Star Trek DVD News

By Christian
April 27, 2000 - 5:03 PM

  • Bill Hunt at the Diigital Bits has put up an interview with Ron Smith, the Senior Project Manager in Paramount's Digital Mastering department. In this function, Smith is responsible for supervising the quality of the film-to-video transfer of most Paramount projects, including also the digitally remastered Original Series DVDs.

    In the interview, Smith talks about the enourmous amount of work that went into the DVD video transfer, which went even further than the remastering for the Sci-Fi Channel version. The same thing has been done for the soundtracks, which were also completely restored to remove all the analog hisses still left on them. As a result, episode can be in production for DVD for as long as six months, and the team has only recently completed restoring episode 28, 'The City On The Edge Of Forever'. The article also contains some info on the difficulties in bringing 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' to DVD:

    The studio is also working on Star Trek: The Motion Picture for later this year, although it's unclear at this time if it will be the theatrical version, or the longer "special edition". Non-studio sources tell me that one of the problems with the original film, is that many of the special edition scenes don't include finished effects shots - that's why a widescreen version of it has never been available on home video before (you can get away with seeing a bit of the unfinished sets in full frame, but widescreen would show too much). To do an anamorphic widescreen DVD, these scenes would have to be digitally finished - a time-consuming process. Still, I'm told that the disc will also feature remixed 5.1 sound. And, says Ron, "we're definitely committed to bringing it to DVD in the highest quality."

    As reported a few hours ago, Paramount considerers 'The Motion Picture' DVD to be 'a big project [...] with a lot of extras' - I wonder if that means we can hope for a fully restored widescreen special edition?

    Anyway, more can be found in the full article, which also looks at some of the rest of Trek's DVD future - TNG discs will come this fall, while there are apparently no plans yet for DS9 or Voyager. Thanks go out to Lysette van Erp for this!

  • The British DVD Web is reporting that Paramount will be releasing 'Star Trek: Insurrection' on DVD in Region 2 (Europe) on the 5th of June.

  • Phil Thron at the DVD Review has written a review of the 'Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock' DVD, in which he recommends the film for its beautiful transfer and improved sound, though he does mention there could have been a few more extras included.

  • Also rather positive is Kevin Kaup in his review for DVD Town, in which he awards the disc a 10 for video quality, a 6 for audio quality, and a 7 for entertainment value.

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