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We’ve been all-in on Star Trek’s leap to Blu-ray since the first Original Series release in high definition back in 2009 – but we know a good number of you haven’t yet made the transition to HD home media.

Several of our readers have asked about this month’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation DVD box set, so here’s our hands-on review of this latest release!

By our count, this is TNG’s fourth roll-out on DVD in North America, and the second in just three years.

After the original silver Next Generation DVD boxes arrived in 2002, they were all packaged together in a giant green-tray “20th Anniversary” collection in 2007 – and yet another round of single-season sets in 2013.

This year’s new Next Generation DVD set arrives alongside the long-awaited TNG Blu-ray box set, as well as the first all-in-one Original Series Blu-ray set that hit stores this week.

Like many of CBS’s recent home media releases (including the TNG Blu-ray collection), the first six seasons discs are packed into two oversized cases – along with a standard case for Season 7 – together in an outer slip box.

For those of you who already own one of the previous Next Generation DVD sets, there’s really no reason to purchase these – they are straight re-pressings of the 2003 DVD masters, with no added or changed content from that first presentation; the remastered versions of these episodes remain Blu-ray exclusives.
There are two groups of content that are not contained in the box set, however. The first are the several standard-definition Best Buy-exclusive bonus features only available through that retailer in 2003 – but they were pulled out of the archives for the TNG Blu-ray releases… so if you already bought the series in HD, you have these features in your collection already.

The last content left out of this new set is the eighty minutes of material produced for the 20th Anniversary DVD set in 2007 – and not included in the TNG Blu-rays – so once again, that collection remains the only source for these three features.

Let’s get down to the biggest question that this release raises: will we ever see a reissue of Deep Space Nine or Voyager on DVD (while the physical media market still has legs)?
We’ve grudgingly accepted that neither of these 90’s Trek series will be heading for HD anytime soon, but the fact that it’s been over a decade since either show were last released to North American consumers on disc – while TNG’s had three outings in the last ten years – is a bit disheartening.

CBS Home Entertainment has been releasing many, many series from the Paramount television archives over the last couple of years – but if shows like MatlockMacGuyver, Frasier, JAG, The Fugitive, Family TiesWalker: Texas Ranger, I Love Lucy, Have Gun, Will Traveland The Untouchables can all get another shot on DVD for less than $100 each…

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…then new boxes of DS9 and Voyager can surely be released in place of the expensive, unwieldy, and oversized twelve-year-old collections currently for sale.

Only time will tell if we’ll ever return to the Gamma and Delta Quadrants.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" DVD Box Set
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  • Brian Thorn

    Those silver TNG boxes from the early 2000s were awful. Most of mine split apart at the seams after only moderate use.

    • The DS9 and Voyager sets aren’t much better – they’re brittle and crack very easily.

      • M33

        Oh, boy, do we know that…

      • Robert Anthony

        My DS9 cases are TOAST. They didn’t hold-up at all, and my Voyager sets have disc degradation in addition to the casing falling apart. Disappointing given the premiums I paid when they were new. That being said, I would assuredly shell-out again to have both series remastered for BluRay.

      • Mrplatitude

        Yeah I would say they were worse than the TNG sets

      • Mat Rowe

        The original US boxes still seem to have been smaller than the first Australian releases. TNG, DS9 and VOY had boxes this size (TOS and ENT slightly smaller) and they were large and unwieldy, with the little plastic disc holders held together by adhesive tape, then in a cardboard sleeve, placed inside the large plastic shell. 1 season of TNG on Blu-ray for scale.

        Fortunately they re-relased all of the series in a smaller format later, but like the US we still have no slimline releases.

  • James

    Great artwork. Much better than my blu ray box sets artwork.

  • New Horizon

    I wonder why they keep issuing the old pressings? Wouldn’t the quality improve if they used the bluray masters and downsampled to DVD?

    • The remasters are Blu-ray exclusives for the foreseeable future.

      • Greg Price

        We are very much aware of that, thank you. In defiance of all common sense and completely disrespecting the fans, CBS won’t do the right thing and make it possible for those of us who don’t have as much to spend access to the material. For a show this old, $30+/season is ridiculous. Newer shows are being offered as low as $10-15/season.

    • Tone

      To give you the non-pc, non corporate pocket version, the answer is greed.

      And in another couple of years, if there is still a market for it, they will release a new DVD version, containing a down-rezed version based on the re-mastered blu-Ray version.

      Maybe 5th time will be lucky…

    • Mat Rowe

      It would cost them to have to make new pressings of the series for DVD; money they don’t have to spend since they already have the old pressings. Honestly I don’t blame them. What would be the point in spending the money to do it when most people SHOULD either have Blu-ray capability by now, or a subscription to a streaming service which has the HD masters. DVD is a near-obsolete format. No point going back to old technology.

      • Greg Price

        Rather arrogant statements. Not everyone has the money to run out and buy a new player just to play BR. Not to mention rebuying (again) all the material.

        Studios should do more to keep the economic needs of their customers in mind.

      • Jones

        DVDs outsell Blurays by far in many countries – a couple of weeks ago, I checked the charts on amazon.co.uk – in the top 20, there were 2 (two!) Blurays, and 18 DVDs… They are missing a huge opportunity by not issuing them on DVD.

  • Unfortunately, I think the easy availability of streaming options has lessened the chances of DS9 and VOY DVD reissues. Though I would think HD remasters (though even more expensive) still make sense for the streaming world. Perhaps Netflix et al would chip in for the cost of the remaster since HD (or better) content is king.

    • Guest

      Hopefully they do 4K restorations this time. For TNG, CBS did 1080p scans from the original negatives, which means in 10-15 years if they want to put TNG out in 4K, which will be the standard by then, they will have to go back to the negatives, rescan, re-eddit, rerender the VFX, etc. They’ll basically have to start from scratch all over again. They just did all that work, not even 5 years before 4K came out. We all saw 4K on the horizon, and CBS ignored it. That was a mistake.

      • DaMac

        The difference is negligible for cropped 35mm, especially on a TV show. Most movie remasters are still done at 2k and most new movies are still finished at 2k.

        The extra expense would have been silly, especially since the blu rays sold like crap.

      • Greg Price

        4k is a scam.

  • iMike

    While I have accepted that DS9 and VOY are not getting the HD treatment any time soon, it would sure be nice if the two remaining series received SOME love on the franchise’s fiftieth. I’m not entirely certain they would be big sellers since we can stream them online in the same quality, but a single box DVD reissue like the TNG DVD box above would certainly sell better than buying the previous boxed sets totaling over $500.00. I didn’t even spend $500 collecting all of TNG on Blu-Ray.

    • Tone

      The thing is that the image can be cleaned up a lot with the need to go back and do a complete re-scan.

      Colour correction can make a big difference, as was shown with the ting blu-Ray set.

      Just a shame that the powers that be at Paramount loved to slather the camera lenses with Vaseline, especially apparent with DS9.

    • DaMac

      The DVDs upscaled by my blu ray player still look pretty good at least. Early DS9 looks a little rough. Voyager was shot dark which hurts it. Streaming versions look worse but acceptable.

  • Guest

    I wish some generous billionaire Trek superfan would finance full-on 4K restorations for DS9 and Voyager. CBS probably wouldn’t go for something like that cause it would likely entitle such a benefactor to a piece of the pie in terms of sales and royalties, but f**k… CBS refuse to finance it, so what other recourse do the fans have? Crowd-sourcing maybe? I’d go for that, but considering it apparently cost upwards of 20 million just to restore TNG (at least, I seem to remember reading that somewhere), and they didn’t even do 4K scans (big mistake IMO), and DS9 and Voyager also have a lot more complex digital work that would have to be redone or at least touched up significantly, which means more time, money, and personnel, it might cost closer to 30 million per series to do those two, and I don’t know that a crowd source would raise 60 million. But maybe we’d only need to raise a portion to show CBS that the interest and the demand is real, but they have to know there’s interest, seems more like they just don’t care.

    Still, those two shoes need to be restored and preserved for future generations. It’s an injustice to let them languish as CBS is doing. What if a fire broke out in the containment facility before they get around to restoring those series? We’d be stuck with the SD version of those shows forever. The restoration team is keen to do it, and the fans want it, and considering DS9 was ahead of it’s time, I think a lot of people would discover it on streaming platforms and tv reruns and love it. (Voyager’s another story perhaps, but it should still be given the same HD treatment anyway IMO) TOS, TNG, Enterprise, and now apparently even the Animated Series, are all available in HD. It’s time to complete the legacy. Let’s get some sort of campaign going. Let’s take fan polls, let’s get a crowd-funder started, let’s do something to show CBS there’s demand for this. They may not listen, but if you love Trek, then we have to try.

    People not rushing out to buy the expensive TNG Blu-Rays as soon as they came out was a poor barometer for CBS to use to test demand, since everything has more or less gone to streaming, and the life expectancy of physical media has been called into question not only by most people who pay attention to these sorts of things, but here on this very site as well. Even for disk people like myself, many were likely waiting for a box set to be released, or at least for all 7 seasons to be out, before starting to buy them up, and still others waited for price reductions because 70-80 bucks per-season, for seven seasons, is a hell of a lot of money.

    CBS had very unrealistic, and unreasonable expectations on that, and now it feels like they’re punishing the fans cause we didn’t rush out and shill ungodly amounts of money for these blu-rays the minute they hit the shelves during bad economic times, when everyone’s doing the Netflix thing anyway. That’s got nothing to do with demand, and at the end of the day, restoring these shows should be an imperative for them because it’s an investment in the future. Now that they’ve got their own streaming service, they will be remiss if two major Trek shows are not available to stream in HD. What young person that has grown up in the HD world, and doesn’t even know what a VHS or DVD is, is gonna want to bother with DS9 or Voyager in 480p? And what fan, after seeing the TOS and TNG restorations, isn’t gonna be insulted that DS9 and VOY have been more or less foresaken by CBS? Even the X-Files is on Blu-Ray, CBS have no excuse at this point.

    • Tone

      I can tell you that if I was a billionaire, I would have no problem helping to fund a full restoration of DS9, and even Voyager. Sadly I’m not in that position.

      • Guest

        So by that do you mean they’re still going to restore DS9 & VOY, and always were going to, and just hung the TNG Blu-rays over our heads out of greed, knowing the whole time they were gonna restore the other two no matter what? Or do you mean they never had any intention of restoring DS9 or VOY whatsoever, and hung the TNG Blu-rays over our head out of greed, knowing there was never any chance we’d get the other two shows restored either way?

        • Pedro Ferreira

          The thing is CBS/Paramount will have to restore the other TV shows along with every other SD shot show for future streaming otherwise people won’t buy it. If CBS have any sense they’ll understand it’s a necessity for their home video market.

      • DaMac

        DS9 and VOY have much smaller streaming profit, and syndication barely matters since channels take upscaled SD just fine and don’t want to pay for HD. Future Trek remasters DID depend on blu ray and digital sales, which unfortunately sucked because everyone screamed $2 an episode was too expensive. Now we get no DS9 or VOY, which would cost more and sell less.

        This is all confirmed by various insiders on various sites.

  • StalwartUK

    I’m surprised they haven’t reissued DS9/VOY in the US yet. Have they been producing them constantly since the early 2000s or is there just a load of unsold stock sitting around?

    • DaMac

      I love my sets but it is kind of crazy they’ve been printing them this long rather than repackage to a smaller and cheaper design. Maybe you’re right and they really are 10 year old stock. That would be crazy too.

  • grandadmiralbinks

    I find this new box set extremely cheap looking. I bought the single season releases 2012-2014 with the slipcovers, and they look fabulous. But I must admit, had I not bought them then (now the slipcovers are mostly a goner), I would probably buy this box set. But it still completely pales in comparison to the Star Trek I-X limited edition movie collection box set. THAT’S a box set, not this paper-plastic disappointment.