STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Coming to Blu-Ray!
Why has it taken this long? In order to understand that you have to understand a little about how TNG was produced.
Prior to the mid-eighties, all night time dramas in the U.S. were shot on 35mm film, edited on 35mm film an printed on 35mm film. This creates a relatively easy task for mastering to HD. It’s just like mastering a film. Because, technically, it is a film. This is why shows from the sixties can look so great on DVD and Blu-Ray.
By the mid-eighties this began to change. Shows were still shot on 35mm film, but they began to be edited on CMX video editing systems with broadcast masters put on 1″ video tape. No 35 mm print was ever created. And a 1″ broadcast master is standard definition. You could up-convert it HD, but it would be rather disappointing, because it wouldn’t be a true HD image. For the simple reason that there isn’t the extra information 35mm film allows.
So in order to create a true HD version of the TNG, you must go back to the original camera negative. And then re-edit the entire episode. Every cut, dissolve, fade, etc. must be redone. But your complications don’t end here. Because many of the special effects on TNG were digital. And only done at standard definition. So these have to all be redone, or recomposited at least, for HD. And they’re doing just that!
A mammoth time consuming job. Here are the details:
[They are] returning to the original film negatives, a mother lode of material encompassing 25,000-plus reels of footage, and editing the episodes together precisely as they were when they originally aired between 1987 and 1994. Visual effects will not be upconverted from videotape, but instead will be recompositioned. The freshly cut film will ultimately be transferred to high definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. And all of the work is being done in conjunction with respected, longtime Star Trek figures Denise and Michael Okuda, who are on board as consultants.
Sounds great. CBS/Paramount will be released the three story set advertised above, followed by full season sets latter in 2012.