I just watched the Blu-Ray last night, and I must say that, while the colors and sound are better than the versions we've seen for the past 25 years, the framing for each shot needs to be worked on a lot more, especially if they plan to present the series in HD just as it aired. I noticed in quite a few shots that we actually see more picture than what has been on TV (such as when Zorn's office window gets blown out, and I don't mean with the whole the SD video master was in 1.33:1 and the HD master is in 1.37:1, I'm talking about more info all around), but then I was finding that a number of shots were cropped to almost make them look like I was watching the show on an old 80's TV were the casing was covering way too much of the screen (almost as if the producers had zoomed those shots in to a 4:3 Safe Titling Zone fit, instead of the 4:3 Safe Action Zone). If you compare the scene with Troi in Zorn's office, in Encounter At Farpoint
, where she says that her mother is Betazoid but her "father was a Starfleet Officer", on the DVD you'll notice that there is tons of room between the top of the image and Troi's hairband and you can see it going around her head, but on the Blu-Ray her hairband goes right into the top part of the TV. That would be something that, if I was watching the episode back in the 80's, I might expect to see on a TV that had too much casing covering the screen, but on a modern HD TV (I was watching the Blu-Ray and DVD on a Philips 40" LCD connected by HDMI to both a Playstation 3 (Next Level Disc) and a DVD Recorder (TNG DVD Season 1 Disc 1)). I was also finding that in Sins of The Father
a number of the close-ups were zoomed into and I was getting an almost "Babylon 5 DVD-Live Action/CGI combined" type of shot where the eyes of people were getting very close to the top of the TV and were almost cut off, and their foreheads were appearing in a distorted way. If the producers were going to do that much modifying, then why did they not just go with a HD widescreen version of TNG and just left the 4:3 original version at SD?
But, then (and I hope CBS corrects this by the time Season 5 is released on Blu-Ray) I was really disappointed at whoever did the CGI Enterprise-D in The Inner Light
. Right as soon as the teaser opens there's the shot of the D flying by with Picard's log entry, but that ship looked like Absolute CGI Garbage. I was reminded of the opening to the Voyager episode Blink of An Eye
where you could tell that the Voyager was not the studio model, but a CGI ship. It was like a white shadow of the D flying by, and didn't have any of the depth that the physical model that appeared in the opening credits had, or when the D appeared briefly at the first return to the Enterprise. On the saucer, you know the lip on the underside where there are those two rows of rectangular boxes (I'm not too sure what they are for? Escape Pods?) running around the whole saucer, well on the CGI model I could just barely make them out, and yet on the SD DVD I could make those out just fine! Plus, just the way the ship came towards the screen looked like a very unfinished CGI design, or the way a Galaxy class ship might've looked at a distance on Bridge Commander
from the late 1990's/early 2000's.
CBS Digital did such a fantastic, and way better job on the CGI for TOS-R than Eden FX did for Enterprise, that I was shocked at just how low quality this CGI D looked.