Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One on Blu-ray

Star Trek: The Next Generation. Encounter at Farpoint

Just in time for it’s 25th anniversary, CBS has released the first season of Star Trek The Next Generation on Blu-ray.  While I haven’t seen the full season in high def, I do own Star Trek The Next Generation – The Next Level sampler, and it looks fantastic.

It’s hard to believe that a TV series from the 80s could look this good.  The series was shot on 35mm film, which transfers well to high-def, but all of the effects and compositing were mastered on standard definition video. So, there is a massive amount of work necessary to essentially recreate each episode from scratch – and the end result is well worth it. Yeah, some of the sets of the first couple of seasons look like they would be at home in a low-budget soap opera, and Worf’s makeup is a bit too obvious in Encounter at Farpoint, but overall the final product is excellent.

The Digital Bits has done an excellent review of the season one box set:

There’s something that just draws you in about TNG in high-def in a way I couldn’t have expected. Even given their 1.33:1 TV aspect ratio, the A/V quality here is just so good – the colors so lush, the detail so engrossing – that you’re drawn in as though you’re watching a movie. And the bigger your screen and better your surround sound system, the more you’re sucked in.

Count me in. Star Trek The Next Generation on Blu-ray is stunning, the restoration is surprising beyond expectation and the set and its extras are more enjoyable than I could possibly have imagined. Here’s looking forward to six more seasons like this!

It’s a bit pricey at $80, but for 26 one-hour episodes, that’s not bad at all.

Buy Star Trek The Next Generation – Season One [Blu-ray] at Amazon.

Indiana Jones Blu-ray collection arrives in September

While that fourth movie (which shall not be named) has been available on Blu-ray for a couple of years, the original Indiana Jones trilogy has not been available in HD until now.  Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures arrives on September 18 in remastered HD, with particular attention given to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

From the press release:

In June of 1981 director Steven Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas introduced the world to Indiana Jones when the unforgettable Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted in theaters. Exploding to instant acclaim, the film has now been carefully restored, alongside remastered versions of the archaeologist’s other thrilling adventures—Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Prepare for excitement, adventure and snakes—why did it have to be snakes?—all with pristine picture and sound when INDIANA JONES: The Complete Adventures debuts on Blu-ray September 18, 2012 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Supervised by director Steven Spielberg and renowned sound designer Ben Burtt, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.

The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt’s original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director’s vision. The result is an impeccable digital restoration that celebrates the film and its place in cinematic history.

The installments in the franchise have won a combined seven Academy Awards®. Relive every heart-pounding thrill like never before as all four films arrive together, for the first time presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by a collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and new bonus features.

There ya go. Thankfully Spielberg is overseeing the Raiders restoration rather than Lucas (I can just imagine him trying to replace Short Round with a CGI Shia LaBouf or some other such nonsense).  Then again, Spielberg did replace guns with walkie-talkies in E.T. – so who knows.

Preorder Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures [Blu-ray] from