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Is it worth getting a Laserdisc player for SW and IJ? (1 Viewer)

Eric T

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 1, 2001
Messages
266
I've never had a Laserdisc player before, but since it seems like it will be a very long time before Star Wars and Indiana Jones are available on DVD, I thought I might try to pick this stuff up on eBay. Is it worth it? Or should I just try to get some widescreen VHS tapes?
 

Sean Dayton

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 26, 2001
Messages
186
It would not be worth it to me if your only interested in Star Wars and Indy Jones. Owning a LD player will give you access to some great stuff out there that will never see the light of day on a DVD transfer. 70/80 jazz and rock concert footage and 50/60 horror flicks is what got me interested in Lasers.
 

greg_t

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Messages
1,653
I think it's worth it. I bought my first LD player about 6 months or so ago just to have the original star wars trilogy. I had no intention of getting any other lasers other than SW and ET. However, since then I've bought about 30 other LD. The great thing about LD is that you can get so many great movies on laser from ebay much cheaper than you can get the DVD's from like Best Buy. I've bought lots of movies on laser that I wouldn't have on dvd because it would have cost too much.

While many on the forum will tell you to just buy a cheap player, I would say to get the best one you can possibly afford. The reason is that if you do start buying more lasers (which is likely), then you may not be happy with the quality of a lesser player. I first bought a Pioneer elite 52 and was a little disappointed with the video quality. I then bought a Pioneer elite 79 brand new off of ebay, which was a big improvment over my 52. I would say to go for it, because we know the SW trilogy won't be on dvd for at least three years, and even then will likely not be the original versions. Just make sure you get a player you will be happy with.

Greg
 

Joseph Bolus

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 4, 1999
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Everybody here keeps telling me to just go ahead and pick up a LD player and then I won't feel so bad about the lack of the SW Trilogy on DVD.

However, I'm not convinced that that will be the case. My current system is optimized for anamorphic DVD, and while I realize that LD beats the pants off VHS Widescreen, I'm just not sure if its enough of a quality boost to warrant trying to maintain what is now an obsolete format just to view these six films in a (still) non-anamorphic form.

I do own these films on VHS Widescreen, and I'll just try to limp along with these renditions until the inevitable day when these films finally show up on the DVD and/or HD-DVD format.

And I really believe that Mr. Lucas is doing his fans a terrible disservice at this time since many millions of us are being "forced" to think about purchasing into an essentially obsolete technology just to view his films, when we really shouldn't have to. All of these movies should have been available in this format by this time. (BTW, 2007 will be the 30th Anniversary of the original Star Wars movie ... and the 10th birthday of the DVD format.)
 

Marty Lockstead

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 4, 2002
Messages
275
Eric,
I totally agree with Greg. I also bought a used Pioneer LD player just before Christmas for the Star Wars & Indy Jones trilogys. But I too realized that there are some great titles out there on LD aside from these. For example, I bought the CAV Criterion of HALLOWEEN which has an amazing commentary track, and a DTS/THX GOLDENEYE which sounds frickin' amazing!!:D Bottom line, I would totally recommend buying a player for many reasons. Hope you do, and enjoy!:)
 

Mattias_ka

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
567
Joseph Bolus, just because there are no new releases
on a format, don't make it obsolete. With a great LD player you will get a superb picture quality, I KNOW!
 

Joseph Bolus

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 4, 1999
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With a great LD player you will get a superb picture quality, I KNOW!
I'm sure that it's "great" compared to VHS Widescreen, but the video isn't digital and it's not anamorphic. The LD format is optimzed for a 40"-60" analog 4:3 RPTV. I own a 16:9 FPTV system.
 

Mattias_ka

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
567
I'm sure that it's "great" compared to VHS Widescreen, but the video isn't digital and it's not anamorphic. The LD format is optimzed for a 40"-60" analog 4:3 RPTV. I own a 16:9 FPTV system.
Have YOU seen an optimize superb LD player like Pioneer HLD-X9, HLD-X0 or LD-S9? For your knowledge I use a SUPERB PAL sony 16x9 tv-set that is in my eye the best 100Hz tv on the swedish market, and the picture is superb! Many LD are as good or better than the DVD version. On my Barco CRT PJ on a 100" inch screen the picture is also superb.
 

Eric T

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 1, 2001
Messages
266
So now I understand that LD can't give you an anamorphic image, but are the films presented in widescreen format? I have a Mits 55" WS RPTV, so I assume that I would have to view LD material in zoom mode, correct?

Since DTS was mentioned, does that mean that the LD players have digital audio outputs?

Sorry for the simple questions, but I know almost nothing about this format, I just became interested from reading this forum.
 

Dave H

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Aug 13, 2000
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5,898
So just because format or anything else is not sold in USA it's obsolete? Now, USA is NOT the only contry in the world, and there are still new LD player sold in hong kong and japan.
Considering that LDs are no longer made and that the father of the LD player - Pioneer - quit making them, I think we can say with great certainty that LD is DEAD; and, yes, by definition, obsolete. Time to face reality, my friend.

This is not to say that one can't enjoy programs or movies on LD that will probably never see DVD, however. I have been tempted to buy an LD player, but there really isn't enough out there that I would want to see (other than Star Wars and Indy).
 

Mattias_ka

Supporting Actor
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May 21, 2001
Messages
567
Considering that LDs are no longer made and that the father of the LD player - Pioneer - quit making them, I think we can say with great certainty that LD is DEAD. Time to face reality, my friend.
Yes, that's correct that LD's are not made anymore! But there are STILL 3 different models made by Pioneer Japan, machines that are better than any of the US models. I know, I own 2 machine and waiting for one more NEW one.

And yes again, NEW LD are dead market, but there are at least 17 000 titles released in USA, over 30 000 titles released in Japan and we have big LD country's like Hong kong, Taiwan, and also Europe. So the second hand market is rather big with MANY movie not on DVD and many than will not come at all, like you say.

I don't know what type of movies you are after but I know plenty that are not on DVD and maybe not in the future that are on LD, so I have alot to get yet.
 

Joseph Bolus

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So now I understand that LD can't give you an anamorphic image, but are the films presented in widescreen format?
Most LD's present the movie in its OAR.
HOWEVER, it's my understanding that the Indy Widescreen LD's are very difficult to come by.
That was another factor in my decision to not invest in YAAVF (Yet Another Analog Video Format).
IMO, if your system consists of a 60" or smaller 4:3 analog monitor, then LD can do the job. I just cannot fathom how it can be considered a decent purchase for a 16:9 HDTV owner at this time, however.
The world of digital 16:9 monitors has left LD behind. It's time Mr. Lucas provides us with a version of his films that can take advantage of this technology (which has been available for six years).
WHAT REALLY GRATES about this whole situation is the fact that the DVD format never had the original Star Wars films available while it was still considered the premier home video format. That honor now falls to D-VHS with D-THEATER. And if that format gets the OT before DVD, I will probably jump off the nearest bridge.
 

Dave H

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HOWEVER, it's my understanding that the Indy Widescreen LD's are very difficult to come by.
What's even more interesting is why the scheduled release of the re-mastered, THX LD Indy movies were cancelled. Of course, everyone assumed they were going to get released on DVD, but that wasn't the case. And, it looks as if these movies are still a LONG way off before coming to DVD.
 

Jon_Are

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Jun 25, 2001
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Just slightly off-topic, but I've never seen this discussed:

Why is releasing Star Wars and Indy on DVD such an issue, when they were released on LD with, presumably, little or no hesitation?

Jon
 

Joseph Bolus

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Why is releasing Star Wars and Indy on DVD such an issue, when they were released on LD with, presumably, little or no hesitation?
That's a very good question!

There's been quite a bit of speculation that early in the format's life both Spielberg and Lucas were afraid that DVD wouldn't catch on with the masses and would end up a niche medium; more suited for computer geeks than home theater enthusiasts. They certainly didn't seem too comfortable with the fact that a DVD disc could be inserted directly into a computer's DVD drive. That's something you were never able to do with VHS or LD (or even the RCA CED Selectavision format; these titles were available during its first year)! Spielberg has gotten over his phobia with the format (going over 10 million dedicated players in use combined with DTS audio availability with his titles has made him comfortable), but I think Lucas remained a little "jittery" with the format until just the last year or two. Now, I really believe that Lucas is ready to release the Indy discs, but has had some kind of "falling out" with Paramount regarding their distribution. With the Star Wars discs he seems to think that he has some kind of obligation now to provide these spruced up for DVD and he says he won't have time to do this until after he finishes Episode 3. What he doesn't seem to realize at this point is that DVD has reached "critical mass"; he's not dealing with just HT enthusiasts now, and "Joe Average" just wants his Star Wars disc. If Mr.Average sees it on an auction he probably won't even realize that this has to be a bootleg. He'll just think that it was from a prior early release. He'll purchase it without even thinking about it. (Every guest that I've had over to my HT thinks that the original Star Wars movie was released to DVD long ago. I have to explain over and over to them why I only have it in VHS Widescreen.) When dealing with franchises this large, it's just not realistic to keep these discs off a format that has reached critical mass for a decade.
 

alan halvorson

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Joseph: The widescreen Indy trilogy is easy to come by at a reasonable price - maybe $80-$90 for all three, typical, right now. Of the three, for some reason Temple of Doom is the most in demand and normally get the highest bids.

A very large number of LD's were not presented OAR - a much higher percentage than DVD. Even when widescreen, LD's very often weren't widescreen enough, mostly because of resolution loss. DVD has got LD by the short hairs when it comes to OAR presentation.

As for the original question, only you can answer. LD has the best picture and sound (by far!) over tape. What's that worth to you? But don't do it just for these two trilogies. Look over what's being offered on Ebay. See a lot of other stuff you might want? If so, then go for it.
 

Mattias_ka

Supporting Actor
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May 21, 2001
Messages
567
IMO, if your system consists of a 60" or smaller 4:3 analog monitor, then LD can do the job. I just cannot fathom how it can be considered a decent purchase for a 16:9 HDTV owner at this time, however
Well, it seams like you have not seen a superb LD player on a CRT. I have, I use like a said before a Pioneer HLD-X9 laserdisc player on a Barco 801 on a 100" big screen and the picture is on good transfer LD's as good as any DVD.

The only think that can give the DVD a little advantage is if it's 16x9, but there are also even them LD's that are as good or better than the DVD version. For example, I prefer the EP1 LD over the R1 DVD, ok, the dvd has a little more resolution but I think the LD has better colors and contrast over the DVD.

Of course the DVD should have better picture quality but it all depends on the mastering and how the compression is done. Digital artifacts are much more irritating than a little softer picture IMHO.
 

John_McKittrick

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 9, 1999
Messages
226
The cost of the LD's of those alone is 3 times more than the player. I would say 'no'. However, like others have stated many many films that have yet to be released on DVD (ie. Wyatt Earp, Concerts, Clash of the Titians, etc.) can be enjoyed now. Also, many Disney titles that are platinum titles for DVD (like Bambi, Cinderella, Aladdin, etc) can be enjoyed now because it will be many years before we see them on DVD. Don't let overhyped movies make the decision for you. Consider the whole picture.

John
 

Michael St. Clair

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 1999
Messages
6,001
NO!
Stop buying laserdisc players. Stop it, dammit.
I'm sick and tired of seeing prices rise on virtually all good titles that are not on DVD.
Give a guy a break, OK?
 

Lars Vermundsberget

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 20, 2000
Messages
725
Quote:

"Considering that LDs are no longer made and that the father of the LD player - Pioneer - quit making them, I think we can say with great certainty that LD is DEAD; and, yes, by definition, obsolete. Time to face reality, my friend."

---

We know that we can no longer buy new LDs and it's getting harder to find new players. However, we can buy used hardware and software and we can enjoy the collections we've already got.

Is LD obsolete or dead? That discussion is pointless, IMO. That's just a question of how you define the meaning of these words. I repeat: We know that we can no longer buy new LDs and it's getting harder to find new players. However, we can buy used hardware and software and we can enjoy the collections we've already got.
 

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