Is it me or does TNG look really bad on dvd?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by VOODOOXI, Mar 30, 2010.


    VOODOOXI Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 17, 2007
    Let me preface this by saying that I have pretty close to state of the art system and I completely understand that dvd's will not come anywhere near the quality Blu-ray will offer.

    That said TNG looks terrible even with my Blu-ray player upconverting them. Other older (same era as TNG) dvd's I have look significantly better.

    Is it just me or does TNG not look very good in the dvd format?

    Also, I think I read somewhere that TNG would be very diffuclut and rather expensive to convert to Blu-ray. Does anyone know anything about this?
  2. Joeman

    Joeman Captain Captain

    Mar 9, 2010
    After I purchased the show from Amazon, I posted a review there about how grainy and washed out the shows looked. I soon learned that what I had inadvertently ordered was that "international" release. I thought that was the problem, so I sort of amended my review, assuming that it was due to the poor unofficial copies. I haven't seen any shows on the regular release DVD's.

    Since then though I've noticed that even on TV the shows look grainy and sometimes a little washed out. Probably just me though. But the others shows seem to look fine to me on TV.
  3. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 16, 2006
    The answer to that is yes, it would be difficult.

    The simple explanation - TNG, DS9 and Voyager were shot on film but transferred to video for editing. To create a HD master, every episode would have to be re-edited from the original negatives. Enterprise, on the other hand, could easily be released on Blu-Ray as it was created with HD in mind from day one.

    Bear in mind that movies, let alone TV shows, from the 80's don't have the best reputation storing their original negatives properly. So, I wouldn't hold your breath for a Blu-Ray release.
  4. Holdfast

    Holdfast Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 19, 2000
    17 Cherry Tree Lane
    I just have regular DVDs and no upconversion/HDTV. For me, the first season is a little "blurry" (some episodes more than others), but the later seasons get progressively better. I suspect it's just that the original mastercopy has those problems, so I doubt much can actually be done. For me, apart from one or two first season eps where it's very noticeable, the video quality, doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the series. But I suspect this may be a YMMV sort of topic.

    VOODOOXI Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 17, 2007
    Thanks for the response guys... I just can't believe how poor TNG looks compared to other dvd's of the same era.

    Even TOS (the Blu-ray's are amazing)which was shot in the 1960's looks better than TNG. I assume that's because TOS was shot on film where TNG was shot on film and transferred to video as Hermiod explained.

    When the Blu-ray's come out I will surely upgrade.
  6. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern Sweden
    I've never noticed, but it could be true.
  7. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

    Jul 5, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    TOS was shot and edited on film. It has also benefited from a lot more DVD prep work.
  8. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Screencaps from a TNG and a TOS DVD.
    The file sizes are large, but that's because I want to show them uncompressed, and exactly as they appear.
    They have not been modified in any way.

    Here's a screencap of "Encounter at Farpoint" from my TNG DVD.

    Here's a screencap of "Balance of Terror" from my TOS DVD:
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  9. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

    Sep 11, 2007
    Hill dweller
    They sell that bootleg on Amazon? It's hard to feel sorry for Paramount when they're not even trying to protect their interests.
    But yes it's true, I watched TNG on Netflix, and some of the shots in S1 were pretty murky. Later seasons benefit from better lighting, I think.
  10. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007
    Yep, my DVD's look exactly like this. In other words, they are clear and much better than my old VHS versions. No problems here.
  11. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    True, although TOS does look a bit better than TNG. If you didn't know any better, you'd think the second image was made more recently than the first, at least going by quality. Now, the TNG DVDs do have issues. I don't know how they transferred them, but on occasion they do have quality issues, for example where occasional green stripes will zip up the side, or you can see the tape edge at the top of the screen. I think they transferred all of them from the VHS masters, actually.
  12. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 4, 2005
    It's not just you, TNG looks terrible, particularly on modern HDTVs where the imperfections are upscaled. Viewing on a normal CRT television is not so bad, mind you.

    The main reasons have been covered, but it's also worth pointing out that TNG seasons 1 and 2 were edited on analogue videotape, whereas they switched to digital video tape thereafter (and continued until the end of Voyager). Thus TNG season 1 and 2 look far worse than 3 to 7, so it takes some adjusting to if you've not seen them for a while!

    To be fair, a lot of the shots that are just plain footage are okay (see: above screenshots), but any effects shot where there's been some multipass photography / compositing can look especially blurry. Space shots, in particular, seem to suffer from weird blue glowing edges of the screen.

    I would love to see this series remastered but I won't be holding my breath for it to happen.

    For some idea of what it would look like restored, wait for the inevitable release of season 4 of Enterprise on Blu-ray -- These Are The Voyages in particular. There's some old stock footage cleaned up and rescanned for that episode, plus all the spangly new CGI. Terrible episode, but technically interesting, and about as good as the Ent-D likely to look for a long while.
  13. Alrik

    Alrik Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 11, 2003
    Alrik is on A deck chair, somewhere....
    There is something else about TNG picture quality that I find kind of odd when it comes to reruns on TV. A local station started airing TNG on week nights a couple of months ago. Shortly after, we upgraded 2 of our 3 DirectTV receivers to HD (the 3rd still serves good CRT TV, so no point). Out in my garage I have a 19'' CRT hooked to a digital converter that also picks up this local station. What I have noticed is on the HD's TNG looks really washed out but on the SD CRT's it looks much brighter and clearer.
  14. data_lover

    data_lover Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 25, 2010
    my house is surrounded by corn.
    i bought the entire series as a set and the first couple seasons are definitely worse than later ones. I thought it was just me - glad it's not! :)
  15. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Here's a site that shows some comparison shots between TNG and "These Are The Voyages."
  16. Flinkman47

    Flinkman47 Ensign Red Shirt

    Apr 1, 2010
    One thing i've noticed is it does look better through an upscaling DVD player, obviously it's not true 720p, but I did notice a marked improvement with my DVD's
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Amazon has thousands of secondary market sellers these days, who all link their catalogues through Amazon's search facility. Any US citizen buying so-called "international" or "regionless" versions of TNG are buying illegal Asian bootlegs. (US versions are marked Region 1. UK versions are marked Region 2. Australasian versions are marked Region 4.)

    Paramount/CBS is very quick to act upon formal complaints. So is Amazon itself. But they can't act if no one is prepared to report dodgy operators.
  18. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    TNG looks especially bad after you've seen Star Trek in HD.
  19. Joeman

    Joeman Captain Captain

    Mar 9, 2010
    Exactly, and my purchase was several years ago. I just didn't know any better. It was cheap, and the discs allow me to watch the series, but the packaging is enough to make me want to throw it through the window.

    I have the proper releases of DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise, so TNG is my little red-headed stepchild. Appropriately, I often beat it and verbally abuse it.


    You should see the list of the "Stars" of the show prominently displayed on the back of the box:

    Corey Allen
    Gabrielle Beaumont
    Robert Becker
    Tom Benko
    Cliff Bole
    Timothy Bond
    Rob Bowman
    David Carson
    Chip Chalmers
    Richard Compton
    Les Landau
    Robert Legato
    Paul Lynch
    Joseph L. Scanlan
    Robert Scheerer
    Jonathan West
    Robert Weimer
    Michael Vejar
    Patrick Stewart (Hey, they actually got one!)
    Alexander Singer

    I mean I know most of those names, but they certainly are not stars of the show.

    Damn Asian bootlegging bastards!!!
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010