The OFFICIAL STNG Next Level Bluray watch and review thread

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

  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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 or Armada 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.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I suspect the CGI creatures in "Galaxy's Child" and any other time primitive CGI was used would've been done on videotape during the editing process. Even if it was done on film there's no way the CGI in those episodes would hold-up to HD. I suspect we'll see new CGI creature effects for "Junior."

    I just watched "The Inner Light" and some of you must be watching this BD on an old console TV hooked up to your BD-Player through those old screw-in type connectors. I so no problems with the film-grain in this episode it looked perfect. Hell it almost looked too clear and perfect as the old-age makeup and appliances on Patrick Stewart didn't hold up very well to the high resolution.

    Yes those "rows of boxes" are escape pods. I didn't really notice any problems with the "CGI Enterprise" (assuming it was one) in any shots. But I suspect that as the project goes on the final versions will be more perfected. To put it bluntly, this sampler disc is probably very much a "rushed job" to give the idea of what they are doing.

    I do think the "rainbow stars" just look odd and "too fake" during the warp shots. the colorization on them looks like someone just copy-and-pasted a couple pixel-wide segment of the color-selection menu in MS Paint. I certainly hope the warp-effects are changed in the final version of the episodes, something closer to what we saw on Voyager and Enterprise as the shows delved more into CGI.
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think they'll almost have to replace the Borg ships, or at the very least the closeup shots. Unlike the movie version, the TV ships were much more plain, with a lot of obvious model kit detail that was scaled up a LOT bigger than it should have been.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's no need to replace it. TNG was a product of the 80's let us see the ingenuity of the 80's in action.
     
  5. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    OK guys, EaF and SotF are done and I'm saving Inner Light to watch with my wife later.

    The show just looks great, plain and simple. Lots of little things that everyone has pointed out that don't work, like that first SotF shot (honestly not sure why the went that route with the static matte shot) but otherwise just BRILLIANT! Even that wonky shot under the E with the energy beam looks better in motion, the beam is MUCH improved, not just its position.

    I am making a date to watch the show with my TNG producer friend, and she wants to brush up on her TNG memories before going in front of the camera (not sure when yet) and I am going to jog her memory on some stuff.

    Do me a favor, email me at rmeyers@nyc.rr.com if you have any specific questions about the production of TNG back then, specifically post-production stuff, sound design and anything in general and I will ask her! Specific episodes would be great too, as I don't think I'll be watching all 179 with her :)
     
  6. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    I also wanted to mention how incredibly lucky we are that CBS is doing this project, not many tv shows get this treatment. I am going to try to locate the perfect person at CBS to direct THANK YOU emails to, and I think we should make our appreciation known.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The fact they replaced the opening shot of Sins of the Father probably doesn't bode well for A Matter of Honor which uses the same shot.
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  9. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    I'm watching it again right now, and I actually think "Sins of the Father" looks the best out of all three episodes (minus the upconverted bit). It has good deep blacks, bold color, and the most consistent and finest grain structure throughout. And it has a lot of great, dramatic lighting. And I LOVED how good "Encounter at Farpoint" looked!

    I also appreciate they are using AVC compression on these instead of VC1 like TOS. TOS looked to be too DNR'd with a fair amount of dithering applied over that. This has what looks like original film grain, true to the source.

    The bridge scenes still look a bit finer grained than the Kataan scenes. It's possible it was a stylistic choice by DP Marvin Rush. Perhaps he used a coarser grained film stock. It's at least clear he was using diffusion on the lens in those scenes. This is from the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion:

     
  10. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    It'll all remain to be seen. I, personally, didn't find much problem with any of the shots that appear to be replaced. The only quibble I might have is that opening establishment shot in Sins it just looked off.

    Otherwise, I think the show and the ship looks great.

    The 90-degree grand fly-by of the ship near the end of "Inner Light" looked fabulous. (And was a remastered model shot.)
     
  11. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    Then use that. VLC will play .m2ts files. After you've run AnyDVDHD, just drop the appropriate stream file onto VLC player and take your screen captures.
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well they still need to keep things fairly consistent, I think. If they're going to dramatically sharpen and clean up the planets, transporter beams, and other energy effects (which I am eternally grateful for), it only makes sense to improve some of the shakier model effects as well.

    Otherwise they're likely to stand out even MORE.
     
  13. Dick_Valentine

    Dick_Valentine Commander Red Shirt

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    Can't disagree with your disagreement more....
    I've already paid for that once, thanks.
    Just because they've wiped the figurative vasoline off the lens doesn't justify them charging me for the exact same product again.


    I don't know why they couldn't have done what they did with the TOSR DVD, a double disc edition, one DVD with the original cut as we're getting now, in HD for the purists and a second remastered DVD that changes what needs to be changed, more than just the same stock shot 40 times an episode, adding ships, removing mistakes, tarting up the thing so it is doing something worthy of 21st century viewing technology.

    On the transporter beam thing, its great that it looks more vivid but I'm surprised they didn't take an FX plate from a later season or something.
    You can still see the "beam" particle miss parts of the body, particularly the feet which seemed to be left to their own devices to make their way to the destination of their own accord! :guffaw:

    Its something they improved on with every series and I find instances like this, when the writers/producers intent hamstrung by the budgets/technology of the time isn't fixed by the opportunity 21st century technology allows frustrating in the extreme.
     
  14. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    They're doing that stuff solely because it doesn't exist in a form that will translate to HD. The model work will.

    Is this desire to "fix" stuff a Trekkie thing? Are there blu-ray forums filled with people wanting Alien or Total Recall or Tron fixed up? Special Editions don't really seem to fly. The Star Wars fans seem to get that now. ET 2002 won't even be on the new BR disc. When I personally watch a BR movie or see it again in the theater I'm doing it because I want to see what I've been seeing in SD in a sharper form. I don't want to see something new. If I wanted to see something new I'd watch a new movie. Does that make any sense?

    2012 effects added to TNG will look as bad as the original stuff in ten years time (if not in ten minutes). If the remasters are eventually going to look bad, shouldn't it be with the original work in it?
     
  15. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Captain Captain

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    I can't get my head around the attitude some people have toward the show in terms of 'replacing this or that' because I've seen it all already. So what? If you don't want to see it again don't buy the HD set. I've seen all the episodes too, but I've never seen them like this and it felt like seeing the show for the first time all over again.

    The original effects are beautiful, and they honestly didn't get a chance to truly shine over the last 25 years. Season 3 was the only set I ever bought of the DVD release, so I fired up Sins of the father today and immediately after watched the new HD version. It's like seeing a totally different show.

    If someone decides to go and revise all of the effects after all these sets have been released, then so be it, but I want to see the show as it was filmed and in it's original form. No TOSR revisionism thank you. The show is what it is.

    If I want to see new effects, I'll find a new show to watch.
     
  16. Beatnik

    Beatnik Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Finished EaF and SotF last night. Man, I watched the EaF in my bedroom when I was a kid. It was really enjoyable seeing it again and realized all of the finer points I was oblivious too as a kid.

    Man, that episode is clunky as hell, but totally endearing. I honestly enjoyed seeing every scene. Great memories. And it only gets better from here. This makes me wonder, will those not in their 30s get into this and buy it, or will the sales be largely based on nostalgic value for those of us who grew up with it?

    Technical stuff:
    - I'm fine with the new digital matte in SotF, except for those moving stars. Either make it a static shot or move the ships also. Having one active plane is jarring.

    - I never realized how different the lighting was in S1. It's an interesting departure from what we saw in the later seasons. Again, good stuff.

    - You can definitely tell the E-D is a model in some of the flybys, due to irregular window shapes and the paint job, but it's fine. It only pulls it out if you want it to. If you turn off the critical part of your brain, it's beautiful.

    - They definitely improved the sound design in the later seasons, as the 'soundstage-ness' disappears compared to EaF.

    I'm on the fence regarding the use of CG vs. original elements. I appreciate the original effects, but I've grown up in 25 years and am slightly spoiled by the higher quality we see in this age. I can't say I'd be disappointed to see some of the shots replaced with CG if done tastefully. I haven't seen the CG ship in Inner Light yet.

    Can't wait for season 1.
     
  17. The Gentleman

    The Gentleman Ensign Newbie

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    Considering the fact that the 16th, 17th, and 18th episodes are "Too Short A Season", "When The Bough Breaks" and "Home Soil" respectively, I wouldn't be surprised if your renewed enthusiasm for the season might be challenged around this point!

    But yeah, I agree with you completely about Encounter At Farpoint-- all it's flaws are still there (bizarre pacing, lame dialogue, cringe-inducing acting) but somehow this new version is the absolute highlight of the sampler disc, and has me incredibly excited for the full season set.
     
  18. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    Those are some of the strongest episodes of that season along with "Symbiosis" and "Heart of Glory" which are in that range as well.

    The first season of TNG is one of the worst looking, as far as the level of video blur and artifacts. It practically looks YouTube quality. That can detract from any viewing experience. I think S01 will be legitimately more enjoyable for the long haul.
     
  19. Dick_Valentine

    Dick_Valentine Commander Red Shirt

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    Star Trek, a show about humanity exploring strange new worlds and civilisations, the quest to explore something new.

    It turns out its fans don't want anything new at all, just the same worlds and civilisations with a bit of polish, neatly packaged.

    I don't doubt once all the spinoff series are out then the producers will set to work with a proper (whatever the format by then) CGI (whatever the resolution by that time ;) ) remastering in another attempt to get us to pay a lot of money for the same thing.

    My point was I don't see why they didn't do a remastering release in the same way they did with the improved TOS release, you would still get exactly what you're getting now but those who do want something new for their money will get what they want too and CBS will get more sales out of it in the long run.

    They'll do it eventually, mark my words, but it won't be a great artistic endeavour just as this isn't a great restoration endeavour, its just yet another way for them to get your money into their pockets, for which they'll do the bare minimum possible.

    The not wanting to see anything new smacks of old people being typically hesitant towards change, particularly when a lot of the time what you want to preserve is errors and budget/time constraints getting in the way of the producers and writers TRUE intentions.
     
  20. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well they've already replaced a few model shots (like during the saucer sep), and most people seem to love the new planets, transporter beams, LCARs, and other little touches.

    Are you saying you really want to see the original, heavily pixelated versions of THOSE effects superimposed over this pristine new footage we're seeing? Those would stand out like a sore thumb, and look frankly ridiculous.

    While I did think some of the new TOS-R shots got a little too flashy and sophisticated, I have no problem with updating some of the more badly outdated effects-- mainly because A) They're only effects, and B) I'm much more interested in seeing the story told as well as possible.