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Thoughts on remastering "Deep Space Nine" and looking ahead to 2018.

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#1 Alex


    Yes the Troi figures hair worries me.

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 09:07 PM

(I can't think of a better place to put this, so I figured I'd go with this section.)


Star Trek: The Original Series–Remastered and Star Trek: The Next Generation–Remastered have just seen complete series US Blu–Ray releases to celebrate Trek's 50th anniversary; TAS will be available on Blu–Ray later this year, (presumably as a standalone set as well as part of the larger 50th anniversary set that was announced earlier this month,) and Enterprise was always in HD, is already on Blu–Ray, and just waiting to be repackaged like TOS was. Keeping that in mind, I think it's worth revisiting the idea of Deep Space Nine–Remastered, (and Voyager–Remastered, but let's not put the cart before the horse or the nacelles before the saucer,) and how CBS Digital could (and should) perform said remastering in a profitable manner. While it's too late to remaster DS9 for Trek's 50th anniversary, it's definitely not too late to plan something for DS9's 25th anniversary in 2018. In fact, mid–2016 is actually the perfect time to begin planning something for a 2018 release, and to be pushing CBS Digital to greenlight DS9–R.


1. Premiere DS9–R exclusively on CBS All–Access: Put your pitchforks, torches, and bat'leth's down everyone and just hear me out on this one. Right now we have a new Star Trek series coming to the aforementioned streaming service, and you can bet that said service will be full of Star Trek fans very early next year. This would be a good way to push anyone whose on the fence about shelling out $6 bucks a month for one show right over that fence and into the category of CBS All–Access subscriber; it's also a good way to help retain anyone who might not find the new Trek to be to their liking enough to keep said subscription. The real reason to do this though, is so that CBS Digital's restoration team can have fans go through the episodes of DS9 and catch an errors that might slip through so that they can be corrected before Blu–Ray discs are ever authored, unlike TNG–R where a handful of FX mistakes slipped through and were corrected for Netflix, but not for the reissued Blu–Rays, outside of a handful of mistakes in season one that lead to an expensive disc replacement program. (There's always next year though as part of a 30th anniversary "updated" set for TNG–R, and CBS could always release the handful of episodes with VFX corrections as a standalone compilation set, which I would definitely double–dip on.) By releasing a streaming version first though, the episodes can be "proof–viewed" before they're pressed into physical copies, and by streaming them on All–Access, CBS gives fans another reason to subscribe to the service.


2. Price the "season" sets with the expectation that people will hold out for a complete series Blu–Ray: Several people avoided TNG–R knowing that a complete series set would be inevitable; the same will happen with any DS9–R set, and that should be planned for in advance, perhaps even starting with the series set and then releasing season sets only if the whole series set does well. Theoretically this shouldn't be something CBS would botch, because the episodes will have already been used for CBS All–Access. Also, when the Blu–Ray sets launch, pull the show from streaming for a set amount of time to encourage sales of the Blu–Rays, kind of how there's a delay between when something leaves theaters and is released on other formats.


3. Scan the film in 4K: This might seem counterintuitive because of cost, but it's really not; future–proofing is a smart move, and it means that DS9–R could be released on 4K UHD Blu–Ray when the time comes simply by enlarging the new FX and rerendering the files.


Finally, above all else, don't just judge the success of the project based on Blu–Ray sales! This was a mistake that was made with TNG–R, and that CBS is continuing to make. The long–term benefits of remastering go well beyond Blu–Ray sales, and TNG–R might not have sold as well as expected originally because most people who would have bought it didn't own a Blu–Ray player in 2011; I know I didn't. I own one now though, my brother owns two, and I'll own a second once the PS4 Neo is released. I know other people who weren't looking at Blu–Ray anything in 2011 that are looking at it now, and people who thought TNG–R would eventually find its way to DVD and passed on it initially. To judge whether or not DS9–R is worthwhile by a 2011 metric is backwards, and severely misguided. I don't know if anyone at CBS is looking at this site, or anyone here "knows a guy," to pass this kind of thing along too, but I'd hope that these suggestions might reach the right people. As for other fans, perhaps another Trek letter–writing campaign might be in order? If it worked for keeping TOS and ENT on the air, it could be worth a shot for remastering DS9 and eventually VOY.

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