Paramount Sticking With HD DVD – Star Trek Seasons 2 & 3 Still On Track for 2008

Last week when Warner Brothers switched to Blu Ray in the HD format war there were some questions about whether or not CBS and Paramount would stick with their agreement to go HD DVD exclusive. Earlier today a report from the Financial Times indicated that Paramount was considering dropping support for HD DVD, but a subsequent report with Bloomberg states that Paramount has denied the FT report.

The Bloomberg article quotes Paramount’s Brenda Ciccone stating “Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format.”

Work progressing on Season 2 for Star Trek has confirmed that work is still on going for the HD DVD/DVD Combo version for Second Season of the remastered version of Star Trek: The Original Series. The box set is tentatively planned for May or June of this year. That should be followed up with Season Three in November.

Of course things can change on a dime in this format war, but for now it appears that CBS and Paramount will finish up Star Trek (TOS) on HD DVD. What happens in 2009 and beyond with the new movie and the rest of the Trek film and TV library is anyone’s guess right now.

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I’ll wait for the BluRay version to come out. I skipped the DVDs so another year wait for BluRay versions is not a big deal.

I think that Paramount will probably talk to Toshiba first before deciding whether to pull the plug on this. They’ll probably wrangle some concessions from them since they’re now in the drivers seat to determine whether this format vanishes quickly or dies slower.

But I’m not buying a Blue Ray now anyway – they’re coming out with newer versions of the player soon that will have more features and support the later formats with more memory on them. Bad enough having to choose a format without having that format itself go and change midstream!

I, personally, have greatly enjoyed the clarity, detail and remastered effects in my recently purchased TOS-HD set!

Video, HD DVD, or Blu Ray – I’m sticking with the Original. :)

#4 I’m still waiting for my TWOK non-directors cut dvd… lemme know if you find one..

This whole thing was a tragedy. Toshiba should go bi, like the new LG machine, and replace our units for a small cost.

Just curious, what HD format are the TOS-R HD DVDs? 1080i? 720p? Does anyone know?



This is the beauty of the PS3. As the blu-ray technology improves, so will the player included in the console as a result of performing updates through it’s web connectivity.

I’m glad I waited.

I think Blue ray is the better technology.

I bought my HD-DVD specifically to watch trek. If Paramount pulls the plug before all three seasons are made, then they should allow a trade-in.

boy, if you ever want to know which side to pick on a format war, just ask me…then choose the other one.

My post was meant somehow metaphorical…but anyway, I’ll keep my eyes peeled. ;-)

Not been a big fan of Sony for quite some time now that their product quality has suffered. Stuff used to last forever and work flawlessly, not so much the new stuff. I actually now avoid anything with Sony stamped to it. And it’s been said before and I’ll say it again… this was the same company that sold the white elephant of BetaMax once. Think they still have some of those in Peru.

#9 PS3?!!!!

Isn’t PT Barnum selling PS3’s? ;)

Say what you will, but Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits maintains that an announcement from Paramount AND Universal about dropping HD-DVD is imminent, followed soon after by the “big box” stores announcing that they are dropping HD-DVD as well…

HDDVD/BluRay….I don’t care…just release some of the damn movies already!

Ensign Joe, fyi, I just checked and my original version WOK DVD released in 2000 is the theatrical version (it doesn’t have the extra Peter Preston stuff, for instance.) That version should still be easily found used.

As for my favorite series in the “wrong” HD format, I’m not surprised. Paramount’s botched the marketing of Trek in many ways over the years. Are there any posters who collected Trek in this RCA CED format?

Interesting wording, however, from Paramount:

“Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format,”

“support the HD DVD” format does NOT mean they won’t go Blu-Ray – it just means that they will continue with their plans of releasing some product on HD-DVD – especially the product that’s currently in the pipeline. I would imagine that they’ve got millions tied up in production of HD-DVD product right now, and if they say “forget it, we’re going Blu Ray” that product would sit on shelves forever.

My guess is that if Paramount really wanted to bolster HD-DVD, their statement would have been worded much more strongly – something along the lines of “Paramount stands behind HD-DVD as the high definition format of choice…” blah blah.

Instead what they put out was a wishy-washy, non-commital “current plan” to “support” the format.

They’re gonna have a lot of pissed off people on their hands if they abandon HD after all this hype- Paramount and Toshiba, that is.
MAYBE there will be some kind of offer down the line if the format tanks, but I’m not holding my breath.
I still say it’s better to buy a cheap Toshiba HD player now and wait for the Blu-Ray price to come down. (And HD really does look good…)
We’ll need both. All of us, eventually.
“They” will make sure of it.

#17 Sure enough.. found it on amazon.. guess I didn’t look hard enough (and I call myself a fan).. Thanks!

#13 … this was the same company that sold the white elephant of BetaMax once.

Actually, Betamax was technically superior to VHS and the pro version of the format, Betacam, became the professional shooting standard of the 1980s and early 90s. The format (somewhat modified) still exists today, although it’s no longer cutting edge technology, and many TV stations and news organizations continue to work with it. The reason Betamax failed in the consumer arena had more to do with Sony’s refusal to liscence the technology to other manufacterers – thereby keeping the price relatively high compared to VHS, which Philips liscened to everybody. How’s that for more than you ever cared to know about beta?

@ #8:
Thanks! Trying to decide whether to get the TOS-R disks or wait until I have a better HDTV – mines only 720p.


I don’t know about you, but over the course of 3-4 years, I went ahead and bought the first 2 seasons of STAR TREK on those single DVD/2-episode discs back around 1999-2000… by the time I got around to Season 3, Paramount was putting out the cheaper box sets of entire seasons, and I grabbed the third one to round out my collection.

POINT #1: There’s no way in blue blazes, as a married father of two toddlers, that I’m shelling out any more money for either a brand-new HD/BlueRay/what-have-you player or buying all the original TREK episodes ALL OVER AGAIN. Makes me feel sorry for any die-hard fans who have shelled out a ridiculous amount of money over the years for the individual episode VHS tapes, the 2-episode DVD’s, the entire season box sets (never mind the Columbia House releases or even video- and/or laser-discs), and now are expected to lay down their hard-earned pay for even MORE box sets. And may I add…

POINT #2: Even the original DVD’s are actually TOO good in image quality, as I’ve now been able to pick out: Shatner’s hairpieces; the seams on Nimoy’s ears; the heavy pancake make-up and/or eyeliner that most of the actors wore back in the ’60s; the even-more blatant cheesiness of the sets and special effects; the dirt and grain that show up on the screen whenever the action turns over to an optical effect; and any number of instances that help detract from viewing experience and make me realize how CHEAP the show seems to look.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m fast approaching the old-and-crusty part of my life, but I just DON’T CARE to have the most uber-sharp picture image on my TV. Most of us are going to lose a good chunk of our eyesight soon enough, so what’s the difference?

I’ll stick with the original DVD’s… and that’s IT.

I just saw this online (which is great as my plan has been to get a dual-format deck from the get go to hedge all bets)…..

Samsung has just announced its second-generation Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player, and it definitely has an edge on its predecessor in the style department. But here’s a bigger question: How much will it cost?

The glossy, piano-black, and just 2.3 inch-high BD-UP5500 comes with most of the older UP-BD5000’s features, including full support for Blu-ray and HD DVD interactive features, playback of Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD soundtracks, as well as the ability to upconvert standard DVDs to full-on 1080p. Also included is out-of-the-box support for Blu-ray profile 1.1 (which allows for picture-in-picture commentaries on newer Blu-ray discs), an Ethernet port for downloading new firmware and accessing online content, and HQV processing for enhancing HD and SD video.

Overall, not bad, but here’s the spec we really want to know: how much? Unfortunately, Samsung isn’t releasing pricing info just yet, but hopefully it’ll be lower than the $799 sticker price for the BD-UP5000—especially given that the demand for combo HD decks may dwindle now that HD DVD appears to be on the ropes.

Look for the BD-UP5500 to arrive in stores in the second half of the year.

Update: Reports are coming in that the deck will retail for $599—still pricey, but a veritable bargain compared to the $799 BD-UP5000.

@10 Ivory:

> I think Blue ray is the better technology.

I think you don’t know the facts. HD-DVD has pretty much equal sound and video quality for pretty much all current content. HD-DVD while having less capacity per layer, currently is able to pack more layers into a disc (there goes the Blu-Ray is bigger myth). HD-DVD has had ethernet port in it’s required standard since day one allowing for firmware updates and interactive content direct over the net, Blu-Ray still doesn’t have ethernet on alot of it’s players making updates difficult. HD-DVDs cost alot less to produce than Blu-Ray as they can use regular DVD production plants with only minor modifications. Blu-Ray requires pretty much entirely new plants. HD-DVD is the format backed by the DVD Forum, the organisation who decided on the DVD standard and who announced HD-DVD as it’s successor. Blu-Ray is pretty much something that Sony wen’t off on it’s own and did.

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray standalone player sales are currently about equal 49% to 51% or something like that, and Blu-Ray is only winning on disc sales because of the Playstation 3 which gives the format a quite large install base of players. Unfortunately the PS3 is an oversized, overpriced, under-supported games console… but it is a good and cheap Blu-Ray player and that’s the problem. Maybe if the Xbox 360 had a HD-DVD drive since day one and didn’t cost any more things might have been different.

Anyway there is still time for things to turn around so long as Toshiba keep lowering prices on their players and giving away lots of free discs. Paramount choosing to stick with HD-DVD for a while longer is encouraging. Hopefully some of those Blu-Ray studios will go neutral.

Anyway, I’m looking for some of the later series to come out on HD-DVD. I know Enterprise was filmed in HD, dunno if any of the prior series like DS9 and Voyager were… anyone have any idea?

p.s. Sorry for the lecture :-)

I’m not normally an early adopter, but I went for an HD DVD player at Christmas (yes, two weeks ago, it’s still barely warmed up) purely on the films and series that were out or due out on HD DVD rather than Bluray.

TOS-R, Bourne, BSG, Harry Potter, Transformers (hey, I wanted to see a big HD movie and eat popcorn), LotR, the Matrix (just the first one, thanks) and with Paramount I fully expected ST08 to be HD DVD along with the new Batman movie, in fact most film I like tend to be WB.

There are others, but those titles easily made my mind up for me.

Sooo now WB have changed their minds. Well, you know… thanks, that’s most of the films now gone out the window. All we’re really left with in future is Trek and BSG now.

If Paramount change their minds too then I will be seriously disgruntled but I shall comfort myself if I can at least get all of TOS on HD. They *could* go non exclusive if they think they’ll lose sales, but producing the original films in HD to once more turn us upside down and shake us up and down seems to make more sense if they don’t go to two different exclusive formats for TV vs Film.

The series is on HD DVD, so many fans will buy that and have it already. Forcing them then go to Bluray for the movies is going to really be a bit rude. I know the decision for Paramount will have little to do with Trek, but I won’t be buying Trek on Bluray for a very, very long time no matter what they do.

If they want me to buy TOS08, bring it out on HD DVD. Bring it out on Bluray too if you like but if it’s on that format only then there actually is a limit to my fanboy loyalty.

Oh, and #21 – I’m just on 720p too but it’s still an improvement with the right source. Transformers and 300 are incredible, Bourne less so – shakycam probably just looks like shakycam even at 1020p…

I can’t in all conscience recommend HD DVD to you today though….

Oh, AND my car broke yesterday. Sodding potholes….

I am NOT having a good week :-)

sounds like some Blu-Ray people started a rumor to make the snowball bigger.

Ehhhh, dem young whippersnappers wit dem dose new fangled D vises always tryn ta FEE nagle mah hard earned dough!!

I’m sorry Anthony, but I think the title of this article is missing two important words: FOR NOW.

As in: “Paramount Sticking With HD-DVD… FOR NOW”

Note the careful phrasing of Brenda Ciccone’s statement: “Paramount’s *CURRENT* plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format.'” (emphasis mine)

Also, note that Paramount announced at the Consumer Electronics Show yesterday that it would not be making any announcements of future HD-DVD releases at the show (source: If Paramount is so gung-ho about continuing to support HD-DVD, why wouldn’t it follow though with title announcements?

I’ll tell you why… it’s because there won’t be any. Paramount’s agreement with the HD-DVD camp lets it out of its exclusive agreement if Warner Brothers drops HD-DVD. (source: Well guess what–Warner dropped HD-DVD. My fearless prediction: Paramount will dump HD-DVD before the end of Q1 2008, and we will never see seasons 2 and 3 in HD-DVD (or at the very least, we’ll be seeing them in Blu-Ray simultaneously).

HD-DVD is deader than disco, and the format wars are almost at an end. Good riddance!

@24 “so long as Toshiba keep lowering prices on their players and giving away lots of free discs.”

Actually, I was wondering about that today… I wonder if giving away 7 free movies has upset WB in any way?

It seemed like Toshiba has hit a sweetspot just before Christmas, a couple of great new excellent value players with all the toys on board, plus 7 free films and lots more new exciting titles on the way…


Who can I sue….?

Guess I’ll have to get on board with this. I’ve yet to see a blue ray disk and wouldn’t know the difference with them.

@28 Scott – Anthony said “ has confirmed that work is still on going for the HD DVD/DVD Combo version for Second Season of the remastered version of Star Trek: The Original Series. The box set is tentatively planned for May or June of this year. ”

That was HD DVD/DVD combo though. There is no Bluray combo option, as the Bluray forum are against combos (they stated it at CES this week after questions from the floor).

Anthony, can I check you mean specifically that the HD Combo is still ongoing rather than just TOS-R in a high def format?

It’ll cheer me up anyway… :-)


Hey Scott… fyi you’re website doesn’t work..

@30 – Bluray disks smell like a dead Targ and have flies buzzing all round them. You can’t miss them.

(WHO’S bitter???)

28. Scott Gammans

Here’s hoping you’re right that Paramount will change their minds.

Besides, at least Warner Brothers is going to continue to release HD-DVD titles till May, that’s more than what we BluRay customers got when Toshiba bought out Paramount and Dreamworks. They had titles ready to go, but they just flat out canceled them. Obviously they don’t have their consumers in mind when they make these decisions.

Paramount execs on the bridge of the USS HD-DVD…

Exec 1:
“Nice ship here”

Exec 2:
“I hear something”

Exec 1″
“The only thing speaking”

Captain Bill Kruge Gates:
“Let me hear!”

Computer voice:

I am hoping for Paramount to release TOS on 8mm film so I can put my grandpa’s old BOLEX MODEL G8 Projector to good use, though I suspect they are going to take a pass on that superior format in favor of the “more flashy” stereoscopic View-Master 3-D Viewer.


No announcement for HD-DVD S.T.movies. When S.T.11 goes HiDef in Blu-ray the other films will follow in reverse order – Nemesis….

Season 2 & 3 TOS may be released in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD to max profits.

17. DesiluTrek – January 8, 2008
Are there any posters who collected Trek in this RCA CED format?

ME !
I have
Vol.1 The Menagerie
Vol.2 City on the Edge of Forever/Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Vol.3 Trouble with Tribbles/Tholian Web
Vol.4 Space Seed/Changeling
Vol.5 Balance of Terror/Mirror,Mirror
Vol.6 Amok Time/Journey to Babel
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

My family totally embraced this format – I was convinced it would “win” the early 80s format war.

Then I (re)bought all of the above in VHS, and the movies TMP-V
Then I (re)bought all five movies in LETTERBOXED VHS, and also VI and Generations.
Then I (re)bought all three seasons of Star Trek, and the first 9 movies in SE versions (I never got the original DVDs of movies 1-9, Nemesis is the only non-SE DVD I own, and I refuse to rebuy it !! !)

And now, knowing me, I will rebuy all of the above plus the 11th movie in BluRey

I am sure we are never going to be done rebuying this stuff.

@ #39
I am sure we are never going to be done rebuying this stuff.

I think that’s probably the point. They are in business to make money, after all. : )

I’m typically a very-very-late adopter and I haven’t owned a TV set in a while, anyway (with the quality of LCD monitors these days for movies and series-sets, combined with the lack of current broadcast programming to interest me, I haven’t any need for one). I figure i’ll get either a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive in a computer I get sometime between 2009 and 2011, depending on how quickly my current PC dies (I always run ’em ’til they drop).

By then, I expect the whole format-war matter to be settled. Chop-chop, people; get on it :)

LOL @ 35

Here is a link to the Digital Bits article mentioned above:

Selected quotes:

“[R]eliable industry sources are telling us that Paramount is indeed preparing to end their HD-DVD support and announce a return to the Blu-ray fold. Details are currently being finalized, and an announcement is expected as soon as they’re complete.”

“[S]ources are telling us that Universal has also been talking with the [Blu-Ray Disc Association], and is looking to follow Paramount and Warner’s lead as soon as possible.”

“[W]ord is starting to circulate at [the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show] that major big box retailers will begin winding down in-store support for HD-DVD as soon as these studios go public with their decisions. We’re told that the industry’s major retail partners are already pressuring Paramount, DreamWorks and Universal to go Blu following Warner’s decision.”

After reading this, and the relentless drumbeat of news from other sources across the ‘net, I hereby revise my fearless prediction. Mark My Words: You will *never* see seasons 2 and 3 of Star Trek-Remastered in HD-DVD. HD-DVD isn’t deader than disco. It’s deader than Caesar.

#24 — A lot of what you cite are reasons why I prefer Blu-Ray. To me, HD-DVD is merely improved, upped resolution DVD, while Blu-Ray is based on a genuinely new technology. If I’m going to upgrade my player and start buying HD quality media, I want to feel like it isn’t just a small step up, but a substantial, more definitive improvement. To me, Blu-Ray is clearly technically superior.

Season 2 of Trek is very far into production for a March 2008 release. I bet it still sees the light of day on HD DVD.

I bet they go format neutral for awhile; I see Paramount ramping down HD DVD support while (re)ramping up Blu Ray.

I don’t care what format they release the damn things in. I have an HD player and a HDMI player for upstairs and if I need to get a Blu Ray, I will. Just don’t screw me out of seasons 2 and 3.

I admit that I haven’t read through all the comments on this one, as sometimes format discussions make my ears hear nothing but buzzing and clicking sounds. The next two seasons of Trek remastered aren’t in jeopardy of not being released, are they? I am buying these primarily for the new FX and don’t really give a scratch about what format they are in.

Things will change in the next few days. They might still be supporting HD-DVD for a while but they’ll start putting out on Bluray as well.

Anyone who *still* thinks HD-DUD isn’t an inferior technology needs to do some more reading, and not by the HD-DUD spin jockeys.

I was surprised Paramount went ahead and put out such a high-priced set on HD -DVD when the format was still far from decided. Wait… This is PARAMOUNT we’re talking about. No, this is just par for the course for them.

Has the season one set actually sold? I love the remastered episodes with the new effects, but I won’t touch the DVDs at the insane price Paramount’s asking. And I sure won’t buy them on HD-DVD. It’s really a shame they didn’t see fit to do a standard DVD only version, because that would’ve likely been a lot cheaper and a definite for my Xmas list. I would love to see the “home movies” bonus feature.

Now that Blu Ray appears headed for victory, I’m sure I’ll go Blu Ray eventually… Once the players fall in price. I’m in no rush. I just resent that Paramount is making consumers pay extra for combo discs that many of don’t want or need yet. Never mind that HD-DVD appears to be as dead as a doornail. I have no preference on a format, but all the price drops and giveaways by the HD-DVD seem like a desperate act.

#47, Losing a format war that already has lost to DVD doesn’t make a technology “inferior”, just the loser in the marketing of the format war (see Betamax). Studio reps are paid to put out spin like that. HD disc sales under preformed the market’s expectations by about 66%. Both sides really blew it big time.

The best the formats can hope for are sales for people that want to accentuate their DVD collections with a few higher quality films – not replacing their perfectly good discs outright.

One only needs to read 5 minutes of information to realize that that the argument about the technologies being vastly different is completely bogus.

and when I say “HD” I mean high def, both formats.