Question About Laserdisc Picture Quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom-G, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have two Pioneer LD players - an Elite CLD-59 and a CLD-1080. I use the 59 as my primary player, but have noticed that there is no difference in picture quality between the S-Video and the Composite outputs. I thought that the S-Video would be better. Why isn't it?

    The other day, I had compared the two players and found that the 1080 has a better picture quality than the 59! It's not just barely noticeable, it's very noticeable. Why is this?

    I'm thinking of selling my 59, but I will miss features on there such as the digital memory and the way it automatically flips sides.

    I only have an LD player for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. I have the SE of Star Wars but I prefer the PCM tracks so I won't miss the capability of playing them in AC-3.

    What do you think I should do?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Video from an LD is sensitive to minute irregularities in the disk rotation (wow, flutter, eccentricity) which show up mainly as color patches with horizontal flickering streaks of slight shading variations. Some LD players have "time base correction" that counteracts these irregularities, resulting in much smoother color.
    Also the quality of the comb filter in the LD player, applies to S-video cabling to the TV, makes a difference.
    A small number of expensive LD players always use their own comb filter, then do time base correction, then recombine the color and luminance for their composite output. It has been said that the fact this composite video needs to be comb filtered in your TV again has been improved by the time base correction more than it gets degraded by going through two comb filters, but I have not auditioned any of these situations. (This two comb filter approach is only needed for TV sets without S-video input because in this situation the LD S-video out skipping the TV comb filter will always be equal or better.)
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  3. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    Definitely try the composite output. The TV comb filter may be better than the one in the player.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Tom, what kind of TV do you have? On paper, the 59 should outperform the 1080 via composite video. The 59's S-Video output isn't much count unless it's an older TV that has an S-input and a really mediocre comb filter. The 1080 is a really old model, about 1989. If it looks better than the 59 it is definitely performing over spec's. That happens.
    In the late 80's and early 90's The Perfect Vision Mag took Phillips, Pioneer, Panasonic, and Sony to task because performance from same model players varied so much.
    I can tell you that the 1080 does not have a good design. If the laser head gets out of adjustment, you may as well throw it away. It and the 980 are notoriously hard or impossible to fix for that problem. I had a 980 that I gave to somebody to play CD's with. It could not be adjusted to track all LD's. The 1080 is more or less the same thing with a few more features.
    I know which player sounds better. The 59! I have one which I use as the CD player in my studio. I wonder if your 59 needs a lens cleaning maybe? It ought to beat a 1080! See if you can find a copy of the Video Standard LD on e-bay and see if that could help you optimize the 59. Maybe you have a substandard 59? I hope not, maybe you can find a way to upgrade it's performance? I hope so. That old 1080 can't have too much life left in it and certainly cannot be depended on long-term. Best wishes from Laserland!
     
  5. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    Rachael,

    Thanks for the input! My television is a Sony KP53-S70. I didn't know that the 1080 was so old and that is unreliable. It's best that I stick with the 59 - which I'm not complaining about - and put up with the inferior picture. Like I said, there is no difference between the composite and s-video on the 59, so right now I'm using the composite. It's not that it's so terrible that I can't stand it, but I was very surprised when I compared the 59 to the 1080 and the 1080 was noticeably better. I wish you could see it! I was watching The Game on the 1080 and that's an LD that I watch a lot, so I noticed the difference immediately.

    I'm off to eBay to hunt down a copy of the Video Standard LD that you suggested. Thanks!
     

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