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[Old Flicks, New Rigs]- Pumping old movie medias thru new gears in a simple HT setup (1 Viewer)


Supporting Actor
Feb 10, 1999
Fellow Folks. Most of you may know by now, my HT had shrunk to just a simple setup consisting just a Bluray player sound bar, Laserdisc player, a harddisk recorder together with a 32inch LED TV due to over the year space constrain.​
I believe that some folks here are still using Laserdiscs and DVDs as their media of enjoyment of films although video technology had advanced in the past 20yrs or more. New gears are packed with punch on motion picture clarity as well as better sound with simple setups.​
Complicated and space consuming gears are things of the past. No messy wirings, when Audio Visual elements are now transported thru a single HDMI cable.​
Remember the past? During the Laserdisc time, to get the best pictures, one will have to spend a big amount of money for a S-Video cable compare to RCA composite one? When DVD emerges, one will have to spend also a good amount of cash for RGB component cable that surpasses S-Video cable and other better Composites?​
How about the audio? More complicated. From Dolby Matrix Surround, to discrete Digital surround sound offering from 2 camps, Dolby and DTS that requires much more dedicate setups? As well as dedicated discs(Laserdisc especially) to get the best rocking sound from your setups?​
Certainly... i would not be surprised if someone now will raise up his hand ask pop this question to me... "What? Laserdiscs? DVDs? Time to live the new age dude... BluRay rocks now! Are you still living in the ancient age?"​
(Don't be surprised, this is the exact remarks i got when i picked up the Laserdisc player from the assets department while the folks there are sending it to the dumpster...)​
To summarize this thread, folks who maybe still holding LDs and DVDs of your favorite movies, don't be despair. You can still make your system rock with the aid of the new age gears, as well as companions from the old.​
Here's how i setup and the gears on my setup...​
MonitorTV- 32inch PANASONIC LED TVL.D. player- Mitsubishi unknown, with analogue audio out to DVR, optical digital straight to BR/Sound Bar. HDD +DVD- PHILIPS DVR725H with S-Video cable out from LDplayer to this recorder for composite video out to TV.BluRay+SB- PHILIPS HTB5150k with output connection link to TV with a HDMI cable
Settings on the BR/SoundBar HDMI video output is set to 4:3 fullscreen 576i with zoom in engaged on TV to cut off the left and right black bars such that a proper WS2.35:1 widescreen, or screen filled WS1.85:1 is achievable, irregardless whether the different medias were anamorpic transferred or not. Yeah... i know... it's... under run. But the purpose is simple, trying to score a balance Video quality across different medias.​
Sound? For comparison purpose, as well as limitations on the Laserdisc player, Virtual surround processing is engaged on both Laserdisc and DVD of the same movie. While Laserdisc's digital tracks mostly carries Matrix Dolby Suround sound, some discs carries DTS discrete surround while some of the DVD counterpart may not. The same vice versa on Laserdiscs as most of the DVD titles released from yr2000 onwards carries mostly discrete Dolby 5.1 surround, as well as DTS 5.1 which do not need additional component in a setup... The AC3 RF modulator.​
Without further ado... the comparison goes off!​


Supporting Actor
Feb 10, 1999
APOCALYPSE NOW: REDUX DVD vs APOCALYPSE NOW THX LD older release without AC3 remaster

When the movie starts... it's a test of the system(though not really kind of reference quality) when the music starts along with the scene of recalling images of HUEYs flying left and right of the screen. The music have soft bass, along with the light thumping bass when HUEY blades swirls across the scene.

After some time had passed... came to the stage where the fun and reference material kicks in.
When the beach party continues into dawn lifting off scene, bass from the blade rotations of the HUEYs getting ready to lift off gives the subs in different setups a good thumping tests! Unfortunately, such rumbling sense is not felt from the DVD transfer when compared to the LASERDISC release more than 15yrs ago...

THX transfer, Dolby surround, WS 2:1 transfer.


"How are you feeling JIMMY?""Like a mean Muddaparker, SIR!"

During the lift off, the rumble is kind of light that i don't feel my sub drumming.
Then as the fleet comes close to the Viet-cons village coast, and WAGNER's RIDE OF THE VALKRYES starts, i felt the chorus sounds off from the invisible speakers, until the music comes to a grand stage.



As the fleet comes close to the coast, the whole room sounds like a concert hall filled with voices from the choir. That i have to tone down the volume abit to avoid disturbing the neighbours.

The whole chaos of the whole beach attack with effects all around is presented clear, loud and room filling. But still little lack of bass strength, even when napalm bombing kicks in after the whole overture.


"I like the smell of napalm in the morning... It smells like...Victory. ...Someday, this war will end..."

After the whole beach attack ends, i recalled that i had made a DVD copy of the Theatrical length LASERDISC which i had owned above, that was made thru my PHILIPS HDD recorder last year. So i stop the PARAMOUNT DVD from continuing. And slot in that backup disc, replay the beach party to launch attack scene again. Certainly, i cannot compare the LASERDISC image quality against the REDUX DVD release couple of years back. But the sound... WOOOOOOOWWWW!!!
The system's sub rocks and rumbles the flat unit that i'm living in, that i'm kind of abit slow to run out from the kitchen, to the hall, look for the correct button on the remote to tone the whole volume down. Bass is strong and rocking most of the while during the attack, with effect so clear that even boomy bass can't hide it off!
After the whole attack ends, before the scene continues to the trip towards searching for Colonel KURTZ, a wild idea kicks in.
I went to dig the original LASERDISC which i owned, same as the version above, slide in to the LASERDISC player which i had the optical out connected to the system, and play the same scene again. Okay... it's a tad bit of disappointment, after all, aging old system vs new age system... haa~~~ I still get the grand effects soundstage presentation. But the bass... perhaps there's something wrong with the cable?

Eventually i continue the movie till the end, without REDUX, but the backup DVD which i made to "keep" the LASERDISC collection alive.

One another scene of reference material to get presentation on the echoing concert soundstage. From far, when the HUEY approaching the stage, i could feel the chopper flying in from the invisible surround speakers.

When the music starts, great mid bass is felt throughout the whole "What SUSIE dos"... the echoes... wow! Feels as if i'm in the screen!



The movie, with DVD release gives a pleasing presentation.
However, if one have the good old format still lying around somewhere, and have the equipment to play, go for it! The new system won't fail.
Now... i'm itchy... for DTS presentation. Which BlueRay edition should i go for?

**Note that this comparison was posted several months back in this thread-


Supporting Actor
Feb 10, 1999
SPEED Laserdisc vs DVD S.E​
Most of us have known the movie plot well, as the movie had been getting lot of runs through television as well as cable broadcasts depending on region. Hence i shall not elaborate on the story. Put my focus on the video and sound aspect of the movie.​
Certainly, Laserdisc looses out to DVD when it comes to squeezing a whole movie into a disc, or split on 2 sides on the Laserdisc. Not to forget, DVD needs no Close Caption decoding device like Laserdisc do. DVD release packs both additional special features as well as another dedicated discrete surround track, DTS, in this FOX 5 Star Special Editionrelease.​
On Video-​
Back in the Laserdisc time, SPEED gets numbers of feedback for having reddish hues on the transfer. This was expected as I was quite shunning away from Japanese pressed discs during that time, because i observed that no matter what movies were released in Japanese discs, the movies would often be very color saturated compare to SONY's or PIONEER discs pressed in the U.S. Some folks said that discs of origin doesn't matters, since most of the faults goes back to mastering stage from the studio. However should one closely observes, base on one setting(color, NTSC Tint, brightness as well as Contrast) on your viewing device, TV or projection TV, it wouldn't be hard for folks to observe such difference.​
However, because of different publishing studio copyright ownership, discs were pressed in different countries as well as in different formats.​
FOX laserdiscs comes from both U.S and Japan.​
Compare to DVD, Laserdisc looses out in resolution certainly. But that doesn't means Laserdiscs will play blurry in modern day monitors, even with FHD ready Plasma or LED TV. SPEED still have its clarity, but not very well defined on the outline of the objects as well as characters. The AC3 laserdisc, so as the DTS disc was released sometime later than the initial first edition, with plain Matrix Surround. Laserdisc have slightly higher video noise when compared to DVD. Due to lesser color saturation, flesh tones on the characters looks more natural than over vibrant pinkish flesh tones in the Laserdisc transfer.​
When it comes to pyrotechnics explosion, the reddish hue filled FOX Laserdisc shows more disturbance around the flames. Instead of Orange outline of the flames which is presented better in DVD transfer, the Laserdisc transfer looked pinkish.​
On the contrast and brightness, the Laserdisc rocks! Believe it or not, the DVD looks kind of dimmer as if the whole movie plot occurs in a cloudy day. The Laserdisc transfer makes the movie plot seems to be happen in a sunny L.A.​
My vote on video here goes to the DVD. Not for the resolution. But for the natural flesh tones and color balance.​
On Sound-​
Although the Laserdisc is packed with both Matrix surround and discrete surround, due to limitation on my current setup, i couldn't do a direct LD AC3 to DVD DD5.1 comparison. Hence for comparison purpose, i played the Laserdisc's Digital Matrix Dolby Surround track and DVD's DD5.1 track by engaging Virtual surround processing thru my SoundBar.​
It was mentioned sometime ago in one another archived thread that Laserdisc audio packs more punch than DVD release of a same title. Which is due to the bit rate on both medias, where LD is more higher than DVD.​
With Virtual Surround engaged, the Matrix surround from the Laserdisc is more enveloping than DVD. Virtual Surround channels is more louder in some scenes than the front. DVD wise gives a much better directional effects. When it comes to action scenes, Laserdisc delivers more punch on the Bass that stresses the wireless active subwoofer more than DVD track which sounds more smoother.​
My vote on sound goes to Laserdisc here.​
Whenever it comes to comparison, newer tech medias would get much attentions when put against the old. And here, majority of the Laserdisc brightest releases with better transfers on the audio and visual field traces back more than 15yrs ago.​
New medias certainly rocks. But that doesn't means old tech looses it's charms.​
Give and take. I like punchy sounds from the Laserdisc, yet i enjoyed the convenience of DVD which packs a whole movie in a single disc, as well as convenience in accessing different subtitling from different regions.​
Laserdisc still ROCKS! And i'll still be keeping mine...​


Supporting Actor
Feb 10, 1999
What movies to watch during the new day of the new year with a bang?!!
...of course...
Well... it's the New Day of the New Year. It's also the 15th year after the LaserDisc* format homevideo release production had officially went into stone age...* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaserDiscBy the year 2000, the market is already flooded with DVD releases, and the new format goes on for another 10yrs and further before the popularity of the Blu-Ray format begins to slowly diminish the flame of the DVD candle. New generation of audience also grow along with time... that newer and younger audience will be amazed by the existence of such old home-video format and technology which they don't totally have encounter before during their childhood... the LASERDISCs.How time had passed... from the late 1970s as a DATA read disc format, till the last Hollywood movie release Bring Out the Dead in 2000...This big, wide, clumsy, low-def on video media eventually goes into the grave. Hollywood studios don't make any releases anymore, since production costs of DVD is much more budget friendly to the studios, and the format delivers the kind of quality that home audience would expect to experience what they had get in new-age theaters then...However, production of players goes on for another 9yrs*...* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laserdisc_playerWith the growing popularity of the DVD format,which gives better Video quality than analogue LaserDisc do, LaserDisc gets more and more harder to source on newer titles since 2000.However, folks don't jump into new formats easily... especially when they have experience what the old format can give, while the new tech can't.In LaserDiscs' case, it's the uncompressed audio. As the format dies, so as it's playing devices, the LaserDisc Players.The last machine to left the local market, was the Laserdisc+DVD hybrid players... or should i name it better, the transitional players.When kept properly, optical discs could last some good tens of years. My BACKDRAFT LaserDisc released roughly in 1992 is a good example of such living legend.But it's a different case when it comes to electronics.When compared to compact sized DVD players, Laserdisc Players have much more parts and components they may not live for long. Before 2009, i guess most of us here would have 2nd "generation" LaserDisc players in hometheaters around the globe then...It's now the BD age... so it's logical that when one wants to adopt the format as a "rookie", GOOD LUCK TO YA!It's easy to source Laserdisc titles over some trading portal, like EBAY. But a good working condition player will be rare gem/beast to hunt. In addition, it will be very much logical to pair high-def medias and gears with new generation viewing gears like the LED TVs which is currently getting more budget friendly and better in technical features.So... it's the new year, and the 15th year A.D.LD.Let's give my ultimate prized collection a spin, and see how it lives along with the new generation gears.I'll not elaborate on the stories and synopsis... by now STARWARS fans should have remembered by hard...​
STARWARS IV: A NEW HOPELong... I mean a day before I slide in the LaserDisc version of A NEW HOPE today, I had gone thru the DVD which i made couple of years ago with my PHILIPS harddisk recorder. Even though the video quality is not as good as the Laserdisc do, it shows that LaserDisc will degrade eventually, as time passes...I began to get worried. As some amounts of white dots, and even streaks starts to appear on the projected image on my PANASONIC LED TV screen. This was not observed on the DVD backup disc, which was recorded with PHILIPS M2x speed. I took out the LaserDisc from the player immediately after seeing the disturbing "infection", to check if the disc is dirty. And no... it's not.Compared to the backup DVD, today's playback of the LaserDisc is not as clean as the playback for backup that was made previously. Today's playback is... disturbing and worrying. I guess i have to back the LaserDisc up again before the discs goes kaput in another few more years time?Onto the audio, in contrast, no degrading on Matrix Surround(can't play AC3 track due to hardware limitation) was experienced. Instead, the Matrix Stereo Surround on the digital track is packed with punch as before when i was still fondling with separate hifi components setup. Even with modern age soundbar HTiB, the turbine rumbling sound still outbeats the turbine rumbling in PHANTOM MENACE DVD.When it comes to audio, uncompressed tracks on LaserDiscs will most of the time trounce DVD/BD audio...this is perhaps why some folks still enjoy their Laserdisc collection, even though they may have DVD/BD version of the same title.On the down side, especially to an old film made during the 70s, even with future cleanup and technological enhancements, lip sync and slightly muffle voice issue is still noticeable.​
STARWARS V: EMPIRE STRIKES BACKAfter the slightly disappointing experience with A NEW HOPE, next, continues to the EMPIRE STRIKES BACK at side 4 of the 5 disc Laserdisc BoxSet.I was prepared for another round of disappointing visual ride which may encounter with more specks of dots floating around the screen. Surprisingly, I couldn't spot much when the movie started from the snowy scenery of the rebels camp base. The surprise ends, when I slide in the 3rd disc, side 5. As per usual, specks of white dots appeared. But this time round, the duration from the beginning when white spots appeared, doesn't last too long. Some minutes later, it disappeared......until the player flips to the next side, it comes again...Duh... once again, I take out the disc, take a closer look if the inner part of the disc is dirty... nil, nada... it's as clean as the mirror... I wonder is this another sort of, Laser Rot?Onto the audio. Once again, the roughly 10yrs ago acquired boxset gives not only punch, but also wide soundstage that can be comparable to some later DVD releases. The Rebel Base snow battle is an enjoyment even it was presented in Matrix Surround thru the PHILIPS soundbar of the setup.​
STARWARS VI: RETURN of the JEDIFinally, the classic saga has to come to an end... so as the terrible visual ride... when side 7 of the boxset's 4th disc was placed into the player, and played.When the movie starts, and roughly 12mins later when the new additional scene jumps in, specks of white dots starts to appear. So as other video noises.However, this time round, the dots are very much scattered... that means barely disturbing as time runs.All the way until the end, visual quality is generally pleasing. Not as bad as the earlier 2 maybe. Again, when I played the backup disc made years back during NewYear's eve pre-run, such noise of disturbance was not visible.I wonder is it the Analogue to Digital connection(LDP S-Video-> HDD recorder-> HDMI out->PHILIPS soundbar center->TV) effect.Numbers of dark scenes becomes brightened, so as the clarity of the movie. Or perhaps, the movie was made in the 80s, where film and resolution quality much better than A NEW HOPE made in 70s?​

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