Star Trek season 1 on blu-ray: April 28

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Hober Mallow, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'm baffled at the treatment of What are Little Girls Made Of?. All the shipboard scenes with viewer effects were all scratched up and had black specs throughout.

    I've watched several episodes and this is the first one that looked so poor.
  2. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Oct 14, 2004
    I think the other poster may have a point. I haven't seen the blu ray TOS, but I've seen screen grabs from the TOS movies and while they are brighter and clearer and sharper on edges, the interior of elements has a kind of wash or mush that softens and obliterates other detail, which sounds like grain reduction trickery.

    I used to have tremendous appreciation for Hunt back when he only had Laserdisc newsletter, but over the last decade I've noticed that he and other DVD sites that thrive have as often as not taken the studio side on various issues, so I've got to question this TREK review. I seem to remember he has been on both sides of this issue (with respect to the BluRay PATTON, somebody correct me if I'm wrong on this), so again, there are creds, but I don't necessarily accept them.

    Folks who have even seen 16mm eps of TOS projected (myself included) have marvelled at the amount of detail in the imagery, so to get less than that on blu ray seems wrong (ESPECIALLY since blu-ray is actually fairly close to the rez you get with straight 16mm, and something better than you get with great super-8.)

    If you consider the way TOS was shot (and by that, I'm not talking about 12 shadows on walls behind Kirk when he walks the bridge, or the vaseline when shooting chicks), it was an insanely rich looking show visually, due not just to the colors but also to the dramatic sidelighting with unfiltered deep shadows; if the extremes of that look have been muted or sacrificed for blu ray, then this really is NOT an ultimate edition at all, just a matter of the studio coughing out what they find is most palatable or salable a commodity for the mainstream as they can muster.
  3. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    New York City
    This is one problem with more resolution. You are taken out of the story more often because of technical artifacts that have become visible due to the higher resolution of an old film element.
    HD has many more shades in the shadows that NTSC just cannot reproduce. Blu-ray will more accurately portray the Director of Photography's work as recorded on the film.

    Print and web media reviews of a product all have some level of hype and marketing attached to them. Period.
  4. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Picked this up today along with the OS movies box-set on blu-ray.

    I've only had a cursory glance at it so far. I'll get back to you with my opinions at some later date.

    One thing I can say though at this early stage - I wish they would drop the broadcast order and switch to production order so I could just put each disk in in order and start watching, instead of having to refer to an episode listing sheet, looking up the episode in correct order then referring to the back side of the insert on the box to find the correct disk I want - it gets old fast.
  5. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Oct 14, 2004
    Grain is part of the image, not an artifact (until you get into optical printing issues.) Scratches and other blemishes aren't usually bothersome to me, any more than the defects on old paintings (and I despise attempts to clean THOSE up.)

    If you can't appreciate the work because it isn't clean enough, maybe you just shouldn't be trying to.

    (this is a thing apart from a legit cleanup/restoration ... cleaning up BLADE RUNNER was overdue and a great thing, and was done for a film where all the elements were properly preserved, so you didn't have a messed up source or something perceived to be a messed up source.)
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    The resolution does seem to vary throughout each episode, but I suspect that's due more to how the directors backed then worked the camera. Since the episodes were only being transmitted to small, primitive 1960s TV sets, they obviously didn't need to worry about keeping every shot in perfect focus like they do now.

    So some close-ups of the actors will be blurry and slightly out of focus, and some will be so crisp and sharp you can see every skin pore and strand of hair on their head. It's kind of distracting watching on a large HD set, but you just have to roll with it.
  7. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    New York City
    BD-Live Reports from FEDCON only on May 1-3

    I do not have an Internet connection for a Blu-ray player's BD-Live features at the moment. Can anyone comment on the content?
    Is this content in High Definition? 720 or 1080?
  8. Haggis and tatties

    Haggis and tatties Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    Well i got the TOS BR box-set................Now excuse me but i have spent the entire day mopping up my drool, and i am scheduled for jaw replacement surgery soon to reattach my jaw to my face, as its been dragging on the floor since i watched the first episode of the BR box-set.

    Image as sharp as...well a really really really sharp thing.(So sharp you can see just how red and irritated Gary Mitchell's eyes lids are in WNMHGB with those silver contact lens)

    Colour so vivid your eyes will melt.(Latterly my eyes have melted)

    Sound, even though I'm only using my TV for the sounds its very beefy and sounds fantastic.

    I have not tried anything else yet as i want to savor all episodes first before i dive into the extras.

    What a box-set.
  9. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The 7.1 sound mix is very nice and seems to have a number of improvements over the old 5.1 Dolby on the TOS dvd box sets - though I am only hearing them through a 5.1 speaker setup on a 7.1 amp via optical cable (so no true HD mix, it has to downmix via bitrate conversion. You need HDMI for true HD sound and my amp doesn't take it). Still very nice though.
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Commodore Commodore

    Nov 10, 2001
    Calgary, Alberta. Canuckistan
    After watching some more episodes i really think they may have used a noise reduction filter on some episodes. Maybe the original negatives had excessive grain that they tried to correct for but it does make some episodes look worse than others. I don't mind film grain at all but in some episodes and/or scenes what should be "random" film grain is now a noticeable pattern or blob that moves in unison. It does not happen on every episode but it does stick out like a sore thumb when it happens.

    I do agree with some posters here that the 7.1 sound mix is a bit off. The opening and end credits are too loud compared to the rest of the episode and i do have to crank the receiver up quite a bit to hear the mix properly. It's not a huge issue because the new mix does sound fantastic but it is a bit of a pain to have to either skip the credits or turn the volume down for them.

    I do have an issue with the packaging though. Has anyone else here had a problem with disc 7 constantly popping out of its holder? I have gone through 3 sets now and in every single one Disc 7 has been a floater when opening the packaging and it constantly pops off of the holder because even slightly bending the back part of the case causes the disc to pop off. Even the simple act of opening the case can cause the disc to come loose.

    Don't get me wrong here, I love this set. The picture "is" better than it has ever been and so is the sound. Having both versions of the episodes available to watch and compare is amazing. Having the original previews is a treat and a nice way to see how good the restoration really is. The rest of the extras are the icing on the cake. I think that most of my disappointment was caused by my own inflated expectations of what a 1966 TV show would look like with 2009 technology.
  11. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    shrugs.... Mine's fine.
  12. ScatmanRescueMe

    ScatmanRescueMe Lieutenant Commander

    Jun 5, 2008
    First of all if you are seeing dust, dirt or specs it has NOTHING to do with the increased resolution.

    It has to do with the cleaning process.

    The episodes were cleaned in a fairly rushed manner because of the tight TV schedule for the remastered episodes.

    Some are practiacally flawless others have a little dirt left and one or two have a good bit of dirt left.

    Example: menagarie part one is really clean and part two is pretty dirty.

    I watched every one of these multiple times looking for dirt/dust etc and then looking for degraded or extra 'grainy' shots.

    Also a lot of FX shots such as transporter shots have dirt 'trapped' in-between the two layers of film. The dirt removal process gets rid of dirt by sampling the frame before or the frame after for 'clean' information. But transporter FX sometimes last for amny seconds and removing the dirt from those would have been terribly time consuming and expensive.

    As for the 'grainy' end of it most episodes are very sharp but there are some exceptions.

    Increased grain appears in virtually every shot that 'dissolves' to black or into another scene or 'commercial break'
    If you watch carefully you will see this. It remains 'grainy' until the first cutaway.

    Increased grain also occurs when, in the editing process back in the 60s, they decided they needed a medium shot and they took a wide shot and zoomed it. That increases the grain for that shot a lot. Same thing when they need a close-up but only have a medium shot and zoom that.
    You can mimic this process if your Blu-ray player has a zoom button. Just get any flawless section of a movie or show and zoom it. You can now clearly see that the grain increases. This was a sacrifice they made in the 60s because they didn't always have time for coverage shots.

    And of course, the famous 'soft focus' shooting for most close-ups of female characters.

    Besides a little bit of dirt & dust in some shots there will probably never be a better presentation of these episodes and they really look awesome---coming form someone who has owned then in over half a dozen formats and releases.
  13. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    New York City
    High-Def Digest review

  14. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    New York City
    Star Trek TOS season 1 on blu-ray - reviews

    More reviews:
  15. Vox36

    Vox36 Ensign Newbie

    May 10, 2009
    Philadelphia Suburb
    I'm a new Star Trek fan and i've been watching episodes of TOS on Recently I decided I really like the series and would like to own it on dvd or blu ray. I decided to get the Blu ray of season 1 and the picture is much improved over what they have streaming on I don't have any other reference since i've never owned the dvds but overall i'm very happy with the quality considering the source material is from 1966.
  16. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

    Sep 27, 2002
    The Barmuda Triangle
    Got these last week, have been watching them voraciously. I'm quite happy with the picture and sound and the remastered effects (in my opinion) look great!
  17. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 11, 2004
    Homestate of Matt Jefferies
    Even with the not so perfect noise filtering, I'll be getting this purely because it'll be my first TOS buy, so I won't feel much of a sting if they ever offer improved versions.
  18. Penhall99

    Penhall99 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 31, 2006
    I was wondering, are the strings visible in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" during the scene where Mitchell's cup of water floats over to him?

    I ask because on the standard def DVD set of Trek remastered, I watched the episode and could kinda see the strings. Did the creators run out of time and money to remove these? Or have they been taken care of on the blu-ray set?

    I, unfortunately, do not have a hi-def TV or blu-ray player, so I cant get any of these sets. And I'm not gonna have the money to get them any time soon.... :(
  19. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

    Dec 16, 2006
    Yes the strings on the cup are slightly visible.

    Not a lot more than in previous releases. If you look for them you will find them, but I gotta say that they did a real good job in 1965 of making them very hard to see. Considering everybody who ever saw the scene knows they are on a string.

    As for the viewscreen shots having more dust/dirt than most regular shots---also true.

    The dust/dirt removal process they used is to sample the previous and following frames to get a clean example to fix the dust,or dirt. (Each frame is 1/24th of a second long)

    The process they used in the 1960s to create viewscreen shots was to overlay two layers of film and that trapped debris in the picture from day one. so these shots were never 'clean'.
    And since the viewscreen shots last many seconds they can't easily or cheaply remove the dirt by sampling the prior or next frame. With the time and budget restrainsts they had turning out 80 remastered episodes in a two year span--they did a fantastic job. I doubt if they would ever have been allowed the budget to restore every single thing wrong with a 43 year old TV series.

    But I marvel every time i watch these in blu-ray just how fantastic they look. Take a look at the episode previews to see just how bad the problem was before they started the project.
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I only have two episodes left to watch on Season 1:

    Conscience of the King
    The Squire of Gothos

    Where is Season 2 on Blu-Ray? :scream:

    Have to hold out on watching them...