Replacing VHS - is it worth getting into Laserdisc?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren Lewis, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    I'm slowly replacing my old VHS collection with DVDs, however there are still lots of films not released on DVD (no matter which region you look in).
    Looking through eBay highlighted lots of cheap LDs (especially NTSC American discs), and some cheap players too.
    So.... I got to thinking. Is it worth adding a LD player to my system. I could then try sourcing some of LDs at auctions and second-hand shops. One example that springs to mind is the original Star Wars trilogy (not the SE versions) which is unlikely to ever make it to DVD.
    Whilst on this subject, does anyone know of any sites that list which formats a particular film was released on?
    Thanks.
    Darren.
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    My HT My DVD Collection
     
  2. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    My opinion: absolutely. I sold off most of my laser collection in anticipation of replacing them with DVD's, but I've carefully watched the pattern of DVD releases and I have come to the conclusion that MANY RKO, MGM and Warner Bros. classics are not going to see the light of day on DVD for ages, if ever. I have since bought BACK many of these lasers through eBay. Many did not cost me more than I sold them off for originally, some cost me less, so overall I did all right. Laser is still VERY SUPERIOR to VHS.
     
  3. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

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    Hello Darren.
    Well, look at it like this: if you truly enjoy your home theater, come upon a movie you truly like--if not love--that is not available on DVD and want more for your HT besides whatever VHS could possibly bring, then, to me, yes, investing in a laserdisc player--albeit after the fact of the era being over--while trying to pick up some discs at reasonable prices is a way that does, indeed, matter to me, IMHO. After all, several LD titles STILL remain unreleased on DVD; others may never make it to DVD anytime soon--if ever!!!! Some, you cannot even find on VHS tape!!!! But if you can find it on LD and no other place, then, yes, LD--home theater to many prior to DVD--is indeed worth it.
    One place you could possibly try for laserdisc titles released--as well as laserdisc reviews online--is Widescreen Review. I'm sure fellow HTFers here know of others, but that is one I know I can, and do, share. I own several LD titles that are still not out on DVD and I know how valuable something like that can be. In fact, that is my primary emphasis now for laserdisc, concentrating on non-DVD-available LD titles. So again, I say to you, Darren, go for it!!!
    Happy hunting!!! [​IMG]
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    The Acid Queen Still Rocks and Souls!!!! ;D
     
  4. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    DVD Laser (www.dvdlaser.com) is another excellent resource for LD reviews. Most of Doug Pratt's comprehensive critiques (he's run his newsletter since 1984, I believe) are up on the site.
    I've been into laser since 1988 and while I've sold off numerous discs for their DVD equivalents, I've held on to many, too, some of them quite rare. Now I don't sell them off till I see the whites of a DVD's eyes. [That said, Fox, please bring on the OUR MAN FLINT/IN LIKE FLINT package; I sold off the former in anticipation of this set, with regrets now.]
    And, sometimes, laser is the only way to see a movie in its original form. There was quite a flap this past spring over the DVD of MANHUNTER, which was missing key footage; the widescreen laser was intact and is largely preferred. And wouldn't you know I'd sold it off in anticipation of the not-so-special "special edition" DVD...
    I haven't sold off my GODFATHERs. By and large I don't care much for bells and whistles and from what I read the picture and sound aren't improved much over the LDs. And even if Paramount/Lucasfilm releases the Indiana Jones films on DVD I may still hang onto my LDs, all three of which are beautifully rendered.
     
  5. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    Getting into the LD game is well worth it. As already stated, there are many titles available on LD that aren't on DVD. Second, many titles are available at a very reasonable price. The main reason I have an LD player is for titles like "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones" or "Trainspotting" Criterion just to mention a few.
    A lot of titles on eBay are able to be obtained at very decent prices. I was able to buy the Criterion edition of "The Game" for $40. It's a matter of supply and demand. If you place your bid when there are many of the same titles up, you are more likely to get it for a better price than what it normally goes for.
    Moreover, LDs have superior sound to DVDs (for the most part), especially DTS titles.
    I still love the LD format even though DVD is obviously a more convenient format to have.
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    As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
    AIM: Aureus91 / DVDs / ICQ: 58566493
     
  6. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the encouraging replies. I've had a look on eBay UK and there are a couple of LD players.
    One is the SONY MDP-MR1. This is an NTSC-only player. Does this matter? (My TV will play NTSC as well as PAL) or would I be better off holding out for a PAL/NTSC player. I know laserdisc was a lot more popular in the USA than over here, so presumably all the PAL titles will be available on NTSC. Some say NTSC gives an inferior picture to PAL, but I guess that's another story [​IMG]
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  7. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    I recently purchased a laserdisc player because there are too many titles not available on dvd. And in a lot of cases, the laserdisc transfer is pretty damn close to dvd.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Darren, hold out for a Pioneer player. The only good Sony players are the few models they had Pioneer make for them. Sony doesn't suppourt their LD products very well these dayz, Pioneer does. I regretted the one Sony LD player I had. It sounded great, but the pic was noisey and soft. Then it's main board went out shortly after the warranty period expired.
    The biggest selection of discs is with NTSC. You can shop the U.S. and Japanese releases. There are some intresting PAL releases floating about though. Last summer there were a bunch of PAL STAR TREK NG and DS9 discs on e-bay that I wished I could of bought and played. I'd make NTSC playback a priority and PAL an afterthought, if possible....Best wishes from Laserland!
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    Rachael, the big disc cat! "...in a democracy it don't matter how stupid you are you stille get an equal share..."
    AFI Film Challenge, hey I've only got 1 to go!
     

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