Ah. Thanks for that. So it's the matte box that dirtied up the edge of the Academy frame. Still my point remains, I would rather see a slightly wider transfer than a full frame enlargement. In other words, give me the TV Action safe top and bottom frame, with the wider TV transmitted frame. And I do see what you mean about overscan being enabled by default on most digital TVs. The 1:1 setting is part of my picture size toggle button and "just scan" is the name of the setting on my Samsung TV. However, the setting makes little difference for most broadcasters, and most videophiles are going to opt for this setting. However, I do understand what you mean by most consumers. My counter to that argument is that overscan on digital TV is so minimal compared to a 70s and 80s era TV, that merely expanding the frame by a few lines of resolution outside the top and bottom of the action safe framing would do the trick without significantly minimizing the extra width gained by this cropping. What I would love is a setting on the BluRay make this adjustment, as opposed to the Zoom feature on most consumer TVs. There is an argument to be made as I have, that this top and bottom framing is much closer to what the director had in mind over what we've been seeing on the DVDs (at least since the advent of digital TVs). THe extra width being no more arbitrary than adding the extra picture all the way around.
Or, better yet, give me as wide a useable frame as possible of the Academy aperture, balanced on center of course. To be consistent they would have to do that based on the minimum frame size unaffected by dirty edges. I say all this in a vacuum, as the producers may have already done this, because of course all it takes is one episode where the entire Academy aperture is consistently unusable to ruin it for the series.
Nevertheless, one postive benfit of this would be that unless CBS prevents stretching in their license agreement, or cropping as the BBC does, then more width in the native picture (and I can't believe I'm saying this) actually ameliorates the 4:3 stretching that goes on with most broadcasters attempting to fill up their 16:9 screens. In this example it just makes William Frakes look more like he did in the last 6 seasons
Thanks again for the clarification, I'm sure that clears it up for a number of folks! And to be clear, it's not that I can't enjoy, or won't enjoy watching the series in 4:3, I just think it's a constraining medium for such an epic series. If it could be done, so much the better. These people who say they won't buy it unless it's 16:9 crack me up ... the picture clarity alone is astounding. Even I Love Lucy which CBS remasterd in HD and are now showing complete episodes on CBS.com shows just how insightful a decision it was by Desi Arnaz to shoot that series on film. It looks like it was shot yesterday compared to what I have seen all my life on TV, and even on DVD -- which make episodes I've seen a dozen times feel like I'm watching for the first time. Likewise for TNG. That alone will make it "viewable" for many more years. Those poor shows shot on video and can only be shown on SD will die a painful death as tomorrow's audiences will essentially view them in the way they percieve silent movies -- as historical footnotes.