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Star Trek series physical media in the Paramount Plus era and legacy (1 Viewer)

Sam Favate

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I recall from the podcast that Altman also mentioned they’re looking to do DS9 first (with Voyager to follow at some point), and that they would likely give Paramount+ an exclusive streaming window before any disc release, similar to what they did with STTMP’s Director Edition last year.
This is what I have been saying for a while now, and it makes the most sense. Streaming services have a budget for new content (not as much as before, but still...), whereas we know straight up physical sales aren't going to foot the bill.

i bought the deluxe release of that ST:TMP 4K UHD release, and it includes the Theatrical version, the Director Edition AND the ABC-TV Special Extended Cut, which I think was originally released on VHS back in the day.
Me too, and I was glad to do it. I figured that after complaining to Paramount for years that we wanted TMP-DC in HD, the least I could do was buy the damn thing when it came out. They gave us everything we wanted with that release, so I couldn't say no.

Hopefully the DS9 remaster bids come in within their planned budget. I think having Paramount + helping to subsidize it makes a lot of sense. Not to mention I’m sure H&I/Weigel Broadcasting would pay good money to get exclusive broadcast syndication rights to DS9 and replace their old syndicated transfers that they run weeknights with the brand-spanking new ones.
Yup. The day is coming -- if it hasn't passed already -- when audiences are simply not going to look at standard def media. They expect shows to be in HD, and I can't blame them. Any show that's not in HD risks being lost to history.
 

Josh Steinberg

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But, to be fair, not even George Lucas had the foresight to shoot Attack of the Clones in anything better than 2k digital.

Nothing better existed at the time - it was actually 1080p, slightly below 2K - and it barely worked for them on set.

But it’s also true that had he not done that, it’s very possible that the transition from film to digital wouldn’t have happened as it did - at a certain point someone has to go first in terms of pushing the technology forward and it becomes more important to finish a project as proof of concept than it is to future proof for an improved standard that might never arrive. I mean, at the time Lucas did this, movies were shown on 35mm release prints commonly believed to have only about 720p worth of resolution, so it didn’t really matter that his cameras were 1080 and not 4K or 8K - film prints the audience was gonna see were never going to hold 4K worth of visual information and his effects company wasn’t working at 4K then anyway.

Yup. The day is coming -- if it hasn't passed already -- when audiences are simply not going to look at standard def media. They expect shows to be in HD, and I can't blame them. Any show that's not in HD risks being lost to history.

I agree and I’ve said as much before too :). And there’s an entire audience that has moved passed physical media as well, and the divide for them might not be “SD vs HD” but “accessible on disc only vs. available to stream”

I hate to say it, but for the entirety of human history, a huge amount of pop culture has been for all intents and purposes lost to history - most people most of the time are most interested in material that is contemporary to them. Shakespeare, Dickens, Star Trek TOS, these are all things that are the exceptions that prove the rule. Honestly I think a certain amount of this is healthy - stuff needs to go away to make room in the cultural zeitgeist for whatever comes next, and if that doesn’t happen, culture stagnates and dies. It’s not like that every Star Trek everything is going to be a pop culture perennial - some of them are going to be deep cuts for dedicated fans and not things that everyone in the world remains familiar with. It’s a little tougher when it happens to the thing you like but a lot of Trek - whether upgraded to HD or not - will remain there for the people who want it but just won’t entice substantial numbers of new viewers. It’s not a reflection of quality but just the reality of history.
 

Museum Pieces

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My wife is in our living room right now watching DS9. She has been bingeing it for weeks. She would prefer to watch it in HD, of course, but it is not hurting her enjoyment one bit. My point is this: They have the product on their streaming service and people are watching it. Disc-based media sales are down. They never recouped what they spent on TNG a decade ago. It makes no sense to spend a million-plus dollars an episode to remaster it when the product is already there being consumed, and very few people will buy it on disc. Someone needs to explain how this makes good business sense. They lost their shirts on TNG and DS9 will cost a lot lot more. Not trying to throw cold water over here, just explaining the reality as my brother-in-law explained it to me.

And BTW, if they were gearing up for DS9, he'd be among the first contacted because he knows the ropes. He has heard nothing, and said if he was contacted, he would decline. He was underpaid, overworked; it was too much stress, it gave him an ulcer, and they lost their shirts.

I hope DS9 gets the HD treatment and not just an upscale, but I just don't see how this can happen.

Edit: I just talked to my brother-in-law. Carab said even if they found a new way to "do it cheaper," they still have to work with original elements, otherwise there's no point in doing it, and there's no way to cut the time and cost of sourcing all the original elements. They had to upscale more than one shot in TNG-R because they couldn't find the original camera negative for some shots. He said they labored for years searching for original elements.
 
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Wayne Klein

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I'll be brief as this is a Star Trek thread...

RE: B5. It *was* shot for WS presentation and protected for 4:3 (see here and here). The reason it was *cropped* WS was the original vfx files were *lost* (supposedly the HD containing the files crashed or was lost - I've read conflicting stories) so cropping was the only solution for presenting a WS product (and even that was bungled - see 2nd link). And, IMHO, it was a bad choice.
Howdy, new here but that's exactly what happened. As to JMS and Babylonian Productions/Warner being short sighted, they weren't the only ones as we have other shows from that era with digital effects that are lost.
 

Wayne Klein

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My wife is in our living room right now watching DS9. She has been bingeing it for weeks. She would prefer to watch it in HD, of course, but it is not hurting her enjoyment one bit. My point is this: They have the product on their streaming service and people are watching it. Disc-based media sales are down. They never recouped what they spent on TNG a decade ago. It makes no sense to spend a million-plus dollars an episode to remaster it when the product is already there being consumed, and very few people will buy it on disc. Someone needs to explain how this makes good business sense. They lost their shirts on TNG and DS9 will cost a lot lot more. Not trying to throw cold water over here, just explaining the reality as my brother-in-law explained it to me.

And BTW, if they were gearing up for DS9, he'd be among the first contacted because he knows the ropes. He has heard nothing, and said if he was contacted, he would decline. He was underpaid, overworked; it was too much stress, it gave him an ulcer, and they lost their shirts.

I hope DS9 gets the HD treatment and not just an upscale, but I just don't see how this can happen.

Edit: I just talked to my brother-in-law. Carab said even if they found a new way to "do it cheaper," they still have to work with original elements, otherwise there's no point in doing it, and there's no way to cut the time and cost of sourcing all the original elements. They had to upscale more than one shot in TNG-R because they couldn't find the original camera negative for some shots. He said they labored for years searching for original elements.
All very true but, at some point, they have to realize they are losing money but not investing in rescans of the series and future proofing any further releases in other formats. The shows weren't as big as TNG but there's also the streaming option so there are ways to spread the cost around to make it more cost effective than when TNG was done (even though they had syndication as an option then). At some point, I believe we will get DS9 and Voyager whether or not with upscaled effects or re-rendered (which I doubt due to the cost). As I recall, some of the original files still exist although I can't recall if it was Ron Moore who took possession of them or not.
 

Museum Pieces

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All very true but, at some point, they have to realize they are losing money but not investing in rescans of the series and future proofing any further releases in other formats. The shows weren't as big as TNG but there's also the streaming option so there are ways to spread the cost around to make it more cost effective than when TNG was done (even though they had syndication as an option then). At some point, I believe we will get DS9 and Voyager whether or not with upscaled effects or re-rendered (which I doubt due to the cost). As I recall, some of the original files still exist although I can't recall if it was Ron Moore who took possession of them or not.
The good news is there was a lot of restoration work done for the documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND. My brother-in-law did not work on that. But he said they did have some difficulty finding certain reels, and that was only for a stand-alone documentary.

My question is: If P+ is getting lots of hits on DS9 now, and apparently they are, is upgrading the show into HD, given the time and expense, going to pay for itself? It's not like they would get a bunch of new subscribers to their streaming platform for upgrading a decade's old show. I'm still wanting someone to tell me where exactly the revenue is supposed to be coming from after they upgrade it. They tried it with TNG-R and lost their shirts. It would be madness to do it with a property that, while I think is a better show, is not half as popular as TNG.
 

Jason_V

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All very true but, at some point, they have to realize they are losing money but not investing in rescans of the series and future proofing any further releases in other formats.

I have been saying this for years and years on the HTF. I don't see a way where Paramount/CBS decides they want to relegate 14 seasons of TV Trek to the dustbin of history by not figuring out how to get them into HD. I know the math is the math and all that jazz...but from a logic perspective, having two of the shows which were groundbreaking at the time (first African American lead, first female captain lead) makes no sense to me.

Zero inside information here, but DS9 and VOY in HD WILL happen. How and when...I don't know. But they will.
 

Sam Favate

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My question is: If P+ is getting lots of hits on DS9 now, and apparently they are, is upgrading the show into HD, given the time and expense, going to pay for itself? It's not like they would get a bunch of new subscribers to their streaming platform for upgrading a decade's old show.
It's not necessarily about getting new subscribers, it's also about keeping existing ones. Plenty of people unsubscribe from streaming services when they've finished a series or when no new episodes are airing. This would alleviate some of the churn.
 

JediFonger

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you can find out whether any title has steelbook or slips or whatever by visiting blu dash ray dot com.

as for remasterting TNG style, that was a unique event that happened at the height of DVD/Blu media at the right time and right place. i can't think of any other TV series that received that level of restoration/remastering nor do i believe it'll ever happen again.
 

Joseph Bolus

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Regarding "Deep Space Nine" Remastering:

Some fans have experimented with using some of the latest AI-based upscaling software for DS9 with decent results.

Here's an example:
DS9 Intro AI-Upscaled to 4K

Perhaps Paramount could consider using one of these new, sophisticated, AI-based upscaling technologies to perform a "pseudo" -- but cost effective -- Remastering.

As to the main topic:

I own all 3 Seasons of "Star Trek: Picard" and the 2 Seasons of "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" that have been released on regular Blu-ray -- with Slipcovers. (I've just about worn-out disc 3 of SNW Season 2 due to "Subspace Rhapsody"!)
 
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Wayne Klein

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It's not necessarily about getting new subscribers, it's also about keeping existing ones. Plenty of people unsubscribe from streaming services when they've finished a series or when no new episodes are airing. This would alleviate some of the churn.
Agreed. Folks would tune in again (not everyone mind you) like they did for Star Trek in HD. If they can spread the cost around, it is doable but they would have to have presales and partners to make the math work short term.
 

Wayne Klein

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Regarding "Deep Space Nine" Remastering:

Some fans have experimented with using some of the latest AI-based upscaling software for DS9 with decent results.

Here's an example:
DS9 Intro AI-Upscaled to 4K

Perhaps Paramount could consider using one of these new, sophisticated, AI-based upscaling technologies to perform a "pseudo" -- but cost effective -- Remastering.

As to the main topic:

I own all 3 Seasons of "Star Trek: Picard" and the 2 Seasons of "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" that have been released on regular Blu-ray -- with Slipcovers. (I've just about worn-out disc 3 of SNW Season 2 due to "Subspace Rhapsody"!)
At the very least they could do this with the visual effects. The live action, having the film, it would make sense to just scan them.
 

Wayne Klein

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The good news is there was a lot of restoration work done for the documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND. My brother-in-law did not work on that. But he said they did have some difficulty finding certain reels, and that was only for a stand-alone documentary.

My question is: If P+ is getting lots of hits on DS9 now, and apparently they are, is upgrading the show into HD, given the time and expense, going to pay for itself? It's not like they would get a bunch of new subscribers to their streaming platform for upgrading a decade's old show. I'm still wanting someone to tell me where exactly the revenue is supposed to be coming from after they upgrade it. They tried it with TNG-R and lost their shirts. It would be madness to do it with a property that, while I think is a better show, is not half as popular as TNG.
I agree. If they can’t find them, they will have to make do. I don’t even know if STTNG ever found those missing pieces after the blu-ray or if they changed them out.

If they could get a presale for streaming purposes, along with other physical copies and partners to deal with part of the cost, perhaps they could justify it to the bean counters.
 

84lion

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Sigh. I've been going crazy with upscaling shows like DS9 and Voyager (not my two favorite Trek shows in any case but the lack of good new TV shows got me going) using Topaz Video AI software (I've actually been doing this with a ton of old shows that I want to put on Plex - it all got started with Stargate SG-1, but that's a story for another day...). I purchased the DS9 and Voyager sets in PAL, which gives just a slight resolution bump to start with. The SFX "space" shots are nothing short of horrendous if not upscaled - DS9 looks like a fuzzy mess. With the Topaz upscale to 4K, the end result is not what I would call "spectacular," but it is sharp enough for viewing on a 70" 4K TV.

I suppose I could wait for BRs of DS9 and Voyager, but I'm not sure I'd want to expend the money, and I might well pass on waiting for those to arrive!
 

Nelson Au

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The good news is there was a lot of restoration work done for the documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND. My brother-in-law did not work on that. But he said they did have some difficulty finding certain reels, and that was only for a stand-alone documentary.

My question is: If P+ is getting lots of hits on DS9 now, and apparently they are, is upgrading the show into HD, given the time and expense, going to pay for itself? It's not like they would get a bunch of new subscribers to their streaming platform for upgrading a decade's old show. I'm still wanting someone to tell me where exactly the revenue is supposed to be coming from after they upgrade it. They tried it with TNG-R and lost their shirts. It would be madness to do it with a property that, while I think is a better show, is not half as popular as TNG.

Skylar,

Please tell your brother-in-law that I’ve enjoyed the hard work done on the TNG remastering many times over many viewings of the series. I’m on a third season re-viewing now. Great work!
 

Museum Pieces

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Skylar,

Please tell your brother-in-law that I’ve enjoyed the hard work done on the TNG remastering many times over many viewings of the series. I’m on a third season re-viewing now. Great work!
I'm with Carab for the holidays and showed him your post. He said thanks, that you are the biggest Star Trek fan he knows and one of the people he misses from the forum. I've been working on him, trying to get him to come back, but he's got his own website. He's happy and respected there, so I don't think he is coming back. Thanks for the shout out. He deserves it.
 

BobO'Link

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I'm with Carab for the holidays and showed him your post. He said thanks, that you are the biggest Star Trek fan he knows and one of the people he misses from the forum. I've been working on him, trying to get him to come back, but he's got his own website. He's happy and respected there, so I don't think he is coming back. Thanks for the shout out. He deserves it.
Tell him "Hi!" from me as well... I really miss his presence. What's his site's URL? I'd love to check it out.
 

Nelson Au

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Skylar, Thanks for showing your brother-in-law my post!

I did not make the connection or realize who Carab is until Howie’s post above. Carab is short for Carabimero! Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve seen him post here. Glad to hear he’s doing well! I’m curious about what his website is too.
 

Museum Pieces

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Tell him "Hi!" from me as well... I really miss his presence. What's his site's URL? I'd love to check it out.
Carab created a website for disadvantaged youth where he helps teach them to teach themselves to write, to help give them a fair start, to help them break into show biz. He's helping out a lot of young people who otherwise never would have gotten opportunities. He's very happy and fulfilled doing it. I'll tell him you said hi.
 

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