Inside The TOS-R HD DVD Box + Paramount Drops Blu-ray

TV Shows on DVD has revealed the interiors to the upcoming First Season of Star Trek The Original Series on HD DVD/DVD combo. Each of the 10 disks comes in a sleeve with a description of the episodes and features on the disk. Bear in mind that the disks are double sided (DVD on one side, HD DVD on the other)…so there is no artwork on the disks themselves.

Say bye to Blu-ray Trek…for now
It was revealed yesterday that Paramount has cut a deal with the HD DVD camp to go HD DVD only for the next 18 months. Up until now Paramount had been releasing on both HD DVD and Blu-ray and it was expected that the upcoming TOS-R DVDs would come out on Blu-ray in 2008. Although Paramount Home Entertainment has never officially announced any Trek in high def (except the first season of TOS), this decision is also likely to effect the release of the 10 feature films in high def (expected for late 2008 or early 2009). But Blu-ray Trekkies should not abandon all hope yet. Bill Hunt of the Digital Bits tells that he isn’t sure this deal will last and that there are many ‘outs’ for the studio (such as Spielberg films still being available on Blu-Ray). More info on the Paramount HD DVD decision at The LA Times and The Digital Bits.


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Nothing can save the Enterprise from the evil Micro$oft collective. Shields are gone. All is lost. Screw them.

Most importantly…….

The price is wrong, Bob.

bum bum bah bum … waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

TOS is caught in the HD-DVD/Blu Ray format war.

Not very Roddenberry-like. Not logical.

Both formats, Paramount. And lower prices for the sets.

Blu-ray won’t survive. It’s the next betamax. Paramount is being smart.

Anyone who buys this is either really rich or a sucker.

What a ripoff.

The price is a real problem

I hate to bring this up again…… but has there been ANY word yet on whether they went back and updated the FX on the early episodes for this DVD set?

I know people were supposedly going to ask the production team at Comic Con last month, but I never saw anything written about it.

Just as I’d feared — they’re persisting with the monumentally crappy packaging model used for the regular DVD TOS box sets: a useless yet bulky plastic shell containing a tiny, flimsy paper box with discs in it.

And that’s on top of the ludicrous price. Ugh.

digital bits. I use that site all the time.. Great stuff.

#9 — No, Tony confirmed this a while back I believe.

Just curious: why did you remove my comment? Did I say anything inappropriate? I must say that as a long time reader of this site, I am really disappointed. :(

Its not all that nice a set. I have a thing to say about purchasing this over priced pile of targ dung…..there’s not a chance in hell !

#2 – Microsoft get money either way as the decoding software or some such (I cannae remember right now) in Blu-Ray is owned by them. Myself, personally, I don’t care which format wins, it’ll make little difference to most consumers but from a technical standpoint Blu-ray has the more limiting DRM aspect and slightly less (read barely noticeable by most viewers) picture fidelity.

Its main advantage is the storage, but since HD-DVD is about to launch its multi layer discs soon (at 51gb) it’s not really that different. When all is said and done I just wish this war was over so I could buy one or the other without worrying. If they [the studios] are not carful, people will bypass this all together and make the next format digital distribution like music is now.

4. steve623 – August 22, 2007
bum bum bah bum … waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Price is Right?

As I said to Bill at Digital Bits, it’s about time pressure was put on the player manufacturers to produce Dual Format HD players. Samsung are releasing their Dual Format BLU RAY and HD DVD machine next month. Once I have that unit in my hot little hand I will buy what ever I like.

The whole world is hysterical that there must be a winner in the HD stakes. The bottom line is both discs are “PHYSICALLY” the same so combo players are a solution. We already have DVD-R and DVD+R, We have Apple AAC audio, MP3 Audio, 4 different Flash Memory card systems Mpeg1, Mpeg 2, Mpeg 4, DIVX Video. All these systems are being built in to current DVD machines and PC’s.

Back in the days of VHS and BETA tape, which everybody seem’s to be hung up on comparing to the HD formats, the cassettes were different sizes, so a combo player was near impossible. Not the same with BLU-RAY and HD DVD.

The bottom line is there will be 2 HD Formats for some time now. What we need is a machine to play all Discs. Let’s hope Samsung starts the ball rolling and brings about a rational end to the “HD WAR”. (there is an LG Dual Format machine also but it’s twice the price and doen’t have all of HD DVD’s interactive capabilities)

The winner at the end of the day will be us because these two systems have forced prices down signifcantly faster then if we had just had one.

Back to TOS-R on HD DVD – I will buy because we’ll “never” see it free to air or on cable in Australia in HD. Just have to hope Amazon gives us a good discount.

Ok, I will say it again: Bill Hunt is hardly a trustable source of hidef news those days. The guy is completely biased. His website is openly anti-HD-DVD. Anyway, this is a ST website, so no need to extend the hidef war over here. I am here as a ST fan, so no need to delete me this time… :)
BTW, you guys are doing a fabulous job here. Trekmovie has been now only source of ST news since last year. Thanks for keeping us informed!

Hey Your Lord broke this story on our beloved site yesterday in Scotty post. Where’s the luv brother???

Regarding the packaging: I agree that, once again, Paramount has phasered themselves in the foot with this “cutesy” non-standard packaging. It’s no wonder that custom covers for six- and eight-disc standard-size DVD cases to replace these stupid packages are so popular.

Regarding high-def: I fear that if the studios don’t get their acts together and get behind a single format within the next 12-18 months, high-def on physical medium is going to die on the vine. Multi-format players aren’t the answer, because (A) consumers won’t pay through the nose for them (I seriously doubt that prices on them will come down far enough in time), and (B) consumers just won’t put up with all this confusion when “standard DVDs are good enough” even on high-def equipment. Most of us here are savvy enough to handle multiple formats accordingly, but we’re an insignificant part of the market; Uncle Forrest and Aunt Jenny, who just want to “put in the disc and hit PLAY,” have always been the ones to drive the big sales. Keep them alienated and confused, and I can practically guarantee that high-def will remain an insignificant niche market.

HDDVD, Blue-ray Disk, I could care less which they use. I’m not buying it either way. The FX are only half done and the price is outrageous. I already have TOS on DVD. I don’t have an HDTV (yet), and I don’t plan on buying either an HDDVD or BD player anytime soon.

I’m not sure what kind of consumer they plan on selling this to, but it aint gonna be the middle class (certainly not in large numbers, anyway); and I doubt anyone’s gonna be clamoring for a set where each episode has some FX re-done and some untouched.

I still need to get TOS on regular DVD!

That’s right, Major Joe.

#20 MJPollard — where can I find the custom covers you mention, for the earlier TOS season sets? I know I’d much rather have something nice and functional rather than the silly little thing sitting on my shelf right now.

I still have 12 months to watch the next batch of Trek remastered in syndication before I develope an appetite to see season one again. So I can easily hold out 18 months to see how the dust settles in the HD war. At that point I’ll be anxious to see the first season episodes again and hopefully will be able to buy them cheaper and on either format. Time will tell.

#24 – Check out Ric Easton’s covers at He’s got more Star Trek covers than you can shake a stick at (including the impressive “Ships of the Line” covers, for people who have every Star Trek DVD set known to man). I’m using the 40th Anniversary “Starfleet Colors” TOS covers myself (S1-S3 and Animated Series), as those are the only Trek DVDs I’ve purchased to date. I’m sure he’ll likely produce a set of covers for the HD releases, though I know he’s definitely not enthused about the cost of the sets.

23. steve623 – August 22, 2007
That’s right, Major Joe.

Look at it this way…you’re a pop culture GURU!

First VHS(had won over Beta), then S-VHS was better. Did people swarm to S-VHS? No, it became niche then died. The LaserDisc was even better. Expensive players, expensive discs, it became niche and died(I bought one and it was better than VHS) when DVD came in and DVD was supposed to be the end all be all(or so we led to believe). Players were very expensive(for a few years) and had S-Video outs. Then players with component outs became the players to get. Then Progressive component outs were even better. And players got cheaper. Now it’s players with HDMI and upscaling that are even better for standard DVD. Now comes Blu-Ray and HD-DVD with even more resolution. But you need a 50+ inch Hi-Res display to see a difference.

Blu-Ray/HD-DVD will not be the end(See 4K projectors). They should have been what now passes as DVD in the first place.

So don’t get hung up on Blu-Ray HD-DVD. There’s always going to be something better and cheaper in time. Like downloading at 40 megs a second.

I have to say I am really surprised at Paramounts decision. It is becoming more and more clear to anyone in retail buying (I am) that Sony has learned it’s lessons from Betamax and HD-DVD will follow in Beta’s footsteps. There is a real business reason that retailers such as Blockbuster have announced they will no longer carry HD-DVD. I can tell you this, at my store for example, “The 300” has already shown 300+% better sell-through than the HD-DVD versions. Sony also learned about price points from the Betamax experience. Remember, Beta cost substantially more than VHS, both the tapes, and the machines. With the availability of the PS3, and the lower prices for Blu-Ray (generally 5-10% less than HD-DVD for both the retailer and customer) this fight is going to draw to a much quicker close than the Beta/VHS war did. The only thing Beta had going for it over VHS was substantially superior quality. That is not the case with HD-DVD. Actually, you can argue the opposite.

Anyway, not trying to get in to a HD-DVD/Blu Ray argument. Just making an observation as a retailer and publicly hoping that Paramount keeps Trek out of this HD deal.

#17 Buyer beware. The Samsung machine is a Blu-Ray machine which will play your HDDVD movies, but will not access the discs’ special features, e.g. the fun ‘behind-the-scenes’ featurettes from the TOS-R discs. I would wait until prices come down (soon) and buy one of each type of player, or until a true dual format machine comes to market.

I meant 40 or so Gigs a second, sorry.

As much as I admire the work of CBS-Digital, I will not pay $200+ for one season of any television show.

Like most people, it is not a justifiable expense to make such a purchase.

Lower the price to around $100, and they have a sale.

Until then: I’ll watch the un-remastered episodes in Standard Def that I already own.

I can assure all concerned here that Trek is very much in the deal for HD-DVD. Also, Paramount’s CTO stated that their deal with HD-DVD was “indefinite” and thus gave no time frame. There is no BD release planned for this series in the future, nor was it in production at the time Paramount made its announcement. Agree with them or not, Paramount has outlined their reasons why they went with HD-DVD. Their decision makes sense to me in the long run.

Btw, I do expect there to be a price drop on this set before it goes up for pre-order. I must say though that with the soon to be released Heroes S1, BSG S1, and this Trek set on HD-DVD, I will certainly get my fill of sci-fi in HD this winter! – Let’s not forget about Blade Runner, The Omega Man & 2001: A Space Odyssey!

hahahhaha..paramount is running at full speed and diving chest first onto a sword on this one. I will wager quatludes that they (Paramount) will switch back to blue ray support before 2008 ends.

It’s just too early in the HD game to be calling winners, The combi player idea is nice because who would care otherwise?

Personally I really like the packaging for the original release of TOS on DVD. I thought it fit in pretty well with the whole look of the series. All of which I have purchased!

The packaging for the HD release looks pretty cool too. Won’t be buying them again though!

Apart from the price ruling it out, I’m not convinced I can go down one route solely on one franchise, the ‘exclusive’ deals hurt everyone even if the HD-DVD camp have more of the ones I want right now.

If I went for Blu-Ray, I’d never get to see Trek in HD (or Serenity for that matter, or the Matrix) but then Star Wars will come out Blu-Ray exclusive so plumping for HD-DVD denies us that?

This has to hurt sales right now doesn’t it? Hybrid players are more expensive than buying a HD-DVD £250 rig and a PS3 separately, but if you want to watch all your sci-fi in HD, doesn’t it just feel *wrong* to have two players for decoding the same codec?

I know I’m holding off for now until some sort of sense prevails, but yeah “phasering themselves in the foot” indeed. :-)

#26 – Thanks for the link. I love the cover designs! I will certainly be moving my discs into a nice new home soon.

#35 – I agree that the *look* of the TOS season set packages fit with the look of the series, but functionally the things are mostly a hindrance when it comes to actually putting the discs in and out (open the plastic shell, take out the case with the paper sleeve, remove the paper sleeve, and then flip forward to find your disc.) I much prefer being able to just pick up the case, open it, and get my disc.

This HD DVD vs. Blue Ray is such a non issue, I’m sick of hearing about it

” Bear in mind that the disks are double sided (DVD on one side, HD DVD on the other)…”

excellent so u dont need a HD player – can just watch on regular DVD player right?

‘combi’ player, here I come…

Far too expensive for me.

#20 MJPollard

As someone who prefers actual ‘realware’ items ( ie: CDs and DVDs ), I had looked forward to the next generation High Definition DVDs, but fear that two competing formats that seem determined to continue, will not generate enough uptake from the wary masses, and will end up a niche market…leading to dreaded DOWNLOAD releases, and all the issues of lack of broadband width that will mean for many, many people…

#17 KevinA- This may be nitpicking, but BlueRay and HD-DVD are not “physically” the same. They share the same external dimensions, but the internal data layers are positioned between layers of polycarbonate with different thicknesses. HD-DVD is virtually identical in specs to normal DVDs. Blueray discs data layer is much closer to the surface than HD-DVD. In fact, DVDs & HD-DVDs have over five times as much polycarbonate protection than Blueray discs at the surface. That means that Blueray discs are at a much greater risk of damage due to scratches and have less potential for being repaired if scratched. My understanding is Blueray was designed this way to improve the clarity and storage capacity, but myself, I’d rather have slightly less capacity and more protection so my movie investment lasts a long time without data loss.

Of course, I understand the whole combo HD-DVD & DVD process has also had it’s share of production problems so far. Hopefully by the time TOS is released those problems will all be worked out.

Either way, I won’t be buying it. I own the original TOS DVDs and are qite happy with them. No way I could justify repurchasing these episodes with their upgraded but flawed CGI. Shame on CBS digital for not fixing their horrendous CGI-enterprise from the early remastered episodes. Those nacelle caps make me cringe every time I see them. It’s almost as bas as if they used the TAS Enterprise instead!

The behaviour of the all sides in this format war has pee-ed me off beyond belief! I would probably have plumped for one or other side in the next six months or so (I would most likely have got Bluray versions of Blade Runner and Close Encounters.)

Right now, I’ve decided to disregard the whole damn war. I’ll stick with DVDs and, when I buy an HD TV, I’ll get a suitable uprezzing DVD player. The behaviour of Paramount, Microsoft and Dreamworks this week, I suspect, will condemn the whole HD disk format on either side of the Bluray/HD DVD divide to being a niche format not unlike laserdisc, SACD or DVD-Audio. A great shame.

Oh, and CBS are having a laugh if they think many of us will pick up their overpriced, ugly HD DVD box sets. Sooner or later, the disks will end up cut in price in slimline packaging so everyone outside the extreme end of hardcore fans can buy them.

Of course, I’ll probably just wait for TOS-R to come out on DVD, like most people! ;)

Fanboy (43) Sony have developed a protective layer on the exterior of Blurays that can even cope with being attacked by a wire brish!

Brush . . . even! ;)

#42 and #44:

Yup, it’s DVD Audio and SACD all over again. Two competing formats that were a marked improvement over the format they were intended to replace (CDs), but their total incompatibility with each other (not to mention their inability to overcome the “it’s good enough already” factor of CDs) doomed them to a slowly disappearing niche market.

As you’ve already stated, we’re now seeing the same scenario being played out with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray versus DVD, and I predict that history will repeat itself unless something changes within the next 12-18 months. Unfortunately, the signs don’t look good, as the media companies once again seem to have failed to learn from the mistakes of the past… :(

#30 AJ – August 22, 2007 – From all reports and from SAMSUNG in Australia has reported it’s new HD Player will indeed play both BLU RAY and HD DVD interactive. The LG player is the one that doesn’t support HD DVD interactive.
43. Fanboy – August 23, 2007 – By “physically” the same I am talking the disc size and thickness – not the technical way they are put together which is quite different. If SAMSUNG and LG can make Dual Format players, then others can to.
Let’s just hope most of us who haven’t bought yet are spared the “HD WAR” by being able to buy a Dual Player and have our STAR TREK and eat our STAR WARS too!

In three or four years, I’ll pick it up on Ebay for $30 or so. Paramount can go climb a tree.

#37 You’re right. They’re not very user friendly when you actually go to get the DVD’s out. They stil look cool on the shelf though and it seems they’re more concerned about the look rather than the functionality of the things. Might see if can pry one of them open and put on a TOS DVD now actually!