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The terrifying, never-ending (old) Star Trek thread - new movies and Discovery talk in the other, dedicated threads

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I'm surprised we've not heard anything about remastering DS9 and Voyager into HD.  Shows like Friends have shown that a HD conversion can really extend the lifespan and profits of an SD show.  I know that Friends is a simpler task but apparently each episode of TNG cost $70,000 to remaster.  On that figure we're looking at around $22-25 million for both shows. Now that's a lot but given that they are spending, allegedly, around $8m an episode on Discovery, that Netflix pays around $100m a year for Friends streaming rights then as a single one off cost it doesn't seem so expensive. In the current streaming wars that content and back catalogue is very important it does surprise me that they don't just stump up the cash and then promote CBS ALL Access as the only way to see Voyager and DS9 in HD. 

 

With TOS, TNG and ENT all available in HD, spending some one off cash on bringing DS9 and Voyager into the 21st century seems sensible, particularly as the exploitation of the Star Trek brand is mentioned as one of the big positives behind the merger.  I get that TNG was not the money spinner they seemed to expect from the Blu Ray sales (arguably released just a little after the physical media boom had finished) but this is about safeguarding and monetising these shows for streaming for years to come. The DS9 documentary shows just how good DS9 looked when it was being shot. 

 

 

Failing all that, surely one of the billionaires like Zuckerberg or Bezos must be a Star Trek fan and can just chuck some spare change they find behind the sofa at CBS to get the remaster started....

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Whereas this is how it actually looked:

 

 

Still, a fantastic battle scene.  Even in SD. A shame how much they had to cut out to include the remaster in the documentary.

 

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1 hour ago, LowCostMonkey said:

The problem is that the VFX shots need to be done. They were made on video, not film. So this makes it a lot expensive to remaster than an episode of Friends (apart from The One With The Massive Space Battle).

 

Although this was a clever idea.. https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/15/star-trek-deep-space-nine-ai-remaster/ 

 

I agree it is a lot more expensive than something like Friends but TNG had similar issues and came in at around a cost of $70,000 an episode to remaster or around $12.5m for the series.  This is not chump change but it is also not huge money for a one off cost to basically future proof 176 episodes of a popular TV series for your sparkly new streaming service.  Effectively, for the cost of two new Discovery episodes you can convert DS9 or Voyager in its entirety. 

 

Now DS9 and Voyager have different issues to cope with, more of the effects was CGI rather than model work so this has to be recreated or a work around completed as suggested in your post. But it does not seem insurmountable and I have a sneaky suspicion it might be more likely than people are thinking. If the new merged company really wants to exploit Trek then spending a bit of money to ensure every single minute of Trek is in HD might be a useful bit of spending.  It's only DS9 and Voy which are left behind now, there must be a temptation to bring everything up to the same standard, particularly when you're producing new content which may be attracting new fans. And it is not like the $12.5m cost per series is dead money, there'll still be some profit created by physical sales, you can still use this content to sell your own streaming service and you can probably demand a premium when licensing it to syndication and other streaming services if it is of a better quality standard. 

 

TNG was really a special project and perhaps I can see that they might try to do DS9 or Voyager on the cheap but I still think they will want a way to present those shows which stands up a bit better to 2019 viewing methods. 

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One thing I found when rewatching TOS on Netflix was I hated the shonky CGI. However much objectively 'better' it was than the original effects it totally took away from the feel of the show for me and I'd have much rather had the very very dated version than the moderately dated version. I think DS9 and Voyager wouldn't be so badly affected but any brand new CGI effects put in would look out of place with everything else.

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1 hour ago, McCoy said:

 

I agree it is a lot more expensive than something like Friends but TNG had similar issues and came in at around a cost of $70,000 an episode to remaster or around $12.5m for the series.  This is not chump change but it is also not huge money for a one off cost to basically future proof 176 episodes of a popular TV series for your sparkly new streaming service.  Effectively, for the cost of two new Discovery episodes you can convert DS9 or Voyager in its entirety. 

 

The problem was that the studio lost a fortune on the TNG remaster and aren't really of a mind to do it again.  It might happen if the work drops in price several years down the line but its a very long way off.  Luckily a couple of years back one of the DS9 staff found a hard drive stashed at home with a backup of loads of ships, CGi elements they used so there's enough to at least begin the original work. 

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7 minutes ago, Papaya Dance said:

One thing I found when rewatching TOS on Netflix was I hated the shonky CGI. However much objectively 'better' it was than the original effects it totally took away from the feel of the show for me and I'd have much rather had the very very dated version than the moderately dated version. I think DS9 and Voyager wouldn't be so badly affected but any brand new CGI effects put in would look out of place with everything else.

 

That was done years before though? TNG was miles better than that, it's actually quite impressive the way it looks now.  They touched up loads of stuff like ships and planets to how it should look and its tough going back to the old view.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

The problem was that the studio lost a fortune on the TNG remaster and aren't really of a mind to do it again.  

 

I mean, that's where my contention lies.  $12.5m for converting the entirety of TNG versus $7m an episode for Discovery.   They may have lost money, but big money in the grand scheme? 

 

Obviously not chump change, but not exactly major money for a corporation like CBS or Paramount. In perspective, to get Disney's streaming service going they are planning to spend $1billion in a single financial year. Amazon is paying $250m just for the rights to produce a Lord of the Rings series. Netflix paying $100m for just a single year of streaming Friends.  There is a lot of money floating around at the moment to create content and hooks for these subscription services. 

 

Sure, for a middle manager they may not want to spend it on converting DS9 and Voyager.  You almost need someone up top to come along and just give the project a big kick and see that a one off cost in exchange for future proofing one of your most important franchises is worth doing. We shall see... 

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They spent a fortune remastering TNG and then hardly anyone bought the box sets afterwards because they already had bought it on VHS and DVD and could just watch the new version on Netflix instead. Given Voyager and DS9 were less popular and contained much more complex CGI sequences to touch up, it's hardly surprising that they didn't bother, the likely returns don't come close to justifying the expense.

 

It sucks but there you go.

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I've been doing a re-watch of TNG over the past few weeks. "The Hunted" has Zeffram Cochrane's actor with a tache saying, "IT WAS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. THERE WAS A REFERENDUM."

 

Oh god.

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1 hour ago, Joystick Chevron said:

They spent a fortune remastering TNG and then hardly anyone bought the box sets afterwards because they already had bought it on VHS and DVD and could just watch the new version on Netflix instead. Given Voyager and DS9 were less popular and contained much more complex CGI sequences to touch up, it's hardly surprising that they didn't bother, the likely returns don't come close to justifying the expense.

 

It sucks but there you go.

 

Perhaps somewhat valid although ignoring the money that the remastered gained by the Netflix sale rights. The bigger problem was that they released each season for silly money to start with. 

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