The Future is Here, Again, As ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Comes to Blu-Ray

We may have the entirety of the original Star Trek series on Blu-Ray and in HD online, but for the first time ever, we’re getting Pricard and his entire crew in glorious 1080p with the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level on Blu-Ray for the very first time.

It may not be the entire series, but it’s certainly a start to hold us over until it gets a full release next year. What exactly took so long? Well apparently the folks who boldly brought us where no man has been before, they didn’t think to preserve the original footage on film. Here are the details from the press release:

Transferring STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® to high-definition presented numerous challenges – The series was originally shot on film and then transferred to videotape, which was used to edit episodes together.

In order to create true HD masters, CBS is going back to the original uncut film negative – all 25,000 plus film reels of it – and cutting the episodes together exactly the way they originally aired. The visual effects were all shot on film and will be painstakingly recompositioned, not upconverted from videotape.

While the first full season won’t be available until later in 2012, CBS Home Entertainment is releasing STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® – THE NEXT LEVEL, a single Blu-ray disc to give fans a taste of the series in HD, on January 31, 2012.  The disc will include the feature-length pilot – “Encounter at Farpoint” – as well as two more “fan favorite” episodes, “The Inner Light” (Season 5) and “Sins of the Father” (Season 3). The single disc will be available for a suggested retail price of $21.99.

You can expect to see more releases hit after The Next Level hits shelves on January 31.

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