Please recommend me a Laser Disc player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Aaron Cohen, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    I finally bit the bullet and purchased the original Star Was Trilogy on laser disc and now need a player. Having never owned or known anyone that has owned a laser disc player I have absolutely no knowledge as to where to begin. I have heard that with laser disc players, getting a good quality player is much more detrimental to the picture quality then the difference is between a low-cost dvd player and a more expensive one. I'm not looking to spend TOO much on one though. I just want one that can play my Star Wars laser discs and make them look somewhat better than the pile of crap pan and scan VHS tapes I grew up on.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I would recommend the Pioneer CLD 703 or 704. They are Pioneers best non-elite players. The difference is that the 704 has an AC3 out for DD LD. Video wise, they are the same. The 703 can be had for less money due to not having AC3 out. You are correct in that there is a big difference in video quality between cheap LD players and more expensive ones. What kind of TV will you be using the player with? Also, what version of the trilogy did you get?
     
  3. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    I got the "faces" version of the trilogy. I will be viewing the discs on the 34XBR800 Sony Widescreen HD set and realize as they are non-anamorphic I will need to zoom the picture.

    Of those two, I think I would be better off with the 703. I really don't see myself purchasing any other laser discs at any point in the near future and as these discs don't offer AC3 sound there is no reason for me to have it at the moment. Thanks for the help! Would this player be a good choice for the set I am planning to view it on?
     
  4. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    I just found this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=18852

    Just curious, aside from the the books and things that come with this set and any extras that are included on the discs, is the transfer any new or different from the faces set that I own?
     
  5. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    I could not find either of those players on Ebay. Do you know of any particular website or vendor that may be selling them?
     
  6. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I don't know of any other vendors other than ebay. You may want to check the HTF forum Hardware for sale forum. You may also want to email Kurtis Bahr, who is a member here. He is a LD guru and usually has some for sale and is highly recommended.

    The ebay link is for the Definitive collection. The transfer is supposed to be the same as the Faces set. The difference is that the Faces is in the CLV format, which gets an hour of video per side. The Definitive is in the CAV format, which gets a half hour of video per side. The def. coll. has more discs and more side flips. The def. is also known to suffer from some laser rot.

    Dont' sell LD short. I also bought my first player to only get the original trilogy. I now have over 50 lasers. Just don't get any DTS lasers or you'll be hooked. The 703 will play DTS LD if you have a DTS receiver.
     
  7. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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  8. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    Thanks for the information, I'll e-mail Kurtis and see what I can get from him. About how much does the 703 player run? I have heard about the great sound DTS laser discs offer and I do have a DTS reciever (Sony DA4ES). I'll have to see how much I like the original trilogy discs to see whether I want to spend more time and money on laser discs. I've got 454 dvd's at the moment and buy those whenever I can so unless I can find laser discs ultra cheap I probably won't have enough money to afford both formats. But there's always the possibility. Thanks for telling me about the definitive collection. For the press it's going for and the information you've given me about more side flips and laser rot it sounds like it is definitely not the set for me.

    Should the discs look relatively nice on my set? I'm just looking for ANYTHING that looks even slightly better than my VHS tapes, the quality of those is just UNHOLY. I have watched them countless times and not only is the quality upsetting but the pan and scanning is insanity-inducing.
     
  9. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    Thanks for the link Chris, I'll check it out.
     
  10. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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  11. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    I just checked out my lone non-anamorphic disc (The Abyss) through the setting you suggested and was pleased by the picture. If the Star Wars laser discs look anything even remotely close to that I will be happy as it looks WAY better than my VHS tapes. It certainly did not look as good as a recently mastered DVD but it looked quite nice. Sure, I could see artifacting when up close and the colors didn't look as nice as my component cables make them look but it was still a VERY watchable experience. Should I expect somewhat similar results with the Star Wars laser discs?
     
  12. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    That setup will give you a general idea, because you are using the sets stretch modes, line doubler, and comb filter, just as you will with the LD. The OT transfers aren't the best, so they will probably be a little bit lower than The Abyss. The special editions are the best looking set, but unfortunatly, they are the special editions. You're right, they aren't going to be dvd quality, but I think you'll be happy with them. On my Elite, they are the nearly the same quality as non-anamaphoric dvd and are easily watchable. You're mileage may vary as the image quality really varies depending on the quality of the sets stretch modes, line doubler, and comb filter. Again, I don't really know much about Sony sets, but the OT are much better on my Elite than I hoped they would be. Other lasers, such as True Lies and Independence day, are better than many non-anamaphoric dvd's I have.
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Aaron, you might want to get the 1997 Special Edition boxset. You may not favour those versions but the picture is noticably better. They're coded with AC-3 but also have PCM sound too. IMO, the PCM is better than the AC-3.

    Be patient about buying a player. There's alot of junk out there. Ignore Sony players, they're trash. The better Panasonic players are purr-dy good, LX-900 and the older LX-1000 are what to look for. Panasonic doesn't suppourt them anymore, beware. The Denon LA-3500 is a clone of the LX-900, BTW. I mention the Panasonics because you might find one fairly cheap? $100-$150. They might be worth gambling on.

    The top choice is, of course, Pioneer! The Elite CLD-79, CLD-D704 and the year older CLD-D703 would be great choices. The Elite DVL-91, which also plays DVD's, has performance pretty comparable to the 79/704/703.

    The Elite CLD-59 would be my next choice after that first group. It doesn't have the pic quality of that first lot but it has all the sound options. The CLD-D504 is a stripped down version of the 59, basically. I don't paricularly recommend it because it lacks a PCM digital out.

    I'd avoid most of the older players with some exceptions, maybe...? Before you bid on a player, ask the forum. We'll be glad to provide counsel.[​IMG] Best wishes from Laserland!
     

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