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Old February 13 2012, 05:41 PM   #444
Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Just wanted to add my 2 cents after watching all three episodes. I had a little TNG party last night, inviting most of my friends who are Trek fans, ranging from age 3 (my daughter) to 55-ish (my friend and his wife.) We ate lots of junk food and watched our favorite show like we've never seen before.

The best part was hearing the ooohs and aaahs when the D was revealed in all its glory. Just to prime everyone, I showed them some clips from the DVD's, making the improvement all the more impressive. I really considered buying a new TV just for last night. My 40" 1080P Dynex is alright but I'm eyeing something bigger. In the end I decided to not use my credit card, and wait for my tax return. *Sigh* being frugal is no fun. Maybe when S1 comes out I'll get a 46"~50".

I was the only one really steeped in the details of the project, having followed the threads here and the excellent summary page at TrekCore, so I provided a sort of running commentary. My wife (not a hardcore Trekkie but loves TNG and the movies) was really nervous that everyone would find me annoying, but she obviously underestimated Trek fans' appreciation of minutiae, because my friends loved it. I got a big laugh when I pointed out the non-italicized quotation marks and slightly different fonts in the credits. "Some fans have already complained about this. We're a picky bunch, obsessive compulsive at times. Not *me* of course, but some of them." :P

I thought every FX shot was great, even the energy beam to feed Farpoint. Also, the static D vs BOP in Sins was totally fine, not sure what people are complaining about there. Lots of TNG shots looked like that.

Things that did bug me: film grain in Sins and Inner Light. Just seemed a little noisy, if that's the right word.

Also, 4:3. I'm sorry, I love the idea of keeping the original framing, but the reality is that on widescreen TV's, when you sit far away, you want as much picture as possible. Maybe it's cause I only have a 40". I showed people the whole 4:3 explanation and debate, and we all agreed that using my TV's crop+smart stretch feature resulted in a better overall experience. We do lose a little slice of the credits, but we gain a more cinematic experience. I'm sure CBS or some one else will release a cropped version (smart stretched at the edges would be nice too.) And I can't help but doubt the people who say there would be too many production artifacts in the "non-safe" zone of the original 4:3 negatives. As the illustration of the "These are the Voyages Clip" from Ex Astris Scientia showed, the non-safe area isn't THAT big, and it's very likely that most shots will be fine. You could even crop/smart stretch the ones that had serious difficulties.

That said, I'm happy with 4:3 too.
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