1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Laserdisc basics ... any pointers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RobertCharlotte, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I were looking for a good, basic laserdisc player today, what should I look for?
    Obviously, it would be used.
    I'm thinking in terms of something I could purchase and use to enjoy movies not yet available on DVD (e.g., the original Star Wars trilogy).
    Based on the little bit of research I've done so far, I've been able to figure out that I think I would want one that can read both sides of the disc, has s-video output, and maybe has digital audio output. (That last one I'm not sure of, because I also thought I'd read that LD uses analog audio, so it seems to me that digital audio output would be an unnecessary analog-to-digital conversion, but I would be happy to be educated on this point. [​IMG])
    (added something obvious)
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,769
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm going to move this to Audio/Video Sources, where it's more likely to attract attention from some of the resident LD experts.

    M.
     
  3. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Michael!
     
  4. Sean Dayton

    Sean Dayton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I dont know jack about LD players but I can save you a lesson I learned two days ago when I purchased a used LD player. Be prepared to spend another 100$ to what ever the market bears ? that week for a Dobly Digital demodulator or a preamp that will handle the Dobly decoding for a LD player and output it digitaly for a modern receiver.

    Sean
     
  5. Scott Andrews

    Scott Andrews Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Robert, Great question! You would want to find a Pioneer 704 Laser Disc Player. This player has many of the same features as the more pricey Elite series.

    Of course you can do the e-bay thing, but beware many d.o.a. players are being sold these days. I hope this helps.

    Scott
     
  6. greg_t

    greg_t Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,654
    Likes Received:
    0
    Robert,

    You want to get a Pioneer, like Scott said. The model really depends on what you're looking to spend. As quality goes up, so does price. You can get a good Elite 52 or 59 for $150 to $350 and will give you average picture quality. As Scott said, above average quality starts with the CLD 704. The CLD704 is a great player, and the CLD703 is the same except it cannot due Dolby Digital (AC-3). The Elite 79 is a fantastic player and has a gorgeous black finish to it. My first ld player was a Elite 52 which I got on ebay for $150. It works great and has a good picture. I recently bought a brand new Elite 79 off ebay for $600~ and it is far superior. If you only plan on buying a few discs, I would look for an Elite 59. If you plan on starting a LD collection, go for the higher end players.
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'll answer some of your concerns then make my recommendations.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    2
    Also, check the hardware archives here, there's a pretty good FAQ.
     
  9. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 1998
    Messages:
    3,740
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with pretty much everything said except for the digital output and both-side play being optional.
     
  11. David Norman

    David Norman Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    2,594
    Likes Received:
    218
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Even though the discs have digital and analog audio tracks, they can both be output through the analog outs by selecting the appropriate audio option on the player. The digital outs on the other hand will only play the digital tracks so if you wish to listen to the commentary tracks, you must use the analog outputs as well -- I tried to watch the 1987 Criterion Mag. Ambersons a few days ago through the dig out and couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting any sound until it dawned on me I had to switch to the analog input on the receiver.

    The digital outs are mandatory if you want to listen to DTS.

    An RF AC-3 output on the LD player as well as an AC-3 input on your receiver or a separate demodulator is necessary to listen to the Dolby Digital soundtracks.

    If I was getting a new player, I'd rank necessities:

    1) dual side play would be a necessity

    2) digital outs for DTS and possibly better audio quality than the analog outs.

    3) AC-3 out

    S-video out isn't a necessity unless you go with one of the truly elite players. Even if you are using an all S-video switching setup, there are some relatively cheap Composite to S-video converters.
     
  12. John Sully

    John Sully Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally, I would stay away from the inexpensive comb filters such as the $99 Tributaries C2S. They will provide a considerably worse picture than any comb filter found in a half decent laserdisc player.

    I have a Pioneer Elite CLD-59 and the S-video output is quite good (it has a 2-line digital comb filter built in). Also, I would recommned that the player you choose have both side play (many movies reside on two discs) and digital outputs. AC-3 is probably not a necessity, especially given the existence of DPL2.

    Be aware, that although the picture provided by LD is better than VHS it is considerably worse than the image provided by DVD. You may be disappointed.
     
  13. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. DennisRS

    DennisRS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd also like to upgrade my LD performance. I presently own a Pioneer CLD-2080 which doesn't have s-video or digital capability that I know of. There is a Pioneer CLD-M90 on e-bay that appears to be an upgrade but I'm not sure if this is a good unit can anyone help! Since I'm a newbie I apologize if posting to Robert's thread is considered rude.[​IMG]
     
  15. Rachael B

    Rachael B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,654
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Dennis the M90 is a player with a very clunky, slow 5 disc CD changer incoporated into it. It's almost as old as the 2080. I wouldn't call it an upgrade. Get a player from the class of '95. CLD's 504, 604, 59, 704, 79, or 99. That was a very good year! Best wishes from Laserland!
     
  16. DennisRS

    DennisRS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG] Thanks Rachael B I'll try to hunt down one of the units you specified. DennisRS
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  18. ColinM

    ColinM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am an LD newbie with an RCA LDR310(1992). Composite vid, analog audio only.

    My question is this - Are there any discs that are not compatible with this low-end type of player? For instance, CAV / CLV - will they both work? I've scanned the manual and it mentions nothing.

    Also, if I wanted a movie and all I could find was a dts version, would it play ok through the analog outs?

    Collecting these LD's will be fun, but I need to know if there are things I should avoid. I'll use this player for a year or so, then I'll be looking for a nice Pioneer. Then all constraints are off....

    Thanks in advance.

    - C
     
  19. Rob M.

    Rob M. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a laserdisc (and HTF) newbie too, so I also appreciate all the answers provided here. I recently purchased a Pioneer CLD-D504 (yep, just to watch the pure, unadulterated Star Wars Trilogy), and I'm very happy with it. You guys are right, it's not DVD as far as picture quality goes, but the picture on the Holy Trilogy jumps off my screen in a way that was impossible only a few weeks ago with my worn and faded VHS copies.

    I am using the S-video connector, to a standard 36 inch Trinitron, and from the answers above, it sounds like this is not the best bet. Would I get a better picture with the other connections?
     
  20. Rachael B

    Rachael B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,654
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Colin, the player will play any disc. Players that don't have digital outputs stille play digital (PCM), it's just you have to use the player's D/A converters and the signal comes out the L & R analog outputs. You can play DTS discs too, but you'll have to listen to the (non-DTS) analog soundtrack. You'll switch between digital and analog soundtracks with a button on the remote.
    All players, play CLV and CAV discs or sides. Many disc sets have the last side or some key side in CAV. e.g.- the first side with the train wreck of THE FUGITIVE is CAV. The other two sides are CLV. The last side of THE EXORCIST is CAV which is more common. See Linda Blair's head spin, spin, spin...!
    With CAV sides or sets you can actually see the frames of the film using the step button, frame by frame. That's the CAV advantage. The disadvantage is the sides are short, 20 to 30 minutes. All players can do CAV freezes. Players with digital field memory can freez frame CLV discs, but you're not seeing the actual frames, just a frozen spot. I doubt your player has DFM. BTW, your player is a Pioneer clone. I believe all RCA and Proscan players are. Best wishes rom Laserland!
    P.S.- read the forum's LD faq's if you have not already.
     

Share This Page