The vault footage is presented in a rather outdated SD transfer. None of it is in HD, even on the blu-ray. There are lots of digital artifacts. So that makes doing any color correction or restoration much more difficult because so much resolution and color information just isn’t there. I don’t know if they intentionally used substandard transfers to specifically prevent fans from restoring it into the episodes, or if they were just too cheap to make new HD transfers. I’m betting it’s the latter reason. Either way, it’s a huge shame because even faded 35mm footage would have looked much better with a modern HD transfer.
Well that is very disheartening. And it makes me not want to buy the Roddenberry Vault discs now. What good is throwing something onto Blu-ray if you’re not going to bother even transferring it in HD?
At least the Star Wars Blu-ray set has the deleted scenes in stunning 1080p HD resolution, warts and all. I own it for nearly that alone.
Well, I broke down and bought the Roddenberry Vault finally…and while it was nice to see the 30 minutes or so of trims, the quality is indeed greatly disappointing…worse than I expected, even. And I’m not talking about their unrestored state with scratches, burn marks, fading, etc., because that’s part of the charm of those old film segments. I’m talking about the transfers themselves. The clips that are embedded in the documentaries are the worst: not only are they in a squashed aspect ratio somehow, but the frame rate is choppy and there is a horrible combing effect going on like you would see with interlacing problems, leading to lots of stair-stepping on the edges of everything. The clips that are stand-alone are mercifully spared the combing effect, but are still plagued by the squashed aspect ratio and a bit of stair-stepping on edges as well. And of course they’re all in SD rather than HD, which was expected but still disappointing considering it’s the primary reason for purchasing this whole BD set (though I understand the included episodes may be botched as well, with parts of the audio mix missing in some cases).
Just two questions about it come to mind:
- How did they manage to eff the transfers up so badly?
- Who is responsible for greenlighting this obviously botched product?
Offhand, I’d like to blame CBS/Paramount even though it’s probably not their fault this time, just because they screwed so many other things up for Star Trek’s 50th last year.
In any case, a preservation of these scenes seems mandatory at this point just to fix the rotten aspect ratio. I wouldn’t mind seeing a collection of the standalone clips paired up with all the other clips extracted from the documentary, all with repaired aspect ratio and maybe some kind of fix for the combing effect.
Maybe if we’re lucky there will be a better transfer of this material down the road. One can only hope.