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Old 01-08-2016, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter

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"Star Trek: The Original Series" DVD/Blu-ray Conundrum

As a fan of the original show from the '60s and who grew up on a steady diet of the reruns and then varying home video formats (self-recorded VHS tapes from public access station over-the-air broadcasts and now Blu-ray/DVD), I am in a bit of a conundrum with what to do in a particular situation...let me start by explaining that I picked up the first season of Trek on Blu-ray around '08 with a Best Buy gift certificate I received from my wife's mom (either for the holidays or as a birthday gift; can't recall which) and just never got around to getting the remaining two seasons because of expense. But immediately, I had some issues with the Blu-rays of Season One: First (and I know this will be frowned upon by purists), I couldn't get around the rather annoying (to me anyway) pillarboxing of the 4:3 image in the widescreen frame for these full-screen Trek episodes. I totally get they were originally shot and intended for full-screen presentations and that's why CBS restored them for high definition in their original ratio, and so pillarboxing was necessary to lock the 4:3 image into the center of the 16:9 format, but for some reason I just cannot "accept" the pillarboxing areas to the left and right of the episodes as presented on Blu-ray as I can with accepting the letterboxing on widescreen films on Blu-ray and DVD...

Beyond that, I found that many of the Season One episodes were actually "too clear" for their own good in 1080p -- watching many of the classics including "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "Space Seed," I was able to CLEARLY make out the fake sets, ridiculously cheesy costume budgets, mismatched makeup jobs on faces and more (and this is rendered even worse when selecting the "Enhanced Special Effects" versions of the episodes on CBS' Blu-rays because they tend to be much cleaner than the Original Effects variants). Then, there's the audio on the Blu-rays -- while certainly ages beyond the stuffy original mono audio when the episodes first aired, the remixed DTS-HD MA 7.1 tracks are rather low in mastering volume, and there is never too much going on in the surrounds (as to be expected with this material)...however, that said, there are really nice examples of how the opening theme has been remixed and re-orchestrated by Paramount on the Blu-ray Discs, including the way the Enterprise "wooshes" from front to rear and the overall clarity of the music...heck, there were moments my sub rattled on some episodes via the new lossless audio...but the sound isn't the biggest issue I had, so let's move on to the DVD end of this comparison...

Okay, so just yesterday, my wife and I were in Best Buy looking to pick up the San Andreas Blu-ray for the $9.99 sale they had going on for the title, and as we looked through the Blu-ray and DVD section of the store (sadly dwindling, as were the CD selections), we stumbled upon CBS' recently-released "Complete Original Series" DVD box set, as seen here:





I was immediately intrigued because here was the WHOLE series, every episode, for a meager 40 something bucks...and, to sweeten the deal, I wouldn't have to watch the episodes with the black pillarboxing (because, as I have it set in my Blu-ray player, 4:3 material is automatically stretched to fill my 16:9 screen per my preference) nor would I have to "wonder" whether to watch each episode with the "new enhanced effects" or in their original incarnations (something I routinely struggled with when watching the Trek Blu-rays, because I love the charm of the original effects, as that's what I was raised on, but like the sheer quality of the enhanced versions as they're cleaned up better than the original episodes...even though BOTH were supposed to be "brilliantly restored")...

However, THAT being said, I noted that the ONLY versions included in this new box set -- which debuted November of 2015 in time for this past holiday season -- were the "enhanced" episodes with the new CGI and other effects; so there was no choice to switch between them and the un-touched originals. I took the chance and bought the set, and after unwrapping the packaging last night, I was immediately struck by the rather shoddy, unimaginative way CBS and Paramount went about housing this collection...

First -- here's another thing that bothered me about CBS' Blu-ray packages of the Original Series: For some odd reason, they decided to use some generic font and lettering for the printing on the slipcase and discs themselves, replacing the iconic and very cool "throwback" lettering from the original show (the italicized "STAR TREK" lettering, etc.). On this new set I just bought, the outer box is really impressive, returning to the genuine "STAR TREK" italics and featuring a cool "warp speed" tri-color design with the Enterprise flying across the box. However, the set houses 27 some discs inside, because it's the entire series, and this seems to have lead to a mess of housing; the plastic rings the discs sit in are horribly weak and breakable, and one of the discs in my set is already flopping around because the ring snapped. To add insult to injury, the DVDs are "stacked" on each two-disc "plastic page" preventing you from getting to one of them without removing the other; a complete pain in the ass. What's worse, it's STILL rather impossible to make out the names of the episodes as printed on the inside of the plastic case the discs are housed in, as it was on the Blu-ray set (I don't understand why CBS just doesn't include some kind of "episode guide" on a printed card or something, or supply a little booklet giving the synopsis of each story which would have been really cool).

Another strange element of this DVD set: Some discs contain merely TWO episodes, while others contain four, five or more; I don't understand this -- the Blu-ray edition of the first season I have presents the same amount of episodes on EVERY disc in the season set. What is with some of the DVDs in this set presenting only two episodes? Very, very confusing to me.

UPDATE 1/9/2016: After looking more closely at the disc menus themselves, it seems nearly ALL of the individual DVDs contain only three episodes on them, maybe some housing just two; it does not seem there are five or so, as the Blu-rays held...but this is still indeed strange.

At any rate, I finally got around to popping one of my favorite episodes from the second season in -- "Mirror, Mirror" -- and couldn't get past the confusing menu setup CBS chose to use for these DVDs; they're more cumbersome than the seamless Blu-ray menus, and the onscreen wording is riddled with horrible aliasing and noisy, jagged edges; if you want to ensure you're running the episodes with the remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, you need to scroll down to "Communications" (as with the Blu-rays) and select it, but then another screen opens up which asks if you want to view a "preview trailer" of the episode you're about to watch. While this is kind of cool, it really does get annoying after awhile to keep selecting choices in these menus.

I started watching "Mirror, Mirror" and while I, at first, appreciated the "stretched to fit my screen" 4:3 presentation of the episode, I noted that the quality wasn't all that good (and I'm using a very respected Oppo Blu-ray player to do my DVD upconverting); the visuals were a bit "smeared" and faded/dull, and there was a ton of video noise and grain swarming in the background...and these are supposed to be the BRILLIANTLY REMASTERED versions of the episodes, albeit on standard DVD. I immediately thought, "yeah, the Blu-ray of the first season had lots of grain and print damage in many places, but it looked better than THIS I think..." but continued watching anyway. I tried to analyze the lossy Dolby Digital surround audio as compared to the Blu-ray's lossless Master Audio, and found that the Dolby Digital was louder at lower volume levels...but that aside, the "wooshing" of the Enterprise in the beginning sounded much different from the lossless openings on the Blu-ray, though I don't know if that's because Season Two and Three of Star Trek has been "tampered with" when talking about the music on the "enhanced" versions (which the DVD set offers only) -- so, in other words, Season Two perhaps was supposed to sound drastically different in these "enhanced" episodes, but I won't know until I begin comparing the first season's audio on DVD and Blu-ray...

So now I get to my dilemma, and where I ask for advice: I don't know if I should keep this 27-disc DVD set of the "enhanced" Trek episodes and get rid of my Season One Blu-ray, or if I should do the opposite and try and return the set to Best Buy, keep my Blu-ray of Season One and continue collecting the other two seasons in high def; I'm really torn because I prefer the original cuts -- without the added new CGI -- of the episodes, which are only available as a choice on the Blu-rays (unless I track down those "egg case" editions of the Trek DVDs which I understand are original cuts of the episodes but boast poor picture quality) but happen to like watching them without the pillarboxing that's present in high definition. The only way to watch the episodes WITHOUT the pillarboxing is to watch the DVDs, which stretch to fill my screen, but from what I saw last night after watching "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Changeling" from Season Two, these DVDs don't really look all that great. Sure, they're, for the most part, clear with bright colors in the miniskirt uniforms and such, but the Blu-rays were far more "dimensional" as you would expect Blu-rays to be. Then, there's the issue of the 1080p transfers on the Blu-rays making all the sets, makeup jobs and costumes appear ridiculously chintzier and cheaper than they actually were...and I don't know if I care for that (it's almost as if the "poorer" quality DVD format "hides" these elements better, and that may actually work IN Star Trek's favor, if that makes any sense).

Does anyone have any opinions, input or thoughts about this? Would you keep the DVD set, being that I bought it already and being that it contains all the episodes of the show for a good price, or would you continue buying the seasons on Blu-ray? Should I give a rat's ass about the pillarboxing, or should I just accept it like we've all come to with letterboxed film presentations?

Last edited by IntelliVolume; 01-09-2016 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:11 AM
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It's really only a question you can answer for yourself. I would go with the Blu-rays since it has the original, unfixed episodes you prefer, but purchasing the DVD set confounds the issue since returning it may be a hassle.

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Old 01-09-2016, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
It's really only a question you can answer for yourself. I would go with the Blu-rays since it has the original, unfixed episodes you prefer, but purchasing the DVD set confounds the issue since returning it may be a hassle.
First, let me say thank you very much, Phantom, for taking the time to read my post and comment; it's appreciated.

Now, the dilemma you cite at the end of your statement is why I was asking for some opinions, or thoughts, on the situation because that's one of the reasons I'm stuck -- to return them would indeed be a hassle (I probably wouldn't be able to get money back for them; MAYBE store credit, depending on the manager I deal with, or a replacement set) so I'd be burdened with maybe selling them to a used media store (we have one locally) which would probably give me...what...six, seven bucks the most for it? We paid 44 dollars or so...

The other option is to go to the used CD/DVD/BD store and see if they have the Blu-rays of Season Two and Three, and attempt to do some kind of exchange (of course I'd end up paying a little out of pocket, but it would be SOMETHING towards the Blu-rays) with my DVD set...

Any other opinions, thoughts or suggestions would be further appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:55 PM
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Errr... What is the question?
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by wuther View Post
Errr... What is the question?

Wondering if I should keep this recently-released DVD set I just bought and try and sell the Season One Blu-ray I already own, or if I should continue buying the remaining seasons in high def and try and get rid of the DVD set...
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
Wondering if I should keep this recently-released DVD set I just bought and try and sell the Season One Blu-ray I already own, or if I should continue buying the remaining seasons in high def and try and get rid of the DVD set...
It's a no-brainier, the HD version is better...
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter

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It's a no-brainier, the HD version is better...

Thanks for your opinion, wuther; the thing is, the Blu-ray packaging is kind of...I don't know..."boring" and "wrong" compared to the DVD set we just picked up -- for some reason, CBS didn't use the iconic "STAR TREK" lettering as seen on sets like this:





Instead, they went for THIS:



Aside from that, the Blu-rays are presented with the (annoying to me for some reason) black pillarboxing on the sides of the image, which just distracts from watching a "TV show;" don't know what it is...


On the other hand, there is the better picture quality of the Blu-rays and the choice of watching the original versions or the "enhanced" versions...


May I ask why you feel the HD versions are a "no brainer"?
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:06 PM
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I purchased most of the OS on DVD years ago. I bought the BR set as a "Deal of the Day" on Amazon for something like $90 if memory serves, at least 2 years ago.

While by no means a "videophile," I have to say that I have gotten to the point where I only watch DVD when I must. I also have a BDP-83 (and a BDP-93), and while it does a great job of upconverting, there are limits to that. I have a 55-inch LCD display, and the difference between upconverted DVD and BR is noticeable...at least to me.

I hear what you are saying about the issues that the BR resolution reveals - the consoles that look like mock-ups, bad paint jobs on the sets, fake-looking make-up/wounds, etc. Then again there are times where the BR resolution helps to bring the costumes/sets/actors alive. And I prefer the updated special effects. If you don't like them, there is always the option of choosing the "original" versions.

The series was filmed in 4:3, for TV, so if your new DVD box set is filling a 16:9 screen I can only surmise that either the 4:3 image is being stretched to fill 16:9, or in the "remastering" process they cut off the bottom and/or top of the image to "make" a 16:9. I don't like pillarboxing but I would like having video information removed must less.

As far as the presentation (graphics and logos) of the set goes, I agree that the BR set leaves something to be desired, but I don't find it objectionable enough that I wished I hadn't purchased the set. The BR set is available for a lot less now than what I paid for it, but that's the way it goes. I've enjoyed rewatching the shows with the new effects.

The entire BR set is now about $68 at Amazon, IMO a great bargain. My recommendation would be to get the complete BR set, and if you can return the DVDs, I would.

Best wishes for your final decison!
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:51 PM
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May I ask why you feel the HD versions are a "no brainer"?
I do not know about you but I buy BDs for the superior detail rather then the packaging.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter

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First, let me say thank you very much, lion, for taking the time to reply in the thread with your input, opinion and viewpoint; it is appreciated.


You make some very interesting points, so let's get to them...


Quote:
84lion;40524858]I purchased most of the OS on DVD years ago. I bought the BR set as a "Deal of the Day" on Amazon for something like $90 if memory serves, at least 2 years ago.

Oh, okay -- I didn't realize the "three season collection" had been available on BD two years ago; I thought that was a recently-released package...


At any rate, I already own Season One -- so we'd be talking about acquiring Season Two and Three on BD...

Quote:
While by no means a "videophile," I have to say that I have gotten to the point where I only watch DVD when I must. I also have a BDP-83 (and a BDP-93), and while it does a great job of upconverting, there are limits to that. I have a 55-inch LCD display, and the difference between upconverted DVD and BR is noticeable...at least to me.

I hear you; on my display, SOME very well-mastered/authored DVDs are indistinguishable from Blu-ray, but I am also dealing with a slightly-less-than-ideal seating distance arrangement, so this plays into that as well. For what it's worth, and in general right now with my current gear, most of the DVD stuff we watch looks absolutely fine upscaling to 1080p via the BDP-83 (glad to see you're rocking one too!)...but I did note that with this new "completely packaged" DVD set of The Original Series, even upconverted through the Oppo the picture quality wasn't all that stellar.

Quote:
I hear what you are saying about the issues that the BR resolution reveals - the consoles that look like mock-ups, bad paint jobs on the sets, fake-looking make-up/wounds, etc. Then again there are times where the BR resolution helps to bring the costumes/sets/actors alive. And I prefer the updated special effects. If you don't like them, there is always the option of choosing the "original" versions.

You are absolutely right on all accounts here...

Quote:
The series was filmed in 4:3, for TV, so if your new DVD box set is filling a 16:9 screen I can only surmise that either the 4:3 image is being stretched to fill 16:9, or in the "remastering" process they cut off the bottom and/or top of the image to "make" a 16:9. I don't like pillarboxing but I would like having video information removed must less.

As I mentioned in my original post, I have the BDP-83 set, under TV Aspect, to "16:9 WIDE" so that full-screen material is automatically stretched to fit my widescreen display -- this mainly comes into play with full-screen DVDs I still have in my collection from before I bought into widescreen HDTV, as I prefer these to fill the screen rather than watch them with the pillarboxing. So when the Trek DVDs are "filling my screen," it's not because of the new remastering of the episodes -- it's because my BD player is stretching the full-screen signal to fit. Now, where the problem comes into play is that with native 1080p material (i.e. Blu-ray) that happens to be in full-screen form (on old classics such as Casablanca, or on this Star Trek Original Series set), the signal CANNOT be "forced" to fit the widescreen TV...it's almost like it's "locked" into a 1080p encode that "forces" the viewer to watch it in its proper form. I totally respect and understand this, but with FULL-SCREEN material, for some reason, I just prefer it fill my screen without pillarboxing...though I CAN'T do this with the Star Trek episodes because they're "locked into" this pillarboxed image, as they're native 1080p...

Quote:
As far as the presentation (graphics and logos) of the set goes, I agree that the BR set leaves something to be desired, but I don't find it objectionable enough that I wished I hadn't purchased the set. The BR set is available for a lot less now than what I paid for it, but that's the way it goes. I've enjoyed rewatching the shows with the new effects.

The entire BR set is now about $68 at Amazon, IMO a great bargain. My recommendation would be to get the complete BR set, and if you can return the DVDs, I would.

Best wishes for your final decison!

Well, as I said, I already own the first season on BD -- so it would be a matter of hunting down the second and third seasons to complete the set on Blu; but I appreciate the heads-up regarding the sale!


Thank you very much for your input and recommendation to return the DVDs; I will see what I can do about taking them back to Best Buy, or trying to unload them at a used DVD/CD/BD store if I decide to go that route. Any other input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-10-2016, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by wuther View Post
I do not know about you but I buy BDs for the superior detail rather then the packaging.

Well, of course the superior detail is more important -- but as a diehard fan of the original series of this show, I had a problem with what CBS did with the packaging of the Blu-rays...especially given the fact that the DID use the original Trek insignia and font on previous DVD releases. I just don't understand why they didn't give the high definition sets the same "vintage/throwback" touch, which fans would have appreciated, instead of this ugly, generic block font (interestingly, they did use the original font and lettering on the DVD/HD DVD combo pack years ago)...


Even member lion above mentions that the BD's packaging "leaves something to be desired."

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Old 01-11-2016, 06:09 AM
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The answer seems obvious, does it not?

1. Buy the DVD set with the packaging that you like best and leave it out for display.
2. Buy the Blu-ray set and watch the Blu-ray discs.

3. (Optional) Place Blu-ray discs in the packaging you like best.

If you care this much about it, it seems to be the only solution that will bring you peace and restful sleep.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:18 AM
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I purchased the BD set on sale a few months back. Well worth the money, especially since I watch the episodes and not the packaging.

IMO, sell the DVDs and either:
- sell the copy of Season 1 you already have and re-purchase the entire BD set; or
- scour used-goods sites for gently-used copies of Seasons 2 and 3.

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Old 01-11-2016, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84lion View Post
The series was filmed in 4:3, for TV, so if your new DVD box set is filling a 16:9 screen I can only surmise that either the 4:3 image is being stretched to fill 16:9, or in the "remastering" process they cut off the bottom and/or top of the image to "make" a 16:9. I don't like pillarboxing but I would like having video information removed must less.
All DVDs and Blu-rays of Star Trek: TOS are presented in their original 4:3 OAR.

Although CBS/Paramount did prepare 16:9 versions of the episodes (some cropping, some stretching, new VFX rendered with extra width), I believe those have only turned up in broadcast syndication and streaming.

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Old 01-11-2016, 12:38 PM
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I'm a Trekkie and I'm happy with the Blu-Rays. I wouldn't think about watching the show on DVD at all, given how great the quality of the HD remastering is.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by nathanddrews View Post
The answer seems obvious, does it not?

Well, since I'm still discussing the subject, it obviously does not, to me.

Quote:
1. Buy the DVD set with the packaging that you like best and leave it out for display.
2. Buy the Blu-ray set and watch the Blu-ray discs.

3. (Optional) Place Blu-ray discs in the packaging you like best.

I already own the DVD set, so it wouldn't be a matter of me "buying it" for the packaging I prefer; but to suggest I should just leave the DVD set on the shelf for decorative purposes because I like the "styling" better is a bit silly. I don't think I'd put the Blu-rays in the DVD packaging, either, but thanks for that suggestion.

Quote:
If you care this much about it, it seems to be the only solution that will bring you peace and restful sleep.

I'm not losing peaceful and restful sleep over this; we're in a home theater enthusiast discussion forum, and I'm merely discussing something I'm in a conundrum with right now...I'm merely asking in a sort of "what would YOU do" way to gain members' insight. I promise it's nothing more than that.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
I purchased the BD set on sale a few months back. Well worth the money, especially since I watch the episodes and not the packaging.

IMO, sell the DVDs and either:
- sell the copy of Season 1 you already have and re-purchase the entire BD set; or
- scour used-goods sites for gently-used copies of Seasons 2 and 3.

Thank you for your opinion and viewpoint here, eljay...


A couple of things, if I can ask you: Had you ever seen the show in a previous DVD incarnation of any kind? If so, did you consider the BDs a HUGE step up in quality? I'm assuming, of course, that you're using a widescreen HDTV or projection setup here -- in so doing, the pillarboxing areas don't bother you?


With regard to your suggestions, I don't think I'd sell Season One being that I have it already...but I would consider scouring the used market for the remaining seasons.


Thanks again!
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
I'm a Trekkie and I'm happy with the Blu-Rays. I wouldn't think about watching the show on DVD at all, given how great the quality of the HD remastering is.

Thanks Lex!


When you say "given how great the quality of the HD remastering is," are you referring to the way the show was "remastered" for the previous DVD sets and now this big one...or for the way it looks in 1080p? Because the episodes went through a restoration around its 40th anniversary, and this applied to DVD collections of the episodes, as well; in fact, the box set I just picked up contains those "remastered" and "enhanced" episodes (with the new CGI shots added) albeit in standard definition resolution (upscaled to 1080p via my BD player).


That's why I'm on the fence about this, too -- on the one hand, the Trek DVDs I just bought boast the new remastered video (with lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 audio that seems to be considerably louder than the Master Audio soundtracks on the Blu-rays) but don't give me the choice to watch the episodes in their original form, as the Blu-rays do...
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:03 PM
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AFAIK, the "first restoration" was not done in HD. Those first DVD boxsets that you are looking at are the ancient results of efforts undertaken in the 90's and they are not "remastered" per-say, but were the product of the "digital mastering" craze of the 90's. They are junk and not to be considered worth purchasing if you really like Trek. The quality of the Blu-Ray set shows and is well worth the money. The only downside is that many of the episodes will look radically different to you if you grew up watching Trek, not only because of the new VFX shots, but the color and picture quality is bright and colorful, while being razor sharp. As for the audio, I've no complaints there. It sounded nice and punchy to me. You may want to check the audio settings on your BD-player and your audio equipment to see if anything might be mucking it up.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
AFAIK, the "first restoration" was not done in HD. Those first DVD boxsets that you are looking at are the ancient results of efforts undertaken in the 90's and they are not "remastered" per-say, but were the product of the "digital mastering" craze of the 90's. They are junk and not to be considered worth purchasing if you really like Trek. The quality of the Blu-Ray set shows and is well worth the money. The only downside is that many of the episodes will look radically different to you if you grew up watching Trek, not only because of the new VFX shots, but the color and picture quality is bright and colorful, while being razor sharp.

Let's start with the DVD box sets we've been discussing; as far as I am aware, the show FIRST began appearing on DVD in those two-episodes-per-disc collections that looked like this:





Then, as far as I'm aware, they came out in THESE boxes:





From there, they were made available in the HD DVD/DVD combo packs, as seen here:





Then, with HD DVD defunct and Blu-ray winning the format war, Paramount put out Seasons 2 and 3 on standard DVD only, which eventually became THIS "remastered" set:



The Blu-rays, as we know, were released, and then the DVDs began a repackaging project, with each season separated into these "uniform-colored" box sets:







NOW -- just this past November -- CBS yet again put out another DVD set, this time with ALL 79 episodes and which contained so-called "brilliantly remastered" versions (which is what I just bought) and which looks like THIS:





Now...do we know which of all of these received just "digital mastering" and which began seeing the revamped/enhanced/remastered video? As far as I know, the box set in the colored "shells" contained DVDs that were NOT remastered and were basically ported over from the VHS masters, whereas the DVD sets to come out AFTER the HD DVD sets were exhausted DID contain genuinely remastered video elements...


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As for the audio, I've no complaints there. It sounded nice and punchy to me. You may want to check the audio settings on your BD-player and your audio equipment to see if anything might be mucking it up.

No; nothing in my setup "mucking it up" -- I am 100-percent accurately connected for bitstreaming high resolution audio via HDMI from my BD player to my AVR, and have been ever since the advent of Blu-ray. Do me a favor when you can -- watch, say, "The Man Trap" from the Season 1 Blu-ray with the Master Audio track and tell me if you need to crank your volume WAY, way up just to make out dialogue...
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:40 PM
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Only the Blu-Ray era DVD releases are remastered from the original negatives. Anything before the HD-DVD set came out was using the original Paramount digital masters that most of us grew up watching on TV in the 80's and 90's, though the Japanese did get all three seasons digitally mastered for their market which were later recycled - oddly - for a special UK DVD release with a Star Trek magazine around the same time as the "remastered" series was unveiled. As for The Man Trap, I have no problems with the lossless audio on that episode or any other I've watched and nobody has reported audio problems with their copies. In fact, the new mixes have gotten rave reviews from pretty much everyone. Maybe you have a bad disc or it's a quirk of your equipment.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by IntelliVolume;40526762
As I mentioned in my original post, I have the BDP-83 set, under TV Aspect, to "16:9 WIDE" so that full-screen material is automatically stretched to fit my widescreen display -- this mainly comes into play with full-screen DVDs I still have in my collection from before I bought into widescreen HDTV, as I prefer these to fill the screen rather than watch them with the pillarboxing. So when the [I
Trek[/I] DVDs are "filling my screen," it's not because of the new remastering of the episodes -- it's because my BD player is stretching the full-screen signal to fit. Now, where the problem comes into play is that with native 1080p material (i.e. Blu-ray) that happens to be in full-screen form (on old classics such as Casablanca, or on this Star Trek Original Series set), the signal CANNOT be "forced" to fit the widescreen TV...it's almost like it's "locked" into a 1080p encode that "forces" the viewer to watch it in its proper form. I totally respect and understand this, but with FULL-SCREEN material, for some reason, I just prefer it fill my screen without pillarboxing...though I CAN'T do this with the Star Trek episodes because they're "locked into" this pillarboxed image, as they're native 1080p...
IntelliVolume, your above comment intrigued me, so I decided to check out my BDP-83. I popped in a season 3 TOS BR (one with "Mark of Gideon") and delved into the '83's setup menu. You are correct that whatever WIDE setting is chosen still results in a pillarboxed picture.

On the bottom half of the remote, I did find the "ZOOM" button. Cycling thru this provides a number of options, such as "full," which expands the 4:3 picture to fill the entire 16:9 screen. Of course, this crops the top and bottom of the picture. There is also a lesser zoom option which crops off less of the top and bottom of the picture but does leave some narrow pillarboxes on either side. That seems to provide a reasonable compromise. One other issue with the ZOOM is that if you use closed captions, those will be cut off - but you can delve into the setup menu and should be able to "raise" the captions to prevent them being cut off.

I have never been a fan of the anamorphic expansion or "stretch" mode as it makes everything in the picture look "fat." By that I mean that everything is elongated from side to side. To me it results in an unnatural and distracting picture.

Now that I know what you're after though...you are correct that you'll need a DVD if what you want is to anamorphically expand the 4:3 picture without loss of any picture information (but with the distortion that comes from the "stretching"). You might want to give the ZOOM function a try with your Blu Rays, though.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
Only the Blu-Ray era DVD releases are remastered from the original negatives. Anything before the HD-DVD set came out was using the original Paramount digital masters that most of us grew up watching on TV in the 80's and 90's, though the Japanese did get all three seasons digitally mastered for their market which were later recycled - oddly - for a special UK DVD release with a Star Trek magazine around the same time as the "remastered" series was unveiled.

Okay, so indeed those "egg shell" cases that I cited prior to the HD DVD releases contain no revamped/remastered video, correct (and the same with those original two-episodes-per-disc nightmares)? I've read those look pretty cruddy, but I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page here...


So then ALL releases from the HD DVD/DVD combo set onward (which includes the three plastic pack "remastered" DVDs as seen in my post above, the individual "uniform color" season sets and now this all-inclusive box set I just purchased, right?) HAVE received the added CGI/remastered video?


Quote:
As for The Man Trap, I have no problems with the lossless audio on that episode or any other I've watched and nobody has reported audio problems with their copies. In fact, the new mixes have gotten rave reviews from pretty much everyone. Maybe you have a bad disc or it's a quirk of your equipment.

This is VERY strange; I was just watching this episode the other night and the volume on it is RIDICULOUSLY hushed and quiet, while the series picks up as that season goes along (audio-wise). I don't see how this can be a "quirk" of my equipment being that other episodes play louder with regard to mastering volume -- but at any rate, I have found the Dolby Digital audio on the DVDs I just bought to be considerably louder than the Master Audio tracks on the Blu-rays...


I suppose it IS possible that I received a bad disc.


BTW - Did I get the "home video sequencing" correct in my last post? That WAS all the DVD releases for the series (in the U.S.), right?

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Old 01-11-2016, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter

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IntelliVolume, your above comment intrigued me, so I decided to check out my BDP-83. I popped in a season 3 TOS BR (one with "Mark of Gideon") and delved into the '83's setup menu. You are correct that whatever WIDE setting is chosen still results in a pillarboxed picture.

On the bottom half of the remote, I did find the "ZOOM" button. Cycling thru this provides a number of options, such as "full," which expands the 4:3 picture to fill the entire 16:9 screen. Of course, this crops the top and bottom of the picture. There is also a lesser zoom option which crops off less of the top and bottom of the picture but does leave some narrow pillarboxes on either side. That seems to provide a reasonable compromise. One other issue with the ZOOM is that if you use closed captions, those will be cut off - but you can delve into the setup menu and should be able to "raise" the captions to prevent them being cut off.

I have never been a fan of the anamorphic expansion or "stretch" mode as it makes everything in the picture look "fat." By that I mean that everything is elongated from side to side. To me it results in an unnatural and distracting picture.

Now that I know what you're after though...you are correct that you'll need a DVD if what you want is to anamorphically expand the 4:3 picture without loss of any picture information (but with the distortion that comes from the "stretching"). You might want to give the ZOOM function a try with your Blu Rays, though.

Thanks very much for confirming this for me, Lion; I knew I wasn't ready for the retirement home just yet...


However, my BDP-83 does NOT allow me to "adjust" ANY native 1080p Blu-ray signal using the remote's ZOOM button -- the image remains locked in either a letterboxed or pillarboxed format...


I suppose, if I want to watch the episodes filling my screen (albeit a bit stretched) I will have to stick with the DVDs...


Now, the question becomes, should the proper OAR be more important so as to make me forget the DVDs and simply "deal" with the episodes on Blu-ray having pillarboxing?
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:02 PM
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Yes, anything prior to the HD-DVD release is not remastered and was encoded from older masters or whatever efforts Paramount did in the 90's. After the first season was done, the "official" TOS masters used in all home media and streaming releases of TOS are the remastered episodes, both redone and original, though the redone episodes with CGI are the ones CBS puts forth as being "what is". The last - and very odd - use of the unrestored and non-remastered episode masters was for the 2007 release of TOS episodes on a promo DVD, paired with a Star Trek magazine, only available in the UK.

Your sequence is missing the original flipper DVD releases from 1999-2001, but they are unimportant to the discussion as they are not even available anymore and you wouldn't buy them anyway, as they are precursors to the first TOS egg-case boxset that came in 2004.

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Old 01-11-2016, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter

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Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
Yes, anything prior to the HD-DVD release is not remastered and was encoded from older masters or whatever efforts Paramount did in the 90's. After the first season was done, the "official" TOS masters used in all home media and streaming releases of TOS are the remastered episodes, both redone and original, though the redone episodes with CGI are the ones CBS puts forth as being "what is". The last - and very odd - use of the unrestored and non-remastered episode masters was for the 2007 release of TOS episodes on a promo DVD, paired with a Star Trek magazine, only available in the UK.

Are you talking about THIS UK box release, known as THE FULL JOURNEY?





Oh, wait -- you can't be, because you're talking about DVD, right?


If so, that's a really nice set, and I don't know why they didn't make this available in Region A; I saw some guy doing a YouTube unboxing of it, and it reminded me very much of the 10-disc Trek Motion Pictures DVD Collection I own...THIS would have been a nice all-encompassing set for fans, including the three seasons together. Instead, quite annoyingly, we get this, with an odd generic font type chosen for it (still a head scratcher to me):



Anyway, thanks for confirming all this for me; at this point, are you saying that what it comes down to is watching (for BEST picture quality from these) the Blu-rays as we're able to select remastered original versions of the episodes as well as the CGI-enhanced ones?


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Your sequence is missing the original flipper DVD releases from 1999-2001, but they are unimportant to the discussion as they are not even available anymore and you wouldn't buy them anyway, as they are precursors to the first TOS egg-case boxset that came in 2004.

These aren't the flippers from that era?
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:25 PM
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... Had you ever seen the show in a previous DVD incarnation of any kind? If so, did you consider the BDs a HUGE step up in quality? ...
I've never viewed any other release of TOS, so I can't offer a relative rating for the BD release. All I can say is that it looks very good.

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... I'm assuming, of course, that you're using a widescreen HDTV or projection setup here -- in so doing, the pillarboxing areas don't bother you? ...
Yes, I have a 16:9 TV in the family room and a 100" 1.85:1 screen for my HT set-up. Pillarboxing doesn't bother me.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter

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I've never viewed any other release of TOS, so I can't offer a relative rating for the BD release. All I can say is that it looks very good.


Yes, I have a 16:9 TV in the family room and a 100" 1.85:1 screen for my HT set-up. Pillarboxing doesn't bother me.

Thanks; of course, I assume that your Trek Blu-rays PLAY with the pillarboxing, correct?
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:23 AM
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... I assume that your Trek Blu-rays PLAY with the pillarboxing, correct?
Yes, that's correct.
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:09 AM
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Speaking of weird/wrong fonts, look at this TNG movie collection using the TOS font:
http://amzn.com/B016OLA1B6

Why is using the proper font so difficult? LOL Do distributors need to pay an extra fee to use the correct one?
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