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The Next Generation goes High Def

Paramount has just announced that  STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION will be 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.

“Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® for years,” said Ross. “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. ”

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.

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). It should retail right around $22 bucks.

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.

If you didn’t know — and please turn in your Nerd Card if this is the case — STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION 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.

4 Comments

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  1. September 28, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I’m impressed that Paramount is going all out for TNG’s HD upgrade. Can they do anything to improve the stories that aired during the first 2 season? Digitally add on a beard to Riker during its first season would improve it slightly?

    Reply
  2. September 28, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Some things are beyond even the power of The Gods….

    Reply
  3. Will says
    September 29, 2011, 9:12 am

    One of my favorite shows of all time. I already own it on DVD, but I’m definitely buying the blu-rays.

    I use this show as an example of why people shouldn’t give up on a show after the first episode. TV was different back then.

    Reply
  4. Tim says
    December 9, 2011, 9:13 am

    This idea is both exciting and scary. The above preview shows the potential quality of converting this show to HD and it looks beautiful. However, the Star Trek franchise is without question the most consistently expensive (considerably so) television series ever sold on DVD. As much as I love these shows, I truly fear what their costs will be in a Blu-ray release. We’ve been ripped off for years in comparison to other TV shows and I’m sure it will continue in its next evolution because people will still pay for it. About the only consolation will be an increase in availability of used DVDs on EBay from those who have upgraded and, hopefully, a decrease in price for those of us who won’t.

    Reply

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