The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by RAMA, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    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.
     
  2. Dac

    Dac Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    The Essex wastes...
    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.
     
  3. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    Ugh. I'm guessing we'll circle back to this every so often until the end of time?
     
  4. ModusOperandi

    ModusOperandi Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    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.
     
  5. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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.
     
  6. The Transformed Man

    The Transformed Man Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    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).


    Yancy
     
  7. ModusOperandi

    ModusOperandi Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    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.

    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.
     
  8. The Transformed Man

    The Transformed Man Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    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.


    Yancy
     
  9. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    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.
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    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.
     
  11. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    New York City
    I understand in these economic times most of use have tightened the purse strings. For Trek fans the ability to see TNG in HD this year is really a gift and the cost of the Blu-ray in August for $85.-95. is gonna hurt. Start saving now.
    ModusOperandi unless you have a 46" HDTV you are not going to get the full benefit of 1080p resolution if you sit far away in a larger room.
    http://carltonbale.com/1080p-does-matter
    go ahead and see the link. You can type in the inches of your screen to see how close you must sit. For a 40" HDTV it is 5 ft maximum distance.

    Elsewhere it has been said even larger screen size:
    http://hdguru.com/lechner-distance-the-number-you-need-to-know-before-buying-an-hdtv/21/
     
  12. ModusOperandi

    ModusOperandi Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    My living room setup last night was about 6~8 feet, depending on the seat. But there is a different sort of benefit inherent to watching a video image that fills more of my field of vision: it makes the experience more immersive. And since my field of vision (2 human eyes) is closer to 16:9 aspect ratio than 4:3, I prefer to maximize the size of the video in that field of vision.
     
  13. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    Yeah widescreen seems so natural now that it's almost hard to believe we put up with that awful and utterly uncinematic 4:3 format for so long.
     
  14. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    It is really bizarre, when watching 4:3 programs (Trek, mainly), how much they manage to fit in, given that they have almost half the real estate to work with! You wonder how they do it half the time.
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    I like widescreen photography, but 4:3 is hardly "uncinematic." A plethora of films produced between 1932 and 1952 (when every studio picture was photgraphed in 1.375:1 -- nearly 4:3) would certainly disagree with that assessment.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Yeah, wasn't there some over-rated movie that came out in the 1930s that was in 4x3? Casa Blanket or something like that?

    Then there was another one... Something about a member of a community and his walking stick.
     
  17. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Here's something I noticed during yesterday's viewing. Anyone else think the torture beam Zorn was in was upscaled from the original effect? It was fuzzy and not terribly well defined and too close to the original. I didn't mind it at all, but it didn't look like a new effect.
     
  18. DostoyevskyClone

    DostoyevskyClone Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Bouville, France
    I just came across this "The Inner Light" Accuracy Comparison today and thought it was really interesting (especially the opening shot):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozkrjelDCpw

    I'll just take this opportunity to throw in my two cents about the font issue: I'm a little surprised that they couldn't match it up a little better. These are all such small issues, but they're inevitably going to be the ones we focus on because they are the only changes being made. It's funny because I think the brighter color of the text looks better, but the font seems a little larger than the original; if anything, I think they should have made it a little smaller. I'm also one of those who thinks the quotation marks could have looked better/closer to the original.

    Yeah...big issues we're tackling here, huh? ;)
     
  19. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    So some scenes are just a bit cropped, while in other scenes -- perhaps the majority of scenes -- we're getting even more in the shot. I can live with that. I'd still like an explanation for "SofT," though.
     
  20. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 1999
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I saw the BD this weekend and enjoyed it quite a bit. I wasn't really looking forward to any of the episodes on the disk but ended up enjoying all of them quite a bit.

    The re-mastering looks truly great and I will certainly be forking over money for the season sets, as I hope will a lot of other people so that we can get the same treatment for DS9.

    As a last quick note, I didn't even notice the 18 seconds of non-HD footage in SotF so they did a good job with that up-conversion.