First TNG-Remastered ‘The Next Level’ Reviews

With just over a week to go until the official release of the Star Trek: The Next Generation blu-ray sampler disc, the first pre-release reviews have started to appear online. The general concensus seems to be one of awe, with every review praising the incredible quality of the video. We've collected together some of the best reviews below as well as mirroring copies of the screenshots the review sites have taken.

  • Blu-RayDefinition.com: (3.5/5) [Full Review here]
    "The Next Generation on Blu-ray looks every bit as good as I suspected it would, especially with the track record of this franchise on Blu-ray so far ... The end result are visual effects that are clearer, sharper, and more detailed than ever before ... Those Starfleet uniforms in their glorious reds, yellows, and blues look fantastic while the Klingon uniforms yield intricate detail and texture. If there is one problem, it is that flesh tones might suffer slightly from pushing a bit too much towards a reddish look in certain spots, but it’s a minor issue."

    Screenshots from Blu-RayDefinition.com review:

TrekCore comments: Our first true look at the remastering in 1080p stills yields some amazing results. The screenshots from this review showcase levels of detail which have never been visible before in TNG. The difference in color timing is simply remarkable - especially in the pilot episode. The reds of the command uniforms jump off the screen at you, and the horrid red-pink tinge which plagued early TNG is finally lifted! I'm not sure I agree with the reviewer's comments about reddish flesh-tones, although perhaps it's more obvious watching it than just through stills.

A few interesting things we caught - The shot of the Enterprise and Klingon Bird-of-Prey from sins of the father has actually been completely recreated in CGI. The Bird of prey now faces the Enterprise rather than the viewer. Obviously if the original film elements for this effects scene were lost, then the recreation was necessary - I just hope substitutions don't become too regular an occurrence  Altogether though, far superior work to the TOS Remastered CGI - and very faithful to the original.

The Enterprise at warp scene from "The Inner Light" also seems to be a CGI recreation. At this stage, the show was using a 4ft model of the Enterprise which, often criticised by fans, has distinct features and differs from the classic 6ft model used at the start of the show. This shot seems to have been replaced with a CGI version of the 6ft Enterprise, although the CGI seems slightly less impressive here - the lighting of the ship seems ever so slightly off.

  • Blu-Ray.com: (3.0/5) [Full Review here]
    "...the three-color spectrum of uniforms -- red, light blue, and mustard -- enjoy more balance and authenticity than has ever been seen before in "TNG" home video or broadcast presentations. The neutral, light colors around the ship, including the leather seats on the bridge, also take on a very natural, welcoming shade. Fine detail is strong, but not quite extraordinary ... The added clarity of the 1080p resolution allows for some sharper information that reveals small details even dedicated viewers might have missed before ... "Sins of the Father" sees a slight, but noticeable, improvement over "Farpoint." The image is generally more stable and film-like. Grain remains, as do light speckles, but fine detail is a touch more crisp, colors are hair more natural, and clarity far more impressive."

    Screenshots from Blu-Ray.com

TrekCore Comments: Another wonderful collection of samples showing the quality we can expect from the new HD TNG. A few notable things I'd like to point out from this collection:

The captures from Farpoint are continuing to amaze me. Just look at the color of Data's eyes in the scene where he picks Wesley up in the holodeck! Or the uniform texture on Admiral McCoy in the famous scene with Data touring the ship. Or Troi's hairband! These shots are like night and day when compared to the original SD broadcasts and DVD releases - seeing them on the big screen is going to be like watching TNG for the first time, with new eyes!

Despite the remastering team replacing the 4-footer in the Enterprise-At-Warp shot scene in the previous review, it's back with a vengeance as you can see in the picture from "The Inner Light" where the Enterprise hovers above the Kataan probe. To my eyes, it doesn't look half as offensive as a lot of fans would have you believe, but it's all personal taste! Like it or not, it's here to stay... in HD!

The infamous 13 seconds of lost footage we reported on earlier is captured here in all it's upscaled glory. Yikes, the difference is obvious! We've been reassured however that it doen't pull you out of the episode all that much, so I'm going to reserve judgement until I see it as part of the episode itself.

The menu-interface for the sampler disc is shown for the first time here. It's a simple LCARS motif, not too cluttered and fits nicely into the Star Trek design ethos.

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