Getting into Laserdisc, need some help.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ash Williams, Nov 10, 2001.

  1. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

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    I am looking into Laserdisc for one reason, to get movies that aren't on DVD and will not be in the foreseeable future. I read the Laserdisc FAQ that was archived in the forum, but need help finding a player. I have about $500 dollars to spend and hear are the features I want:
    • Capable of playing Dolby Digital and dts soundtracks.
    • Capable of playing CAV and CLV discs.
    • Has an S-Video output.
    • Has both side play (Not serious but preferably).
    I would like to have a NEW player,but have not been able to find ANY e-tailers that sell new players, is there any? If not, I will settle for used. Now I need a player recommendation, I was looking at the Pioneer CLD-704, but I am not sure if it meets the things I need, mainly a dts output;does it have one? Thanks.
     
  2. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Ash,
    So far as I know, the only LD player currently available new in the U.S. is the DVL-919, which plays both DVDs and LDs. It meets all of your requirements except for price: list is about $1,000. Personally, I think its LD s-video output could be better.
    Someone else will have to make suggestions about reasonable ways to find a used player that meets your requirements.
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    Selden
    [Edited last by Selden Ball on November 10, 2001 at 04:00 PM]
     
  3. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

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    Yeah I was looking at that model, but like you say, it is pricey. Thanks for the info.
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Ash, depending on your TV, you may not want to concern yourself with S-Video on an LD player. LD is a composite format and if your TV has a better comb filter than the LD player's, then your better off using composite. That being said, lots of higher end LD players that support DTS and AC-3 probably have S-Video anyways.
    AC-3 (dolby digital) output will require an AC-3RF connection on the player, and you'll need an either an external demodulator, or one in your receiver/processor to handle that. DTS requires a digital connection, which will handle PCM on the LDs that have neither DTS or DD.
    The AC-3 connection can be added. If you or someone you know is handy with electronics, you can add this to your player for only a few bucks in parts. The digital output can be added also, but from what I've been able to find so far its complicated, and I haven't found the schematics anywhere. For instructions on the AC-3 mod, go here: http://www.randyrathbun.org/diy/
    Unfortunately I don't think you'll have a lot of luck finding new players. I've heard that you can order some really nice ones from Japan, but they tend to cost a lot more than $500. Ebay has lots of used ones, so you might try there
    Try a search for LD players here and you should find lots more info. Keep an eye out for threads in which Rachael Bellomy pops up, she seems to know a hell of a lot about LD players and I think I saw a recent post from her where she said she's owned somewhere around a dozen LD players.
     
  5. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    the 704 does DTS output. Just bought one a couple of months ago and now I'm stocking up on DTS LD titles. if you look around online, you should be able to get one for around $350. Try placing wanted ads on all the HT forums. that's how I got mine.
    ~~Nathan
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    ...just lost drunken men who don't know where they are and no longer care.
     
  6. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

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    Thanks for the help guys. I am going to try eBay first and then the want ads. The AC-3 RF mod doesn't look to compicated, but I'm sure if I got a player with a Toslink out, there is a good chance it would have the AC-3 RF out. I wonder why it's so hard to find a new player,do they make them anymore?
     
  7. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    Ash,
    You'll be hard pressed to find many new LD players these days. I THINK there are a few Japanese Pioneer units on the market for well over a grand, but in the US unfortunately it's a dead format. Me, I'm still a LD nut, and actually I'd prefer to buy LD before DVD. With that said, it's getting more and more difficilt to find anything LD-related in a new, factory-sealed state. Racheal B. on the forum might be able to help you.
    There is a guy in eBay who sells "new" Yamaha players with DD and DTS capabilites. He says he acquired a lot of these players from some defunct warehouse. As long as you communicate with a seller and get the unit's history, a used player will suit you fine.
    Once you find a player, you may want to check out www.starlaser.com for some good titles. After a long hunt, I finally found The Gods Must Be Crazy on their site. Good people.
    Best of luck!
    ~~Nathan
    Best of luck.
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    ...just lost drunken men who don't know where they are and no longer care.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Ash, if you really want a brand new LD player, you might be able to get one from Japan or Hong Kong? The CLD-R7G might stille be available. The only players that Pioneer is stille making are the HLD-X9 (about $2600) and the LD-S9 (about $1600), reportedly on a limited basis. They're proably the two best players out there. You might find a CLD-R7G possibly. I think they were about $500 new...?
    You could ask Daniel Law at the Chinese Club in Hong Kong what LD players he has left. I know he has HLD-X9s and LD-S9s. You might ask about other models. I got both of my Japanese player from him. He's good to deal with! He might have some used players too?
    [email protected]
    To use the fur-in players here all you need is a relatively cheap (40 to $80) step-down transformer. Japanese players all run on 100 volts 50/60 cycles.
    Keith, I've had atleast a dozen Pioneer players, that doesn't count the Denon and Sony players and my Magnavox toploader! This is all since 1987....
    Ash, you needn't worry too much about S-Video output unless you buy one of the great players, HLD-X9, LD-S9, CLD's 99 or 97 or the 97's clone the Mac 7020. The S-Video output of the CLD's 702, 703, 704, 79, Panasonic 900, and Denon 3500 is useful on some TVs. Some lesser players have S-Video output but it's a wasted feature, really.
    I would suggest avoiding the DVL models unless you could get your palms on an Elite DVL-91. But, even the 91's pic quality is no better than a CLD-704 or Elite CLD-79 IMO. You might find a good used 704 or 79 for 250 to $500. 99's generally run 650 to $900 these days. 97's generally sell for 600 to $1000. You might have to add AC-3, if somebody hasn't already?
    You can proably find DVL's 919 and 91 new at a few places. They aren't Pioneer's finest though. Pioneer hasn't sold a really nice LD player in the U.S. since the last of the 99s in '97. In Japan and the Orient, where LD was far more popular, they released better players because the market was more demanding. Many Japanese models have 3-D comb filters and really good S-Video output. Here, all we got was the 99.
    I suggest you aim no lower than CLD's 704 & 79. The LD format is way more player dependent than DVD. If you need some advice on a given player feel free to e-mail me Ash. Best wishes from Laserland!
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    Rachael, the big disc cat! "...in a democracy it don't matter how stupid you are you stille get an equal share..."
    I survived the AFI top 100 Film Challenge! I've seen them all.
    [Edited last by Rachael B on November 11, 2001 at 01:40 AM]
     

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