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All things Laserdisc


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#1 of 90 OFFLINE   Laserdisc Archive

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Posted January 26 2009 - 11:01 PM

Although I got into Laserdisc in the mid 80’s its only recently I have re-visited this type of media as perhaps I am tracing interests of years past. Must be an age thing?

I’ve started this thread so that we can banter and share general knowledge on all things Laserdisc which I’m sure will help us all, along with having a bit of fun also.

Here goes!

#2 of 90 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted January 27 2009 - 03:14 AM

You're initial post is rather too general to get a specific discussion going, but I'll bite by noting that many titles received the plush, deluxe treatment that seemed to fall away in the DVD era.

A case in point: Gunga Din. I recently showed the Gunga Din DVD in my film class. Of course, the DVD transfer is preferable to the analog laserdisc and has it's own element minute bonus featurette incorporating some of George Steven's color home movies shot on location. However, in pulling out the laserdisc as a backup in case the DVD had problems, I had forgotten that the laserdisc had given us all of George Stevens' home movie footage with narration by George Stevens' Jr. along with home movies of the special premiere at the Stevens' home for little George Jr. and his neighborhood friends. What a time capsule that was! In addition, the gatefold jacket had a lengthy essay on making the film by George Stevens himself. The DVD looked so perfunctory in comparison.

Of course, the DVD probably cost under $20 and the laserdisc was probably double that, so I'm not complaining. But I'm glad I hung onto my laserdiscs for the packaging and often deluxe full-sized booklets and the bonus extras which often never made it to DVD.

And as big and clunky as laserdiscs were, they still took up less space than the inefficient packaging of DVDs. I'll be ready to move my DVDs into slimline cases before too long.

#3 of 90 OFFLINE   Laserdisc Archive

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Posted January 27 2009 - 10:09 PM

Yes space is always a problem here as I also collect film with 16mm features taking up quite a bit of space. However, as collecting moving images seems to have been a part of my life for 35 years I have given over thinking about the storage problem now and just enjoy the movie.

Those Laser cases were great with some very nice artwork to be sure. One I always thought a bit of a let down was The Mask in 3D. Sorry to say I parted with that disc in the 90's when investing in a 35mm projector but I hope to find a disc of The Mask 3D again one day perhaps.

We tend to watch the Laserdiscs on our LCD screen although we did set the video projector up at Christmas for a show on the 6ft screen which was nice.

The extra bits in Lasers not available on DVD are of great interest and it would be nice to get a complete list what was available.

Happy viewing.

#4 of 90 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted January 28 2009 - 01:14 AM

I found an inexpensive copy of the Criterion laserdisc of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN because I wanted to get the superb Ron Haver commentary on it that's available nowhere else. The current Ultra-Resolution DVD of the movie is certainly cleaner and sharper than the laser, but I much prefer the commentary on the laser.

#5 of 90 OFFLINE   BroomoLDmadness

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Posted January 31 2009 - 12:28 AM

Hi Guys,

I have been into the AV pastime for approximately 11 years now and my first love is for the Laserdisc format. We have all heard of the cover art, but that's what really hooks you onto this much loved disc format.

For me personally!......it's everything to do with this format that gives me a buzz Posted Image Posted Image ..........Even today when I purchase a Laserdisc from various sources i.e. ebay, av forums and sellers in Japan and Canada Posted Image

What really gives me deep joy, is the fact that there are plenty of ''BRAND NEW SEALED AND UNOPENED'' LD'S still being sold from various trustworthy sellers, that have the same enthusiasm about LD's as I do, which is a great comfort.

When I receive my treasured LD purchases through the post service, ect, I get excited about opening them for the first time, the smell of freshness (unique to Laserdisc's,) I then place the sleeves into outer protective resealable / sleeves, of which I have plenty. Then I get rid of the Elephant Condom (inner sleeves) and replace them with the high grade anti static inner Vinyl ones after giving the disc's a quick wipe ''this being because the print from the standard inner sleeves tends to leave print on them'' so it's always best to check.

The other reason is to check and make sure the disc's have not cracked in transit (2 birds with one stone aproach.)

Then finally looking at each one before placing them on the shelving / Rack.

When I have had a busy day /night at work, I return home and see my collection when entering my flat and smile Posted Image ''from all of the hard work and patience involved in finally seeing all of them finally stacked from the many boxes that they lived in for years before.''

When firing up the Laserdisc player, and letting them warm up first before playing Posted Image Posted Image . taking the disc's from the sleeve and placing them in the disc tray, listening to the tray in action and then the spindle building up the speed........PRICELESS MOMENT'S GUYS!........Posted Image Posted Image

From the end of 2006 to early March 2008 I was i negotiations with a seller in the US who had a Pioneer Elite CLD-97 ''A truly Dream come true when I finally opened the box for the first time...Very Emotional purchase Posted Image Posted Image

Also the same time period a friend in the UK who reserved an HLD X9 for 8+ months, of which I finally travelled a round trip of approx 800 miles to collect with a close friend who was happy to navigate the route.

My Uppermost favoured LD players are the Japanese High end unit's, although I love the US ebony wooden side panels better.

The Japanese Muse LD players for me represent the pinnacle of Laserdisc hardware technology HLD X0 / HLD X9, also the lesser Japanese equivalent of the US CLD-99, the LD-S9 with the third generation comb filter.

Have had an HLD X0 reserved with a seller for three years now 2009 will be realised, being fully serviced by PIONEER Japan before shipment.

Just looking at the LD players when not in operation is a joy to behold........SUCH A GREAT COMFORT & contentment for those like myself that have really struggled over the years to get hold of these treasured items of Kit......Guys!... I know that this personal take on the AV LD may come accross as being over the top, but I have gone through hell in achieving my AV dream, of which I am running to the finishing line.

There is still a lot of endurrance to go before this will be realised, reason being that I have to work with a cabinet maker in designing my 2 AV equipment support stands.

Enjoy reading your messages

From a humble Guy but a fellow LD enthusiast.

Posted Image Posted Image

#6 of 90 OFFLINE   Dave Simkiss

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Posted February 03 2009 - 11:34 PM

Wow! Beautiful post man Posted Image
Makes me wanna watch my Criterion of Se7en with exclusive commentary while pawing through the beautiful booklet.

#7 of 90 OFFLINE   Laserdisc Archive

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Posted February 04 2009 - 01:52 AM

Another nice read that... Its funny but since I got back into Lasers a few of my friends are now looking for players... It could be making a come back!

The artwork is wey cool also and people like to look at these. Do have a dud disc so I am going to make a table out of the faulty one.. All that reflection.

#8 of 90 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted February 04 2009 - 04:17 AM

Personally I don't go looking for "new sealed" LDs, because it's easier to get a rotted or defective disc that way. Then again, with my emphasis on Japanese animation, I have a different experience than those who prefer, say, Hollywood movies.

A lot of my LD library doesn't have a DVD release, or at least not in the USA, & of those which do, the LD picture quality tends to be better. This comes from the DVDs either (a) having been made from composite masters, or (b) being massively over-compressed to fit too many episodes onto the disc — often both. Of course, that most of the content is Academy Ratio also doesn't hurt. For example, the Media Blasters DVD of Iczer-One is practically unwatchable, looking like a You-Tube video made from a worn VHS tape.
I don't put such heavy emphasis on the packaging or extras, for that reason, although some of them are excellent in this line, such as the box set of Record of Lodoss War, which includes a vinyl LP of the soundtrack which is a double-sided picture disc, as well as an artbook ; the labels on the box are even printed on glow-in-the-dark paper.

#9 of 90 OFFLINE   Laserdisc Archive

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Posted February 04 2009 - 10:04 PM

Working in media as I do, in a few years many will be having fun with DVD never mind the laserdisc rot. Some on my lasers I leave in a section of new ones as I will not be opening these. A little bit of history you know.

Happy days!

#10 of 90 OFFLINE   sestamuch

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Posted February 05 2009 - 07:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroomoLDmadness
Hi Guys,

I have been into the AV pastime for approximately 11 years now and my first love is for the Laserdisc format. We have all heard of the cover art, but that's what really hooks you onto this much loved disc format.

For me personally!......it's everything to do with this format that gives me a buzz Posted Image Posted Image ..........Even today when I purchase a Laserdisc from various sources i.e. ebay, av forums and sellers in Japan and Canada Posted Image

What really gives me deep joy, is the fact that there are plenty of ''BRAND NEW SEALED AND UNOPENED'' LD'S still being sold from various trustworthy sellers, that have the same enthusiasm about LD's as I do, which is a great comfort.

When I receive my treasured LD purchases through the post service, ect, I get excited about opening them for the first time, the smell of freshness (unique to Laserdisc's,) I then place the sleeves into outer protective resealable / sleeves, of which I have plenty. Then I get rid of the Elephant Condom (inner sleeves) and replace them with the high grade anti static inner Vinyl ones after giving the disc's a quick wipe ''this being because the print from the standard inner sleeves tends to leave print on them'' so it's always best to check.

The other reason is to check and make sure the disc's have not cracked in transit (2 birds with one stone aproach.)

Then finally looking at each one before placing them on the shelving / Rack.

When I have had a busy day /night at work, I return home and see my collection when entering my flat and smile Posted Image ''from all of the hard work and patience involved in finally seeing all of them finally stacked from the many boxes that they lived in for years before.''

When firing up the Laserdisc player, and letting them warm up first before playing Posted Image Posted Image . taking the disc's from the sleeve and placing them in the disc tray, listening to the tray in action and then the spindle building up the speed........PRICELESS MOMENT'S GUYS!........Posted Image Posted Image

From the end of 2006 to early March 2008 I was i negotiations with a seller in the US who had a Pioneer Elite CLD-97 ''A truly Dream come true when I finally opened the box for the first time...Very Emotional purchase Posted Image Posted Image

Also the same time period a friend in the UK who reserved an HLD X9 for 8+ months, of which I finally travelled a round trip of approx 800 miles to collect with a close friend who was happy to navigate the route.

My Uppermost favoured LD players are the Japanese High end unit's, although I love the US ebony wooden side panels better.

The Japanese Muse LD players for me represent the pinnacle of Laserdisc hardware technology HLD X0 / HLD X9, also the lesser Japanese equivalent of the US CLD-99, the LD-S9 with the third generation comb filter.

Have had an HLD X0 reserved with a seller for three years now 2009 will be realised, being fully serviced by PIONEER Japan before shipment.

Just looking at the LD players when not in operation is a joy to behold........SUCH A GREAT COMFORT & contentment for those like myself that have really struggled over the years to get hold of these treasured items of Kit......Guys!... I know that this personal take on the AV LD may come accross as being over the top, but I have gone through hell in achieving my AV dream, of which I am running to the finishing line.

There is still a lot of endurrance to go before this will be realised, reason being that I have to work with a cabinet maker in designing my 2 AV equipment support stands.

Enjoy reading your messages

From a humble Guy but a fellow LD enthusiast.

Posted Image Posted Image


Great read Mark Posted Image

#11 of 90 OFFLINE   Jeff Swindoll

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Posted February 06 2009 - 05:59 AM

I still have a bunch of LDs, but more and more of the rare titles I have are coming out on DVD (Goodbye Mr. Chips with O'Toole was one till recently). I still love my copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and have kept some of the discs just for the artwork. My LD player is in storage and I'm not sure if it still works Posted Image.

Just a curiousity: what was the first LD and what was the last LD?
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#12 of 90 OFFLINE   AL KUENSTER

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Posted February 06 2009 - 09:19 AM

I believe the last LD here in the States was Bringing Out The Dead with Nick Cage, the first I have no idea.
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#13 of 90 OFFLINE   SilverWook

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Posted February 06 2009 - 10:04 AM

The last LD ever made was actually a small run of Dragon's Lair discs for arcade game collectors. Only 400 were made in 2002.

Movie releases finally ended in Japan with the film Tokyo Raiders in 2001.


The very first LD was probably one of the DiscoVision test pressings of Airport or The Sting in the '70's.
MCA DiscoVision History

#14 of 90 OFFLINE   AL KUENSTER

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Posted February 06 2009 - 10:13 AM

Bill thanks for that info
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#15 of 90 OFFLINE   John Sparks

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Posted February 07 2009 - 07:26 AM

Well, I'll be selling my DVL-700 and about 500+ LDs soon, but they'll be pick up only. I'm going to update all the titles I have on Feb. 9th, so I can email them to whomever wants to buy them and the LD player.

As a side note, I like to tell this story about what happened at Ken Cranes in Westminister, CA in 1997. I had and an arm load of LDs and ran into a display that had 2 TVs side by side. One was playing the LD of "Mars Attacks" and the other the DVD. I remember turning to another patron and commenting, "DVD will never take off, it's just a couple clicks up in sharpness!!!"

Little did I know...
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#16 of 90 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted February 07 2009 - 08:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Sparks
As a side note, I like to tell this story about what happened at Ken Cranes in Westminister, CA in 1997. I had and an arm load of LDs and ran into a display that had 2 TVs side by side. One was playing the LD of "Mars Attacks" and the other the DVD. I remember turning to another patron and commenting, "DVD will never take off, it's just a couple clicks up in sharpness!!!"

Little did I know...

I never owned LD, but I knew -- even BEFORE the launch date in March 1997 -- that DVD was going to take off. In my view, it was basically going to do the exact same thing for movies that the CD did for music.

I used to go to a LD specialty store in March '97 called LASERLAND (now out of business) and they had begun to stock the new DVD product. Almost every LD purist looked down their nose at me, saying "DVD will never take off! (This) title is not on LD, and (that) title is never going to be on LD!!!!"

All I used to do is smile and sing - to the tune of Billy Joel's "Say Goodbye To Hollywood: "Say goodbye to laserdisc ..... say goodbye to taaaaape!" Posted Image

#17 of 90 OFFLINE   SilverWook

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Posted February 07 2009 - 09:45 AM

There were estimates that LD would co-exist for several years with DVD. That was before Image started to hasten the demise. Many announced titles being canceled because allegedly there were not enough pre-orders. At the same time, Dolby Digital tracks were being dropped entirely from new U.S. releases of recent films.

My own personal "it's a conspiracy!" moment came when a local Wherehouse store (now defunct) cleared out it's entire LD inventory. I was told by an employee it was because "DVD is coming". This was well over a year before DVD even hit the shelves! At least I got several pricey boxsets cheap.

You'll have to forgive some of us old LD folks for getting defensive when we first saw all those pan and scan only DVD's coming out. (And minimal to zero extras.) The last thing we wanted was VHS on a disc. And it was easy to think Joe Public was going to use the same tired argument we had been hearing against Laserdisc for years. "But it doesn't record!"

Of course, now some people are speculating that DVD's are purposely getting crappy to nudge everyone towards Blu_ray. Posted Image

#18 of 90 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted February 07 2009 - 06:56 PM

I wish there was a way to produce copies of laser discs directly into a computer so that there would be no further compression. I made DVD-R copies of many now-rare titles such as THE UNINVITED (1944), but had to use an outboard recorder which of course compromised the image quality even further than the laser format inherently does. If there could be some way of hooking an LD player directly into software and producing an uncompromised copy, I would probably start paying the big bucks on eBay for some of the rare stuff again, like Criterion's BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK and the first three James Bond films, and Universal's NAPOLEON, etc.

#19 of 90 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted February 08 2009 - 12:47 PM

Well, of course, you could use a good capture card & store the video in HuffYUV format, but the required disc space is enormous. There's a good reason for the use of lossy-compressed video file formats… & no lossy compression scheme can produce an "uncompromised" result. They can produce results visually indistinguishable from the original, but that's very difficult, especially in the presence of comb filtering & other temporal artefacts associated with interconversion between composite & component video.

I prefer to just watch my discs. Why should I want to dupe them to my computer?

#20 of 90 OFFLINE   Laserdisc Archive

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Posted February 10 2009 - 08:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
I wish there was a way to produce copies of laser discs directly into a computer so that there would be no further compression. I made DVD-R copies of many now-rare titles such as THE UNINVITED (1944), but had to use an outboard recorder which of course compromised the image quality even further than the laser format inherently does. If there could be some way of hooking an LD player directly into software and producing an uncompromised copy, I would probably start paying the big bucks on eBay for some of the rare stuff again, like Criterion's BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK and the first three James Bond films, and Universal's NAPOLEON, etc.


You could capture direct via the "S" cable, providing you have a good video edit system to do the job perhaps?





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