Pioneer D703 poor picture, any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by dealy, May 11, 2003.

  1. dealy

    dealy Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I recently inherited a Pioneer D703 LD player. I've got it integrated into my HT system now but am pretty dissatisfied with the picture quality. While I wasn't expecting it to perform as well as my progressive dvd player, I was expecting it to be better than my SVHS player. I definitely have some regular VHS tapes (not even SVHS) that play better on my TV (Toshiba tw56x81) than the 3 LDs I've seen (the 3 star wars movies).

    The LD's s-video out is noticably better than composite on my system. I've even used the same s-video cable that was plugged into the vcr to make things as apples to apples as possible. The skin tones often look greenish, the picture is generally muddy and of low contrast, and there are very faint horizontal distortions in the picture.

    Any ideas what may be wrong? Should I expect this player to give a better picture than my VCR? Is it worth getting this thing fixed if that is an option here?

    I am considering this because the player came with about 20 movies that I don't already have on DVD.

    Thanks, Derek
     
  2. David Norman

    David Norman Cinematographer
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    The horizontal distortions are a bit worrisome that you have some sort of laser alignment problem.

    Which SW discs are you watching? All the P/S discs are pretty much awful, the early WS discs from '89-92 that are labelled "Special Widescreen Editions" aren't very good, the THX discs should all be significantly better than normal VHS tapes.

    Do you have any more recent discs (pressed after 1995) or those that are THX certified. These should be pretty clean transfers. LD has trouble with red/orange and some video noise, but usually should give you a pretty normal color balance if the player is working properly.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Derek, a 703 with better LD's should outperform S-VHS tapes off your deck. S-VHS may have nearly as many lines of resolution as LD but LD has way better colour, or should. There are 80's LD's that are subpar, which is basically an extension of what David is saying. The 703 is an above average player, I wonder if it's functioning very well? Any kind of horizontal distortion is a sure sign of a dirty or misaligned laser lens. Good luck with it![​IMG]
     
  4. dealy

    dealy Auditioning

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    Well I doubt that these discs were made in the 80's since this was my stepfather's first LD player. I know that at Return of the Jedi had the THX symbol on it. I think that it was just slightly better than the rest, still bloody awful though.

    I live in the greater Los Angeles area, Redondo Beach in particular. Are there any places which still repair these old beasties?

    Derek
     
  5. David Norman

    David Norman Cinematographer
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    If the ROTJ is the THX disc and it looks that bad, I'd say there's something wrong with the player. I'm 99% sure there are folks in the LA area that repair the machines.

    If there's anyone still at the old Dave's Video (I think they have closed or maybe changed names) or the Laser Blazer store/laserblazer.com can get you the address and phone, I'm sure they can direct you to a local tech. Laserblazer still sells quite a few new and used discs and even some players. If not, surely the Pioneer Service center 1-800 number should be able to get you a name.
     

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