That still doesn't address the original post. How do we know that the films were sourced from 1080i/p sources? Just because a tape can hold 1080p material doesn't mean that it does.
Just look at how Warner Brothers is sending out 720 and 1080i broadcast masters (or even downloads) too stations of the first four seasons of "Smallville", even though they have stated that the material isn't up to Blu-Ray standards. It could be that Paramount was in the same boat, but instead of saying that the sources weren't up to Blu-Ray specs Paramount just unpressed a 720p tape too 1080p and added some film grain too make it look like they had taken the Blu-Rays from the film.
Because it looks like 1080?
Tom, if you're making the claim that, "Paramount just unpressed a 720p tape too 1080p and added some film grain too,"
you need to provide evidence for that claim -- you can't just make unsupported assertions. Why would Paramount add grain only to wipe it away with DNR? That makes absolutely no sense.
You wrote earlier that you, "recall reading that the rest of the films were just being upressed for the Blu-Rays."
Where did you read this?
For the third time, my
evidence for the masters having 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolution can be found not merely in my old MPEG2 1080i HDTV copies of the films which I still possess, but also on the Blu-rays themselves -- in the new HD special features created for each film by King Media Services.
There are clips there from those masters with intact grain. Have you looked at them recently? They do not appear to be 720p upscales and the grain does not appear to be simulated.
If you still doubt this, there's nothing stopping you from contacting King Media and asking them what resolution the clips were that Paramount gave them. But you don't even have to go that far -- you just have to look at the clips in the featurettes on the Trek Blu-rays.
Besides, why would Paramount choose to make 720p telecines instead of 1080i back in the late 90s? 1440x1080i on HDCAM or D-5 had been available since about 1996/97, concurrent with the introduction of Thompson's Grass Valley Spirit DataCine -- which could both scan to DPX files and telecine to HDTV resolutions. Then around 2000, 1080/24P became the norm. 720p wasn't the norm for feature films. Even Star Trek: Enterprise
, which began in 2001, was finished on 1080/24P D-5 HD videotape. Seasons 1-3 were shot on 3-perf 35mm film and in Season 4 they switched to the Sony CineAlta digital camera.
was finished on DigiBeta (720×486) for season 1 and then HDCAM (and later HDCAM SR) for all subsequent seasons. Seasons 1-7 were shot on 3-perf 35mm film and then they switched to the Panavision Genesis digital camera for seasons 8-10.