laserdisc players.Anyone on here using them?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by timbo72, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    I keep wishing Pioneer could put out a new player. I have no delusions that LD's could ever be manufactured again like records are, since all the production lines that made them are gone. However, a new player doesn't seem impossible. My dream player would be based on the industrial machines, no CD or DVD playback, and single side play to keep it simple and less prone to breaking down. Or perhaps dual laser pickups to do away with the Rube Goldberg gamma turn mechanism? And oh yes, a built in RF demodulator for Dolby. :D

    2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of LD's debut, back when it was called DiscoVision.
     
  2. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Actually, I'd go the other way and want a combo LD/CD/DVD/Blu player. That would be something.
     
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  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Throw in SACD & DVD-A capability and you'd really have something there. :D
     
  4. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    AND HD-DVD! My dream player would handle both NTSC and PAL laserdiscs, with an internal AC3 demodulator and convert analog tracks to PCM so you could select all 3 tracks with the remote while using just one digital input on your receiver. It would also have the option to override picture stops (which many later players have), and override the codes at the beginning and end of discs allowing you to see the full DiscoVision intros and outros that new players skip over. It would also have an internal CD+Graphics, LD+Graphics and NTSC Closed-caption decoder.

    For standard DVDs it would have an all-region hack, have a seamless layer change, and support Jacket Pictures and be able to display DVD-ROM material like pictures and sound files that are on some discs. It would also have full HD-DVD AND Blu-Ray support, also hackable for all regions. And of course be able to play DVD-Audio, SACDs, analog CD-Videos, MPEG-1 VCDs and Super VCDs- and maybe VideoNow discs too :) Anybody wanna build me one?
     
  5. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    My CLD-D704 has broken down more than a few times. The laser pickup has fallen off the rollercoaster track it rides on, the player even belched and chewed on a CD once. I have two other players that are LD only that have never given me any troubles at all. One of them is 31 years old!

    I can only imagine the final combo players Pioneer put out were even more complicated with DVD playback added.
     
  6. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I've got a secondhand CLD-D701, also does auto reverse, and it works just fine the few times a year I fire it up. It's got to be 20 years old at least.
     
  7. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I still have my initial Laserdisc/DVD player, which is a Pioneer DVL-909, which I purchased in the summer of 1998. This was my first DVD player as well.

    My brother actually worked for Ken Crane's during the early-mid 90s before moving on to other things. I remember him telling me that laserdisc video and audio was far superior to DVDs, but that was when DVD was just a-borning. When my brother worked at Ken Crane's, the demo laser that was always on the TVs and the sound system was Terminator 2, with a specialty on the biker bar opening. My brother told me that the guys at the store used to call one of the bikers the "pull it out" guy, as he was the one whose shoulder is impaled with a pool cue by Schwarzenegger, after which he pitifully cries "Pull it out! Pull it out!"

    My source of lasers was initially Dave's Lasers on Ventura near Laurel Canyon. Found some great deals there on Criterions and major box sets, all used, of course. I also turned to Laser Blazer on the Westside, which is where I pulled most of my discs up to 2013.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Kevin, is your Brother in the counter shot I took (October '94) inside Ken Cranes ( as featured on page 2 of this thread? )


    Doug.
     
  9. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    701 came out in late 1991 or early 1992. It was my second player which I got as a replacement for a Lemon 3090 which almost never worked properly. It was my mine player for years until I replaced it with a clearanced brand new Elite 79 . I'm using a variation of the Elite 99 (champagne colored non Elite badged International version) tweaked by Kurtis Bahr. Kurtis also rehabbed/tweaked my other players -- 2 704's and the Mitsubishi Clone of the 704 which I actually prefer due to the cosmetics.http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_elite_cld-99/pioneer_elite_cld-99.htmThe pics at the bottom of the page are of my player (do mean literally). I'm not sure if those are Kurtis's photos or whoever he bought it from -- exact same crack in the trim.
     
  10. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I sold my player and a large collection of Laser Discs about 5 years ago and got pennies on the dollar for it. After reading these posts , I wish I kept them ! By the way I also bought many of my discs from Ken Crane , and some from Suncoast Motion Picture Company , some from J & R Music world and some from CD World . All those stores are gone now .
     
  11. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    My player for the past several years has been the Pioneer Elite DVL-90 (same as Kevin's 909 but with the Elite branding?). My original player had died long before, and a subsequent secondhand one was not great quality, so I came across this one -- at a community flea market -- at just the right time. It lacked a remote and was looking a little beat up due to a couple of scratches and because someone had scavenged the rosewood side panels! I plugged it in and the drawers opened, and even though it looked dirty inside and out, I knew it was worth the $7 gamble to take it home and give it a try.

    It wouldn't play DVDs, but no matter -- it played LDs just fine, even a few previously problematic ones, and I blew a LOT of dust and what appeared to be sand (!) out of anyplace I could reach without taking it apart. Ordered a new original remote from Pioneer, but hesitated on spending for replacement side panels since the lack of same wouldn't be noticed on its shelf (still haven't done anything about that). And about that time, I acquired a like-new Lexicon surround decoder on eBay which flew right under the radar toward me at a ridiculous price.

    Of course I don't play LDs too often these days, but many of them -- especially those of academy ratio -- still look great on the 50" Panasonic plasma. (I think I have the Pioneer AVR set to do the upscaling chores.) The LDs which do look poor these days tend to be the 2.35:1 ones that have good DVD or Blu-ray releases anyway. And some of the less good ones are kept, regardless, for their extra features, sound quality, or even an attachment to their special packaging.
     
  12. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Pioneer DVL-909

    This afternoons showing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Dolby Stereo / Lucasfilm Ltd THX Sound System.

    I have the DVD editions but preferred to play the Laserdisc as its been a few years since it was played.

    Picture quality is fine with nice smoothness and colours. PCM Dolby is nice analouge Dolby has bit if brighter boast by a few db.

    Indy, punches are felt with a wallop.

    Other Pioneer laserdisc players thou a few need some minor repair nothing major.

    Pioneer CLD-1750
    Pioneer CLD-2950

    Another working model
    Pioneer CLD-2850 that I bought ealy last year with some 40 or so laserdiscs for less than £50.00.

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  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    I still have 2 players (704 and Elite 79), 2 RF demodulators (Yamaha and Lexicon) and about 130 discs (I probably have not watched 20 I got at an estate sale 10 years back). I have not played a disc in a few years.
     
  14. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Afternoon showing of, Basic Instinct (1992) now playing PAL Laserdisc Dolby Stereo / Lucasfilm Ltd THX Sound System / JBL 49 speakers.
    Also region 2 DVD six-track Dolby Stereo and dts

    Slight soundtrack differences between the versions

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    Chapter 10 side 2 PAL laserdisc which different from the region 2 DVD at 1 minute 13 seconds the scene is without music just dialogue and sound effects!
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    Chapter 11, vibrates the Irwin rocker seats in my THX cinema, with deep Jerry Goldsmith bass sub drop.
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    Wow what a chilling slam of bass sub bass on the Jerry Goldsmith closing.
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  15. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Just an update on my Pioneer CLD-D704. I was watching The Alamo (roadshow version) a few weeks ago with a friend. We were amazed at the 480p upscaling that my Yamaha receiver provides. Naturally, the resolution isn't HD quality. But the colors and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound are still remarkably good.

    Then, a few days ago, I pressed the power button, and for the first time in almost 20 years I heard a horrible grinding sound. My heart sank, and I almost immediately turned off the power, Repeated attemps to power up were futile, and the LD tray wouldn't even open!

    Fortunately, with a bit of "Googling" I was able to find out what the problem was. Turns out that every once in a while, if the player isn't shut down fully before the power is cut off, there's a chance of a little plastic LD/CD tray selector switch becoming jammed against the laser sled. I removed the cover, and that's exactly what had happened.

    I contacted laserdisc repair guru Kurtis Bahr, who was extremely helpful and generous with advice on how to fix the problem. It turns out that this part is only necessary if you want to be able to open the CD tray. If the lever is removed, only the LD tray will function. So per his advice, I very carefully cut off the tip off the plastic lever with a surgical scalpel, and removed it from the unit.

    When I plugged it back in, and pushed the power button, no more grinding noise. The laser sled reset itself, and the LD tray opened when I pressed the ejct button. I put a disc in, and it played perfectly.

    Since my player hasn't been serviced since it was new (in 1995) I decided that someday soon, I will take it to Mr. Bahr for a refurbishing. Hopefully, it will provide me with another 19 years of service before it (or I) gets put out to pasture.

    I know it's an obsolete technology, but every once in a while I just have to get out one or two of my old "giant CD's" and give them a spin. You can't put a price on nostalgia. :)
     
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  16. ladyla

    ladyla New User

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    Laserdiscs need new home (72 total)
    Local pick up only, Southern California (Orange County)
    Best Offer

    Star Trek Original Series (1966-1969 plus the never-aired pilot, The Cage)
    All 79 Episodes - 41 laserdiscs total
    Star Trek -The Next Generation, 1994
    Final Episodes 177,178 (1 disc)

    Star Trek Movies
    The Undiscovered Country, 1991
    Generations, 1994
    First Contact, 1996

    X Files, 10 Episodes from Season 3 (1995-96)
    01, 02: The Blessing Way, Paper Clip
    09, 10: Nisei, 731
    04, 12: Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose, War of the Coprophages
    15, 16: Piper Maru, Aprocrypha
    23, 24: Wetwired, Talitha Cumi

    Fawlty Towers – British comedy, John Cleese
    All 12 episodes in boxed set

    Classic Movies

    Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, Humphrey Bogart, 2 discs)
    Scarface (Boris Karloff, George Raft, 1932, Encore Edition)
    Wings of Desire (1987, CinemaDisc Collection)
    The Dead (1987, John Huston)
    The Thing From Another World, Collector’s Edition (1951, Howard Hawks)
    The Day of the Triffids (1951)
    The Great Escape (1963, Steve McQueen, Criterion Collection)
    Henry V (1944, Laurence Olivier, Criterion Collection)
    Raging Bull (1980, Criterion Collection)
    Midnight Cowboy (1969, Criterion Collection)
     
  17. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    Reed, Kurtis is indeed the man. He's saved and rehabbed all my current players.
    The only ordeal is shipping the things -- I've got one box that came with a player I bought from Kurtis
    that I've sent back and forth to him 6 or 8 times with various players.
     
  18. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Fortunately, I have a good friend who lives fairly close to Kurtis. He's volunteered to hand carry my player(s) to him when the time comes. My friend will be coming to visit me in CT this August. And on his return trip, one of the players will go back with him. When the repairs are completed, I'll be scheduling a pleasure trip to D.C. with relatives, so I'll be able to do the pick up. No need to worry about mishandling by a delivery service. :)
     
  19. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    That's even a better way. I think I bought a 2 or 3 nice backups 7-8 years ago and every one that shipped was messed up and I
    had to get Kurtis to fix it -- two 704's and the Mitsubishi clone of the 704 which is my second favorite player next to the champagne
    colored CLD-99 I bought directly from Kurtis (basically an international multivoltage version of the Us Elite 99)
     
  20. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Arrived today on THX laserdisc.

    NOW SHOWING TONIGHT.

    Towering Inferno, The (1974) [1071-85]

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    Sure would like to own the UK quad poster.

    THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974) playing on Dolby CP500 Sony SDDS DFP-D3000, Lucasfilm Ltd THX Sound System and 49 JBL speakers Dolby Atmos 21.1 ready.

    Listening closely to this digitally remastered THX pressing for directional dialouge panning that has been slightly altered over the bluray release dtsHDMA 5.1 Dolby 4.0 (70mm six-track mag) and I think the region 2. (2.0 Dolby surround) some dialouge panning scenes have been mixed to centre.
    I have reduced the centre channel to get the half dialouge panning line chapter 9, 36m:31s "This can't be right"? "Its too hot" on (stage right).

    Problem with disc 1 side B chapter 16, 19m:07 "Its a ruptured gas line get back"! 19m:09s distortion crackle on stage left.

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