Laserdisc newbie needs some advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tony_I, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. Tony_I

    Tony_I Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got a Sony MDP-550 CD, CDV, LD player.
    Features Listed:
    2 S-video outputs
    2 optical audio outputs
    Auto Reverse (this wasn't on all players?)
    Advanced TRI Digital LSI (marketing hype for?)
    I don't know if this is a good/bad/descent player. If anyone has some information about this player, it would be most helpful.
    The image seems to have a little bit of a wave on my XBR400. Is there a way I can improve the image quality? For reference, I am running a Monster Video3 S-video cable.
    Thanks again.
     
  2. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Yes, you can improve quality by using a good composite cable instead of S-Video. The 3D digital comb filter in your XBR is MUCH better than the one in that LD player.
    Just disconnect the S-Video cable, hook up a decent (expensive cable probably isn't necessary) composite cable, and be amazed at the results.
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  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Tony, it's a pretty average player from the early 1990's. Try using the players composite output for starters. Your TV's comb filter is way better than the player's is. LD is a composite format and thusly require a comb filter to output S-Video.
    Some players require you to flip the disc at side breaks. Auto-flip is a very desirable feature if for no other reason to minimize finger (oils, yuk!) contact with your discs. Couch potatoes can't live without auto-flip....
    This wave does not sound good. I wonder if the machine is in proper working order? Sony suppourt of this player may be lacking? Pioneer is the preferred brand for LD performance and suppourt wise. Good luck with it!
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  4. Tony_I

    Tony_I Stunt Coordinator

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    Dumb question alert [​IMG]
    Why wouldn't the TV's comb filter kick in if I use an S-video cable? Doesn't the TV upscale the image from 480i anyway?
    Maybe it's just me, but when I connected the LD using both composite and s-video, the s-video looked slightly better. From whatI can tell, I would think the tv's comb filter is in action when I use either imput. This sounds different from what you guys are describing though... -
     
  5. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    If this "wave" is a band of vertical wavy lines that moves across the display while playing a disc - that's poor tracking. The tracking assembly is trying to read two tracks at once. It's called crosstalk. That band of wavy lines may move rapidly or slowly, sometimes almost appearing fixed. It can vary with time and from disc to disc. Despite looks, LDs are not exactly flat. Tracking systems evolved from a fixed focus to a floating focus with error correction that could keep the tracking system on the track despite disc imperfections. Even so, there are good tracking systems and not-so-good ones. My Pioneer LD-S2 from the same era as your machine can track anything without crosstalk.
    You either need to get the tracking system aligned or - more probably - a better machine. Sorry about that. I've been a Pioneer fan since the beginning. They are the best. Everything else I've seen is a poor second.
    If this "wave" is something else, I have no answer.
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  6. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    Tony,
    I think the answer to your question is no. I think you are confusing the comb filter and your television's upconverter. The comb filter separates the composite video signal into the components that are already separated when you use s-video, so if you use s-video, the TV wouldn't need to separate the signal again.
     
  7. Tony_I

    Tony_I Stunt Coordinator

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    You're right.. I was confusing them..
    I'm still trying to figure out why the picture looks better through S-video...
     
  8. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Unfortunately, my understanding is that the composite output of some LD players is actually the result of recombining their s-video signal. It doesn't come directly from the disc's composite video. Apparently this was done as a cost-cutting measure. I don't know if your Sony player is one of those, but the relative quality suggests that it might be.
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  9. Tony_I

    Tony_I Stunt Coordinator

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    If that's the case Seldon, that would certainly explain why the picture looks better using my LD players S-video...
    I see Pioneer's are the players everyone suggests going with. It sounds like I might have to look into them at some point.
    Anyone with suggestions on what models to look into? Must play both sides of the LD, and must have some type of digital audio out. (optical or coax)... Thanks everyone
    At least the player I got was cheap, doesn't require me to flip the discs, and came with 30 movies [​IMG]
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Tony, I had a Sony MDP-333 many years ago and it was a better CD player than LD player by far, not to mention it's premature demise, oh I just did! I've stuck with Pioneer since then. My top recommendations are CLD's 99, 97, 79, 704, and 703. Also worth a look would be CLD's 59, 604, 406, 505, and DVL's 91, 909 & 919. Read the LD faq's here on the forum if U haven't already. So many people are dumping the format that U should be able to find a nice Pioneer. Feel free to e-mail me with questions if U like. I've had so many players over the years I may be able to offer U some insight. Best wishes from Laserland!
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    [Edited last by Rachael B on October 29, 2001 at 03:05 PM]
     

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