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One of the more exciting bits of nerd-news lately was the announcement that Star Trek: The Next Generation was getting a digital spit-polish for a much-anticipated Blu-ray release. Supposedly we'll be getting a release of season one at some point in 2012, but before then we'll get a first taste with the cumbersomely named sampler disc Star Trek: The Next Generation -- The Next Level. Set to hit shelves on January 31st, 2012, The Next Level will include the two-part pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint," as well as two fan-favorite episodes: "Sins of the Father" and the Hugo Award-winning "The Inner Light."

Now CBS Home Entertainment has released a new trailer for the set, giving us a look at side-by-side comparisons of the old Next Gen footage versus the upgraded versions. It's pretty damn impressive:



I'm still not sure how many people are going to pick up this sampler disc rather than waiting for the eventual season-set releases, but whatever. The fact that Next Gen is making it to Blu-ray at all is something to be celebrated, especially since many didn't think it ever would. As we've discussed here before, Next Gen was originally shot on film but finished on video, so the sheer amount of work necessary to bring it up to modern standards was a significant hurdle. Thankfully CBS Home Entertainment has decided it was worth the investment, so we can look forward to seeing Picard, Riker, Data, and the rest boldly going in high definition next year.
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