“I remember around that time there were some HDTV version circulating that didn’t have the DNR but they seem impossible to find these days.”
Not impossible. I believe they’re still avaiable on Usenet and Rutracker.
Usenet: Maybe, I’ve never been able to try it since it costs too much for me.
Rutracker: They took them down long ago, sadly.
Either way, I’m a big fan of the extended versions so not a huge loss to me personally, but good if the fans have them for preservation’s sake. Fellowship was done really nicely by both 44rh1n and Dwalin.