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LD player on a widescreen TV??

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Andy_A, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Hi, This is a question that I'm sure many people out there have. I consider myself pretty adept at these things, but just can't seem to figure this one out. I've been using a Pioneer dvl-919 laserdisc player with widescreen tvs. On both my Hitachi 51swx and samsung 30 inch direct view (which it is hooked to now) I've had problems. The problem it has is with letterbox laserdiscs, they always show up "squished" vertically. The only way I've been able to fix the problem is to zoom in and lose some of the picture. This is not desirable to me. I've looked all through the menus on the laserdisc player for some sort of aspect control that will let me tell it that it is a widescreen tv, but there is none. I've also checked the dvd side of the menu. Am I out of luck? Will I just have to settle with zoom1 to fix the picture on every letterbox laserdisc, or is there some way I can watch in normal, undistorted ratio? Please help...
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    You might want to try putting the TV into the mode that puts sidebars on the screen for typical 4:3 video sources. That would correct the aspect ratio problem, but it would look like the video of the letterboxed LD is window-boxed now, but that would be the correct aspect ratio, albeit smaller in size than a conventional 4:3 TV display.
     
  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    You will have to use your TV's zoom or stretch modes when using Letterbox laserdiscs. Ld players do not have 4x3, or 16x9 settings like dvd players do. One possible solution is to purchase an external scaler like the Iscan Ultra. It will scale the letterbox LD imager and allow you to use your tv's 16x9 mode.
     
  4. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Patrick and Greg, thanks for the comments. The ISCAN is definitely a good solution which I did not think of. Greg, do you know if the older ISCAN pro will do this like the iscan ultra will? Patrick, I did switch to 4:3 mode and while it looked okay, it was indeed very small, especially on the 30 inch display. So it sounds like unless I buy the ISCAN ultra or possibly another external scaler I'll have to watch lds in zoom mode? I guess I can learn to live with it, I just wanted to find some way around it. Thanks again
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Letterboxed LDs should be watched in zoom mode. A plain zoom mode should not cause you to lose any part of the image (except for overscan).

    When you describe the image being "squished", it sounds like your trying to watch your LDs in "full" mode (or whatever Hitachi and Samsung call the mode that's used for 16:9-enhanced DVDs). That mode should not be used for laserdiscs.

    M.
     
  6. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    Dammit! Just when I think I've decided on a new 16:9 TV, a thread like this comes along and I start to wonder if I should stay with a 4:3 set. [​IMG]

    Would you use the same zoom or stretch on a WS laserdisc as you would a non-anamorphic DVD, assuming the same aspect ratio?

    edit: I believe Mr. Reuben has answered my question.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  8. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Andy,

    I know that the Ultra does aspect ratio control. Essentially, it will scale the letterbox image to 16x9 so that you can keep the TV in it's 16x9 mode. I don't think that the Pro model does this.

    Blaine,

    The secret to using a LD player with a widescreen set is to get one that has great stretch modes, great line doubler, and great 3D comb filter. I myself went with the Pioneer Elite 530 widescreen and an Elite CLD 79 LD player. My LD image is great. The Elite's stretch modes are the best. I use cinema Wide for 1.85 aspect ratio films and the zoom mode for 2.35. If you do go with a 16x9 set and will use LD with it, I would suggest a Pioneer set first.
     
  9. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Andy, you are using composite video for LD, si? You should be. Another approach you might take is forget scaling and use the set's stretch modes, but get an orginal iscan or V2. Put a component video adapter cable on the iscan and run it in component, of course. You'd proably get better colour thusly. I think the de-interlacing on many sets smears colours. So you get around that doing it outboard. Of course, you'd have more options with one of the newer, more expensive iscans.

    I'd proably hold out for a future cheap scaling solution for the little 30 incher. I'd put my effort into the 51" Hitachi. My mom has one. It doesn't look half bad with a CLD-59 running composite. It looks best on B & W stuff for sure. It has a harder time with colour material. Like what's been mentiond, Elite sets upconvert analog really well. A great many other sets don't.

    You might make it a long term goal to pick up a better LD player down the road too. DVL's 90 & 91, CLD's 704, 79, 97, and 99 would all bring your pic quality up some. Best wishes!
     
  10. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Hey everyone, thanks again for the input on this. I am using the composite video from ld to tv. I wish the Samsung 30 didn't do it, but it does slightly clip the top and bottom of widescreen laserdiscs when in "zoom1" mode. One cool feature of this tv is that I can actually move the image up and down if it is cropped, so I usually end up moving it down so I can see all of actor's heads. Missing out on some of the bottom portion does not seem as bad. The only bad thing is this feature only works with the original remote which died a strange and mysterious death after only 2.5 months which I'm suspicious my roommate had something to do with. Anyway, I may bite the bullet and by an iscan pro since I think that will increase my picture quality w/ laserdisc immensely. I'd love to get the hld-x9 or a cld-99 someday. I know what is great about the cldd704 and the 79s and 99s, but what about the dvl90 and 91? Do they have a higher video s/n ratio than the dvl919? I've never been able to find a stat for that on the 919. Also, I've not tried it yet, but I'm thinking of trying s-video from ld to the samsung 30. Like the dvl-919, it has a 3 line digital comb filter. How do we think it would compare with running composite? Would it even be close? Cheers!
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Andy, the DVL-919 gives Pioneer's post '95 average pic quality, 50 db. The Elite DVL's do 51 db, about the same as the 704/79. The CLD-99 (S-video) = 52 db, proably 51 db composite...? CLD-97 = 52 db but with less colour distortion than the 99. The LD-S9 is rated at 52 DB too but it looks better than the 97 or 99 to me. It definitely has better colour and not by some small margin. Note, you might be able to closely approximate the LD-S9's performance if you have any of Elite's last 3 series of sets 5-6-710/720-730. They have the same 3-D comb that's in the LD-S9 & HLD-X9. What you'd want would be the player's with the best composite output. Answer, IMO (besides S9 & X9, of course) CLD-97 and the older similar CLD-95. Both predate factory AC-3, BTW, if you care? You could also add the LD-S2 to this list...

    CLD's 99, 704, 79 & DVL's 90 and 91 would all do pretty good but not quite as good. Mind you, I said approximate the S9's performance! The S9 has the comb filter on board, with adjustments. The S9 has a bigger, one-purpose disc clamp. Remember, it doesn't play CD's. The bigger clamp is a performance enhancer. I believe the S9 has some other circutry advantages over the similar 99, but the clamp and filter are the biggies.

    The HLD-X9 has an even bigger clamp which is way over-built for NTSC LD's because it's built to also handle Hi-Vision Muse Laserdiscs at much faster speeds also. The HLD-X9 has a red laser, much like a DVD player's. It gets a better read on discs. If you want to use it, it's composite video is even better than the 97/95's. There really aren't that many reasons to use the X9's composite though, I suppose...? The X9 is rated at 54 db. That might be conservative, but it's proably about the technical limits of the very best NTSC LD's though, anyway.

    I know that the orginal iscan and the V2 have a 3-line comb filter. It's pretty good but they function their very best with LD players that have quality, read 3-D or 2-D combs, S-video output, ultimately. It's a bitch squeezing performance out of LD's! Best wishes!
     
  12. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Rachael, Thanks for the info on the players. I'm truly in awe and admiration of your knowledge on the subject. I've been pondering all those questions for some time and now I have the answers. BTW, I also have a dvl-700 combo player. How does this one rate? I figure it will give about the same ld performance as the dvl-919? It seems there is so little info on the ld uk website about the combo players. I'm thinking at this point I'd rather put money toward a better player with a 3-d filter than toward something like the iscan to enhance the picture. Back on the topic of players themselves, it sounds like the x9, with 54 db of vnr, is probably the best player for picture quality ever made. Would this be an accurate statement? Thanks again
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Andy, the DVL-700 should yield the same 50 db pic. The only thing better than the HLD-X9 is the HLD-X0 but it was very expensive and hard to find. One person I know that has one has had to have his repaired repeatedly. There are a few Nipponese Sony and Panasonic Muse capable players that are similar to the X9 but lack AC-3 output. Forget them too... Strictly or NTSC playback, the HLD-X9 and LD-S9 are the ones to try for.

    You stille might want to run them through an original or V2 iscan? If you're trying to avoid a TV's de-interlacer...? I run my S9 through an iscan V2 out a conversion cable that goes to component video. That's the best way to feed alot of HD monitors out there. Anyway, this goes into a Sony XBR 450. I don't like Sony's de-interlacing in TV sets or DVD players for that matter. It's not optimum for LD IMO. I do like the X9 or S9 hooked up in this manner to the 450. You can get the best colour possible from your player using an Iscan or other quality video processor, IMO. I use my X9 with an Elite set and use S-video for NTSC and don't need one for that set-up.

    Thanks for the kind words...but the only reason I know so much about LD is because I've been spinning them since the 80's... Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  14. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    Hi Rachael,
    How's that Elite 630 doing for you? I was wondering how my Elite CLD-79 would look with one. I'm going over to my dealer here in the next week or two to start working them on price for a 630.
    Take care...
    Jim
     
  15. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Howdy Jim! It took me a couple of months to get the 630 adjusted well. It's alot more TV set than I'd ever had before. The Muse discs and the anamorphic, Squeez version of T2 looks pretty awesome on it. Sometimes I watch DVD's too[​IMG] . I'm thinking about getting one of those little 4-way hi-def switchers. R U stille happy with your's? Recuredos de Rachael![​IMG]
     
  16. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Jim,

    I use a CLD 79 via composite output to a Elite 530. The ld image is better than I expected. The stretch modes on the Elite are great and the high resolution 3D comb filter makes a big difference. What I did for mine was to turn noise reduction "off" on the LD player as the Elite will use it's own 3D Noise reduction on any 480i source. You can adjust the elite's NR from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). I keep mine on 1. The comb filter can also be adjusted from 1 to 5, and I keep mine on 3. When you go to check out the Elite, remember to use Reference Theater Mode. This will turn off SVM, Flesh Tones, etc. and set the temperature to film, or 6500K. It also sets the "pure cinema",which is pioneer's 3:2 pulldown, to High Quality. I myself set to Reference theater mode, and then used the Video Essentials LD to tweak from there.
     
  17. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    Rachael,
    Yes the Inday component switcher is working good for me. No problems with the picture going through it at all. I've been looking at the Denon 3803 because I've now run out of digital audio connections. Inday makes a digital audio switcher also but I've just about decided to get the 3803. This would give the the digital audio connection I'm needing plus the component pass through for any connections like that. Moving to an Elite 630 would help with my component connections because my current set only has one. That's a good excuse eh????

    Greg,
    Thanks for the great information. I'm going over to look this week. We only have one Elite dealer in this area so hopefully they will be willing to work on the price a little and with the rebates that will help also. If they won't work with me then I would have to go into L.A.
    Thanks again.
    Jim
     
  18. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Jim, you will luv the 630!!! It's a set that does nearly everything right. I wish it had a few more inputs, but besides that it's great. If you'd kept your S9, it would pay benefits on the 630. Your 79 will do better than you think, proably...? I'm gonna buy a switcher soon and maybe a hi-def reciever too...? I need both. Best wishes!
     
  19. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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  20. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    I've got my CLD-79 running through my Panasonic E-30 recorder via composite in and component out to the tv and it looks better than straight to the tv. I did a A/B switch between the 79 and the E-30 and the colors looked more vibrant and a little less video noise going through the E-30. The E-30 is a progressive scan unit so maybe some of the processing helps out the image a little. Anybody else try this? Thanks for the advice on the 630. It seems like every time I turn around something stops me from getting over there to look at the 630's. Hopefully soon.....[​IMG]
    Later
    Jim
     

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