New Star Trek: TNG S1 Blu-ray Trailer + UPDATE: SDCC Panel Announced |
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New Star Trek: TNG S1 Blu-ray Trailer + UPDATE: SDCC Panel Announced June 28, 2012

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

CBS has released an new version of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One trailer which shows a glimpse of some of the special features including a snippet of an interview with Sir Patrick Stewart. Watch that new trailer below, plus get the latest pre-order links. [UPDATE: CBS is bringing TNG Blu-ray to Comic-Con]


UPDATE: CBS TNG Blu-ray panel at SDCC

A panel for the Blu-rays has been scheduled for Thursday July 11 at SDCC, here are the details:

2:00-3:00 Before and After: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Journey into High Definition— Star Trek: The Next Generation fans are finally getting their wish, with all seven seasons of the beloved series being retransferred into high-definition. Star Trek: The Next Generation-The First Season will be released on July 24, and the team behind the project will give fans an insider’s look at how the original film elements were transferred into high-definition and how the visual effects were painstakingly re-created from the source material to look better than ever before. Robert Meyer Burnett moderates the panel, which includes Roger Lay, Jr. (producer/director, Blu-ray), Mike and Denise Okuda (project consultants), David S. Grant (vice president, multimedia, CBS Television Distribution), Ryan Adams (director, multimedia, CBS Television Distribution), Craig Weiss (creative director, CBS Digital), Eric Bruno (lead compositor), and Wade Felker (film transfer technician). Room 7AB


original article

New Star Trek TNG S1 Blu-ray trailer

REMINDER: Star Trek Season 1 Pre-order available now

The first Blu-ray season for Star Trek: The Next Generation comes out July 24th. The six-disc set includes HD remasters (in 1080p and 7.1 DTS audio) of all 26 episodes, plus brand new special features (see below for full details). The official retail price (according to CBS) is $118.00 in the US (which is actually a little less than the MSRP for Star Trek: TOS Blu-ray Season 1).

You can pre-order the set at discounted prices. Walmart is selling it for $78.86 with Amazon matching the price and Best Buy selling it for $79.99 with a $10 in-store savings rebate.

Walmart – USA BestBuy – USA Amazon – USA
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One

The set is also available for pre-order at Amazon sites around the world.

Canada UK Germany



1. Sean4000 - June 28, 2012

Patrick Stewart look like he just stepped of the “Encounter at Farpoint” set!

2. Ian Pond - June 28, 2012

Why did they upload a 480p trailer for a HD remaster? -1 Internet points

3. Craiger - June 28, 2012

Still 4×3, it needs to be Anamorphic 16×9 1080p.

4. SFC3 - June 28, 2012

#3 I hate this argument, so I’m just going to say you can’t do that because it
wasn’t filmed in 16×9 1080p. If they did do widescreen, it would look badly stretched. I hate saying this to every single one of you people who want this stupid widescreen treatment. You didn’t complain when TOS Blu-Ray came out.

5. Craiger - June 28, 2012

I can’t believe with todays technology that they wouldn’t be able to remaster any old TV show and movie in 16×9 Anamorphic widescreen without it being stretched.

Old shows in 4×3 HD on a 16×9 widescreen HDTV look stupid.

6. Riker's Mailbox - June 28, 2012

SFC3 I agree. I do not understand these folks who keep complaining that it’s not in widescreen. That’s like asking CBS to remove a large portion of original footage for these DVD’s. Why would you want that?

7. fiercey - June 28, 2012

LOL @ Craiger. Please, enlighten us how “today’s technology” can turn a 4×3 to 16×9 without stretch.

I hate this argument, too, because it just illuminates ignorance.

8. fiercey - June 28, 2012

This article says”Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 trailer”… but all I see is Season 1 trailer.

9. Ma00145 - June 28, 2012

Let’s see what’s out there

10. Craiger - June 28, 2012

I forgot they just remastered Friends in 16×9 HD for the BluRay release.

All 10 seasons have been completely remastered in stunning 1080p high definition video with a 16×9 widescreen format and 5.1 audio. The ‘Friends: Complete Series’ Blu-ray box set is presented in highly collectible new packaging consisting of a lenticular box cover, a hard-cover book that holds 21 Blu-ray discs, plus a 32-page episode guide.

11. (The Late) Richard Dawson's Ruffled Shirt - June 28, 2012

@ 5 Craiger

The original picture is a square. You have 2 options:

1) you cut the top and bottom of the square off and make it INTO a rectangle, or

2) You stretch the square into a rectangle

Either way you do it, you ruin the quality and integrity of the square!

Holy crap, it’s not that hard to comprehend. I explained it to my mother’s classroom of third graders once and they got it.

“So, mister, you can’t make a square into a rectangle?”

Bingo, Jimmy… Bingo.

12. (The Late) Richard Dawson's Ruffled Shirt - June 28, 2012

@ 10 Craiger

Thanks for the ad for Friends.

13. Craiger - June 28, 2012

Looks like they did do a test with TNG in 16×9. I found this.

Apr 10, 2012: Season 1 Images Surface from Robert Meyer Burnett
Free Enterprise director Robert Meyer Burnett may be a familiar name to those of you who have been scrutinizing the internet for news on the TNG Remastered project. Burnett tweeted a number of comments last year regarding the aspect ratio debate, mentioning how he thought TNG looked fantastic in a widescreen 16:9 ratio transfer. Fast forward to 2012 and Burnett is now working on creating documentaries for the TNG Season 1 Blu Ray set and has been tweeting once more, this time from the TNG Blu-Ray edit suite. He has released two separate stills from the Season 1 set – the first showing a remastered Crystalline Entity in “Datalore” and the second a still from Ligon II in “Code of Honor”.

14. Craiger - June 28, 2012

#12 Friends was shot in 4×3 right?

15. Al - June 28, 2012

What is this “Start Rek”?

16. Adam Bomb 1701 - June 28, 2012

“Gone With The Wind” was converted to widescreen for its 1967 theatrical re-release. The conversion was accomplished by simply snipping off some of the top and bottom of the frame. When the pic was run on TV, starting in 1976, it was shown in its correct ratio of 4:3.
“Law & Order” started shooting in 16X9 for its fourth season in 1993. Prior to that, it was shot in standard 4:3 ratio. TNT’s HD channel runs the first three seasons in widescreen. Probably by blowing the picture up, as it doesn’t look stretched. The syndicated versions (seen weekends on local stations in the U.S.) use the original aspect ratios.

17. Vultan - June 28, 2012

Ah, this argument reminds me of the old days of pan and scan vs. letterbox format on VHS.

“What are those black bars at the top and bottom? Is there something wrong with the movie?”

“That’s the original shape of the movie, Grandma. That’s the way it’s supposed to be watched. You get to see ALL of the movie, without it being cropped to fit the shape of our TV.”

“Oh. Okay.”

She understood.

18. Trekboi - June 28, 2012

#7 fiercy.

You are clearly the Ignorant one.
If you had any idea of what the original film looks like & how much excess image they had on the frame you would know they could easily re crop for widescreen without loosing any image, unless they had a mic in shot or something.

unlike other 4:3 shows only on video, the remastering of TNG from original negative process allows re-cropping.

I have seen some of the original negatives & it is easily done.

19. Anthony Pascale - June 28, 2012

I asked about this widescreen issue in interview with Okuda back in January…here is a reminder…

TrekMovie: That brings up an issue that has been brought up by some fans who are wondering why this set is not being done in widescreen. Some believe the original film elements have more information on them and it could be done in widescreen without cropping. Is that possible?

Mike Okuda: First of all, it is our very strong desire is to respect the original work by the original directors and cinematographers. By cropping and letterboxing, we change the composition. You make things appear bigger and more crowded. It is true that in some shots – not all – but in some shots there is additional information on the film. But then again you are changing the original intention.

Denise Okuda: And in a lot of cases there are things that aren’t intended to be seen – sandbags, light stands, whatever – on the sides. The major thing is that we want to preserve the composition and the look of what the original filmmakers wanted to offer.

20. Sean - June 28, 2012


And 9 times out of 10, there WILL be a mic in the shot. Or a crew member. Or other equipment. So it’s kinda moot, ya know? They can’t just recrop part of an episode. These were shot for 4×3, with 4×3 viewing in mind. I would love it if they could do these in 16:9, but it isn’t going to happen.

21. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@ #3,5,10,13,14 Craiger:

16:9 (1.78:1) was invented specifically as a compromise between the 4:3 (1.33:1) and 2.35:1 aspect ratios. It is the geometric mean between those two ratios. So, far from looking stupid on an HDTV, 4:3 images (the first half century of cinema and TV before the mid-90s) look exactly as they’re supposed to look. A pillarboxed 4:3 image on an HDTV has the same amount of picture real estate as a letterboxed 2.35:1 image on an HDTV.

You need to understand that TNG was shot in an era before television directors of photography began protecting for 16:9 (1987-1994). They did not use a 16:9 ground glass (framing marks) in their camera’s viewfinders. Friends did. That’s why it can be put on Blu-ray in 16:9… because they protected for both 4:3 and 16:9.

TNG only used a standard 4:3 TV Transmitted Area ground glass. There is more image area on the negative, but not enough to do a 16:9 extraction without cropping the top and bottom of the frame… and not without revealing production equipment.

Here is an image of what the TNG camera negative looks like:

22. Red Dead Ryan - June 28, 2012

Look, TNG was filmed in the 4:3 aspect ratio. That’s the only way they could shoot it back then. There were no high-def cameras available.

Altering the scope would mean cutting out information around the top, bottom and sides if they blew it up, or cutting off the top and bottom if they were recutting the film into 16:9. Either way, you’d lose a sizeable portion of the picture.

They were able to do it with “Friends” because its not a visual-effects driven show. Its all about the characters. So no one is going to miss anything substantial.

Now, the better argument would be is for the space scenes to be in widescreen. CGI could have been used to enhance the ratio of the space scenes with more starfield on the left and right sides of the screen.

But for the live-action stuff, that just wouldn’t be possible.

23. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@22 Red Dead Ryan:

High-def cameras aren’t really the issue here. Film cameras are fully capable of shooting in any desired aspect ratio… both then and now.

They were able to do 16:9 with “Friends” because it started after TNG ended (1994-2004) when television DPs began to protect for 16:9 which was becoming more common. So, there’s no picture info missing on that show’s presentation on Blu-ray. Just want to make that clear.

TNG, on the other hand, would have to be cropped — whether they extracted the 16:9 from the Academy Aperture or Full Camera Aperture areas (see my image above). It can’t be done without cropping… and not without revealing production equipment that wasn’t supposed to be seen (see the Okudas interview above).

That’s likely why the 16:9 TNG test Craiger refers to was rejected by CBS as being impractical and too costly.

24. Craiger - June 28, 2012

So if they did TNG in 16×9 Anamorphic Widescreen you would see things like part of the camera, or say a ladder or other shooting props on the sides of the screen? This is anything shot before protecting for 16×9?

25. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@ 24 Craiger:

That’s right. If they use more of the film beyond where the camera operators and DPs were framing, then there’s bound to be errant production equipment that would be visible. Sometimes they would even place masks in front of the camera lens to block studio lights from causing lens flares:

You can see the mask on the camera above in this screenshot from “Coming of Age”:

Notice the shadow along the top and upper right of the image? For this particular angle, there’s no more picture left beyond what you see here.


Also, FYI, the term “anamorphic” only applies to 16:9 on DVD. Blu-ray is a square pixel format. DVDs are inherently 4:3, so the best way to put widescreen video on DVDs is to fill the 4:3 area with a distorted (tall) image and let the player stretch it out to 16:9. That’s called anamorphosis.

26. Craiger - June 28, 2012

Justin were certain shows during the 1987 to 1994 using the 16:9 ground glass (framing marks) or was Friends the only one?

27. Craiger - June 28, 2012

I forgot to thank you Justin for the 16:9 ground glass (framing marks) lesson. Learn something new everyday. :)

28. Christopher Roberts - June 28, 2012

Most televisions can zoom into the picture at the press of a button. I have a Panasonic plasma that can and imagine most do…

29. captain_neill - June 28, 2012

the only series that should be released in widescreen is Enterprise

30. Jimmy Crack Corn and I don't care - June 28, 2012

So how would one properly watch this with a 60inch LCD HDTV and a Blue-ray player?

31. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@ 26 Craiger:

“Friends” began in ’94. Most other NBC shows at the time would have adopted the 16:9 standard, like “Sienfeld” and “ER”. According to TNG and DS9 DP Jonathan West, DS9 and VOY began to protect for 16:9 during seasons 6 & 7 and 5-7 respectively.

32. Bob Tompkins - June 28, 2012

Re 16×9 Trek—-It is a shame if the producers weren’t forward thinking enough even though they were making a TV series about a forward- thinking future…
In the 1950’s many TV series such as Superman and the Lone Ranger knew color TV was coming and shot later seasons in color.
For God’s sake, Aaron Spelling knew things were going to change, shooting Charlie’s Angels and TJ Hooker in 16×9 and they now run fullscreen hidef on Universal HD..
Just a shame Trek’s people didn’t think in those terms- it certainly would not have cost any more $ to take those damn masks off of the cameras.
t was shortsightedness that we pay a premium price today for a sub- par product.
Does that make us just as stupid if we buy it? Afraid so. But we will.
Thank you sir, may I have another?

33. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@ 30 Jimmy

Pillarboxed (with black bars on the sides) and overscan turned off (1:1 mode on your HDTV).

34. Craiger - June 28, 2012

Justin Seinfeild started in 1990. I guess other shows like Everybody Loves Raymond were protected for 16×9 since it started in 1996. I wonder if shows switch to protected 16×9 by 1995 if they started before 1987 but lasted past 1995?

35. Vultan - June 28, 2012


Square does not make TNG sub-par; it’s just different.

The stories are still there to enjoy… or avoid… as case may be (this is Season 1 we’re talking about here).

36. Red Dead Ryan - June 28, 2012

The only Trek series that is in widescreen is “Enterprise”. TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY were all filmed in 4:3 ratio format.

37. Ensign RedShirt - June 28, 2012


It’s sub-par because it’s in 4×3? Are you serious? Does that mean that every other program ever produced in 4×3 is somehow inferior?

As #35 said, the shape of the frame is irrelevant – it’s the stories that count.

And for those who just can’t stand the aspect ratio, use the setting on your TV that allows you to fill the whole screen.

38. The Original Spock's Brain - June 28, 2012

@ 34. Craiger

Yes, later seasons of Seinfeld, ER, etc. (which started pre-1994) were protected for 16:9. All you have to do is pay attention when you watch a rerun in HD next time.

39. Allen Williams - June 28, 2012

there is more than enough extra information on the original negatives that wasn’t used for a proper 16×9 version. in fact it could be done so that black bars would optionally appear on the sides and there would be little to no difference on the framing vs the dvd. Personally i think dead space (area with little content or activity) is better than black bars.

40. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@ 34 Craiger:

I believe the ground glass they used for “Seinfeld” (in later seasons, most likely) is the center-top one in the image below. TNG would be lower left:

41. fiercey - June 28, 2012

I will say that I find 4×3 as preferable as 16×9.

My true preference would be 9×16 actually. I always turn my computer monitors vertically and play games this way full-screen… also much easier to read documents this way.

I feel like I see further top-to-bottom in real life than side-to-side… and there’s nothing like walking down a character down a hallway in vertical or seeing large sections of both the ground and the sky in outdoor shots.

42. Erjay - June 28, 2012

I compared the episodes from the sampler disc and the bluray versions.. The bluray versions do contain more information then the dvd version (apart from having more pixels off course)
Here is a dvd version:

And here the bluray version of the same shot:

I coloured the parts that were added on the bluray shot. You can compare them if you want. So the screen is a tiny little bit more wider then it was.

I also liked the part from the series finale in “Enterprise” where they used a part from an episode menage a troy in Ten Forward for that episode? It was in 16:9 and it looked good. They cropped a little from the top and bottum but much less then you would expect, and stretched the image a few procent, but not enough to make it noticible. You could also see more information on the sides on that frames. Here is a beautifull comparison..

43. Mantastic - June 28, 2012

I’m convinced Patrick Stewart is the new Sean Connery. He’s aged about as much as he’s going to age and stopped.

44. the Dogfaced Boy - June 28, 2012

I have a big screen HD TV and I bought The Next Level and plugged the discs in. I didn’t change anything but the picture filled the whole screen, no problem.

I was always on the team that wanted them to use a wider crop when possible to fill the screen up. But this is fine. I tried to set my tv to show it with the black on the sides and I couldn’t get it to do it.

I’m fine with what they did. It looks great.

45. Robert Meyer Burnett - June 28, 2012


Regarding the idea of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION presented in 16×9 vs. the original 4×3…well, rest assured, that will be put to rest once and for all in the ENERGIZED! Feature on disc one of the S1 Blu-Ray set.

46. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@45 Robert Meyer Burnett

Sounds great! Can’t wait to see it and your 95 minute documentary. Can you tell us anything about deleted scenes from “The Measure of a Man”… and how they’ll be presented?

47. Justin Olson - June 28, 2012

@ 42 Erjay:

Thank you for the images.

You must keep in mind, though, that a lot of the extra picture on the left and right of the DVD image was taken up by the horizontal blanking interval, thin black vertical lines that are a by-product of the old, analog raster scanning process. In the digital realm, that translates to about 704 active horizontal pixels out of a possible 720.

And nitpicking here, but your blue overlay mask is just a little bit too big on the right. But, for the most part, it’s a good example of the extra image we’re getting.

48. Tomh, Esq. - June 28, 2012

Was it just me, or was that trailer not all that significantly different from the one used to promote “The Next Level” sampler disc?

49. Alf, in pog form - June 29, 2012

On all my 4:3 dvd’s I upscale the picture size on my media player until it’s midway between 4:3 and 16:9, then I pan the picture down a bit so the tops of the actors heads don’t get chopped off. The end result is a picture that close to widescreen yet only crops off a barely noticeable portion of the bottom of the picture. This is how I will watch my blu-ray Next Gen vids even if it sacrifices picture resolution a bit, because no matter what people here say, 4:3 ratio really really sucks.

50. DJT - June 29, 2012


“DS9 and VOY began to protect for 16:9 during seasons 6 & 7 and 5-7 respectively.”

Does that mean we will get DS9 season 6 and 7 in widescreen??????

51. Erjay - June 29, 2012

I hope DS9 will be in widescreen for the last 2 seasons, and Voyager for the last 3 seasons (allmost half of Voyagers episodes whoohoo).

As for TNG i think they should do it as they do now, in 4:3! Because of the digital realm now, like #47 explained, there is allready some extra information for us to see.

But if they ever decide to do it in widescreen for whatever reason, like they did on that short part of the TNG Menage a Troi episode they used in Enterprise series finale in 16:9 format, then i’m not against it! There was really a lot of new information on partically the left side. It is in any ways a LOT better then zooming in and making it look widescreen while it is not. If it is ever done in widescreen, they should do it like in the Enterprise series finale Menage A Troi footage in Ten forward. But staying to the original 4:3 format is still better i think. In any case i think the scenes from outside the ship, in space, could be in widescreen. They did it with the TNG bluray teaser/trailer when the Enterprise warps out. In that way it would be in semi widescreen, and the onboard scenes would be in 4:3. I wouldn’t mind that

52. Gary - June 29, 2012

@11 There’s a third option to get 16×9: Add to the “sides” by borrowing what’s missing from other frames in the episode (or other episodes), or use computers to create the sides.

This technique is probably expensive, so I don’t see it happening.

53. Craiger - June 29, 2012

Justin so basically they only began protecting for 16×9 in 1994? If so I wonder why they didn’t do it earlier? Unless they didn’t come up with it until 1994? Because I would think I person like Roddenberry would see a 16×9 widescreen future and used protecting for 16×9 with TNG and all other Star Trek’s after that.

54. Justin Olson - June 29, 2012

@ 53. Craiger

They didn’t do it earlier because people didn’t have widescreen HDTVs at home yet. 16:9 sets didn’t go on sale in the U.S. until about 1998, and didn’t come into wide use until the early 2000s.

However, SMPTE’s Kerns H. Powers first suggested 16:9 (1.78:1) in the early 1980s. It took another decade for the those in the television industry to begin to take it seriously, as they watched the technology slowly progress toward a unified HD standard.

55. Craiger - June 29, 2012

Just curious wouldn’t the people in Hollywood see that Japan had 16×9 before we did and that we would eventually be switching to it also? I guess another standard we may also have to look foward to is 21×9 unless that doesn’t take off?

56. Salvador Nogueira - June 30, 2012

You know, this whole aspect ratio discussion is interesting. I in fact like the fact that we have different aspect ratios, both historically and artistically. It is interesting, for instance, that Joss Whedon chose to do Avengers in 1.85:1, in spite of the fact that the current standard for major epic movies is 2.35:1.

Different aspect ratios are part of the richness of movies, and we should embrace them — and want to see them as they were used by the filmmakers, instead of adapting them to our own taste as to what is best or looks best in our current TV sets.

57. Jon Spencer - June 30, 2012

It’d be kinda cool if they gave you an option for either aspect ratio, It might be really neat to see the mics, sandbags or whatever in the frames from a historical standpoint, and just as a big fan.

58. Chris Freeman - June 30, 2012

This is awesome that we have industry professionals and someone actually working on this project commenting on this thread.

I don’t know how anyone can argue against what they are doing when you have someone here who has actually sat in the editing room with the film. Your only valid argument is “I don’t like it.”

Also sounds awesome that they are addressing it in the bonus features.

59. Curious Cadet - June 30, 2012

The whole aspect ratio argument is silly, when it comes to TV. Most directors are lucky to get through their days and get a decently lit shot that also conveys the performance they hoped for. So many compromises are made in TV it’s hard to even embrace it as art. Nevertheless, most of the framing in 4:3 is centered in the middle of the screen, if for no other reason than TVs, especially in the early days had inconsistent masks, depending on how they were adjusted that, that allowed for a huge area around the sides of the frame that had to be protected to make sure the image was protected for every TV experience … Again major compromises for the technology which peristed right into the digital era. The reality is, when I zoom old 4:3 TV shows into widescreen, there is no stretching and the framing is almost perfect. In the case of The original Star Trek series, it actually increases the focus of the subject matter. You would think it was actually framed for 16:9. I’ve also read that CBS did do an alternate framing in 16:9 for some foreign markets and future proofing. From what I’ve casually seen, I can see no reason not to do it, especially if extra care is taken to preserve the artistry of a shot. While I have not seen TNG in this manner, I would be surprised if this were not the case as well. But I really don’t buy the idea of respecting the directors vision in the case of TV. More often than not, the vision doesn’t go past the next trip to the craft service table.

60. David G. - July 1, 2012

I think that with today’s technology, they should cut off all the corners and remaster the entire show into a circle.

Change all the angles of the scenes, too, so everything is maybe from a hip’s-level view.

61. Neil Wildman (formerly Naomi) - July 1, 2012

‘But I really don’t buy the idea of respecting the directors vision in the case of TV. More often than not, the vision doesn’t go past the next trip to the craft service table’.

A tad synical. Like it or not Next Generation was framed for the television 4:3 ratio. Chopping bits off the top is almost as frustrating for me as having to watch movies (filmed in whatever widescreen ratio) in a pan and scan format on a 4:3 screen. Theres always something missing. I was always happier seeing widescreen movies on a 4:3 screen with the whole picture and black bars on the top and bottom.
All these people wanting their massive screens filled to every corner all seems a bit unnecessary. We’ve watched TNG for 25 years in 4:3. Suddenly its not good enough. Shows like babylon 5 were filmed with the intension of being shown in 16:9 one day hence the ease of a widescreen dvd release.

62. Vultan - July 1, 2012


I like the way you think, sir.
Porthole vision is the future!

63. Curious Cadet - July 1, 2012

@61 I don’t disagree that cropping 4:3 may not work in every case. And yes my comment was a bit cynical. However, given that each shot can be custom framed, especially considering the re-editing that’s going on with this project, there’s little reason not to do it. Those shots that are a bit too tight could be opened up by the inclusion of the previously unseen side material.

Keep in mind, this whole idea of artistic framing in 4:3 television, is loose at best. TV has a huge variable in the border mask from set to set. Now, many of the final generation of sets that were in use at the demise of the CRT displayed almost the entire protected image frame. However, most of the earlier sets from the 80s and 90s varied wildly by how much picture could be seen! Heck some of the set bevels were almost round! Which means, the total frame any giveerson saw varied wildly by how accurate their TV mask was.

I don’t know where this notion that ground glass wasn’t used in TV prior to HD … It most certainly was for two VERY important reasons — Title Safe area and Action Safe area. This was the area in the center of the frame which could be guaranteed would be viewable on any TV, within reasonable maintence specs. And that is what the directors and DPs framed for.

So this whole cry for purity really needs to be taken with a grain of salt. To get the pure intent of what the director saw through his viewfinder, and many never even saw the shot prior to video assist, the 4:3 image we see today in modern transfers should actually be cropped down to the minimum safe area. We are actually seeing more up intended picture now in 4:3 transfers than were ever I visioned by the directors, especially shows shot in the 50s, 60s & 70s. That means more top and sides! So really, unless each director is coming back to do a custom re-framing, who is to how much of the picture, is or isn’t acceptable to the directors’ vision?

What’s more, because of this substantial variable in framing, who is to say exactly what a director was seeing or intended? Maybe the director imagined a landscape shot, especially if he came from feature films, or watched a lot of cinema, or secretly wanted to direct features. The reality is wide shots in 4:3 always have a huge amount of wasted space at the top and bottom, and because of these safety zones, a lot of empty space on the sides, thanks to modern transfers and LCD screens. This is most definitely not how the director envisioned the framing, yet it’s what we’ve all seen since the advent of DVDs.

Obviously, there are going to be cases where the directors filled up the entire screen, in which case there may be an argument for miantaining the aspect ratio if enough shots in the episode are composed this way. And I see arguments here for 16:9 space sequences, but yet, those are the scenes most likely composed very carefully for 4:3, rather than any given dramatic scene, that likely had very fuzzy framing boundaries, keeping most of the action in the middle.

To demonstrate this in the reverse, in the early days of HD adoption, almost all network shows shooting 16:9 are told to frame for 4:3, and many have maintained that practice to the present. Meaning, all the primary action must take place in the 4:3 area of the shot. How’s that for artistry? This is not substantially different than what TV directors have had to deal with for over 60 years. Even though a director could use an entire 4:3 frame in the past, until about the 90s, he could only assume about 2/3 of the center portion of the shot would actually be seen on any given TV set.

So with that in mind, I say if it can be done, do it.

64. Neil Wildman (formerly Naomi) - July 1, 2012

… sorta wish I hadn’t said anything. I third this intriguing porthole idea!

65. Curious Cadet - July 1, 2012

@64 — Haha — “porthole vision” is how television started.

Google images for 1949 Zenith Stratosphere TV

66. Neil Wildman (Formerly Naomi) - July 2, 2012

I’m clearly not the TV buff you are.

67. Curious Cadet - July 2, 2012

@66, ha, no just remembered this from a grandparent who had one of these. The story behind the popular “porthole TV” is eerily similar to the debate we are currently having. Original TV CRT tubes were round, so the image projected on them literally had black bars on all sides to make the square frame within the tube. The result of this was a relatively tiny-looking image. Zenith sought to market its TVs as having a bigger picture by filling up the entire tube with no black bars surround the picture. The trade-off was obviously the corners of the picture were cut off. And it worked, these TVs were quite popular because even then, with nothing to compare it to previously, people wanted the picture to fill the entire tube. It wasn’t until the 1950s that square CRTs were perfected. However, due to the fact that action must be centered in the frame due to overscan and comoensation for various set adjustments, the round “aspect ratio” likely did not change the image significantly from what the director originally framed, in much the same way cropping 4:3 won’t.

68. celticarchie - July 2, 2012

Oh drool, I gotta get myself a bluray player! :D

69. June - July 2, 2012

I’m weird

70. Salvador Nogueira - July 2, 2012

C’mon, maybe we could petition for a porthole vision version for those who have those TV sets from the 50s…

71. seangh - July 4, 2012

SD television was so forgiving in terms of getting away with less than perfect make up work or even props. I wonder how Geordi’s first season visor is going to look in 1080P. I remember seeing one of the original visors at a ST TNG tour in Santa Clara years ago, and was shocked by how crude it looked in person: hand painted, smudge marks, crooked pieces here and there, but it was beat to hell.

72. Red Dead Ryan - July 4, 2012


There are probably a number of VISOR props that were made for TNG. I imagine that due to repeated use and the resulting wear and tear, the prop crew had to construct several of them over the course of the series.

73. Justin Olson - July 5, 2012

@ 71. seangh

“I wonder how Geordi’s first season visor is going to look in 1080P.”

You don’t have to wonder — thanks to TrekCore, you can see hundreds of 1080p screencaps here (Geordi appears on page 16 of the “Farpoint” caps):

74. Curious Cadet - July 5, 2012

fYI, here’s an excellent explanation of how a 16:9 extrapolation could work without changing any of the artistic integrity. There is no reason for CBS not to do this, at least as an option to the original 4:3, just like they included the original picture with the remastered TOS episodes.

75. Justin Olson - July 5, 2012

@ 74 Curious Cadet:

That’s me (Maxwell Everett) over at AVSForum. As it turns out, they didn’t always keep the full camera aperture clear from shot to shot as in the example shown… so that kind of 16:9 extraction would be unworkable — they also never once planned for it, so all compositions would have too much dead space on the left… not to mention errant production equipment, masks in front of the lens, etc.

See post #45 above. We’re going to get a 24 minute doc on the Blu-rays explaining why 1.33:1 was the only practical choice for the show. At least they’re giving us 10% more all around by using the TV Transmitted Area — you could always crop the show to 1.5:1 at home if you’re unhappy with 1.33:1.

76. Daniel Shock - July 6, 2012

It’s nice to have this to look forward to for the next few years!

77. seangh - July 6, 2012

Thanks – well this answers my question:×17/sinsofthefather_hd_081.jpg

Looks fabulous! It’s nice to see TNG looking sharply cinematic, versus the washed out (often red tinted) video-oey look of the SD broadcast and DVD releases. Anyone who watches it on BBC America, knows what I’m talking about – it looks horrid.

Just a quick note on the 16:9 vs 4:3, remember TNTHD used “stretch-o-vision” when broadcasting the early seasons of Law and Order, except they used a technique where only the left and right sides of the image where stretched, the center 70% or so of the screen showed in the native aspect ratio. While not ideal, you could argue that this is best solution if one really wants a full screen experience. If i was forced to pick a method, I prefer it over zoom and crop and over stretching 100% of the image.

78. Jeyl - July 9, 2012

#4. “I hate this argument”

I LOVE this argument! No one will ever tolerate a 4×3 transfer (i.e. Full Screen) ever again! Unless it’s the deliberate intention of the director and director of photography, there is no reason why a movie that was originally released in Widescreen should ever have a BluRay/Digital release that’s 4:3. No freaking reason. 4:3 TVs are almost dead. We’re going to kill that “Formatted to fit your screen” crap.

But in regards to this topic, the intent of TNG was to be shown in 4:3 and I have zero issues with that.

79. captain_neill - July 13, 2012

I am tired of this must be in widescreen crap.

I am happy they are preserving the original experience wth this. If a fim is in widescreen then I like it best in the original aspect ratio. With a show shown in 4:3 I prefer that ratio to be kept.

Only Enterprise should be in widescreen

80. danielcraigismywookiebitch - July 17, 2012

Best Buy’s Ad next week has TNG Bluray season one for 54.99 after a 5.00 off upgrade and save coupon.
meaning you bring in any store bought DVD and trade in as part of their upgrade and save program they give you a 5.00 coupon on any bluray over 9.99
here is a link to scan of the ad page, its also being reported over on
with out the coupon its 59.99!!!

81. danielcraigismywookiebitch - July 19, 2012

West Hollywood and Burbank Best Buys allready have TNG season 1 out on the shelf. 59.99 with upgrade and save coupon when you bring in any dvd price is 54.99
Have my copy in hand tonght! is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.