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LaserDisc Anyone??? (Need Help, Please Read)


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 Shane Harg

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Posted March 05 2006 - 08:59 PM

I moved (back) to Japan last June and I am building a home theater from scratch. I am up on all the latest technologies, and I am implementing them, so don't get me wrong, but I am a sucker for some of those great retro-technologies (i.e. vinyl records), especially when they (the media) come cheap. So, I am thinking of implementing LD into my home theater, as well.

Now granted, LD is pretty well dead, both here and over in America, but there was a time when LaserDisc was huge here - bigger than it ever was in America. You can therefore get some great older movie titles ('80s & '90s) for dirt cheap at 2nd hand stores! We're talking like 500 yen (less than $4.50) a disc and most of them are unopened and unplayed.

The thing is, I'd ideally like to rid my collection of all VHS tapes eventually (although I realize that'll be impossible with some titles), but with most of these older titles I'd like to own, the price of the DVD, especially over here (never seen any title on DVD for less than $10), is just not enticing enough to replace the VHS or even own it in the first place.

Enough of the why. My questions have to do with the player and the technology. The only thing I really know for sure is that LD resolution is better than VHS, but not as good as DVD, however...
-If I were to buy a used DVD/LD combo player (like the Pioneer DVL919), which has component out, would the signal be ouput through this connection when playing an LD and would it look any better than if it were output through S-video?

-Would I be better off buying a machine, which just plays LDs (the cheaper more practical route since I have a dedicated DVD player) and using the S-video connection?

-Or, would I just be better off putting this crazy idea out of my head.

Any other thoughts on LaserDiscs - viewing the whole idea from my standpoint - would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Shane Harger
Yamanashi prefecture, Japan
"BE the miracle!"

#2 of 11 greg_t

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Posted March 06 2006 - 12:55 AM

No laserdisc player works with component outputs. This includes all of the combo DVD/LD units including the 919 you reference. The component outputs only work for DVD. With the LD side, you'll have composite and S-video.

My advice would be to skip the combo units and go for a dedicated LD player. The combo units have good LD and DVD playback, but you can get much better from dedicated machines. Depending on what type of display device you have and which ld player you have, you may well be better off using a players composite output. It depends on which device has the better comb filter, the LD player or the display. Only the very high end LD players like the HLD-X9, LD-S9, etc, have a good S-video output.

LD video is in the analog composite format, which means that the luminance and chroma signals are combined into one. To be displayed, those two signals must be seperated. This is done by a comb filter. All LD players that have an S-Video output have an internal comb filter. All TV's also have a comb filter. Determining which has the better comb filter, the LD player or the TV, determines which output to use from the LD player. If the TV has the better filter, it is better to use the LD's composite ouput, this way, the TV is using it's filter to sepereate the luminance and chroma signals. If the LD player has the better one, use it's S-video output so it uses it's own internal comb filter. Again, Only the higher end players such as the CLD99, HLD-X9, and LD-S9 have high quality comb filters, so in most cases you are better off using the LD players composite output.

If you are in Japan I would look around and see if you can pick up a used LD-S9 somewhere. Over here they are hard to come by and expensive but over there you might get a break as the S9, X9, and X0 were only sold in Japan, so perhaps they are easier to find. Other very notable US players are the Pioneer CLD704, CLD79, CLD99, CLD97. The high end players most sought after are the LD-S9, HLD-X9, and HLD-X0. Hope this helps you some.

#3 of 11 Philip Hamm

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Posted March 06 2006 - 12:56 AM

You would be much better off buying a LD only machine. LaserDisc is a native composite video format so you don't want to use S-Video at all.
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#4 of 11 Shane Harg

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Posted March 06 2006 - 02:21 AM

Thanks Greg & Phillip for the replies, so far.

I did a bit of research on the Internet and read about much of what you told me, Greg, including how the players you mention are most sought after and how, on most player that it is better to use composite rather than S-video. Unfortunately, those high-end players you mention are expensive here, as well, and I'm not looking to spend a lot to get into this format. I just want to get a fairly good player that will play both sides of the LD without my having to flip it. Most of the later players do this, right?

What about the external RF demodulator? Will I still need this before connecting to my amp? One dedicated LD player I was looking at (can't remember the model, but I know it was a Pioneer) actually had optical outs, if I wasn't mistaken. I know the 919 did, so I may have it mixed up with that.

I was actually going to go via composite (RCA) or S-video into my Yamaha 2600 and see how it processes the signal to HDMI. I probably won't upconvert it all the way to 720p or 1080i (though I will give that a try), but I thought that perhaps boosting the resolution to 480p may look nice. My display will be a Panasonic AE900 projector and that will be connected to my reciever via HDMI, only.

Interestly, I noted in my research that the pilot episode Twin Peaks may never come available on DVD in the U.S., as I saw a sealed boxed set on LD, in a store tonight. Unfortunately, I didn't note the price or which season.
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#5 of 11 Tim Hoover

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Posted March 06 2006 - 03:14 AM

Quote:
What about the external RF demodulator? Will I still need this before connecting to my amp?
This will only be necessary for decoding the AC-3 Dolby Digital track off of LDs with that soundtrack option. Optical outputs on a LD will pass the digital PCM track or DTS track on DTS laserdiscs.
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#6 of 11 ChristopherDAC

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Posted March 06 2006 - 01:06 PM

You could look for something like a CLD-R7G, or the DVL-H9 combo player which is supposed to be much better than any of the foreign-market combo players, or a CLD-HF9G; truthfully most of the Japanese players with AC-3 output will be good quality, and as always higher numbers are better [I think there may be a CLD-R9, and some of the later karaoke conbo players, DVK series, are supposed to be more than decent].

#7 of 11 Kenneth Harden

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Posted March 12 2006 - 11:00 AM

Wow, LD is composite native. I did not know that, I thought the quality was supposed to be really good (I have never seen a LD or LD player, let alone a LD movie).

#8 of 11 David Norman

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Posted March 12 2006 - 12:06 PM

It was very good back when the only real competition was VHS though early LD's weren't a "lot" better than a good VHS.

In the early 1990's the quality of an LD was significantly better than normal VHS. SVHS would have been comparable though it was a very rare animal to find a pre-recorded SVHS.

Compared to DVD's however, it was a hard for LD to be as good much less better. Through an X9 and with one of the better LD transfers it could come close depending on what you wer more sensitive to (chroma noise/a little less resolution vs digital artifacts). With a good anamorphically enhanced DVD it became difficult to be comparable even under optimal situations from a video standpoint. Audio was another story and many folks still will swear that a noncompressed PCM track would kill any DVD. LD DTS could easily hold it's own in most cases though your choices were a bit limited on the LD side.
 

 


#9 of 11 Barton Lynch

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Posted March 16 2006 - 11:49 AM

Jesus, it's been years since my last post! I used to be a constant "poster" around the turn of the century on this forum. Still a regular reader though. But when it comes to my beloved LD, I couldn't resist to begin posting once more.

LD is a wonderful medium, as far as it lasted, I feel pretty lucky to have enjoyed it since the days of the first Pioneer deck, the LD-1000. That was when I was 8. And I kept a strong supporter to the format for two decades even as an early adopter of the DVD. I still keep it for archival purposes only as I own a quite respectable collection. I even hold a Sears 1981 catalog on LD! it's got rotted spots to the unplayability but it's a rare collectible nonetheless. Thankfully all of my movies and concerts (mainly all 1990's remastered titles) are in mint condition, jackets and all. And my CLD-606D has been a strong performer.

Greg and Phill are right on the money. An LD only machine within the recommended models is the way to go, and according to your projector, a composite connection is recommended (use a 75 Ohm RCA cable, for less than 30$ you can get a very good one).

Good luck on your quest and enjoy it.
Barton Lynch
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#10 of 11 Barton Lynch

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Posted March 16 2006 - 12:05 PM

Quote:
Audio was another story and many folks still will swear that a noncompressed PCM track would kill any DVD.
I am one of them. And I've proven it to my skeptical friends with serious unbiased tests with identical titles. Believe me when I say that they where blown away by the difference. Although you got a point nailing the fact that a DTS title on DVD with help rebuilt the lost dynamic range found only on uncompressed digital audio tracks of LDs.
Barton Lynch
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#11 of 11 David Norman

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Posted March 16 2006 - 02:06 PM

There is a reason other than Monk like OCS that I kept all my players and a ton of discs (that can be taken literally) -- almost 45 linear feet of storage space. There are definately major advantages to DVD.
 

 






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