Are there any Laserdisc players with coaxial/optical outs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NathanP, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    Don't want to get a demodulator...
    Want a LD player to play favorites like Star Wars in DD 5.1..
    So my question is:
    Are there any Laserdisc players with coaxial/optical outs that I can plug into my coaxial/optical in to get DD 5.1?
    Thanks guys!
    Nathan
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  2. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  3. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I'm sorry I am not knowledgable about Laserdisc players.
    I thought some Laserdisc's were in 5.1. If there's no digital output how does one acquire discreet 5.1?
    Or are all surround Laserdisc's Pro-Logic?(2 channel)
    Or do you need a processor to acquire "matrixed" 5.1?
    I know all the LD players I have seen simply have 2 left and right RCA output's.
    Can someone tell us HOW to get 5.1 from LD? OR is there no such thing?
    Nathan: Now this would be a good rack filling goody, especially if it needs a processor or 2!!
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  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Sean,
    The DD 5.1 datastream is encoded differently on LDs than it is on DVDs. A separate device, called an RF demodulator, is required to convert the data to something your digital input will recognize.
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  5. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Oh, OK thanks Brian, I know about needing a RF demodulator(I thought it was for the Video though), but will this enable discreet 5.1? I mean will a DD receiver accept this signal as 5.1 , just like DVD, can you use 6 CH. input?
    So an RF Demod will change the encoded "audio" data and convert it to optical or coax out?
    Is there such a thing as an RF Demod with 6 discreet CH. output?
    And i am familiar with an RF MODULATOR just not with the RF DEMODULATOR.
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    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
    [Edited last by Sean Conklin on October 22, 2001 at 09:04 PM]
     
  6. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Sean,
    Yes, the DD signal will end up being a discrete 5.1 signal (assuming it is encoded 5.1, of course). The only difference I am aware of is that the maximum bitrate for DD via LD is 384, whereas DVD can be higher, such as 448. Whether that makes an audible difference is debatable -- many people claim their LD's DD track sounds better than the DVD counterpart, but that could be due to different mixes being used. (Or since DVDs don't have a separate Pro Logic track like LDs have, the bass quality may be affected due to the mixdown requirements.)
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    [Edited last by Brian Perry on October 22, 2001 at 09:36 PM]
     
  7. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Brian has been correct thus far but I wanted to add to this...
     
  8. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Thank you Brian.
    Thank you too Shane.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
    [Edited last by Sean Conklin on October 22, 2001 at 09:37 PM]
     
  9. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    There are players with Optical/coax out for sure, just not sure if they can pass a DD bitstream by themselves...
    Im not 100% sure, but dont the newest LD players from Pioneer have DD output for LD?
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  10. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Nick, I also thought I had read/heard there were newer LD players with "Digital out" but maybe you need the RF Demodulator with these too.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Well i know for sure LD players have Optical/Coaxial out, as my 11+ year old Pioneer Elite LD Player has an Optical PCM output, and its that old!
    I remember seeing a newer Pioneer Elite that also had DVD, it had lotsa outputs, even a Dolby Digital one, thyough i dunno if thts for LD as well...
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  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The only LD player that ever had had on-board RF demodulation was, the MSB Silver with the $600 optional demodulator. There aren't too many of them around. MSB modd'ed a Panasonic LX900 to make "their" player. Evolution A/V in Kalafornie was selling MSB players last year. I don't know if they have any left. It's your best quess if any of their in-stock players have/had the on-board demod.
    E A/V used to sell the MSB player for about a grand. If they have any left, who knows now... I doubt MSB stille adds the demod to the player anymore, but you can check here: www.msbtech.com
     
  13. Jerry T

    Jerry T Agent

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    Hi all,
    It's funny that the Laserdisc player's digital outputs sends the DTS signal and not the DD 5.1 signal. Like someone said above, 5.1 is diff. on LDs.
    Agreed that most if not all LD players dont sent the DD 5.1 signal but I thought some receivers have built-in RF Demodulators.
    I'm still trying to figure out if my Denon 3300 has the built-in RF Demod.
    I cant test this out 'cuz I dont have any LDs in 5.1, just DTS. Guess I'll have to stick to the DTS LDs for now.
    Jerry
     
  14. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Some receivers do have an AC-3RF input, but it seems to be a feature that's getting very rare.
     
  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    It seems that only the high end recievers have this option anymore [​IMG]
    I got lucky and bought an external one. They are rare but not rare enough to not find one.
     
  16. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I bought an outboard demodulator (Kenwood DEM-9991D) for my Yamaha LD player (CDV-W901) a couple years ago. At the time, it ran for about $89 but I don't know what they sell for now.
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  17. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I just went to a distant relative's house today, and guess what i see...
    Pioneer Elite LD Player with AC-3 RF output... I dunno if its exactly what you're looking for... It was coupled with a reciever that did AC-3 Decoding...
    It was the Pioneer CLD-79...
    http://www.audiorevolution.com/equip/cld79/
     
  18. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    The coax (and the occasional optical) output are for any digital encoding except AC-3 (DD). That one has to go through the demodulator, whether in the receiver or a separate box (or, in case of the MSB Silver, internals to the LD).
    So, unless your receiver is capable of translating the RF signal into AC-3, or you have one of the rare Silvers, you're stuck with the demodulator.
    Mike
     
  19. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    Laserdisc had four sound channels -- two PCM digital, two analog. When they started putting Dolby Digital on LD, they had to make a decision. They could put the AC3 soundtrack on the PCM channels, and then people without a Dolby Digital decoder would be limited to the analog channels. The alternative was to put the AC3 Dolby Digital track on the analog channels, so then people without an AC3 decoder could still enjoy the PCM digital channels. That is what they did. Actually, they put the entire bitstream on the right analog channel. They then added a special output on the LD player that is labeled AC3 RF Output, or something along those lines. I think on the backs of LD players and decoders the AC3 RF inputs and outputs are colored black (whereas coax digital in and outs are colored orange, video is colored yellow, analog audio is red and white.) The AC3 bitstream is, as I understand it, output in a carrier frequency. The demodulator strips the DD bitstream from the carrier, and allows it to be fed to a processor through the regular coax or optical digital input. The alternative is if your processor has an input labeled AC3 RF Input, which means that the processor has a built in demodulator. These are found on some of the flagship receivers like the Denon 5800 and the Yamaha DSP-A1 (but not the 3300, 4800, and also not on the B&K 307), but is a rarity on pre/pros because many of the pre/pro makers felt that you got better sound with less chance of interference if you used an outboard demodulator. Dolby Digital on laserdisc therefore required a new player with the required AC3 RF output (or a modification to an older player), and in addition to a decoder you had to have either a demodulator or a processor with one built in.
    DTS took the opposite approach. The DTS bitstream was placed right where the PCM digital channels had been, which meant that the signal could be passed by the regular coax (orange)or optical digital outputs. The downside was that people without a DTS decoder could only listen to the analog soundtrack, and if they weren't careful about switching to that track before they started the movie, they ran the risk of getting a loud burst of noise through their speakers.
    Pioneer also has some LD/DVD combi players, and they have all of the different digital outs. The coax (orange) and optical digital outs can pass DTS from both LD and DVD, or DD from a DVD. To get DD from an LD, you still have to use the dedicated AC3 RF output, and you still need either a demoudulator or a processor with one built in. The other thing is that demodulators are now very hard to come by, and I don't think any manufacturer is still making one. Scan the classifieds on the forums and check ebay if you want one.
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    quote: I know about needing a RF demodulator(I thought it was for the Video though), but will this enable discreet 5.1? I mean will a DD receiver accept this signal as 5.1 , just like DVD, can you use 6 CH. input?[/quote] I'm not sure this question ever got a clear answer. The answer is no.
    A demodulator has just one function: to convert the RF-encoded DD signal on a laserdisc to something that a Dolby Digital decoder can read. The signal that leaves a demodulator is in the same form as a signal from a digital output of a DVD player. It then needs to be decoded and converted into six analog channels.
    This roundabout approach on LD resulted from a joint decision by Pioneer and Dolby to "hide" the DD signal in a little-used area of the disc in order to preserve the PCM digital tracks that most LD owners were still listening to in 1995 when DD LDs first appeared. At the time, there was very little DD hardware, so using the digital tracks for DD would have deprived most of the user base of any form of digital sound.
    My understanding is that DTS had no choice but to use the digital tracks, because the high bitrate they used on LD couldn't fit anywhere else.
    M.
    [Edited last by Michael Reuben on October 27, 2001 at 09:11 AM]
     

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