HTF HD-DVD Review: Star Trek: The Original Series Season One

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by PatWahlquist, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    If any one is worrying about the tint (color) issue; just checkout the demo if you don't have any Trek on SD DVD (which I can't believe anyone buying this set wouldn't have at least one S1 disc! ;-) ). They showed it, the restoration demo, B4 the theatrical showing. I would think its on this set as well (they were soooooo proud of changing the look of the source material).

    EDitEDbyED:
    This review makes no mention of the EE (haloing) I saw in the theatrical presentation.
    GOOD!
    Thx for the review.
     
  2. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I have to agree my set is packaged very tight. No loose discs at all. I don't know why anyone would have any more problem with these than a standard HD DVD plastic case. The outer plastic shell probably provides more protection than any other set I've seen.

    Doug
     
  3. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I've done a sampling of episodes. Errand of Mercy, Charlie X, Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Man Trap. I must say this set is just spectacular. The grain of the film looks right for the age of the film stock, the effects shots dovetail very nicely into the original footage. Frankly I don't know that I could be much happier.

    Doug
     
  4. Mark_TB

    Mark_TB Second Unit

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    Well, my rental disc is playing fine now. I decided to watch something else for a while and when I came back to the Star Trek disc, it played without any problems. Temperamental things....

    It took me a while to get the hang of the menu navigation, but once mastered I found it to be an entertaining presentation. I haven't noticed any compression artifacts and any inconsistencies regarding film grain, etc., seem to be simply a result of the accurate depiction of the source material.

    Looks like I might have to break down and buy this set after all. [​IMG]

    Mark
     
  5. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I too had a short moment of difficulty with the menu, until I figured out that you scroll side to side as well as up and down to access more information.

    Doug
     
  6. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Anyway, I have a replacement set on the way from Amazon. As I mentioned in another thread on this release, the fact that Amazon will ship you a replacement while you have the original in your possession has proven invaluable to me many times in cobbling together a mint set. I hope that I will at least have a set of discs with minimal scratching and that I can avoid a busted plastic casing, but due to the poor packaging design I have little hope of having a dent-free cardboard insert.
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Wow, that set really got whacked. Mine was perfect. No dents or scratches on the packaging, or the discs. I guess it was worth the extra cash for me to pick one up personally at the store.
     
  8. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Ouch! That set looks like it got stepped on. Great to have the early review scares alleviated by the positive feedback!

    My set should be here before end of week.[​IMG]
     
  9. LarryH

    LarryH Supporting Actor

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    Not a word from Amazon about shipping my set. Maybe I'll cancel and try DDD.
     
  10. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Wow yours looked like it got stepped on. Mine was completely pristine. And it was packed in such a way that there was no way that it was going to move around in shipping. No scratches on any of the discs.

    Doug
     
  11. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    I wish HD DVD would use the same "disc protection" as Blu-ray. Since they produce these combo-discs, they should as least make sure that the package is good (since these discs scratch fairly easy).
     
  12. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Got a chance to watch the eps Tomorrow is Yesterday and Court Martial from Netflix.
    Disc itself was pristine, but the first time in it wouldn't load ("no disc" code). First time I did get it to load menus were sluggish and stuttered (the menus are more for flash than they are functionality- it you could resume, it would be one thing, but the absence of that ability makes the over-production in the menus a source of frustration more than appreciation).
    When I finally did get the ep to play- it played all the way thru fine until the 49 minute mark when it froze and required a hard reset (pulling the plug which I always hate to do). It froze up consistently in the same general area a couple more time after that, all requiring hard resets.
    I was about to give up when I decided to check the disc again and saw what were two mote-sized dust specks on the otherwise pristine surface. I daubed the tip of my finger to get them off (making a nice smudge mark in the process)- and amazingly enough, that seemed to be the cause of all of it. The passage from 10 minutes prior thru the end played without a hitch afterwards.
    No issues whatsoever on the second ep.

    as for the quality, it was as expected, fantastic. I can see many people being underwhelmed, as the SD side looks nearly as good. The saying that something is so good, you need to spend twice as much to get an extra 5% of perfomance increase, seems to me to apply here. The HD side didn't strike me as a night and day difference- merely much nicer and more refined.

    On the subject of the integration of the new CGI with the old filmstock, I thought it looked just as great as it did in syndicated sd broadcasts. The grain structure of most of the live action is very fine anyway. None of the dozen or so new estblishing shots ever took me out of the moment, and all of them looked beautiful.

    I'll have to see just what kind of PITA the actual case is, but so far I'm very happy with what I see. It's going to be a long wait for the set to show up in the meantime.

    I hope Paramount can solicit for the S2 set by the end of the year, that way I can still take advantage of the extra 10% off from Amazon.
     
  13. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    So guys - any additional thoughts? I'm still waiting for my set - should be tomorrow or Friday.[​IMG]

    How does the sound mix compare to the previous SD releases?
     
  14. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I haven't watched the previous releases, but the sound on the disc I had was quite soft. I normally have my revciever set between 18 and 14, and for these eps I had to put it at 10...and that was still a little quieter than I would have liked.
    The themem music sounds great, but Shatners voice over is VERY quiet underneath. I have to strain to hear it. (I'm only connected via the coax so I guess I'm just getting a pro logic remix of the 2.0?)
     
  15. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Well, I've ordered mine from Deep Discount DVD for $106. I went into a local Best Buy today and saw it for $179 (ouch). It's great to see the stellar reviews coming in daily. It appears the "Bill was right" chorus has all but evaporated.
     
  16. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    It sounds to me like the same sound mix from the original SD season sets.

    Doug
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I'm finally going to have some time the next day to play with these discs!

    I did see Balance of Terror last night and sampled a bit of Shore Leave and Charlie X earlier.

    Here's a quicky review of 2 episodes for Lou:

    As for the sound, I have a different experience. The audio from the HD-DVD player is connected via toslink. I am getting a down converted Dolby Digital and it is glorious, if I can quote a certain Klingon. The opening titles actually sounds better then on the syndicated broadcast. The rear surrounds are used for the music too, so it's very enveloping and fills the room. Shatner's; Space, The Final Frontier is fuller and rich. What I was slightly dissapointed by was that when the Enterprise swooshes by, the old disc had the directional surround sound, so it fly's by your right or left shoulder as the names flash by. The new disc still does this, but it's not as directional to either rear channel. But it can be heard back there.

    During Balance of Terror, the proximity phaser fires off to the right and moves to the right rear! And the Red Alert klaxon is heard on all speakers. The bridge sounds are also heard on all channels while dialogue is centered or off to the side of the character. Very nicely done sound mix. Amazing how they can do that from the original mono audio.

    The CGI of the Romulan Bird of Prey was a notch or 2 better looking in HD. The Enterprise has a few nice shots that really look great. I looked for the grain in the CGI shots. I found that the film grain in the live action and the CGI did not appear that jarring. To my eye, it was not a problem. And there was not a bit of artifacting. I am viewing on a 1080i 50 inch plasma. Once I update the firmware on the player, I understand that it might force 1080p/24 signal to the display, so it will be interesting if this works!

    Regarding the film remastering, I found that Balance of Terror was amazing, as was Charlie X. There were a few short segments, shots in the Romulan BoT where the color was not matching between shots, but I attribute that to the film elements. For example, some shots of the Romulan Commander during the attack on his BoP looks a tad washed out, I suspect the film was overexposed from the explosions. It was only noticable if you really know the show. One shot of the Enterprise Bridge looked a tad off in color too, a very short shot. Again, not a big deal. (Sort of like the restored Madeleine scene in Vertigo)

    The quality of the film elements is outstanding overall in the two episodes I have seen entirely. In one close-up of Shatner, I can see the pores on his cheek. For the first time, I realized the bridge floor is carpeted. Charlie's velour wrap around tunic has a wavy texture as I mentioned earlier. The lipstick on Grace Lee Whitney, I've always noticed was drawn higher on her lips to make them look fuller, here it really shows!

    The one area I was worried about, as the syndicated show is broadcast now, the image always looks dark. Not so here, the contrast is great and the spot lights that only light Kirk or Yeoman Rand's eyes look right. When the ship is playing dead, the red backlighting of Kirk and Spock on the bridge looks just right. And I am reminded about the early days of LD and DVD when red was a such a hard color to render on home video. The scene in Kirk's quarters when McCoy does the; "don't destroy the one named Kirk" speech, the back wall is lit red. It is solid.

    The last shot of Kirk leaving the chapel and walking down the corridor still has the flare the lens catches from one of the overhead lights. It's vibrant here!

    And as for the dreaded EE someone was concerned about, I couldn't see any.

    I remember when the last box set came out, I said Star Trek has never looked so good. That's no longer the case, the HD-DVD blows it away! I plan to do an A-B comparison with the old set, but it seems almost pointless. The level of resolution that I see here simply cannot compare. As I am new to HDM, I am still impressed with this shiney new toy!

    By the way, I did activate the Starfleet Access function. A split screen comes up and in the case of BoT, Michael and Denice Okuda are on screen to describe an aspect of production, then is goes away when it's done. There's still so much to this set to see, it will take a while to get through it all. So I can appreicate Pat's effort to do his review here.

    To me, this set was worth every penny, and I've only seen two episodes! It looks and sounds even better then one could imagine from the past sets.

    Just for fun, I did some math. Most new HD-DVD's cost $29 for two hours of film. That's $14.50 per hour. Mulitply that by 29 episodes, and you get $420.50. Of course this math means nothing, but I was curious.
     
  18. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Actually, those pictures are from the DVD Talk review I referenced, but those two shots in particular are indicative of the damaged my own set had.

    My replacement set was in worse shape. Of course it doesn't help that Amazon used absolutetly no packaging material when they shipped it out, but the outer clam-shell case was broken at the hinge, and it looks like some sets have a plastic insert that wraps around the bottom and front of the cardboard case that houses the plastic hub and discs inside. The replacement case did not have this insert, which results in this:

    [​IMG]

    The first disc in the replacement set was loose, and the plastic hubs were also cracked because of the cheap plastic used.

    Anyway, it sound like I'll enjoy these once I've pieced together an acceptable set, but if the HTF is planning on running an "award" for worst packaging this gets my vote.
     
  19. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I would have thought there would be a lot more people rushing in to comment on the set, but I guess most people looked for a good price on-line so there will be a wait till it gets into more hands.

    Those pictures are cringe worthy. I 'm going to be opening my box from DD up with a mix giddy anticipation and heavy dread.
     
  20. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I guess I got lucky. Mine was absolutely pristine. Not a mark on it.

    Doug
     

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