HDTV Trek Will NOT Be in Widescreen…Plus Some More Details

Since breaking the story on Star Trek going HD, TrekMovie.com has been trying to get more and more updates to keep answering the questions coming from the fans. One burning question was about the ratio, will it be formatted for HD TVs in 16:9, or as originally formatted in a 4:3 ratio, or both. Many thought that after seeing the Eden test it might be in 16:9 widescreen, but the official CBS photo is in 4:3. Now we have that info and some more directly from CBS Paramount:

Ratio: 4:3 (no letterboxing on regular TVs, ‘windowboxing’ on HDTVs)
Countries: USA only
Episodes/yr: 40 (one new episode per week, with some repeats)
First Episodes: “Balance of Terror”, “Miri”, “The Devil in the Dark”, and “The Naked Time”
Station List: TBA (only ‘handful’ will broadcast in HD)
Runtime: TBA (not original 51 minutes, will be edited down for commercials)

New TOS In HD Section
There is a new “TOS In HD” page which will have all the details on the new project, it will be updated regularly. The TrekMovie Report will also be featuring reviews of the new episodes from Trek and Industry experts. You can expect more details and possibly pictures by Wednesday. TrekMovie.com has been and will be your source for all info on both Star Trek XI and new HDTV Star Trek…so stay tuned.

Check out the TrekMovie.com TOS-in-HD Subsite, for all the info on TOS in HD

(and click here for latest TOS in HD News)


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Well, I am disappointed that a Widescreen version could not be managed. But not surprised that the episodes will be edited to get them down to handle all our present day commercials (which most people Tivo through anyway). I just didn’t see CBS going for an 1 1/2 hour block to accomadate the entire show plus commercials.

Once the episodes reach HD-DVD and Blue-Ray perhaps we may see them complete and full blown. A sales pitch to get us to buy them.

Thanks for the info. I found it here first, just like I thought I would.

While curious what it would have been like in widescreen I am glad they aren’t doing it. I allways buy my movies in Widescreen and push it as the way to go but because its the original ratio and Fullscreen trims off the sides. Making TOS Widescreen would do the same trimming just from the top and bottom, so I prefer seeing the whole picture.

I am NOT disappointed. OAR is 4:3 and 4:3 is how it should stay. Good call, CBS. I do wish they were uncut, though.

Boo for it being in the USA only! Hope it comes to other countries soon after the USA, are you listening CBS Paramount?

Very disappointed in the USA-only and shortening the episodes. Luckily, I won’t know what I’m missing (as I haven’t seen the originals)

IF Paramount can make them in a wide-screen format without taking away anything from the originals then why not? Why not go all the way and do it right – or why bother at all? Are these updated episodes ever coming to DVD and if so in what version of HD – bluescreen or ? Are these in 5.1 also – dts?

I’m glad they didn’t mess with the aspect ratio, as that would mean loosing something to make 16:9.

Sucks that they are the typical cut for syndication run time, but I didn’t expect it to be full length since these are syndication packages.

What is even more of a shame is that many syndicated affiliates don’t do HD broadcasting. Which is a huge shame, I can only hope I get lucky in my market in Sacramento, CA, all the locals here do have HD broadcasts up and running.

To the fella that asked about DTS. No they won’t be. They will be Dolby Digital (AC3) — that is the sound standard adopted by the ATSC for digital TV transmissions.

So they are going to cut 9 mins of each Episode. Bummer!


This says it is being delivered as a standard def digital TV feed. Since the Pathfire distribution system isn’t ready for HD yet. This is pretty damn disapointing and a bit misleading of Paramount to issue a PR that claims HD, and then has a little mumbo jumbo about “Once stations upgrade and start broadcasting HD signals, the episodes will be all ready for viewers to enjoy in HD”. Which also isn’t the case, most locals can and do broadcast HD, the problem here is CBS Paramount’s choice of distribution.

This is one of the main things I wanted to know, if it would be cut. The other thing I have been wondering about is if they will do a CGI update of “The Cage”? It says 79 episodes which makes me think there not, however if “The Menagarie” is counted as one episode (as I usually see it listed episode: 16A and 16B) then this number could include “The Cage”.

While this probably isn’t true I hope that they will include it as It is part of TOS. Also I would hope if they do it that they would make the modifications to the model so that it would reflect what the ship looked like then like was done with New Voyages.

Pretty sure the Cage is included, it is with the G4 reruns. I have always seen The Menagerie counted as one episode number: “16” and The Cage called episode “1”. Paramount home video gets weird and calls the color version of The Cage episode “99” while the version that uses all they could find of the original B&W footage is “1”.

Right on. . . I can’t wait, especially now that I know it won’t be horribly cropped! :-)

Also “Enterprise” was in HD. Thats was no problem. On a later DVD release you could enjoy TOS in HD.

Enterprise 1st run was in HD, the syndicated episodes are sent as SD streams via the same satellite distribution network as the one listed for TOS.

Since Star Trek was shot on 35mm film (1) with an aspect ratio of 1.37, the material we know is already slightly cropped to fit on a tv screen.

(1) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060028/technical

Yet you can see the better visual quality of TOS in comparison with the released TNG DVDs.

Although there aren’t 9 minutes of FX in any given TOS episode, it would be interesting, since they seem to be reimagining the FX rather than simply making clean recreations of them, to see if it were possible to shorten the FX shots in order to restore a bit more of the story itself to the screen. That might almost make all the brouhaha worth it.

Any update on whether the show will be available in some markets in HD? I’ve heard that it will be according to a local station, but other stations are saying it’s using something called Pathfire to distribute the show which only can do SD and is therefore not going to be in HD. I was wondering which was true? I’m just really curious.

Thanks, man.


Really appreciate your efforts. Concise and informative. You have answered our questions when we’ve raised them and “Trumped” STARTREK.com’s TOS HD Q&A to be posted later this week.
Is there any doubt we will stay with TREKMOVIE.com regarding the progress of film #11? I think not.

Thank You Very Much

An engineer at a local station here in Chicago has confirmed that it will NOT be in HD here.


Well I see it in Sacramento where I expected to see it: 5pm on Saturday 9/16/06 on Ch. 31… NOT in HD… :-/

What’s being done about the original fx? Are they being HD-remastered as well, or skipped for the time being? That might be the best indicator of of Paramount/CBS’s current attitude in regards to the original version, and what their long-term plans for both versions are.

Well they scanned the film in for HD mastering and editing at some point so I would assume the original versions are around in some editing facility.

The fact they won’t be widescreening the show is the only good decision they’ve made connected with the altering of the original episodes.