Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
DVD logo

DVD (short for Digital Versatile (or Video) Disc) is a home media format. Developed in the early 1990s, the format gives higher resolution picture and sound than VHS, and allows for special features to be added alongside the main feature. These advantages over VHS ultimately led to the decline of that format.

Regions Edit

DVD releases are divided into separate regions, to restrict the areas specific discs can be played. The following is a guide to the regions and which areas of the world they relate to:

Region Country Map
"Region free" releases
DVD Regions
1 US, Canada, US territories
2 Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East (including Egypt), French Guiana
3 East and South East Asia (including Hong Kong and Macau)
4 Oceania, Central and South America, the Caribbean
5 Russia, former Soviet republics, the Indian sub-continent, Africa, North Korea, Mongolia
6 China

History of Star Trek on DVD Edit

Star Trek DVDs first emerged in 1998 in Region 1, when Paramount Home Video began releasing basic, "vanilla" releases of the first nine Star Trek films – usually containing the film and its associated trailers. The films were released in a mostly reverse chronological order, starting with Star Trek: First Contact. Star Trek: Insurrection saw release during this time (slotting in between Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home), and Star Trek Nemesis was released in 2003, with some very limited special features, mostly comprised of franchise promotional material, such as televised production shorts and advertisements.

As it turned out however, more in-depth special features had been produced for these films, but were only offered on separate discs through by the franchise selected preferred retailers(citation needededit), most notably the chain store Best Buy, a market discrimination strategy called the "retailer exclusive format", and one that is particularly loathed by fans and customers – particularly by those who had only access to the "vanilla" releases. [1] At the time several scrupulous Best Buy patrons bought these releases in bulk and subsequently offered the special feature discs up at premium prices on eBay, the market site that was at the time rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with. [2]

The following year, a release of Star Trek: The Original Series began, in a two-episode-per-disc format. These releases had limited bonus features, and were presented in a cardboard sleeve. The episodes were released in production order, with "The Cage" (in both black & white and colorized versions) being included on the final volume. These releases were Region 1 only; the rest of the world would have to wait until 2004 for an Original Series release. In 2001, Paramount released Star Trek: The Motion Picture on DVD. For this release, the company decided to reappraise the film as a whole, introducing new CG special effects, and re-cutting the film to better reflect Robert Wise's original intentions. This "Director's Edition" was a two-disc release with extensive special features. (As a result, the theatrical cut of the film was not released on DVD until the Region 2 Original Motion Picture Collection.)

Following the enormous success of the Director's Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount re-released the other nine films in two-disc special editions, with some new features along with the ones that were previously only available to the Best Buy clientèle, redressing the perceived injustice as far as the fanbase was concerned.

The next phase of Star Trek DVD releases saw the focus shift from individual volumes to season box sets. These box sets contained a number of special features, including documentaries, galleries and 'easter eggs'. Each series would be released separately, with one series release finishing before the next would begin.

The first series to receive the box set treatment was Star Trek: The Next Generation, which began its release in 2002. Deep Space Nine followed in 2003, with Voyager being released in 2004. A re-release of The Original Series in season box sets was intertwined with the Voyager release. Complete collections of all seasons were also released.

In Region 2, two special box sets were released in 2003: the Jean-Luc Picard Collection, and Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete TV Movies were unusual, in that they collected 'themed' episodes together. The sales of these led to Paramount announcing in 2005 that it was considering releasing DVD boxed sets containing episodes from any of the live-action Star Trek series, and polling fans via as to the episodes to be released. The result of this was the Star Trek: Fan Collective box sets.

The TV Movies release is also unusual in that it has yet to be released in Region 1.

The series release of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005 saw commentaries, bloopers and deleted scenes included as special features on a series release for the first time.

The final series to be released was The Animated Series, which received a release in late 2006.

Following the success of the season box sets in Region 2, Paramount Home Entertainment chose to re-release the sets in new, "slimline" packaging at a much lower price – Next Generation in 2006, Deep Space Nine and Voyager in 2007, and Enterprise in 2008. In some territories such as Germany these were at first released as half-season sets though in Germany full-season sets were later made available in 2014.

In 2007, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Next Generation, a special complete series box set was released, containing the original discs released, plus a special retrospective bonus disc.

A popular feature in the early decades of the DVD had been the inclusion of so-called "Easter eggs", hidden special features, not accessible through the main DVD menu. Instead, these features had to be found by either entering a "secret" code on the remote control, or by searching for an Easter egg indication on the menu graphic when a section would light up. Typically these features were under five minutes shorts, usually comprised of cast and/or crew interview snippets, delving into subject matters not covered in the standard features. As far as Star Trek was concerned, the best known of these were the "Red Shirt Logs" on the Original Series season DVD releases, and the "Section 31 Files" on the Deep Space Nine season DVD releases. Some of the Special Edition Star Trek movie DVD releases also contained Easter eggs, which were particularly hard to find. Something of a fad at the time, the gimmick is losing its appeal in the Blu-ray Disc age, and in many cases the easily overlooked Easter eggs are not ported over to the Blu-ray counterpart re-releases, as is the case with most of those of the Star Trek movies.

The Original Series Remastered project saw the first release using next-generation optical media. The first season release was designed as a DVD/HD DVD combination, allowing it to be viewed on players of both formats. However, the collapse of the HD DVD industry meant that the remaining two seasons were released in DVD-only format throughout 2008.

Outside of episode releases, DVDs are also used as components for board games. The game/toy companies Screenlife and Mattel co-released Star Trek Scene It?, an all-Trek edition of the trivia game series.

DVD release chronology Edit

See DVD release chronology.

Appendices Edit

See also Edit

External links Edit