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Laserdisc Player


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 James_T

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Posted October 19 2001 - 09:01 AM

I decided to perform a test today... for the first time I pulled out my laserdisc player from a box in my basement, and connected it to my NEC LT150 projector. It is a Pioneer CLD-S104, a cheap model with only analog and composite outputs for audio and video. I ran it through a DVDO IScan Pro to the projector, and was amazed that the picture was so good (watching the original Return of the Jedi, the only LD I ever bought).

I would compare the picture to the quality of the DVD Predator, though it still wasn't quite as good as this and I want to make it clear that while the picture is very good, it doesn't come close to DVD quality.

So now I'm wondering how much I would benefit from purchasing a new LD player with an S-Video output. I don't need it to have DTS or DD output, as I am more than happy with the sound I get using DPL2. But I do want it to automatically be able to switch sides on a LD, as I hate having to get up to do that. I'd like to keep this cheap as well ($200 or less if possible), as I am essentially purchasing this thing to enjoy the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies until the DVDs come out. Anything out there for me? Thanks.
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#2 of 14 Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 19 2001 - 09:49 AM

LD is a composite source, unless you buy a high end player with a good comb filter, S-Video won't make much difference, so don't make a purchase on a new player based on that. If you are interested, its very easy (provided you can do a little soldering) to add AC-3RF to this player. I've got an S104 also, and have been pretty happy with it on my 50" mits, but then again I've never compared to a higher end player so I don't know what I'm missing.

#3 of 14 Selden Ball

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Posted October 19 2001 - 09:53 AM

James,

Remember that laser discs actually have composite video recorded on them. For s-video to look better, the player would have to use a better color separation circuit for its s-video output than is used by your display device for its composite input.

It is certainly true that higher quality players have higher quality video circuitry. Unfortunately, the really good players (e.g. LD-S9) made in Japan were never officially imported into the U.S. They are available but cost closer to $2,000 than $200. sigh. (I make do with a DVL-919)

I fear that the quality of a used player in your price range will be unpredictable. Buying one over the 'net will be a crap shoot. I'd suggest trying to find one locally so you can easily return it if it isn't as good as you want.

Good luck!
Selden

#4 of 14 James_T

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Posted October 19 2001 - 10:09 AM

Based on your responses, I think I'll make due with the S104 I already have. And as far as the audio goes, DPL2 provides everything I need (though I do know how to solder, so this remains an option I may look into in the future). Out of curiousity though, what exactly would I have to do to make it AC-3 compatible? And how would that hook up to my receiver?

Thanks for your help, guys.
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#5 of 14 Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 19 2001 - 10:37 AM

Go to http://rrr.2y.net/diy/index.html to see how mine was done. It costs only a few bucks to do, and if you play with electronics a lot anyways, you may have many of the components. I also have some pics here: http://klm.2y.net:80....m=Home Theater but they don't show much.

In order to connect to your receiver, you'll need a receiver with an AC-3RF input, or an RF demodulator. A few people still make demodulators I think, but they're becoming scarce. Yamaha had a good one for around $100, you may be able to pick one up on ebay. You'll connect the player to the demodulator with any 75ohm RCA cable, then the demodulator turns it into a standard digital signal.

I've got the Star Wars SE's on LD, which have AC-3, and its wonderful. Sure the flipping is a bit annoying, but its well worth it until the DVDs are released.

#6 of 14 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted October 19 2001 - 11:47 AM

In your case, not even the comb filter in your TV would matter, as the iScan is doing all the work. I REALLY doubt that any LD player's built in comb filter would out do what your iScan can do for you. The only thing I'd want in an LD player then, is pcm/digital output, AC-3RF out, and double-side play. If your S104 doesn't do double side play, then you're kinda stuck there, but as was said earlier, AC-3 is easy to add, and so is PCM (for dts) output. AC-3 requires an rf demodulator, pcm/dts does not.

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#7 of 14 Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 19 2001 - 02:24 PM

Whoa Kieran, are you saying I could add PCM to this thing? Please oh please oh please tell me how.

#8 of 14 Rob W

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Posted October 19 2001 - 06:12 PM

Actually, to me the real question is - Where would you buy a laserdisc player ? From what I can see,even Pioneer doesn't have one in their current lineup (at least not on the website ) which makes me nervous in the event my Elite ever dies.

#9 of 14 Rachael B

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Posted October 20 2001 - 04:07 AM

I wouldn't bother modding a CLD-S104. I used to own one. It's the best budjet player Pioneer ever made IMO. But, before I'd modify it, I'd buy a used CLD-59 that comes with all the outputs. It's an Elite model from the class of '95. A 59 could be obtained for $300 or less.

Pioneer stille has 3 LD players for sale in Japan. They work just fine here if you power them with a step-down transformer 120v > 100v.

The LD-S9 and HLD-X9 perform at near DVD quality with the better lookng LDs. Their S-Video output is outstanding. They are available from the Chinese Club in Hong Kong from Daniel Law. His e-mail is:

daniel@mainkey.com

I own or have owned beaucoups of different Pioneer models. Nothing they ever exported to us can touch the LD-S9 or HLD-X9. But, the shipped price of the S9 will be about $1600 and $2600 for the HLD-X9. They both look 1st class played into an iscan!

SWPM import LD's colour looks as good as the colour on the DVD played on a X9 or S9. The LD has a few more lines drifting, of course, but you'd be suprised how close it is to the DVD.

If you demand X-cellent LD playback, these are the only players to get! Their secret is that they employ a kick-ass 3-D comb filter that was actually developed by Mitsu. It' the same one that is used in Elite RP TV's and in the top Mitsu RP's too. It's a cut above the 3-D filter in the CLD-99. The 99's colour is lacking, atleast when compared to the Japanese duo. Best wishes from Laserland!

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Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#10 of 14 Philip Hamm

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Posted October 22 2001 - 12:43 AM

If you're looking at the original non-THX "widescreen" Return of the Jedi then you will get a significant improvement by going to the newer THX masters. The original widescreen release was not a very good transfer. The CLD-S104 is a fine player for the few movies you're using it for. Stick with it.

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#11 of 14 James_T

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Posted October 22 2001 - 04:25 AM

Philip:

Yeah, I've dedided to stick with the S104. As for the movie, I don't have the original transfer, but rather the THX transfer (the one with a large pic of Yoda on the cover). I'm pretty happy with the video quality.


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#12 of 14 Bill Slack

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Posted October 22 2001 - 04:57 AM

The comb filter in the Iscan is alright... but not great. I found a Crystal Vision VPS-1, which is fantastic comb filter for $100 ($549 new) on eBay. There was one for $200 on audigon too.

I have it hooked up to a CLD-704.

I have not run it through my Iscan yet, just into my TW40X81 directly, and it looks excellent (much better than even the excellent comb filter in the TV)... I should have my new Iscan today, which is where I will determine my final judgement (the TV's line doubler is awful, and S-Video the input is not calibrated...)

The performance of the VPS-1 is really everything I could have hoped for, so far... It makes LDs look as good as DVDs taken from LD masters...

#13 of 14 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted October 22 2001 - 07:27 AM

Yes, I'm almost certain you can add a PCM mod to the s104, it's a very similar process to adding an AC-3 mod. I know it's a possible mod on MANY Pioneer LD players, just not totally certain that it's possible on the 104. I seem to have lost the links I had to two companies that make mod kits for both AC-3 and PCM. Do a search here, or even on Yahoo or somewhere for +LD +PCM +AC-3 and I'm sure something will come up. Good luck.

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#14 of 14 Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 22 2001 - 07:33 AM

I did a search and found Precision Laserdisc's web site. I'm not certain, but it seemed a bit dated, I wonder if they're still in business. They sell a kit, but if its similar to the AC-3 mod then its easy enough to do yourself, I'd hate to shell out a bunch of money if I don't need to. Unfortunately I couldn't find any instructions on DIY kits.