Well, that day many of you have been waiting for has finally arrived: the remastered edition of Star Trek: The Next Generation has finally rolled out to Netflix. Over the past few days, USA-based subscribers to the popular streaming service have been seeing the ragged, VHS-quality episodes of the celebrated series slowly update to the wonderful, high-definition restorations we’ve been talking about for the past three years.

While both Amazon Prime, Hulu, and iTunes have each carried out season-by-season upgrades to HD, each several months after each Blu-ray release hit store shelves, it appears that Netflix is following the same model as their HD rollout of The X-Files earlier this summer — wait until the project is completed, and replace the whole series at once.

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There are still several episodes that have not yet been updated, but there are upgrades in place now from every season — so those gaps are likely to be filled soon. Additionally, this appears to be limited to subscribers in the United States (for now, anyhow); no news yet on an international rollout.

While having the high-definition remasters available on Netflix is certainly wonderful for convenience’s sake, the presentation is still below Blu-ray quality. Of course, the biggest drawback from the streaming package is the lack of the dozens-of-hours of bonus features newly produced for the spectacular Blu-releases.

If you haven’t purchased the sets yet and still had it on your to-do list, we really recommend that you still make the purchase in the future, because as we’ve repeated over the last few years, Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray is the gold-standard in Trek home media.

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  • Daniel Shock

    I own every single Blu-Ray for Trek. You know what I want now. I’m sorry that it doesn’t look like we will get it.

    • Nforcer

      DS9 HD – I want it, too. And also i do own the Blurays as collectorsedition (germany / Aamazon)

  • Neal Deep

    I wish they would re-release ST:TNG in widescreen like they’re doing with X-files.

    • Synaesthesiaa

      I wish that commentators would read about these things that have been discussed extensively before commenting.

      • Nforcer

        U Sir deserve more attention

        • Synaesthesiaa

          The letter U has plenty of attention.

    • “The X-Files” is a totally different animal — the majority of the series (from early S1 forward) was shot to be (mostly) protected for future widescreen presentation. TNG was not, and that’s been covered in several places — including the Blu-rays themselves, which talk about why this widescreen conversion was NOT not for TNG.

      • Neal Deep
        • Justin Olson

          That’s just stitching together a pan in Photoshop, nothing more.

          • Gary Bisaga

            And honestly, some of them don’t look that good. Imagine that shot of the bridge, seeing both the captain’s chair and the door to the ready room straight-on. If that were in full motion, we’d probably get motion sickness – like looking at the scene through a fisheye lens.

        • Actually, they’re right. And As Justin said, those images are simply several still frames stitched together… which is easy to do, but not in motion…

        • pittrek

          Did you actually READ the article you linked to?

          BTW check the extras section on the season 1 Bluray set, there is a pretty good explanation why they didn’t go widescreen. They could chose between cropping the top and the bottom of each episode and stretching the middle part (which I’m REALLY grateful they didn’t do), or showing the full 35mm frame, including stuff which was never meant to be seen, like light equipment etc.

          • Neal Deep

            Yes. I’m saying it possible just no one wants to do it.

          • Correct — no one involved with the remastering wanted to do it because it would radically alter the original presentation. It’s explained very well here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQtWeor58rU

      • TrekRules

        Doesn’t mean they couldn’t do a widescreen version though. The one thing Trekcore’s comparison videos has shown is that in a lot of cases, they have actually zoomed in or out a little in shots compared to the original versions. I understand that there are some things on the very edges of the frames but those zoomed out shots show that there is more room to work. As well, this video is a perfect example – the most important stuff is the in tv safe zone(the inner most square which was all you could guarantee would be seen on any tv) but look at the rest of the frame and you see there is tons to work with. You could easily get a 16×9 version of the live action that would look good for the most part, it would just take more time and money as you can’t just put on a 16×9 “filter”, you would actually need to watch the shot and make sure you are not cutting the wrong things off, etc. I tried a zoom on the blu-rays and that was the very problem I ran into. With the space/fx shots, no reason you couldn’t zoom in a little – they did for the documentary stuff and the shots still looked good. So it could be done but it would be a totally different composition compared to what we originally saw, we can’t just pull back and get more info on the sides. As well, it might mean a shot pans up to follow the action where it didn’t before or you do lose some details. It isn’t so much a matter of them not being able to do it, it is more a matter of what doing that would do to the episode. But for anyone interested, someone has put the first 10 minutes of Farpoint on youtube in widescreen format so you can get an idea of how it would look(honestly, it isn’t bad).

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpfgtMhKDTc

        • It can’t be done properly. Look at the atrocity that is the widescreen Seinfeld on Hulu. I’ll keep my 4×3 DVDs, thanks.

        • pittrek

          Cropping any video to 16:9 should be considered a crime. I absolutely hate it when our local TV stations do it with old 4:3 material, it looks like crap and pretty often crops out important visual information

    • Hit the zoom button on your remote, cause that’s about the same effect you’d get with a re-release.

      • Neal Deep

        Ha, no thanks.

    • Kaine Morrison

      BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    • Daniel Buckley
  • Dr. Computer

    This is a great day now.

  • Netflix still hasn’t updated “Obsession” in their TOS library. They still have the original version up.

  • Thanks Netflix, Amazon and iTunes for making TNG HD available for streaming. Now would you please encourage CBS to remaster Deep Space Nine and Voyager?

    • Gary Bisaga

      Everybody agrees that the best way to encourage CBS to remaster DS9 is to buy the blu-rays. I just bought the Best Buy TNG blu-ray package – they go on sale periodically. Just do it!

  • Justin Olson

    Well, if CBS hadn’t made a profit on TNG-R, they certainly have now! The licensing fees Netflix just paid them are probably somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000-$250,000 per episode. So, figure anywhere from $17.8 to $44.5 million just for this deal.

  • I say Netflix’s quality is over Amazon’s… it might not be BD quality, but you can still see film grain when I stream the episodes. Netflix quality depends largely on your internet connection.

    • ash6222

      I have seen the Blu-Ray quality and it still has some film grain but is vastly superior to the DVD’s.

      • I love the film grain. Unfortunately, a lot of it’s lost when streaming even on Netflix.

        Of course, in season 2 a lot of it was either inadvertently or intentionally removed… so everything looks really waxy in some shots.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Video Quality still isn’t as good as Blu-Ray!
    Worse audio as well!

  • Kaine Morrison

    Still waitingon HD version of the Animated Series on Blu-Ray!

    • TrekRules

      The weird thing is that when they did the dvd versions, the episodes were mastered for HD so they could kind of do like they did with Enterprise and just release them since no work would be involved. I get the feeling though tht the animated series will be the last thing to hit blu-ray.

    • pittrek

      Yes, I’m shocked they didn’t do it immediately after TNG season 7. Especially if it’s true that they have the 1080p scans of the episodes.

  • iamawild

    Agreed, DS9 is way overdue to be put out there.

  • Adam_WM

    Is there a way to tell which episodes are upgraded on Netflix and which are not?

    • Cody k Greenberg

      The difference in quality is so dramatic that you can tell within a few seconds. Like, you’d have to be as blind as a Tiberian bat to not tell. 😉 If the windows on the Enterprise exterior have sharp edges, it’s HD; if they are soft and blob-like it’s SD. If you can see any detail on the uniforms, it’s HD.

  • spooky

    Cool, I want to see DS9 and Voyager in HD. I hope this gets the cart moving, have watched the other Blu-ray releases over and over again. I need more TV Trek on Blu-ray. Make it so! 🙂

  • Steven Carter

    Yes it can be done, yes it would be a compromise of composition, thats why The remastered team should have done it rather than leave it to other people to just zoom in on the current HD versions

  • Tenacious MC

    All Good Things is still not updated on Netflix.

  • downtown21

    Yeah and now they’re all cropped for widescreen. The other day I was watching an episode and there was a scene where Captain Picard’s head was cut off from the neck up because they zoomed in to fill the 16:9 screen.

    I can’t think of a single reason why that had to be done.