laserdisc surround advice needed

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by andrew_h, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. andrew_h

    andrew_h Auditioning

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    Laserdisc surround is very confusing compared to dvd. The reciever i have is a Yamaha HTR-5840. The laserdisc player i use is a Sony MDP-550. The laserdisc player has optical out. When i hook the optical to my reciever, my reciever displays PCM and only plays in stereo.

    I was wondering how to use the DTS and Dolby Digital features on laserdisc to actully work with my reciever. Is more hardware required?

    On some discs, it says it outputs dolby digital through the right analog channel. Does this also need some kind of decoder? And where does DTS output from, the optical?

    I would appreciate a full explination of this, for i am stumped and cannot find any resourses on the web.
     
  2. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    You need RF demodulator to extract Dolby AC-3 audio track from the laserdiscs. They cost $100-$200 on eBay. Some of the older receivers have built in demodulators, but I haven't seen them on the new models for a while.

    As for DTS, you don't need any extra device. Just connect the digital out directly to the receiver, and it'll be golden. Some of the laserdisc's DTS track are encoded with very high bitrate, and are superior to even DVD's DTS audio.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I recommend the LD chapter in the HTF Primer and FAQ (link in my signature). It's detailed and thorough.

    M.
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Just an additional FYI on it all.


    Your player may not have AC-3 output, in that case you can go two roads. Buy a different player with AC-3 output, or you can send your unit to Bayview electronics and they can add it for you, there are a few others out there as well that can add it to your player. I can only reccomend Bayview, Duncan is good. If you go that route, have your player refurbished as well by him, as I am sure yours like most of our players is now very aged.
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    The 550 is not a model that you want to throw $$ at.
    Right now LD players are going pretty low so keep a lookout
     
  6. andrew_h

    andrew_h Auditioning

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    thanks for the replies. I also have a Poineer cld-s104, but it is pretty bare bones. i like the sony because of the s-video, optical and auto flip features. I guess the only good models are the Elites, huh?
    Also, would it be cheaper to get the demodulator, or get an old reciever with the demodulator built in?
     
  7. andrew_h

    andrew_h Auditioning

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    P.S. What is up with the laserdisc turtle, that is shown flipped upside down?????????? Is that to show that you have to flip the disc over yourself?
     
  8. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Get a demodulator. Allows flexibility in the more important receiver. And yes, if you see a turtle, you are watching the blank side of the disc.
     
  9. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    I'd forgotten all about that great turtle...

    Anyway, here's a pretty complete explanation of surround tracks on LD: pretty much all of them have both analog and digital PCM stereo tracks. These are sent through the analog L/R outputs and can be processed by any Pro-Logic or other analog multichannel variant. Late-run LDs replaced the right analog track with an AC3 track (Dolby Digital), which is output through a digital RF output on specially-equipped players. To decode such a signal, you'll also need an outboard RF demodulator or a receiver equipped with such. DTS laserdiscs also carried the bitstream on one of the analog channels, and it was output through a standard optical digital jack. You can just plug this into a regular optical jack and set your receiver or pre/pro to DTS mode to decode this properly.
     
  10. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Want my advice? Probably not but I'll give it anyway. Don't spend one red cent on laserdisc equipment. The format is completely dead. I have over 400 laserdiscs sitting boxed up in my garage. DVD totally blows LD out of the water quality-wise. Even the LDs I have that aren't available on DVD aren't worth watching because I know once a DVD does come out, it will look ten times better.
     
  11. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark, let me know if you want to get rid of them cheap. One's trash, another's treasure. [​IMG]
     
  12. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Me too me too
     
  13. andrew_h

    andrew_h Auditioning

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    the quality is still bad with even a high end laserdisc player? I heard that the better models can process the analog video better. Is this true?
     
  14. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    The CLD-S104 vs. my 504, the 504 kills it. Star Wars in DD off of an LD leaves NO desire to buy the DVD. Period.

    A CLD-79 would be better still, or a 704...but seeing the 504 in action, I see little reason to upgrade.

    I care more about movies and a library more than the machines we use to watch them. I'll accept LD's "flaws". Videotape...now THAT we can all agree on.
     
  15. andrew_h

    andrew_h Auditioning

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    what is the 504? pionneer cld-504? Both my players have pretty bad quality, but i will never go back to vhs. I have a dvd player but i enjoy laserdisc players because they are so wierd. Plus not many people have/had them.
     
  16. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I have a cld79 I'd sell ya....I think.
    Plus a few movies like:
    The Matrix
    The Fifth Element
    The Saint
    To Kill A Mockingbird...

    ..and some more odd titles
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Don't use S-Video from LD. Chances are the old Pioneer CLD-S104 gives a better picture quality than the Sony, but the convenince of two side play may beat that.

    LD looks good, not as good as DVD, and sounds great. In order to hear dts sound from LD just hook the digital cable up. You'll get DTS or PCM depending on what's on the disc. DTS sounds amazing from LD. Dolby Digital sound is only available if your LD player has a special output and you have an "RF demodulator". Dolby Digital sounds great, too from LD.

    I have about 4-500 LDs and I still watch them, It's not worth my money to replace them for the improvement of DVD, particularly because I don't even buy hardly anything any more. LD is fun. With a good video processor front end (like the one built into my X1) it can look quite nice.
     
  18. andrew_h

    andrew_h Auditioning

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    I scoured through all of my laserdiscs and found i have no DTS ones.....That sucks. I looked on ebay and they all go for extreme price. Im starting to get really enraged. I just wanna use surround sound with a laserdisc to test it out, and hear it for myself. Its such a pain in the ass. Not to mention, good quality players go for extreme price also. Im stuck with the sharty ones for now.
     
  19. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Ask around in the hardware forum, or watch Craigslist in your location, they pop up. I paid $50 for my 504 locally, from a member here. I use S-video for everything, looks great on SDTV.

    Also, watch for LD lots on Ebay, especially "nearest first". Patience is the key. Within a few years you'll have 100's of LD's and a few players.
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    DPL modes from the PCM stereo track on LaserDisc sound pretty darn good.
     

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