“Star Trek: The Next Generation” Goes HD and Blu-ray
Just in time for the 25th anniversary, Star Trek: The Next Generation is being transferred to high definition for the first time ever and released on Blu-ray. All 178 episodes from seven seasons will be transferred to true high-definition 1080p for release on Blu-ray and eventual runs on television and digital platforms both domestically and internationally.
While the first full season won’t be available until later in 2012, CBS Home Entertainment is releasing Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level, a single Blu-ray disc to give fans a taste of the series in HD, on January 31, 2012. The disc will include the feature-length pilot – “Encounter at Farpoint” – as well as two more “fan favorite” episodes, “The Inner Light” (Season 5) and “Sins of the Father” (Season 3).
Here’s a preview of the remastered “Encounter at Farpoint”:
“Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of Star Trek: The Next Generation for years,” said Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Home Entertainment. “Transferring the series to high-definition presented difficult technical challenges, but our team has come up with a process to create true 1080p HD masters with true HD visual effects. We can’t wait to show fans how pristine the series looks and sounds with our upcoming Blu-ray releases.”
Transferring Star Trek: The Next Generation to high-definition presented numerous challenges – The series was originally shot on film and then transferred to videotape, which was used to edit episodes together. In order to create true HD masters, CBS is going back to the original uncut film negative – all 25,000 plus film reels of it – and cutting the episodes together exactly the way they originally aired. The visual effects were all shot on film and will be painstakingly recompositioned, not upconverted from videotape. The newly cut film will then be transferred to true high-definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. Denise and Mike Okuda are consulting on the project.
One of the most popular series in the STAR TREK franchise, Star Trek: The Next Generation celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. It premiered in first-run syndication during the week of September 28, 1987 and ran through 1994. It won numerous accolades, including 18 Emmy® awards, and was the first – and only – syndicated television show to be nominated for the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series for its seventh season. It was also ranked #46 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list in 2002.
Set in the 24th century on the Starship Enterprise, about 100 years after the original STAR TREK series took place, the series starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker, LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi, Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data, Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wil Wheaton as her son Wesley Crusher.