Here's something we missed! And we saw it thanks to our friend Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits, who covered this story earlier today. Our mutual longtime pal, Anthony Pascale of TrekMovie.com, had this post
to pass along at the beginning of the week, from his recent visit to the VegasCon:
Next Gen on Blu-ray?
All three seasons of the original Star Trek are now available in HD, but what about TNG? In a response to a question about TNG on Blu-ray, CBS Consumer Products VP John Van Citters told the crowd in Las Vegas that releasing Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray was much more "problematic" than the original Star Trek, due to how the TNG original effects shots were composited, and how that makes the transfer to HD "incredibly difficult without making them look awful." However, he also said that there is "a lot of conversations going on" within CBS on how to convert TNG to HD, and Van Citters expressed optimism noting "It is being worked on and I expect it will happen, it is just a technical challenge."
Following his talk, I confirmed with Van Citters that even though he is optimistic that the challenges will be met, as of now there is no specific plan or budget for the project within CBS. So this is still something that is a long-term project.
There's lots of other VegasCon coverage there, so please visit his site and check it out! In the meantime, what do we make of this info about TNG
on BD? Well, rather than us trying to reinvent the wheel, we would rather just say we agree with what Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits had to say about it in his "My Two Cents" blog
There are obviously major challenges as, while the show was shot on film, all the effects and post production was done on SD analog video. So (in our opinion) in order to convert the series to HD and really do it right, all the original camera negatives would have to be scanned in HD resolution, and then all of the special effects and post production would have to be completely redone in HD via a similar CG upgrade process as was done with the remastered Star Trek: The Original Series. You'd basically have to rebuild each episode for HD. At least we HOPE that's what they'd do, because if they just simply digitally upconverted from 480i to 1080p, there's NOBODY who would want to buy that on Blu-ray. But rebuilding the show in HD is obviously a time consuming and expensive process.
Exactly, Bill. Exactly. Which is the reason why this show, along with other sci-fi TV series (including The X-Files
and Babylon 5
, for example) was always considered to be problematic for any sort of high-definition release (it's actually easier for certain older shows like The Twilight Zone, The Prisoner
and Space: 1999
, where 100% of the footage is on 35mm film, which has a higher resolution than 1080p High Definition!). What is a positive factor here is that the audience for Star Trek: The Next Generation
(as with most things in the Star Trek
universe!) is nothing short of "huge," and therefore should be capable of recouping an investment in "a time consuming and expensive process" such as making the TNG
episodes available in high-def. We'll see what happens.
Stay tuned, of course, and we'll updated you as further developments occur! Our thanks again to our friends Anthony Pascale and Bill Hunt.