Last week Amazon published a low-resolution copy of the a special trailer promoting the upcoming release of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Best of Both Worlds" on Blu-Ray. Since then, CBS Home Entertainment have released an HD version on their official YouTube channel which - whilst a vast improvement over Amazon's copy - is still marred by heavy compression artefacts. I've been in contact with CBS who have kindly supplied us with a super high-resolution copy of the trailer for our readers to enjoy.
With every effort to restrain from breaking into excess hyperbole, the uncompressed HD 1080p trailer for this Blu-Ray is jawdroppingly beautiful and presents Best of Both Worlds in a quality unimaginable just a few years ago. Without further ado, here's the higher-quality trailer on our YouTube channel. Analysis and stills follow. You can download an even better quality version below, with links to 1080p, 720p and 480p resolutions.
Kudos must again go to the company CBS has contracted to produce the trailers. This preview exudes off-the-scale epicness on every level. The tension and excitement of TNG's finest episodes are beautifully relayed in this trailer which - coupled with the glorious HD remastering - gives the episode a feature film quality.
TrekCore has got a special extended gallery of almost 200 HD 1080p screenshots from the trailer available for your viewing delight - just click here! In the meantime, here are some of our favorite shots alongside the original SD DVD quality that we've become accustomed to over the past 25 years.
|Original SD (DVD)||Remastered HD (Blu-Ray)|
|One of TNG's famous poker scenes. The overexposed SD shot is nicely rebalanced in the remastered HD print with new detail emerging and even the playing cards are legible!|
|Bravo CBS Digital! After the multitude of poorly composited viewscreen shots in the second season, this is a delight to see. No DNR visible, grain applied carefully and even a small correction - Admiral Hanson's reflection is now visible in the Observation Lounge table.|
|A ten-fold increase in realism! I loved this shot in the original SD print, but now that the exposure is correct and little details such as the missing registry number underneath the nacelle have been fixed, it's even more beautiful. Total wallpaper material for you all!|
|No, you're not seeing double! The top two images are from "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I", the bottom is from "Q Who" in Season 2. The shots use identical elements for the Enterprise and the Borg Cube, however the tractor beam was different. This is exactly the comparison which shows off the difference in the remastering techniques from CBS Digital (top row - "The Best of Both Worlds", Season 3) and HTV Illuminate (bottom row - "Q Who", Season 2). It's night and day - the Borg Cube looks just like a toy model in HTV's version of the shot, overly bright and artifical looking, even compared to the SD version of the same shot. Flip to CBS Digital's version - the cube (admittedly a kitbash of model parts to start with) looks fantastically threatening against the Enterprise. The lighting, shadows and little flecks of green add a dimension of reality to the ship that is totally absent from HTV's version. When you see the work of the two effects houses side-by-side like this, it's quite clear that CBS Digital's efforts come out on top.|
|Oh my! The true colors of the Paulson Nebula can finally be seen. It's such a vivid creation and the original element translates beautifully to HD. The washed out colors and video tracking lines of the original print will soon be a distant memory.|
|Another huge jump in quality. The Borg uniform is such an intricate piece of costuming, and every different texture and material glistens with the new HD transfer. Also - look at the new details coming through in the ceiling pattern behind the drone. Fine detail like this makes the show look so much more realistic.|
|Oh brother! Those command reds just pop off the screen in the remastered version. CBS Digital do fantastic work with color correction. TNG is a colorful show, but that saturation has always been masked due to how the show was edited in standard definition. It's vivid shots like this that bring the show alive.|
|I've always loved this shot of badass Beverly taking out a drone with her phaser. The rotating frequency phaser beam looks awesome here. I know from speaking with Eric Bruno and CBS Digital just how long a shot like this takes to knock out (we're talking upwards of an hour per phaser beam) so the amount of work the team have had to do for an episode like this would have been significant. Their efforts and attention to detail have really paid off - they managed to make Beverly look even more badass!|
|Mr. Worf, Fire! Damn, it keeps getting better... a pretty ropey shot of the model to start with, the team have done wonders with the lighting and shadow work here. Lots of "extra love" went into this shot - the reflected light of the deflector beam against the underside of the saucer section and the shadows it casts look incredible. I could wax lyrical about shots like these forever - fantastic work.|
|This shot has undergone some pretty major work, all for the better I would say. The overly exposed lighting has been toned down to appropriate levels of Borg Cube creepiness and the existing matte painting has been replaced with the new interior matte we saw in Season 2 - complete with moving drones in the background. Very cool!|
|Close-up shots like this really show off what a huge leap SD to HD is for Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Borg headpiece was such an intricately designed appliance made with incredible craftsmanship during the production of the show. It totally holds up in high definition and looks even more disturbingly alien.|
|The terrific pay-off for the episode: the destruction of the Borg Cube. This was always a shot to marvel at, even with the restrictions inherent in SD resolution. In HD, this comes close to perfection. I am totally digging the fires streaming out of the cube prior to explosion. The debris thrown out in the explosion looks far more realistic here and the slightly dubious "firework-style" remnants shooting out in all directions have been toned down to a more subtle and ultimately more realistic level. Again, beautiful work.|
Star Trek: The Next Generation - "The Best of Both Worlds" will be released on a special single disc Blu-Ray edition with both parts edited together as a special feature length movie. The disc is chock full of exclusive bonus features including an audio commentary from Director Cliff Bole, Shelby actress Elizabeth Dennehy and Mike & Denise Okuda. There's also a brand new gag reel unearthed from the original film-reels and a special documentary "Regeneration - Engaging the Borg". Fans in the US & Canada should expect a release date of April 30 for this disc (the same day Season 3 is set to hit shelves). Fans in the UK can get their copy one day early, as Paramount Home Entertainment (UK) have nominated April 29 as their release date.