Please Help Me Diagnose This Laserdisc Problem

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

  1. Kelly W

    Kelly W Second Unit

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    I'm a new to the world of laserdiscs, and I've got a problem with my laserdisc of Star Wars (the THX "Faces" edition).

    Periodically, I see horizontal wavy lines that travel from the top to the bottom (and sometimes in the opposite direction) of the screen. Then, at the end of "Side 2", it gets much worse and the picture begins to flicker as if the vertical hold of the TV was incorrectly adjusted. Specifically, this affects only chapters 28 and 29 beginning with the Vader/Obi-Wan fight.

    I think it must be the disc, for the analogous section of the first disc of The Empire Strikes Back plays fine. Based on my research, I believe this to be some kind of "tracking error".

    I have washed the disc with water (a moistened cloth), but the disc already looked very clean. It really doesn't appear to be warped, but I could be wrong.

    Does anybody have any suggestions?

    Also, what physical section of the disc is in question (End of Side 2)? Do laserdiscs play "inside-out" like a CD, or "outside-in" like an vinyl record? Is it the same for both sides of a disc?

    Thanks for your help!

    -Kelly
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    LDs do indeed play inside-to-out like a CD.

    Wavy lines running throug the entire picture (including letterbox areas) are often indicative of a mistracking laser, a warped disc - or both. The problem at the end of Side 2 could be the same problem but amplified due to the bigger undulating surface. However if the same thing doesn't happen at the end of Side 1, it could just be a faulty disc.

    If you want to try and cure a warp, leave the disc in it's protective inner-sleeve, place it between two pieces of glass (or other flat, smooth material) and place HEAVY weights on top (evenly) and leave for a few days. I've done this with several discs and it can help.
     
  3. Kelly W

    Kelly W Second Unit

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    Thanks Rob!
    Yeah, the fact that Side 1 plays okay puzzles me. To be fair, I occasionally see the horizontal wavy lines, but the picture never breaks up like at the end of Side 2.
    No other LD has shown this problem, so (I hope) it shouldn't be a problem with the player.
    I will try the heavy weights technique. I'll report back with my findings. [​IMG]
    -Kelly
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I've seen situations where one side of an LD tracked OK, while the other didn't. Remember that each half of an LD is pressed separately, and then the halves are glued together. So it's entirely possible for one half to be more warped than the other.

    M.
     
  5. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    I agree that it is probably a bad pressing on that side. I have seen probably 15-20 sets of the Faces discs over the past 12 months and have found intermittent problems even on the Kuraray pressings which are supposed to be the best. Sometimes it will last the whole side, sometimes just 30 seconds. It doesn't seem to be rot or surface scratches, but I have a couple discs where there are interference line across the video, some stationary and some where I get a rolling effect, and some with more than their share of rolling dropouts (1-2 inch long white or black spots/lines that roll on the screen).

    If it was the laser being misaligned then it should affect other discs or just putting the disc in Side 2 up would change the magnitude of the visual problem.

    LD's not only read inner to outer, but also the Side 1 data is actually on the labelled side 2 so a deep scratch on the outer edge of side 1 would show up near the end of the movie or in the credits (for a single disc movie).
     
  6. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    I've had a few discs that came to me by mail as new-old stock (sealed, but old pressings) exhibit these characteristics, usually only on one side, near the end of the side. I've also had it accompanied by intermittent droupouts of the digital audio. My Criterion Goldfinger and Dr. No LDs were the worst offenders (and were shipped together, so I suspect storage or handling may have had something to do with the problem).
    A couple of days between two pieces of glass under a pile of books cured 'em all. Don't panic. [​IMG]
     
  7. Kelly W

    Kelly W Second Unit

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    I just wanted to pop in here and say that I just checked my Star Wars laserdisc after about one day of "squishing" (I know that's a little premature, but I was getting anxious. [​IMG]) and it is already vastly improved!
    The problematic section of the disc is now "watchable" meaning that while I still have the wavy lines, the sound and picture do not break up. This is very encouraging and I will continue the process for at least a few more days.
    Thanks again for the help (and comforting words [​IMG])!
    -Kelly
     
  8. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    I'll have to give this method a shot on my PAL laserdisc of Schindler's List. Has similar symptoms to the above problem..
    Now, to find two sheets of glass. [​IMG]
     

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