Star Trek TNG Ads Only - In Theory

Star Trek, Ads Only!

Classic episodes of Star Trek with none of the copyright-violating actual content and ALL of the ads, wrappers, teasers, and bumpers from the local independent and UPN affiliate stations who ran the shows!

Add your Contribution to the “Star Trek, Ads Only” Playlist and Project!

Like many older Trek fans, I originally “collected” my favorite set of TV series by recording them the hard way from broadcast onto VHS video tape. These tapes served me through years through many re-watches, but of course were eventually replaced with other collections.

With the pandemic bringing an extended furlough, I used some of my time to digitize a lot of old video tapes I had, including the last few scattered Trek tapes I had kept for one reason or another. In doing so, I was reminded that the Trek collections available now are missing an ephemeral element of the nostalgic experience.

These days with streaming, you miss out on the commercial breaks. Viewers of the old series must wonder why the shows came to little mini climaxes and false cliffhangers every 10 minutes. They have no idea what advertisers supported old Star Trek. They don’t get to see the bumpers, they don’t get to hear the “Next Time”‘s and see what movie or show was running before or after.

So that’s what I made, out of the episodes I had: The “Star Trek, Ads Only” playlist:

The Star Trek, Ads Only Playlist!

But it also occurs to me that a lot of other fans did the same thing I did, and have both the old tapes I no longer have, and the ability to digitize and assemble video (my USB capture dongle was, like $30). So, I thought it might be best to serve the goal of the playlist to open this project up to crowd-sourcing.

I took a pic of the actual video tape, to work into the thumbnail image there. 🙂

Do you have an old Star Trek tape, and the ability to edit out all of the copyright-violating actual content leaving only the juicy lost-to-time ad placements, bumpers, and station IDs from the original broadcast?


If so, upload a video and use the Playlist-editing link at the bottom of this article to add it to the playlist. I’ve even gone ahead and provided template vids for the “Scene Missing” replacements you would need:

Free 1920×1080 .mp4 “Scene Missing” Clips for You to Use:

Right Click and Save As or Whatever –>

Maybe we can eventually build a complete visual record of the companies that supported Star Trek with ads, back when that was required, complete with local spots and station IDs for local flavor!

Still rolling a decade later.

Share Your Old Digitized VHS Star Trek Episodes… Without the Episode!

Some caveats to remember:

  • Some commercials will trigger a full copyright block on your video. It’s nice that YouTube has added a check stage now, before video debut. I had a few, mostly car commercials with licensed music. YouTube makes this easy to solve by just muting the affected section, but if you want you can do wacky stuff like i did and try to pitch-shift the ad enough that YouTube accepts it.
  • It’s best to go ahead and upscale/render your video to fill a 1920×1080 video size for YouTube to keep whatever quality you have left. They just throw a crappy low bitrate at SD footage lately.
  • Most videos will trigger some copyright claim of some kind. That’s just the nature of advertising using licensed media. You also need to keep clips of the show to a bare minimum or you’ll hear from CBS over YouTube on the subject, though they generally decline to block things like this entirely. In short, if you’re keeping a very clean channel, maybe use an alternate account for this project.
  • Are modern Star Trek shows running with ads somewhere? They still have the little mini-cliffhangers every ten minutes or so. Seems quaintly old-school… I’d love to see them, ads only!

Making it to the end of this article is the rite of passage for the COLLABORATION LINK to the playlist, here:

OK thanks everyone I’m back to work and out of Trek tapes now, so if no one else adds to the project, it is done. In that case, um… enjoy!