9, 2010 2:25 pm

TNG- in fact, all of the Berman series- were shot with an over-abundance of diffusion. To hide make-up seams? Flatter the cast? Probably both.
Look at the T&T DS9 ep. The classic footage is razor sharp, (aside for when they would throw diffusion on for the women, or Shatner;) and the new stuff looks like mush. What were they thinking?? And being knocked down to “video” didn’t help.
In contrast, First Contact looks incredibly sharp by comparison- and MUCH better.

William
August 9, 2010 2:31 pm

Wow, this is the crap that CBS is backing? Any chance of a new toy line maybe by Mattel or Bandai since Playmates is to stupid do handle it?

Cap'n Chris
August 9, 2010 2:41 pm

They can’t even get round to releasing ENT (where the leg work is done ) on Blu let alone remaster TNG. Sigh :(

Phaser Guy
August 9, 2010 2:44 pm

21 what are you babbling on about?

August 9, 2010 2:49 pm

I would love to own TNG on blu ray but the greedy bastards at Paramount are going to have an astronomical price tag on the things. Remember the standard DVD sets at $150 per season???!!!

The evidence that the blu rays will be high-priced because of the emphasis they are already placing on how hard it’s going to be to remaster it.

Marc Bell
August 9, 2010 2:56 pm

@8: ur not the only one lol, i’m a CGI artist myself and have done gaming projects/sculpting and visual effects… It would be a freakin dream to work on TNG remastered! Oh and I’d also love to see your reel.

Vahe
August 9, 2010 3:03 pm

It’s the same thing with Babylon 5. It was shot on anamorphic but the special effects were composed in 4:3. Any time you see a combined special effect show it’ll be blurry or stretched.

Chris Pike
August 9, 2010 3:06 pm

9

Anthony the bridge screen plates were shot (on film) using blue screen behind the screen to create the matte, but the compositing was done on NTSC video using very early digital disc techniques (the horror!) – so the original plate would have to be sought which should be possible as all the edit were done similarly telecining the film to NTSC, but all the EDL (edit decision info) and every single film element would have to be sourced as none of the video final masters would be useable, and all shots graded/colour timed in telecine. Telecining (rather than 2k film scanning) to HD though is very straightforward and not expensive these days (I worked on Rome VFX plates, and that was all transfered to digital in that way although lin not log files). The sound mix master, however, would be different and probably much of that, as exists, could well be useable.

August 9, 2010 3:16 pm

I’d be interested , but they edited it in video, so it wouldn’t look that good up-converted.

Red Dead Ryan
August 9, 2010 3:22 pm

TNG remastered for Blu Ray. Hmm…..tough task no doubt, but……

…..if there’s a Will, there’s a way…..”Make it so!” :-)

And I have to wonder why CBS hasn’t announced plans to release “Enterprise” on Blu Ray?

DJ Neelix
August 9, 2010 3:22 pm

@28. Chris Pike – August 9, 2010

Is the EDL stored digitally so it can be applied to the original negatives, to simply “run them through the computer” and the edit time indexes tracks down the correct frames to edit? Can it be done this automatically? From what I’ve heard, the Seinfeld remasters went very quickly (despite it being nine seasons) since all the edit decisions where logged in a computer.

What also would be interesting to know, is if the old CGI are stored separately somehow, as separate/original files? I guess it could be a problem to alter the resolution of the original CGI despite that though.

Anthony, did Okuda mention anything about this?

August 9, 2010 3:33 pm

…an Enterprise pizza-slicer… so this is what it’s come to…

As for the TNG Blu-ray… it is said necessity is the mother of invention, so perhaps whatever technology is needed to upgrade the episodes could come of it. It might be worth the time and investment since it could be used for more than just TNG.

And, if I may, on a totally unrelated note: just saw “Inception.”
I found it interesting and captivating. My girlfriend thought it was confusing. Tickets were $15, so I guess half of that was well spent…

and now back to the program…

Gorn Captain
August 9, 2010 3:41 pm

TNG didn’t use CGI models as much as the later shows did, so I would hope all of the physical model FX footage is safe in the vaults somewhere. It might even same them some time and money.

Stock footage of the Enterprise D was used in Generations, and looked pretty good on the big screen!

August 9, 2010 3:43 pm

I will get the Enterprise pizza slicer….it will go with my bottle opener.

MvRojo
August 9, 2010 3:43 pm

#32. They already made a bottle opener. There’s ton of random stuff like that for SW as well. It is actually, oddly, a good sign in that companies think there’s a market for stuff like this.

I’d actually consider buying this just for the novelty of it. But I’d want to see if the nacelles are strong enough first since that’s where a lot of pressure would be put if/when using it. .

nfxstudios
August 9, 2010 3:54 pm

#33: the enterprise and its interiors looked like crap in generations. Reused tv models and sets don’t stand up too well on the big screen. That’s the reason the D was destroyed. They needed to build a new model anyway. And I’ve seen the original D model in person. It’s definitely tv quality.

DonDonP1
August 9, 2010 3:55 pm

Let’s hope that all the episodes of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ on Blu-ray ends with both a Paramount logo and the CBS Television Distribution logo. Here’s my example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCEolybNMbM

allister gourlay
August 9, 2010 4:01 pm

hellava more visual effects in TNG mind you compared to the original series!

Browncoat1984
August 9, 2010 4:06 pm

I’d be all for TNG HD but I think unlike TOS it’ll probably be several years before we’d see the full series on BD. I’d even go as far as saying that by the time the complete series is out the next format will probably be hitting the market and then everybody will be asking “will we see it on this format?”

I’d love to see DS9 on blu ray too, some of those space battles would look great in high definition. While Enterprise is my least favorite, it would be the easiest to update for BD right now as it was shot in HD. I imagine the reason that they’re not in such a hurry to release it is because it’s the least popular of the series.

Still, even though I recently bought TNG on DVD and watched through the show last year (bought the complete series set which fits nicely on my shelf – why didn’t they do that for Voy and DS9? Would take up less space) I’d sell them and buy them on BD if they did that. But since I have the complete series I’d only sell it once all seven seasons were available.

August 9, 2010 4:15 pm

Never wuz’ a fan o’ tha’ Enterprize D Luxury Liner… mayhaps CBS could re-master tha’ series usin’ tha’ pizza slicer as a model…

“Captain- there’s mozzarella on the starboard bow and we can’t get it off.”

Guess that be as good an idear as flippin’ one o’ them Akiri starryships fur’ a show…

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Gorn Captain
August 9, 2010 4:17 pm

#37 Could have fooled me. You’re including the redressed TMP sets of course. And TUC used some of those sets too. ;)

And there are two D models, the really big ILM built one and a smaller version built later on. Which one did you see? I’m only aware of the giant saucer for the crash scene being built specifically for the film.

I wonder if we will be able to read all the gag texts on the labels and signage in HD?

Gorn Captain
August 9, 2010 4:18 pm

I meant that for #36, sorry!

Ensign RedShirt
August 9, 2010 4:33 pm

No new tech is going to help; 480p is 480p no matter how you slice it. Maybe we’ll get VERY lucky and see a compilation of a few select episodes, but I doubt it. TNG, DS9, and VOY are products of the era they were made in. Most other shows from the 80’s and 90’s were done the same way. It was far cheaper and faster to put together in post on video than film.

Troubled Tribble
August 9, 2010 4:42 pm

will the merchandising never end? Perhaps we could make slippers out of the shape of the Enterprise?
Fcuk it, let’s build a whole house!

August 9, 2010 4:55 pm

TNG-Remastered will be a b*tch. That’s for sure.

But you know what?… if it looks good …and wows fans – then the Blu Rays will FLY off the shelves. Next to TOS, TNG was the most popular show.

In fact, I think sales on TOS-R could have, most definitely, been helped if the FX would have been a bit more astounding. Unfortunately, that required a bigger budget.

I liked TOS-R for what it brought to the table. Although at the end of the day, I think it could have been much better. These shows are part of our youth and it’s hard to live up to the memory of the show you fell in love with. It’s hard to top that. But if you’re actually going to succeed at topping it, you have to swing for the fences. TOS-R was a conservative venture.

Here’s hoping TNG-R will ‘wow’ us in the future.

August 9, 2010 5:02 pm

This merchandise paves the tacky way for an Enterprise duel toilet roll holder. Why those warp nacelles were practically designed with Charmin in mind.

Dac
August 9, 2010 5:03 pm

@ 2: Daniel, i feel exactly the same way. Its Dave Combe from Facebook here, and i’ll be right behind you with the resume and showreel :p

August 9, 2010 5:03 pm

@33: The six-foot model from the TV series, with a bit more surface detailing, was used for “Generations”, but stock footage from the series was *not* used in the movie. Also, “Generations” was the first time a “digital Enterprise” was used: Anytime you saw the Enterprise-D go to warp, that was CGI. Everything else was new footage with the six-footer or the giant twelve-foot wide saucer created for the crash sequence.

jas_montreal
August 9, 2010 5:15 pm

it IS possible. Its just hard. Especially with 7 seasons. I think theirs a huge customer-base that would actually purchase the blu-ray seasons. If they get the TNG one… then i’m 100 percent sure they can get the ds9 episodes on blu-ray too.

Fingers are crossed.

I hope Ronald D Moore returns and gives audio commentary for every TNG/ DS9 episodes. That would be awesomer.

Red Dead Ryan
August 9, 2010 5:23 pm

#48

Actually, there was one shot of the Enterprise-D originally created for “Encounter At Farpoint” that was inserted into the movie. It was during the “Captain’s Log” monlogue by Captain Picard. Its the shot of the Enterprise moving from off screen into the frame with the aft portion of the ship facing the audience.

wpDiscuz