laser discs for movies not found on DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Haru, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    There are many movies that I like very much but that don't seem likely to show up on DVD ever. I am thinking of movies such as The Gumball Rally which is available only on EP VHS, or the lovely The Yellow Rolls Royce, which is not available on VHS or on DVD. but it IS possible to buy used, top condition Laserdiscs of these movies and others like them.

    So I want to get a laser disc player and start collecting used discs before they too become impossible to find. However, I don't feel very comfortable spending the sort of money that manufacturers of players want. The Pioneer DVL-919 is listed at $1275, for example.

    I am wondering two things:

    1. does this seem like a good idea, or do you expect that with the passage of time, eventually even the most obscure movies will become available on DVD, even the ones that are completely out print now, even on VHS?

    2.Is it a good idea to buy a used player? can anyone recommend any players that I should be looking for, new or used?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    • If the DVD-Video format remains available in its present sell-through business model and it continues to improve in audio/video performance (perhaps becoming a high-def platform), then eventually even more esoteric titles might be offered.
    • I am hesitant to purchase any used A/V equipment unless it is a genuine classic (and I mean a Marantz Model 7 tube preamp from the early '60s, or a McIntosh MC240, or even my old Dynaco Stereo 70 tube amp--and if the owner is asking a decent price). Otherwise, I'm hesitant--much more so when it comes to the idea of spending too much money on an already phased-out software medium for which there are hardly any new players. And what happens if the player breaks down?
    Better to buy newer technology now, even though it is changing rapidly and the content providers are in a state of confusion! (I'd spend that $1,275 differently. [​IMG])
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I would buy an inexpensive used PIONEER player. They'll be servicing them for quite a few years to come. Try for one of the following models CLD-S104 or S304, CLD-D504, CLD-D406, CLD-S201. All these players can be had for $40 to $200. There is beaucoups of stuff on LD that is not on DVD. Someday that will change but when is someday? It could be quite some time off in the future? 10 years, maybe? Many music titles will never show up on DVD, proably...? All CLD or DVL models will play CD-R's which could be a worthwhile side benefit? I say test drive the format with a budjet player. Maybe start searching for discs and if you get some secure a player. Best wishes!
     
  4. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks! the prices going on some of the players you mention make it really stupid not to buy one. for example, near new CLD-D504 for 50 bucks! Considering some of the discs I want are going for $40 or so, thata a no brainer.

    What do you think about the CLD-D704?
     
  5. Corbin Stirn

    Corbin Stirn Second Unit

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    Haru,
    The 704 is a good starter player. You might want to look for a Panny 1000 or 900, as well as a 604, 703, or 704. You want to get a player that has a digital output so you can get the best sound(PCM and/or DTS) from your discs. You can get good players for around $150-200 that will give you a noticeable improvement over a 201 or 504. Let us know if you have any other questions and how much you were looking to spend........[​IMG]Good luck
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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  7. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    well, looks like I might be getting a Pioneer DVL 919. Its one of the last LD players still available for sale, and has DTS/DD capability. In addition, its also a DVD Player, although it doesn't do progressive scan.


    going prices for nearly new ones are in the $270-$300 range.....
     
  8. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    ld players and shipping dont mix. Fed Ex dumped my Elite 79 upside down on my doorstep and fought like hell for 6 months for the insurance money
    buy local if you can
     
  9. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Haru, if you're having the 919 shipped. Get the seller to double box it even if it costs you a bit more. Wouldn't $10 or $20 extra be worth minimizing the chances you'll go through an ordeal like Grant's? Grant, you'ins lave en Kalafornie ant et's eziar tu fint Lll-Deee plaaayurs nar thu homestead. T'ain't ezy everwhar![​IMG]
    Haru, that player has all the sound connections. I hope it arrives alive and you get good use out of it. I was trying to steer you to a really cheap starter player but you jumped right to an intermediate type player. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  10. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    I bought a B stock DVL-919 local at LaserCity 3 years ago for something like $350. It was a bit of a mutant, it had the new and old pioneer logo on it. new on the back, old on the front, new on the remote, old on the manual! It was great BC I needed a AIO box that I can rack mount in my OminiRax Studio. It worked like a charm and boy does it save space as compared to having multiple boxes all over the place taking up all the spaces.

    There are hardly any places to buy LD stuff right now in "Kalafornie" they have reduced a lot since mid 2000.
     
  11. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    The CLD-704 should be a much superior player to the Panasonics or the Pioneer 604. The 703/704 are basically the same, except the 704 has AC-3 output.
    The 704 is generally considered slightly better than the DVL-919 combi player.
    I've owned a CLD-505, CLD-704 and CLD-97+AC3. There improvement between the 505 and 704 was dramatic, even on a 27" set. Between the 704 and 97 was less dramatic, but most noticable in S/N ratio on the video playback. The 97/99 are the best of the American made players, and both have fantastic comb-filters. A lot of sets today, especially HD-ready ones, have excellent comb filters in their own rights, however.
    Investing in a cheap player is a good way to start in order to make sure you can find titles and are happy with the quality you get. Be careful though, some us end up spending more on used LD stuff than on new DVD equipment, at times! [​IMG]
     
  12. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    I spent yesterday looking for laserdics of some movies I had in mind, and I can tell you it wasn't easy. I am now slightly concerned about being able to find the movies I want, so I am thinking that I should forget about the player for now, and just go ahead and start buying movies as and when I can find them.

    Once I have a collection of a certain number, I can then find a good player, but if I end up not finding the movies I want, I will have kept myself from buying a aplayer I can't use.

    But then again, that reason right there is why i should just get a $50 CLD-D504 or something like that to use with the discs I DO find, until I have enough to justify getting a better machine.

    Here is another question. my TV is a 16:9 HD monitor. I imagine I would have to watch LDs with the TV in the 4:3 mode? I would guess that the widescreen movies would have black bars to fit 4:3, so I would be using the expanded 4:3 mode. or is are player able to send a 16:9 output for widescreen discs?
     
  13. Michael St. Clair

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    I'm not convinced that in this age of excellent adaptive 3D comb filters (in HDTVs and recorders) that there is as much of a reason to buy the CLD-99 (an excellent player). Unlike the 97 (a unique Elite design), the 99 is a 704 with a state of the art (7 years ago) comb filter added on the back end. If you have an HDTV or a killer SVHS deck or Panasonic DVD recorder, save $700 or so and get a 704 and use the other comb filter (just passthrough the deck or recorder and use the s-vid outputs from there).
    An obscure player that at least one person recommends highly on usenet is the DVL-700.
     
  14. Sean Dayton

    Sean Dayton Stunt Coordinator

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    Haru, just curious where you can get a new DVL-919 for 300$. That's really a smoking deal since the Internet street price is still at 650$ plus shipping. PM me if you do not feel comfortable posting it in this thread. I also have had my shares of the ups and downs buying both players and disc's over the Internet. Its a crap shoot. Along with seller mis-representation you also have to deal with defective disc's due to warpage and laser rot. Create and keep a good seller list for yourself. Good sellers will return your money for defective disc's no questions asked. Most out there will say sorry you got a bad disc but your stuck with it. Others out there will mis represent the disc's condition. Now to answer your questions. I would start off with a mid level used player in the 200 to 400$ range. The Pioneer Elite CLD 59,79, and CLD 704 players are the ones I would be seeking out. You may only be interested in a few titles at the moment but your tastes and interest will change and your laser want list will get bigger over time. I never thought that I be bidding on the 1955 version of the Sea Chase at this time last year. Your going to need to watch your lasers in the 4.3 expanded mode or you can buy a external scalier line double combo to output them to 16.9 for you.
     
  15. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    sean, please note that I said nearly new, not new DVL-919s. heck if I could get a new one for $300, believe me, I would not be thinking about it. I'd be buying it!

    thanks for your advice on buying used discs. its slightly worrying that this is something that is a concern, but then again I guess its only to be expected.....
     
  16. Lawrence MI

    Lawrence MI Auditioning

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    You might try doing some website searches. For example, www.lasertown.com/ lists a new Phillips LD player for $250.
     
  17. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    I have a CLD D406 Pioneer player along with approximately 250 laserdiscs I will be selling shortly for an all inclusive price. If you are interested I can be reached at [email protected] and I will e-mail you a list of the titles I will be including in the sale. There are some very good rare ones, such as, Once Upon A Time In America and The West, 1492, Ransom extended version, Star Wars, Fall of the Roma Empire, 55 Days at Peking, Sea Of Love (Letterbox, E.T. and many more.
     
  18. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Personally I would be inclined to avoid the CLD-D704 (or except for AC3 its twin the 703). I have owned both of these models and though the picture is quite good, the build quality is weak. Since they are older players, good luck finding a unit in excellant shape and surviving shipping and surviving long term without repairs. The 703 died on me a few weeks after I purchased it (as a B-stock unit under warranty) and after nearly 6 months in and out of the shop, was returned with tears to Pioneer. The 704 was purchased new and put out a good picture for 6 years with just one trip to the shop for alignment, but mechanically it moaned and groaned and never worked as good as new after about the first 2 years of use.

    I just within the last two weeks replaced my dying 704 with two Panasonic LX-900s purchased off eBay. Both put out a better picture than the Pioneers (in my opinion more than just the slight improvement others have reported). And the build quality of the Panasonics is excellant. Less noise than the Pioneers, better color fidelity using either composite or S-video, and a sharper, more detailed picture. I also like the feel of the remote a little better than the Pioneers but it is not backlit. I can even now enjoy watching the Face Series STAR WARS films, which I personally found unwatchable on the 704.

    I am now rerecording all my laserdiscs onto DVD-R using a Panasonic E20. With DVD-Rs now selling for less than a buck, the cost to redo the 25 or 30 discs I had already backed up was not prohibitive.

    One player cost me $154 and was shipped cross country to LA without incident and is in mint condition. The other player I picked up as a backup and cost $85 without a manual or remote. It has some scuff marks on top of the case from being moved in and out of an equipment rack, but it also is mechanically (after cleaning some tarnish off the RCA connectors in back) in excellant shape. I got the second one from a seller who lives in LA so didn't have to pay shipping. Expect to pay about $350 to $400 for a 704 and somewhat more for its more durable cousin the Pioneer Elite CLD-79.

    The Panasonics are frequently up for bid on eBay. They're older players, Nov. '92 and Feb '93 build dates for mine, but the quality is so good that I see no reason both units won't last a long time. The downside to these players for many is that they do not output AC3 though they do have toslink digital out. And if they do go down, it will likely be harder to get them repaired than the more common Pioneers (thus the backup unit for me).

    If someone has to have AC3 I would not look below the Pioneer Elite CLD-79 due to the higher build quality, or the DVL-90 or DVL-91 because they are newer. I would also investigate what it would cost to upgrade the LX-900 to AC3. If it can be done, and done for less than $200, I still think this would be a much better way to go than getting the CLD-D704.
     

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