My first post here, and I can't think of a better one. Forgive any typos as I am on my iPhone.
As part of my old job, I reviewed all seven DVD seasons fir IGN DVD and even visited the DVD production house when they were working on the final DS9 seasons. As a previous poster stated; TNG was shot on video and as such it doesn't translate too well to DVD. The existing DVDs are the absolute best the existing TNG elements can look on standard DVD.
Even SciFi HDs TNG broadcasts do not look much better due to the source elements.
The reason TOS looks great in HD is because CBS Paramount did a very costly HD remastering mission for the shows 40th anniversary. All of the effects were re-done with CG at HD resolution, and the source elements were cleaned up using the original negatives.
Now, TNG was the best selling Trek series on DVD by a very large margin. There is a RUMOR going around that CBS will remastering the series like TOS. If so, the BluRay will look great. However until then, the DVDs are the best you can get.
Thanks for posting. Your opinion appears to be far more informed than mine as I have no experience in this field.
There's 2 points where I'd like to share my thoughts and wondered what you or others felt.
1) Video - on my PS3 with the right settings I can get many episodes looking very good - close to satellite broadcasts of Enterprise in SD for example, but some episodes are excellent, some are not (for similar scenes and similar lightings such as the bridge). Now the question I have is this - when you say the DVDs are as good as the existing masters, is that to say that the master versions of these episodes are recorded to the same quality or are the DVD versions slightly more compressed. I appreciate the masters will still look like they were shot on video, but there are certain epsides where a lot of compression seems to have occured.
2) The Remastering Project - I think it's probably a case of how and when than if. I think that the amazon/target place markers and the rumours of the test 2-3 years ago makes me think that it is at least being looked into. If I was to guess I would imagine that any tests to professionally upscale the images are less than satisfactory, however the series is still marketable, esp in Europe where TNG is on 2 different channels every day. Also the movies* include 4 TNG ones and I assume that as a block having TOS and TNG as HD for future syndication etc might be helpful.
Many TNG episodes have very little added effects. Darmok doesn't have a huge amount at all, neither does Chain of Command. Checking season 7 I can see a whole lot more, but many TNG episodes have very little added effects, assuming the ship and other model shots exist still.
* as an aside, Generations was on Sky HD last night. I'm not an expert but I swear it was an upscaled version. It had a LOT of artefacts present.
Anyway, here's hoping. TNG might have two things going for it overall - firstly it's popularity/familiarity with a general audience and the fact that it looks so bad that the choice will probably remain between remastering it in some form (and in it's entirity) or letting it become an atrefact of the past. I can see them leaving DS9 and VOY, but not TNG