Honestly, I like Robert Meyer Burnett, I respect Robert Meyer Burnett's work, but I think his recent comments about DS9/VGR–R's likelihood are way off the mark, and a sign that either he or the people he's working for clearly don't understand the benefits of remastering DS9 or VGR, and are looking at such projects in an extremely mypoic, narrow–minded way. If anything, this just proves that there's enough talent out there already, (granted it's only fan talent right now, but it's still talent,) that this could and should be done, and that if CBS was being remotely smart about remastering DS9 and VGR, they'd tap the kind of people who come up with this sort of stuff and are already willing to throw time into such a project even before there's financial incentive to do so.
Oh my sweeet lord! That's insane!!!!! Whhhhhy can't cbs hire these fans who are obviously talented, and get them working on Star Trek.
DS9 really need the HD Treatment
They can, and they could probably hire them as contract workers for a fraction of what they'd pay a traditional remastering team, which would put a sigificant dent in the costs of such an endeavor. As I noted above though, CBS is approaching this entire concept in the most backwards manner possible. I recently saw (I can't remember where) people suggesting that CBS crowd–fund the remastering of DS9 and VGR if it's so expensive that they don't want to take a risk on it, and that's not a remotely bad idea, but CBS probably won't bother to try it because they always play things safe, and crowd–funding is inherently a creative way of doing things that doesn't fit their "play it safe" mentality. VGR is running on BBC America, and I would kill to see it in proper HD rather than just upconverted SD. Besides, once I pick up ENT on Blu–Ray, I'll just be missing DS9 and VGR, so there's a lot more of an incentive for me to throw money at those two shows than there was when TNG–R was released and the only other series on Blu–Ray was TOS, and I didn't even own a Blu–Ray player yet because there wasn't enough content available that I was interested in. It's not 2012 anymore, things have changed, Blu–Ray is more common and HD in general is everywhere. I was critical of TNG–R specifically given that it was being position as a Blu–Ray thing at a time when Blu–Ray wasn't popular enough for what Paramount was trying to do, and when they'd have been better off pushing a general HD remaster with Blu–Ray just being part of that.
Because the investment wouldn't pay off.
TNG's remaster didn't make nearly as much money as they wanted, and DS9 and Voyager aren't as popular as TNG.
I disagree that the investment wouldn't pay off, and will note that CBS is saying that based on a very warped view of what they're investing in. CBS believes that TNG–R didn't pay off because they're counting Blu–Ray sales, which as I've sort of noted above, is completely mypoic, and entirely the wrong metric to use for whether or not such an investment is worthwhile. Also, I feel it's worth pointing out that CBS never mentions why the Blu–Ray sales were poor to begin with, because it basically means they'd have to admit that they screwed the pooch with them. The $118 price tag that CBS slapped on the Blu–Ray box sets would have flown in 2002 when TNG was being released on DVD, but in 2012 it was way more than anyone was going to pay for a single season of TNG. Additionally, despite an economic recovery, most people still had far less disposable income in 2012 than in 2002 or even 2007, so even people who wanted to pay $118 might not have been able to do so. Those are only issues with the actual price of the set itself. The other issue is that for most people, buying TNG–R actually meant also buying a Blu–Ray player, which took a $118 dollar expenditure and turned it into a minimum of a $300+ expenditure, effectively making the entire thing cost–prohibitive. Again, it's not 2012 anymore, Blu–Ray players are much more prevalent now, the price has dropped on them dramatically, and TNG–R is now available at a very reasonable price that doesn't involve taking out a second mortgage or selling a kidney. I knew one person with a Blu–Ray player in 2012, today I know quite a few people with them and will soon own two myself thanks to them being built into game consoles. I picked up both TOS and TNG remastered on Blu–Ray just last year, and will be picking up ENT and TAS this year. I didn't even have a way to play TNG–R until well after it hadn't met CBS's expectations, precisely because they released it too soon.
What's really stupid about using Blu–Ray sales as a metric for whether or not remastering DS9 and VGR is worthwhile though, is that it completely ignores the money Trek makes in syndication and through streaming services where HD remasters really make a gigantic difference, especially on devices with HiDPI screens. This isn't even factoring in that with the push they're making for CBS All–Access, they could probably drive up subscriptions by having the remastered episodes of DS9 and VGR restricted to that service temporarily before a Blu–Ray release, and before making it available to other streaming services in the US. They're basically focusing on one very tiny sliver a very large pie and saying that because that one sliver didn't do well, the whole pie did poorly when that's really not the case. The long–term benefits of remastering DS9 and VGR, and the benefits that extend beyond Blu–Ray easily justify the initial cost, but CBS isn't looking at those the way that they should be. Also, DS9's 25th anniverary is next year, they could make a push for DS9–R by playing up on that, and by treating it as a proper HD remaster and not just a "Blu–Ray remaster" the way they treated TNG–R. VGR actually benefits the most from an HD remaster in syndication and streaming, specifically because a lot of people missed it during its initial run thanks to UPN falling apart during the show's later years, which only became more of a problem for ENT. As someone who doesn't use any streaming services, I was quite pleased to see VGR on BBC America recently, and the only thing that would have glued my eyeballs to the set even more would have been if it had been remastered in HD. CBS is making a mistake by not remastering the show simply because they're measuring it's success by the wrong metric.
One thing I wish they'd done for TOS/TNG, and will do for DS9/Voy in the future (but won't), is remaster the exterior shots to be in 16:9, taking full advantage of modern screens. Wouldn't happen, a lot of people wouldn't understand why it suddenly goes back to 4:3 for all the interior shots, but I'd love it.
I'm honestly glad that they didn't do this, specifically because it would only fuel the fools who think that the show should have been reframed for 16:9 to begin with. While it would be smart to do this if CBS planned to give us some new 24th or even 25th century material where those exterior shots might be something they could use again, for simply remastering episodes of DS9 and VGR, maintaining the 4:3 ratio is fine, and something that I welcome. Besides, if they manage the assets correctly, they can always use them to create 16:9 versions later. I'm not fond of material with randomly changing aspect ratios unless you're specifically doing it for artistic effect.
The irony is they could end up eventually doing a 4K version of DS9 and/or Voyager and it could ultimately end up in a better format than TNG.
I honestly think that it would make more sense for them to just scan DS9 and VGR at 4K from the get–go and to push that as a major selling point. This would also let them pump out 4K UHD Blu–Rays if they wanted too without having to do anything else, and would allow for 4K streaming of those episodes, which is something they could definitely charge a small premium for, which also might help with the issue of cost. If DS9 and VGR could be remastered in 4K, getting TNG into 4K would honestly be a lot easier than getting it into HD was, specifically because there's no a "pathway back to the film" that didn't exist before. All of the CG assets exist as vector files, so all that has to be done is to have someone scale them appropriately, (for those not in the know, vector files have no set scale, so they can be enlarged without the quality loss associated with material from a camera,) simply hit "render," and then just wait for the computers to do their thing. Likewise, rescanning the film is simply a matter of pulling out the reels, scanning them, and then linking to the newly scanned 4K files rather than the old HD ones. This is laughably easy to do, and takes all of five seconds in pretty much any remotely professional editing program.
Oh, and I should also note that the argument that the CG assets for DS9 and VGR would all have to be completely recreated isn't entirely true anymore either, despite what Robert Meyer Burnett has mentioned in the past. In recent years a bunch of the old CG assets have turned up after having been thought lost, so it's simply a matter of opening them, enlarging them, and then fine–tuning them for HD by adding or revising some layers of material for modern standards. Yes it takes some time and it's not as easy as simply having a high–res file ready to go, but it's far from impossible, and not nearly as difficult as CBS would make you believe. And yes, accessing older files can require a bit of effort, but it's far from impossible, and could be done in a cost–effective manner. The fact that fans are recreating this stuff in HD on their own is effectively proof that CBS ought to be able to do so as well without breaking the bank. I'd pay good money for DS9 and VGR remastered, and would admittedly spend the most on VGR remastered. The benefits of having these shows in HD and/or 4K is only going to become more apparent as time goes on.