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158 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray is stunning, 24 July 2012
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This review is from: Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
It's a shame that Amazon have included the DVD reviews under the blu ray product because although the stories are the same the product is completely different. I just received the blu ray box set of season 1 today.

The Next Generation was shot of film (both live action and special effects) however both were immediately transferred to standard definition tape, and they used this tape to edit the episode together and composite the special effects into the live action, and it is this tape copy that is the source for the old DVDs and what was and is broadcast on television. Paramount have gone back to the original film negatives and scanned them in high definition and have re-composited and re-edited and cleaned up every single episode shot for shot. Some people may be complaining and wondering why the blu ray release is apparently so expensive, well this is why, it's taken A LOT of manpower and resource to make these.

I have all TNG episodes on DVD so I watched the first episode "Encounter at Farpoint" on DVD to familiarize myself with it and then on blu ray.

For anyone who says that they are happy with the DVDs seriously needs their head examining. The picture quality on the blu ray release is totally and utterly stunning, I cannot overstate how spectacular it looks. The DVDs picture is blurry, fuzzy with incorrect colour timing and terrible picture smearing.

The blu ray picture on the other hand is pin sharp with correct colour balance. Watching the Enterprise D slide into view for the first time my jaw literally dropped, instead of a fuzzy ship with blurry windows, a deflector dish consisting of a fuzzy blue ring and vague details which you got on the DVD, on the blu ray the stunning work of the model makers can be seen in crisp detail, the ship surface actually has a richness and shimmer to it I'd never seen before.

When Q first appears on the bridge his armour which just seemed dull and lifeless before you can now see highlights glinting off the detailed designs on its surface and details on it you couldn't see before. Panels glint under the studio lights, costume details stand out, the displays look crisp.

Also now that the colours have been corrected everything looks more natural and you no longer get colour bleed between surfaces and people's faces no longer look sunburnt.

The only downside to such quality is that it also meant I could spot a piece of fluff on the bridge carpet and noticed the edge of a power cable going into Data's console at the front of the bridge, details you wouldn't have seen before because the original pictures were only in NTSC resolution of 525 lines.

The sound has also been remixed from 5.1 to 7.1. I only have a 5.1 setup but the sound seems a lot more immersive and the dialogue much clearer than on the DVD releases, perhaps because on blu ray the sound is not compressed.

The episodes retain their square 4:3 picture format (ie they are not in widescreen) just like the blu ray releases of The Original Series, they have done this because this is how they were shot, the only way to make them widescreen would be to zoom the picture in but you would lose too much picture from the top and bottom, so a headshot would suddenly become eyebrow to lips shots, and you can't zoom out sideways any further because literally just out of the 4:3 frame was where the crew were standing with light reflectors and boom mics. It's dependent on the viewer but you soon forget you're watching it in 4:3 after a few moments and then it seems no different to watching a widescreen programme.

As a Star Trek TNG fan is this blu ray release worth £50 - Yes! Absolutely! It looks like it was shot yesterday. The improvements over the DVD release are truly astronomical.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jul 2012 21:23:38 BDT
A. Moncrieff says:
The sound was in 5.1 on the DVDs, just to clarify for anyone reading your great review. The bluray helpfully also includes the original stereo too, whereas the DVD did not.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 11:42:09 BDT
M. Palmer says:
Thanks for pointing out the error concerning listing the sound as 2.0 on the DVDs I have corrected my review.

Posted on 31 Aug 2012 18:01:13 BDT
L. Koprivica says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2012 23:10:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 Aug 2012 23:14:04 BDT
M. Palmer says:
What is "overpriced" and what isn't is a matter of personal opinion - my opinion is that it isn't - yours is that it is - it doesn't make my opinion wrong however - by the way the sound problems have now been resolved by Paramount (so all future purchasers won't have that problem), Amazon sent out a replacement box set at no charge and I received it today. Your statement "Like everything that is overpriced, something goes wrong" is not based in fact and seems to be based on nothing except your emotional anger because you personally don't like the price they are asking and seem angry that I do.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Sep 2012 21:06:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Sep 2012 21:09:56 BDT
P. Kennard says:
Overpriced? For comparison, the original VHS release was 13 cassettes at £9.99 each, the DVD was initially launched at £70-90 (depending on where you shopped), meaning this is the cheapest launch of TNG on a new format yet! Also given the work required to do this version, I'm frankly amazed that Paramount fronted the money (the TOS sets were part-funded by an HD-DVD manufacturer with the hope of using it to promote the format), particularly as they switched to digital effects later in the run (after deriding Babylon 5 for doing this! They even went to the same people!), which are likely to need a complete recreation to make them up to HD standard.
Further, modern shows are made for HD and the materials treated accordingly. With TNG, they need to track down all the elements, digitse and clean them up, recomposite the effects (now done digitally on almost all shows), re-edit the material to match the original, (remember that the originals are ELEMENTS, i.e. NOT finished shows) as the completed episodes never existed as film masters, only SD tape masters and film prints from the same SD tape masters for some international markets (the film versions tend to be a little sharper and better colour, but are routinely shown at 25fps in the UK as opposed to 24fps).
So, they need to remake the episode AND remaster it; twice the amount of work required for films of the same age (or older). In short, they needed to do an equivilant amount of work done for a feature film restoration (based on a feature being twice as long, but requiring half the work per minute of screen time) FOR EVERY EPISODE.
To complain this set is over-priced is frankly absurd, how much would you pay for 26 remastered films, I bet it would be more than £50.
Understand what you're moaning about and you might find people pay more attention.
Oh, and other sites are pointing out the duff sets have been withdrawn and new versions do not have the sound issue.

Posted on 16 Oct 2012 20:22:51 BDT
Str1ker says:
Thanks for the review! Very informative!

Posted on 1 Nov 2012 00:57:15 GMT
C. Smith says:
A very informative and very concise review. All my friends and family thought I was going blind when I kept remarking on the blurry, NTSC-like images when it was first on TV.

I was very disappointed by the DVD release, even though it was only a non film copy of the original, I thought it might be a bit better... But this review has given great hope!

When I saw what the Blu-ray version of Space 1999 was like (and that was from 1975) I was literally stunned - I know what you mean about 'shot yesterday'. Who would have believed we could watch things so many years later, in so much better quality than they were ever seen then?

Thunderbirds on Blu-ray should be good as it was sourced on film too... but some lunatic with a widescreen head got involved - another story!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2012 03:19:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Dec 2012 03:31:19 GMT
Actually I think I read this week that the great restoration work for Blu-ray is being done by CBS Digital not Paramount themselves. They are completing about an episode a week.

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 08:21:21 GMT
L. Parsons says:
Hi, I've seen references to "replacement discs" around the place.. can you confirm whether the current boxsets contain all the proper discs..? I'm not what the reason for the replacements were originally but I'm hoping it's all been corrected now and any new boxset being sold has the correct discs.

Posted on 7 Feb 2013 10:25:11 GMT
Yes, almost £50 does seem a lot of money, my advice would be to wait and see if the price is dropped. I will be doing this, partly for cost reasons... and partly because I don't have a blu ray player yet! Unlike the remastered sets of TOS, the TNG remasters don't seem to be issued on DVD, presumably because DVD can't do proper justice to the restored material. So hopefully by the time I do get round to upgrading my system, I won't have to pay around £350 for all 7 series.
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