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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old February 13 2012, 03:41 AM   #436
Dac
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I don't understand the argument for making the show 16x9 for the Blu-Ray wouldn't doing that be for the same, stupid, reasons that brought us "full-screen" DVDs?

The show was filmed in 4x3, it was originally broadcast in 4x3 it should be presented in that format. Want it to fill the screen either to wear your TV evenly or because the "fill-in color" on your TV can be distracting? Then stretch the picture. Don't like the distortion? Deal with it.

Making it 16x9 would not work it'd very likely expose elements of production we're not meant to see or it'd just plain ruin the framing of shots which could have an impact on the scenes themselves.

Yeah, I watched the Next Level in 4x3 because on the BD the unused portions were black so I didn't find it any more distracting than when I watch a movie that's not 16x9 on my TV. Yeah, I'm slightly worried about un-even wear but I suspect in the long-run I'll be fine, I tried using "stretch" and such but the one that does it best wasn't available through the Blu-Ray (the setting that stretches the edges more than the center.)

Still, watch it in 4x3 and you'll be fine. I'd much rather have that then the mess that'd likely come from making the show 16x9.

I'd just like to pojnt out, while I agree completely with you and I like the fact its preserving how it was originally, with the sampler set at least you cannot stretch the image with your TV. Because they "hard coded" in the two black bars onto the video as opposed to just presenting the video in 4:3, the TV see's it as a 16:9 image and won't stretch it beyond that.

I've tried it on 3 seperate TVs so far (2 Samsung, 1 LG) and they all had the same issue. Even on my PC, It stretches the black bars too.
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Old February 13 2012, 03:42 AM   #437
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Well, the latter is a question of what player you use. The better players let you do things like auto-crop the black bars before applying any other scaling, or just manually key in the aspect ratio and/or zoom factor.
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Old February 13 2012, 03:43 AM   #438
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

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I'm sorry for evidently rebooting the 16:9 sub-discussion . Let me point out I've poked fun and moaned at the "It should really be 16:9" faction on earlier pages, and the 9:16 jab was just more of the same.
That's okay, it's at least more interesting than the framing discussion of the last 4 pages.
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Old February 13 2012, 03:48 AM   #439
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Dac wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I don't understand the argument for making the show 16x9 for the Blu-Ray wouldn't doing that be for the same, stupid, reasons that brought us "full-screen" DVDs?

The show was filmed in 4x3, it was originally broadcast in 4x3 it should be presented in that format. Want it to fill the screen either to wear your TV evenly or because the "fill-in color" on your TV can be distracting? Then stretch the picture. Don't like the distortion? Deal with it.

Making it 16x9 would not work it'd very likely expose elements of production we're not meant to see or it'd just plain ruin the framing of shots which could have an impact on the scenes themselves.

Yeah, I watched the Next Level in 4x3 because on the BD the unused portions were black so I didn't find it any more distracting than when I watch a movie that's not 16x9 on my TV. Yeah, I'm slightly worried about un-even wear but I suspect in the long-run I'll be fine, I tried using "stretch" and such but the one that does it best wasn't available through the Blu-Ray (the setting that stretches the edges more than the center.)

Still, watch it in 4x3 and you'll be fine. I'd much rather have that then the mess that'd likely come from making the show 16x9.

I'd just like to pojnt out, while I agree completely with you and I like the fact its preserving how it was originally, with the sampler set at least you cannot stretch the image with your TV. Because they "hard coded" in the two black bars onto the video as opposed to just presenting the video in 4:3, the TV see's it as a 16:9 image and won't stretch it beyond that.

I've tried it on 3 seperate TVs so far (2 Samsung, 1 LG) and they all had the same issue. Even on my PC, It stretches the black bars too.
I'll have to go back and look at it but I can use the "zoom" option on my TV to get rid of the side bars and the picture doesn't become to bad as a result, though the framing issue still remains. I believe the "stretch" option is still there that gets rid of the black bars but it's not a "smart stretch" and stretches the entire picture evenly. The "Just" option isn't there (that option is the one that stretches the edges more than the center.) Then there's a 4x3 option that shows the picture in the middle along with the gray bars common to my TV on the sides.

But, again, I probably need to go back and look to make sure I am remembering this right, TV is a Panasonic.
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Old February 13 2012, 03:53 AM   #440
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

The LG I tried it on had a zoom function but that trimmed the top and bottom. On all 3 though the just scan took into account the black bars because their actually there in the 1080p video. On DVD they were just 4.3 frames with no added black bars.
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Old February 13 2012, 04:02 AM   #441
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

That's because on DVD Video, the "full image" is actually inherently 4:3, either 720x576 pixels (PAL) or 720x480 (NTSC). 16:9 modes are specified as well, but tend to go unused: Widescreen material is saved in 4:3 as well, exploiting the greater vertical resolution this affords, and un-stretched during playback - this technique is referred to as anamorphic.

The Blu-Ray spec, OTOH, doesn't specify a 4:3 HD mode. It supports the same 4:3 SD modes as DVD does, but if you want to store a HD image, you have to use a 16:9 aspect ratio. Thus they had no choice but to encode the black bars into the image.
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Old February 13 2012, 02:33 PM   #442
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Sho wrote: View Post
That's because on DVD Video, the "full image" is actually inherently 4:3, either 720x576 pixels (PAL) or 720x480 (NTSC). 16:9 modes are specified as well, but tend to go unused: Widescreen material is saved in 4:3 as well, exploiting the greater vertical resolution this affords, and un-stretched during playback - this technique is referred to as anamorphic.

The Blu-Ray spec, OTOH, doesn't specify a 4:3 HD mode. It supports the same 4:3 SD modes as DVD does, but if you want to store a HD image, you have to use a 16:9 aspect ratio. Thus they had no choice but to encode the black bars into the image.
Exactly. I'm aware of the format constraints, I'm just saying that on every single play I've tried it on I cannot expand it enough to remove the bars from the image.
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Old February 13 2012, 04:00 PM   #443
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Ugh. I'm guessing we'll circle back to this every so often until the end of time?
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Old February 13 2012, 05:41 PM   #444
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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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Old February 13 2012, 08:30 PM   #445
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Having just watched this I think it's a shame they chose such weak episodes to do these tests on. Farpoint, I guess, is a given, and there is something fun about it. Sins is pure politics, and serious politics and culture building never seems to go well in a show that mostly camp. It's probably one of the reasons I never liked DS9. I also really hate growling, viking Klingons, which this episode kind of cements as normal right down into the depths of the government as opposed to the nuttiness of a couple of angry ex-soldiers on the run.

And Inner Light is, well, pure schmaltz. It's not intolerable schmaltz, and I like it. But, like City on the Edge of Forever in exactly the same way, it's not the tip top of the series.
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Old February 13 2012, 08:43 PM   #446
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

ModusOperandi wrote: View Post
Things that did bug me: film grain in Sins and Inner Light. Just seemed a little noisy, if that's the right word.
Sins and Inner Light would both display more film grain for two reasons.

A lot of Sins of the Father was shot in low light conditions so the production would have used a faster film stock because it's more light sensitive. These film stocks tend to have a much more dense grain structure.

Inner Light would display more grain simply because of the way the episode was lit. Very high contrasts tend to show off the grain structure of film (though it should be less noticeable than Sins of the Father).


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Old February 13 2012, 09:40 PM   #447
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

The Transformed Man wrote: View Post
Sins and Inner Light would both display more film grain for two reasons.

A lot of Sins of the Father was shot in low light conditions so the production would have used a faster film stock because it's more light sensitive. These film stocks tend to have a much more dense grain structure.

Inner Light would display more grain simply because of the way the episode was lit. Very high contrasts tend to show off the grain structure of film (though it should be less noticeable than Sins of the Father).
Interesting, makes sense. Now that I think of it, the bridge scenes in both episodes didn't have nearly as bad grain. So we can look forward to a variety of film grains throughout the series, reflecting how each scene was shot. I.e. it's not a bug, it's a feature.

Mark 2000 wrote: View Post
Having just watched this I think it's a shame they chose such weak episodes to do these tests on. Farpoint, I guess, is a given, and there is something fun about it. Sins is pure politics, and serious politics and culture building never seems to go well in a show that mostly camp. It's probably one of the reasons I never liked DS9. I also really hate growling, viking Klingons, which this episode kind of cements as normal right down into the depths of the government as opposed to the nuttiness of a couple of angry ex-soldiers on the run.

And Inner Light is, well, pure schmaltz. It's not intolerable schmaltz, and I like it. But, like City on the Edge of Forever in exactly the same way, it's not the tip top of the series.
I can't disagree more. TNG is not "mostly camp," it's arguably the most serious and mature science fiction show ever. Yes, the first couple seasons had their campy moments, but it was a mass market show debuting in the 80's, what do you except?

Sins was great. The strength of the episode is not the politics and corruption of the Klingons, but how our heroes Worf and Picard deal with it. Stewart gives a great performance showing Picard's disgust with the dishonorable treatment of Worf, and the dishonesty at the highest levels of Klingon society. And Michael Dorn is also very good. I particularly liked his expression after the discommendation ceremony; even though he knew the truth behind it and fully accepted his sacrifice, he still looked like a dog that had just been beaten by its owner. The most important thing about this episode is that it kicks off one of Trek's best story arcs, and in a show that spurned long arcs to boot.

I also don't think it's fair to call Inner Light schmaltz. It may not be the most re-watchable episode, but the performances are great. I never noticed how much Kamen's daughter and wife look alike, a nice touch since of course his son was played by Patrick Stewart's real life son. I thought it was very touching to give us a brief glimpse of a society that knew it was coming to and end, but wanted to be remembered. Big themes, big questions of mortality, family, and putting aside dreams in favor of realities, etc. This is what Trek is about. I agree it may not be "tip top" (top 5?) TNG, but it's certainly top 10.
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Old February 13 2012, 09:59 PM   #448
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

ModusOperandi wrote: View Post
The Transformed Man wrote: View Post
Sins and Inner Light would both display more film grain for two reasons.

A lot of Sins of the Father was shot in low light conditions so the production would have used a faster film stock because it's more light sensitive. These film stocks tend to have a much more dense grain structure.

Inner Light would display more grain simply because of the way the episode was lit. Very high contrasts tend to show off the grain structure of film (though it should be less noticeable than Sins of the Father).
Interesting, makes sense. Now that I think of it, the bridge scenes in both episodes didn't have nearly as bad grain. So we can look forward to a variety of film grains throughout the series, reflecting how each scene was shot. I.e. it's not a bug, it's a feature.
Well that's the nature of film, things from lighting conditions, to what film speed you use, to what film stock you use will all determine the grain or lack of grain in an episode.

Episodes which feature lots of daytime outdoors scenes will probably show little grain at all. So planet-side scenes on the L.A. Fitness planet in "Justice" will show very little evidence of film grain as will the opening scenes of "Who Watches the Watchers." Most of the Klingon episodes will look fairly grainy.


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Old February 13 2012, 10:23 PM   #449
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

ModusOperandi wrote: View Post
Interesting, makes sense. Now that I think of it, the bridge scenes in both episodes didn't have nearly as bad grain. So we can look forward to a variety of film grains throughout the series, reflecting how each scene was shot. I.e. it's not a bug, it's a feature.
Well with Inner Light they were obviously trying to create a soft and dreamlike mood in the planet scenes, to reflect the fact this was a thousand-year old memory we were watching.

Making the picture a bit grainy was probably the quickest and easiest way to do that, and never would have been detected in the original SD broadcast.

Anytime they go to a planet with the same soft kind of lighting, we're probably going to see the same grain show up.
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Old February 13 2012, 11:39 PM   #450
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Re: The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Mark 2000 wrote: View Post
Having just watched this I think it's a shame they chose such weak episodes to do these tests on. Farpoint, I guess, is a given, and there is something fun about it. Sins is pure politics, and serious politics and culture building never seems to go well in a show that mostly camp. It's probably one of the reasons I never liked DS9. I also really hate growling, viking Klingons, which this episode kind of cements as normal right down into the depths of the government as opposed to the nuttiness of a couple of angry ex-soldiers on the run.
Yeah I was never crazy about the primitive warrior Klingons either. I can see how it was a good fit with the new look we saw in the movies, but all that chanting and growling just got really tiresome after while.

To me the ideal will always be Kor's devious, Nazi-style Klingon of Errand of Mercy.
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