Startrek.com is reporting that Paramount and CBS have confirmed the Blu-ray debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation for January 31st. Fans of the popular sci-fi series, which is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, will be treated to a sampler disc of three remastered episodes in January and a full Season One set later in the year.
The sampler disc, which has been titled Star Trek: The Next Generation- The Next Level will include both parts of the series premiere "Encounter at Farpoint", the Season Three episode "Sins of the Father" and the Season Five episode "The Inner Light". These newly remastered episodes will be presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1.
According to Startrek.com, CBS returned to the original negatives for the remastering process and chose to re-composite the special effects rather than upconvert them from videotape. This was done in cooperation with longtime Star Trek consultants Michael and Denise Okuda. The remastering process is currently underway for all seven seasons of The Next Generation.
Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Entertainment issued a statement saying, "Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of†Star Trek: The Next Generation. 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."
The Next Level sampler disc will hit retail on January 31st with a SRP of $21.99. Pre-orders should be up on Amazon soon. Check out the new trailer for the release below.
If this is even half as well done as the original series this will be sweet indeed. I wonder if it will stick to 4:3 aspect ratio or since it was filmed in 35mm and the effects being redone for HD if we'll get 16:9. Probably not since TOS didn't but one can dream.
You'll be as thrilled as I am to find out that they are preserving the original 35mm 1:33:1 aspect ratio so it will be in widescreen. I can't wait for this and applaud CBS/Paramount for putting in the kind of effort this show deserves.
@Tsungam Am i right in saying it's the standard ratio for television programmes before 16:9 tv's came out so you're going to get black bars on the left and right side? Well this is better than strecthing the image to fill the screen or it will look like you're looking through a goldfish bowl.
I am very excited to hear about this HD upgrade on Next Generation. The best news is they are not going to mess with the original 1.33 aspect ratio. If they were adapted to widescreen, I wouldn't touch them because so much of the original image would be missing. They did such a spectacular job on the effects in the Original Series, I have no worry about Paramount doing a great job with this material as well.
For an example of a realease gone wrong (although not out in blu-ray), look at The McCartney Years 3 DVD set of his music videos. If you've ever seen the originals the reformating is a travesty. I actually enjoy these better on old VHS tapes that I taped off of MTV. The top of his head or his hands strumming the guitar are missing on a number of videos and the whole look is claustrophobic.
@cutter - That is exactly what I thought. While I am very excited that TNG is finally making it to Blu-ray, why would I want to waste money on a sampler edition when the full edition will be coming out later in the same year?
Very exciting trailer for The Next Generation, the Next Generation!!! Star Trek TOS is my #1 though.
I think fans would have supported the sampler if there wasn't a confirmation of the full Season One set. I'm glad I didn't purchase any of TNG on dvd, unlike my multiple purchases of TOS on dvd. Will buy when the S1 set comes down in price, what am I saying Star Trek never comes down in price...day one then
Day 1 for sure!!!! Been waiting since Blu was introduced for this news and that day has finally come. Since I can't wait until the first season is released I will pick up the sampler just for some TNG Hi-Def goodness!!
I was hoping this sampler would be about $10, so fans can blindly buy it without feeling buyers remorse when the full set arrives. I agree with fryman - if this sampler pack is $20, how much would the full seasons be? I am a big Next Generation fan, but if these sets are $200+ (even $100+ would be spendy), there is no way I could afford to get all the seasons.
Sweet!!!!! Yes Hell Yes! yes yes yes yes! did I say YES?!!!!!!!!! as my heart stops pounding the brain wonders what special features and then hopes 35mm is true widescreen and they did crop and zoom in, but i believe they didn't so....commentary? I've seen outtakes on youtube maybe they cleaned those up to. $20 is cheap and thats probably S.R.P. so $15 yes you'll pay...but i think we'll have to wait until the end of 2012 right before the aliens come and kills us all haha...specking of star trek, blu-ray.com is still working on adding dvd titles...
'Knowing humans as thou dost, Captain, wouldst thou be captured helpless by them?"-Q
Like others have stated, I'm excited that TNG is coming to Blu-ray, I question why anyone would spend anything close to $22 for a three-episode "sampler". Why not just wait and apply that to the purchase of the 1st season.
But I do believe the price of the sampler will drop faster than Rex Grossman!!
well it's hard to know at present whether these will be 1.33:1 or 16:9, as they really don't address that issue anywhere in the press release.
it will be very interesting to see how these come out, and I definitely love this series.
however, I'll pass on season 1--it's the weakest by far.
this is the rare series that got better every single season, with 5 and 6 being the best two imo.
season 7 was also very strong.
I will get the teaser disc for sure, as Inner light is one of my favorite episodes.
Great news. I have always waited years to buy Star Trek on DVD due to the high prices, but since I got sick and tired of waiting, I think that at least season 1 I'll buy day one (if the price is similar to the TOS sets). As for the sampler, although I know there will be many fans who will want to buy it, I believe most people will wait for the full seasons and avoid double-dipping. The only way I see it working (at least for me), is if they institute a program where if you buy the sampler, that same value you paid, would be deducted from the full season set. If so, count me in.
another note Star Trek TNG is on netflix...wait who cares I canceled my account and already owned the dvds...
I do have to say Paramount was smart to make some cash on selling the Star Trek series to netflix for a couple years, I hope that makes room in the budget for new commentaries on TNG.
Kind of lost track of DS9 towards the end, moved and never quite managed to catch up with it so hopefully that will come some day soon. Next Generation will be cool too, but cost will be an object for me so hope they don't milk it too hard. Haven't seen these shows in ages.
I spent the last year following every bit of news on the Star Wars release. But TNG on BD has me twice as excited. Only problem for me is that the Trek folk are fond of always upping the ante by adding more bonus features for those who wait for complete series box sets. Not sure if I can wait for a full 7-season box set to maybe appear with a bonus disc or not.
damn it, how much is tng going to cost me now? seriously, glad it is coming out but i hope they price it better than they did the dvds - the intital price was nuts. my guess, $20 -30 for the sampler depending what they put on it(just the episodes or extras)(okay i just reread and saw the suggested price - sorry, long day). it will be cool to see.
Well, this is nice. But it's Paramount. That probably means that the individual seasons will retail for at least 100 Euros in Germany. Therefore I'll be playing the waiting game again, picking the seasons up once the price has dropped considerably. At least it's a good thing I didn't buy ST:TNG on DVD back then, for the very same reason: outrageous price.
I like ST:TNG, but not sure if enough to buy the series. I'll wait for a price drop. The DVD's were extremely expensive for what they were and I just noticed recently they dropped into the $20-$30 range (I could be wrong). A box set for $100 to $150 I might think about.
I agree that they better present them in their original aspect ratio, the only way 16:9 would be acceptable is if the series was originally shot in thataspect ratio and had the sides cut off for TV. Now that woudl be amazing, to get a wider picture than we've ever seen for this show. But the post above seems to confirm they will be 1.33:1.
Will not bother with the first two ropey seasons but from season 3 i'll be there in spades !!! I wonder how good the new fx will be? The original fx still isnt too shabby? I hope thye include the old fx with seamless branching that they did with TOS
The original negatives have more picture on all sides. We won't be getting the exact same aspect ratio, it'll be slightly bigger. Top and bottom will not be sacrificed. It'll just be a slighty ‚Äúzoomed out‚ÄĚ look.
Great news! I thought the new effects with TOS was well done, it didn't take anything away from the series but gave us something fresh while preserving to original story intent. Looking forward to the release of TNG. I'm a fan of all Trek and would love to see the trend continue with DS9, Voyager and Enterprise.
They're re-scanning the original film, which should have really large capture area I'd think. I'd really like to hear a detailed technical reason, why the show couldn't be remastered in proper widescreen format (without cropping)?
I have held out on buying any Trek in any format. This looks like a winner. I rather get a condensed-packaging 7-season box at discount pricing, but I'm still waiting for TOS to do that and it still hasn't happened. I'd also like to see the entire thing come out at once, and then let the individual seasons be released later. Why not?
The first season (or more) was shot on less-wide film than later seasons (hence the darker, grainy picture), and I see no way they can overcome that ... but we'll see.
To everyone saying that they won't buy the sampler: I seriously ask you to reconsider.
Paramount is undertaking a HUGE expense to reconstruct ST:TNG. If sales of the sampler falter, some corporate bean counter may decide that we, as fans, won't be willing to shell out for the series, and cancel the whole affair. If the sampler sells well, Paramount have some solid assurance that this very expensive undertaking is worth THEIR while, as well as ours.
Some seriously flawed logic here. You're gonna end up with three random episodes on a Blu-ray that's certain to have no resale value whatsoever. Bad deal, if you want to buy season sets. Also: if consumers end up thinking that this is a test, and that Paramount isn't really committed to restoring and releasing all seasons unless the sampler sells well enough, then this in itself could lead to consumers not buying the sampler in the first place.
It's a dumb idea, however you look at it. They rather should put the three test episodes online, to be watched for free. That would stimulate buying interest a lot more.
d=g I disagree with you entirely. The purpose of the sampler is not to gauge interest it is to demonstrate what is to come by building excitement, however releasing some crappy internet footage is NOT going to get anyone excited it is only going to turn them off.
Also it is like what $20 so you get three episodes, 45 minutes each a hour and a half pilot essentially a full movies worth of content for the price of a full retail movie, yeah it's still a good deal. Even if you consider the full season might end up being what $100 for 22 episodes by that math $20 for three episodes is still a good deal. Either way it's only 20 bucks and you get a good idea of what is to come. Also as been pointed out the disc price is SUGGESTED retail price, in reality it will be lower. And no resale value are you kidding it's friggin Star Trek you name me one item Star Trek that has no resale value and I call you a liar right to your face somebody will buy this dude just put it on ebay.
Anyways I had considered getting this series on DVD but since I switched to Netflix recently and dropped Dish I think I can settle for watching online first and get the Blu rays when they release.