Earlier this month, we brought you an exclusive first look at the trailer for the upcoming Star Trek: Enterprise Season One Blu-ray collection. The set is scheduled to be released in just over one month’s time, so we wanted to take a closer look at how the new HD transfer shown in the trailer holds up and compares to the standard definition DVDs.
Compared to the stark differences visible with the remastering of Star Trek: The Next Generation from standard to high definition (see our fantastic comparison article for “The Best of Both Worlds”), the distinction between SD and HD Enterprise is altogether more subtle, but nevertheless represents a significant upgrade on previous broadcast and DVD quality.
We’ve put together an extended gallery of almost 100 full HD 1080p screenshots from the original uncompressed trailer for you to look through at your leisure. In the meantime, we wanted to focus on a select few shots to highlight the differences between the original DVDs and the new Blu-Ray release:
As expected, the live-action footage looks entirely more clear and crisp than the earlier standard definition DVD releases. CBS have obviously done some balancing and color correction with the original source material as there is a noticeable improvement in both skin tones and uniform colors which now come across as looking far more natural.
The colors of phase pistol blasts, nebulae, and the various ships (including the NX-01) truly shine in this trailer! We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t note the impact of up-converting FX shots to 1080p. CG shots for Star Trek: Enterprise were originally rendered at 720p resolution leaving CBS only two choices – to upscale these shots to 1080p (as has previously been the technique of choice for shows such as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Stargate Atlantis”) or to completely recreate the CG from scratch (which ultimately proved prohibitively expensive for this project).
So how does the upconverted CG footage fare? Judging from what we see in the trailer, they hold up pretty well at 1080p. Of course, with any weekly television show, there are some elements that hold up better than others but on the whole we’re pretty happy.
1Live Action: “Broken Bow”
Enterprise’s most famous “pink-skin” has had a makeover: the HD version presents far more natural skin tones and uniform coloring as well as allowing the true color of the sets to be realistically displayed.
2Live Action: “Desert Crossing”
This outdoor shot from the late season one episode is a nice example for illustrating the new detail brought out by the high-definition transfer.
The new Blu-Ray HD transfer brings out detail previously hidden – Archer’s hair is more clearly defined and the NX-01 patch on his sleeve is now sharp and resolved.
3VFX: “Broken Bow”
This iconic shot of the Enterprise NX-01 launching from the orbital drydock facility in the pilot comes out very well after being upscaled to 1080p. Improved contrast and color balance make new details previously hidden in shadows visible (especially noticeable on the left side of the drydock facility).
The CG drydock model has a lot of detail and texture which is lost in the SD print of this shot. After being upscaled to 1080p, we can get a better view of the model with new components visible on the drydock’s pylons and the NX-01’s nacelles.
4VFX: “Two Days and Two Nights”
This shot of the Enterprise NX-01 orbiting Risa from “Two Days and Two Nights” looks great with the upscaling. Color correction brings out the hull plating tones nicely and the starfield is far more prominent thanks to better contrast and higher resolution.
A side-by-side comparison shows off the benefits of the high-definition transfer. The upscaled shots look great with more texture and color variation visible on the ship’s skin, and previously blurred details are now visible such as the tiny lights left and right above the ship’s name.
Overall? This is certainly the best we’ve seen Enterprise look so far, and most likely the best it will look for some time to come. Both live action and visual effects shots boast a definite improvement over the original standard-definition versions of the show we’ve become accustomed to on DVD.
Check back with us soon as we bring you more exclusive content about the release of Star Trek: Enterprise on Blu-ray, including an in-depth interview with Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Enterprise Blu-ray producer Roger Lay Jr.!
Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1 will be released on a 6-Disc Blu-Ray set chock-full of brand new bonus features including a feature-length three part documentary detailing the show’s launch, a candid conversation between executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga and a special behind-the-scenes documentary look at the making of the episode “Vox Sola”. The set will be released on March 26 for fans in the US and Canada, April 1 in the UK and March 28 in Germany. Other territories worldwide should have similar release dates.
Pre-order your copy of Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1 below and get ready to Boldly Go with Captain Archer and crew into high definition!
|Order Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1 Blu-Ray today!||Order Star Trek: Enterprise Season 2 Blu-Ray today!