Exclusive Images From Star Trek TNG ‘The Next Level’ Blu-ray | TrekMovie.com
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Exclusive Images From Star Trek TNG ‘The Next Level’ Blu-ray January 17, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: DVD/Blu-ray,TNG,TNG Remastered , trackback

The release of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level" Bluray sampler with four episodes is coming up in a couple weeks. And today TrekMovie has two exclusive images to show off what TNG looks like in HD. Check them out below

 

Images From Star Trek: The Next Generation on Bluray

The "Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level" sampler disc comes out in a couple of weeks. To give you an idea what you can look forward to, CBS has provided TrekMovie with a couple of exclusive screenshots.

Click images to enlarge
(note shots show how TNG in HD is presented in 4:3 aspect with pillar boxes on each side)


Bluray Image:
Bridge shot from "Encounter at Farpoint"


Click to compare to TNG on DVD


Bluray Image: Klingon skyline from "Sins of the Father"


Click to compare to TNG on DVD

So far everything we have seen from CBS for this project has been beautiful. The transfer to HD looks great and provides a lot more detail than the DVD release.

The "Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level" sampler disc will be released on January 31, 2012 with a suggested retail price of $21.99. The disc will include the feature-length pilot – “Encounter at Farpoint” – as well as two more “fan favorite” episodes, “The Inner Light” (Season 5) and “Sins of the Father” (Season 3).

You can pre-order it on Amazon for $14.99.

All seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation will follow, with the first season coming later this year.

Trailer

If you missed it last week, here is the latest trailer showing old vs. new for the Bluray transfer of the Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot "Encounter at Farpoint."


[Select HD and go full screen to get the full effect]

TrekMovie will continue to track this project as further news is announced.

Comments

1. MikeTen - January 17, 2012

I know this might have been covered somewhere else, but can someone tell me if the FX are being redone like TOS remastered?

2. spocky - January 17, 2012

looks great!

3. MattR - January 17, 2012

Looking forward to getting this. The videos they’ve released have looked great. These two screengrabs look somewhat muted, however.

4. Craiger - January 17, 2012

They should do these in BluRay Anamorphic Widesceen or is it 2:85:1? 4X3 Pillar Bars stinks. I wish all old TV shows and movies could be upgraded that way.

5. Craiger - January 17, 2012

Plus all commericals.

6. JP - January 17, 2012

Can’t wait!

I’m onboard for all 7 seasons. Some will say TNG is dated. And I’d agree in certain respects. But that’s fast becoming part of its charm to me looking back having been a fan during its initial run on tv.

And I cant wait to marathon, “Q Who”, “Best of Both Worlds”, and “First Contact” all on Blu Ray in a row.

7. Craiger - January 17, 2012

I also forget 21×9 HDTV’s are being developed.

8. Anthony Pascale - January 17, 2012

The effects are not being redone like TOS because the original film elements for the effects shots are in good enough shape for an HD transfer. However some effects done in video will be done in CGI (like phasers).

I will be doing an interview with the Okudas talking about this project coming soon. Please post your burning questions.

9. Craiger - January 17, 2012

I wonder how the 1701-D and other TNG ships would look if they would be redone with today’s CGI? Would their be that much of a difference?

10. Rod of Rassilon - January 17, 2012

I’ve been holding off getting the DVDs of TNG for years now, am both glad I waited for this and totally frustrated!

Trek ’13 will be out before these are cheap enough for me to buy the box set.

And you thought waiting for that was bad!

Can’t wait to see Baldy, Crinkly, Moody, Beardy, Yellowy, Blinky, Slinky and The Brat in glorious actually-in-focus-and-not-a-blurred-out-washed-out-mess-O-vision.

Bring it.

11. Platitude - January 17, 2012

Looks great! The transfers on the DVD sets were never very good so I’m stoked for these Blu-Ray releases. I just hope when the full seasons come out they price them competitively with other TV show seasons. The DVD box sets for Star Trek were always WAY overpriced.

12. Ensign RedShirt - January 17, 2012

I’ll say it once again for peeps who might be unsure/confused:

TNG was framed for 4:3 sets and did not use anamorphic(widescreen) lenses. Any attempt to reconfigure it for 16×9 will simply distort the image and defeat the whole purpose of this project.

These stills look phenomenal. It’s going to be like watching the series for the first time.

13. Craiger - January 17, 2012

With today’s technology can’t TV shows shot in 4×3 be upconverted to Anamorphic with no black bars and not look streched?

14. Justin Olson - January 17, 2012

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/103359

The DVD image is taken directly from the region 1 DVD in png format @ 720×540 and upscaled to 1920×1080.

15. Eye - January 17, 2012

Oh man, I cannot wait. Looks gorgeous!

The bridge shot is almost as good quality as a publicity still.

16. Corvette king - January 17, 2012

Way to go Denise and Mike O!

17. Eye - January 17, 2012

@13 “With today’s technology can’t TV shows shot in 4×3 be upconverted to Anamorphic with no black bars and not look streched?”

What does technology have to do with turning a square into a rectangle? It is literally impossible to make one shape into another without cropping or ditorting it.

18. rm10019 - January 17, 2012

Looking good, can’t wait. Got one for myself and another as a gift!

19. Justin Olson - January 17, 2012

Anthony:

Question for the Okudas:

Regarding the missing 13 seconds of footage from “Sins of the Father”… have they thought of looking in the “Enterprise” archive? I know the editors pulled stock footage from the season 3 episode “Menage a Troi” for use in “These Are the Voyages”. If they’re also missing that Ten Forward shot, then maybe a few TNG reels are hiding over there?

20. TyrannicalFascist - January 17, 2012

I am so glad they reduced that reddish-orange tint to the first/second season that made it feel really dated.

21. Anthony Pascale - January 17, 2012

I got my review copy today. I will be live tweeting impressions of Encounter at Farpoint starting at 7pm pacific

22. Mike B. - January 17, 2012

Question for the Okudas:
Are they going to remove that blue tint that can be seen in the lower left side during the closing credits? It’s subtle, but it is definitely there.

23. Lt. Dakin - January 17, 2012

Will they replace the morphing effects in ‘the Dauphin’?

24. AJ - January 17, 2012

Preaching to the choir, guys.

Let’s sell some hotcakes!

25. JP - January 17, 2012

#21: Can’t wait. Will you be posting them in this thread or a new one?

26. JP - January 17, 2012

nm, i see your posting your impressions on the twitter stream. Good stuff. Suspect having a shrink on the bridge is due to the therapy craze back in the 80′s.

27. Red Dead Ryan - January 17, 2012

Geez, how many times does it have to be said that TNG was filmed in 4:3 format, and cannot be converted to widescreen without cropping the top and bottom of the image?

I think I’d rather see the images as intended, and as they were originally framed.

28. Odkin - January 17, 2012

Not a fan of TNG but I’m very impressed that they went back to the original film elements rather then just milking the fans for an up-rezzed conversion.

Let’s not kid ourselves though, I’m sure this was as much a “corporate asset preservation” project rather than any service to fans. If they do it right, this is a one-time project that keeps TNG from disappearing into deteriorating video oblivion. They’ll be able to use their new scans of the film to press the new “Super-Ultra Def-purple-ray” version 10 years from now.

29. Vultan - January 17, 2012

What comes after Super-Ultra Def?
Will we be able to see through the actors?

30. Odkin - January 17, 2012

No, but the shows will be better. The plots will have more action and less magic resolutions in the last 5 minutes; there’ll be no Whoopie Goldberg, Wesley Crusher, or Deanna Troi; and Riker will act like a First Officer instead of a co-captain.

31. Canadianknight - January 17, 2012

I’m THRILLED they aren’t attempting to crop the show to 16×9 or 1.85×1 or whatever.

I’m very much a film/tv purist. I want to see films & TV in the aspect ratio that the director shot for. Don’t crop it, or zoom it, or otherwise change the original ratio.

I’m kind of surprised to see people have issues with “pillar-boxing”. Man, I remember when I first started collecting new-fangled DVDs, and how thrilled I was that I could FINALLY find movies in their proper format… and there were still people bitching about black bars on their 4×3 screens. Now we’re going the other direction. Makes me chuckle.

If you must fill your 16×9 TV with image… use your zoom button. Otherwise, watch your programs as they were intended to be seen. But please don’t ask the producers to change it.

/rant :)

32. JP - January 17, 2012

Anthony: How are the grain levels? Do they look filmlike or have they applied heavy amounts of DNR to these transfers like the movies? The screenshots you posted do look quite grainy, but better that than waxy looking overzealous DNR.

33. Caesar - January 17, 2012

Agreed, they look pretty grainy, but that indicates a good restoration. Have you seen some of the idiot comments on Amazon already about “older things not being improved by blu ray”?

34. JP - January 17, 2012

Even the ‘experts’ can’t agree on what constitutes a good blu ray transfer. Its something the studious really seem to struggle with when it comes to catalogue transfers.

35. Lt. Dakin - January 17, 2012

What about extras like scenes that were shot but cut for time– like Picard fencing in Measure of A Man– or Wesley’s birthday party from Coming of Age?

36. Eric - January 17, 2012

I know that a lot of control panels presented on the show contained inside jokes that the crew put in knowing that they would appear blurry on the TV screens of the time. Well, the joke might be on them after everything becomes clear in HD.

37. Anthony Pascale - January 17, 2012

I added some screencaps from the DVD set to compare. There really is no comparison of course

38. BeatleJWOL - January 17, 2012

Question for the Okudas;

Will there be any consideration made to fixing mistakes made in the original shows? I don’t expect the team to be scouring http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies.htm looking for things to do (although it would be AWESOME), but there may be some things that were obviously wrong the first time around that would be easy fixes with the re-compositing process.

39. Drake1701 - January 17, 2012

Liked Troi much better in what Marina called the “Space Cheerleader Outfit” ;-)

40. JP - January 17, 2012

Glad they put this in a normal blu ray case rather than one of their wacky packaging inventions (think the ds9, Voyager and Ent packaging). Hopefully the season sets will be packaged the same way the TOS blu ray sets were.

41. Captain Dunsel - January 17, 2012

I have said it before, and I say it again. Paramount should be offering an “upgrade” option to folks who have in the past purchased the official DVD releases. Take the original DVD packages to authorized dealers of the bluray release and get a hefty discount on the new release. Otherwise the next release in 5 years will be the one with new CGI FX in 7D … Paramount has got milking Star Trek fans down to a fine art!

42. JP - January 17, 2012

#41: In fairness, this’ll probably be the final physical media release for TNG.

43. Will - January 17, 2012

“Please post your burning questions.”

Are you correcting the continuity mistake at the end of Yesterday’s Enterprise, where Geordi is erroneously wearing the high-collared shirt from the alternate timeline?

44. Spacecadet - January 17, 2012

#1 I am also very interested in that! It is a big difference to me if “only” the quality changed or the effects, too. Does anyone know more about that?

45. Spacecadet - January 17, 2012

#8 Oh, I have not seen, there was indeed an answer. Maybe the new Blueray will be a good basis to add effects in a again newly published Blueray-Edition after this edition here was published?

46. Darwin5 - January 18, 2012

Why is the before image 10x worse than they actually are?

47. Bob Tompkins - January 18, 2012

@Craiger- I have to believe that the series was fimed in anamorphic widescreen and the negatives exist in that state. For heaven’s sake, even TJ Hooker is on HDNet or somewhere in widescreen format. The 1990 episodes of Law and Order are now Hi-Def widescreen after being broadcast 4:3 then.There is not one style of camera and filmstock for TV and another for movies.
I believe widescreen will eventually be used as a tool to try to get us to purchase the series again in whatever the next format happens to be. My guess is that the series has already been RAW transferred in that format while they had the negatives available and they opted not to give it to us on this go- round, which is why I am taking a pass on it. 5 years down the line, that will be the Next Big Thing- if I am still kickin’.

48. Dr Beckett - January 18, 2012

#9 – A fully CGI 1701D can be seen in the Enterprise finale “These are the Voyages.” I have to say the model used on the series is far superior, but that’s just my opinion.

49. Trekboi - January 18, 2012

I don’t see why they can’t convert to widescreen recropping from the original negative & giving us the option of widescrees (if a little cropped) or the original full screen.
I’m sure they can creatively crop out the odd boom or things on the edge sometimes being visible etc etc

50. Trekboi - January 18, 2012

can we have some pictures of the ship?

51. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - January 18, 2012

12 and 27 you are absolutely correct, and its really goads me when i read comments like number 13 or 47 where they just dont get the importance of preservingOAR, the shots were composed and filmed with a 4×3 aspect ratio in mind, changing the aspect ratio to 1.77:1 or 1.85:1 can drasticly change the mood and subtlties of a scene.

when you watch shows like hooker and married with children that are shown stretched and cropped for cable broadcast it shows you the bad effects of changing OAR.

52. Bart - January 18, 2012

Pictures look amazing. It is becoming a whole new series. The richness of the colors is getting close to the quality in Generations.

However, the images appear quite dark, compared to the original and trailer. I used photoshop to move the levels a bit and a lot more detail became visible, especially with the Klingon city.

53. The Snob - January 18, 2012

When will people understand that TNG will NEVER be released widescreen….. The ONLY way it could ever be released as such would be by cropping the image, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting that… Film negatives are 4:3 anyway; the upper and lower parts of the image are mostly filled by microphones, wires, etc. TNG was shot with a full 35mm frame; there IS no extra image shot on the side. This is the way it was intended and we all have to accept that.

54. Justin Olson - January 18, 2012

@ Bob #47:

The series was NOT filmed in anamorphic widescreen. They shot standard 35mm and used spherical (non-anamorphic) lenses. Yes, the full camera aperture was exposed, but this is standard practice and only the TV Transmitted Area was ever intended to be seen by audiences (the green area in the below image):

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3528/sttngframewithmarksnew.jpg

55. captain_neill - January 18, 2012

I cannot wait for this in two weeks. Being a huge Next Gen fan I am looking forward to seeing Next Gen in HD and seeing it go back to the original film. The shots look warmer and great to see it on the film it was shot on.

As far as I’m concerned Star Trek did not go to widescreen until Enterprise in 2001. On the channel CBS Star Trek TOS remastered was shown in widescreen and although the new effects were in widescreen the actual footage was cropped. I don’t like the original image being cropped for for these shows which aired in 4:3 should always be in 4:3 as that was the way it was intended.

I am pumped for this release.

56. Romulus - January 18, 2012

“Picard and his senior officers have the most advanced technology of the 24th century at their finger tips”

Apart from the holodeck & saucer separation there was not a noticeable increase in technology between the 23rd and 24th century which is disappointing especially when I look at the leaps that have been made in the last 100 years.

57. Mark Tedin - January 18, 2012

They had much nicer upholstery.

58. Disco Justice - January 18, 2012

Someone should post this FAQ on every TNG-R article:

Q: Are the special FX being redone like TOS-R?
A: Mostly no. Some video effects that cannot be upgraded to HD will be redone. These will include effects like phasers. This is a good thing. The original studio models will look better than ever, and they were pretty good the first time round. You don’t need CG here. It would be a waste of money in this case.

Q: Will they correct x inconsistency? Will they fix costume inconsistencies?
A: Almost definitely not. This is mostly a film transfer operation, resampling the original film. CG is used for things that cannot be transferred. That’s it. Expect everything to be the same, but looking awesome. Changing live-action stuff like uniforms, or tweaking dialogue, isn’t what this is about. The episodes have been made, and were made, years ago. This is them again, but sharper. Inconsistencies are part of Star Trek, fixing them 25 years after the fact doesn’t erase them from time. Plus, you know, they really don’t matter.

Q: Will it be 16:9?
A: No. it wasn’t originally, it won’t be now. Cropping the top and bottom of each shot would be the only way to get 16:9, and that would result in actors heads being cut off, and giant faces filling the screen. All the shots would be much more claustrophobic, and you’re an idiot if you think it’s a good idea.

Q: How many times have these questions been asked?
A: In the comments on every single TNG-R news post. Just sayin’.

59. Devlin - January 18, 2012

Looks neat.

I wonder if there could be option somewhere in the setup menu to crop the picture to 16:9… Because of the black bars on the left and right side, like in the TOS blurays, my monitor/player cannot crop it itself. I need to use a unorthodox software to play my (legally obtained) bluray with a opensource player which has no problem doing this.
Yes, I know, it’s 4:3 and not intended for 16:9. But the full picture underlines the drama of the screenplay and frankly it works great.

60. Toonloon - January 18, 2012

I pre-ordered this from HMV for £6.99. I believe that is cheaper than in the U.S.

61. CmdrR - January 18, 2012

Dudes in mini’s. Now on Blu-ray.

62. Patrick Gleeson - January 18, 2012

Cutting a square academy 4:3 aspect ratio source to fit a rectangular 16:9 screen *never* works – ever …..
The cropped TOS HD TV screenings look dire – every close up looks way more claustrophobic than it was ever intended – and there were many such scenes thanks to Jerry Finnerman’s style.
And anyway what the hell would you do with the 21:9 screens already available ? Jeez, all you would see is eyes ….

63. ScottDS - January 18, 2012

Anthony –

Questions for the Okudas:

-I assume beaming, phasers, photon torpedoes, energy patterns, etc. will have to be re-done from scratch? And what about monitor burn-ins?

-Will continuity errors be addressed? (i.e. a phaser emanating from the wrong place? a visible reflection or boom mic?)

-Will they be designing new ships/matte paintings to replace ones that were constantly reused? (The Angel I matte painting being a great example). :-)

64. SirBroiler - January 18, 2012

I hope the FX changes involve a little more than just phasers. I would love to see a new and improved “Conspiracy” with the closing Remmick scene completely remastered.

65. Devlin - January 18, 2012

“The cropped TOS HD TV screenings look dire”
Sorry I’m not that interested in the view of the ceiling. I like to be right in middle of the action and I acknowledge that I’m missing a few details.

“21:9 screens already available?”
I could still watch 16:9 and you would still see a black wall half the picture.

66. Jon B - January 18, 2012

Already preordered it. Can’t wait to see it. Also preordered Criterion Godzilla. I’m gonna have a fun marathon. :)

67. Crusade2267 - January 18, 2012

With the release of the bluray, how likely is it that TNG will be added to iTunes any time soon? Do you suppose they’ll release the HD episodes there soon after the bluray, or will they want to sell as many of the physical copies as possible? I only ask because I watch Star Trek on my commute on my ipod, and TNG is only available for streaming… which does not work so well on the subway.

68. captain_neill - January 18, 2012

Next Gen looks great. Thanks to HD we get to see one of the greatest shows on TV look the way it should have been.

69. ST Collector - January 18, 2012

I honestly don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want to replace the model shots with CGI. Models almost always look better than CGI — particularly low-budget CGI of the kind we saw in TOS-R! CGI is still better used as an ADDITION to models — even in features, IMHO!

CGI just doesn’t “wow” me…most of the time.

And, no, you can’t stretch a square into a rectangle and I certainly wouldn’t want them to crop the image to make it fit a 16:9 screen! Ugh. You kids…damn annoying.

70. Bart - January 18, 2012

Can’t wait to see to see the remastered opening sequence with the Enterprisr in full glory!

71. Daniel Shock - January 18, 2012

Anthony – I look forward to your interview with the Okuda’s. I hope they…or CBS has changed their minds with regard to the notion of fixing some inconsistencies and maybe throwing some variety into the mix of stock footage. I would like to know if they will address the scale of the Klingon Bird of Prey…particularly in Yesterday’s Enterprise. They are HUGE! Also, I would like to know if deleted scenes have been found and if they will be included as bonus material.

72. rm10019 - January 18, 2012

Anthony, for the Okudas:

First, thank you for all the hard work!

What has been the biggest surprise so far in revisiting the footage. Any particular shot stand out in a way you had never noticed?

How are the sound mixes being handled? Are the same levels being maintained or will the mix be slightly different?

73. Shaun - January 18, 2012

” I would like to know if they will address the scale of the Klingon Bird of Prey…particularly in Yesterday’s Enterprise. They are HUGE!”

this is an excellent question. but i have a feeling these inconsistencies will not be changed.

74. Ross - January 18, 2012

To ask the Okudas;

Will the Bloopers for all 7 seasons officially get released to the public on the Blu-Rays, for years Rick Berman didn’t want us to see them and all we’ve seen is bloopers for Season 1 on a badly distorted tape on YouTube.

75. Greenberg - January 18, 2012

ALRIGHT, Troi’s hooker boots in HD!! I’ve been waiting for this.

76. Ometiklan - January 18, 2012

Anyone else notice that they Bluray shot of the bridge seems to be slightly wider than the DVD shot of the bridge, but the Bluray shot of the Klingon capital is slightly narrower than the DVD?

Both Bluray shots also seem to be shorter than the original DVD shots. The top of both Bluray shots ends at the same point as the DVD shots, but the bottoms are cropped – with the Klingon shot being cropped more.

I wonder how close these stills are to the actual final Bluray presentation.

77. Ometiklan - January 18, 2012

Oops, the DVD shot of the bridge is actually shorter than the Bluray version, but I was correct on the Klingon shots.

78. Mike Poteet - January 18, 2012

I won’t be buying these, but magnifying that bridge shot from Farpoint made me feel like a teenager again, drooling over publicity photos in 1987 and waiting for the series premiere. Good times! (I also ate TONS of Honey Nut Cheerios trying to win that walkon role… was many years before I ate that cereal again!)

79. Driver - January 18, 2012

The heavy grain film used is now very noticeable. It won’t look too good on very large displays.

80. Captain Rickover - January 18, 2012

Question:

Is there any chance, the producers consider to replace all the Excelsior-starships and Klingon BOPs with new 24th century-designs?

That’s the only thing I never liked about the TNG-effects. Excelsiors where ever you looked at.

81. New Horizon - January 18, 2012

I WILL be buying these! :) Faithful to the original…my wishes have been granted!

82. VZX - January 18, 2012

I can’t wait for eps like “Best of Both Worlds,” “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” “All Good Things…,” etc.

Also, I am really stoked for DS9 on Blu-Ray. Would Okuda have any inside info on DS9?

83. Daniel Shock - January 18, 2012

“Also, I am really stoked for DS9 on Blu-Ray. Would Okuda have any inside info on DS9?”

ooh…that’s a good question… I second that question!

84. Buzz Cagney - January 18, 2012

#29 it will be so good you will be able to see what remains of Picard’s hair follicles. ;)

85. saavik001 - January 18, 2012

DS9 and Voyager were shot on video, I doubt they can be upgraded to Blu Ray easily…

86. obviously - January 18, 2012

WHO CARES! Picard and his crew could NEVER hold a candle to Kirk and his crew. Let’s just be honest…

87. Connorzzzz - January 18, 2012

You want it 4:3? You got it. You want it without pillars at the side? Press zoom on your remote. End of argument.

Can’t WAIT!!!!

88. Daniel Shock - January 18, 2012

85 – I’m sure you’re mistaken..they were all shot on film. Except for Enterprise’s last season which was shot digital high def.

89. Ensign RedShirt - January 18, 2012

85-

DS9 and VOY were not shot on video. They were shot in 35mm and mastered on video, just like TNG.

90. Bradley - January 18, 2012

Every single season of every Star Trek series was shot on film, except Seasons 3 and 4 of Enterprise.

91. Bradley - January 18, 2012

The Enterprise D in ENT: These Are the Voyages was the best version of the ship by far, not that I think they need to change the effects or anything, just saying…

92. Fubamushu - January 18, 2012

So many comments.

First, it has been said in so many places that the HD versions of TNG will be 4:3 as that is how the original shots were framed. Why do people still have questions about this? As has been in so many places, pulling back to a 16:9 aspect ratio would most likely require cropping the frame, thereby cutting off the top and bottom edges of the filmed scenes. Pulling back so to speak would not work as rigging and “off camera” equipment would now be in frame and on camera as well as the fact that the actors are grouped together to fit within a 4:3 frame and the empty space on the edges would seem weird.

Second, it has been said in so many places the the HD version of TNG will not feature new CGI effect shots for the most part. Instead, having access to the original film negatives for the live action AND the special effects shots, after digitizing the film negatives at HD quality and cleaning up the shots, the footage will be digitally re-composited. Some elements such as warp effects or phaser beams may be “painted” using CGI, but for the most part it will be old school models and matte paintings. No CGI Enterprise-D, Klingon battle cruisers, or Romulan Warbids. No CGI space jelly fish.

So why do those new shots look so good? Look at the detail! It has to be CGI! Nope. Film captures far more details, far more information than any digital recording technology available. (It is difficult to make an accurate comparison as we are after all trying to compare analog information to digital information.) All of those details and more are captured on the film negatives. When the negatives are digitized at HD resolution and displayed at 1080p, the displayed frame contain at least 6x more information than a 480p SD frame. (Draw a box that is 1920×1080 units. Now draw smaller boxes inside the bigger box that are 720×480 units. You’ll see it.) Now consider the fact that the original SD material on DVD was originally an interlaced image (interlaced means each frame is broken into even and odd lines of information), an HD 1080p frame could display as much as 12x the information of a 480i frame.

I guess the point is that those details and colors were always a part of the film negatives but those details and colors got washed out in the transfer to video tape. What we see in the HD samples above have always been there (at least on the negatives).

As spectacular as CGI can be over old school special effects, especially when it comes to animating alien or ancient creatures, I personally don’t think that CGI can always compete with good old fashioned models. There is something about CGI renders that remind me of video games and not film. I think have been some notable exceptions. BSG, comes to mind. But as excited as I am to see, “Red Tails,” this weekend, even in the trailers the CGI plans look, well, CGI, and I have though I was watching the trailer for a Call of Dutyesque video game. (I guess that is what happens when you get to see the real planes up close and see them flying. At air shows, not first hand piloting or combat experience.)

I have the TOS Remastered on DVD. I have watched some of my favorite episodes on these DVDs and liked what I saw but I was never really blown away by what I saw. Then I started watched TOS Remastered in HD on Netflix. I was blown away by the quality. The rich colors. The crisp, clear details. The live action footage looked so good. The CGI, when done well, really looked good. Seeing Klingon torpedoes explode against the Enterprise’s shields was great. Seeing the Enterprise surrounded by Klingon vessels above Organia was great.

My initial excitement, however, turned to disappointment. After watching the first few episodes of Season 1, it became quite apparent that time and attention devoted to the restoration of each episode was quite different. It also became quite apparently that the technology and quality of the CGI effects either evolved over the course of the project. For example, in some shots, the lighting, color and details of the Enterprise make me think it is an actual physical model. In other shots, the Enterprise looks like it was hand drawn and barely one step above the Animated Series. While these inconsistencies were annoying, other inconsistencies was frustratingly distracting. For example, in, “Friday’s Child,” the few CGI shots of the Enterprise in orbit are quite sharp, detailed, and rich in color. The live action shots, however, are fuzzy, out of focus, and the colors are washed out.

While technology has undoubtably improved since TOS was remastered, and while the remastering crew has undoubtedly learned much from that experience, I would be concerned upgrading TNG effect shots to CGI would place such a strain on the remastering process that the final results would end up with similar inconsistencies. In fact, I would think that the chance of inconsistencies would be greater with TNG as the remastering crew has more than twice as many episodes to digitize, enhance, and recomposite.

As far as “fixing” things. Hmmm… Part of the errors are the charm of Star Trek. And if those errors were fixed, what would nitpickers do? They’d have nothing to complain about. Having said that, I would not mind it if, in the episode, “Darmok,” when the Big E fires her phasers, that the phaser beam emanated from the ship’s phaser banks and not the photon torpedo launcher.

93. Krazy Joe - January 18, 2012

To the nutjobs complaining about the pillarboxing: STOP IT. That is the proper format. That is how it was shot. That is how we WANT it.

If they cropped this to make it 16:9, I would be so angry and would refuse to buy it.

94. brian - January 18, 2012

A full review of the set PLUS lots of NEW IMAGES

http://www.blu-raydefinition.com/reviews/star-trek-the-next-generation-the-next-level-blu-ray-review.html

95. Ensign RedShirt - January 18, 2012

92-

Thanks for posting. WOW. It’s even better than I thought it would be. I can’t get over the detail on the Enterprise, not to mention everything else.

96. Ensign RedShirt - January 18, 2012

Sorry meant to say 94

97. Bradley - January 18, 2012

Thanks for that. Seeing some of the image this review, I now think the Enterprise looks just as good as in These Are the Voyages, although it unfortunate they couldn’t do the panning and closeups in different angles in that episode.

One thing though. COME ON! Would it have killed you to do the space shots in widescreen? Even the Remastered TOS episodes had the effects in Widescreen. There is really no excuse for this as creating a starfield is relatively simple.

98. BeatleJWOL - January 18, 2012

@97.

The “space shots” in this case were shot in the same manner as the film of the actors, in 4:3. Placing them on a 16:9 starfield JUST FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING IT would create some really funky framing. They may re-composite the exterior effects shots at some point if they create a 16:9 master for, say, Netflix, but right now, it’s all 4:3. NO WIDESCREEN FOR YOU :p

99. Daniel Shock - January 18, 2012

I’m fine with it being 4:3 – but some of y’all need to relax. It’s not so crazy preferring it to be 16:9 since I can think of at least 2 people involved with Star Trek production who are publicly on record as preferring a switch to 16:9. It wasn’t a unanimous decision by the folks at CBS/Paramount. It also wasn’t analogous to the practice of pan and scan for VHS because this was being considered by some of the CREATORS of the material… not just suits looking to make a buck.

That said, I do understand why you might be frustrated by the same question being asked over and over again when it’s been answered pretty definitively.

As for fixing things – I am in favor of that and though i know it’s been stated that there won’t be much – there will be some changes that have to be made and I’m hoping that minds have been changed… and I’d like the Okuda’s to address it…that’s all.

100. Martin J. Pollard - January 18, 2012

For an example of what happens when you try to adjust a 4:3 image to look more “normal” on a 16:9 screen, watch the TNG repeats on BBC America. The image is wider on the screen than a 4:3 show would normally be (there are still black bars on the edges, but they’re narrower), and that’s because they cropped the top and bottom and zoomed in the image. (You can see the evidence of this in some cases during the opening credits of Act One: on a card with a lot of writers’ credits, part of the text on the bottom gets chopped off.) As a result, the image looks blurry, and parts of the image at the top and bottom WILL be missing. Not very good at all. :_(

101. Jon B - January 18, 2012

Thanks Brian (#94). Awesome review. YouTube and the video playing on my laptop stink because, while I was impressed with the improvements on the video, the screencaps look gorgeous. I have no regrets getting this set. Hopefully, the season sets come quickly.

102. flake - January 18, 2012

There is a CGI Enterprise in two of the new images posted in that review. The one with the Enterprise dropping out of warp and the other with the Klingon Bird of Prey.

The giveaway with the warp shot is the windows on the saucer rim are lit (and its the thinner rim, like the 6ft model) which could not be lit on the model. Only the Ten-Forward windows lit up on the 4ft model.

Look closely at the new Enterprise on the Klingon shot and compare to the DVD shot… its CGI.

103. Lt. Bailey - January 18, 2012

I would like to know if the Okudas will do any text commentary for the Blu Ray? I really enjoy their text commentary on the directors DVDs of the films and always watch the DVDs with the text commentary on. Great insights and trivia.

104. Simon - January 18, 2012

@92 – Long post, but (don’t take it personally) you don’t know what you’re talking about.

There’s plenty of good CG out there, and I wouldn’t use BSG as an example. It’s good stuff, but compared to what you see in many films it’s lacking.

A lot of CG passes by utterly unnoticed by people on TV and in films. A car. A background object. A building or facade. Something you’d never notice was CG unless it was specifically pointed out to you, and even then you’d have to see a “before and after” to convince you something was altered.

A helluva lot of modelwork LOOKS like modelwork. Does it seem less “fake” when you notice it’s a phony model rather than dodgy/cheap CG?

105. saavik001 - January 18, 2012

88, 89 – You are right, it’s the effects that were shot on video, not film. So all the effects would have to be redone to get to HD quality…

http://dvdweeklypodcast.lefora.com/2009/11/01/why-star-trek-the-next-generation-and-deep-space-n/

106. New Horizon - January 18, 2012

>Look closely at the new Enterprise on the Klingon shot and compare to the DVD shot… its CGI.

I don’t think so. Probably cleaned up with some CGI work, but that seems to be the original model to me.

107. saavik001 - January 18, 2012

94 – Thanks for posting that link, the screen shots look fantastic!

108. Bart - January 18, 2012

@101, @ 105: It appears 101 is right. The Klingon ship has completely different lighting and is shown from a very different angle. The old one is from the front, the new one more from below, to match the angle of the Enterprise.

This is promising for more effects heavy episodes. Imagine Best of Both Worlds…

109. Bart - January 18, 2012

Also, in the shot with the Bird of Prey, the windows of the Enterprise are differently illuminated. When you take a closer look at the windows on the saucer, they are arranged different as well. Take a screen cap from Trekcore.com and compare for yourself!

110. flake - January 18, 2012

And it *looks* CGI… The Enterprise is CGI. The windows are the main giveaway.. the shadow is weird on the neck and the neck above the impulse engine is completley black – it isn’t in the original.

Mr Okuda, is the Enterprise vs BoP shot all CGI or is there a physical model?

Why are some shots of the Enterprise replaced with CGI? I assume the original VFX elements where lost?

111. Bart - January 18, 2012

If we get better shots in return like the one with the BoP, let’s hope more VFX shots get ‘lost’ ;)

112. FlyingWok - January 18, 2012

RE: The discussion about a possible CGI Ent-D in some of the screenshots because of different window lighting.

As I understand it, when filming models for TV and film, they had to do multiple passes with different lighting elements because no one pass could get all the internal and external lighting right. Once they had all the different lighting passes shot, they all get composited together.

So I can see a couple explanations here for the extra lighting while the shots still remain shots of the model Ent-D.

A) The remastering and recompositing process better allowed the internal lighting pass to show up brightly in the new final image.

B) As part of the remastering process, they’ve used CG to rotoscope in extra lighting on some of the Enterprise shots.

I doubt B) happened because that’s a labour intensive job. I figure it’s due to reason A) — new compositing technologies bring out the details in the original FX shots much better.

113. Bart - January 18, 2012

@111 Perhaps, but it still doesn’t explain the completely different angle of the Bird of Prey.

114. Daniel Shock - January 18, 2012

according to Rik1138 (who I believe is an insider) in this thread:

http://forum.blu-ray.com/blu-ray-movies-north-america/172549-star-trek-next-generation-coming-soon-blu-ray-116.html

that whole shot is CGI

115. Daniel Shock - January 18, 2012

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/103580

116. Ensign RedShirt - January 18, 2012

Definitely CGI and looks great!

The Bird of Prey in the original shot looks like it might have been lifted from ST III.

117. Ted C - January 18, 2012

Will the digitally erase Dr Pulaski and put Dr Crusher in her place?

I bet they will charge out the wazoo for these.

118. MikeyPikey - January 18, 2012

The Inner Light , opening shot http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/103578

119. MikeyPikey - January 18, 2012

The Inner Light , opening shot http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/103578

120. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - January 18, 2012

I for one am looking forward to Tng in Blu-ray. Looks to be fun and updated from back in the late 80s and early 90s.

121. flake - January 18, 2012

I am disappointed that the stars are not in the exact position as before. This means that the Enterprise is infact in a totally different place in the galaxy compared to where it was before! This is a disaster! ;)

122. Skippy2k - January 18, 2012

May have been posted somewhere along the way already but someone mentioned fixing possible errors, wonder if phasers firing from the torpedo launcher will be one?

123. Rekkert - January 18, 2012

Well, to those who say no CGI, I have bad news, at least a shot from the 4ft model of the Enterprise and a Klingon BoP were re-done in CGI.
http://www.blu-raydefinition.com/reviews/star-trek-the-next-generation-the-next-level-blu-ray-review.html
The Enterprise itself looks fantastic, particulary when compared to the ugly 4ft model. The BoP, on the other hand, looks like it was a bad fan-made mesh found on the web.

124. davidfuchs - January 18, 2012

@121

What are you talking about? The last image? How do you know that’s CGI?

125. barrydancer - January 18, 2012

Question for the Okudas:

Will starship scaling issues, such as the Stargazer appearing to be the same size as the Enterprise-D, be addressed?

126. Aatrek - January 18, 2012

I’m really interested to see what they do with the all-CGI creations from the original run – like the Crystalline Entity, for example. Will that be generated 100% from scratch?

127. JP - January 18, 2012

Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits (one of the most long running and respected home video sites on the web) has a review up as well:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviewshd/bdreviews011812.html

128. Neumann - January 18, 2012

I think what’s going to happen is that it’ll be put out in 16×9 for syndication like Seinfeld was (and, I believe, TOS was in Japan when it was remastered).

129. Marvin the Martian - January 18, 2012

Why CAN’T modern technology turn a square into a rectangle?

It is, after all, modern technology. All they have to do is push the button on the HD converter box marked “Modern Technology.” That button is on everything that is modern. And technological.

If I have to watch TNG with pillar boxes, I will have a hernia and die.

130. JP - January 18, 2012

#129: For the same reason “modern technology(TM)” can’t put a square peg in a round hole.

131. Marvin the Martian - January 18, 2012

Whoosh…

132. Skippy2k - January 18, 2012

Yeah the thing I was most looking forward to when I thought all the space shots would have to be redone with cgi…not seeing the 4 ft model again… Seeing the cleaned up shots though look great so far!

133. Matt Wright - January 18, 2012

#58 — Good call on the FAQ. I’ll see about getting one setup like we did with TOS-R.

134. BeatleJWOL - January 19, 2012

@129

Where’s the hernia? I expect an earth-shattering hernia!

135. Jim Nightshade - January 19, 2012

Zoom on my vizio doesnt zoom much when watching hd the only option that stretches it also makes everything squished–zoom 2 on tv works good for filling widescreen when on a stNdard non hd channel but you miss details at bottom of screen…disney movies almost always fill entire widescreen i am most of those movies are widescreen to begin with–they seem to do a great job…tv seems to fill hd channel movies all the time even when bluray i have at home has the black bars top n bottom–i think i like the filling up the whole widescreens on tv better than the blurays–just my opinion tho…i certainly did not miss it watching the awesome tos blurays

136. Jörg - January 19, 2012

Question for the Okudas:

Which episode are you looking forward to most revisiting and re-assembling?

Which episode, in your opinion, will be the most labor-intensive?

137. tubular_trekkie - January 19, 2012

The new shots look great to me.

That said, I’m disappointed at the number of folks who seem to be clamouring for VFX to be altered or replaced in order to fix ‘mistakes’ or modernise the overall result. I don’t like this idea at all. I realise that there are, by necessity, going to be some changes as they don’t have everything they need on 35mm film and the stuff they do have all has to be recomposited, but I think those changes should be kept to a minimum.

The very fact that there WILL BE changes (no matter how subtle and tasteful) means that the original SD version needs to be preserved for posterity. I hope this will be the case and we’re not going to get a George Lucas-style insistence that this is now the definitive or, worse, the only version of the show that exists.

138. Hat Rick - January 19, 2012

Great news about the remastering in Blu-ray!

I do have a request — now that we might be able to see them, can someone point out all the inside-jokes in all the Okudagrams so we can look for them?

While we’re on the subject of seeing the previously invisible, when the episodes were filmed, it might never have occurred to the producers that every seemingly undetectable flaw in the fit and finish of the sets might become visible using future technology. That future technology is here.

139. Jörg - January 19, 2012

Here’s a collection of in-jokes that are visible on the DVDs already:

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/in-jokes.htm

140. FitzRoy - January 19, 2012

I totally disagree with anyone stating that they should keep every last detail the way it was. There is nothing heart-warming or nostalgic about impossible perspectives, crap ship models, or phasers firing out of the torpedo bay. Those new shots using the CGI model for the Enterprise and Bird of Prey are spectacular.

141. FitzRoy - January 19, 2012

The main reason people hate George Lucas’ changes is because he tried to digitally manipulate PEOPLE and replaced realistic puppets with less realistic CGI.

Take Greedo shooting first. It makes no sense for one thing: it makes Han look like an idiot and Greedo wouldn’t miss from that range. Secondly, it looks fake and obviously manipulated. The technology doesn’t exist to change live actors’ movements.

And then, we get Vader vocalizing what was once a silent internal struggle with NOOOOOO. It’s so cheesy and stupid.

Just because George Lucas wants to change what people said and did in his films doesn’t mean that new CGI has no place in TNG. It does, all of the outer space shots would benefit from it.

142. Hat Rick - January 19, 2012

Thanks, Jorg.

143. Anti-Matter - January 19, 2012

@ Craiger (4, 9, 13)

You are very confused. It has nothing to do with “technology” — it is an issue of video geometry. You use the term “anamorphic” and you don’t know what that means, do you?

Instead of confusing yourself (and maybe others), consider some serious reading time at websites like videohelp.com.

144. BeatleJWOL - January 19, 2012

You don’t want the old video masters upconverted as the “original” versions on the new Blu-rays. You might think you do, but you don’t. The originals are on the DVDs; you MUST keep them if you want them, as that is the best format to exhibit them.

145. BeatleJWOL - January 19, 2012

When they get done putting these out on Blu-ray and making the minor fixes (along the lines of some that I’ve seen mentioned on other sites), these WILL be the definitive versions of the show; there’ll still be plenty of original dumb mistakes and/or budget-driven oopses left alone, I feel certain.

146. Chris - January 20, 2012

They’d better redone some FX. Today’s techniques don’t show movements statically like in TNG’s times…

147. Chris - January 20, 2012

Think of Wolf 359 in DS9 “The Emissary”. The battle does look static. In the 1980s/90s you hadn’t the budget to show the battle. With new FX there’d be possibilities to show SOME of the events at Wolf 359…

148. tubular_trekkie - January 20, 2012

I simply don’t agree with any of this ‘let’s update/change stuff with CGI, just because we can’. Sorry. To me it’s like someone being a fan of the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts and then saying they should replace the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion FX with CGI! Sure it would make for better, more modern effects, ones that are seamlessly blended with the live-action, but I don’t see the point. That’s not how it was made.

I like watching The Best of Both Worlds as it was originally shot. I don’t want to see extra battle shots, or any enhanced/extra stuff that wasn’t in the original broadcast. I don’t know why people are so preoccupied with ‘improving’ the VFX to that extent. Didn’t you enjoy the show as it was? I did and I’d prefer it to remain largely the same.

149. Bart - January 20, 2012

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Star-Trek-The-Next-Generation-Blu-ray/30189/

40 screenshots! Gorgeous. However, it appears the ugly 4ft model is still in there…

150. Greg2600 - January 20, 2012

Wow, the clarity and detail is quite evident. I also don’t agree with doing an CGI on this at all. They were forced to on TOS due to the SFX being shot on a lesser grade.

151. Alex - January 20, 2012

Happy to see the pillarboxing. I don’t approve of artificially cropping or stretching images for widescreen if they weren’t meant to be seen as such. And I applaud the decision to keep the original appearance – cleaned up, yes – because as tubular_trekkie says, the idea shouldn’t be to revise history.

152. tubular_trekkie - January 20, 2012

@ 151. Alex
Yes, I’m also pleased (and relieved) that it will be presented in the original 4:3 aspect ratio. That’s what it was framed and shot as: it’s not possible to get 16:9 out of that without, in effect, vandalising the footage.

153. Ensign RedShirt - January 20, 2012

148 tubular_trekkie

Agree with you 100%. Enough of this revisionist nonsense.

154. Rela - January 20, 2012

It would be much better if they are remastered TNG in the same way as TOS.
Re-mastering of TOS was perfectly done.
Now every planet looks different, each mate painting looks different. We got new ships. We see the Enterprise from many different angles.

And the TNG will all look the same. Bad effects will look just as bad only now in high definition.
We will watch the same scene of Enterprise in space for hundred times reused. Same planets reused for a hundred times.
Same Class Starship that act many different aliens ships. Matte paintings reused for hundred times.
Two inconsistent Enterprise model will appear again throughout the whole series.
I’m not happy. They should have offered more than just high definition.

155. BeatleJWOL - January 20, 2012

@150
“They were forced to on TOS due to the SFX being shot on a lesser grade.”

I don’t believe that’s entirely accurate; I believe the issue with TOS was that all that was left was the final composite of the visual effects. The individual model/planet shots were not available like they are for TNG.

156. Ian Hayden - January 20, 2012

Will the bonus features from the DVDs and additional bonus features be included on the Blu-Rays, including text commentaries and documentaries?

157. tubular_trekkie - January 20, 2012

@154. Rela
That’s a shame really. I’m really not sure why any of that matters, certainly not in terms of the overall entertainment value given by the program as it was originally produced.

And I don’t agree that the effects are ‘bad’ at all. The model work by ILM was excellent and the other VFX were very good for TV of the time. I guess some of it has dated now, but that’s not a reason to toss it in the rubbish bin. There was a lot of talent, passion and creativity used to create those effects – the original work should be respected and preserved IMO.

Besides, any technical flaws or limitations have been there for 25 years now, so I can’t see the point of re-tooling them all just to ‘fix’ things. Can’t we just accept the show ‘warts and all’ at this point?

On that note, I hope they preserve the model shot of Remmick’s head exploding in ‘Conspiracy’. I guess this will be met with howls of derision from the ‘CGI-updaters’ because it’s cheesy and ‘crappy’ in their view. That doesn’t matter – the effect still works and if it was shot on 35mm film (I believe it was) and they still have it in useable form it should remain.

158. Chris - January 20, 2012

#53. The Snob (and many others) have said things like:
—-
When will people understand that TNG will NEVER be released widescreen…..
—-

Actually this is incorrect – a startrek.com article last year disclosed they are making 4:3 AND 16:9 versions of the completely remastered TNG. The 4:3 is the proper and true version and is what goes on the Blu-rays – the only reason they are making a compromised 16:9 version is for broadcast television, as that is the format they want and what the television networks will stretch it to anyway.

So there IS a 16:9 version being worked on, but it is absolutely not the proper version and will only be distributed to television networks. Thus if you want the 16:9 version, record it off TV and enjoy a chunk of the footage being missing :)

159. Mr. Dan Troi - March 22, 2012

Dear Okudas, Please utilize the latest technologies to give Troi the season one miniskirt uni for all the subsequent seasons. Thank you.

P.S.

Feel free to make it shorter.

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