Afordable AC-3 RF Demodulator?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Stephen Hopkins, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

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    Are there any affordable AC-3 RF Demodulators out there? Something in the $50 price range? I've set that as my cap because I don't want to pay more for a demodulator than I did for my CLD-D406 LD player ($50 ebay) or the Star Wars SE LDs that it was purchased to watch ($50 on ebay also). I've been watching ebay w/ no luck (almost got a yamaha AC-3 decoder w/ build in demodulator, but someone sniped it). I'm hoping to pick up a 47TX or 49TX once the new flagship comes out and prices work their way down some more, and they have built in demodulators... but I'd like DD on the Star Wars SE LDs in the mean time.

    Any chance there are plans/schematics for a DIY AC-3 RF Demod?

    Thanks
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Stephen, I doubt you'll get an outboard unit at your cap price. Back in '95 & '96 the outboard demodulators were pretty much all $250 and up. Some of the hi-end brands floated 'em out for perverse prices above $500! It's realistic to find one for, say, 120-$200, IMO.

    To be honest with you, you don't need the outboard demod unless you want it for more distant future use. Just watch the thang in PCM a few times and when you get the head unit with the demod, decide if the AC-3 track is worth listening to. IMO, these films sound better in PCM via the digital output. Sure, they put in a cute echo in STAR WARS when Luke is down in the canyon, where he got clubed by totally ugly aliens and saved by Obi Wan, that's about the highlight of the AC-3 track IMO.

    Remember, the PCM is uncompressed, CD-quality sound. LD's are big CD's that do more, like, basically. Back to STIR WARZ, I'd say that the last one has the best AC-3 track. I really prefer PCM on the first two myself. If you wanna get an LD that really blows it out in AC-3 get, say, STAR WARZ PHANTOM DENTIST, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, or WHITE SQUALL, IMO. Best wishes from Laserland![​IMG]
     
  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I think you'll be hard pressed to find one for $50. The problem is that they aren't manufactured anymore and demand for them is still pretty good. You might be able to find a Yamaha APD-1 for $100 or so if you watch ebay. For what it's worth, I have an Elite 49TXi with the built in demod, and it is fantastic. If you are really going to go for a 47TX or 49TX, I would think hard about spending more on an external demodulator. If the Star Wars SE AC3 is your main factor, I personally feel the AC3 isn't really any better than the standard PCM tracks expect for more bass.
     
  4. Devin U

    Devin U Second Unit

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    I think your best bet is getting like that Yamaha DDP-1 dolby digital decoder or one of the similar sony models off ebay or maybe here. Also, I think Gregg Loewen has one or two for sale in the hardware forum somewhere.

    edit- here's the link:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=159293
     

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