Star Trek: TNG Remastered is official – Coming To Blu-ray In 2012 [Updated]

Two weeks ago we reported on new details for the Star Trek: The Next Generation – Remastered project. As was rumored, today CBS has made details of the project official. All 178 episodes will be re-scanned from the original films elements and visual effects elements will be re-composited into a 1080p workflow for mastering onto Blu-ray and runs on syndicated television and digital distribution (i.e. Netflix) both domestically and internationally.

The long rumored effort to remaster Star Trek The Next Generation is confirmed! Just in time for the 25th anniversary in 2012. CBS has once again shown its commitment to the Star Trek franchise by remastering it in HD. Each of the 178 episodes from The Next Generation‘s seven seasons will be transferred to high-definition 1080p for release in the Blu-ray format and, eventually, for runs on television and digital platforms in the U.S. and across the world.

The remastering process

  • CBS is starting from scratch using the original film negatives, and editing the episodes together precisely as they were when they originally aired between 1987 and 1994.
  • Visual effects will not be upconverted from videotape, but instead will be recompositioned from the film elements available.
  • The freshly cut film will be transferred to high definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio.
  • Work is being done in conjunction with Denise and Michael Okuda, who are on board as consultants.
  • Aspect ratio for Blu-ray release is the original aspect ratio as it aired on televsion – 1.33:1 (4:3) – confirmed by and The Digital Bits


Release date

The sampler as was discussed yesterday now has an announced release date of January 31, 2012 with a suggested retail price of $21.99.  With all seven seasons to follow.

Cover Art for “Taste of TNG”

Click for a higher resolution versions of the cover art direct from CBS Home Video.



More detail and better color timing already apparent

Even with the teaser flash video more detail is obvious. This is especially true for the Enterprise model in the credits. Trek Core has a comparison page already up with more images comparing the DVD version to the trailer footage.


Full Press Release




Star Trek: The Next Generation® – The Next Level Blu-ray Disc™ Will Be Released On January 31, 2012

Complete First Season Blu-ray Available Later in 2012


LOS ANGELES – September 28, 2011 – The beloved series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION®  will be transferred to high-definition for the first time ever and released on Blu-ray™, it was announced today by Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Home Entertainment.

All 178 episodes from seven seasons will be transferred to true high-definition 1080p for release on Blu-ray and eventual runs on television and digital platforms both domestically and internationally.

“Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® for years,” said Ross. “Transferring the series to high-definition presented difficult technical challenges, but our team has come up with a process to create true 1080p HD masters with true HD visual effects.  We can’t wait to show fans how pristine the series looks and sounds with our upcoming Blu-ray releases.”

Transferring STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® to high-definition presented numerous challenges – The series was originally shot on film and then transferred to videotape, which was used to edit episodes together.  In order to create true HD masters, CBS is going back to the original uncut film negative – all 25,000 plus film reels of it – and cutting the episodes together exactly the way they originally aired. The visual effects were all shot on film and will be painstakingly recompositioned, not upconverted from videotape. The newly cut film will then be transferred to true high-definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. Denise and Mike Okuda are consulting on the project.

While the first full season won’t be available until later in 2012, CBS Home Entertainment is releasing STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® – THE NEXT LEVEL, a single Blu-ray disc to give fans a taste of the series in HD, on January 31, 2012.  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). The single disc will be available for a suggested retail price of $21.99.

One of the most popular series in the STAR TREK franchise, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. It premiered in first-run syndication during the week of September 28, 1987 and ran through 1994.

Set in the 24th century on the Starship Enterprise, about 100 years after the original STAR TREK series took place, the series starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker, LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi, Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data, Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wil Wheaton as her son Wesley Crusher.

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® won numerous accolades, including 18 Emmy® awards, and was the first – and only – syndicated television show to be nominated for the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series for its seventh season.  It was also ranked #46 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list in 2002.

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Yes, but will Paramount have the good sense to make it a reasonable price? Doubtful!


Can’t wait to see more.


1:33:1??? WHY?? Why can’t we just get them all in 1:78 instead of just a couple, you’re already adding 7.1 audio, give us the full episode already. Cheeez.

Great news now that its official and all the particulars can end some of the weird debates. Can’t wait to see some more!

How much do you want to bet that the HD box sets will be $100+ per season, and the Next Level teaser box will be $40-60

Digital Bits has said it will be 1.33:1 on the blu-ray but they might make 1.78:1 for ‘other’ distribution which I presume means streaming online and TV

5. The full episode? Are you one of those people who used to complain that letterbox movies “cut off people’s heads?”

Why would you want cropped, stretched, and or oddly exposed shows. Did you watch I Love Lucy colorized?

“Encounter at Farpoint” is most beloved?

Ok. Can’t wait. Encounter at far point was one of the better 1st season eps. Should be good.

Pointing Out The Obvious – I am pointing out the obvious.

It’s stated above the teaser box will be $21.99.

At $22 for for episodes, we’re looking at $140 for an entire season (usually 26 episodes)…I’m excited about news and I’m looking forward to seeing TNG in true HD, but lets hope they keep the prices reasonable. I would buy them at $60 each as Matt suggested, but would be pretty hesitant at much more than that for a show I’ve got on VHS and DVD already.

Any news on offering the sampler on Netflix or Amazon Prime?

1.33:1 was how the shots were composed, framed and staged with the actors. Yes the film negatives are in widescreen and then cropped for tv at 1.33:1 but the extra info on the sides are just background. You would notice the actors all crowded around each other at the center of the frame because that is how the shots were staged so that all of the pertinent action would fit in the 4:3 “box”. Anytime I’ve seen a widescreen release of a show originally broadcast in 4:3 its looked odd for this reason. In one episode of Angel that was released in 16:9 on dvd (Season 2) you can actually see the lighting tree off to the right in one shot. This due to the fact that that part of the image was not meant to be seen due to broadcasting in 4:3 (the sides cut out rather than squished to fit 4:3).

In short, it ruins the intent of the directors and cinematographers by releasing these episodes in widescreen format. I for one care about such things.

Jaw. Floor. Floor. Jaw. Get to know each other.

The pilot of Firefly suffers the same issues. Some of the shots are framed for 4:3 and some for 16:9. There is one shot where you can see that Wash has his hands up pretending to be flying Serenity, but he doesn’t have the steering column in his hands!

#14. The price for the sampler pack probably isn’t a good way to determine the cost of the season sets. They have to price it reasonably to get casual viewers, but also not too cheaply so they can’t judge how well season sets will sell. BUT keep in mind, that $21.99 is the MSRP, which for example, about 99% of the time discounts at least 30-40%, so we’re really looking at about $15 max for this set.

The TOS remastered seasons were available for around $65 when they came out.

@7, did you even read the article?

“The sampler as was discussed yesterday now has an announced release date of January 31, 2012 with a suggested retail price of $21.99.”

I made my own comparison images, if you want to check them out:

Again, my only issue is Blu-Ray only. That’s a deal-breaker for me. if this were for standard DVD too then you’d have my money in a heartbeat, but sadly no.

What would you gain by having it in standard DVD? You have the series on DVD.

Hmmm…looks like effects are not being redone, just the original FX elements re-composited. I need more than just a clearer picture of the originals to sign up for this…not that I would anyway if I have to buy complete seasons. The ratio of good episodes to mediocre episodes per season just isn’t high enough to warrant buying a ridiculously priced season set. But I’ll gladly stream them if they show up on Netflix.

The Next Generation is one of the best shows and it was about time to get it in HD.

Yes, but there are still some of us who do not have blu-ray because it is still so…idk…expensive, maybe?

I’ll be happy if TNG-HD is ONLY $100. TOS-HD on HD-DVD was originally MSRP’d at over $200, remember. I’ll wager that Paramount will MSRP these sets at around $129. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m probably not.

Ok, I’m going to be the first to say that I think that shot of the Enterprise is a CG re-creation, not a recomposition. The light on top of the bridge is a different committee and the warp effect is completely different. Its much smoother, and in the original shot, it was very easy to see the change from the 6-foot model to the 2- foot model after the flash. The transition is seamless now, so either its the original, but digitally altered, or a completely CG shot. Either way, I’m seriously freakin excited!

Mikey… Blu-Ray players are getting pretty cheap now (many less than $100), and HDTV prices are falling fast.

#21 – “Again, my only issue is Blu-Ray only. That’s a deal-breaker for me”

I am bewildered. Have you utterly missed the point of this set? Upgrading it for high definition? Why would they upgrade it to HD and then downgrade it to standard definition so you can buy it?

By all means, keep your money.

Now if they could do this to the directors edition of Star trek the motion picture!

30 – YES!

27 – it’s digitally re compositioned. The did a great job with the original elements filmed. This is not a CGI ship.

@27 It is the original shot. The lighting looks different because when originally filmed, a motion control camera makes multiple passes of the model. The surface of the model with exterior lighting is one pass and the internal lighting of the model is filmed on a separate pass. Because these layers are separate, digital compositing can combine the layers with perfect control that was impossible with the old optical printer. You’re seeing detail that was washed out in the process before. There are new CG elements but they are minor: the new motion starfield (although the background stars are original), the warp glow animation, and the addition of a “lighting pass” to the two-foot model which was not done originally because the stretching effect was in-camera trick photography of the model that was too difficult to reproduce to do matching multiple passes. That’s why the series used the same three warp effect shots for the whole 7 years.

Bummer on the aspect ratio. For this particular series I really wanted 16:9, even at the cost of some framing.

You can see little people moving in the observation lounge!

I wouldn’t mind them redoing some effects. The space jellyfish from Farpoint look absolutely ridiculous, and I’m not sure how much the HD treatment is going to improve them. Still, this is awesome and I’m so happy we aren’t just getting uprezzed versions.

36… It would be nice to replace that silly Energy Beam, too.

The money I did not give to George Lucas for his SW abominations may have to be saved for this glorious release.

Assuming Blu-Ray is still around by the time all 7 seasons are done.

With the aspect ratio: you guys, it was not filmed in widescreen. 35mm film has natural aspect ratio of 1.37:1. (4:3 is the same as 1.33:1, so it’s actually really close to 4:3) When they use it to film movies they use an anamorphic lens to squish the widescreen (often up to 2.39:1) down to 1.37:1 on the film and another anamorphic lens on the projector to take it from 1.37:1 back to the widescreen format on the screen. For a TV show that uses film like TNG, they just use a plain lens and it’s filmed at 1.37:1 and cropped slightly down to 1.33:1.

I’ll wait for it appear on Netflix. Shoulda done that for TOS but I was impatient.

Will this be available from the iTunes Store?

40. You think NetFlix will still be around by 2013? They seem to be doing everything in their power to commit corporate suicide.

1. Harry Ballz – Trek has never been reasonably priced, so I don’t expect to be able to afford this set. Why they price Trek so much higher than other series is frustrating.

Thank goodness they’re recompositing the film elements. That’s the best scenario is as praying for!

I would have preferred that they come up with a Top 25 episodes for $75 — I would pay for that. A lot of the episodes on TNG just arent very good, and there is no way I am going to pay $500 to get at the 25 episodes that I really liked. This is not like TOS, which has timeless “classic” value, like classic cars, Route 66 or soda fountains.

** I was praying for.

Don’t mind the 1.33:1 at all. While I have trouble watching some things in pan and scan, I dislike more having picture information missing. TNG is one of those shows that used the whole frame very well.

What I would love is some new ship shots, just because there are so few of them. What would be great is if when we see the other Galaxy class “sister” ships, maybe they have a different sheen to them? Some way for us to tell the Enterprise from the Yamato (brilliant) at a distance.

@37 HD may reveal too much of some physical models, but the trade-off is digital recompositing eliminates matte lines, spill, and color mismatches that make an entire shot look fake no matter how good the elements are. A great example is Superman: The Movie. It’s amazing how much better Christopher Reeve’s flying effects look when digital compositing puts him in the sky with without changing the color of his costume or making him transparent or too dark. I think the Farpoint creature puppets will look pretty good because they’re supposed to look organic and their scale is vague. The creatures’ glow effect is a separate layer and will be adjusted and I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

@47 “What I would love is some new ship shots, just because there are so few of them.”

Yea, and this is a golden opportunity to tweak TNG Enterprise design, which I think we all realize was not the best looking Trek model ever done.

The cover-art was updated, the registry number is no longer backwards.