Star Trek fans everywhere who were hoping that ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘ and ‘Star Trek: Voyager‘ would be joining ‘Star Trek’, ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’, and ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ in high-definition are in for a rude awakening. We’ve just learned that the technology that they used on these two fan-favorite series for the special effects actually ended up lowering the quality of both shows so that neither one is likely to ever be available in HD. While Blu-ray editions of both shows may feasibly happen at some point, they won’t be in HD and will likely just have added content at a lower disc count.
The news came up when the DVD special features producer of the Trek universe, Robert Meyer Burnett, was recently interviewed by Trek News. I’ll go into detail in a moment but the short and not so sweet answer is that “it takes way too much time and money to remaster DS9 and Voyager into HD.”
You might be wondering how that can be when even The Original Series was already released in HD. Well, it all has to do with a revolutionary new technology that at the time saved the producers a ton of money on making both series. Only now, it means a form in HD is unlikely.
Here’s the skinny according to Burnett:
“Here’s where it gets both interesting and maddening. In the mid-1980s, the advent of cheaper and cheaper computing technology allowed video post-production to grow more and more sophisticated. Now, a new post-production methodology, once existing only for shows originating on videotape, like soap operas and talk shows, could now be applied to shows shot originally on film. A program could be shot on 35mm film, but instead of editing on film and then cutting negative, the original 35mm material footage would instead be scanned to videotape — at NTSC resolution, and the rest of the post-production process, editing, mixing, etc., would then be completed on tape, at a reduced cost. However, NO FILM NEGATIVE WAS CUT, so the final product would only exist on videotape, at NTSC’s greatly reduced video resolution and color. True blacks, stable reds, and rich blues simply didn’t exist on videotape. Those shows originally shot on 35mm, with a 20-megapixel resolution, were never to be seen again if finished on tape.”
So, because of how things were handled in post-production there is no easy way to do this. The original 35mm’s which were used for other shows in the Star Trek universe would have to have the entire post-production redone and it doesn’t make financial sense to do so at this time. We’ll possibly one day see these happen but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.
What are your thoughts on likely never seeing either ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ or ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ in HD? Do you think the studio should still try to investigate options on doing this cheaper or will they never see the light of day? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!