Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Blu-Ray Disc • 5 Discs
CBS Home Entertainment

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Many people unfairly group the first two seasons together when they talk about the “uneven start” of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For me, Season 2 has always stood apart from the first season, the show feels different – the actors and the writing are more confident and despite the troubles and politics going on behind-the-scenes in 1988-1989, TNG’s sophomore year manages to bring forward a large number of unique and memorable episodes which still captivate fans 25 years later.

Between seasons, the ship’s main players have been re-shuffled into more familiar postings. Both Geordi and Worf switch to their familiar mustard-colored uniforms, gaining promotions to Chief Engineer and Chief of Security respectively, Troi is out of her Season 1 jean-suit and finally gets to let her hair down (literally) and the crew welcome Diana Muldaur’s Dr. Katherine Pulaski and Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan on-board. Everything just feels more comfortable for the viewer. Perhaps it’s the reduction in clunky awkward dialogue, or maybe it’s just Frakes’ beard – either way, this is the TNG we all know and love.

CBS once again took on the monumental challenge of remastering the full season into high-definition, returning to the original 35mm negatives of the show and editing the episodes together as they were originally presented back in the late 1980s. After seeing the first season and becoming accustomed to the high-definition image, it’s all too easy to forget what the show looked like in its original standard definition broadcast and DVD release.  In the last few months we’ve published a range of articles describing just what an unimaginably huge undertaking this remastering process represents. The challenge of reassembling the show from the ground up to match the original episodes is by no means easy, yet CBS have somehow managed to locate every second of film from the live-action footage and transfer it to high-definition.

Remastering Star Trek: The Next Generation was always going to be a risky venture. A process as complex as this was never going to be cheap, but coupled with the fact that Star Trek fans are some of the most particular and discerning viewers in the world made it even more important that CBS did the job right and engaged with the fan community.

After it became apparent just how much work (and therefore time) was involved in remastering any one season of the show, CBS took the decision to split the workload between two teams: their in-house visual effects and design studio CBS Digital and an independent post-production house, HTV-Illuminate. As a result, Season 2 was handled by HTV-Illuminate with extra guidance and help from members of the original VFX team who worked on the show, including Mike and Denise Okuda, Doug Drexler, Dan Curry and David Takemura.

So how does Season 2 shape up? Firstly it’s worth mentioning that Season 2 uses a different film-stock to the first season – the image is less glossly, less saturated and more matte and filmic in appearance. I love both looks for different reasons, but I love them even more in high definition. Over the past few days I’ve found myself going back to the DVDs of the show often to remind myself how much of an upgrade this set represents. The HD live-action footage continues to blow my mind in so many ways. Textures in fabrics used for costuming are revealed for the very first time and the detail is simply beautiful. Viewers can finally appreciate the intricate craftsmanship that went into creating the Klingon and Romulan uniforms, Guinan’s hats and everything in between. This is detail that has never been seen before, always lost in the blurry murk of a standard definition transfer, and I never get tired of seeing it.


The intricate detail in the Romulan uniform on Subcommander Taris from ‘Contagion‘ jumps off the screen in HD – the designer’s craftsmanship can finally be appreciated in all its glory.

Particular mentions are due to episodes such as “Elementary, Dear Data”. These are the shows that I feel benefit the most from a high-definition transfer. The details on the sets are breath-taking to see – I almost felt like I was walking through Holmesian London WITH Data and Geordi. I was totally immersed in the episode like never before and found myself staring at the most benign details on those sets which had hitherto been obscured in SD. Another shout out is owed to “A Matter of Honor”. Klingon episodes always suffered the worst in SD on DVD. The dark shadowy sets and stark red lighting were rendered terribly and resulted in blurry messes when the camera would pan across the set. In HD this episode looks unbelievably good – we can see layers of shadow and texture that make the Klingon Bird-of-Prey set feel so three-dimensional and realistic. These episodes are surely a marvel to behold.


The remastered scenes on the Klingon Bird of Prey from ‘A Matter of Honor‘ look amazing in HD – textures and shadows never before seen leap off the screen. Very immersive!

Visual effects elements which were originally created at videotape SD resolution – planets, transporter effects and the like – had to be recreated from scratch by the team at HTV. There has been a lot of debate by fans on the quality of the visual effects from Season 2 and how they compare to those done by CBS Digital for the first season.

CBS Digital set the bar incredibly high with Season 1, going beyond the call of duty in many ways and adding “extra love” to shots. Artists such as Eric Bruno and Max Gabl worked hard to add a sense of realism to shots – creating rich intricate textures for planets whilst respecting the original design ethic and then at the same time making the Enterprise look like it belonged in a scene – reflecting light from the newly rendered planets onto the orbiting Enterprise’s hull. Their work is undeniably stunning.

For Season 2, HTV have taken a different approach to visual effects. In all honesty, I found the second season to be a somewhat mixed bag of hits and misses with these shots. Some work is truly stunning – the new digital matte painting for the Borg Cube interior is a work of art: we are treated to steam rising from vents and Borg drones walking around the cube as the camera pans out. It’s clear an awful lot of time and effort went into that. On the flip side, a lot of work just doesn’t meet the (admittedly high) standards set by CBS Digital in Season 1. Whilst I respect the team’s intention to remain ardently true to the original show, as I made my way through the season I started to question why some planets have been created with blurry textures (almost appearing like they’ve been upscaled from standard definition) which jar so much with the beautiful HD renders worked on by Max Gabl and CBS-Digital for Season 1.

We like…. Iconia from ‘Contagion‘. Beautifully remastered, rich textures, authentic cloud cover. We dislike…. Starbase 6 from ‘The Schizoid Man‘. Blurry and unrealistic, almost looks upscaled from SD.

Additionally, the compositing on display in many of the VFX shots seems exceedingly flat and characterless. I was left with the impression that certain shots were rushed to meet deadlines and that the team could really have benefited from someone like Eric Bruno to deliver that “extra love” which permeated through Season 1. I have no doubt that HTV and the artists involved delivered their best work on the schedule they were given, however I can’t help but wish that CBS had stuck with the decision to remaster the whole show in-house with CBS Digital.

We like… the new Borg Cube interior from ‘Q Who‘. Stunning new digital matte painting, recreated with love and care. A joy to see. We dislike… Enterprise probe launch from ‘Where Silence Has Lease‘. Plastic, flat and unrealistic recreation with no grain.

I should stress that this is by no means a deal-breaker for Season 2. It would be remiss of me not to mention the differences, but at the same time the episodes presented are still jaw-droppingly beautiful in so many ways. The enormous leap in quality from standard to high definition is more than enough to outweigh the different style taken with the visual effects.

Bonus Material
Excitement for the TNG Remastering project is somewhat segmented for me. One half of me craves to see my favorite episodes brought into crisp sharp high-definition, the other half is completely and utterly addicted to the outstanding work of filmmakers extraordinaire Robert Meyer Burnett and Roger Lay Jr. Robert and Roger have once again worked their asses off to bring us some of the best bonus content we could wish for.

A couple of months ago I was trailing Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 2 as having the best bonus content of any Star Trek home video release. Period. I continue to stand by that assessment. TNG is 25 years old, and when a show has been off the air for so long the process of putting together interesting, fresh content for bonus features becomes increasingly difficult and more challenging.

“Making it So: Continuing the Next Generation” picks up where “Stardate Revisited” left off in Season 1. The documentary is split up into two parts, “Strange New Worlds” and “New Life and New Civilizations”.

    • “Strange New Worlds” dives straight into the Season 1 wrap party and ties up all the loose ends from the first year of production. Expect more candid opinions from the cast and crew of Next Gen including Rick Berman acknowledging the animosity he engendered from some fans and a reflective Michael Dorn confessing he considered quitting the show early on. Burnett & Lay have brought us some great interviews this season with a variety of people we don’t often hear from. It’s a pleasure to listen to Rob Bowman’s story of his first experience directing “Elementary, Dear Data” and Melinda Snodgrass recounting how her script for “The Measure of a Man” was accepted. Especially noteworthy is the touching montage at the end voiced over by Diana Muldaur and Rick Berman… I won’t spoil it, but I challenge anybody not to be moved by the words.


The new interview with Diana Muldaur almost didn’t happen, but it’s a testament to the dogged determination of all involved that we’re able to hear Diana’s views – and she’s a total joy to listen to!

    • “New Life and New Civilizations” covers a lot of the major changes in the second season. Diana Muldaur and John de Lancie are both heavily featured here and it’s a joy to hear about their Next Gen experiences. We also get to hear Gates McFadden discussing her controversial exit from the show which, in the words of Patrick Stewart “horrified and appalled” the cast. Whilst the team weren’t able to interview Whoopi this season (I understand a new interview will be included in a later season), there are archival interviews and cast reactions about the introduction of Guinan. This segment also features a wonderful collection of early test footage from “Time Squared”, “Q Who” and Nagilum from “Where Silence Has Lease” alongside rare new interviews with Dennis Madalone (stunt coordinator) and Cosmo Genevese (script supervisor).


A rare glimpse at the original huge matte painting created by Syd Dutton for ‘Q Who‘. The painting had to be replaced for the remastering due to the visibility of brushstrokes so it’s a treat to see the original in all it’s glory.

“Reunification: 25 Years After Star Trek: The Next Generation”: One of the jewels in the crown of these bonus features has to be the must-see cast reunion which brings together the entire principal cast for an emotional roundtable chat moderated by Robert Meyer Burnett and coinciding with the show’s 25th Anniversary. Burnett avoids going into sudden fanboy meltdown (somehow) and presides over one of the most touching genuine displays of true camaraderie and friendship I’ve ever seen from Star Trek actors. The humor and interplay between them all is such a joy to watch. There are too many little nuggets to mention here… everyone poking fun at Patrick’s “25 years at the RSC”, Michael Dorn’s hilarious Patrick Stewart impression, the line about Dorn not being allowed on set because of his work on CHIPS… the list goes on. I can’t praise the material here enough – I could watch it over and over again without getting bored! It’s great how the actors still remember scenes they filmed right back in the pilot, and the stories about director Corey Allen are so much fun to watch.


Robert Meyer Burnett hosts the historic cast reunion with all the principal TNG actors (from left: Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Michael Dorn, Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes and host Robert Meyer Burnett.)

“The Measure of a Man” Extended Edition: CBS painstakingly restored almost 15 minutes of extra footage from one of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s finest episodes. The extended ‘Measure of a Man’ is a complete tour-de-force in every way. I won’t spoil the new scenes here, needless to say they add a lot of heart to the episode (one scene in particular) and remind me why I miss this show so much – because of the characters. We’ll be reviewing the extended cut separately after the blu-ray release date.


The extended edition of ‘The Measure of a Man‘ features a number of very touching character moments. I don’t want to spoil them, but this scene was especially well done!

“Energized! Season Two Tech Update”:  The shortened 8-minute segment focuses more on the artistic direction the crew took filming the show rather than remastering it. Mike & Denise Okuda and Dan Curry are the sole interviewees here, so don’t expect a behind-the-scenes look at HTV’s remastering on the same scale that we had with CBS Digital in Season 1.

“Reading Rainbow”: Also on the first disc is LeVar Burton’s original Reading Rainbow episode featuring a behind-the-scenes look at production in TNG’s first season. The episode has been doing the rounds on YouTube for years, but it’s nice to see it in a more complete form with better image quality and a fresh introduction from LeVar himself.

“Gag Reel”: I’m still in awe of the fact that CBS managed to find original 35mm outtakes and bloopers from a show that’s 25 years old now. The finished cut is a hilarious compilation of some of the best bloopers I’ve seen. Michael Dorn’s “Oh Jesus” will go down in history and needs to go viral as a soundbite. I won’t spoil the end, but it is emotionally charged and incredibly poignant. All in all… a magnificent collection.


The new HD gag reel is a wonderful inclusion on the set. Not only did it have me in stitches (you can watch it over and over without tiring), but there are some wonderful touching moments where the actors’ deep friendship really comes across.

Audio Commentaries: The set contains two new audio commentaries on arguably the most popular episodes from Season 2 – “The Measure of a Man” and “Q Who”. Both commentaries give technical insights into the production of the episodes, although the “Q Who” commentary covers a lot of the same ground laid in the “Making it So” documentary and seems to be a bit tooorganized – I feel that more spontaneous comments and observations would have worked better.

Deleted Scenes: Almost 10 minutes of deleted scenes from “The Icarus Factor” and “Up the Long Ladder” are featured. The scenes are in rough cut VHS resolution which makes me wonder – if CBS were able to locate the original 35mm elements from the “Measure of a Man” deleted scenes to rebuild the episode, wasn’t it possible to do the same for “Icarus” and “Ladder”? Perhaps they tried and couldn’t find them – we don’t know, either way it’s still a treat to have these presented here in any format!

Yet again I have to laud the efforts of Burnett and Lay for the production of the bonus content, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that they are the perfect uber-fans for this job. They’ve both really upped their game for Season 2 and it shows. The content has become more polished and professional as they’ve settled into a unique style of presentation which fits so well with this project. I know they’re working on content for Season 3 as I type, and I’m left with no doubts that it’s going to continue with the same level of excellence on display here. Bravo!

So what’s the bottom line? All things considered, Season 2 of TNG on blu-ray is still another must-buy for all fans. Whilst the issues with the VFX does take the polish off the end-product in some ways, the lion’s share of the restoration looks simply glorious in HD and the bonus features speak for themselves in sheer epicness!

– Adam Walker, November 26 2012

Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 Blu-Ray today!



Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 Blu-Ray today!




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  • archer923

    I’m so happy we got to see the original borg matte painting. I always wanted to see how that was shot. All the set footage is perfect. My personal favorites are worf and kalar in their kilngon outfits, The busard collectors being released. And the time square tunnel. The original composite had some cut off issues with the smoke. A drawback of HD. We can see the post that’s between Worf and Riker is rubber now.

    But yeah, HTV still needs to up their game with the effects. The CGI Ent for the probe closeup has more detail than the CGI that was used in EAF and IL. But there’s practically no grain. And they still didn’t fix the hull texture. Too grey. Not enough alien metal. The rear neck windows are still the dead giveaway. Guys, please fix the distorted neck textures. And the recomposite of the EAF ENT orbiting is pretty bad too. Way too much of the sun pass is visible. But the Warbird with the ENT is ok. Ugh, I don’t know what to think. S2 is amazing. Or just good.

    • hypnotoad72

      Oops. I thought that was the 2′ plastic model. For CGI, I’m impressed. It’s better than the CGI used in “Hide and Q” (in terms of color palette, which lacks the pale green but nails the blue almost perfectly). For CGI, that model used isn’t too bad. Especially given the nacelle lighting.

  • Chris Jay
    • Jörg Hillebrand

      It’s the crimson force field, it makes you go! 😉

      • Chris Jay

        Yea, but that’s not the name of the episode… 😛

        • MalcolmTucker

          Its from Samaritan Snare, Chris.

  • Quinn

    Very nice review… too bad about the VFX, but I’ll still be buying this on day one for the special features!

  • Savage Dragon

    Thanks for another thorough, and honest review. Despite some of the iffy looking VFX I am still very much looking forward to viewing Season 2! The special features look great!

  • New Horizon

    A shame about the drop in VFX quality. Oh well. No TNG for me until Season 3. CBS, if your reading…give CBS-Digital the time to finish all of the remaining seasons on their own and let them do it right.

    • kadajawi

      Well, but missing out on season 2 because of a drop in quality in a few scenes?

      • Esmeralda

        All VFX scenes are huge drop in quility. And for SF series like star trek VFX scenes are very important for storytelling.

        And they are most important for majority of the fans. I bought first seasons of TNG-R because of them. To me quality of VFX is the most important.

  • some good pics here – some bad there but overall i’m still disappointed.

    this one really hurts:
    http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/review22.jpg

    • Chris Jay

      Why does that one really hurt?

      I like it.

    • Data

      If this one is hurting you – this one must have killed you!! The light comes from the right on to the planet and from the left on to the ships: http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/review14.jpg

      • Chris Jay

        Well, that’s how they looked in the original, can’t do much about that…

        • New Horizon

          Sure you could…flip the planet and put it on the opposite side of the frame.

          • Chris Jay

            Then you’d be re-imagining the shot, which is not the goal, as was mentioned in Season 1, this is a remastering, not a re-imagining.

          • New Horizon

            Re-imaging in the most minor sense. The background and ships in the foreground would remain the same…they would just flip the plate of the planet to the opposite side of the screen. Problem fixed, light is now coming from the same direction for all objects.

          • archer923

            The ENT D was the one that’s flipped. That’s what causes the wrong sun location. They did that all the time. It’s a common problem in every ST show. Even ENT had a two suns problem.

        • hypnotoad72

          Agreed, Chris. Their aim is to remaster and recompose – for the budget allotted – show as much detail quality as possible. Not rekerjigger everything, which would be sauce for this goose. Noting how each object has several strips of film to re-scan and re-align (main chassis, lights, mask, etc, etc), this is no easy task to accomplish on its own – to say nothing of making tweaks or improvements.

          If anything, too much DNR renders some images unusually soft (unless this is the result of the different film type used – including lower quality stock), and the occasional teal warp engine glow – which is not a major thing. Even on DVD, it’s easy to see where the massive amounts of grain and softness can be perceived.

      • Bjoernar Dohm

        Well, that kind of mistakes happened on season 1, too. Remember “The Naked Now”? The Enterprise orbiting a Red Giant, yet the ship’s side FACING AWAY from the sun is illuminated (from somewhere offscreen).

  • Alex Webb

    After everything we’ve seen and read, I’m gonna have to give this one a miss, and pick it up with Season 3.

    CBS-D managed to get everything in that perfect ‘sweet spot’ between modernized and faithful, but HTV have created – for the most part – simply an upscaled version of the original SD shots.

    If Season 1 had looked like this, we wouldn’t have anything to complain about – but with such fantastic work as a point of reference, HTV’s work doesn’t even come close.

    • Riker

      Thats right, CBS-D had done absolutely incredible work and they must open s2 up again and also do the rest of the show!!!!

    • hypnotoad72

      A lot of season 2 screencaps are passable, but some people have highlighted really do look as if they were lifted from the videotape masters… I can’t see even lower quality film stock yield such rubbish results. I’ve scanned in decade-old Advantix film and improved the results.

      http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/review23.jpg

      That image shows a passable planet, but the Enterprise looks like they nicked it from the DVD, deinterlaced, and upscaled it. Yuck!

  • ROThornhill

    Great review. From the screencaps I’ve seen I definitely prefer CBS-Digital’s approach to the restoration and the recomposition of the VFX scenes in particular, but it still looks for the most part like a big improvement on the old version. The special features look very impressive. I look forward to hearing what Diana Muldaur has to say in her interview.

    One question – was a Season 3 trailer included? If so, how did it look? 🙂

    • trekcore

      Yes, whilst I love some of the work on display, I do like the CBS-Digital VFX look better. Diana Muldaur comes across as such a sweet lady, it was a delight to listen to her views on Star Trek. A Season 3 trailer was indeed included and it looks incredible!

      • New Horizon

        Do you know if the S3 trailer will be on the web soon? Since I’m not buying Season 2, I won’t get to see it. I’m really looking forward to the return of CBS-Digital and hope they handle the remaining seasons.

        • trekcore

          We won’t be posting the trailer until Season 3 publicity begins.

          • Chris Jay

            You know, once S2 hits the market, the S3 trailer is going to end up on the internet rather quickly.

          • Quinn

            Yes, but mostly likely without with CBS’s permission.

          • Chris Jay

            Well, if it’s included on the set, that’s ultimately their fault.

  • RGB

    Thank you for the honest review.

    I’ll skip Season 2 until it comes down to a reasonable price. It would be fair of CBS to give a discount on this box, containing only 22 episodes and offering a HD experience like this:

    • James

      ho ho! that’s a good ‘un.

    • Giuseppe

      Considering that most of the VFX work is very poor compared to what they offered in the first season set, the price SHOULD be lower than it is.

  • Craigyboy

    Well whilst season one set high standards and there is an apparent drop in quality on some of the vfx shots it still looks like a massive improvement from SD and I will be buying it, I love the next generation and my excitement is building for season 3.

    • hypnotoad72

      Agreed!

      It’s all relative.

      S1 is better than S2 on Blu-Ray, but they’re all going to be a big step up from DVD. It’d be nice if the remaining seasons were done to the level of freedom accorded season 1, of course.

      • kadajawi

        And then there’s the small issue of the season 1 content being… well, not exactly good. I’d rather watch a lower quality season 2 than a high quality season 1 again.

    • Giuseppe

      Yeah, it’s all relative. Except for the price. The CBS suggested retail price for the Season 1 set was $118. For Season 2 it’s $129. So CBS expects customers to pay more for a clearly inferior product which contains fewer episodes. Obviously what you actually pay is not the same with their suggested price ’cause each retailer sets its own price, but still…

  • Sloan
    • Chris Jay

      I guess they recomposited the shot, why is anyone’s guess.

    • Esmeralda

      And this two screenshot demonstrate how better CBS-D remastering is from HTV-I.

      Like I said many times, HTV-I does not have the necessary skills for remastering of star trek.

      And these 2 screenshots are proofs for that.

      • kadajawi

        They may not be as good (unfortunately), but it’s not unwatchable. Still a huge improvement over the DVDs. However I do wish that they take the time they need to, and if necessary HTV-I has to work with CBS-D. Or, well, just let CBS-D do everything, even if that means only one season per year (further postponing the release of DS9 on Blu Ray… well, one can dream, right?). Though why not try to hire more people, to support the experienced staff? Or would they only disturb?

        • hypnotoad72

          I rewatched ‘Q WHO’ on DVD, as preparation.

          It too has foibles in the original editing – scan lines, unevenly lit scenes of the Borg cube (one of the HD cube shots looks far better, with the subdued green lighting now being a boon).

          The 2′ model did look a little more proportioned, but despite color timing issues, and as an overall generalization, the Blu-Ray set will look better. Early adopters will soon tell just how many hiccups there were (including the compositing of the saucer being chopped off at the right at the end of one episode…)

    • hypnotoad72

      That second, poorly defined image with eerie blue and red glows and exceedingly soft detail… that’s from a season 2 ep? It looks like the same scene, so why not save the money and re-use the previously remastered clip? Something doesn’t seem right…

    • Corran

      That is freakin’ mind boggling, both in terms of wasted energy and the drop off in quality.

    • SpaceDwarf

      I just can’t understand their logic here. For some reason they’ve previously refused to use any elements made by CBS-D, yet here they happily loaned the crisply clear planet matte even though it clashes with their “artistic decision” of remaining absolutely true to the original mattes. They refused to loan the entire shot, being adamant to recomposite it themselves, but couldn’t be bothered to put any kind of effort into it when they got round to recompositing it. It’s like a set of principles that no one was following.

    • archer923

      I have no clue either. They obviously wanted to change the planet. But also wasted their time in changing the ent composite, is beyond me.

    • Barry

      Ok… ok… ok… STOP. How many people have to emphasize the monumental task that this project was before people can calm down and be happy that this is ACTUALLY happening. HD Next Gen….??? Holy Klingon Nutsacks People! As someone who works in the video editing field the amount of man hours it’s going to take to finish these boggles my mind. There will be some crappy bits. But… We get to see 99% of it in HD epicness. I know I’m feeding the trolls, but REALLY? CBS.. as long as you guys are doing this and the episodes follow the originals pretty much exactly… PLUS all of the bonus stuff… well, to quote Fry, “Shut Up and Take My Money!” To the people saying they won’t buy this because of one off probe or planet… well… keep wallowing in your baktag. I for one am looking forward to these, hiccups or no.

      • Esmeralda

        They are not doing this for free.

        They are doing this for our money, of us fans.

        And if they want my money I expected high quality. I will not settle for nothing less.

        We customers have the right to criticize if we feel that the product is not of satisfactory quality. Because this product is not cheap, it is expensive.

        What benefits I have from TNG in HD if VFX are blurry, badly made and at the level of SD versions.

        I do not need that…

        • Gerd

          You’re right. But $80 are not really expensive for a whole season on bluray. O.k. – in comparison to “Friends” (10 seasons on BR for $80) or “The Big Bang Theory” (one season on BR for about $30) it is quite expensive…

          But in comparison to the price and quality of the DVDs it is very cheap. Star Trek always will be expensive because they know they can milk the cow again and again and again. And I will give milk again and again and again… 🙂

          • archer923

            $80 is expensive. When the Bluray format is still being ignored for DVD. By pricing it high, people will just go for the DVD version. And TNG has to deal with the 20th anniversary release. Which has every episode for $250-300. Add $80 up 7 times. Or the old single sets. Which are $45. And because people have seen the episodes a million times. People won’t bother. Showing a poor product, will cause even more people to pass. CBS has to earn the money. ‘Cause they know they’ve sold the show so many times.

      • Wes

        Barry, bravo! I am so glad that you have been able to put what I’ve tried to say since people started complaining about the Season 2 set. I agree with you and your argument. I am looking forward to this set (in fact, it is quite amazing that I am getting this for my birthday present when it comes out next week) and if people have to whine and complain about a few messed up VFX and not happy with the way CBS-D just gave HTV-Illuminate their license to do the even numbered seasons, then they should shut up and not buy it.

        • Esmeralda

          This is a free country. We have the right to criticize.
          All this negative comments are not here for no reason.

          Season 1 had almost all positive comments. Customers are not stupid.

        • Barry

          Kudos Wes! Look guys, I know you have a right as customers to gripe. I know it’s not a cheap season/set. But seriously? If you state “I will not buy this because something that is on the screen for one second is blurry” I guess that’s your prerogative, and I agree that ANY studio should do the best possible for their customers, especially for a high end collection of blu-rays that you will spend 600 bucks on by the time you buy ’em all. I get that. I also get saying I will never buy it if they screwed up ANYTHING important. A probe or a planet or one damn shot with a blurry enterprise doesn’t quantify being a d-bag and saying the whole thing is crap. It’s a damn sight better than SD. Want it to be fixed? Do what I just did. Send them a politely worded letter – not an email- saying you are disappointed with the quality in season two, and as a fan of their brand you hope they rectify the issue in further seasons as you purchased this product and are hoping that further seasons will be fixed. Also request a reply and leave a return address. If they get enough of these letters I guarantee you the brass will go ruffle some feathers over at HTV-illuminate.
          Anyways thanks for listening and that’s my last bit on the subject.

      • Corran

        I would agree if it was just a few isolated short shots, and one bad planet, but every season 2 made planet has looked bad, every shot involving a model has looked less sharp, ever shot involving multiple models has looked less blended together, The contrast has looked flat and lifeless consistently. I see no reason to assume that the pictures we’ve been shown are not representative of the overall look of season 2. If there is a violent reaction to the look of season 2 it’s only because the work on season 1 was so outstanding, and that has been the promise, “you will get to see one of your favourite shows restored in a more beautiful way than you ever thought possible” Season 2 doesn’t meet that promise, it looks the same but a bit clearer. Its a wasted opportunity the show could have looked amazing forever, but now it wont for the want of a few extra months, and not hiring the right people for the right job, it’s not an amicable trade off. It’s not an acceptable compromise.

        And in the case of the comparison above it seems a needless waste of energy to re-composite a shot already completed to a very high standard to a much lesser one. We’ve seen that exact shot done right, they could have spent zero time on that shot and come up with a better result just by leaving it alone, then spent that time perfecting an actual season 2 original shot, this doesn’t just speak to a shortcoming in technical expertise, it’s a major case of mismanagement and bad decision making at a higher level. I want to know why when that episode was reviewed no-body asked “wait a minute, didn’t we already do that shot better? why did you redo it? We were able to get this level of detail and sharpness out of that image, why haven’t you?” when that extra awful planet came up for review why did no-one ask “wait a minute, that looks really substandard, we have a system in place for creating really nice looking planets, if you don’t have the software, hardware, or expertise to make planets to the standard required we’ll help you acquire it”

        We’re talking about quality control at the most basic level here, and it appears to have been completely neglected. I feel bad for the HTV staff, I imagine they worked really hard, for long hours and under a lot of stress on this project, but their results are sub par and people are rightly trashing them. What I want to know is where was CBS digital’s supervisors going “wait a second, that’s not good enough HERE IS HOW YOU MAKE THAT BETTER” because they clearly knew what was required and how to achieve it.

    • Masterironfist

      Did someone blur this image? I just watched this episode on my blu ray set and it looks WAY better than this!!!

  • Ashley Williams

    My biggest complaint is the planets. They all look like they were created in high quality SD (as opposed to badly degraded betamax) and then upscaled. Even the one you said you liked looks bad. The thumbnail for it looks great.

    • Ashley Williams

      With that said, I am planning on buying it and it still looks better than the original. I can’t wait to see Measure of a man fully extended.

  • Pat Suwalski

    That was very well written. Thanks for the review, Adam. I think The Powers That Be are more likely to take your feedback about the effects quality than many commenters.

    • hypnotoad72

      Or if the most negative critiques are taken with a grain of salt. Some people can be overly harsh, but with everything more expensive, people have more expectations. And people were told in interviews how season 2’s team were closely watched over, but with some of these screenshots, I can’t believe that was always the case. (and since I’m not there, my perceptions might not be correct, and I’ve done this sort of thing as an amateur and it is not easy work to do.)

  • RGB

    It’s not just the VFX shots. Some live footage looks pretty much DNRed. Not a hint of grain visible. 🙁

    • hypnotoad72

      Images 41 and 44 (Peak performance and the clip show respectively) both look great, even if the latter has less grain but still retains detail.

      The scene from “The Child” looks borderline, but it is soft. As was the Romulan Commander in “Contagion”. Thankfully detail remains, but she does look like a life-sized, mock-porcelain doll sold at K-Mart… 🙁

      Yeah, TNG film stock often revealed lots of grain, but I’d rather see that than a bunch of soft, unfocused blobs (Schizoid Man).

      Yup. “Dauphin” looks overly-DNR’ed. They all have the complexion of Barbie dolls inside their Barbie Playhouse; the transporter room never looked so smooth and glossy, despite this different film stock being used.

      I recall taking a pic of “The Inner Light” w/Geordi and using a third party Photoshop plugin that removes noise while leaving image quality intact. It’s a good plug-in but the results after a surprisingly minimal percentage of application revealed more soft fuzzy than detail, so I left the grain be… and by season 5, TNG was definitely getting better quality film stock.

    • Justin Olson

      All three of those are actually VFX shots. The first has 3D holographic cubes composited into it, the second is a beam-in shot and the third has Salia in her actual form. It looks like they pre-DNR’d all of their VFX plates to de-grain them — unnecessary, in my opinion. The shots should have retained all the original high-frequency detail and matching grain placed over the VFX to integrate them.

      But then again, this isn’t “Game of Thrones” we’re talking about here, where they had ten episodes spread comfortably over five discs with plenty of bitrate… this is 22 episodes spread over five discs and packed to the brim with special features also competing for bitrate… something’s gotta give. It’s possible the episodes became even softer during the encoding process just to make them fit.

      I’ve always felt five episodes per disc was pushing it. I think they should have kept it at four, personally. But that’s just me. 🙂

      • Chris Jay

        Some blu-ray discs have an enormous capacity…

        • hypnotoad72

          25GB or 50GB (dual-layer).

          On occasion, some compression artifacting can be seen, but one really has to look (and hit the pause button).

          • Chris Jay

            I’ve seen 100GB BR-DL discs…

          • M. Wright

            The 100GB discs are part of a data only format known as BD-XL for writeable/re-writeable data discs. BD-XL has not been adopted as a standard for pressed media nor has it been added to BD video standard, thus no current set-top BD player can even read them.

      • archer923

        5 is very safe on a blu-ray. The episodes on average are just over 8GB (20Mbps). Including all the audio tracks. They removed the master audio 2.0, to compensate for the special features.

    • Morgan Feldon

      Wesley Crusher’s evil double examined up close reveals a rubberized costume and Blurrrrface. Also, Salia seems to be contained in a bubble as there is a hard line where the effect ends on the right.

  • hypnotoad72

    The probe bit from “Silence” – was the 2′ model used?

    Loved the planet in “Contagion” – all the pics I’ve seen so far suggest those people working to edit it loved the story since the love is reflected in the footage.

    “Schizoid Man”‘s planet is not as good, and while I like the story it’s definitely not season 2’s best.

    Overall, the film grain and other live action scenes look as expected, though I will concede a lot of shots do look a little too soft (too much DNR applied?). Pity they didn’t do a 4k scan and apply DNR to it; the result would still be sharper…

    And the f/x shots – while inconsistent – don’t turn me off either. Well, a couple shots have the warp engines a little too teal (see picture #14 with the shuttlecraft and uneven lighting between elements, though the green reflection off the Enterprise was a nice touch), but these are still big step-ups from the HD version…

    Season 2 has always been one of my faves. As long as the editing and overall feel, complete with phaser beams, feel true to the original, the posh standards season 1 got won’t be as much of an issue, even if I will miss that standard. The new release will still be of much higher quality than the original SD version. The occasional fuzzy planet or crystal clear proof the original model film crew used the puny 2’ model is not going to drive me away.

    And it could be worse – the Superman movies on blu-ray had incorrect color timing and the blues look more like teals as a result… that takes more effort to sit through.

  • Quinn

    The shot-to-shot inconsistencies are bugging me a little bit. You can read every bit of text and make out every bolt and panel on the first shot of the Enterprise,

    http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/wheresilence_probe.jpg

    …but you’re just as close to the ship in this second shot, and the ‘Enterprise’ label on the back of the nacelle is blurred almost recognizably,

    http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/review22.jpg

    They really made the CGI ship TOO clean.

    • Corran

      The first one is cgi, the second a model, HTVI has proven they can’t composite models.

    • Chris Jay

      Well, the CG model was made by Tobias Richter and he’s known for having a great attention to detail… but I still think the CG work is worse than what Tobias would’ve done.

      • Corran

        It’s also a much closer look to how the shots were looking in season one so it kind of stands out , because it has highlight that aren’t blown out and visible shadows, but it still looks plasticy.

        • Corran

          I actually like it as its own thing, but a perfect substitute for the original model it is not.

          • Chris Jay

            I think CBS-D did a better job with the CG model.

  • Corran

    I wonder if because, the interior Borg matte shows up again in Best of Both Worlds, CBS-D were a bit more hands on in the creation of that element.

  • pittrek

    Well some of the shots look brilliant, some of them look terrible. But I’m still buying it 🙂

  • Neill Stringer

    This still looks amazing and I can’t wait for it. Yea HTV don’t seem to be as good as CBS Digital but they have still done some grea work. Csn’t wait to see Q Who in HD, as that new matte looks col.

    Either way it will still be leaps ahead of the DVDs and I think after seeing them on blu ray, it will be the definitive way to watch them from now on.

  • SpaceDwarf

    I’m calling it now: Iconia is a Max Gabl matte, in loan from CBS-D from the 3rd season episode Allegiance (planet Cor Caroli V). If I’m wrong then you can all point me with fingers and call me names, but to me the overall impression is clearly that of Max Gabl’s work.

  • ALAROCHE

    Just a silly question, but did CBS-D do the work for the Star Trek Movies on
    Blu-ray or was that before that partitioned off Star Trek as a CBS property. If CBS D can do that with Season one maybe they should be given a shot to go back and fix what was in reviews complained about as flat work on the original movies in Blu Ray.. BTW how are the TNG movies on Blu Ray… right now i only own Season 2, 3 of TOS and Season 1 TNG on the BLU

    • archer923

      The ST movies didn’t need work (besides restoration fixes). Movies are finalized on film. No recompositing is needed. Only TMP Directors Cut needs work. They finalized all the new digital work at SD only. That’s why it wasn’t released.

    • M. Wright

      CBS-D is a division of CBS, of course, so they didn’t even come near the movies. The movies are still owned by Paramount. CBS only holds the rights to the television properties. So Paramount pretty did whatever it pleased with movies, which unfortunately meant that they just slammed out the movies on Blu-ray with whatever old transfers they had from the early to mid 2000s for HD cable channels instead of proper new transfers done more carefully and at higher resolution for a real Blu-ray release that would have shown some care and love for the movies 🙁

      • Don’t worry, they’ll eventually release a Special Edition of the Trek films or something like that with new transfers eventually. They love milking the Trek franchise and they’ve seen us all go nuts for the TNG Blu-rays.

    • Chris Jay

      The TNG movies look amazing on Blu-ray, as do all the movies.

      • M. Wright

        I beg to differ. None of the original crew movies look all that great and TVH and TUC have tons of DNR applied to them. It was widely talked about how poor they looked in multiple professional reviews and on multiple AV forums when they were released.
        TNG movies look pretty decent, but that’s more due to the fact they are newer and thus would need less work on their transfers.

        • Chris Jay

          Well, that’s your and theirs prerogative, but to me, they look amazing.

          • Tosk

            Almost all the films were filtered to hell. They look “nice” in the sense that they look clean, but they have a very artificial look, not filmic at all.

          • Chris Jay

            What makes something “filmic?” The definition of the word doesn’t offer much…

            Looking at shots of the SD and HD versions of the nebula battle from TWoK, I prefer the HD versions…

          • M. Wright

            Chris, why are you comparing the SD to HD? That’s not our point… Of course the HD version looks better. Even a less than perfect HD transfer is going to be better than the DVD. The point is Paramount rushed to cash in on ST 2009 by cranking out the BD movies collection with whatever old transfers they had around for years. FYI: TWoK was the only original cast movies to get a new transfer. The rest are sourced from 10+ year old transfers that were done targeted for HD cable/satellite channels (i.e. highly compressed and 1080i resolution), so they do not hold up to what can be done with movies when it is scanned with modern tools and care is taken to remove dirt and scratches and then presented in high bitrate 1080p on Blu-ray. The quick and easy way that many studios have taken heat for doing in early Blu-ray released is to just blur everything to hide excess dirt and grain and then sharpen it back up again (excessive DNR). It makes for a highly processed and rather cheap digital camera look to it. Take a look at the faces and skin textures in TVH or TUC Blu-ray screenshots here on TrekCore. They look like they’re wax figures, which is a symptom of too much processing.
            Also note that you might find this objectionable depending on personal taste, if you like ultra clean shot on HD camera type of presentations they might look okay to you. But film has a natural texture and grain structure that is inherent in the medium and should not be scrubbed away.
            Further, to properly evaluate Blu-ray’s quality you’ll want to be sitting an appropriate distance for your TV’s screen size, for your eyes to resolve as much detail as possible in a 1080p image.
            http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html

          • archer923

            I’m surprised this happend with TUC. They had to do a new transfer. Since no source till bluray used the original 2:35 aspect ratio.

          • M. Wright

            They’re all from the same source which appears to be a film scan done in the early 2000’s. TUC was shot on Super 35 so it has been presented in a couple of different aspect ratios, basically just changing the matte on the top and bottom to get different aspect ratios. When the movies collection was first release people did a lot of comparisons and demonstrated that the same evidence of waxy faces can be seen in the Director’s Edition of the DVD, it’s just far less obvious due to the lower resolution. But this clearly points to the use of the same digital transfer of the raw Super 35 film.

          • M. Wright

            Lots of good comparisons of DVD versus Blu-ray versus HD cable broadcasts here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1146477/star-trek-the-original-motion-picture-collection-comparison-pix-reviews

            You can see from the DVD images upscaled to 1080p to match the HD versions that TUC has the exact same excessive DNR issues on DVD.

          • New Horizon

            I notice they brought up one of HTV’s previous projects, their much maligned restoration of Patton.

            “Of course, Patton has been released on disc before in both 2-discand single-disc DVD editions as well as 2-disc Blu-ray. Most of you will already be aware though that the Blu-ray version was widely disappointing, as its 2.20:1/1080p video presentation was “digitally mastered” to the point of being unwatchable. The company involved in there-master intentionally filtered away all trace of grain from the image such that very little of the detail that should have been presentin a 65mm negative transfer was left. Thankfully Twentieth Century Fox’s Senior Vice-President of Library and Technical Services, Schawn Belston, has been given the chance to correct this injustice and the resulting BD presentation is exemplary.”

            Did CBS not look into the previous work, or did they just believe everything on the HTV website?

          • archer923

            Ah, okay. I thought they actually cropped the image to 1.85. I could of swore I saw a wider area. Rather them just unmatting.

      • Wrath of Khan is the best looking on Blu-ray but none of the Trek movies got proper attention. Quick ports to Blu-ray really. They were not major releases IMO and only worth buying if the price is really low.

  • James

    Poor lighting, poor matte lines, and now compositing errors. Anything short of a disc reissue isn’t enough.

    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/169262_529578720388253_1269606073_o.jpg

    • Chris Jay

      Where’d you get that shot from?

      Yea, the bussard collectors, deflector and warp engines are way off… since they’re part of the same pass…

      The windows and nav lights are also way off, they’re a separate pass themselves…

      • Justin Olson

        TrekCore uploaded it to their Facebook page in a set of nine new photos yesterday… so it’s legit — and unfortunate. Presumably, the corresponding shot is similarly affected in “The Schizoid Man.”

        EDIT: “The Schizoid Man” is fine. This shot is NOT AFFECTED in that episode. It looks good.

        • hypnotoad72

          That would almost give me an incentive to join facebook – just to complain about the hamfisted handling of this season…

      • archer923

        They probably combined all the light passes into a single pre-comp. Then the guy goofed up and moved it to the left.

        • Justin Olson

          With HTV, CBS Digital should have pre-comped all the assests they gave them to make mistakes like this impossible. But then, that would entail doing work for another company. In this case, CBS should have insisted once they saw shots like this.

          • Corran

            with them tinting the hull to match the planets, I can understand keeping the light passes separate. It’s more the cases where they’ve redone shots from scratch with much worse results, that I don’t get.

        • Chris Jay

          Yea, it’s astonishing how so many stock shots were redone… I mean, CBS-D had already done these stock shots for Season 1, so HTV would’ve only needed to re-transfer the stuff that wasn’t transferred by CBS-D, e.g. the live action footage for Season 2, and create new stuff like planets and so on… but to redo stock shots… even doing so, they could’ve put a little more effort into them…

      • Corran

        Maybe they did it on purpose to distract from the planet they stole from the opening sequence of “3rd Rock From the Sun”

        • Chris Jay

          lol, I doubt they stole it… it just has a striking resemblance…

      • hypnotoad72

        Yup. The lights are too fuzzy… maybe the lighting pass was applied after the hull pass, since the hull pass would have allowed the windows to look crisper instead of a blurred mess…

        The deflector is indeed way off – it took me a moment to spot the orphaned blue to the upper-left of it… ditto for the bussard light (it’s to the left) and the nacelle glows do seem a llittle left as well — they must have been shot in one pass.

        The sad part is, I didn’t catch that while watching “The Dauphin”, since it’s the only story featuring a ringed planet that I recall…

    • archer923

      Oh, come on. How do you misaligned the light pass layer. Guys we really don’t need a disc reissue problem again. I can’t stress this enough. CHANGE THE RELEASE SCHEDULE. The teams are freaking rushing…

      • hypnotoad72

        Everyone is right.

        The release schedule is too quick. TNG deserves better.

        But Season 1 had fewer problems and reissued fixes were sent out.

        Heck, I’d pay a fair price just to see every single gaffe in season 2 properly fixed. There are just too many of them. It shouldn’t have to be that way, though.

    • Corran

      Maybe like as a bonus disc for each remaining season we could get a season 2 disc done properly.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        That’s funny – and in a perfect world – almost entirely possible!

    • Giuseppe

      I understand tight schedules and the pressure associated with them, but this shot, considering it’s supposed to be made by professionals, is a piss-poor job. They got everything wrong. Sorry, but if I saw something like this on a random site on the internet, I’d assume it was an amateur’s first attempt at compositing. It’s not a little off, it’s way off. And even with good compositing, the shot would still be pretty poor.

  • Sky

    CBS-D, please, open up season 2 again and do the effect shots right!! Don’t leave us (the fans worldwide) and this big show alone like that!!

  • Albie Beck

    Disappointing. Haven’t seen such an inferior artwork for a long time. Could have been done better by any computer kid. Will have to get myself another christmas present.

  • Justin Olson

    I just have to say… just got the set… just literally put disc one in and the Season Three trailer is frickin’ out of this world awesome!

    Season Three looks feature film good… the newer EXR fine-grain film
    stock from Kodak that they began using here (and Marvin Rush taking over
    as DP) really makes the shots pop and stand out in color, density and
    contrast in ways Seasons 1 & 2 just didn’t.

    And the VFX are wonderful… really outstanding. Love that opening shot
    from “Evolution” with the Enterprise falling toward the neutron star and
    red giant. If you thought the VFX in Season One looked good… this is
    even better. That is all.

    • Chris Jay

      How’d you get a hold of it so soon?

      • New Horizon

        Many retailers will put them on the shelf as soon as they get them. He got the last Season early too.

        The Season 3 trailer is a relief. Now if CBS just grants CBS-Digital the time to work on the remaining Seasons themselves so the rest of the series doesn’t suffer the fate of Season 2. Please CBS, no more HTV-Illuminate. Keep the work with CBS-Digital. Give them all the time they need. We’ll wait.

        • Chris Jay

          Yea, I can’t wait to see the S3 trailer. 😀

    • Quinn

      Can’t agree with you more. It will look amazing on the big screen tomorrow night!

      • New Horizon

        He’s talking about the VFX in the Season 3 Trailer, not the Season 2 effects.

        • Quinn

          I know – if it’s like the Season 1 theater event, it should end with the trailer for the next season.

          • New Horizon

            Ahh, sorry. We haven’t gotten the events where I live.

    • Sky

      Is the season 3 trailer as epic as the season 2 trailer?? Got wet eyes just by reading 🙂 I knew CBS-D would make it look like feature film quality!!! Looking SO MUCH forward for all Seasons CBS-D is working on!!!!!

    • archer923

      How are the shots? Any CGI ent used in the trailer?

      • Chris Jay

        They’re mind blowing and as far as I could tell, nope, all original. The only CG is the effects that they have to redo digitally from the get go, like the phasers, etc. but as far as ships, no.

        • archer923

          Can’t wait to see the trailer. S3 had some of my favorite effect scenes. The star and gas giant from evolution. And the asteroid field from Booby Trap.

          • Chris Jay

            Well, it’ll blow your mind. 🙂

    • Man that shot of the Enterprise being pulled toward the stellar matter looked amazing to me even in HD. I can’t wait to see it in 1080p!

  • Sky

    Got wet eyes just by reading 🙂 I knew CBS-D would make it look like feature film quality!!! Looking SO MUCH forward for all Seasons CBS-D is working on!!!!!

  • Tom

    To quote Riker: “Flair is what marks the difference between artistry [CBS-D] and mere competence [HTV-I].”

  • Kreg Roenfeldt

    Star Trek TNG Season 2: Fuzzy Planet edition, has been pre-ordered

  • Frank169

    Since I was curious I compared the CGI recreation of the Borg cube interior with the original matte painting. Is it my screen or does the CGI recreation get soft in the distance where the original has focus and depth and provides more illumination? Looks like a viewing option – like they did for TOS-R – becomes interesting.

    • Chris Jay

      I too see that in the new matte… but the DOF really makes it look larger, gives a better sense of scale.

  • Sorry HTV but your work is lousy compared to that of Season 1. I was continually blown away by the screenshots of the Enterprise and the special effects from Season 1 but many of the shots from Season 2 look more like upscaled SD. One of the shots of the Enterprise orbiting is so badly composited I can’t believe it made it to the final products. I say CBS Digital needs to remaster the remaster of Season 2.

    Can CBS not fathom that it’s a bad idea to rush the work on TNG’s Blu-rays and to piss off the fans with inferior work?

    CBS, delay seasons 4 and 6 if you have to, I want the best quality possible for those episodes!

    • Matt_Cardiff_UK

      “CBS, delay seasons 4 and 6 if you have to…”

      YES!! – delay them for a decade if needs be – I’d rather wait 10 years and see Best of Both Worlds Pt2, Nth Degree, Final Mission, etc restored by CBS – not the inferior HTV – please, for the love of Q – PLEASE!

      Does anyone from CBS actually read these comments I wonder – how amazing would it be to read a post from someone official, responding to our concerns. We are, after all, keeping them in a job in some small way.

      • trekcore

        As they’ve stated before, CBS monitor fan feedback closely. They are aware of the fan reaction to the Season 2 VFX stills, but I stress again – Season 2 still looks amazing on blu-ray!

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          Thanks for responding to my post. Monitoring the feedback is fine – responding to it is something else entirely. I shall have to wait and see when I see the results for myself come December 10th.

          • trekcore

            Yes! Let us know what you think!

        • Sky

          I believe S2 looks amazing on blu ray – except the special effects I believe!

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    First time poster on this site. TrekCore has been the only source of Next Gen HD information that I have used, and may I just say – what a fantastic site and people we have here. The extent and exclusivity of the reviews available, and sheer astounding number of images are amazing. Please – keep up the great work. I’m hooked!

    Season 1

    Amazing – beautiful – astonishing remastering of something I grew up with and even still today, rely on as a source of inspiration, hope, and escapism. Incredibly well done to Paramount / CBS / Fans / everyone else involved in getting the whole remastering process off the ground, running, and then releasing something just so damn fine. I don’t need to emphasise just how impressed Trek fans across the world are with the work that has been carried out with getting season 1 out on Blu Ray, restored to the point that it makes my hair stand on end and shivers run up my spine.

    Scenes like the Enterprise arriving at the Starbase in ‘11001001’ or the new HD Crystalline Entity in ‘Datalore’ just make me want to cry with how lovingly the effects were brought back to life, blowing anything we see on TV out of the water. And those first few HD screen shots we saw – they were in widescreen!!! OMFG! TNG – recreated in 16:9 – and HD – with new but faithful CGI – http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/comiccon/images/fathom_entity.jpg – for example. Why haven’t we seen more 16:9 promo shots????? Perhaps I’m just being greedy. In fact – yes – I am.

    Just – fricking – amazing…..I’ve never been so pumped up and excited about a blu ray release – ever. I excitedly handed over my hard earned money to the retailer for a blu ray player and the first season. Worth every single penny, and every second of my time watching the whole season and all the great extras. The whole thing is an obsessive dream come true and I am very, very, very happy.

    Season 2

    Meh! Fail.

    [UPDATE] Okay – I have to admit that I could not wait, and I found someone who had the series already. So I viewed episode 1 “The Child”. Oh dear….

    I’m afraid I can only confirm my own fears, and mostly everyone else’s.
    I’ll start with the positives first. It’s in HD – so yes – there is a massive improvement over DVD or anything since. Those stray little hairs on Picard’s head and Riker’s blue eyes shine through – although I don’t recall Troi’s face looking so perfect and milky white before – yes – no doubt – the improvements are there. Sadly – it’s true – the effects are awful. The scene where the Enterprise arrives at Aucdet IX, the ship looks just about acceptable (not a patch on S1) but the planet…it’s…. embarrassing. No textures, not revolving, certainly not in HD.

    The worst part is when you see the scene in motion – study the planet as the ‘camera’ pans….and it looks like someone lazily stuck an animation cell on top of a black background and it looks soooo static it stands out a mile – just awful….

    And the grain! How bad is the grain?! I wish I could show you just how bad it is! And how inconsistent it is too! One moment everything looks sleek and smooth, the next – it looks like dark static has taken over. Screenshot from the episode below.

    http://i46.tinypic.com/2e2ozn8.png

    A scene involving three cameras in Ten Forward for example – the two close up shots on Pulaski and Picard look great – not S1 standard – but not too bad – fair play. As soon as it cuts to a long shot though – grain goes through the roof! It almost looks like different film was used in different cameras and swapped about.

    I’m sorry it’s such a negative review so far – I’m just saying what I see – and people – it’s not good.

    Still – another 21 episodes to check out yet – ‘The Child’ was hardly the best start to a season. At least the ‘light’ that invades the Enterprise looks sharp, bright, and very authentic as it flits about the ship. It’s a mixed bag – fingers crossed for Q Who.

    • New Horizon

      I’m on board with you and your enthusiasm for Season 1 Matt. I too purchased a blu-ray player because of Season 1. Upon seeing the quality and love being poured into the project, I figured the investment was worth it.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        In 2000, I bought my first DVD player. The Matrix being released on DVD was the only thing that got me to part with my cash then.

        I cannot see my purchasing anything else on blu ray with the exception of the rest of TNG. When DS9 is remastered (imagine ‘Sacrifice of Angels’ in shiny 1080p!!)…I’ll buy that too. And Voyager….(I wanna see ‘Scorpion’ in HD).

        We’re all in a worldwide recession, and money is tight. But I’d still pay for decent remastered Trek over food and clothing! Heheh.

        • Esmeralda

          I would like Voyager in HD. But only if done right ( like S1 of TNG-R ).

    • trekcore

      Thanks for posting Matt! Glad you like the coverage. The widescreen stills issue was addressed in our interview with CBS-Digital. Max Gabl renders in a 16:9 HD workspace to give him more “maneuver room”. The image is then cropped to 4:3 when it has to be inserted into the episode.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        I recall the interview, and appreciate the need to create in 16:9 ,cropped to 4:3. I just want to see more of Max’s work – badly – in 16:9. Maybe in the future – who knows? Whoever thought ST:TOS would be broadcast in HD widescreen (albeit some cheating, CGI and further cropping to make that happen) over 40 years later?

        Did I correctly read somewhere that Tobias Richter recreated that shot listed above as ‘Where Silence Has Lease’? I kind of agree that it’s too ‘clean’ – but as a biased fan of Tobias’ work – I have to say – better clean than blurry.

        • Chris Jay

          Well, he created the Enterprise D model, as for the shot, I don’t think…

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            I stand corrected. 🙂

  • Trekzilla

    CBS needs to redo TOS. The more I look at it, the more it looks like an inconsistent mess that doesn’t match the look and feel of the live action footage. Some shots here and there look great…others look like video game quality! Frankly, I can’t believe fans are not more critical and outraged over how the TOS project turned out! It’s really sad how the proper amount of time was not allocated to result in feature film quality CGI for TOS. I really think TOS was rushed and will still look bad when compared to the TNG remaster. I find it hard to believe the original FX elements no longer exist for TOS when all the original music tapes were preserved. Even so, I really believe another attempt (a better one!) at redoing the TOS effects shots should be made.

    • Esmeralda

      TOS-R was great. I love what CBS-D is done with TOS In HD.

      • MalcolmTucker

        I agree, you can watch each episode with or without the replacement CG effects. They will never do another pass at it.

        • Esmeralda

          This. We have two versions of TOS-R in HD. One with new modern VFX and one with old special effects.

    • archer923

      TOS-R wasn’t really criticized because you’re trying to compare CGI to 60’s effects, that are poor. The only thing people really complained about was having the original effects. Which they rectified.

    • RGB

      The new TOS effects are an outrage. Not because of the quality, but they destroy the whole impression of the show. It isn’t the show anymore that we used to know, they raped it! This is an 1960s show and has to look like that, not like an inconsistent ’60s-’90s mix. Thank god there are the original effects on BD too. And fortunately they remaster TNG the way it looked originally (generally speaking). I wouldn’t spend one cent for new-fashioned effects trash. Anyhow it’s distressing to see so many lowbrow Star Trek fans out there.

      • Esmeralda

        We have 2 version of TOS-R. One with new effects one with old. So if you do not like version with new effects you can always watch version with old effects.

        I love new modern VFX in TOS-R. They are much better than old ones.

  • Guest

    First, this site is awesome and continues to be #1 in keeping us updated with this TNG HD remastering project.

    Second, why didn’t they just combine each episode’s original negatives together (With copies of the negatives of the various footage that’s reused in multiple episodes.) and use those to do the editing/FX/post-production stuff? Isn’t that what’s done with movies?

    • trekcore

      Thanks for the kind words. I can’t say, it may well have something to do with the contract between CBS and HTV, but doubtful we’ll ever know.

  • George

    I really will buy season 2, but i must agree the price should be far lower, since the quality drop is clearly noticeable. I cant understand y they didnt fix the illumination directions, like they did in some episodes of season 1 (they even added some shadows). And the lack of quality on the planet shots are just ruining some scenes. U cant make a good remastered model of the enterprise and forgot about the planet on the background… its no sense. But still, its blu ray, so this is the maximum quality of the season 2 u will get. I think, after all its worthy to buy it. But i really hope they learn from the mistakes…

  • Dan

    Sorry if this was talked about but do u think there is going to be another replacement disc game?

  • New Horizon

    Perhaps if we’re lucky, CBS will allow CBS-D to go back and give S2 a quality pass, once they have finished the rest of the seasons. Unlikely, but sure would be nice.

    • Matt_Cardiff_UK

      It’s worse than that – it’s been ruined Jim….!

      The quality drop is very noticeable throughout Season 2. I was tempted to pick out every single flaw I’ve seen so far (and there are many) but I’m waiting until everyone else has had a chance to see the episodes for themselves. That said, I’m on episode 6, and the scene right at the end as the Enterprise leaves the planet (Grave’s World)….well….screenshot below (bear in mind it’s been compressed) – see for yourself!

      I’ll leave the more technically minded, knowledgeable members to pick this apart. At least the grain is less apparent as the episodes progress. But nothing so far has given me those all important goose pimples..

      • New Horizon

        Eeek, well that was glaringly obvious.

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          The thing is – I’m probably the same as a lot of other people here – we know Trek so well that nothing escapes us. But to the new crowd of people who’ve never seen TNG before – they’ll probably never notice or care about anything us lot complain about! lol

      • archer923

        I understand that’s the ‘2 model. It’s not that amazing. But come on. It was used in season 1. And it didn’t look this poor. They didn’t even rebalance the colors. So it would match the ‘6 model. There’s a matte line, near the neck. And how do you screw up the positioning like that. It’s called moving over the layers, to the 4:3 edge… That happend ONE time in S1. With the frozen people probe. Planet doesn’t help either. At least the stars aren’t enlarged.

        From what we saw, we have had over 5 planets poorly done. 3 compositing errors. Badly balanced colors of the ENT models. And blown out glows.

      • James

        The original shot always looked a bit wrong – I think that’s the two footer. However, the poor composite is incredible, the leading edge of the saucer is missing! One of the navigation lights? is also floating in free space. Truly this is appalling – this project should be a labor of love – not a bodge job like this! Where is the quality control? Is there any chance they will reissue the discs where the optical composite is miles off?

      • James

        Recall or BUST!

      • James

        Matt, less apparent grain IS the problem. Grain is supposed to be there, it’s film. HTV is the poster boy for extreme use of DNR. They have worked on such disasters as Patton, The Phantom Menace, Out of Africa, and American Graffiti.

        • MalcolmTucker

          Its true, scrub away the grain and you loose the clarity and definition. DNR is the work of the devil in film restoration, just take a look at some of the HD caps of the ST 1 & 3-6. They need a proper rescan and restoration .

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            I appreciate that comment James. I’m not complaining about it…it’s just the film stock used. The more messing about with trying to remove grain, the worse the picture actually becomes. I just don’t get why it seems to be so random. Must’ve been a production choice way back in 1988.

      • Corran

        The least they could have done is take Genes name off that shot.

    • Esmeralda

      I would love that.

    • Sky

      Yes, do it CBS!!!

  • Bryce

    I just saw the show last night in the theatres and unfortunately, while I had remained hopeful, i can definitely say there is an astounding lack of consistency in the shot and remaster quality. Many, if not most, shots were amazing, but, there were times when they were blurry. Even shots that had looked sharp and crisp and amazing in the special features were hazy during the show. I don’t know if CBS-D handled the special features or not but if they did then that’s a pretty damning condemnation of HTV’s system and quality.

    I’ll still be buying it and it still looked much better than SD but it’s clear, even within episodes that there is a consistency problem. The problem isn’t suble either. It’s right there in your face. If I were CBS-D I would seriously consider pushing back the time frame so that the extra work can properly be done. In ten years no one’s going to care that it was three months late. They’ll care that it’s not consistent. And if this really is a love and legacy project, that should be a main priority.

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    What confuses me is the grain issue – in reasonably well lit scenes, it’s so bad it distracts from the viewing pleasure. But sometimes – it’s non-existent. The entrance to the Hotel Royale for example…

    But I appreciate that there is very little, perhaps nothing that anyone can do digitally or otherwise, to fix grain. So I’m not complaining about it – that’s what we have to expect with HD transfers I guess…

    • James

      Film grain can be removed by judicious use of DNR. Unfortunately, this can result in an unnatural image. Check out this blog post to learn more about DNR.

      http://ryesofthegeek.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/remastering-film-the-perils-of-dnr/

    • archer923

      Film grain is caused by the way the lens absorbs the light. And the type of film stock. The brighter the area is. The less grain you get. The more dark. The more you get. Same happens to your eyes in a dark room. The photons are becoming more visible. Also, an effect shot will act different. Grain will always be apart of filming real things. Even today with the 28k RED cameras. There is still grain.

      The ENT D model is shot in multiple layers. Blue screen layer, sun light layer, shadow layer, window lights, engines with deflector, and nav lights. Combining all the elements, stacks all the grain. Which makes them more grainier. And harder to match in CGI.

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        Yes – I know this. All I’m saying is that I’m confused about the choice of film stock for certain scenes. Brightly lit scenes have lots of grain – pitch black scenes – none….other times the same shot will have grain one minute, the next minute it’s gone. It just seems so random is all I’m saying. Until I saw this in HD, I never even noticed.

        • archer923

          Oh. That’s cause a shot can be filmed with multiple cameras. Camera A might not be there to shoot this shot. And camera B is used. Which probably has a different film stock. That’s what’s causes the change. Shots are done across different days.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Exactly. Different cameras using random stock on the same scene. I totally forgot the same shot could be set up a different day – of course!! So if the same camera is used, but someone didn’t check that the stock used was consistent over different re-shoots, then that’s why it looks like random.

            Makes sense now. Thanks!

          • archer923

            No problem. People do forget shots can be done days apart. Hell, there’s one shot in Lord of the Rings. Where they where a whole year apart, lol.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Yeah – but I doubt Mr Jackson doesn’t have the problem of which stock to use – all digital now innit.

          • archer923

            Digital or film. You still get grain and lighting changes. Each camera is slightly different. But it’s far easier to match, or fix.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Oh very true – that’s why productions have continuity staff to keep an eye on these things. But TNG is full of goofs, and so is everything else! lol

          • archer923

            Haha, yeah. I can’t wait to see a HD image of the production staff being reflected. When Spock is talking to Sela.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Yes! That is what I was thinking – Unification – the guy chewing away on some gum in the reflection (I didn’t even need my copy of the awesome ‘Nitpicker’s Guide for Next Generation Trekkers’ to spot that one)

            I hope that it is left in to be honest….like I said – faithful 🙂

          • archer923

            I hope so too. They did leave in some goofs. Like the power cable on crusher’s bio bed, In naked now. But they seem to be random with that. They’ll remove mics and the wires holding up the chair, in shots. But leave it alone in others. Some of the shots are hard to do. It must be a time thing. If it takes this long, they don’t bother.

          • Corran

            Also a much easier fix if it’s a static shot, if a pan or dolly move is involved, they probably don’t bother.

  • Matt_Cardiff_UK

    Yay! Found some good VFX. Screenshot from ‘Times Squared’ as the Enterprise leaves the vortex.

    • MalcolmTucker

      if it wasn’t for the matte lines, that shot would be nearly passable.

      • James

        Yup-nearly. I will wait for season 3. This season 2 release looks to be a travesty. Still, let’s face it, ST:TNG really only had 3 great seasons (3,4,5) Season 7 is pretty poor, although ‘All Good Things’ is a work of genius.

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          Finally got to ‘Q Who’ – it’s not as bad as I thought it would be – not quite the travesty we expected. But – it just doesn’t ‘pop out’ at you. On a positive note – the new matte in the Borg cube is good. In fact – everything in the Borg cube looks good. No grain, amazing details on the walls and regeneration slots – very H.R. Giger….a lot of effort went into this set and we can truly appreciate it now. Fair play. Few more screenshots to whet the appetite….:-)

          TrekCore will no doubt present these images much better than I am doing I’m sure (I’m only doing 720p atm)

          • MalcolmTucker

            Really pleased with the interior matte, but the exterior shots are again poor. The beam that is pulling the section of Enterprise out of the hull isn’t wide enough to encompass the whole chunk of the ship like it was in the original. Also on the shot from above the Enterprise, to the right of the frame, space becomes darker for some reason.

            The viewscreen shot I’ll reserve judgement on till I see it, but I wish they aligned the cube to the centre of the viewscreen, that always bugged me.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            I know the TrekCore review wasn’t too happy about the screenshot of the probe scene in ‘Where Silence Has Lease’ but as far as I am aware, it’s the only shot that has been redone for Season 2. Check the difference…now why on earth couldn’t the rest of the season look as clear and crisp as this. I personally think that scene is the best ‘polished’ VFX in the season yet (even though the probe itself looks like it was left in SD).

            http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s2/2×02/wheresilence047.jpg

            http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/images_s2review/wheresilence_probe.jpg

          • MalcolmTucker

            The funny thing is even though its glaringly obvious that it is a CGI shot, The colours, glows and sharpness are superior to anything they managed to do with the actual miniature elements.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            I have to say – I really like the new version. It’s how it would (should) have been done if TNG was being produced today.

            But yes – a 6ft model shot, properly lit and restored as in S1, would have added dimension.

          • archer923

            But it wasn’t produced today. You really shouldn’t be comparing today’s tech with then.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            I’m not – I’m just saying that I like it. If I had to choose between well-done remastered original effects and glaringly obvious new effects – I’d choose the original every time. It’s the faithful choice.

          • archer923

            Ah, got you. Must of read wrong.

          • Chris Jay

            To me, I would’ve rather seen the model shot found… Tobias Richter’s CG model is awesome, but not in this shot… the colors are too flat, like with the blue warp grills, etc.

          • archer923

            That’s dumb. Those shots where taken from Star Trek 3.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Yeah – the matte is good – not sharp I’m afraid – but you can pick out lots of Borg doing their thing. It’s a nice touch.

          • Matt_Cardiff_UK

            Actually, the beam is revolving remember, so in motion it doesn’t look too bad at all. Bit soft, but even so – you can now see detail within the hull being carved up. Regardless of HTV being crap – it’s much better than any version we’ve seen before.

          • archer923

            Where the foreground pipes the original elements. The ones that the camera flies through. Or where they CGI too?

    • Chris Jay

      This probably looks loads better in motion… and uncompressed… why not upload the shot where it won’t be compressed?

      • Matt_Cardiff_UK

        It does look better in motion – regardless of whether the effects have been polished up much – it’s still HD :-). TrekCore will post much better stuff very soon – please be patient 🙂

        • I know that TrekCore will, lol. I am making the SD to HD comparison videos for TrekCore. 😛

    • archer923

      At least HTV fixed the compositing error of this shot, in the trailer. You saw the right side cut off.

  • Masterironfist

    Ok, seriously people I have watched half of the season on Bluray and the difference is still AMAZING. Yes, there are some special effect shots that will probably make you groan a little bit but there are also many that will make you oooooo and ahhhhhh.

    I have been watching my season 2 dvds leading up to this release and seriously it is still a MAJOR improvement. I am not sure why the studio decided to release some of the worst parts of the season as screen shots because there are many good ones.

    The picture is dimmer is some cases but from what I’ve read that was a result of the different film stock in season 2.

    Anyway, you should see the trailer for season 3 on the set!!! WOW!!!!!! Season 3 definitely seemed to have a brighter look to it even on the DVD set. Well back to my bluray set 🙂

  • Stephen

    I have to say I’m not regretting for a moment buying season 2 – despite the odd flaw, it is stunning. Unfortunately, I think due to an experiment with film-stock for the bridge scenes, the first scene of the first episode looks like it was filmed in a thick fog, but the other episodes I have watched are absolutely gorgeous.

    Go on… do it!

  • Bjoernar Dohm

    On “The Child”, there’s a short sequence (0:13:53 – 0:14:10) that looks as if it were upconverted from SD. Any information on that?

    • archer923

      Any effect shots with the energy being in it. Where shot in widescreen. Then pan and scan was done. This causes the softness.

      • Well, I think the shot he’s referring to is where Picard walks towards the viewscreen answering the hail, and it does look like a pan and scan…

        • archer923

          It was. Any effect in general that has to move. TNG did that. Motion tracking didn’t exist yet. S1 did this with the ghost scenes too.

          • ghost scenes?

          • archer923

            Picard’s crew ghosts in the stargazer episode. The bridge shot was pan and scan.

          • ah, ok.

  • When I saw the CG shot that HTV created, I decided to take a stab at it… and here’s what I came up with… granted it’s only 720p, but it was a little test shot I did for fun…

    http://chris2027.deviantart.com/art/MyVFX-Where-Silence-Has-Lease-Probe-Launch-342389164

    • archer923

      Your shot is better. Just a few nitpicks. Make the windows less detailed. And lower the reflection on the neck, from the nacelle. Bump up the the rear window count a bit more. Good job on the deflector dish. That was the worst part on the HTV shot.

  • SFSeries&Movies

    I watched the first episodes of season 2 and till now, very satisfied, don’t understand why the commotion. Okay, it is perhaps not as good as Season but still very impressive.

  • Lee Johnston

    I think it looks good for the most part, however I did notice a lot of grain on the first few Main Bridge scenes in “The Child”. Nothing to weep over, looking forward to watching the rest of the season.

  • Christopher Letch

    just seen time squared the bit where the ent. is hovering over that wormhole thingie stunning now about to watch the borg can’t wait!!! yes i would say compared to s1 the pics no as good waaaay too much grain in some episodes but over all so far stunning!!

  • Christopher Letch

    just watched q who gave to admit i was really looking forward to this episode, but by the end of it i was deeply disoppointed! the fx was great but a few things really got to me when then borg beamed into engineering and became a threat, instead of blasted the borg they just stood there? 2nd when the ent. somehow damaged the borg ship they should have treid to escape or at least finished it off? the inside of the b ship was very impressive especially that new hallway hd shot!! the last thing that bugged me was when the b ship is chasing the ent why did’nt she fire everything in her arsenal?