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Does Laser Rot Always Get Worse Over Time? (1 Viewer)

Kelly W

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May 23, 2000
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Okay, I've read all the posts I could find about laser rot, but I still have a question.

I just bought my first laserdisc player (thanks to Star Wars, of course) and I found a copy of Yellowbeard (not on DVD) at a local used bookstore. When I play the disc, I see a bunch of horizontally-traveling colored snowy dots on the screen and the sound gets a little distorted every once in a while. Based on what I've read, I believe this is laser rot. (But correct me if I'm wrong.)

My question is this: Will this disc gradually get worse?

Right now, it is "watchable" and since there is no DVD of the movie in sight, I am inclined to keep it. However, if in 6 months, this disc will be deteriorated further, I think I should maybe get my money back.

As I said, I am very new to this laserdisc stuff and I was hoping someone with more experience could lend me some advice.

Thanks!!!

-Kelly
 

Aaron Reynolds

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The few discs I've had rot (Contact, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, MCA's original Brazil and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, and Batman Returns...pretty good, that's 5 out of 300) all seemed to get to a certain point and not get any worse. And actually, since I picked up a Pioneer D504, Butch Cassidy and Contact don't show their rot at all anymore, and Batman Returns is quite watchable. (Frankenstein was rotted when I bought it, so I returned it for another copy which has not rotted, and that Brazil disc is brutally bad.) The player really makes a difference in watching bad discs.

How old is that disc of Yellowbeard? Chances are it won't get any worse.
 

Randy Korstick

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Kelly
Yes what you are experiencing is Laser Rot. It can get worse over time but not always. I guess it depends on how much you paid and how much you want the movie as to whether you should take it back or not.
 

Larry Bevil

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Jun 18, 1999
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Back in the good ol' days of laserdisc, I had maybe 30 - 40 discs that had laser rot. The degree of video and audio distortion varied from disc to disc. I had some that had a pretty low-level of speckling and associated audio noise and never got any worse. They were still watchable, but somewhat annoying. And then I had some discs that started "rotting" slowly and then progressed to the point they were totally unwatchable. In the early days of laserdisc, Pioneer set it up that they would exchange the defective discs for free. Although, sometimes, you were not able to exchange for the same title. Now, of course, that arrangement is no longer available. I still have over 1200 laserdiscs and most are noise free, for the most part. I haven't run up on a rotted disc in a long time. Many laserdiscs, however, seem to have more pixelation or video noise than dvd's. Sometimes this is mistaken for "rot". Chances are, as said in the previous post, your laserdisc will probably not get any worse - provided it is stored correctly.
 

Kelly W

Second Unit
Joined
May 23, 2000
Messages
251
Thanks for the help, guys.

I just checked the Yellowbeard LD and the packaging copyright date is 1983. I guess it is safe to assume that it won't get any worse.

Chances are, as said in the previous post, your laserdisc will probably not get any worse - provided it is stored correctly.
Okay, this begs the question-- how do you store a laserdisc correctly? I'm very careful with my things, but is there something special or unusual I should know about LD storage? (e.g., does it matter if they are stored horizontally or vertically?)

Thanks again!

-Kelly
 

Aaron Reynolds

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Humidity is bad for LaserDiscs. Stacking lots of them horizontally on top of each other is also bad.

Then all your common sense stuff, too, like direct sunlight, fire, acid, chocolate, etc.
 

David Susilo

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But on the laser disc jackets and player manual they strongly suggest to stack the disc flat instead of storing them sideways.
 

Steven_J_H

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Steven
I've stored mine vertically and in a cool location and only lost 1 out of 400+. ;)
 

Larry Bevil

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I always stack my laserdiscs vertically and in a relatively cool, dry environment. It has always been my understanding that storing them flat/horizontally will cause them to warp.
 

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