Collected examples from each of the Star Trek series where audiovisual signal loss is conveyed.
Contributions welcome via issues tracker or @'ing me!
At the time, this is more for "showing" and not for "telling." But eventually, with enough "research," I hope to be able to come to some conclusions and overviews beyond what is already obvious (e.g. Original Star Trek is going to use film-esque errors, because film was the familiar medium at the time).
Scroll below to see examples from each series.
Use the arrows on either side to navigate through errors.
Set in ≈ 2254-2293
"It's a radio wave, sir!" A blurry, partially transparent cloud moves across the screen.
Incoming transmission from Spock. Fades in and fades out.
Spock sends a fax. Not a video error, but fax paper appears pretty mangled from the machine.
The crew encounters a radiated cube, which later turns into a golden orb. This alien appears with an "underwater" motion effect.
Spock uses floppy disks to fake Kirk's voice when sending transmissions. Malicious user error.
Searching for signals. Color bar moves back and forth across screen.
Research computer fades between photographs on command. Bonus: those data disks!
Looks like bad video but is actually just an old speaker. Transmitted voice sounds crackly.
User error: Riley gets poisoned from his dinner. No eating in the engineering room!
Spock has trouble locking onto video signal of damaged ship. Waves into view with "underwater" effect.
"Sir, this indicator's gone crazy!" Indicator looks relatively normal.
Enterprise is held in place by a solar system, communicating with these flashing lights.
Much of this episode is spent in 1968, with many scenes of the crew interacting with film.
A man disappears! He looks like film.
Kirk asks to "freeze" the distress video and it audiblly slows down like film would but the picture stays. Spock calls it a "taped" message.
Spock watches the distress call and rewinds it. He then puts it into fast-forward mode and it appears to roll like film as he speeds it up.
Ambassador Hodin ends his call with the Enterprise, and his image slowly fades out into the default "window into space" view.
Set in ≈ 2364-2370
La Forge shows the last visual records of the other Enterprise, a "phase inverter" was used. Double-vision effect and colorspace manipulation.
Data tries to identify a glitchy audio signal.
The time-traveling Enterprise goes back through the temporal rift by fading into a space-cloud and out into nothing.
Library Computer Access and Retrieval System (no errors).
Computer screen featuring signal hitting Borg ship (no errors).
Incoming distress call with analog video static and color lock/blurring issues.
Set in ≈ 2369-2375
Dax puts a small chip into the computer and it reveals a "humanoid brain" represented rotating with 3D CGI with 2D green rays hitting it.
Microscopic computer vision (3D CGI).
Alien signs off and this is the screen. Appears again at 42:36.
Odo looks at DNA on a rock. 3D CGI.
Ship diagram technology outside of the prisoner quarters.
Jake and Nog intentionally modify the inside of what looks like an old iMac. Video flickers in and out. Appears to have a sepia+metallic/chrome filter added to it. Looks like magnetic interference (see: Paik) mixed with blocky/low-res/high-compression streaming and dirty-magnetic-tape bands.
Signal is grainy and jumpy, getting increasingly worse until the image is overtaken by "snow"/complete signal loss.
Set in ≈ 2371-2378
Ion storm causes interferance, which looks like visual analog television snow/bad signal.
Crew plays video back of another ship in trouble, looks like grainy VHS.
This is set in 2032. Grainy/analog lo-res video starts to have DV-esque tan bars moving across the screen (dirt/decay on tape).
Playing back video from 2032. Flickers black and white and then slowly fades out to pixelated digital "snow."
Playing back "final transmission" video from 2032. Flickers black and white and then slowly fades out to pixelated digital "snow."
Set in ≈ 2151-2155
Immediately after opening credits: Crew explores the "archives."
Vulcan computer with vertical text read left-to-right.
Communication is clear. Screen is 4:3 (even though the show is 16:9!)
Communication is cut, revealing system screen. Screen is 4:3 (even though the show is 16:9!)
Archer speaks into a camera, fish-eye blurry lens. ends with him blowing out the camera and an analog snow-ish in-color glitch.
Archer and a guy from the future modify devices from the Enterprise to make contact with the past.
Archer calls from the future where there is "no technology." Jumps in and out, slow bands moving across Archer's face when present. General signal disruption.