Well, I took a stab at them:
Full Res: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...idescreen1.jpg
Full Res: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...idescreen2.jpg
Yes, they are tricky shots. Yes, I did squash/stretch them and Yes, I did resort to using content aware fill to "widen" the image...but I'd say none of the critical information has been lost in the transformation. Everyone's face is still in shot, everyone's uniform is visible to some degree and, most importantly, Troi's cleavage is left unharmed.
So while my techniques may have been clumsy and haphazard, if this schmuck can do it, I dare say the folks over at CBS digital could as well.
EDIT: And Yes, these have been blown up to 720p. I did my best with some digital noise reduction, but as you can clearly see its nowhere near enough HD quality.
While it may retain the "critical" information, it has lost it's composition entirely. You've got two torsos barely in frame at the bottom of the screen, and Worf's head only just in shot. My eye is drawn all over the place trying to sort it out and it's quite tiring to look at now, because everything is now pushed to the edges of the frame instead of being placed where it's intended. Artistically, this is now terrible. And this is one random shot. Imagine them doing this for hundreds of shots per episode for 180 episodes.
(edit: I was referring to the first shot. The second one isn't as bad aside from cropping off a bit of Riker's head, but it's still noticeably worse)
If ruining shots is the price to pay for "widescreen", then it's pointless. Widescreen does not instantly make things look good, especially when you've had to ruin a shot to do so.