Originally Posted by HDMe2
You'd be wrong on that. I'm surprised they haven't rolled at least season one out now. I'm sure we will start seeing the HD episodes in syndication sooner than later, and definitely before they finish all of the Blu-rays.
CBS already airs 16:9 cropped HD versions of the original series in Japan and in the UK on their own CBS Action network. I have heard anecdotally that they are now airing the 16:9 cropped version in the US. As far as I know, only the SD versions of the 4:3 remastered version are still being aired domestically.
If this is the case, you can almost be certain that the cropped 16:9 HD version of TOS will soon replace all the old SD 4:3 broadcasts -- which was almost surely done to promote the BluRay sales without cannibalizing it.
That said, TNG will almost certainy be rolled out in HD for syndication, if not the cropped 16:9 format, again probably to avoid competition with the Blu ray. After all, the videophiles who buy BluRay are not going to want a cropped picture.
This is pretty common as TV stations who have already purchased a syndication package have been shipped in many cases hundreds of tapes, which represent considerable cost. Upgrading from SD to HD won't be free, it will involve a new license, a fee increase and considerable cost to the studio to create new broadcast masters for distribution.
As you point out, stations want HD to keep viewers from turning to another station with full screen 1080p clarity, so they will most likely upgrade when the initial license expires (assuming the show did well to begin with). Others will buy the more expensive license for a region once the original broadcaster's rights expire (the former changing their program lineup with less expensive shows, and/or giving their viewers fresh entertainment), hoping to siphon off some viewers in the process.