Classic TV Programs (originally on film) converted to HDTV - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 116 Old 12-15-2011, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Wellman View Post

I figured those kind of movies while on Blu Ray, were simply upconverted.

Nope. All blu-rays are HD.
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post #62 of 116 Old 12-16-2011, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bruin95 View Post

Nope. All blu-rays are HD.

No they aren't. Some older shows on blu-ray have the movie just put on them without being remastered to HD. There are a lot of complaints about the 1984 Airwolf movie that came out on blu-ray. Also there are some crappy looking DVDs that haven't been remastered to 480p.

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post #63 of 116 Old 12-16-2011, 04:18 AM
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Farscape (not out yet) and several Funimation titles are upconverted.

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post #64 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

There's a whole bunch of material that has been converted into a high def master, but isn't currently available in that format. One very notable example is "I Love Lucy" -- although I'm frankly surprised that CBS hasn't yet started releasing this series on Blu-Ray.

Is there better original source material than Kinescope for I Love Lucy or many other programs of that era? I would not think a BD of a Kinescope would get you improvement worth watching, and therefore not a BD worth listing.

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post #65 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 07:36 AM
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Star Trek:TOS was still in 4:3 format in HD. Will Next Generation be 16:9?
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post #66 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeewing View Post

Star Trek:TOS was still in 4:3 format in HD. Will Next Generation be 16:9?

Looks like 4:3 by the clips in this trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DZEc...eature=related
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post #67 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distorted View Post

Is there better original source material than Kinescope for I Love Lucy or many other programs of that era? I would not think a BD of a Kinescope would get you improvement worth watching, and therefore not a BD worth listing.

I Love Lucy never used a Kinescope. It was one of the few shows to use 3 cameras - all shooting 35mm film. Some other comedies were single camera, but shot on film.

Kinescopes were normally used for shows done live to TV for archiving purposes, though they held on for a short time after that era for some shows.

Most dramas, though, were shot on film and it wasn't until the late 70's and early 80's that videotape became the format for editing the material.


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post #68 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I Love Lucy never used a Kinescope. It was one of the few shows to use 3 cameras - all shooting 35mm film. Some other comedies were single camera, but shot on film.

I Love Lucy WAS the first 3 camera 35mm film TV show. It spawned syndication.

CBS was adamant that ILL be shot on kinescope to keep the cost down. Dezi Arnaz was adamant that it NOT be shot on kinescope. The compromise was that CBS would shoot it on 35mm film with 3 cameras, but Arnaz had to pick up the extra cost for the production. Arnaz agreed as long as HE retained ALL rights to the show, he would do that. Arnaz made his money on ILL through syndication rights and ILL still makes money for the offshoots of Desilu that came after the divorce.

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post #69 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I Love Lucy never used a Kinescope. It was one of the few shows to use 3 cameras - all shooting 35mm film. Some other comedies were single camera, but shot on film.

Reportedly, the high definition masters made from the 35 mm original film for "I Love Lucy" look great.
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post #70 of 116 Old 12-17-2011, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

Reportedly, the high definition masters made from the 35 mm original film for "I Love Lucy" look great.

There was an article published around the time of the Seinfeld remasters that told about the restoration of ILL and the transfer to HD. They had a side by side comparison of a single frame of film, one original, one restored in HD. The difference in PQ was stunning. It reminded me of the PQ of the restored/remastered "Some Like It Hot" film that ran on HDNet. Black and white, but the detail was amazing. It was 4:3.

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post #71 of 116 Old 12-18-2011, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

It reminded me of the PQ of the restored/remastered "Some Like It Hot" film that ran on HDNet. Black and white, but the detail was amazing. It was 4:3.

Have you seen any of "The Twilight Zone" Blu-rays? WOW! Those are unbelievable. There are some reviewers who said they might be the best Blu-rays ever made, PQ wise. Simply stunning.
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post #72 of 116 Old 12-18-2011, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

Have you seen any of "The Twilight Zone" Blu-rays? WOW! Those are unbelievable. There are some reviewers who said they might be the best Blu-rays ever made, PQ wise. Simply stunning.

I haven't seen them on BR but they are picture quality standards on DVD (except for a year or two when I believe they were shot directly to tape??, they don't look like a kinescope).
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post #73 of 116 Old 12-20-2011, 09:58 AM
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Isn't there a season or two of Law and Order that were originally aired in SD but remastered for HD? Comparing the SD and HD broadcasts the HD version was 16:9 with the bottom of the frame always cropped out.

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post #74 of 116 Old 12-21-2011, 07:18 AM
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I don't know if it counts as old, but the first 2-3 seasons of The Sopranos aired in SD on HBO. They've all since been made available in HD. The episodes of the first season on HBO On Demand that I've seen look fantastic.
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post #75 of 116 Old 12-21-2011, 10:36 AM
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Friends reruns are being shown in 16x9 HD on Nickelodeon HD.
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post #76 of 116 Old 02-01-2012, 10:14 AM
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I have a question that I hope someone here can answer because I think it's too narrow a question for me to find in a google search.

I understand fully how TV shows which aired before HDTV in 4:3 can go back to the original film negatives and get 16:9 picture because when filming they shot widescreen but cropped for 4:3; so the original film has widescreen information on it.

My question is simply: Why were shows originally shot in widescreen in the first place? I am admittedly unknowledgable about film for the most part, but I understand that depending on what lenses are used, how many perferations tall each frame on the film is and all sorts of other factors, the same stock of film (eg. 35mm) can be used to shoot images in a variety of aspect ratios. Wikipedia suggests that 35mm film was originally used to shoot "Academy" aspect ration which was 1.37:1 (just a bit wider than 4:3).

My question then is why TV shows having no concept of the impending switch to 16:9 would bother wasting so much film and image space by actually shooting the widescreen image only to crop it down to 4:3. Why did they not actually film in 4:3?

Thanks in advance.
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post #77 of 116 Old 02-01-2012, 10:34 AM
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Many Old shows were shot (filmed) in 4:3, not 16:9 ... That's why Hogan's Heroes & others, after original films are mastered in HD, are either Zoomed, cropped, or still 4:3 (but in HD) ...
Remember, "HD" & "16:9" are 2 seperate things ...
Fox's Kitchen Nitmares & other current shows are shot & shown in 16:9 SD Today ..& can't be re-mastered to HD since they arent shot on film...
As far as very old TV shows who's master fims are widescreen, not 4:3, .. I suppose they were simply using "Movie" cameras to film the show at the time, & the director was framing the shots for 4:3... & there is now 'extra' unused info in the frames that can be utilized for 16:9
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post #78 of 116 Old 02-01-2012, 03:53 PM
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Yea Seinfeld in HD is a crop to 16:9 I think.

Star Trek: TNG which was just released on Blu-Ray is 4:3 (as it would be pretty crazy to try and extract a 1.77 image on a complex show like that with so many FX shots that had to be redone). TV shows take a lot of shortcuts because of the quick turnaround time and honestly aren't meant to be remastered, so when you go back and try to piece a show back together sometimes you have to take the simplest route.
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post #79 of 116 Old 02-02-2012, 04:27 PM
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Not an expert, however "That 70s show" was recorded using film with a wide aspect ratio (16x9?) and the center part used 4:3 used for the broadcast of the show.

The new Blu-ray of that show is 16x9 from the orignal film elements.

Here's some examples of before and after though I'm pretty sure the source is not from any DVD or Blu-ray (that I know of.)

http://i.imgur.com/obqtM.png
http://i.imgur.com/e58UT.png
http://i.imgur.com/lM4On.png
http://i.imgur.com/jLtqX.png
http://i.imgur.com/kDYNK.png
http://i.imgur.com/U8SOh.png

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post #80 of 116 Old 02-02-2012, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ABCTV99 View Post

Yea Seinfeld in HD is a crop to 16:9 I think.

Star Trek: TNG which was just released on Blu-Ray is 4:3 (as it would be pretty crazy to try and extract a 1.77 image on a complex show like that with so many FX shots that had to be redone). TV shows take a lot of shortcuts because of the quick turnaround time and honestly aren't meant to be remastered, so when you go back and try to piece a show back together sometimes you have to take the simplest route.

Star Trek: TOS was released on Blu Ray in 4:3 as well, but in syndication is 16:9. I'm sure the same will be true for TNG when it inevitably gets there. Sadly, when it comes to TV, the prevailing wisdom appears to be that HD does require 16:9.

Given how much effort Paramount is putting into the TNG remaster, I'm sure they're going ahead and doing a 4:3 and a 16:9 version.


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post #81 of 116 Old 02-02-2012, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Thebarnman View Post

Not an expert, however "That 70s show" was recorded using film with a wide aspect ratio (16x9?) and the center part used 4:3 used for the broadcast of the show.

The new Blu-ray of that show is 16x9 from the orignal film elements.

Here's some examples of before and after though I'm pretty sure the source is not from any DVD or Blu-ray (that I know of.)

Clearly some cropping of the top/bottom on those, but also some opened up on the left/right. Looks a lot more balanced than Seinfeld, which had a bit more on the sides but was mostly cropping.
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post #82 of 116 Old 02-02-2012, 09:50 PM
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Topics merged, and topic title edited.

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post #83 of 116 Old 02-03-2012, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHYPO View Post

I have a question that I hope someone here can answer because I think it's too narrow a question for me to find in a google search.

I understand fully how TV shows which aired before HDTV in 4:3 can go back to the original film negatives and get 16:9 picture because when filming they shot widescreen but cropped for 4:3; so the original film has widescreen information on it.

My question is simply: Why were shows originally shot in widescreen in the first place? I am admittedly unknowledgable about film for the most part, but I understand that depending on what lenses are used, how many perferations tall each frame on the film is and all sorts of other factors, the same stock of film (eg. 35mm) can be used to shoot images in a variety of aspect ratios. Wikipedia suggests that 35mm film was originally used to shoot "Academy" aspect ration which was 1.37:1 (just a bit wider than 4:3).

My question then is why TV shows having no concept of the impending switch to 16:9 would bother wasting so much film and image space by actually shooting the widescreen image only to crop it down to 4:3. Why did they not actually film in 4:3?

Thanks in advance.

They didn't shoot 16x9.

What often happened is the framing of the image would be cropped down a bit within the film image to ensure things like boom mics, lights and the edges of sets stayed out of frame. Then, in the case of shows edited on video, that framing often got even smaller due to the limits of the tape media of the time.

In some cases, they might take a smaller portion of the film frame to adjust the composition of a shot that didn't look right the way it was framed. For example, maybe the director wanted Picard and Riker in the shot, but Dr. Crusher is visible right at the edge. A little cropping creates a proper 2 shot.

That's why you can sometimes go back to the film and find a bit more surrounding information - but it's on all sides, not just on the left and right.

The problem is, there's seldom ever enough to create a full 16x9 image from that. That's why converting 4x3 series to 16x9 pretty much always involves some cropping of the top, bottom or both to get enough image on the left and right. Plus, special effects created in the video world were stuck at 4x3. There's no extra information to be had. That means either recreating them or cropping everything if you want 16x9 images.

In the case of older series both shot and edited onto film, often the home video versions we initially got were taken from the tape masters made for syndication later on when cable TV came about. There's usually a bit of a crop from the original film element to stay away from potential edge damage. Then, there's often a bit more information lost in the transfer to another video medium from that tape master.

Remember, film is roughly 4x3, even when shooting movies. In the case of TV before HD, they used pretty much all the image area. In the case of movies that were not shot anamorphically, the image was usually matted on the top and bottom to form the theatrical aspect ratio - that is, from roughly the mid-1950's on when widescreen movies starting becoming the norm.

Before that, movies were roughly 4x3, which is why TV chose roughly the same aspect ratio.


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post #84 of 116 Old 02-03-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post


Remember, film is roughly 4x3, even when shooting movies. In the case of TV before HD, they used pretty much all the image area. In the case of movies that were not shot anamorphically, the image was usually matted on the top and bottom to form the theatrical aspect ratio - that is, from roughly the mid-1950's on when widescreen movies starting becoming the norm.

Before that, movies were roughly 4x3, which is why TV chose roughly the same aspect ratio.

And that's the key; since TV screens were 4:3, no thought was given to widescreen formats when filming TV programs. I think we're lucky to have the technology available to convert older film content to HD.

As to the aspect ratio, perhaps it's a matter of personal preference more than anything else. I've studied the HD transfers of a number of older filmed TV programs and in most cases it does not bother me when they are widescreen.

Theatrical films are another matter, for me at least, and I always prefer OAR.

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post #85 of 116 Old 02-03-2012, 02:25 PM
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There are some odd exceptions. For a brief period before HDTV, some shows were shooting 3 perf 35mm instead of 4 perf. This created a 16:9 aspect ratio which was cropped to 4:3. Since each frame used 25% less film, it saved money. Now the HDTV series that are still shooting on film all shoot 3 perf.

This practice eventually passed on to feature films. Many Super 35mm feature films are now shot in 3 perf (The Descendants) and in some cases even 2 perf (Coriolanus). The idea that "film is roughly 4x3, even when shooting movies" isn't really true any more since motion cameras can expose the frame in three aspect ratios now.

Back in the late 60's some companies that were producing television series were also owned by corporations which also owned feature film studios. In a push to reduce costs of both divisions, television directors were strongly recommended to shoot certain expensive scenes "loosely" so they may be also become cropped "stock footage" for feature films. Specifically some battle scenes shot for the series "Combat!" were reused in cheap WW2 movies.

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post #86 of 116 Old 02-04-2012, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igreg View Post

The first I recall is "Hogan's Hero's" which was shown in 14:9 I believe on HDNET. And now "Cheers" is being shown in HD, but I haven't seen an episode yet so I don't know the aspect ratio. And of course Seinfeld in 16:9 HD. Any others?

I watched many episodes that were on HDNet 7+ years ago.

Why the odd 14x9??

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post #87 of 116 Old 02-04-2012, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Back in the late 60's some companies that were producing television series were also owned by corporations which also owned feature film studios. In a push to reduce costs of both divisions, television directors were strongly recommended to shoot certain expensive scenes "loosely" so they may be also become cropped "stock footage" for feature films. Specifically some battle scenes shot for the series "Combat!" were reused in cheap WW2 movies.

That would actually be somewhat rare.

Normally, it was the other way around: TV shows would use unused (and sometimes less recognizable used) footage from movies. They still do. For example, early on, JAG used footage shot for Top Gun.

In the 50's and 60s, it was also commonplace to use what are known as "standing sets". These would be sets built for a movie, but left standing for TV shows to redecorate and use for shooting an episode on them before they were struck. This is still common. A banged up and burnt set from an action movie might appear at some point in a police procedural as the scene of an arson investigation.

The one thing TV shows can't really get away with anymore with the advent of home video and DVRs is recycling of stock footage. Before we had the ability to not only rewatch episodes, but watch them back to back, you had a week or more to forget about a shot they used. It wasn't until you had TV marathons on cable, boxed sets and other ways to watch shows more than once a week that we started paying attention to that stuff. Now, it's blatantly obvious Knight Rider used that same shot from outside some industrial park to shoot KITT from Knight Rider backing out of the moving semi truck. Even "Combat", which you cited, is odd to watch back to back and seeing every town they enter look like the same one - because it was the same backlot set. They just used different parts of it, though the big giveaway is a store front at a distinctive triangular intersection that jumps out at you every time you see it. That pond and bridge located at the Big Sky ranch played a lot of roles on Little House on the Prairie.

Overall, backlot shooting has gotten more challenging, short of a major overhaul of the sets. I can spot the Universal and Warner Brothers backlots instantly. It's odd to see characters from "The Mentalist" walking around the streets of Hazzard, Stars Hollow and outside County General from "ER". It took a while to get used to the ladies from "Desperate Housewives" living where the Cleavers and the Munsters once did. When I watched an episode or two of "The Ghost Whisperer", I found myself wondering when Marty McFly and Doc Brown were going to show up in the Delorean, despite the changes made to courthouse square.


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post #88 of 116 Old 02-05-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Normally, it was the other way around: TV shows would use unused (and sometimes less recognizable used) footage from movies. They still do. For example, early on, JAG used footage shot for Top Gun.

This was when corporations which already own film studios started buying television studios. They wanted more "synergy" in production. According to the commentary on Combat DVDs (Ted Post and Robert Altman) the production of stock footage was a big deal to the bean counters. Producers were scolded when a boring shot of a tank driving down a dirt road was considered unsuitable for use in a motion picture. There was no excuse not to do this. How much money was saved will never be known.

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Even "Combat", which you cited, is odd to watch back to back and seeing every town they enter look like the same one - because it was the same backlot set. They just used different parts of it, though the big giveaway is a store front at a distinctive triangular intersection that jumps out at you every time you see it. That pond and bridge located at the Big Sky ranch played a lot of roles on Little House on the Prairie.

Combat never left a set standing! They had their area of the MGM back lot. As soon as all the fake buildings were destroyed, they moved onto a freshly rebuilt section while they rebuilt the part they had just blown up. I don't know if they reused these for other productions.

You can also see locations used in famous films in Combat. The river they regularly crossed was the same fake river they shot some scenes in The African Queen.

Did you notice German machine guns always hit logs on the ground? One guy's job was to build logs wired with squibs. He always had a few ready for any scene. It was so easy to drop one of these on the ground whenever they needed Germans shooting at them. Wiring a standing tree would take too much time!

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post #89 of 116 Old 02-06-2012, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

Given how much effort Paramount is putting into the TNG remaster, I'm sure they're going ahead and doing a 4:3 and a 16:9 version.

Unless they've spent the money to create two telecine masters of the negatives, one 4:3 and one crop for 16:9, they will have to take the 4:3 master and crop it and upconvert from 810 lines to 1080 lines.

Personally, that will suck. I want the OAR.

Plus, syndicated will be heavily edited to allow for more commercials.

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post #90 of 116 Old 02-07-2012, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

Plus, syndicated will be heavily edited to allow for more commercials.

Probably not that heavily edited -- yes, CTD chopped about seven minutes out of each episode of the TOS for the current syndication version, but unedited episodes of TNG run quite a bit shorter than TOS.

So while they'll likely do some editing, it's likely to be on the order of a couple minutes per episode instead seven minutes per episode.
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