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Star Trek post production SD to HD

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Steve_Klein, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Steve_Klein

    Steve_Klein Active Member

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    Hi all:

    It is my understanding that the post-production for the post-TOS Trek series (i.e. TNG, DS9, and Voyager) was initially done on SD video, making a future HD release of several seasons of these series unlikely (unless effects are recomposited, etc.). My question is this: Exactly when did all three series switch to HD post and how would this affect an HD release of these seasons? Might we see some later Trek seasons released in HD and others not? I'm assuming the switchover happened at the same point for all of the series; I seem to remember reading it was sometime late in TNG's run, which would mean all of Voyager is "HD ready" (?). Thanks!
     
  2. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Well-Known Member

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    I don't know too much about the entire post production process for the shows, but I know that as far as SFX go, even ST:Enterprise used Standard Definition resolutions, at least in their first seasons. And the SFX for TNG were on video to begin with, not sure about DS9. The bottom line is that I don't think you should get your hopes up for actual HD resolution content for these shows (TNG,DS9,VOY), as it would be extremely costly and in some cases, impossible. They were made to be SD and that's likely how they will remain.
     
  3. ravma

    ravma Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, some of VOY was done in Widescreen at least. I doubt it was HD though.
    Enterprise is probably the only one with a shot at HD.
     
  4. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Well-Known Member

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    It was broadcast in both HD and SD from the start.

    DS9 and Voyager were digital, the later season DVDs pretty much represent all that is possible. Any Blu-ray version won't add to much to the quality.

    TNG needs to be recomped and edited. Too expensive.

    TOS was finished and edited on film. HDTV is definitely possible.
     
  5. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't mind having another go at the first couple seasons of TNG. I had taped these SP as they originally aired. So of course when the dvds came out, I checked and compared. Um, my home-made videos were a little better in some regards. The colors were definitely more vibrant. The dvds look a little washed out and faded to me. I'm not sure if this was a compression issue or if the original negatives were a little worn out by the time the dvds came out.
     
  6. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Well-Known Member

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    TNG's live action was filmed, but the show was edited and the FX were composited on video. In the 3rd season they switched to digital video (notice bluescreen shots are no longer "fuzzy" and space is "black") for compositing but the masters of the show are still on videotape.

    It's possible your tapes' colors are more vibrant due to your TV station transmitting the color information at a higher level. My local station would frequently turn it up TOO high and you'd see things like sizzling colors with comet trails and buzzing noise.

    TNG on DVD represents what the original video masters looked like. They aren't going to get any better.
     
  7. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine TOS looking any better than it does now on DVD, which is pretty damn good. I've been wacthing the third season lately, and the clarity and colors are remarkable.
     
  8. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Well-Known Member

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    ...and DS9, and Voyager.

    (I think we're saying the same thing but to clarify...) Sure, they eventually went digital (early TNG took a hit to Beta SP suring compositing, resulting in generational loss for effects shots), but it was still in SD. All three shows would need to have all its raw film footage transferred anew and the animation effects (phasers, etc) and compostiting redone from scratch to create HD versions.
     
  9. ravma

    ravma Well-Known Member

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    Knowing how much Paramount could charge for HD versions, both on HD-DVD/Blu and Syndication, plus how much they've already made from Trek in general, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they did it.
     
  10. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Yeah, the only way to make TNG look better would be to re-create all of the CG effects in HD resolution, which is possible but would be very expensive.

    I would bet Enterprise and TOS will be Paramount's first HD offerings, after most or all of the movies are re-released in HD.
     
  11. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Well-Known Member

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    Not only would the composting have to be redone, but somehow I doubt that every single sound effect and phaser animation was saved, so new material would likely have to be created to replace what was lost. Hell there's a good chance that the filmed footage itself can't be found. Also, the cutting between Hi-def shots of the crew to the S-def video shots of outer space would look very bad IMO. Oh yeah, and remember that the sets they used were not made to be seen in Hi-def, and would likely look very poor in so much detail. Anyone remember when shows a few years ago, like the Tonight Show or E.R., talked about having to build and revise new sets when they switched to HD, because the old ones looked so bad. (edit: they also talked about this when revisiting the sets for ST:Generations)

    I think it's a bit odd to consider HD versions of SD material Okay. If, like TOS, it was shot and edited on film (just like a movie) that's fine, but for many shows the work needed to do this would cause a vast amount of change to the original material. I see it as very similar to colorizing Black & White material, and I would think many would see it that way. I mean they might as well recompose them for 16:9 while their at it.
     
  12. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    The *big* benefit from a Blu-ray release of TNG (or DS9, or VOY) will be the savings in shelf space: An entire season (in SD) should easily fit on two single-sided, single-layer, Blu-ray discs! (Or perhaps they could stretch it to three discs with more supplements? I would like to see Okuda trivia tracks on every episode, trailers, interactive production and interview features, and so on ...)
     
  13. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, but it makes one wonder how TV on Blu-ray will be handled. How will the average consumer react when they go into walmart and see they can get an entire season of TNG in a single disk case, with only 1-2 discs, while a season of Enterpise sits next to it in a great big box (still needing multiple discs due to its HD resolutions)(also, lets pretent TNG and ENT are equal shows here). And how will those differences account for pricing, if at all?
     
  14. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    Wow!

    I hadn't thought of that! It's quite possible, of course, that DVD will remain the exclusive providence of SD TV releases, in which case it won't be a problem. But I just have a feeling that once Blu-ray "takes off" Paramount won't be able to resist releasing Blu-ray iterations of TNG and so on. Perhaps they could release both SD and HD versions of TOS and ENT on Blu-ray??

    Of course, we're probably at least three years away from the point when SD TV on Blu-ray will even be considered ...
     
  15. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Well-Known Member

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    If any HD format takes off (it's looking like Blu-Ray now, of course), I'm sure that any profitable release from DVD will be reissued in the new format, just as was done with CDs from LPs and DVDs from VHS. Of course, there are still some LPs you can't get on CD, and tapes you can't get on DVD, but in general, the labels and studios like to sell us the same thing again and again (and who can blame them?).

    Just because Voyager was shot widescreen for a few seasons doesn't mean the show was ever even assembled that way. This has been a common "safety measure" for a few years now in TV, though most shows that were shot "16x9 safe" will never be converted to 16x9, because it would be prohibitive to go back to the original elements (and there would be continuity errors aplenty on the sides of the shots!).
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Well-Known Member

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    Thought I'd resurrect this thread to comment on the Voyager DVD's. I recently got a plasma 50" screen and I had enjoyed Enterprise's 4th season on it. Recently, I've been getting back to viewing the 7th Season of Voyager. Since it is 4:3 OAR, I use the zoom to view that kind of material. What surprises me is that I can see some issues with these discs that are either the DVD's or the TV's scaler. I have the last genration Pioneer DVD/LD player and view via Component at 480i. During a few shots of the Voyager flying from rear left to right, I can see an occassional jaggies along the edge of the ship's hull and engines. The live action stuff for the most part looks okay. I also notice on lesser quality discs I see some horizonatal lines that form the jaggies, I guess this is part of the digital display world!

    I don't believe I see anything like this on Enterprise and I think TOS looks spectacular. I'll be viewing a few TNG's and I have yet to check out DS9 on this new screen to see how the effects scenes look. Perhaps an upscaling DVD player will smooth things out a bit with HDMI connected.

    At anyrate, I'd hate to have to repurchase the entire Star Trek franchise if it is redone for HD DVD or Blu Ray! TOS yes, but the rest, I'm not sure.

    Can you imagine what the next few years will bring? Possible re-releases of not just Star Trek, but so many other TV shows on HD discs? I would think it more likely that it will be limited with some many general consumers who have bought so many TV shows, they wouldn't go for it.
     
  17. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how much SD television shows can benefit from HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, just by the increased bitrate the new format could offer.
     
  18. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Well-Known Member

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    This is the reason I'm holding off on purchasing a few shows. However, Star Trek isn't one of those shows. I'm only interested in TNG and DS9, so my only holdup is I'm waiting for a R1 release of the thinpack packaging currently available in the UK, I just don't want to have the huge packaging the current versions are packaged in. Even with Blu-Ray I don't think the packaging will get much smaller than that for these shows, since I think they'd put extras on seperate discs - even if it could fit on one disc - to mitigate the problems with people having trouble paying that amount of money for so few discs.

    However, shows such as Lost have me waiting before I purchase anymore seasons on DVD. I purchased the first season simply because I hadn't seen it, but I won't be purchasing Season 2 until the show starts being released on a hi-def format since it was filmed in HD.
     

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