Enterprise Season 1 Blu-Ray ArtworkEarlier 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:

Live Action

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.

Visual Effects

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!

  • archer9234

    You should of also jokingly talked about the stupid US plastic box that sucked :P. Was a good article.

  • hypnotoad72

    Cool article.

    Season 4 of ST:ENT will definitely get my purchase, and maybe the others after that…

    Upscaling on higher density material tends to allow larger upscaling before it ends up looking soft. Especially as the source material is 720p. Going from 720i to 1080p would look disastrous, as interlaced resolutions are 2 fields in 1 frame… (meaning 2x360p images of opposite scan lines shown in the span for 1 frame, in a 24fps presentation)…

    • Thank god there is no such thing as 720i. For whatever reason the i skipped 720.

    • Simon

      That is NOT how interlacing works. 1080i for example is not 2 540p images. It is one 1920×1080 image shown in 2 fields. But instead of 30fps you see 60fps. There is no reduction of resolution. So a theoretical 720i frame would still be the same resolution as well, just subject to interlacing artifacts such as stairstepping and line crawl. When video conversions of interlaced material is done, it is deinterlaced at the source for conversion to 24p/30p/60p.

  • I would like new effects, but at the same time I don’t want to wait until after ds9 and vgr are re-done anyway. So maybe in the future, the effects will not only be redone, but redone in 4K or 8K. However if it take 3 years for DS9 and 3 years for VGR, They won’t touch it until 2020.

    • Doug Drexler

      Honestly, I don’t think redoing the effects will gain you that much . I watched the 720 version on a big screen at Paramount, and it looked stunning. Enterprise is the highest quality image of any of the Star Trek TV shows

      • New Horizon

        I agree Doug. In the case of Enterprise, the 720 effects are absolutely fine. Nice to see you dropping by.

      • Esmeralda

        I disagree. It is really obvius that VFX is not 1080p. It is upscaled, and it looks like upscaled.

        Even TOS-R and now TNG-R have better VFX than this. They have true full HD resolution in live action and VFX scenes.

        And ENT will have blurry VFX in 2013, in the time when 1080p is not sufficient resolution anymore.

  • first day purchase for me! Always loved Enterprise. Especially seasons 3 & 4 but first 2 are certainly worth watching again in HD. 😉

  • I have to admit I kinda prefer the warmer, bronzier look of the ship to the new version.

    • Doug Drexler

      So do I, David. It is much more correct. It was designed to match the bronzy sets. I’m very happy, and I think it looks stupendous!

      • Mike C.

        Doug: Does this mean that the Columbia will look almost white?

      • Simon

        Doug, are you saying that the ship does or does not look correct in the new Blu-ray version?

  • Although I LOVE the comparative analysis you are doing, the real reference for me will be when you will put up the Broken Bow screen-captures in HD 😀 So can’t wait, but for me it is day 4 buy 😀 (I’m getting my salary on the 5th 😀 )

  • While the CG may never be quite as good as today’s HD efforts, the jump in live-action picture quality is the real win here. That desert shot is a great comparison.

  • Esmeralda

    I really do not like upscaled VFX sceens. They do not look like true HD.

    • Yes, we all know you won’t be happy unless they redo all the VFX. You don’t need to repeat it in every article.

    • archer9234

      720p is HD…

      • Esmeralda

        Nope. In my opinion VFX scenes must be the same resolution as live action scenes. So if live action scenes are in 1080p, then VFX should be in the same resolution.

        Same goes with 4K. If live action is 4K, then same must be with VFX. iF 1080p is maximum resolution of live action, then that must be maximum resolution of VFX.

        Here we have 1080p live action scenes and upscaled VFX scenes. That is why I’am complaining. It is very lazy of them in my opinion.

        • archer9234

          Not when it was produced in 2001. We’re lucky the show was even finliased in HD. Stargate SG-1 seasons 1-7 weren’t till season 8.

        • Simon

          A lot of VFX work done in current feature films today is still 2K. 4K from end-to-end is not as common as you would think. There are many many films out there that will be forever limited to 2K because the post production pipeline and final master was limited to 2K, even though it was captured on 35MM (4K) or digitally in 4K.
          In other words, you won’t be watching much of anything if you keep to this “standard”.

    • New Horizon

      Well, as Doug Drexler explained it, the VFX render tests for BSG did not ‘match’ the live action footage when they were rendered at 1080p. They were too crisp compared to the live action. You can’t really make live action look as crisp and sharp as a computer generated image. So as I see it, the producers had two options. Render the VFX at 1080p and then apply artificial grain filters to soften the CGI and make it better match the live action, or simply render it at 720p and pretty much achieve the same effect. Either way, the end result is going to be relatively close in appearance. One way or another, the crispness is going to be reduced to match the live action and since 720p is still HD, I think the argument is pretty weak. The VFX look fine and match the live action. It doesn’t need to be recreated.

  • jnorris441

    We all saw Enterprise in HD (720p) the first time it aired, right? Not sure what this post is supposed to accomplish

    • The show wasn’t broadcast in HD until the episode “Exile,” the 6th
      episode of Season 3. However, many cities never got the HD feed.
      Amazingly, the local Los Angeles affiliate KCOP-DT (remember this was
      the town the show was filmed in!) didn’t get an HD feed as far as I
      know. I stopped watching and never saw the show in HD until after
      cancellation, when it started airing on HDNet.

      Here’s a thread starting on the day it began airing in HD:


    • archer9234

      I never saw ENT in HD period. And I saw the entire run of ENT on TV. HDTV’s weren’t popular at all then. So this is my first time finally seeing it.