Buying my first Laserdisc player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jeff Swearingen, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

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    Yes, I am looking to get a laserdisc player. There are some titles that I either just can't wait for DVD on or I doubt will EVER make it to DVD (specifically Song of the South) so I want to snag a LD player while I can.

    What should I look for and what type of price range is reasonable? Are there any websites that can point me in the right direction? Can you get LD players new anywhere still or am I going to be limited to what I find on Ebay?
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I was able to pick up a Pioneer CLD-406 for $50 shipped on ebay. No s-video output but does have AC3-RF and Digital Optical output. If your TV has a good comb filter this player may be the way to go. If not, look for a 505/506, 605/606, or 705/706. They were some of the last generation of players and have good signal/noise ratios, decent comb filters (s-video), and aren't THAT old (circa 1995/1996). If you want the best players out there look at the Elite CLD-97 and 99. These will run you nearly $1k though and are very sought-after.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Try my LD primer in the Hardware Archives.

    It's in Vince's HT Primer for Newcomers. I tried to post a link but I obviously know alot more about LD players than computing!

    It's post 60 of 89, bottom of page 2. I'll check back later. Best wishes!
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Here is the link you should read.
     
  5. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I know that Onecall.com still has a pioneer combo player, meaning it does both dvd and laserdisc in one machine, and I believe it's around $899. That's about all the new ones I know of. Check on ebay for a Pioneer CLD 703 or 704. These were pioneers best non-elite players and are about the best bang for the buck. The video quality is the same on both players, but the 704 has an RF output for Dolby digital sound and the 703 does not.
     
  6. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    There are currently some Pioneer LD players ( the only manufacturer to even consider, IMHO ) available on audiogon

    ( Search for Pioneer from the main page. )

    - Walter.
     
  7. Devin U

    Devin U Second Unit

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    check the hardware for sale forum here as well. I do second audiogon. got my last one there brand new. Personaly, Id stay away from fleabay. It seems like people there dont know how to properly pack electronics. I bought three off there and all of them arived broken. If you live in a big metro area, check online classifieds. It seems like I always see one or two there in my area.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Since you don't need an AC-3 output and only are after very limited movie capability, I'd suggest a simpler single sided player like a Pioneer CLD-S104 or CLS-S304 or even an older CLD-S201. You should be able to find something like this for well under $100. The simpler mechanics of a single side player are nice to have and it will take less space in your rack.

    Avoid Sony players, they are very problematic.

    Look for Pioneer, Panasonic, or Denon (OEMed by either Panasonic or Pioneer depending on the model).
     
  9. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    .
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    I will make one suggestion, if you are going to buy media, which is dirt cheap on some of the internet sites. Get a second player for backup. I have two. I have a Denon and a Mitsubishi, both excellent players. (sigh but niether of them have AC3, thankgoodness for Dolby PLII, DTS NEO:6, and Dennon Widescreen DSP modes.. lol Those modes seem most excellent through the Optical connection. Make sure if you buy used it has svideo if you have or plan on having HDTV in the future. Of course I think some even had component out, but I may be wrong about that.
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    John, S-video output from LD players is generally only useful if you have one of the great players that have a 2-D or 3-D comb filter onboard. Composite video is LD's native output. At this point, the comb filters in most recent TV's are better than what's in most LD players, if they have one.

    In 1995 the 3-line comb filters in players like the Pioneer CLD's 79 & D704, Panasonic LX-900, and Denon MD-3500 were purr-dy durn good. At that time their comb filters were better than what was in 98% of the TV sets on the market, well...that's my quesstimate, anyway. The point is that back then unless you had a Sony 32" XBR100 or an Elite RP or a scant few other hot shot sets with 3-D comb filters, you'd want to use S-video output, if provided. Even the CLD-59's 2-line comb filter bested many TV's filters back in '95.

    The 3-D filters and 3-line filters that are so typical in today's sets will usually best ancient LD player's filters! [​IMG] The 3-D comb that's in the vaunted CLD-99 is inferior to nearly all the 3-D comb filters in sets I've seen, considered buying, or obtained in the past 5 years.

    The only LD players that have good enough comb filters onboard to just automatically choose to use the S-video output because it has it...hmnnn....HLD-X9, LD-S9...both Japanese market players, Runco LJ's I & II, oh and maybe a few hi-end Panasonic and Sony Japanese market players.

    Composite is the way to go with most LD players. You should switch to composite with your players, or atleast try it. I suspect you'll be suprised. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    Not on my setup, the svideo is way better. I have a Denon so maybe it has good 3 line filters, I dunno. The difference is dramatic from composite to svideo.

    I am upgrading to HDTV, I will post more back on here with my results with the laserdisc player. Of course the new HDTV is supposed to have great comb filters on the svideo, so that may help as well. I dunno.
     
  13. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    John, if your Denon is anything other than the MD-3500, a Panasonic clone, it's a Pioneer clone, in which case it proably has a 2-line comb filter. You proably have a 3000 or 3100...? Those were their two most common models. Your TV present set has a poor comb filter if it can't best the 3000/3100. With Stephen's help I hope you are catching on to the composite or S-video thang. If you actually compare composite to S-video, I'd suggest you use the A-B REPEAT function and compare the same segment over and over. Pick something 1-3 minutes and try to get a segment that has atleast a brief dark scene. Yeah, it's posssible your S-video looks better if your set is older. Maybe you need a new HDTV![​IMG] Best wishes from Laserland!
     
  15. John S

    John S Producer

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    I will look at the model number tonight.

    And yes my TV is old, and yes, I am replacing with an HDTV, it is already on order.

    If what your saying is true, then why the heck do some sets comb filter the component video??

    My current TV is much better with svideo sources, I don't even use the tuner in it, as the tuner in my svideo vcr(s) providing video via svideo to the TV is much better even.

    So I am sure I probably do have some misconceptions about all the newer video technology out there. I will check my model number, I know it is a very high end unit though, but I did not buy it, I actually got it included in a large computer equipment swap / trade deal.
     
  16. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I have an interesting set up. I have a Pioneer DVL 909, a newer player, but not a match for the best Pioneers. My reciever, the Denon AVR 3803, is capable of converting Composite to S Video. I also have a IScan Pro scaler.

    When I run composite into my reciever, it is converted to svideo, then sent to the Iscan, where it is scaled, then sent to the RPTV. The Iscan has a VGA out, so I have to adapt from VGA to component video.

    Does this mean my reciever has a comb filter?

    I have also tried using the the S Video out of the LD player, and I honestly dont see much difference. Thats how Im using it now. It actually looks a little better to my eyes, but im still experimenting.

    P.S. John S.

    HTF rules reccomend not listing gear in your sig. It screws up the search engine. Someone looking up info on your reciever might turn up this thead.
     
  17. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Jeremy, if your reciever has up-conversion of composite video to S-video, it has a comb filter (sometimes called Y/C mixer/seperator) of some type. If it works pretty well, it definitely has a comb filter, proably a 2 or 3-line one...? At this late date in history...it's proably 3-line.

    I have an iscan V2 and it's got a 3-line comb filter which I, of course, don't use. I use it with the S-video output of an LD-S9. I'm not sure if your iscan has a better comb? I have not looked at the newer models. I wonder if your iscan has a better comb? I wonder if you should'nt try running the LD player's composite straight into it? I'd try S-video too, if you've got an extra S-input on that iscan? Mine has 2 but it doesn't have component in. I'm not sure what's on the back of your's. You must atleast have an available composite in, si? It's worth a try to go straight in, IMO.

    You've got a good set-up. The 50 db performance your 919 does may not be top rung but it terrific compared to the first LD player I got in the 80's! You might tweek a smidgeon more out of your stuff??? Best wishes![​IMG]
     
  18. John S

    John S Producer

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    Thanks for the tip on the signature guys, I corrected it.

    I did check my player it is an LA-3100. That conversion is one feature that does drive me crazy about my 4802, it does not upconvert composite to s-video.

    Like I say when I get my new HDTV I will try a lot of experimentation from my various sources. Hard for me to imagine the composite being better given my current experiences with my last two TV's, but we shall see.
     
  19. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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  20. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Gee, what happened to the original poster?
     

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