If you seriously insist we should get the original "aired" 1.33:1 (4:3) aspect ratio on Blu-ray Disc then it is NOT as it should be. You are ignoring the overscan areas on top and bottom of the transmitted images the DPs expected our old 4:3 tube television sets to trim.
The Next Generation of The Next Generation
So it’s finally official, after months, no, years of rumors, we finally have official confirmation of Star Trek: The Next Generation coming to Blu-Ray. I have to say I am very excited. We’re talking a full restoration from the original film negatives. Because of how tv was edited back then, they are actually scanning that original film and re-editing the entire series. All the visual effects will be recompositioned from the filmed elements available. I’d bet we may also see a few CGI touch ups here or there, but it sounds like this is to be an authentic restoration of the actual footage from the day.
We’ll also be getting a 7.1 DTS Master Audio soundtrack to go with our shiny HD picture. Now how is that for freaking awesome!
More thoughts and the trailer after the break.
Aspect Ratio (Beware, ranting ahead)
And just so we’re all aware, the aspect ratio will be the original aired 1.33:1 (4:3). I’m gonna get this out of the way right now. THIS IS AS IT SHOULD BE! I can’t tell you how many comments I have seen from people that want to see this in a 16:9 format. I don’t know if they don’t understand what they’re talking about, or if they simply don’t care. Here’s how it breaks down.
Star Trek: The Next Generation was filmed on 35mm film. That film has an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The show was aired with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. A very tiny amount is left off on the sides of the frame, but not enough to fill 1.77:1 (16:9) screen. So, in order to turn TNG into a widescreen format, the top and/or bottom of the picture would have to be cropped out.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT THIS?!?!
If you’re dead set on having widescreen TNG, hit that little aspect ratio button on your remote, put your display in Wide or Zoom or whichever it’s called for your device, and there you go. Zoomed and cropped picture for your enjoyment.
Back to the good stuff
So here’s what’s going to happen, on January 31, 2012 we’ll be getting a sampler disc featuring three episodes, Encounter at Farpoint, The Inner Light, and Sins of the Father. The complete first season is to be released “Later in 2012”.
Seeing that the “The Next Level” sampler disc is likely to be $15 or so (MSRP of $22), I figure I’ll pick it up just to check out how good this looks. Though if the trailer below is any indication, these Blu-Rays should look spectacular.
Speaking of the video quality, the good people over at TrekCore did some comparison images using the footage that is in the trailer, and comparing to the respective scenes on the DVDs. Even with the compression of Youtube, the difference is amazing.
Now just imagine the subsequent difference when we have the true HD in our hands. Heck, I kinda want to see a three way comparison from the DVD, Youtube trailer, and Blu-Ray all together, just for the hell of it.
Speaking of, here’s that trailer that I promised.
I grew up on Star Trek, specifically The Next Generation, so to have it coming to Blu-Ray gets me very very excited. I have watched my DVD set, I don’t know how many times, but it’s been quite a bit. And I’ve always seen how muddied and crap it looked. To get the full restoration treatment for TNG is a treat and I definitely plan on purchasing these as soon as I possibly can.
Oh, did I mention? SQUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!