TrekCore’s Best of 2013: A Big Year for Blu-ray

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2013 has been TrekCore's biggest year so far, with some of the best stories, interviews, and videos we've ever produced. We're thankful for all of our readers who have been sharing and commenting along the way, but we know there are a lot of newcomers who have joined us over the last few months -- and we want to catch you up on some of our favorites from this year!

We're starting off with a look back at the huge amount of high-definition Trek released in 2013, from the crazy Into Darkness Blu-ray fiasco to interviews with the masterminds behind the brilliant Next Generation and Enterprise bonus features!

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Whether you loved or loathed the film, it's hard to deny that the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray was probably the most mishandled home media release of the franchise. It took our team the better part of a week to dig into every corner of the messy Into Darkness Blu-ray, working not only to track down what features were produced for the set, but also to decipher where people could find it all!

With six features on the retail release, twelve features spread across in-store exclusives (and international borders), and an audio commentary relegated to the iTunes digital release, we congratulate those of you who were able to find copies of every feature for your collection -- but we still don't get why Paramount made it so difficult for the rest of us.

Reviews: Into Darkness Blu-ray · Retailer Exclusives · iTunes Commentary

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This year continued the impressive roll out of The Next Generation to Blu-ray, with three complete seasons and three standalone features hitting stores throughout 2013 -- and we published six in-depth reviews to go with each home media release.

Blu-ray Reviews: TNG Season 3 · TNG Season 4 · TNG Season 5
"The Best of Both Worlds" · "Redemption" · "Unification"

.   .   .

But we started off the year with a massive seven-part interview with TNG Blu-ray VAM producer Robert Meyer Burnett, covering everything from the archival research that goes into the newly-produced bonus features, to arranging the massive cast, crew, and production team reunions, to the future of the Trek Blu-ray releases.

Interview: Blu-ray VAM Producer Robert Meyer Burnett

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We also dug deep into the Enterprise Season One Blu-ray release, where we shared our amazement at the raw candor expressed by the production team and writing staff -- but we also expressed our frustration and disappointment at the resurgence of the dreaded retailer-exclusive bonus features which restricted a special look at "Shuttlepod One" to Best Buy's low-rent streaming service.

Blu-ray Reviews: Enterprise Season One · "Shuttlepod One" Declassified

Unfortunately, we weren't able to put together a review for Season Two due to some of our other major projects this year, but look for our Season Three Blu-ray review in January!

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We ended 2012 with the somewhat surprising news that all four seasons of Enterprise would be released on Blu-ray starting in 2013 -- and in February, we spoke with Enterprise VAM producer Roger Lay, Jr., in a highly-detailed five-part interview covering everything from setting up the impressive "In Conversation" special with Rick Berman and Brannon Braga to the previously-unused behind-the-scenes specials produced during the series' run.

Interview: Blu-ray VAM Producer Roger Lay, Jr.

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Check back with us tomorrow as we recap our favorite Trek production articles of the year, with our best stories and insights from the people who helped bring the Trek television shows to life!

  • Mike C.

    Nice recap. I’ve enjoyed every article. Concerning a S2 review of ENT, I’m still interested on TREKCORE’s thoughts – particularly on the cast reunion. I felt that it was not good to have Braga there. Braga-bashing aside, I simply felt that the cast had their guard up and was not as forthcoming as it would have been without an EP on the set. And it seemed like he talked more than anyone else. Thoughts?

    • vincanss

      Yeah, a bit tense at times but felt they opened up as they went along, mostly. It was certainly entertaining!

  • tomr

    Be great if 2014 would bring us Season 5 of Enterprise

    • Allen Williams

      I don’t know its been a long time and you would have to set it after 2161 probably to do it. That means either you completely say screw TATTV and do the show as it was or you give them a new ship and do it without trip.

      • SFSeries&Movies

        I’ve been watching In Conversation: The First Crew, and they all seem to wanna come back and they are all in really good shape too. So please bring back Enterprise for season 5! ;-)

      • Chris915

        Yea, I think from what I read for the S5 Netflix Campaign, if they come back with a Season 5, it’ll drop the original finale with the TNG cast… and start at the end of Terra Prime…

  • mjdavid

    TrekCore went above and beyond in Trek news in 2013!!! I can’t wait for all the surprises 2014 will bring and I look forward to TrekCore’s insightful reporting.

    • trekcore

      Thanks very much, mjdavid! You’re going to love some of the stuff we have in store for 2014… stay tuned!

  • hypnotoad72

    Can’t want for TNG seasons 6 and 7! CBS redoing seasons 2 and 4 in-house would be a big treat, even if there’s extra cost…

    • vincanss

      Season 4 is just fine tbh…

      • Stefan Haynes

        Agreed! S4 was generally fantastic.

    • Chris915

      Season 4, I think is fine for the most part…

      On a level of 1 through 4… 4 being the best

      CBS Digital is 4
      HTV was 2
      Modern Videofilm was 3.75…

    • williams

      Do the show in 4k and take the opportunity to get the season 2 mistake right! Than do it in house or at least let it do modern video for the ultra hd release!!!

  • Data

    I want TNG in 4K to get everything out of the film negatives that’s possible!!!!

    • Mat Rowe

      That would entail re-scanning and re-compositing everything again. Highly unlikely, if not financially impossible.

      • data

        CBS said, they figured out the time code (the most importanst thing) of how the show was mastered and if the fans want it they will rescann it in 4k!! I want it because it captures really everything possible out of the negatives and they can archive the show perfectly also!!

        • john

          Trekcore, do you have information about how the selling on tng on blu ray went so far and if they got back in the money they spended for the project so far?

        • BrianRoskamp

          I’d be interested in a source for the “if the fans want it, they will rescan in 4K” statement. That’s the first I’ve heard of it, and even so, re-scanning, compositing,finalizing the entire series again, even with the time-codes, would be yet another multi-million dollar job.

          • Data

            It was in one of the articles/interviews here on trekcore about the tng blu ray project. It would be a big project again, almost like the current one for blu ray. But now they have not only the time code so that the huge amount of finding the film peaces isn’t necessary again. They can use the new cgi too and just re-render it in 4k what will save a lot of money and time. Maybe they even can use the saved color correction datas for the scenes as well. A big project yes, but not as big as now and would you have thought they would do the current project? Maybe not, but they did! Ultra hd will become big 2014 with the new blu ray for true 4k material. And 35mm is the equivalent to ultra hd so at some point it’s necessary to preserve and present the show in it’s highest quality possible.

      • Chris915

        Not to mention, new equipment, since I don’t think they have the equipment to scan at 4K yet.

        • Mr.

          CBS have to get 4k equipment at some point anyway, because every studio does have it now and clients will order projects in 4k soon or later anyway too! 4k is the equivalent to 35mm you could say and the most things were produced on 35mm film. TNG too. So if CBS both wanna capture and bring out the show in the highest quality possible, they just HAVE to go 4k!!

          • Chris915

            Well, 4K would be treading very close to the limits of the film resolution for TNG…

          • data

            So do you mean it’s maybe a little bit more than 4k to reach the limit?

          • Justin Olson

            Film resolution depends on the resolving power of the specific stock being used (also the lens, but that’s another discussion). Different stocks with different film speeds have different characteristics. EASTMAN EXR 500T 5296 high-speed film was used for the majority of TNG’s run. According to Kodak’s technical data sheet for that particular stock, the resolving power is somewhere around 100 lines per millimeter (see page 5 of the pdf below). The TV Transmitted Area being used on the film is 20.12 x 15.09 mm in size, so that would mean a resolution of around 2012 x 1509 would suffice to capture most of the detail there (figure around 2.5K for the full camera aperture).

            Sure, oversampling (i.e. 4K) can’t hurt, but at a certain point you’re probably just going to get diminishing returns. Scanning at 2K is a bit less than what 5296 was capable of (and TV Trans area works out to be around 1656 x 1242 in 2K), but it’s more than adequate for Blu-ray where the 1.33:1 TV area is shown at 1440 x 1080.

            http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploadedFiles/5296_Ti1664.pdf

          • data

            Soon the new blu ray for true 4k content comes out and I hope at the 30th anniversary of tng the first season of tng comes out in ultra hd and we’re really have EVERY detail and color depth of your beloved show(s)!!!!

    • Now

      4k will preserve the show at highest level and truly do justice to the 35mm negative.

      • mjdavid

        I would rather see them finish out the remaining series before redoing TNG.

        • Data

          Of course they shell, I bought and will buy every single blu ray from this current tng project!! Like I bought and will keep the dvds too. Let it be just to compare;) But I will get the show in the highest quality possible TOO, and that’s 4k!

    • miggi5

      I recently got my new 4k tv so yes – bring it!:) The trek shows in that res would be phenomenal!

  • Ben

    I hope you’ll give us news soon that DS9 is being rebuilt for blu-ray!

    • Daniel Ireland

      That would be amazing. Loving the TNG remasters and hoping DS9 gets the same treatment!

      • Wes

        I agree! I would probably suspect that the BIGGEST news coming from CBS Home Entertainment would be the long awaited announcement that DS9 will be remastered, with season 1 released at the end of the year.

  • SJSharksfan39

    Trekcore had an amazing year with Trek News and the blu-ray coverage. You guys really hit it out of the park with everything, and the TNG coverage was incredible. I look forward to seeing how you guys wrap up in 2014 with the final two seasons. I hope maybe you guys can get an interview with Mike Okuda (Or Denise) to kind of talk about the project in the big picture and maybe get a sneak peak to if they do go ahead and do DS9.

    Maybe this is a bad time to ask this as a request (Considering it might come up this week) but one of the things I really loved that you guys did was focus a week on one series, which was Voyager. It is a series that isn’t all that big in the News (And it might be in a few years if that gets a blu ray release) and I really loved how you guys posted pictures, news stories, where are they now type articles, and just covered everything Voyager inside and out. I would like to ask in 2014 if you guys were do stuff like that again, and feature a series/movie/specific season as a week long event. Yeah TNG has been covered a lot, but I’m saying maybe do a week on the other series, specifically Star Trek and Deep Space Nine. The pictures you guys get were amazing, and it felt like going back in time to see how the series were developed. Since we’re in a quiet time for Trek at the moment (other than the blu rays and news for the new movie which won’t come out for a few years), I would love to see more features like that.

    Keep up the great great work and I will continue reading in the new year.

  • Landon

    keep up the good work love the site!

  • Bryce

    Great year. Thanks for all the amazing interviews and features. I always look forward to new posts. You guys are the source for in depth reviews and interviews. Looking forward to the next year!

  • James

    Thanks for all the articles, TrekCore has become a must-visit site for me.

    I do have a quick question regarding the possibility of DS9 coming to blu-ray. I know that 4:3 is better because it preserves all the footage and also keeps the ‘directors intent’.

    However, is it true that from season 5 onwards, the producers started ‘protecting’ the footage for widescreen extraction – i.e. they foresaw a time when the show could be converted to 16:9 and kept extraneous ‘stuff’ out of the larger frame?

    I wonder if DS9 can therefore be shown in widescreen from Season 5 onwards?

    I look forward to new and exciting articles in 2014. Thanks.

    • Justin Olson

      Widescreen DS9 is unlikely. Tests were done (like you said, around Season 5) by DP Jonathan West on the DS9 sets with special ground glasses made by Panavision that had combined 16×9 & 4×3 framing marks in a “cross-shape” but the results made them decide against framing for both simultaneously during production and instead they decided to just keep shooting 4×3 and to “tilt & scan” the frame in post if the need for widescreen ever arose.

      • James

        That’s really interesting Justin, thanks.