Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Trek Remastered
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Apple's iTunes store recently began offering remastered versions of Star Trek (the original series) for download at $1.99 per episode (or $50+ for a whole season).

Of course I had to buy one and view it to see the results for myself. I chose "Balance of Terror" because I knew specifically some of the special effects it includes and figured it would be a good sample.

To sum, the remastered version replaces model ships with CGI versions, reworks the special effects so that they look more in line with something created today, and removes dirt and scratches from the print.

Viewing them in parallel on one computer screen's probably the best way to compare them. This is easy to do if you run one version from DVD and another from iTunes. Playing them in side-by-side windows makes it very easy to pick out the differences.

If you don't own any copies of Trek, I'd say it's a toss-up which to own, but all things considered I'd get the non-remastered versions on DVD: I prefer the color and sharpness of the originals although I do like the effects and CGI ships better. The dirt and scratches don't bother me too much - they were most evident in shots of the bridge's viewing screen, but the remastered version had a weird pulsing on the same shots that was more distracting than the dust and scratches.

The remastered copies soften everything, which I believe is an inevitable result of digitally removing dirt and scratches. Perhaps not, but the remastered copy definitely loses sharpness there's no question about that. Color too, apparently, although not bad enough that you'd necessarily notice if seeing it without the other for direct comparison.

The updated effects look better to me, but if you're a Trek purist you won't like them, you'd prefer the original '60s versions.

Of course I think it's very cool that you *can* download Trek and view it any time - and I believe they offer both the originals and the remastered versions - so pick your favorite ep and let me know what you think of the remastering results.

Live long and prosper!

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