The contents of the discs themselves is pretty good. From what I've read elsewhere, this is the same DVD transfer as used on the full series set released in 2004, so there's no 'remastered' video quality or anything. The shows are in Dolby Digital 5.1 and there is mention on wikipedia that TNG was one of the first TV shows shot in 5.1. The menu system kept changing throughout the series. Not every season, but every other season or so, they'd go to a different menu system. The last disc of each season has usually only 2 episodes on it so there's room left for the 'season extras'. This is comprised of mission logs, production notes, and usually an indepth profile of one of the main characters. These are a great addition to the set and are worth checking out. I am in the middle of the last season (season 7) at the moment, so I cannot yet comment on the last episode nor the extra 20th anniversary DVD at the end of the set. However, I have read (and can see) that the last episode has a DVD all to its own. Before, I understand this episode was split into two one hour episodes for TV and that several scenes were cut due to this and they've supposedly been restored into one full length feature. I have had a few instances of episodes 'freezing' and getting stuck while playing and a few times an episode wouldn't launch from the menu. This didn't happen too often and usually just restarting the disc or the player fixed the problem. The video is full screen, not widescreen.
The packaging, however, is a totally different story. It is TERRIBLE, and very, very cheaply put together. As you can see in the picture above, it's a cube. Once the outer plastic is off, the cube is surrounded by a clear plastic box. This box is made of some EXTREMELY brittle plastic that breaks VERY easily. In fact, when you open the flaps at the top to get a set of discs out, they will fall back in your way. The natural thing to do is fold the flaps back so they crease a bit and stay open, right? WRONG - they will break right off with only one or two creasings like that. Mine broke off right away, on both sets I bought (more on that later). I ended up taking some wide, clear packing tape and taping and supporting the three flaps making a hinge with the tape. I then taped the inside and outside of all 4 corners of the box to strengthen it. It is VERY flimsy and very cheap.
The discs themselves are mounted on green double-sided DVD trays that are also VERY brittle. They crack and the corners will chip off and break very easily. The trays are grouped together into 3 groups of 9 trays. Each group of trays is TAPED along one end to act as a hinge. So when you get a group out, you flip through it like a book. This tape is bound to give out as time and repeated openings/closings occur. Each season typically has 7 discs. Each disc is lablelled with the season number, the disc number and the episodes on the disc.
The set I have now is my 2nd set. The first one was very badly damaged in shipipng because it was sent to me in just a bubble lined envelope. Many of the corners of the trays were completely broken off, and many other trays were cracked. I really couldn't believe something this fragile and expensive would be shipped out in a bubble envelope. So, I sent it back. The 2nd set came in a box packed with air pillows. While much better packing, there was still one or two corners broken and a few cracked trays. This just goes to show how brittle and cheap the packing is on these sets.
Best recommendation I have is to reinforce the outer box like I did, and/or take all the DVDs out and put them in a vinyl DVD zipper case. Then, either keep the packing on a shelf somewhere if you want to keep all the peices of the set, or just throw the packaging in the trash where it belongs.
Most of the bad ratings I gave were for the packaging. For the $300 charged, it's a very shoddy, chincy, cheap peice of work that for the 20th Anniversary of such a major show like this, should've been done a LOT better.
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