Exciting news for Star Trek fans, as CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution have announced a July 24, 2012 release date for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – THE FIRST SEASON on Blu-ray. The six-disc set will feature 7.1 DTS-HD MA audio for all episodes, which have been retransferred from the original film elements.
As seen with the recent three-episode teaser Blu-ray, The Next Level, rather than creating updated visual effects (a la The Original Series), they have returned to the original effects elements and recreated them so they would match the new 1080p filmed footage of the episodes. While the series was originally shot on film, the post-production work was done on standard definition video technology. 
While this was perfectly acceptable for broadcast standards of the era, it would have stuck out like a sore thumb in high definition. This painstaking reshot of the effects is the perfect way to preserve the original look of the series, while also pleasing purists who abhor digital tampering. The Next Level Blu-ray offered a look at the revelatory results – now those same results are set to boost the visual quality of the entire season.
According to the press release, all-new bonus material includes “brand new interviews with key players archival footage, a gag reel, and an inside look at taking The Next Generation to the next level of high-definition.” STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – THE FIRST SEASON on Blu-ray is currently available for pre-order from online retailers. The MSRP is $118 U.S. ($136 Canada), but deals abound if you bargain hunt now.
Chaz Lipp

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