Laserdisc Guide

This guide was written by Rachael Bellomy who was nice enough to allow me to post it here on my site. She has a pretty wacky web site check it out here.

If you’re reading this I’m assuming that you don’t know much or enough about the Laserdisc format. Here, I’ll fill you in with a history of the format, advice about players, advice about discs, general terms, and how to hook up players.

HISTORY OF THE LASERDISC FORMAT

The format first appeared in Atlanta and a few other test markets in 1978. At that point it was being pushed by Phillips / Magnavox and MCA. The discs were marketed under the name DiscoVision. The early Magnavox players were called MagnaVision. The players were all single-side, top-loaders. The video output was an RF (radio frequency) cable to go to a TV’s antenna input and also carried a mono audio track. Until about 1990 most players gave you the option of using RF output or composite video output. Most of the early players also featured a pair of jacks to export high quality analog stereo sound to an amplifier or home stereo system.

The early DiscoVision discs were generally defective. They were all CAV (discs that only fit 30 minutes per side, more info about CAV is explained below). They all suffered from manufacturing defects. If they were playable they had some degree of spots in the picture caused by air inside the disc. Air inside a Laserdisc will cause it to rot (rot means the oxygen in the air breaks down the aluminum substrate that contains the pits that contain the program information that the players read.) The picture gets more and more spots that appear over time and the audio gets pops and other abnormalities.

Eventually, they figured out how to vacuum out the air during the disc manufacturing process, but it took a few more years to figure out that the glue they were using to seal the two plastic halves that covered the aluminum substrate was gradually oxidizing and releasing oxygen into the discs. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid Laserdiscs dated 1984 and older unless you can demo it and see that it’s still playable. By 1982 most discs were CLV, up to 1 hour per side, more about CLV later.

In 1981, after DiscoVision was stalled, Pioneer became involved in making players and discs and the format began to move towards it’s modern incarnation. A few years later composite video outputs appeared and in 1986 Pioneer’s first statement player, the LD-S1 even featured S-Video output and an optical digital output to send the digital audio stream of the new Digital Sound (PCM) discs to an outboard digital to analog converter. A few years later, the first LD/CD combo-players appeared.

By 1988 Pioneer’s entire line, except the statement player LD-S2 and the LD-W1 (auto-flip, double disc player that played four sides in succession), was made up of CD/LD combo-players. Also, in 1988 I found out about discs that had OAR (original aspect ratio) and started buying them. If there were OAR discs before that, they were few and I didn’t know about them. Anyway, the gradual shift to mostly proper OAR discs began.

Players stayed pretty much the same, with only small improvements like a small drawer for CD’s, until 1994 when Pioneer released the HLD-X0 in Japan. It was the first player to feature an AC-3 (Audio Coder #3, the original name for Dolby Digital) output. In 1995 Pioneer’s entire U.S. lineup, except the budget model CLD-S104, featured an special AC-3 RF output, allowing people with proper decoders to experience multiple channel surround sound at home! More about AC-3 RF later.

In 1997 Pioneer introduced their ultimate combo-players that handled LD’s, CD’s, and DVD’s. Pioneer is no longer manufacturing LD players for the U.S. A few dealers still have DVL-919 or the ELite DVL-91 (DVD/LD combination players) in stock.

In Japan where the LD format was far more popular, Pioneer is making the last production runs of LD players now (spring 2002). Pioneer has announced that 1 June 2002 is the official end of the Laserdisc format. They’ll provide service for many years to come, undoubtedly. Other manufacturers quit offering LD players in the U.S. between 1994 and 1996. That pretty much brings us up to the present and it’s time to move on to the technical specs of the format.

LASERDISC TERMS

CAV = Constant Angular Velocity is also called “Standard Play”. CAV discs or sides are limited to 30 minutes a side. The frames of CAV discs correspond to the actual film frames. So, when you pause, or still frame, on a disc the image you is one of the film’s frames. CAV is often used on disc sides that contain extra or special materials. It’s perfect for displaying images of things like movie posters or pictures of the set or cast. CAV discs/sides have a running frame count instead of running time in the player’s display. CAV discs/sides allow the user to use all the format’s playback features which include: frame by frame advance, still frame, and multi-speed. CAV discs are a great way to study how films are put together. Many people don’t like them for casual viewing since the disc must be changed more often. Many CLV disc sets have one side, typically the last side, in the CAV format. CAV picture quality is said to exceed CLV picture quality by 1 to 2%, but it’s never been readily apparent to me.

CLV = Constant Linear Velocity discs, sometimes called “Extended Play” can typically hold up to one hour per side, a very few have exceeded that. But, most LD users will never see that (It’s rare for US discs to exceed 60 minutes, but a little more common on Japanese LD’s)

The overwhelming majority of discs are CLV. Using basic LD players, CLV disc’s don’t allow the use of the player’s still frame or frame advance. You cannot view the film’s actual frames on CLV discs. They are not available. Some nicer player have Digital Field Memory (DFM). Using DFM one can use still frame and frame advance to see still images but they are not the film’s actual frames. Since about 1990 nearly all higher-end players have featured DFM.

DIGITAL SOUND When an LD is thusly labeled it means it has a PCM digital audio track which could be mono, stereo, or Pro-Logic. In the laserdisc world, “Digital Sound” does not mean 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS.

CX NOISE REDUCTION CX noise reduction was used on analog Laserdiscs or the alternative analog soundtrack that is present on Digital Sound Laserdiscs. I think it’s something along the lines of various Dolby noise reduction systems (A, B, C, ect.). I think it simply raises the signal above the noise floor like Dolby does. The sound on analog sound laserdiscs is generally pretty good.

TRICK PLAY Is a term that generally refers to Digital Field Memory (see above in CLV) or other special playback functions. Some nicer players, like the CLD-99, have STROBE playback. It drops some of the frames but maintains the sound. The image will look like a series of stills. Many camcorders have similar functions. The Panasonic LX-1000U even has an odd paint function that will give the image a chalky, animated look.

AC-3, THE LONG FORM….

AC-3 = AUDIO CODER #3, it’s the original name for Dolby Digital on Laserdics.

The last count I heard was that there were over 800 AC-3 Laserdiscs released in the U.S. I think CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER was the first. The first one I got was STARGATE.

AC-3 has caused beaucoups of confusion with more than a few LD newbies. Here, I’ll explain it. The original LD format specifications included a stereo analog soundtrack plus analog left and analog right options. In the mid ’80’s the digital audio channel was added to the LD specifications. After Digital Sound appeared Pioneer insisted that all Laserdiscs maintain an analog soundtrack to maintain compatibility with older players that only supported analog sound.

Now, in 1994 when Pioneer added AC-3 surround sound to the Laserdisc specifications they wanted to maintain compatibility with as many of the older players as possible. The only players that would not be able to play the AC-3 encoded discs would be the very early players that only had an RF output for video and analog sound, that was routed into a TV’s antenna input. The analog right channel was the channel that was routed into the player’s RF output.

Pioneer decided there were not that many people still using players with only RF output. They obviously wanted to maintain the digital PCM tracks and wanted to maintain the analog left channel for commentary or an alternative language. So they came up with a system to transform the digital AC-3 signal into an analog signal (like a computer modem does to transmit digital info over an analog phone line) and they placed the AC-3 sound in the analog right channel. A new dedicated AC-3 RF output had to be added to players.

You cannot plug a AC-3 RF digital output straight into an ordinary modern Dolby Digital input on a receiver or preamp. The AC-3 signal must be extracted (called demodulated) from the analog carrier. Some older or higher-end receivers have an input with an RF demodulator built-in to perform this function. If a receiver does not have this special RF input, you can obtain an outboard RF demodulator to perform the function.

You send the AC-3 RF line into the little box and it turns that analog signal back into a digital stream. That output creates a Dolby Digital bitstream that is compatible with regular modern digital inputs. The good part of all this is that Pioneer maintained a lot of backward compatibility. The down side is they created the situation of having to “fish” the AC-3 signal out of the RF analog carrier.

AC-3 RF MOD If your player doesn’t have an output jack for AC-3, don’t worry. Most older LD players can be modified and given an AC-3 output with a simple kit you can still find online.

DTS = DIGITAL THEATER SYSTEM DTS for home theater was used on a limited number of discs between 1996 and 1999. JURASSIC PARK was the first DTS LD. On DTS LD’s, DTS replaces the PCM digital track. DTS LD’s also have an alternative analog soundtrack so they can be played on any player. You must have a player with an optical or coaxial digital output (this will be a different output from the AC-3 RF output) to export the DTS bitstream to a DTS decoder to enjoy the DTS track.

AUTO-FLIP or AUTO-REVERSE refers to players that can automatically play both sides of a disc. The laser that reads the disc starts out on the bottom reading side 1 and tracks the disc from the inside to the outside edge. Then, when side one is done, there is a pause of about 10 to 20 seconds, while the laser reader rides a rail to the inside edge of the top of the disc so it can begin reading side two. After side two is done, the laser automatically resets to the bottom and is ready to read a side one again. Single-side players require you to flip the disc over after each side by hand.

LASER ROT I’ve mentioned this already but I’ll give it a more complete description here. Mostly, laser rot is caused by bad manufacturing.

If air is left inside the disc when it’s manufactured the oxygen will break down the disc within two years, and a multitude of “snowy” spots will appear in the image and the sound will develop defects. If the glue seal around the disc’s edge is never good or gets broken by rough handling, air gets in and rot begins. I think the laser rot problem has been greatly over stated. I have about 800 LD’s and I have about 10 post 1985 discs that are rotted.

The majority of rotted discs from the 1990’s came from the Sony manufacturing plant in Indiana. Be weary of Columbia and Sony Music Video discs that came from that plant. I still buy LD’s of material that’s not available on DVD.

Personally, I prefer to buy used, open discs because the original owner would of returned the disc if it was defective. I’ve bought over 100 LD’s on eBay-bay and have only once had somebody send me a rotted disc.

MUSE or HI-VISION LASERDISC The names are interchangeable. Hi-Vision is the analog 1035i, hi-def, 16 x 9 television system in Japan. The Muse LD format was invented by Sony and ran from 1992 to 1997 It’s resolution is about 650i. Muse LD reproduction requires a Muse capable player like the HLD-X9 or HLD-X0 (imported laserdisc players from Japan), a Muse set-top box, and a 16 x 9 hi-def set or projector. The format never really got perfected. The early discs from 1992 and 1993 generally have problems maintaining proper colour balance and suffer from some nasty motion artifacts in spots. Digital video tape-based material worked wonderfully with the format from the start. Film-based material gradually improved. Some of the films look better than DVD, most do not though.

LD GRAPHICS or LD-G LD Graphics are subtitle tracks available on selected Japanese Laserdiscs. It works on the same principle as closed-caption does in the LD format. Theoretically LD-G Laserdiscs could have more than a dozen different subtitle tracks. Three is the most I’ve seen on a disc. You should be able to remove all subtitles from the screen using LD-G, but most imported discs have the Japanese subtitles “burned-in” so to speak (the subtitles are part of the video signal and cannot be removed). The STAR WARS PHANTOM MENACE LD is a perfect example and the only Japanese LD a great many folks have ever seen. If you have an LD-G capable player, you can super-impose English sub-titles on top of the Japanese ones. Occasionally you can see the edges of the Japanese ones. A few MULTI AUDIO Japanese LD’s feature LD-G subtitle tracks that are removable from the screen. The only U.S. player that ever had the LD-G feature was the Denon MD-3500.

LASERDISC PLAYERS

Laserdisc is a very old format as we learned in the history section. It is a composite video format, where as DVD is a component video format. Many Laserdisc players come with S-video output, but for most of these players their composite video outputs are better.

With a composite format, the chroma (colour, free of white and gray) portion and luminesce (black or light level, from this point on luma) are together in one cable and must be separated at some point for the NTSC TV to use them. (I’m not the most technically astute person. That’s the best way I can describe it.) Anyway, with a four pin S-Video signal, the chroma and luma elements each occupy two of the pins. How did this happen? A comb filter separated them.

The point is, in order to be displayed by the TV- the composite format must be converted to a component format. That can either happen in the LD player (if you use the S-video connection, a filter inside the player will convert the signal and pass it on the S-video connection)– or that can happen at the TV set (using the composite cable will mean the LD player will send composite video, which the TV separates using its filter).

So, getting the best picture is a question of which filter is better in your system- the TV’s or the LD’s. If you have a cheaper player, chances are the picture will be better using the TV comb filter- so if you connect via composite output on the player- this will use the TV’s filter, and will usually result in a better picture.

All NTSC televisions have some sort of comb filter to separate composite video coming into their composite inputs. They vary in quality greatly. Most newer sets now have two or three line digital comb filters, three being better, usually. Nice sets have some variation of a 3-D comb filter.

Only the top Laserdisc players that have really good S-Video output with 3-D comb filters on board. The Pioneer CLD-97 has a 2-D comb filter that is close to as good as a 3d filter. It’s filter was hot technology back in 1993-4. Can you remember back that far? That’s a long time ago in the A/V world.

What players have great or at least excellent comb filters on board? Furthermore, why is that advantageous? I think the advantages are generally two-fold. First, the comb filter is optimized for the player. Secondly, most of the players that feature 3-D filters let you adjust them to optimize their output for your display. The 3-D comb filter in the Elite CLD-99 is adjustable. You can even adjust it to operate in 2-D if you want.

THE GREAT LD PLAYERS

What are the great LD players? Here I’m going to have to mention the Japanese market. LD was/is vastly more popular there. In the latter days of the LD era, they quit sending their very best players here. Several of the best players are Japanese players that can be imported if you want the very best LD performance.

For this list, I’m going to start with the absolute best first, and work my way down.

I’ve never seen one in person, but I’m told that the Japanese HLD-X0 is the world’s best player. It’s certainly the heaviest at 35 kg. (79 lb). It cost about $8000 new in 1994. It’s a single-side, all-out performance player.

The ‘H’ in it’s model # indicates that is a Muse capable player. It’s a dedicated LD player, in other words, it is optimized for and only plays 8 and 12 inch Muse and NTSC LD’s- not CD’s. It was the first player to come equipped with an AC-3 output. There are not too many of them in the U.S. I do know of one person who has one. The HLD-X0 is a non factor for most of us. I wouldn’t mind having one but I’m not sure I could lift it! (Note: You have to have one imported from Japan, as it was never released in the USA.)

The best auto-flip, relatively affordable player (well, yeah it’s expensive, $2500– But, it’s worth it if you can’t live without hi-end LD playback) to get is the Pioneer HLD-X9, another Hi-Vision, AC-3 capable player from Japan.

It features a red laser that gives a better read of discs, nearly speckle-free. The red laser will also make the best of scuffed or rotted discs. It will make most rotted discs playable, not perfect, but playable. It kicks butt with good, clean discs! The only limitation is how well-mastered the disc is. It has the best 3-D comb filter ever put in a Laserdisc player so it thusly has superior S-Video output.

It’s colour reproduction rivals that of DVD, software permitting, of course. It’s remote has a switch, labeled D-EXT that let’s you tog back and forth the correct NTSC colour temperature for Japanese NTSC and the U.S. standard. So, both U.S. and Japanese LD’s will look their best. The X9 is the top of the LD universe. (Note: You have to have one imported from Japan, as it was never released in the USA.)

The X9’s little brother is the LD-S9, a dedicated NTSC LD player. It has the same NTSC circuitry, including the same hotshot 3-D comb filter, as the X9. It uses a conventional laser head however. The S9’s video performance is very nearly as good as the X9, it’s very close. However, you lose the X9’s ability to read damaged discs, but the S9 really excels on good, clean discs. It also features the LD-G feature, AC-3 output, the works, of course! It’s as good an LD player as most people could ever need. (Note: You have to have one imported from Japan, as it was never released in the USA.)

I have not seen the Runco players except in pictures. They’re rather rare. Both models, the LD-RJI and LD-RJII, are pretty much the same except the JRII came stock with an AC-3 output. I’m not sure what kind of laser head the Runco players feature, but the one person I know of who owns one told me it would read rotted discs. It’s the only Laserdisc player that was ever THX approved. It may be the only one that ever applied? I’m sure the hi-end Japanese players could easily pass too. Anyway, it’s said to be an awfully good player and close to as good as the HLD-X9. The Runco players sold for $4000+ new.

The Pioneer Elite CLD-99 is a pretty darn good player. It cuts video noise really well providing a far clearer image than average LD players. It has Pioneer’s second best 3-D comb filter. It’s colour performance isn’t as good as the X9 or S9, but it’s no slouch. The CLD-99 has all the sound output options including, of course, AC-3. On eBay-bay you may occasionally see the CLD-D99 which is the same player as the Elite 99 except, it’s silver, no wood side panels, it has heavy metal side panels that make it weigh about 5 lb’s more. It was made for export to Asia and Pacifica. It will work just fine on U.S. sets.

The Elite CLD-97 was Pioneer’s best U.S. model in 1993 and 1994. It feature an excellent 2-D comb filter. Some people prefer it’s S-Video output to the CLD-99’s, I don’t. The CLD-97’s composite output is better than the CLD-99’s. So, if you have a display or video processor with a great comb filter, the 97 could be a great player for you. It predates AC-3 though but can be modified for AC-3 output. A great many of the CLD-97’s I’ve seen on the used market have been modified. Be sure and ask if you’re looking at one. Theta and Macintosh both offered clones of the CLD-97.

The Great Players are all going to deliver 52 db to 54+ db video S/N performance. They’ll make LD much more involving than lesser players.

ABOVE AVERAGE LASERDISC PLAYERS

This group of players offer above average performance but aren’t quite as good as the great players. Most offer S-Video output but it may not really be useful unless your display has a really ho-hum comb filter circuit. Remember, Laserdisc is a composite format and the only reason to use S-Video output, if provided, is because the player’s comb filter is better than the display’s. That’s becoming increasingly unlikely with today’s TV sets.

The Panasonic LX-900 and it’s clone the Denon MD-3500 are almost good enough to make the great players list but not quite. They both offer a really heavy build quality, over 10 kg (22.6 lb). They feature 3-line comb filters that may be useful depending upon your display. These models really cut video noise very, very well, better than Pioneer’s U.S. models except for the 99 and 97 and 95. They predate AC-3 but both offer optical digital output. These are very desirable players if you can find samples that aren’t too worn out by now. They were current models in about 1992 through 1994.

The Elite CLD-79 is very much like the CLD-99 except you get a 3-line comb filter instead of a 3-D comb filter. It can’t cut video noise quite as well as the 99 but it’s colour performance is just as good. It’s S-Video output can be useful with some TV’s. It has all the sound outputs including AC-3.

The Pioneer CLD-D704 is very similar to the CLD-79 despite a very different face-plate. It’s the best non-Elite player they ever made. It’s build quality isn’t as heavy as the 79’s and it’s analog audio section isn’t quite as good but it’s pic quality is right there with the 79’s. The CLD-D703 is the same as the 704 except it’s a year older and lacks an AC-3 output. The CLD-D702 is still a year older and it’s 3-line comb filter isn’t quite as good. It’s composite output is very above average. The still older CLD-D701 is a cut below the 702 and is much less desirable. It also has a reputation for breakdowns. I’d recommend avoiding it. Did I say it’s pretty old now too? Mitsu has a clone of the CLD-D704, by the way.

In many ways the LD-S2 is the best player in this group. I picked one up a few inches at a friend’s repair shop once. It weighs 67 lb’s, nearly 30 kg! You could hurt your back. I think later editions of it weighed even a bit more, 70 lb’s. The LD-S2 was made from about 1988 till 1997. You had to order them, mostly. Oh, did I mention they sold for about $3000? The S2 is the most over-built model ever offered to the U.S. market, only the 79 lb HLD-X0 is beefier in the history of the world. The S2’s transport is very quiet. It has a laser head that will read rotted discs. It has superb analog audio output, but the pic quality is a bit shy of the great players. It’s an old design. Oh, I forgot to mention it’s a single-side player but one that it’s worth the trouble of turning discs over for.

The Elite CLD-95 has got the CLD-97’s bulk at 38 pounds, but it’s a few features short of it’s successor. It’s S-Video output isn’t impressive. In 1991 comb filter technology had a way to go. On the other hand, the 95’s composite output is superb. The 95’s video performance is only limited by how good a comb filter you feed it into. When feeding it’s composite into an outboard comb filter like a Crystal Visions or into a TV with a quality 3-D comb filter, the 95 can perform up to the low end of the great players. It predates AC-3 but is easily mod’ed.

The Elite DVL’s 90 and 91 perform about the same as CLD’s 704/79 do for LD. The 91 is better for DVD’s because it will pass DTS sound for them. The 91’s ergonomics for DVD and remote are better too. But, when it comes down to LD performance, the two are about the same.

THE Panasonic LX-1000U, which is also called “Prism”, is an old but above average player. It’s an early 90’s player. It’s S-Video output isn’t great by today’s standards, but it’s composite is really good and looks really crisp when fed into a TV with a 3-D comb filter. It has the full compliment of trick play too, digital field memory, strobe effect, and even a three level paint function. It’s a cool player.

The Above Average players are going to deliver video performance of 51 db video S/N or maybe just a bit better. Their pic’s will have noticeably less video noise.

LD-W1 gets on this list despite very average pic quality. The LD-W1 is a double drawer player with auto-flip, capable of playing 4 disc sides in succession. That’s a cool trick and it’s the only such U.S. model as far as I know. No digital output or AC-3 output. This a late 80’s player, but it was a cool idea!

AVERAGE LASERDISC PLAYERS

I’m going to start this section by telling you that the average performance players, visually, of Pioneer players took a jump for the better in 1995. Since 1995 about the only models that won’t deliver a 50 db video S/N performance are the CLD’s S104, S304, and D406. The good news is that even those three players do 49 db. In the late 80’s and early 90’s most players performed at about 47 or 48 db. That translates down to a considerably noisier picture. Since 1995 every Pioneer LD player except the CLD-S104 has an AC-3 output. Post ’95 are the players to shop for, generally. Some of these players are the DVL models that also play DVD’s.

PIONEER’S 1995 lineup

CLD-S104 Visually, it’s the best single-side budget player ever. Composite video only, and left and right analog sound outputs only. It’s picture will beat all the older budget players. It looks and sounds better than a S-VHS VCR hands down. Originally sold for $300 in 1995. I’ve seen them sell for $30 and less on eBay-bay. If you just want a simple-stupid, inexpensive player the S-104 can be a good choice.

CLD-S304 Same performance and features as the 104 but adds an AC-3 output and sing along Karaoke -dfgwrt” input features.

CLD-D504 This player has auto flip, AC-3, but no PCM digital output if you need that too. It was their budget auto-flip model of the year.

CLD-D604 adds optical output and has the always fun (?) “karry-okee” function. Average video quality, AC-3, of course…

CLD-D704 one of the Above Average players.

Elite CLD-59 has the average pic quality but great sound. AC-3 of course! Coaxial digital audio output. Yamaha 901 and Marantz 520 are known clones.

Elite CLD-79 Above Average of course, see above!

Elite CLD-99 see great players above…

Since ’96, there’s the CLD-D606, CLD-D406, CLD-D505, CLD-D605, DVL-700, DVL-909, DVL-919. All these players have about the same pic quality except the 406’s is a tad less. The older CLD’s D502 and D503 hold interest for some folks, they have auto-flip and optical outputs. They were current models in 1993 and 1994, respectively.

Older players should be avoided unless you’re getting one of the players on the Above Average or Great lists or a hell of good price! Older Elite models like the CLD’s 52 or 53 offer very average pic quality but do offer toslink and coaxial digital audio outputs. RCA, Pro-Scan, Yamaha, Mitsu, Marantz, Kenwood, Denon, and others sold clones of Pioneer’s average players, mostly. Mitsu had a clone of the above average CLD-D704. Theta and Macintosh cloned the 97, but most clones are very average players. Some older players have digital outputs others don’t, you’d best check if you need that feature.

Outside of Pioneer made players I like Panasonic players. The LX-600 is good average player. The only problem with them is that Panasonic isn’t as dedicated to service of older players as Pioneer is. I would avoid Sony, Realistic, and Phillips/Magnavox players in general. Only if they’re dirt cheap are they worth fooling with. Sony has a few nicer players but their service-support isn’t good. Most of their models are prone to drawer problems. Sony USA released no great players. Reportedly, Sony Japan has…! Sony players are generally harder to mod for AC-3 output than Pioneer models, if that’s a consideration.

SOME PIONEER PLAYERS TO AVOID

CLD’s S980, S990, S1080 < These players can't always have their lasers realigned if it gets out of sorts, bad cheap design. The CLD-M401 has a 5-CD changer built in but is prone to way too many breakdowns according to a technican friend. I'd avoid all 1980's models unless you just want a $30, or less, toy. The older players just can't match up on pic quality or newness!

HOOKING UP LASERDISC PLAYERS

Always hook the players analog L & R audio outputs up. That’s all some players have anyway. Even if you’re hooking up a player with a digital output, you need the analog out’s hooked up too. Why? Because some older discs from the 80’s have only analog sound, because there could an alternate language, commentary track, or both. Many Japanese Laserdiscs have English on the digital channel and Japanese on the analog channel. Anyway, always hook-up analog audio.

If your player has either an optical or coaxial digital output, or both, yea, choose a line of transmission. You’ll be feeding your pre/receiver PCM, same as a CD, unless it’s it’s a DTS LD where the PCM track has been replaced by quess what? DTS, of course.
If your player has an AC-3 output, hook it up with a very shielded cable. There’s an RF (radio frequency) signal in this cable till it hit’s a demodulator, either in a receiver or an outboard demodulator box. Bad shielding could cause interference with other components? After demodulation the AC-3 stream is just like a DVD’s Dolby Digital signal, just at a slightly lower bit-rate.

There are prehistoric LD players from the 80’s that only have RF video out. I hope you’ll not be hooking up that way…! Many LD players only have composite video output. Composite is the hook-up of choice for LD players, unless you’ve got one of the Great Players or maybe one of the Above Average players? Many players have S-Video outputs which should not be used. Since this is the DVD age where S-Video is good, composite is bad days, it’s the other way around with Laserdisc. Only the great players have great S-Video output because of the terrific comb filters they have on board. Well, some of the above average players will have S-Video output that’s useful with some TV’s. Try both if you have them. The 3-line and most especially the 3-D comb filters in today’s TV’s will like the taste of LD composite video.

If you have a digital TV or projector, you may want to deinterlace your LD player with an outboard video processor like the DVDO iscan V1, V2, or Pro. I’ve had the LD-S9 hooked up with S-Video into quite a few brands of monitors from Sharp, JVC Priemer, Loewe, Sony, and Pioneer Elite. Suprise, suprise, in my experience the line-doubler in Elite 510/610/710 16 x 9 sets does LD better than the rest. iscan’d video will look better on most HDTV monitors. The iscan units have RGB outputs, but you can get a cable that converts RGB to 3 line component output. The point I’m making is that the internal line-doublers on most HDTV monitors won’t always do LD playback any justice, even if you have one of the great players.

EPILOG.

Remember, in terms of video quality, LD players vary way more than DVD players do. Only the great players will aproach DVD performance. Most of the best players have been made since 1995. Composite video output is usually best. If there’s no sound and all you have is a digital audio connection, you’re proably playing an analog sound disc. AC-3 audio requires demodulation, and you’re just about ready to spin Laserdiscs.

There’s 17,000+ U.S. LD releases and 30,000+ Japanese releases to choose from, or look for since the format is out of print. Many cult films, classic movies from the 20’s thru the 70’s, and many music LD’s don’t seem destined for DVD release anytime soon if ever?

Intresting discs are out there, somwhere. From STAR WARS to SONG OF THE SOUTH to ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS to WINGS OF DESIRE to DR. JOHN’S NEW ORLEANS SWAMP to SINK THE BISMARCK and all the really cool boxsets, there’s a lot of intresting content to collect out there that’s not on DVD. Good hunting!

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407 Questions/Comments/Trackbacks so far

  1. Posted by: omar
    February 25, 2010 5:34 pm

    thanx for guiding me to get a LD-S9…best move i ever made!! only thing is the manual is in japanese…..all i really want to know is how to operate the LG function……i suppose knowing were to find,or download an english one would be good….but if you could just tell me wich button to hit for the LG would be great!!! thanks

  2. Posted by: Richard Briody
    March 5, 2010 2:41 pm

    I am a school teacher. I had a Panasonic LX121 Multi Laser Disc Player that I used for showing Science laser discs. It stopped working last year. I am looking to replace it with another player. What would you recommend?

  3. Posted by: Moe
    March 5, 2010 3:31 pm

    Richard Briody, doesn’t sound like you need to be picky about a player. I would just find something cheap on Ebay.

  4. Posted by: Thomas Hunt
    March 27, 2010 11:51 am

    Hi:
    I have a CLD-D750. I’m curious whee it falls in the line up of players. It plays both sides and it is a multi-power model I bought in Europe. THanks!

    Tom

  5. Posted by: Moe
    March 27, 2010 2:51 pm

    Thomas Hunt, I have no experience with that model so I am afraid I have no idea.

  6. Posted by: Broonale
    April 16, 2010 6:34 pm

    Thanks for linking to that Pioneer VDP-V1100 Rewriter auction! Since I live in AZ, I was able to bid and win.
    I can’t wait to see if I can get it going!

  7. Posted by: pablo
    April 21, 2010 11:12 am

    Hi, long time laserdisc fan Guy here.
    I have a McIntosh mld7020 player going to an onkyo tx-nr906 with reon video upscaler.
    My question is about the audio part of it.
    Should I use optical or RCA? Which one has better. DACS? Thanks.

  8. Posted by: jack
    May 4, 2010 4:45 am

    Hi,I have a Panasonic LX-K700.Can you please tell me how to clean the laser head? Many thanks.

  9. Posted by: Moe
    May 4, 2010 9:45 am

    Jack, I have no idea how to clean the laser head on your player. Sorry.

  10. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    May 27, 2010 6:43 pm

    Moe,

    Stumbled across your site via a Google search, and read through some of your writings. It felt good to reminisce about LD for a while. I have a small library of 400 LD titles, many with AC3 or DTS, and most with content so obscure they may never see life again in DVD, much less Bluray. I just built a 1080p home theatre front projection media room, and while the DVDs and Blurays are stunning, my LDs just don’t show nearly as well as I wish they did, looking like VHS quality by comparison. I have tried a Composite to 1080P HD “scaler” device (these used to be called line doublers back in the day) but it makes little difference. Any suggestions? Also, I own two LD players, a Pioneer DVL-700 and a Pioneer Elite CLD-79. Both could use a tune-up, and the ’79 tray only opens and closes with my assistance. Do you know where I can find reputable service for these in Southern California. Thanks in advance. I left you a small donation for your trouble. Eric

  11. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    May 27, 2010 6:44 pm

    Donation

  12. Posted by: Moe
    May 27, 2010 6:54 pm

    Eric, unfortunately it’s hard to get LD to look much better especially when you’re projecting. LD just doesn’t have the resolution and when you blow it up to projector sizes it just really shows the limitations of LD. I don’t know what brand or how old your scaler is but you may be able to improve the picture quality with a newer one. Another option is to get a higher end player although your Elite CLD-79 is a pretty good player.

    Unfortunately I have no idea where to get yours serviced in Southern California, I had to get mine serviced a few years ago and I just started calling places in the yellow pages, it didn’t take me long to find someone who worked on them.

    Thanks for the donation, much appreciated.

  13. Posted by: Martin Lonky
    July 14, 2010 4:25 pm

    My Pioneer LD player died and none is available in New Zealand whether new or second hand. Do you know if they are any 220Volts models in the US? Thanks cheers Martin

  14. Posted by: Bob
    July 23, 2010 4:19 pm

    I believe the author forgot the MSB LS-2X in her “Great” category. MSB built the Runco’s mentioned, and the LS-2X was also a THX-approved unit with auto-flip and and AC3-output, built on the same Panasonic chassis, but was half the price of the Runco’s. Regards.

  15. Posted by: Pat
    October 9, 2010 1:53 pm

    I have a Panasonic LX-101U in perfect condition. How does this compare to other panasonic ld players? I’m looking to sell it on eBay, and I see they’ve gone for as much as $195 or as low as $10. The LX-1000U is obviously their best – i was just wondering how this one compares… is it their first? Does that add any value?

    Thanks!

  16. Posted by: Jeremy Sells
    January 11, 2011 11:34 am

    Thank you Moe, for the excellent information. I am just beginning the hobby of LD enjoyment having made a trade for a bunch of laser disks. Based on your information I found a good deal on a Marantz LV520. My stereo is only a few years old and it has a digital coaxial input along with optical inputs. I understand the AC3/RF output will not translate to the rca style digital coaxial input without a demodulator. But since the Marantz has a digital optical output will it play AC3 audio through that? I’ve been trying to read and I understand DTS sound will play through the optical output, but I still can’t find if AC3 will. The demodulators don’t seem to be too cheap and I’d rather spend the $ on buying movies instead! Thank you again for posting this wealth of information.

  17. Posted by: omar
    January 11, 2011 11:53 am

    dont try going to go direct jeremy..you can blow your thing!!

    hey!! has everyone noticed how much LDs are going for these days??!! i put up a bunch for sale and couldnt beleive what was bringing 15-20+ dollars

    also that cld-99 that was supposed to be mint…i figured 900-1000 bucks…try 1700!!!!!

  18. Posted by: Jeremy Sells
    January 11, 2011 12:36 pm

    thank you omar, I think I understand now that since the dolby 5.1 tracks (AC3) are on the right analog channel, this is why the singal has to be converted back into digital by the demodulator. I’m guessing that all of my LD’s that indicate “dolby surround” have the AC3 track on the right analog channel. Now I need to figure out since I’m going to have three audio outputs (analog left/right, AC3, and digital optical) can I hook them all up at once or do I have to switch cables around depending on what disk I am watching. Whoo, lots to learn. By the way, congrats on your sales. It seems that used things are very “en vogue” these days.

  19. Posted by: omar
    February 9, 2011 5:49 pm

    whats up with this ebay sale for 3,250 bucks for a LD-S2???!!!!!

    at 500 bucks I didnt buy one because the shipping is still killer

    i paid close to a grand for my S9 (one of the best moves of my life!!!)

  20. Posted by: Broonale
    April 24, 2011 2:22 pm

    Moe?
    Where are you?
    No update since Feb.
    Is everything OK?

  21. Posted by: Moe
    April 25, 2011 12:16 pm

    I’m still around.

  22. Posted by: omar
    April 29, 2011 9:40 pm

    been seeing the Theta universal drive listings…says you need a seperate DAC unit to listen to audio….how does that work??? or am i reading something wrong???

    also,could you make any comments on LD players that are PAL capable…best and so on?

    thanx Moe

  23. Posted by: Travis Bickle
    May 2, 2011 5:04 pm

    Thought I would chime in here, I posted a long introductory post on the Pioneer 704 link here, as I am a long time LD fanatic dating back to the mid 1980s. People asking about AC-3 Dolby Digital and demodulators, I don’t think its worth getting your knickers in a twist regarding that stuff. Dolby Digital is compressed audio and is what most DVDs use anyway for their soundtracks. Uncompressed DTS is far superior, and so if you have a choice run DTS sound via the digital outputs for fantastic sound, with no need for an RF demodulator. Plus, for concert laserdiscs, you WANT to run full uncompressed PCM audio for the purest, best sound. The whole AC3 sound thing was big when those discs first came out, but now all DVD movies are in Dolby Digital, so to me its no big deal.

    Second, I would not hook up a laserdisc player to a projector or a new high def TV which is optimized to 1080p. Its a waste of time and effort. Laserdiscs put out 425-450 lines of resolution and were made for CRT technology ideally. Which is why I hung onto my Sony Wega standard def tube TV (36″) and bought one of the last made Sony Wega High Def tube CRTs (also 36″–still have not seen a rear projection TV beat it for picture). My laserdiscs look fantastic via my Pioneer Elite 97 and/or 99 (and my mammoth beast, the LD-S2) and most people cannot tell the difference between a DVD and the laserdisc on that high quality tube picture. The blacks are really black on that Sony and the Pioneers put out a sweet sweet picture on those CRTs.

    I also would not bother with any laserdisc players below the quality of a Pioneer 704 and on up through the Elites (79,97, 99 etc), Panasonic LX900, the Marantz LV520 (fantastic audio)(if you are serious about laserdiscs).

    Also, PAL players can only play PAL discs, which aren’t as common as NTSC, so why bother? Ain’t worth the trouble. Also would not bother with those combo DVD-LD players, even the Pioneer Elite ones, because all you are getting is 2 inferior products that are stuffed into one box for convenience—-obviously that means they had to compromise somewhere. With decent quality DVD players so cheap, why bother? The combo players cannot have the same quality as the better Pioneer Elite standalone players—its only common sense.

    Also, the Panasonic LX 900 is actually considered a superior player to the Panasonic 1000 and was produced after the 1000 I believe.

    Time to crank up the Japanese version of Stop Making Sense by the Talking Heads, or maybe the Japanese version of Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour, or maybe Genesis’ High Def Invisible Touch Tour Live laserdisc…….

  24. Posted by: Travis Bickle
    May 2, 2011 5:21 pm

    By the way, not to take away any thunder from this fine website, and maybe Moe is well aware of this site, but I have obtained a lot of great laserdisc information on this site, which may not be current but still has some great info:

    http://www.mindspring.com/~laserguru/askjosh.htm

  25. Posted by: omar
    May 2, 2011 5:58 pm

    well…. if you live in Europe………..PAL discs are more readily available

  26. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 3, 2011 2:08 pm

    This is from the Laserdisc Forever website that my buddy Travis Bickle linked to above:

    Q: I was hoping you could educate me a bit on PAL laserdiscs.
    Was there a THX widescreen release of the original SW Trilogy in PAL, similar to the “faces” set here in the US? Or alternately the CAV Definitive Collection?

    If so, what LD players can handle PAL format discs? Only those built for the UK/etc market, or is this latent capability present in US players (assuming you have a display that could handle the PAL output)? I have seen models like the D515, or CLD-959 that claim to do both NTSC and PAL. If US players can’t do it, what UK model would be equivalent in PQ to at least a D703/704?

    A: There were some PAL laserdisc releases for the Star Wars movies , including a Special Edition box set. Sadly, no Definitive Collection or “Faces” editions. You can do a search for “Star Wars” at The Laserdisc Database to see what was out there.

    To play a PAL laserdisc, you need a European-model laserdisc player. Such a player will only output the signal as raw PAL, and will not convert to NTSC. US-model LD players will not recognize or play a PAL disc at all.

    Unfortunately, the PAL laserdisc market was miniscule, even in comparison to the tiny US market for LDs. Even the best PAL laserdisc players only approach the quality of our mid-level models such as the CLD-D606. The discs themselves tended to be poorly mastered, often converted from NTSC video transfers. Even with the few extra lines of resolution that PAL affords, it is rare to find a PAL laserdisc that looks as good as its NTSC counterpart. As a rule, it’s not worth the effort for someone in the US to acquire PAL laserdisc equipment.
    ______________________________

    Obviously if you are in Europe, there would be more PAL laserdiscs available, but as the above points out, the market was miniscule for PAL discs, so even in Europe, why bother? Unless there is some rare PAL disc that is not available on NTSC that you just have to have, why bother? Seems to me not worth the time, money and effort.

  27. Posted by: Moe
    May 3, 2011 2:34 pm

    Travis,

    As for “One thing I don’t understand about your “laserdisc store”—all your links are to Ebay sales. Are those your players you are selling on Ebay, or are those links just for convenience?”

    They are just there for convenience and to hopefully make me a bit of money if someone goes and buys something from ebay after clicking one of those ebay listings.

  28. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 9, 2011 9:12 am

    Hey Moe, I wonder if you can help me with a laserdisc issue. I have a Pioneer LD-S2, you know, the one built like a tank. I admit, its not used as much and is not currently hooked up in my system because I have both an Elite 97 and an Elite 99 also. So it goes long periods of non use. I powered it up the other day and while everything still works fine, there is one issue with the tray door not opening without some “help”. The door on that player is very thick and heavy, heavier than most, and its having trouble automatically lowering to let the tray out to load. It closes fine and the disc then clamps down and plays. I have seen some other Ebay listings where that same problem is referenced on these players. Is there anything I can do to easily solve that issue? Is it just a matter of using it more so the belts aren’t so stiff, or do I have to replace something? Even though I don’t use this player a lot, I love the look of it and the tank like construction, so I want to keep it going. Is there anything I can do as far as maintenance generally on laserdisc players to keep the belts and drives operating smoothly? Seems like many of these Pioneers have tray door issues.

  29. Posted by: omar
    May 9, 2011 12:48 pm

    still looking for my answer

    “Even the best PAL laserdisc players only approach the quality of our mid-level models such as the CLD-D606”

    so…..what are the best PAL players???

    and to the answer for the reason to buy PAL discs in europe…the incredible hike as of late in shipping costs….there are quite a few ld’s i still want to add to my collection..if the disc only costs 2 dollars..the shipping still costs 18…. so inside of europe i can get the same title for about 8 bucks complete….. its purely financial…so for a simple movie like say Up in Smoke id still rather have the ld than DVD and PAL will do just fine….there are no incredible visuals that im missing out on!!!!

  30. Posted by: Moe
    May 9, 2011 1:11 pm

    Rupert,

    Sorry, I have absolutely no experience with the LD-S2 so I am afraid I can’t be of any help.

  31. Posted by: Moe
    May 9, 2011 1:14 pm

    Omar, I have no experience with PAL players so I don’t know the answer to that question. As stated at the top of the page, I am not the author of this page. It was written by Rachel Bellomy who was nice enough to let me host this information on my site

  32. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 9, 2011 5:36 pm

    Dude, so you don’t anything about laserdiscs? No wonder every answer has been “I don’t know”, lmao. I thought you were some kind of laserdisc enthusiast and wanted to share your knowledge. So where is Rachel? Maybe we can get her to join in and answer some of these questions. Is she hot? All the more reason to have her join the party.

    As for PAL laserdiscs, I will stick with the earlier statements. Unless there is some kind of uber rare titles on PAL that you just have to have, seems like a big waste of time to me, especially for someone who allegedly has spent a $1000 on a high end Japanese player. That is like investing in a super high end sports car and letting that sit around while you piddle around in an old Volkswagon Rabbit….

  33. Posted by: Moe
    May 9, 2011 6:10 pm

    I know plenty about laserdiscs. I just never spent big bucks on a player that was released only in Japan so I can’t help you with your problem and I live in the US so I have no experience with PAL players.

  34. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 10, 2011 10:04 am

    The LD-S2 was an American market player, but whatever (of course, basically all players were built in Japan). So who is Rachael Bellomy? The link to whatever site she had doesn’t work.
    I just figured a site like this would be good for laserdisc maintenance type questions given its content, so I guess I had to chuckle when I see that virtually every answer is “I don’t know” or “I don’t have any experience with that”. Do you know of any ways to keep laserdisc players maintained so they last well into the future? Your site would seem to attract a few of us laserdisc afficianados, so you are probably going to keep getting those types of questions.

  35. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 10, 2011 10:20 am

    Here is some good advice for those who think combo LD-DVD players are great things. I keep seeing those bid up to crazy prices on Ebay. From the “Laser Guru” Laserdisc Forever website:

    Q: Just wondering have you looked into which is the best combo player ever made and how does those compare to the standalone LD player? Or should I ask is a DVL-91 has the equivalent video quality of a CLD-99?
    A: The LD/DVD combi players are not recommended. They sacrifice performance on both formats for the sake of convenience. The DVL-91 has a very poor first-generation DVD player and its LD section is based on the mid-level CLD-D606. You can get much better quality for much less money by purchasing separate LD and DVD units. The CLD-D704 can be bought for about half the price of a DVL-91 and is a significantly better LD player

  36. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 10, 2011 10:28 am

    Oh, also, for those of you who have standalone DVD recorders, the great dirty little secret of laserdiscs—and why I keep my laserdisc players and collection going—-is that laserdiscs contain no copy protection at all. You can copy a laserdisc completely and identically via a DVD recorder (Which are now rare as a Girls Gone Wild virgin themselves now). I am in the process of recording all my concert laserdiscs to DVD, many of which will never be released on DVD due to rights issues. Now, these are for personal use only, and perfectly legal of course for personal use. I am not advocating any copyright infringement. I am just saying its cool that I can make a pristine DVD archive copy of my Motown 25 laserdisc (with the M Jackson moonwalk) that has never been released on DVD, or the Madonna Japanese only concert laserdiscs that have never been released on DVD, or the Frank Sinatra Live in Japan laserdisc that has never been released on DVD etc.

  37. Posted by: Moe
    May 10, 2011 12:31 pm

    I used to be a regular poster at the AVS forums http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/ and Rachael was as well. She may still be active there, I don’t know because I am not. About 7 years ago Rachael posted the above laserdisc guide somewhere, this was around the same time that I was doing a big update to my site and I asked her if I could re-post it on my site and she agreed.

  38. Posted by: omar
    May 10, 2011 12:42 pm

    Rupert, Yes i dig my LD-S9 and as it seems,i got a bargain on it!! as players have been commanding big bucks these days…..but there are some films that i dont care that much about…for example just about any cheesy comedy film is good for the laughs ,but the the rest is ….well not that important….being into LDs ive gotta somehow feel that the mastering quality is much better on LDs than any budget DVD i would find(probably in a bargain bin at a supermarket)….even if it is a PAL disc…

    ……so if anyone in Europe can answer as to what the best PAL players are I’d appreciate it

    and Moe thanx for this site,it is a great resource…

    Rupert…i’m a musician,so concert films are my specialty on LD…if you want to pass on any of your originals let me know 🙂

  39. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 10, 2011 3:41 pm

    Omar, where did you buy that LD-S9 out of curiousity? I never or rarely see those hi-end Japanese players come up on Ebay. I would love to have one of those or a Runco or a McIntosh (even though I have the Elite 99 and 97).

    I have to say I probably have one of the best collection of concert discs around, if I can pat myself on the back. There are very few concert discs left that I am still seeking, as I found most of my “holy grails”. I have a Japanese box set of all the Prince’s Trust Concerts that I have never seen offered on Ebay again. If I were smart I would have finished copying all these concert discs to DVD years ago and sold off my laserdiscs when more people had players and before many concerts were released on DVD, but oh well, still have a lot of discs that may never see a (legit)DVD release. I know someone has made a mint bootlegging the Yes Live at QPR 1975 concert on DVDs which I have on LD. In fact, many of these grey market DVDs that are sold even on Amazon from companies in China and Argentina etc are simply transfers of laserdiscs direct to DVD.

    Omar, like I said I think PAL is a waste of your time, but have you checked the Laserdisc UK website which contains descriptions and pictures of about every LD player ever made? If they don’t have a listing of PAL players, no one will.

    http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/

    And hey, if anyone will sell me their Bond “World is Not Enough” laser from Japan, I will buy for a reasonable price.

  40. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 10, 2011 4:27 pm

    Huh, this is interesting. The Pioneer LD-S9 and the Pioneer Elite 99 have the same video S/N measurements (52 dB) and same audio measurements (117 dB, dynamic range 99 dB). Both have 3D comb filters but the LD-S9’s filter is called a “high res” 3D comb filter. Same laser head though.

    I still love the composite signal I get from my Elite 97. Awesome, better than even the 99’s.

  41. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 10, 2011 5:55 pm

    Man, I am amazed at the ridiculous prices people are bidding up for the Pioneer DVL-91 combi DVD-LD player on Ebay. $600 to $800? Seriously? As the Laserdisc Forever site states, “the DVL-91 has a very poor first-generation DVD player and its LD section is based on the mid-level CLD-D606. You can get much better quality for much less money by purchasing separate LD and DVD units.”

    Are people really not that smart? They must think because it has the Elite name and was one of the last LD players Pioneer made it must be one of the best. You can buy a DVD player for less than $100 that is better than that one and get a Pioneer D704 for $150 that is twice as good as that player. Amazing. You can’t fix stupid.

  42. Posted by: omar
    May 12, 2011 3:10 pm

    in these days of high shipping costs,i was lucky enough to find a military member selling his on ebay germany…i used to make out big time when i lived in NY,…I would buy the full collections with players and go pick them up personally

    Richard,you named the only bond film I dont have!!! im mostly interested in Jazz

  43. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    May 12, 2011 5:53 pm

    Who’s Richard, lol?

    I can’t believe you got a high end Japanese player from a military guy. I wonder how he could have afforded a $2000 player unless he got some incredible deal while stationed in Japan or something.

    The reason you don’t have that Bond film is because it was never released in the US–the only available version of World is Not Enough was released in Japan, and it was in Dolby Digital EX 6.1. I should have bought one years ago when I would see them for about $150. I have recently been going back and rewatching some of my Bond LDs, like the Thunderball THX and Moonraker and Spy Who Loved Me THXs, plus the box set Goldfinger and Thunderball etc. Despite all the DVD releases, I can’t seem to give these up. Its somehow more like watching a film when you put that big disc in….

    Don’t have too much jazz on LD—some Miles Davis, Larry Carlton, David Sanborn, maybe some Return to Forever and/or Weather Report.

  44. Posted by: Travis Bickle
    May 19, 2011 9:08 am

    Here’s an Ebay tip for people bidding on laserdisc players. People, when there is 6-7 days in an auction, there is NO reason to keep bidding the price of a player up early. All that does is make the player more expensive, for you, if you win it. Sellers WANT you to bid early and often—the more bids, the higher the price goes. All that does is make laserdisc players more expensive for everyone (I am talking about the high end Pioneer players, ie, the Elite 97 and 99 etc). Why make something you want more expensive to buy? The higher you bid up a player on one auction, the higher the price will be set in the next auction. Don’t you people get it? Wait until the last few minutes to bid on a player you want and bid what you are willing to pay. Why keep bidding up a player day after day? No one cares that you were the high bidder 3 days before the auction ends? Do people get some kind of kick out of that? I never understood the point in bidding on something you want early. Boggles the mind.

    Rant over.

  45. Posted by: Jim
    May 30, 2011 3:45 pm

    Cool webpage; I happened across it while looking for info on CRT projectors. When you say that only the high-end players approach DVD performance, can I assume you’re referring strictly to picture quality? What about the uncompressed sound on LDs vs. the compressed sound on DVDs? Besides, lines of resolution and SNR are not the only aspects of picture quality. Also, many early DVDs were non-anamorphic, and were mastered poorly resulting in digital motion artifacts.

  46. Posted by: omar
    May 31, 2011 2:18 am

    Yes Jim,
    I’ve honestly not watched a dvd since I bought my LD-S9 and ive been buying back my Lds i stupidly sold the sound test is SO obvious…a-b the laserdisc kills for picture i just LIKE the ld feel better…. my buddy was bragging about blu-ray so i challenged him to play me a classic movie on blu-ray he put on the Shining.. and no way!! my laserdisc kicks its a$$!!

    I’m really thinking the same must hold true for dvds and I should buy a really good dvd player

    i think the biggest arguement comes down to material…most would say you cant get new titles on laserdisc…. i say .. you cant get decent pressings of vintage movies(my preference to the new crap)on DVD i watched notorious last night….man,dvd doesnt play black and white like that….
    and yes ive got a sony trinitron TUBE tv as well

    the debate is EXACTLY the same as LP vs. CD only better !! as ld has analog and digital sound!!!

  47. Posted by: Jim
    May 31, 2011 10:34 am

    Hey Omar, what model SONY do you have? I used to have the KV-32XBR100, and kinda wish I hadn’t sold it cause they’re damn near impossible to find. I’m currently using a 30″ TOSHIBA tube HDTV set, which is decent at displaying LDs (probably better than any LCD or Plasma), but not as good as the SONY. I like it better for watching Blu-rays thru the HDMI.

  48. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 1, 2011 4:53 pm

    I have one of, if not THE last Sony 36″ Hi Def Tube TVs they made. Its a behemoth, but I still have not seen a LCD that rivals it in picture quality. The HD is stunning, but best of all, the tube TV does laserdiscs beautifully, and I hope this thing lasts for 10-15 years.

  49. Posted by: omar
    June 2, 2011 4:41 am

    mines 40″!!!!

    i thought it was a great deal when i payed 1300 us for it

    now dummies are giving them away for 400 bucks!

    Rupert…do you use the DVI input????

  50. Posted by: Jim
    June 3, 2011 12:03 am

    SONYs are the best. My ultimate goal is to get a SONY KD-34XBR960 or 970, and use the 30-incher as a bedroom set. Long live CRT!

  51. Posted by: omar
    June 3, 2011 2:21 am

    when i lived in NYC, i used to collect EVERY sony tv that i would find on the sidewalk….and they ALL worked great!!! my friends were very happy!!!!!

  52. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 9, 2011 12:45 pm

    finding Sony TVs on the sidewalk?????? Huh? Who would just put a working tv on the sidewalk? Omar, tell the truth, you were a fencer of “goods” back then weren’t you? You had a good relationship with some pawn brokers I take it…..

    Just recently watched the THX Empire Strikes Back (the real one, not the altered one) and man, that LD still looks stunning on a CRT played through my Pioneer Elite 97. Very filmlike. Very deep blacks and that sound just kicks azzzzz. Even though I have the Star Wars DVDs, I hardly ever watch them—I gravitate to the LD versions still. I am sure Blu-Ray will seem stunning when those come out this year, but there is just something magical about those Star Wars laserdiscs (and I have multiple versions).

    Anyone watching these crazy auctions on Ebay lately? People are still paying close to $1000 for those LD-DVD combi players which are AVERAGE LD players at best. It really boggles the mind.

    I wonder if our host has lost interest in laserdisc since he got rid of his Pioneer 704…..

  53. Posted by: omar
    June 9, 2011 12:52 pm

    leave Moe alone! He’s kind enough to include Laserdisc in the realm of Home Theater in this day and age of Blu-ray…heck people have more respect for mpeg-4 than laserdiscs!!! laserdisc even no longer has a category here on German Ebay

    so this page remains here for those of those who know better!!! and we can keep it alive in this comment forum!!

  54. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 9, 2011 1:12 pm

    Dude, calm down, lol. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing at all, I am very grateful for his laserdisc page and the attention he has given it with the guide etc. I was commenting on his lack of partaking in these discussions, maybe because he didn’t keep his player? Anyway, this site as well as Joshua Zyber’s Laserdisc Forever and a few others are like an oasis for us old schoolers to drink at on the long journey of home theater technology…..ah, maybe I will throw on Lawrence of Arabia this weekend…..

  55. Posted by: Moe
    June 9, 2011 2:34 pm

    I still have my 704 actually, I just don’t have it hooked up at the moment.

    I still break it out from time to time when I want to see Han shoot first.

  56. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 10, 2011 12:04 pm

    Oh, Ok Moe, I thought you had sold it or “retired” it since you listed the 704 under your “retired equipment” list on the left side of the website. I had let my laserdisc players sit unused for a while there, but lately I am back into playing stuff and I seriously need to get busy and finish transferring the hundreds of concerts I have on laserdisc to DVD via my DVD recorder, many of which will never see the light of day on commercial DVD (ie Motown 25th Anniversary etc); as well as movies that are only available on LD, such as the roadshow version of The Alamo and all the RKO movies which are still not out on DVD.

    So Moe, you never got any of the Pioneer Elite players? Which DTS titles did you think were the best audio-wise? Did you bother with AC3 or go DTS more?

  57. Posted by: Moe
    June 10, 2011 12:43 pm

    The 704 is essentially retired as I only break it out very rarely, I have a projector and LD’s just don’t look very good on it, they do sound great though.

    I never got an Elite player. My first player was a Pioneer CLD-S104 which I did an AC3 mod to. I didn’t have that player long before I upgraded to a Pioneer CLD-504. I then got a Pioneer CLD-D606. Some guy was selling the 606 on craigslist (which is a great place to find LD players) and he had a bunch of discs with it too including the Star Wars trilogy. The 606 never even made it into my system, before I had time to hook it up I found 704 on craiglist for a price that I couldn’t pass up so I upgraded to the 704. I got the 704 for $50 and at the time they were averaging about $350 on ebay.

    I only ever had a handful of DTS discs, I remember that I have/had The Rock and Seven. I looked for a long time to get Casper DTS at a price that wasn’t outrageous but I was never successful. I always heard that Casper was one of the best sounding Laserdiscs out there. I do have a copy of Robinson Crusoe on Mars though 🙂

    I did bother with AC3, I have a Marantz DP-870 RF Demodulator for decoding the AC3 signal.

  58. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 10, 2011 2:11 pm

    yep, I actually got Caspar DTS some years ago, it is very well done. Some of my fav DTSs are Jurassic Park, Waterworld, and a sleeper, The River Wild with Kevin Bacon. Great sound of rushing river rapids almost the whole way through and a good flick to boot. And of course the Eagles Hell Freezes Over DTS concert, which seriously makes you feel like you are in the middle of the concert hall–pristine. Got a few of the 6.1 Ex Surround discs as well—-The Haunting, and of course Phantom Menace and one of the Austin Powers movies I think.

  59. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 10, 2011 2:15 pm

    Oh, and I just picked up Crimson Tide DTS, and other standouts are Dante’s Peak, Goldeneye and Apollo 13.

  60. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 13, 2011 11:06 am

    stumbled across a great forum on Blu-Ray.com where there is a dedicated laserdisc thread. Seems to have a lot of knowledgeable LD owners there. Found this interesting observation:

    “I finally came across a LD-S9 player in the flesh at a used goods store on the weekend. It looks awesome. Unfortunately, the asking price is 52500yen ($630usd) Seems like a lot. What do the experts say? At what kind of price should I be tempted in buying an LD-S9?”
    __________
    I already answered your question to me via PM, but I thought that my response should be mentioned here for everyone in this forum to know what my opinion on this player is…

    The LD-S9 is a next generation upgrade from the CLD-D704/CLD-79/CLD-99 line of players by having the 2nd-generation Mitsubishi comb filter (which is arguably outdated at this point in time anyway) and a larger clamping surface for LD-only playback. It also has a spiffy champagne faceplate, instead of the glossy black urishi one on the CLD-79/CLD-99 if cosmetics are meaningful to you. That’s it. It has the exact same electronics as the cheaper, earlier-generation players, and its PQ through the composite video output is identical to them, all of which utilize DVNR to remove video noise.

    You are MUCH better off buying a CLD-D704 or CLD-79 IMO and using an external comb filter on a cheapo DVD/VHS combo player that could be purchased for $30-$50 at Walmart. The comb filter on a cheapo DVD/VHS combo player in 2011 is at least as good if not slightly better than the 2nd-generation Mitsubishi comb filter that is on the S9. Or, if you plan on scaling up to 720p/1080i, the Faroudja NRS scaler has a very nice comb filter.

    So, IMO the only advantage of the S9 is its larger clamping surface over the CLD-D704/CLD-79/CLD-99 players, which allows for marginally better tracking, especially on warped discs. However, if the CLD-D704/CLD-79/CLD-99 is properly aligned (aligned by Kurtis or Duncan), there is no difference in tracking between it and the S9 on your average disc.

    I, personally, would not buy one. But, if you are hot to buy one, I would not pay more than $500 for it WITH remote. I would also insist on the original manual, but since it is in Japanese, that wouldn’t be a deal breaker if it wasn’t available.
    _________________________________

    I have read those same observations from Kurtis Bahr himself. He advises getting a Pioneer 704 (or 79) and using the composite output, which will give you the exact same picture as a LD-S9, at a fraction of the cost. I already have a 79, 99 and a 97, as well as an LD-S2. I would still contend the 97’s composite output is the best ever made on the American market, but since you are using the TVs comb filter, that advantage is more monitor dependent than player dependent. I recently sprung for a Mitsu 7057 in almost like new pristine condition, which is a rebadged Pioneer 704 (exact same player) to use as another safety valve backup. Couldn’t resist, decided not to spring for another 99 or even a LD-S9 and spend the $600-800 (Elite 99) or the $1000-1200 (LD-S9) it would take to basically get the same performance.

  61. Posted by: omar
    June 13, 2011 2:48 pm

    this type of reasoning is common in any field…cars,musical instruments…etc…

    it is logical and theoretical…however nothing can compare to ACTUALLY owning one….and for 600 bucks you should jump on a S9!!!!!!!

  62. Posted by: Jim
    June 13, 2011 3:26 pm

    Don’t the LD-S9 and CLD-99 have a slightly higher S/N ratio than the 704/79 (52 vs. 51)? I know that’s not much, but that’s how they’re rated if I’m not mistaken. (the highest-end players that I’ve owned are the 704 and its Mitsu clone)

  63. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 13, 2011 8:37 pm

    the thing is, its not theoretical if the composite output of all those Pioneers is exactly the same. Back in the 90s, when these players were made, the reason the Japanese high end players were so highly rated, and expensive, is because they had a vastly superior digital comb filter. The idea is that you would use their S video output to take advantage of that comb filter. That advantage is moot now, because the comb filters in any display device are going to be superior to anything in a laserdisc player. Now, it only makes sense to use the composite output and let the display device’s comb filter do the work.

    That is why laserdisc gurus like Kurtis Bahr, who repairs and calibrates high end Pioneers, recommends not spending the money now on those high end players and getting the same result with a drastically more inexpensive 704. You won’t use the 3d comb filter in the player, even in the 99. You use the composite output, and that is the same for all those Pioneers. The one Pioneer that had a SUPERIOR composite output in a head to head test with the 99 was the player I primarly use—the Elite 97.

  64. Posted by: omar
    June 14, 2011 5:27 am

    the first 2 are the same 300(these are friend prices) but the japanese is a little more expensive…. it is 500…. but when you watch it,you will know where that extra money went….

    now there’s nothing wrong with the first 2…they are real,real good players

    but this one…..is a F&@%^n madman

  65. Posted by: omar
    June 14, 2011 5:29 am

    you are correct Jim… what he said was “basically” the same performance..not “exactly” the same performance

  66. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 14, 2011 8:53 am

    The S/N numbers are based on S video performance Jim. Through the composite output the 704/79/99 puts out the exact same signal as the LD-S9. Its the same electronics in all the players. I know this hurts Omar to hear it, because he spent 1000 clams on his, but its true. The difference in the players was the comb filter, that’s it. If you are using the composite output, which you should since any display device now will easily have a superior comb filter, you aren’t using the player’s comb filter, so the composite output is the same for all those Pioneer players. The 97 was measured as having a superior output to the 99 (and thus the 704/79/ and yes, the LD-S9). See this article:

    http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_elite_cld-97/pioneer_cld-97.htm

    But don’t take my word for it. Look up a guy named Kurtis Bahr. He tests these players for a living. He will tell you that through the composite output the video signal of a Pioneer 704 (and 79 and 99)is identical to the LD-S9.

  67. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 14, 2011 8:57 am

    “It[LD-S9] has the exact same electronics as the cheaper, earlier-generation players, and its PQ through the composite video output is identical to them, all of which utilize DVNR to remove video noise.”

    That is from the laserdisc thread on the Blu-Ray forum I quoted. I didn’t say it. He uses the word “identical”, as does Kurtis Bahr.

  68. Posted by: Jim
    June 14, 2011 3:09 pm

    One thing about the comb filter argument though: laserdiscs look best on a CRT TV, and they stopped making the big ones 5-6 years ago. My TOSHIBA was built in 2005, which means it’s one of the last, and I found that LDs look better using the s-video input, and that was with a DVL-919! (the only reason I bought a combo player was I got it for $35 at a thrift shop–I had sworn off combo players LOL). Granted that was NOT the case using a CLD-V2600, but that’s a relatively low-end player. My point is, if you’re going to have to buy an external comb filter to get the best possible picture, you might as well spend the extra $$$ and get a high-end player.

  69. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 14, 2011 4:53 pm

    I have a Sony 36″ Hidef tube CRT and I bought it what, 4 years ago or so. The comb filter in a TV made in this past decade is going to be vastly superior to one in a laserdisc player built in the 90s. And the point of the above quotes I posted is that even the comb filters in a recent cheapy Walmart DVD/VHS recorder that costs $50 are going to be superior to one in an mid 90s LD player. To each his own, but if you are not using the composite output from your laserdisc player, you are taking yourself backwards to mid 90s technology.

  70. Posted by: Jim
    June 14, 2011 7:57 pm

    As I implied, I always compare composite vs. s-video and then I go with whichever I think looks better with a given player and monitor. Your SONY probably has a better comb filter than my TOSHIBA. Like I said earlier, I’d like to get back to a SONY as my primary monitor since they seem to be the best.

  71. Posted by: Jim
    June 14, 2011 8:08 pm

    BTW if I wanted to use the comb filter in one of those DVD/VCR combos, do I just run the composite signal from the LD player thru it’s composite input and then out thru the s-video? How would that work exactly?

  72. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 19, 2011 7:01 pm

    That is what would make sense to me Jim, laserdisc composite to DVD, then S video to TV. I don’t know why one just would simply utilize the comb filter in the TV set, which should be superior if the set is recent, and thus eliminate that middle step. I do have a DVD recorder in my chain for when I transfer Laserdiscs to DVD, so I go Laserdisc player composite to DVD recorder, then DVD recorder to TV via S video (that utilizes the DVD recorder’s comb filter, which is a Pioneer model made in the last decade). If I want the best possible and direct path signal, I simply go composite from Laserdisc player to Sony 36″ Hi def CRT.

  73. Posted by: Jim
    June 19, 2011 11:14 pm

    Cool, thanks for the tip. Yeah, I’d say the most direct signal path is usually the best. I don’t have a DVD recorder right now anyway so I just go directly from the LD player to the monitor. With home theater setups, if I can help it I don’t use the receiver’s video inputs, cause I prefer to switch the audio and video separately, and if the TV has enough inputs I always prefer to hook up my video components directly to it.

  74. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    June 24, 2011 2:41 pm

    Greetings! I love stumbling across a really good, well-written Laserdisc site, so I enjoyed finding yours.

    I have a slightly offbeat question. Since I already have a fine NTSC-standard player (I invested in the importation of a used Pioneer LD-S9 from Japan) running through a Marantz DP870 AC3 demodulator, my NTSC needs have been fully met. But I have one disc in PAL format that was never available in NTSC. (It’s “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia,” with the lovely Kristy McNichol and some dang fine country singin’.) So I need to find a PAL laserdisc player.

    Output is not an issue, as I will be using a graphics card (not purchased yet) to record the laserdisc and re-compile it for burning to DVD in NTSC format. No PAL television will be needed, nor a player with internal conversion for NTSC output from PAL discs. I’ll just need a voltage converter and the laserdisc player.

    So which one is the best PAL player ever made? Many consider the Pioneer CLD-D925 the best dual-format unit, but it also appears to have less-than-ideal video quality and might be achieving its overall high score due to automatic side-changing and its dual-format capability (non-issues for me).

    I don’t know if you have access to test reports that are entirely Euro-centric and only consider PAL players, but if you have knowledge in this area I’d love to hear your suggestions.

    A beat-up Sony MDP-850D is listed on eBay, but a review gave it slightly lower marks for video quality than its 650 predecessor (though it scored a higher overall for things like side-changing, etc.).

    I look forward to any advice. Thanks!

  75. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    June 24, 2011 3:13 pm

    I should’ve read ALL of the posts before hitting the SUBMIT key on mine, because I would have seen some similar questions. Oops! Just add me to the list of those looking for data (from European readers?) on the best of the generally mediocre-quality PAL units.

    With regard to the question of comb filters, I use my Marantz SR8001 receiver to do all of the switching between my A/V devices. My televisions are all Sony CRT models. Would the receiver be doing any onboard comb filtering? Would this interfere would any filtering done by the TV? I’d hate to have a direct line from the LD player to the TV when everything else is switched so handily, but with the limits of LD resolution I’d like to squeeze as much quality from my player as possible.

    And I second the comments on high-definition CRT televisions. I have a 30″ 16:9 KV-30HS420 in the bedroom, and 32″ (4:3) and 34″ (16:9) versions from the same HS420 series in the living room. I like sending programs of different ratios to the appropriate TV, to minimize black bars. That’s why I avoided the 36″ — for me, I didn’t want to see such huge 4:3 images in comparison to the 34″ widescreen stuff. It would make me less impressed by what is otherwise a tremendous image.

  76. Posted by: omar
    June 24, 2011 10:37 pm

    does it really make a difference how fast a disc flips?cant we wait an extra 5 seconds? on the pal topic…i went ahead and got the 925.and im very happy! Nice design,remote,runs smooth and silent.i use it with my projector in the bedroom,and the picture is significantly sharper than before.925 gets a big yes,and i would categorise as good enough! Before deciding to spend real money on a great machine i went through many average pioneer machines that came along with peoples collections…this definately outplays them all!!!

  77. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    June 25, 2011 8:50 am

    Omar – I’ve never been too concerned with side-change speeds. I’m bugged by other factors, such as players that display the first image of the chapter during sidechange (why grab an image from several minutes ago?) and discs that are designed with the sidechange in really retarded places (the middle of action sequences). Beyond that, I only need auto sidechange on the LD player I use for watching movies, and not on a player that I was only using for recording (DVD transfer). A PAL player would fall into the latter category.

    I was actually hoping you wouldn’t endorse the 925 so strongly. ; ) Everybody seems to want the thing, and prices are never cheap. I was hoping a PAL-only unit would equal its PAL performance without being desirable (i.e., expensive) to Western buyers.

    Maybe I’ll luck out somewhere.

  78. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 26, 2011 2:21 pm

    Just saw that a mint LD-S9 went for $916 on Ebay and it included a sheetload of stuff with it……

    You probably won’t see this combination very often (if EVER) for a MINT/PERFECT Pioneer LD-S9 LaserDisc Player, iScan Video Processor, 2 Anamorphic (‘Squeeze LD’) Titles (Terminator 2 and Basic Instinct), MINT Box Set of Indiana Jones (and the PCM soundtrack on it is all that it had been revered to be…), ALL OWNERS Manuals (I’m including an Elite 99 Pioneer manual for the player, as it is in English.) are INCLUDED.

    For those not familiar with this particular model, the LD-S9 is regarded as one of the finest LaserDisc players ever made and is grouped in the same catagory as the legendary HLD-X9 MUSE player. One of the differentiating factors that sets this player apart is the (hand-made) 3D Digital comb-filter that is considered to be the finest ever offered on any consumer video playback equipment. Coupled with this iScan processor, this fantastic set-up is guaranteed to look great on your new HD set.

    Last, but far from least, the items listed come supplied with all power supplies. THIS INCLUDES a (VERY) high grade STEP-DOWN transformer for the LD-S9, all component video cables (VGA to Component and vice-versa). This set-up is truly ‘plug-and-play’ ready. The player, iScan, and accessories are ALL in PERFECT OPERATING condition and will be professionally packaged, insured and shipped immediately upon receipt of payment. Please review my feed-back profile and bid with utmost confidence. I am also available post-sale to answer any questions you may have regarding connection, unit operation, etc. (Such as DVI to HDMI connection for the iScan.)
    _______________________

    I lost out on a Pioneer Elite 97 with AC3 upgrade and in perfect refurbished and calibrated condition from Kurtis Bahr himself at $710. Couldn’t bring myself to go higher than $700 to add another 97 to the stable, but damn that was tempting.

  79. Posted by: omar
    June 26, 2011 2:47 pm

    Rupert!!!!!!

    you’ve been going on about how nobody should spend more than what a CLD 704 costs—whatever that is…I would guess around $300…

    ….and now your saying the LD-S9 at $900 was tempting?????

    …would you please make up your mind!!!!

  80. Posted by: omar
    June 26, 2011 2:53 pm

    Kevin

    I got mine for 100 pounds on ebay U.K… and I’ve seen a few in that price range

    i was running a DVL-919 …and the 925 is MUCH sharper

    ..there’s something i just like about the ergonomics of it….it is VERY quiet as well

  81. Posted by: omar
    June 26, 2011 2:59 pm

    Jim

    would you say you were overjoyed with you 704 ,or just satisfied??

    before I got my LD-S9 when I watched a movie,the moment the film company logo hit the screen,I would concentrate on the blurry edges and overall unsharpness thinking “ahhh, the inferiority of Laserdisc”…

    now ,I don’t think ive watched more than 2 DVDs in the last year!!!!! and i’m just thrilled….especially with black and white films

    ….so basically…. do you still feel like something is missing??? or is there some water to Rupert’s assesment that anything fancier is just a waste of money???

  82. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 26, 2011 7:49 pm

    Omar, you misread my post. I didn’t bid past $500 on the LD-S9. Not interested in paying more than that kind of money for the exact same electronics (through the composite output) as a 704, 79 or 99. The huge advantage of the LD-S9 is in the extra special digital comb filter, which was light years ahead in the mid 90s, but not now, since any display device now will have a superior comb filter.

    I bid (and lost)as I said on the Kurtis Bahr calibrated Elite 97 with AC3 added. THAT player has the best COMPOSITE output ever made by Pioneer. The best. Better than an Elite 99 (thus better than the LD-S9, which is the same player electronically aside from the comb filter and clamp mechanism). As you can see, that 97 went for just $200 less than a mint LD-S9 with all those extra discs and the video processor, which shows just how valuable a mint calibrated Elite 97 is. And yes, for about $300 or even less, you can get a Pioneer 704 or the equivalent and get the exact same picture through its composite output (which is what you should be using) as a LD-S9 through its composite output.

  83. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 26, 2011 7:57 pm

    Wow, dude’s buying a PAL laserdisc player just so he can play ONE disc!!!! Damn, that is hardcore. You must have money to burn, I envy you.

  84. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 26, 2011 8:19 pm

    Here is what Joshua Zyber on his “Laserdisc Forever” site said about PAL players:

    “Even the best PAL laserdisc players only approach the quality of our mid-level models such as the CLD-D606. The discs themselves tended to be poorly mastered, often converted from NTSC video transfers. Even with the few extra lines of resolution that PAL affords, it is rare to find a PAL laserdisc that looks as good as its NTSC counterpart. As a rule, it’s not worth the effort for someone in the US to acquire PAL laserdisc equipment”

  85. Posted by: Jim
    June 27, 2011 10:52 am

    Omar,

    I had my 704 hooked up to a SONY KV-32XBR100, which is a standard-def TV, but one of the best ever made (I got mine used but it originally retailed for $3500 I believe). I was pretty impressed with the picture, but if I had the money right now I would buy an LD-S9 or even an HLD-X9! Joshua Zyber once told me that when he upgraded from the 704 to the S9 he thought the S9 was clearly superior.

  86. Posted by: Jim
    June 27, 2011 11:17 am

    Rupert,

    I was watching that S9 auction–if I had the $$$ right now I woulda bid on that bad boy! 🙂

  87. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 27, 2011 1:44 pm

    Jim, How long ago did you have this conversation with Joshua Zyber? You spoke to him in person? I would bet dollars to donuts he was talking about those players hooked up via S Video (thus using the LD-S9s 3D digital comb filter). Obviously the S9 comb filter back in the day was better than the 704s. No one is contesting that. The point is NOW, with the comb filter advantage negated by superior comb filters built in display devices since then, you would use the composite connection, and there is no difference in the composite connection btw the 704 (and the 79 and 99) and the S9. They are electronically the same player apart from the digital comb filter. Again, don’t take my word for it. Google Kurtis Bahr and check out some of his postings on a site called Tom’s Hardware, I believe. He calibrates and tests these Pioneer players for a living. The composite connection of a 704 is going to give you the same pic as the composite connection of an LD-S9. I don’t see what is so hard to understand about that. Pioneer built those players all identically except for the comb filters.

  88. Posted by: omar
    June 27, 2011 2:27 pm

    …that’s not exactly what I’ve been reading…for example the cld-99 reverted to the electronics of the 704,and not the 97 wouldn’t that imply that they are in fact different

    i can accept statements such as just about the same,or just as good…. but with LD ,and for us geeks, 1 or 2 db can make a whole LOT of difference!

  89. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 27, 2011 4:26 pm

    Omar, you have got to read these posts more discerningly. Yes, the Elite 99 was built with the same electronics as the 704, as was the 79. As was the LD-S9. That is why many, including me, feel that the Elite 97 is the superior machine. It has a better composite output. It is much heavier, built much more sturdier, closer to the legendary LD-S2 in construction. The LD-S2 and the 97 are mammoth beasts. Many feel that Pioneer backed off that heavy duty care and construction with its last generation of players (the ones that end with a “9” and the 704). That last generation had the superior Digital comb filter—-that technological upgrade in the Elite 99 and LD-S9 is now negated because comb filters in TVs or even the simplest DVD recorder will surpass those mid 90s comb filters. Which is why the Elite 97 is so prized—it has better measurements with its COMPOSITE output, and is built much more sturdy and meaty than the 99 and its progeny. So yes, the 97 and 99 are different…..the 97 is better if you are not using the digital comb filters.

    That 1-2 dB of difference was when measuring the S VIDEO output, ie using the digital comb filters in the player. I don’t know why I have to keep repeating that. Again, here it all is, in black and white:

    http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_elite_cld-97/pioneer_cld-97.htm

    The 97 performed better through the composite output than the 99, even though the 99 was built later. Since the 99 and the LD-S9 have the exact same electronics other than the comb filter, the conclusion is obvious. And since the 704 has the same innards as the 99, the conclusion is also obvious regarding how the picture those machines would put out via the composite output. And as we all know, laserdisc video is an inherently composite (analog) medium, not a digital medium.

  90. Posted by: Jim
    June 27, 2011 4:37 pm

    Omar,

    Which input do you use with your S9?

    Rupert,

    What you’re saying makes good sense, if as you say ALL newer TVs have comb filters better than those found in the best LD players, but that’s not what my eyes seem to tell me. Also, I’ve read the specs on a lot of CRT HD sets and a lot of them just have 2-line or 3-line filters (not 3D). I doubt that comb filters were even a priority on a lot of them, since they’re by-passed when viewing HD material, or for that matter anything not utilizing the composite input. SONY sets seem to be the exception, though.

    I don’t know for sure which input Joshua was using. I just remember him telling me in an email that he had just upgraded to an S9. This was back in 2002 and I had just discovered his website, and I had asked him a question about Pro Logic 2 or something, so we sent a few emails back and forth.

  91. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 27, 2011 5:10 pm

    “The CLD-99 sample had no trouble producing 420 lines of horizontal resolution but it created a somewhat softer picture than the CLD-97. Sharp edges and picture details were less distinct. The measurement section of this review shows that the frequency response of this sample rolled-off compared to the CLD-97, with a dip in the 2-3 MHz region”

    “The one quality that has traditionally distinguished the small upper echelon of LD players from the rest has been lower chroma noise. Luminance noise is too low on most quality laserdisc players to be an evaluation factor. Chroma noise was also the parameter, but by a smaller differential, that established the CLD-97’s superiority over Pioneer Elite LD-S2, three years ago. The LD-S2’s digital signal processing (DSP) technology, now two LD player generations old, paved the way for DSP when it was still an inordinately costly and exotic consumer technology.

    In this new generational battle, the CLD-97 stubbornly refused to give ground. I tested the composite outputs first, turning the digital noise reduction (DNR) off for both players, to establish a basic performance baseline. In actual use, I can’t see any reason to disable the noise reduction entirely like this. The CLD-97 showed less severe streaking in highly saturated patches of color. When I turned the DNR back on, the level of chroma noise dropped dramatically in both players but the CLD-97 was still significantly better”
    ______________________

    The numbers don’t lie. The 97, via composite output, has a better sharper picture than an Elite 99, and thus, better and sharper than a 704, an Elite 79, and yes, the LD-S9, which all have the same pic via composite. I have the 79, the 99 and the Elite 97, and the 97 has the better picture. More rock solid, sharper. As the review above says, the Pioneer “9s”, built later, had a softer pic. My eyes confirm the raw objective data.

    Jim, I don’t know what you are comparing. Have you compared the 704 via the composite output with the LD-S9? They should both give you the exact same picture, since they are the same electronics inside but for the digital comb filter which only comes into play via the S video output.

    Again, don’t believe me. Read the review above from the laserdisc archive. Look up Kurtis Bahr, who does this for a living. He’ll tell you. The Pioneer 704= Pioneer Elite 79 = Pioneer Elite 99 = Pioneer LD-S9 when using the composite output. Its simply a fact.

  92. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 27, 2011 5:27 pm

    In 2002, with those LD digital comb filters still pretty new and fresh (less than 7 years old), there is no doubt that the LD-S9 would look much better than a 704 VIA THE S VIDEO OUTPUT (ie using the Japanese player’s much more costly 3d digital comb filter over the 704’s 2D 3 line comb filter). No one is debating that point. Now, almost 10 years later, that technological advantage is virtually moot. There is no reason, with the advancement of superior digital comb filters, to use the mid 90s technology in the player over a more recent superior TV or even a cheap DVD/VCR combo, which have better digital comb filters now. Once you accept that fact, the composite output of the LD-S9 and the 704 are going to be identical. So way back in 2002, when LD had just ended, I am sure Zyber would have been using the superior 3D comb filter of the very expensive Japanese LD-S9 player. That is why he purchased the unit no doubt. Now, that advantage is gone. The difference in the huge price btw the LD-S9 and the much cheaper Pioneer 704 was virtually all in the comb filter. The electronic innards were the same otherwise. What made sense 10, even 5 to 7 years ago doesn’t hold true today.

  93. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 27, 2011 5:35 pm

    “The CLD-97?s composite output is better than the CLD-99?s. So, if you have a display or video processor with a great comb filter, the 97 could be a great player for you.”

    From Rachel Bellomy’s Laserdisc Guide, reprinted above right on this very website.

  94. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    June 27, 2011 6:09 pm

    At the risk of inviting a rash of flame mail in response, after observing the goings on with this thread for a number of days, I must inject the following:

    I am not as much of a Laserdisc tweak as I’m sure many are here, but I dearly love my collection of 300+ large silvery discs.

    My Home Theatre system consists of a 100″ SI screen, with the image being thrown by a Mitsubishi HC6800 1080p Projector.

    I own three LD players; an Elite CLD-79, Elite CLD-95, and a DVL-700. I have run the composite and S-Video outputs of each through my Yamaha receiver to the Mits projector, and have settled on the composite output of the CLD-95 as being the best.

    HOWEVER, none of the images from these LDs can match any lowly DVD for sharpness, color depth, black level, noise, etc.

    So, what to do? Home Theatre, by definition, should emulate a theatre. I can’t imagine after being spoiled by a ginormous 100″ screen that I would be satisfied watching a movie on a CRT, even if I had one larger than 27″, which I don’t.

    So, my questions are:

    Is there an intermediate stage I can throw the composite signal through (people have mentioned low dollar DVDs as having superior comb filters) to improve it before it reaches the projector?

    Am I right in assuming that the CLD-95 is the best output of the players I own?

    My CLD-97 has a broken drawer mechanism, and needs help opening and closing. Where can I take this to be repaired?

    That’s all, let the flaming begin.

  95. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 27, 2011 6:29 pm

    Eric, I don’t know anything about projectors and how best to optimize a laserdisc picture for a huge screen like that, but you are probably correct, the Elite 95 through its COMPOSITE output would probably give you the best possible picture, even over that of the subsequently built 79. The 95 was the direct predecessor of the 97, discussed above, which I have. It has the same sturdy build quality and the composite output would be very close. So your eyeball judgment is consistent with the objective data and testing. Your problem is blowing up the image so large, you will no doubt see some imperfections on a 100″ screen that those of us with a 36″ CRT won’t see. I would maintain that a Sony Hi Def tube CRT puts out a more pristine and accurate picture than you could get on a 100″ screen, because I simply have not seen a projector that can duplicate that black level and crispness. Maybe with oodles of expensive line doublers, but at what cost? Its all about room size at that point. For me, with my size room, the 36″ CRT is a good size and ideal for laserdiscs. Its still a very big picture and I think the LD format was ideally suited for CRT displays. For you, I am sure a 36″ screen would look tiny after viewing one 3 times that big. I just have yet to see anyone’s projector pic blow me away with the detail and color and black levels of a Sony CRT.

  96. Posted by: Jim
    June 27, 2011 7:14 pm

    Rupert,

    No I haven’t compared them since I’ve never owned an S9. Would enjoy doing that one of these days.

    It sounds like if you’re using the composite output then that the 97 would be the hands-down best choice.

    If money was no object though I would probably go with the X9, just in case I ever want to watch a Muse disc; also they say it has the ability to minimize speckling on rotted discs. Actually if money was no object I would buy both!

    Eric,

    My goal is to set up a front-projection system using a CRT projector (probably the best way to view any analog format like LD, vs. any digital projection technology). Salesmen will tell you they are obsolete, cause they want you to buy the new digital stuff, but a high-end CRT projector can display PAST 2160p, and with HDMI adapters available they can handle blu-ray with ease.

    Do you run the LD signal thru any kind of line doubler or scaler before feeding it into the projector? How old is your receiver? A lot of the newer receivers upconvert all composite, s-video or component signals to HMDI. I don’t know if that necessarily improves picture quality though, or if it’s just for convenience.

    Do you use the DVL-700 to watch DVDs as well?

  97. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    June 27, 2011 8:35 pm

    Rupert,

    Thank you for your comments and advice. I do love my Laserdiscs, and wish I could enjoy them on the “big screen” as I do streaming content, DVDs and BluRay.

    I find it somewhat tiresome explaining to new acquaintences that the album sized cardboard encased discs in the bookcases are not LPs, but a curious flirtation with non magnetic media storage that predates both CD and DVD. Whatev.

    I am in search of a Holy Grail that may not exist, but I shall continue to search.

    Thanks!

  98. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    June 27, 2011 8:47 pm

    Jim,

    I still own an older Sharp Non-HD projector (I forget the model number), but I know I paid well over $4K for it in 1997, brand new from Ken Crane’s, (and that was the good buddy price). Are you saying that this would handle the signal better than my current 2010+ equipment?

    My Yamaha receiver is a RX665BL, and I believe it co-mingles the input signals into the HDMI output to the projector, but I doubt that there is any line doubling going on.

    I have tried running the output from the LD into an Ambery upconverter, which does increase the aspect ratio, and sharpens the image somewhat, but at the highest resolution setting I can overdrive its capabilities and cause it to start injecting horizontal noise into the image after only 30 minutes of play. (Heat?). I’m on my 2nd unit, and the same result, it is therefore the nature of the beast. Without a $3000+ Faroudja processor, I suppose I am doomed.

    LD viewing relegated to the “small” screen? That may be the only option.

    Why can’t my LD content be viewed in all its glory on a huge screen?

  99. Posted by: omar
    June 28, 2011 1:40 am

    Eric,
    SIT CLOSER TO THE TV!!! then its the same!!!

    i use the S-video… I’ve done the comparison, and that’s my choice

    AC-3 doesnt mean much to me….digital surround is a good as I need (i’m a professional musician,and I’m saying that)

    I want a X9,sure!!! but Muse discs…forget it…of the titles they made….i’d probably only consider about 3 titles IF they cost 50 bucks…and they start at 300…some guy is selling an unopened copy of Back to the Future for 2000 bucks…. how much would it cost to get the 35mm film rolls????

  100. Posted by: omar
    June 28, 2011 1:41 am

    …so what is the difference between AC-3 and DTS????

    ….i really dont know!!!

  101. Posted by: omar
    June 28, 2011 6:49 am

    so i just did the taste test..

    i chose Frank Zappa 200 motels opening credits

    …because even though it IS the best possible version you can find of the film,the visuals are questionable

    first the Movie Guild insignia comes on the left corner of the screen

    with composite the red is fiery and blazing s-video as if movie mode is on crisp clearly defined edges,more to the burgandy color than red

    credits start composite is a big bright red dripping mess s-video you can CLEARLY read all the names and they even look 3dimensional as there is a red glow from behind accentuating every letter

    SO… s-video is without any doubt the winner

    …am I missing something Rupert? should i recalibrate composite to optimize it and then compare the best possible picture from both???? I always thought a flat test was the best…..

    Im going to pull out some hightech visuals now for part 2

    ERIC this should sorta adress your quandry… i accept laserdisc for its imperfections(compared to dvd) and do my best to optimise its potential. Most of the people ive encountered selling off their entire collections,showed of their latest greatest movie room,and told me that laserdisc just couldnt keep up…. I smiled…paid 1 dollar a disc for 2 crates full and left promptly,thinking…………”SUCKERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!”
    i have a basic beamer(was the best offered at staples,bought it at a liquidation salefor 500 instead of 900….which of course means NOTHING) a nice screen i got on ebay for 60 bucks(probably was 800 new,but now ,OF COURSE,outdated) and running my 925 through a faroudja line doubler I am more happy than I ever was with any other setup I ever owned(except my ld-s9 on my 40″ trinitron OF COURSE).
    is the picture as sharp as it could be…..NO….. do I have full theater enjoyment watching SPEED yes!!!!!! and YES i compare it to my cinema going experiences in the 70s and 80s …..not the mega techno complexes of today

    My buddy who is a film freek,actually deals them….couldnt shut up about blu-ray….so i said fine…show me a CLASSIC movie that looks good…… he immediately put on BOND -Quantum Solace…. i can see the dust on the lamp chord in he corner of the room…do I care?????

    I said NO ….show a CLASSIC movie….
    luckily he had the Shining…which i had just used to test my new LD-S9 player the week before…… could not compete…. YES THATS RIGHT my S9 BLOWS AWAY BLU-RAY(…..for classic movies) they just simply LOOK CORRECT

    my friend has TCM HD at home and they bought a new LCD HD screen

    we watched I WANT TO LIVE what the hell was that????? its not the way its supposed to look!!!!!!!!!!! i feel like Kathy Bates in Misery but its REAL COCKYDOODY!!!!!!!

    i thought Sin City was some incredibly original stuff when it came out….ITS NOT…..ITS JUST A PRODUCT OF TODAYS TECHNOLOGY

    anyone seen 3-D TV? im a BIG 3-D fan….so i have to say i WOULD buy one……for 300 bucks!!!! and it WILL get there….FAST!!!!!! great for watching hockey!!!!!!

    Hellboy on Blu-Ray is like moving melted plastic…….AWESOME but something ENTIRELY new

    If you like movies from before 1995…..and all the way back to the dawn of sound,or even before!!! laserdisc is hands down the choice for me

    so don’t try to dress it up like Lady gaga….. James Brown with rhinestones is good enough!!!!!

  102. Posted by: omar
    June 28, 2011 7:06 am

    …so…. MIB was the first disc i could lay my hands on

    pretty good choice actually as the opening is a night scene

    …I hadnt checked which input i was on…and I was sure it was the composite signal as it wasnt quite all I expected

    …YES that’s right !!! absolutely no comparison to the S-video signal…yes im using gold-plated monster coaxial for the composite signal

    everything is “clear” to me!!! i dont need anymore tests

    back to watch the end of 200 motels!! you cant watch this in 1 sitting…or even 2!!!!!!

  103. Posted by: omar
    June 28, 2011 7:22 am

    okay,so the next problem

    I do need one more player…and i want it to be good!!

    having well over 1000 discs id like one that can read rotted discs

    now the LD-s2 is considered a very good machine…but not as good as the ones weve spent the last 2 weeks debating…..
    do i go LD-S2 or shell out a LOT more for an X9…..once again MUSE means NOTHING to me!

  104. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 28, 2011 7:43 am

    Omar, you have a Sony CRT Hi def tube don’t you? One made within the last 10 years?

    And you are using the comb filter in the LD player over your much superior Sony comb filter in the TV? Doesn’t make sense. You are wasting the thousands of dollars you spent on that Sony tube to get the best possible pic. But to each his own.

    the composite signal from the LD means you are using the more recent comb filter in the Sony CRT. If that signal doesn’t blow you away, then

    1) you don’t have your TV calibrated right
    0r
    2) the reviews were right—-the Pioneer “9s” were a step down from the awesome Elite 97 and put out a softer picture.

    I’m hanging onto my Elite 97 (wink)

  105. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    June 28, 2011 7:47 am

    Omar, AC-3 is dolby digital but compressed. DTS is less compressed. In fact, DTS laserdiscs are twice the bitrate of DTS dvds, more space for the audio and completely uncompressed sound. When in doubt, always go for the DTS or PCM tracks. For music, pure uncompressd PCM is the only way to go.

  106. Posted by: Jim
    June 28, 2011 7:47 am

    Eric,

    If you “only” (LOL) paid 4 grand for that SHARP projector in ’97, then it’s probably not a high-end unit, cause they were expensive as hell back in the day, but I’ll bet LDs would look pretty good on it.

    I’m theorizing here, since I’ve never had the opportunity to compare analog and digital projectors side-by-side, but I think the LDs would look better on a CRT projector.

    The reason for this is that digital displays are stuck with a fixed pixel resolution (720p, 1080p, etc) and look best with formats that match the displays resolution pixel-for-pixel. So for a 1080p projector that would be blu-ray, although upconverted DVD can look almost as good.

    Analog displays however do not have this limitation, so you get the best possible picture from any format up to the maximum resolution of the projector, which for high-end CRTs is up to 2500 lines or so! Those things were made to be future-proof, unlike a digital projector which becomes obsolete if a new standard exceeds it’s capability (for example if they come out with a 4K (2160p) format).

  107. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    June 28, 2011 5:47 pm

    Jim,

    My old projector is a Sharp model XVH37VUA. It can throw an image up to 300″ diagonal. When I was using it, I threw the image onto a 60″ screen, and played lots of my Laserdiscs, and was extremely happy with its performance.

    I don’t have any form of line doubler, but have looked at a few Faroudja units being sold on ebay, but I am unwilling to risk spending what seems like a minimum of $200 for a working unit, as an experiment.

    I was hoping to find someone here who had charted this territory and could suggest solutions that would allow me to throw an LD image onto my 100″ screen and be very pleased with the result.

    Thanks for your help Rupert, Omar, Jim, etc.

  108. Posted by: Jim
    June 28, 2011 8:25 pm

    Eric,

    I’ll bet that projector looked damn good on a 60″ screen. I would definitely go with a smaller screen like that, in order to maximize sharpness and brightness, and minimize the difference between LD, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.

    In regards to those old Faroudja line doublers like the LD-100 which now goes for around $150-200 on eBay, consider the fact that those units cost around $20,000 new, and using one of those would certainly improve how LD looks on a projection screen.

    In fact, if I was going to watch LDs on the same system that I watch Blu-rays and upconverted DVDs on, I would probably go with the Faroudja VP-400 line quadrupler. I base this on a review that I read in Home Theater magazine back in ’96. Those go for just a little more than the LD-100 on eBay these days.

  109. Posted by: Jim
    June 28, 2011 8:51 pm

    Eric,

    BTW I got curious and looked up the specs on that projector, and turns out to my surprise it’s an LCD. I was thinking it was a CRT–I didn’t know they made LCD projectors back then.

  110. Posted by: Moe
    June 30, 2011 11:09 am

    Eric,

    My personal opinion is you’re never going to get LD to look good at 100 inch screen size. I had one of the best 8″ CRT projectors that was ever made and pretty damn good LD player and while Laserdiscs were certainly watchable they never really looked all that great. There is just not enough resolution in LD’s to have them blow up to a screen size that big and look good. As they say, “garbage in, garbage out”. LD’s can certainly sound amazing though, but if you’re looking for good image quality at 100 inches, you’d best look somewhere other than LD.

    Do you have a computer that has a composite input? If you do, you could try using it as a scaler, it will do a great job.

  111. Posted by: Jim
    July 1, 2011 2:13 pm

    Eric,

    I’ve never owned a projection system, but I do however remember watching the Forest Gump LD on one in a store back in the day, and thinking it looked pretty good. A lot of that is relative though, ’cause it probably wouldn’t look so good compared to blu-ray on the same size screen. Also the signal was most likely being fed thru a scaler of some kind. If I was going to watch LDs with a projector I would go with a smaller screen–even a 60″ screen is bigger than most flat-panels–and I would definitely use at least a line-doubler.

  112. Posted by: Jim
    July 1, 2011 2:35 pm

    Omar,

    You mentioned something about those old movies not looking right on an LCD screen; well my problem with LCD Tvs is twofold–ones with less than 120Hz refresh rate have motion lag, but then if you jack the rate up to 120, 240 or even higher as they’re doing now, it makes everything look like it was shot on home video. the picture is very sharp but not at all film-like. I love watching blu-rays on my 16:9 CRT HD set, ’cause they look so much more like film.

    As for 3D, I have these glasses that I bought from some specialty catalog (probably long out of business by now) back in 1996 that make EVERYTHING 3D. Yes, I’ve had the ability to watch 3D TV for 15 years now–it’s not in-your-face 3D, but the dimensionality of it is very realistic, so it will probably be a long time before I shell out for one of these new 3D flat panels (and a 3D blu-ray player).

  113. Posted by: Jim
    July 1, 2011 2:45 pm

    Eric,

    BTW I probably should have clarified–CRT projectors are the ones that have 3 projection tubes/lenses (red, blue and green). All other types of projectors just have a single lens.

  114. Posted by: omar
    July 2, 2011 3:08 am

    3D

    yes ive been using the one grey lense one seemingly clear lense system for years now

    just yesterday i watched Johnny Mnemonic and popped them on for the computer animation sequences…. Ive been looking for the hard plastic,well made version of these….but they are hard to find now

    brookstone used to sell them,actually

  115. Posted by: Jim
    July 2, 2011 6:33 pm

    Omar,

    That’s cool, I didn’t know they sold those in stores as well. The ones I got were originally pretty bulky and uncomfortable, especially to wear over prescription glasses (not to mention extremely geeky-looking LOL), so I removed the grey lens and attached it to my older pair of prescription glasses, and it gave me the exact same effect. Plus those glasses had a custom amber tint, which helps to offset the color-dulling effect of the grey lens. They’re in storage right now so I actually haven’t used them for a long time.

  116. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 7, 2011 9:29 am

    Wow, a lot of laserdisc activity going on over at Ebay lately with some pretty high end machines. Elite 97s, LD-S2s,(the two best players in the world imo) some 704s etc. I couldn’t resist, picked up a Pioneer 1010 for less than 100 bucks. Why a 1010 you ask? Here’s why—its one of only TWO laserdisc players in the world made with a RED LASER. The only other player to have one was the vaunted HLD-X9 (the monster above an LD-S9) built in Japan. The red laser can read rotted discs and speckled discs without a problem (see above descriptions). Since the X9 would costs thousands, I figured getting a red laser at less than a Ben Franklin was worth it, lol. Not many people know of this player’s capability and the red laser, so this is very cool to have. I don’t have too many speckled discs, but there are a few I want to transfer to DVD as pristine as possible, so its worth it, especially since they are rare music concert discs.

    Also decided to buy a backup Elite 97 in mint pristine condition, couldn’t pass it up. No AC3 like that Kurtis Bahr one, but that is ok. This player is simply awesome. Now I am set with the best composite picture output ever made for years to come.

  117. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 7, 2011 9:42 am

    from the Laserdisc Archive:

    “One extra special aspect of the CLD-1010, and what sets it apart from all other Solid State LD players, either before or since, is its Laser Diode uses a RED laser of 6228 Angstroms. No other LD player or CD player with a Diode Laser has used a red laser. Red Lasers are VERY expensive and difficult to produce. But, they achieve an incredibly tight beam, and have excellent noise rejection. Plus, the red color of the laser makes most scratches and blemishes on the surface of the disc invisible to the photo diode system. Strangely, Pioneer never talked about this feature nor did they promote it.”

    Swweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

  118. Posted by: Jim
    July 7, 2011 10:53 am

    Rupert, that is cool as f**k! I didn’t know that about the 1010. I might have to get pick one up. Some Columbia/Tri-Star (i.e. SONY) titles are in my experience IMPOSSIBLE to find without rot (THE DEVIL’S OWN and GATTACA come to mind).

  119. Posted by: Jim
    July 7, 2011 11:11 am

    BTW, right now on eBay there’s an LD-S2 with an AC-3 mod by KB himself. Dammit! I don’t have the money right now.

  120. Posted by: omar
    July 7, 2011 12:26 pm

    ..so the ld-s2 is said to read rotted discs…. but,it doesnt have a red laser???

  121. Posted by: omar
    July 7, 2011 12:28 pm

    ….would love to hear,Rupert,how well it actually does on your problem discs….

  122. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 7, 2011 1:17 pm

    The LD-S2 does well with all kinds of discs due to its rock solid build and dedicated laser clamp, but does not have a red laser. Its a beast of a machine, but it’s technology was surpassed by players such as the Elite 97. The limitations of the S2 were no auto flip and no digital outs. Its a dedicated laserdisc player though (no CDs), which is a plus. I love the monster, but the Elite 97 is a better player. Mine also has had drawer opening issues. I saw the one on Ebay with AC3 but the description says it doesn’t always “play to the end” so it sounds like it has a motor that might be about to go kaput.

    Can’t wait to check out this 1010, the reason I bought it is because a guy on the Blu-Ray forum has one and was raving about it. It also was the last Pioneer player to have seperate clamp mechanisms for laserdisc and cd, meaning it has a dedicated laserdisc clamp. The machines built later, even the Elites, had a dual clamping system which was a bit of a compromise.

  123. Posted by: Rhonda Truesdale
    July 8, 2011 7:15 pm

    I have a Pro scan laserdisc player and movies I would like to
    sale them 57 movies

  124. Posted by: omar
    July 9, 2011 1:37 am

    help me Rhonda!!!

    send a list of movies to sirspinbad@googlemail.com

  125. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 9, 2011 12:28 pm

    Hey I am looking for the following discs if anyone has one to sell:
    — the widescreen version of Papillon (Steve McQueen)
    — Up the Creek
    — Phil Collins Live and Loose in Paris
    — Jap. squeeze versions of Terminator 2, Cliffhanger, Showgirls
    — Jap. Bond World is not Enough
    — any old RKO discs you don’t want

  126. Posted by: Jim
    July 10, 2011 8:23 am

    Just wondering, has anyone here had experience with Runco, McIntosh or Theta LD players?

    I know the Mac MLD7020 is basically a CLD-97

  127. Posted by: omar
    July 10, 2011 10:47 am

    the latest topic is players that read rotten discs…..the runco is said(above)to…theyve been…along with the macs consistantly selling for over 550 on ebay as of late….

  128. Posted by: omar
    July 10, 2011 10:48 am

    showgirls?????! really????????????!!

  129. Posted by: Jim
    July 10, 2011 1:55 pm

    I used to have SHOWGIRLS (non-anamorphic) but I got it as part of a collection 🙂

    I’d love to get THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH but they always seem to want around $200 for that one. You can get the SQUEEZE version of T2 for around half of that.

    Right now on eBay is a copy of EXISTENZ that they want $600 for! I’ve actually seen it bid close to that though.

  130. Posted by: omar
    July 10, 2011 3:26 pm

    someones asking 450 for South Park ive actually got that one!!!! world is not enough is on ebay for 250 right now

    what is squeeze??? widescreen made smaller to fit your 4:3 screen??? why is it better????

  131. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 10, 2011 5:47 pm

    Squeeze laserdiscs are ones that are anamorphic so that they can fill a 16:9 widescreen just like an anamorphic DVD. So no letterboxing. Only 7 were made in Japan and 4 in the US. I have The Fugitive squeeze, a US one that was never sold, only given away with Toshiba widescreen TVs. From what I have heard the T2 is awesome but very expensive.

    The problem with the McIntosh and Runco players is that people way overprice them. The McIntosh is an exact clone of the Pioneer Elite 97, just a different faceplate, except it did add AC3 I believe. People tend to overprice McIntosh because of their audio products, not realizing its the same player as the 97. The Runco is said to be another great player, but the one that is really elusive and the most valuable is a two part LD player that came with a seperate D/A converter. I have only seen one ever listed on Ebay years ago and it was thousands of dollars. It does not have a red laser.

  132. Posted by: Jim
    July 10, 2011 6:42 pm

    Yeah Omar, the “Squeeze” LDs use basically the same principal as ALL widescreen DVDs these days, i.e. if you watch a Squeeze LD on a 4:3 set (unless it has the 16:9 mode like all of the later SONY sets) the picture is stretched vertically, but on a 16:9 set it looks correct. The advantage is higher resolution cause you are not wasting as many lines on black bars. You still have some letterboxing though even on a 16:9 set if it is a 2.35:1 aspect ratio movie (like T2 for example), just like you would with DVD or Blu-ray.

    The difference is that DVDs are encoded so that if the DVD player is set correctly (i.e for 4:3 or 16:9 TVs), the TV will automatically play the movie in the proper aspect ratio.

    Yeah, there’s a couple of Macs and a Runco LJR2 on eBay right now with BIN prices that are way too high ($1000-1200 range). If you can find one with a straight auction you can probably get them for around $500-700.

  133. Posted by: Jim
    July 10, 2011 6:46 pm

    There’s a copy of the T2 Squeeze disc on eBay right now for $100 (there may be others as well)

  134. Posted by: Jim
    July 10, 2011 6:49 pm

    Oh yeah, the Mac does have an AC-3 output.

  135. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 10, 2011 7:51 pm

    That T2 squeeze is the first older version, and is less desirable. The newer THX version is much more expensive. I saw that Runco listing. It would be more interesting if it came with the remote and didn’t look like it was dropped, kicked and left in the garbage somewhere.

  136. Posted by: Jim
    July 10, 2011 7:57 pm

    HA HA! Yeah, it amazes me how some people are too lazy to even dust off an expensive component before they take the photo.

  137. Posted by: omar
    July 11, 2011 3:34 am

    this is a nice small little forum we have!!!! its funny how what is considered an “obscure” format can make connections. I made fast a true friends with a very interesting fellow who is a writer for Rolling Stone ,just due to our common interest in LDs while I was living in NYC.

    I now reside in Munich Germany which has strengthened my interest in LDS ,as i like pre 90s movies,and tv aint the same here…and the world of renting movies has really changed as well

    where are you guys located??

  138. Posted by: omar
    July 11, 2011 5:08 am

    ive seen some films listed as scope size what’s that???

  139. Posted by: Jim
    July 11, 2011 8:16 am

    I currently reside in Colorado where I’ve lived on and off. I grew up all over the midwest, and more recently lived in DC for a bit, and I used to take the bus from there up to NYC on certain weekends.

    I used to sell a lot of LDs on ebay, and a lot of the more rare and expensive ones were sold to people in Europe, even though they were NTSC discs.

    I think “scope” refers to the Cinemascope, i.e. 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Widescreen movies are usually either 2.35:1 or 1.85:1, the latter being almost exactly the same as 16:9, which is about 1.78:1

  140. Posted by: Jim
    July 11, 2011 8:20 am

    I enjoy movies from all eras, from the “golden age” up to the present, but my obsession is the last few years of the LD format–I would love to collect all of the last great laserdiscs, but some of them are simply out of my price range.

  141. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 11, 2011 6:00 pm

    Jim, I am not sure I get the “last made LD” thing. Do you think the last ones will be more collectable and thus more valuable down the line? I guess I just don’t have a great desire to pay a lot for “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” simply because it was the last domestic LD made. I still have to like the movie a lot to have it. Interestingly, the last year or so of LD production the studios got lazy as they gave up on the LD format and stopped even making those last ones with Dolby Digital soundtracks—they are just regular surround. The Japanese did keep at it for a few more years, thus there is a lot more stuff from Japan to get from the late 90s/early 2000s. Now stuff that did not come out on domestic laserdisc but did in Japan—ie World is not Enough, Fight Club etc–those ARE collectable and expensive for that reason.

  142. Posted by: Jim
    July 11, 2011 8:43 pm

    Well, only movies I liked actually–EXISTENZ for example I liked OK, but I definitely wouldn’t pay $500+ for it, no matter how rare it is, but apparently some people are willing to. Most of the rare ones I’ve owned I found in collections: THE MATRIX, ENEMY OF THE STATE, SOLDIER (Kurt Russell), GOOD WILL HUNTING (DTS), THE MOD SQUAD (Claire Danes), etc. If you’re patient you can find many of them that way and get them dirt cheap. However, there are some I’ve never found that way and it’s unlikely I will, and those would be those Japanese-only discs you’re talking about, like X-MEN, THE SIXTH SENSE, etc. BTW, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD was the last US release, and yeah it was Dolby Surround only.

  143. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 11, 2011 11:43 pm

    According to wikipedia: “The last two titles released in North America were Paramount’s Sleepy Hollow and Bringing Out the Dead in 2000.”

    I think they were released the same day. Anyway,everyone’s got their quirky collecting habits. I have so many different versions of the Star Wars trilogy I can barely keep count. I love those Japanese box sets.

    Best laserdisc ever released for sound and video? Has to be Phantom Menace right? Anyone disagree? 6.1 EX surround. That disc singes the hairs off my nads.

  144. Posted by: Jim
    July 12, 2011 12:28 am

    At some point I’ve owned every domestic widescreen version of the STAR WARS trilogy. I still have the 1995 THX releases. I also still have the PHANTOM MENACE, and yeah that disc is bad-ass! It was the first LD I watched on my first 5.1 set-up, with a 15″ subwoofer back in early 2000. Ahhh, memories!

  145. Posted by: omar
    July 12, 2011 3:17 am

    apparently,there was even more than 1 version of the Definative Collection box….

    Moe refers to seeing Han shoot first….is that the cantina scene???

  146. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 12, 2011 6:47 am

    There was a Japanese Definitive Trilogy and an American release of that box set. I just have the American one. I also have the white Japanese box set of the original movies, the Japanese and American Special Edition box sets, and the second Japanese Special Edition box that was released in 2000 when Phantom was released, as well as the individual releases of the original widescreen and the “Faces” THX releases. Also have all the “making of” discs. Kind of crazy.

  147. Posted by: omar
    July 12, 2011 8:05 am

    what’s faces???

  148. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 12, 2011 8:13 am

    Omar said “what faces?”

    Omar, are you really an avid laserdisc collector or do you just play one on TV, lol?

    The 1995 THX pre Special Edition releases of the Star Wars movies are known as the “Faces” trilogy due to their artwork. Those are the last best original movie versions of the Star Wars movies before Lucas started monkeying with them.

  149. Posted by: Jim
    July 12, 2011 8:39 am

    Yeah Omar, Han shot first refers to the cantina scene, cause in the 1997 Special Editions and all subsequent versions they changed it to look like Greedo shot first. (lame!)

  150. Posted by: omar
    July 12, 2011 9:40 am

    i can be an avid ld collector without being a star wars geek!!!!

    …but I am an avid star wars fan

    ..when people complained bitterly about episode 1(which i enjoyed) I was the first(and only one) to remind them how butt awful Return of the Jedi was!!!!! the star wars muppet caper

    in 1999 i had the pleasure of playing in the band at the 5 star Pensinsula Hotel in HK for new ears eve into the new millenium(opening scenes of the Art of War??? I was there!!!)

    hey had a ld machine in every room and a full library a phone call away

    FIRST thing i did was order the full “faces” trilogy… and yes i had a choice between the others!!!

  151. Posted by: Jim
    July 12, 2011 11:42 pm

    Well, I do have to agree when people say that the prequel movies contain some truly dreadful dialog, and a lot of stuff that just doesn’t make sense (and then there’s Jar Jar LOL)–but everything about the LD presentation of Episode 1 is excellent–the audio, the video, the artwork. It’s a joy to own.

    Some of the most sought-after discs on eBay are from the HK rental market. There’s an ultra-rare HK version of SONG OF THE SOUTH, that’s even more prized than the Japanese version, cause it’s in English with no subtitles (I believe it also has a Chinese language track). I’ve seen that one go for over a thou!

  152. Posted by: Debra Biggerstaff
    July 14, 2011 6:29 pm

    Hello Moe and company.
    My name is Debra and I have some questions for you folks.
    I was on Ebay a month ago and found a tv show that I had been looking for. It was in laserdisc format.
    So I thought I’d check laserdisc players out while I was searching. Well, I found one. It was going for $10.00, well I didn’t realize until later when I was ready to pay; that it was $50.00 total. The shipping is what got me.
    Well, I didn’t know anything about this type of equipment. It’s huge! There’s no instructions and the only cable was for a computer. I only have one TV in the house that I’m going to try to hook it up to before I toss it in the Kidney Foundation pile.
    Could you please tell me with pictures what type of cables I will need to use for this equipment? My email address is verleen57@yahoo.com. Please help me. I would hate to think I’ve just thrown $50 out the door.
    Thank you, Debra
    P.S. After I brought this–the movie I wanted was not longer available. The model is a Pioneer LD-V6010A.

  153. Posted by: omar
    July 15, 2011 1:49 am

    that is one big machine you bought there debra!!!!

    the video output is whats called a bnc plug… hey do sell an adapter that connects on and turns it into a normal rca jack then you can connect a normal coaxial video cable to the machine

    are you in the states??? one can be purchased for 3 dollars at radio shack

  154. Posted by: Jim
    July 15, 2011 5:36 am

    Hey Debra, you can also hook that player to your TV using a standard coaxial (cable TV) cable like you would a VCR, using the VHF OUT jack on the back of it.

  155. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 15, 2011 1:26 pm

    Debra, its too bad you didn’t find this site first and read up a bit on laserdisc players (see the guide above by Rachel Bellomy). We would have steered you away from that archaic beast. That player was one of Pioneer’s industrial players and was designed for business and classroom functions (hence the computer connections) and was built circa 1986-87. You can still use it with the right hookups, but you could have bought a much better player at least made in the 1990s for pretty cheap also. Yes, laserdisc players are heavy and big and $50 is not an unusual shipping charge. That is why looking locally in want ads or Craig’s List sometimes makes more sense because you can get something close by and save shipping and also check out what you are getting before paying. You can still make it work, but buying a player for one disc? There are people who do laserdisc to DVD transfers that could have done one disc for you.

    So what TV show were you after that you couldn’t get on DVD—I am curious?

  156. Posted by: omar
    July 15, 2011 2:48 pm

    hey…Kevin did the same thing for his kristy mcNichol film

    I personally have 16mm film and a projector just for it

    the pilot episode of Run Buddy,Run

  157. Posted by: omar
    July 15, 2011 2:49 pm

    …sorry ,thats supposed to read ONE 16mm film

  158. Posted by: omar
    July 16, 2011 4:02 am

    star wars

    ok,ive always liked my CAV definative collection

    i’ve just noticed a CAV 3 disc japanese version of EMPIRE STRIKES called the Special Collection,with a white cover how does that compare???

  159. Posted by: Travis Bickle
    July 16, 2011 11:22 am

    Debra needs a Bigger Staff to help her with her laserdisc purchases….

  160. Posted by: omar
    July 16, 2011 2:59 pm

    well, with the exception of Eric and Kevin she’s had input from our entire chat group!!

    the lesson i learned from getting into LDs is that the quality of player does make a BIG difference

    our discussion of late,spearheaded by Rupert is the differences of quality between the best of the best, Debra has brought us back to the other side of the coin to where she just wants something inexpensive that will play the medium…. I was pretty much in that school at first…i took whatever was included for free with someones collection….and if it said pioneer and had a remote with a fancy toggle knob on it i convinced myself it was as good as it gets…. the rest of the story ive told above before….and now,with the exception of a couple of hendrix concerts I’ve got all my discs back!!!im also willing to pay up to 5 times more for a disc,than when I started out…..
    so in Debras case I hope that her machine will suit her needs…..to really get a better playing machine probably starts at 100 bucks…..so until she finds herself with a bunch more discs she picks along the way she’s probably just fine with what she bought

    As a footnote…. I bought my first LD in 1988 because i thought they look cool!!!!!! i never played it until 12 years later when i bought my first machine

    I’m still designing the interior of my house,and I’m planning an entire wall of laserdiscs!!!(all the doubles,and goofy titles I’ll never watch)

  161. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 16, 2011 3:32 pm

    I think Mr Bickle was doing a little play on words there Omar….

    So you sat out the entire heyday of the laserdisc era? I mean the high point of the technology was pretty much from 1988-2000. Right around 88-90 was when studios started releasing widescreen and special edition films. Players were at their high water mark from about 1990-1995. The Star Wars box I think was released in 1993 and that really spurred on laserdisc sales. The AC3 discs kicked in about the mid 90s. So Omar, what the heck were you watching for movies from the late 80s to the 2000s? Don’t tell me you settled for crappy 240 line VHS tapes???? Oh! the tragedy!! That is what I loved about laserdiscs—for about a decade there while all my buddies were dealing with crapola 240 lines of resolution pan and scan VHS tapes, I was enjoying pristine 420 lines of laserdisc revolution and watching widescreen movies with commentaries and special editions! Oh Omar, say it isn’t so—-you missed the entire laserdisc and home theater revolution in the 90s?

  162. Posted by: omar
    July 16, 2011 3:48 pm

    the REASON laserdisc bombed was because it was too f#$%ing expensive!!!!

    who wants to pay 80 bucks for married to the mob??????

    if you had the money….fine

    i didn’t

    in one month i bought my ld-s9 a lexicon system meridian system +AC-3 and a faroudja line doubler original price….over 20,000 my cost….1,500

    i’m living my dreams as a kid now!!!!

    most people i talk to HAVE NEVER EVEN SEEN a LD.

    …there’s a reason for that

    even in the mid 90’s when dvd was hot…I considered a DVL-919 so i could play lds too

    discs were still going for 20-25-30 bucks so I said”forget it”

    …now i pay that for certain titles 🙂

  163. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 16, 2011 6:21 pm

    “who wants to pay 80 bucks for married to the mob??????”

    thankfully I never did, lol. Laserdiscs were expensive and I spent too much money on them in the 90s, but only on rare occasions did I spend big money on discs. I bought almost all my discs used from a few local places that rented discs or resold used discs. Also bought a bunch from places like Camelot that had close-out sales or didn’t know how to price them (I remember buying the 3 disc CAV Criterion laser of Raging Bull brand new for $20 when the crazy list price was something like $120). I also bought a lot of discs cheap on Ebay. Sure, I spent some dough at places like Ken Crane’s every once in a while for a “must have”, but overall I didn’t go too crazy. The only discs I did overpay for once in a while were hard to find concert laserdiscs usually from Japan. Those discs are still hard to find or not available at all.

    The real crazy thing was that new VHS tapes cost about $80 in the 80s and 90s—-and people paid those prices. It was only when Blockbuster came along and really discounted VHS that laserdisc started to fall way behind by comparison. But people paid cheap money and got cheap crap. They also bought cheap all in one stereo units from WalMart etc. I bought nice equipment from actual stereo stores. Mostly, you get what you pay for. The bottom line was that I was enjoying state of art home theater for the most part long before the DVD came around while most people I knew were watching crapola VHS tapes on a mono VCR usually not even hooked up to their stereo system. I just laughed at them.

  164. Posted by: Jim
    July 16, 2011 10:05 pm

    Hey Travis, that sounds like a double entendre LOL

    I didn’t get an LD player until ’98 (and my first DVD player in early 2000), but I’d known about the format since it’s inception. I was in junior high back then!

    The following year I discovered eBay, which is where I’ve bought the vast majority of my discs, mostly in collections many of which came with players. My first player was a CLD-S104 that I bought at a flea market, then the first big collection I bought on eBay came with a 505.

    To list all the models I’ve owned (most of which were acquired that way) the 104, 505, 503, 406, 2600, 702 (w/ AC-3 mod), 704 and it’s Mitsu clone, CLD-59, DVL-700, 909 and 919, DENON LA-3000, and PANASONIC LX-H670. Whew! I think that covers it.

    I don’t always understand the public taste. I mean yeah, LDs were expensive but so were VCRs and tapes back in the day. A friend of mine who’s a little older than me still has a Beta VCR, and he was telling me that it’s better quality than VHS but VHS won the format war, probably because of longer recording times.

  165. Posted by: Jim
    July 16, 2011 10:09 pm

    Heck, I forgot I also had 2 that were also 5-disc CD changers, the M90 and M4-something.

  166. Posted by: omar
    July 17, 2011 2:23 am

    i still want a BETA machine but now that im dealing with the PAL thing it just is too much to worry about…. I can get an amazing machine for under 200…but then again where will i get tapes…..and will they still be any good,even if i can find them at a decent price???

    if PAL NTSC wasnt bad enough i think the region code issue is one of the most criminal concepts the production companies ever came up with……. what a farce!!!!

  167. Posted by: Jim
    July 17, 2011 11:00 am

    I hear ya there; I despise region codes. It’s not hard to find a region-free player though. And copy protection is a joke—it’s so easy to get around. LD never had any of that crap.

    I’ll bet you could find some still-sealed BETA tapes on the bay.

  168. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    July 17, 2011 2:47 pm

    Been hearing my name dropped here ‘n there in the messages. Figured I should show my mug around here again.

    I haven’t had much to comment on, but… Omar, I also bought a pair of 16mm projectors (at auction) for particular film. Yeah, another Kristy McNichol flick (are we detecting a pattern here?) that eventually came out on DVD anyway (boy was I surprised to see THAT!). However, I’m still looking for the full version — both the 16mm print and the DVD have the trimmed-down, classroom-length version (from the info I can find). I paid a fiver apiece for the two Bell & Howell 2592 machines. Might still try to convert one into a telecine transfer device.

    I often joke, when people see the dozen A/V devices in my home theatre, that I can play everything but Beta. (Truth is, I also can’t play Minidisc, CED, S-VHS, and a few others.) I’d like to latch onto a good Beta player, but the nice ones fetch collector prices. I have a recorded-from-TV movie on Beta that I’d like to watch again. It stars Kri– shucks, you probably figured that out already.

    The tape also has a really adorable cheese advertisement that should see the light of day again.

    Although I never dropped a fortune on LD, I also never bought any VHS movies. No more than a half-dozen or so. I remember spending pretty big bucks on a Pioneer CLD-3090 and renting a bunch of discs, though. Someday I’ll give the 3090 a cleaning and put it back into service (says the transit screw is still inserted, so I guess the grease inside has gummed up with dust).

    Laserdiscs did, however, help contribute to me buying the same darn movie four times. Bought one LD version of ‘Léon The Professional’ and two on DVD (including the Superbit) before they FINALLY released the Blu-ray.

    I’ve also just bought a Marantz BD7004 Blu-ray player. Better audio options than my PS3 player.

  169. Posted by: omar
    July 17, 2011 3:06 pm

    so here’s a good example of a fine classic movie…ok,it’s still on the modern side…..

    but I ask you Kevin… is the blu-ray really considerably better???

    my edit peeve, Dreamscape a personal favorite from my high school days

    best scene final dream sequence eddie pulls out the nunchakas,says enter the dragon was his favorite movie…then turns into the snake ive got the british PAL version he’s about to pull out the nunchakas…next thing you know he’s a snake and they are killing him…

    one of my favorite japanese sellers had the japanese print…. i asked him to check that scene for me….edited as well

    i’m really hoping the american version is complete

    what really burns me up is that the picture on the cover is from the edited scene!!!

  170. Posted by: Travis Bickle
    July 17, 2011 10:05 pm

    Wow, it sounds like we have a Kristy McNichol stalker in our midst. Kristy, be sure to lock your doors!!

  171. Posted by: Jim
    July 18, 2011 1:17 am

    I used to have that LEON laserdisc; waaaaaaaaaaay cool. I can’t really think of a Gary Oldman movie that didn’t kick ass–OK, maybe LOST IN SPACE 🙂

    I remember DREAMSCAPE in theaters but I’ve never seen the LD version. Why would they edit it like that? To make it fit on one disc? That seems odd, cause I’ve seen a lot of movies that are right around 120 minutes yet they put them on 3 sides.

  172. Posted by: omar
    July 18, 2011 2:49 am

    any update on the cld-1010????

  173. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 18, 2011 1:40 pm

    I bought an SVHS recorder fairly early on in my home theater process. Went hand in hand with laserdisc in many ways, since laserdiscs were not a recordable medium for the consumer. I have hundreds of SVHS recorded tapes, many of which are sporting events, music concerts and TV shows etc which are now preserved on nice 450 line resolution tapes instead of crappy VHS. I guess technically the stuff recorded off broadcast TV would be the full 330 lines, which was the broadcast TV resolution (vs 240 lines for VHS). I actually, before I could afford a lot of laserdiscs, rented or borrowed laserdiscs and recorded many of them onto SVHS, thus getting nice 420 line transfers of those movies. All in all, I guess I was pretty high tech in the late 80s and 90s, with laserdiscs, a home theater setup and SVHS decks. I always had pretty nice Sony CRTs instead of those behemoth rear projection TVs which most of my friends bought, which mostly had lousy pictures. They thought size was everything, and I went for quality. Most of them were amazed by how good stuff I showed looked on my system. That is because they were used to watching lousy pan and scan 240 line VHS tapes blown up on a second rate rear projection TV, which always looked fuzzy. They just didn’t get it.

  174. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    July 18, 2011 1:52 pm

    Yes, I would definitely say that the Blu-ray edition of Léon is significantly better than LD. For the generalization that Blu-ray is superior to LD to NOT be true, the company re-mastering the Blu-ray disc would have to make a serious error, in my opinion. It’s obvious that HD-DVD and Blu-ray (I have both formats of player and discs) have far greater potential than any previous format; any previous media that produces a more enjoyable experience does so because someone dropped the ball in creating the newer disc.

    (These “errors” are far easier to commit on DVD. The resolution is “less superior” to that of LD, making it easier to produce a compressed digital image that looks worse than an uncompressed analog image, depending on the content. Ditto for poor choices made in audio mastering for DVD.)

    One of the poorest laserdiscs I’ve ever seen is “Harold & Maude.” I bought it on DVD just to “update” the format (DVD is more convenient and future-proof) but was amazed at the difference. The LD was so dark as to be almost unwatchable, especially the scene of Harold’s first (onscreen) staged suicide, during the opening credits. Also, the image oscillated from side to side (perhaps it was mastered by recording an original film print projected on a swaying screen, or from a projector in need of repair?). I had assumed these were artifacts inherent in the 35mm original; I fell in love with the movie all over again when I saw it on DVD.

    And to Mr. Bickle, I can assure you that Ms. McNichol is safe from me. I’m happy to keep her captive one shiny round plastic platter at a time. 😉

  175. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    July 18, 2011 1:57 pm

    Oops — I just realized that I partially lied about not being able to play S-VHS. My Mitsubishi HS-U55 has quasi-S-VHS playback, but cannot record in that format. I never use the old girl now that the tuner has fried. (Any other Mitsubishi deck owners — that QV channel function was AWESOME, wasn’t it??)

  176. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 18, 2011 3:21 pm

    So omar, are you refusing to go blu-ray due to your purchase of the LD-S9? How long are you going to hold out do you think? No Star Wars on Blu-Ray?

  177. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 18, 2011 3:29 pm

    Re SVHS, I think I had that Mitsu VCR before I bought a Mitsu SVHS VCR. Quasi SVHS just meant you could play the tape but at the standard 240 line VHS resolution. You didn’t get any benefits of the greater quality format. Those Mitsu decks were well built pieces of machinary though.

    As for Kristy McNichol, meh….don’t get the fascination. My young actress crush has always been Phoebe Cates. Yowza, was she hot. She is famous for her Fast Times at Ridgemont High scene of course, but her real gem was Paradise. That is a movie I have many versions of in an effort to find the best “uncut” uncensored versions available. So I have the Japanese laserdisc, several VHS versions and several DVD versions. Lets just say I have her uncovered….err…covered.

  178. Posted by: omar
    July 18, 2011 4:51 pm

    well, i think that the way in which star wars was made it has perfect symetry….the models…the effects…..etc. i’m very happy the way it looks on LD what’s blu-ray really going to add to that???

    when i watch hellboy on Blu-ray it looks like moving plastic…… impressive,but something entirely different…. i get the feeling,honestly that my eyes get tired very quickly

    when i watch movies on ld …it takes me back to sitting in the theater in the late 70s 80s

    it’s just simply the way movies are supposed to look for me…. the only blu-rays ive seen are the new BOND (more detail than i need!!frankly,gives me a headache) the Shining(which i MUCH preferred my LD) and hellboy on display in stores

    id like to see avatar on Blu-Ray and thats about it!!!

    i think TCM in HD is about the wierdest thing I’ve ever seen!!!! if blu-ray is like that….im not interested!!! animation,computer animation,real life animation(hellboy) okay!!! anything else….LD is fine…. I’m still sceptical about sci-fi depends on the film…i guess

  179. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 19, 2011 3:30 pm

    Re Star Wars and Blu-Ray

    I was curious as to what you’d say about Blu Ray because the Star Wars movies are coming out this fall on Blu. Here’s the thing—-they STILL won’t be the original theatrical versions, but the now several times tweaked “Special Editions”. Which means the ONLY versions of the original Trilogy out on DVD are those “limited editions” that were thrown in as “Bonus Discs” with the Special Editions in 2006. And the kicker for those was that they were not even released as anamorphic widescreen movies, just plain old letterboxed discs, transfers probably most likely taken directly from the THX “Faces” laserdiscs themselves. So hang onto your Star Wars original version laserdisc kids!!!! Just like in 2004 when the Star Wars Trilogy was finally released to DVD, Lucas is holding back on the original theatrical versions. He’s making everyone buy the Special Editions first on BR, only to then most likely release the original theatrical ones on BR later. BUT—the rumor is the original prints are “lost”, which is why they didn’t even release anamorphic DVDs in 2006, just laserdisc letterbox transfers. I find that hard to believe, but given Lucas’ treatment of the original trilogy, the best way to view the theatrical versions is STILL the Definitive Edition CAV Laserdisc Box Set or the THX “Faces” CLV discs released a few years later. On top of that, I read one review which said these upcoming BR transfers of the Special Editions are not even new High Def masters, they are just the same transfers as the 2004 SE discs. So whether they will even be a great improvement over those discs is questionable. There is going to be a ton of extras, but man, the fact that 1) they aren’t new HD transfers and 2) they are not the original theatrical trilogy, is all the more reason to treasure the laserdiscs.

  180. Posted by: omar
    July 19, 2011 4:32 pm

    once again the LP LD analogie

    plenty of great records never made it to CD and in most cases if you do find a CD the LP is BETTER!!

    same goes for LD-DVD

    and in the case of Blu-ray the new movies just are not interesting to me AT ALL so for VERY FEW titles that i have any iterest in at all… its just not worth it to me

    the Star Wars reference…once again!!!

    in Star Wars when Darth Vader masses the troops on the flight deck of the Death Star…its just plain Awesome …how many actors are there??? maybe 500

    in Episode one when you see the battle droids on the battlefield theres close to a million of them you can clearly see the lines where the computer has split the image….and it’s well,NOT awesome

    new technology and Hi -def does not necissarily mean more realistic to me

  181. Posted by: omar
    July 19, 2011 4:50 pm

    okay ,this is in German but you guys arent idiots here!!!!

    here’s a deal that’s only good for 20 more hours…what do you guys think?????? should I do it????????

    forget the dollar euro conversion i live here so i gotta think 1 dollar =1 euro

    i mean it would be WAY too much of a hassle to import a large TV

    anyways you get a 40inch toshiba 3D screen
    a 3D blu-ray player
    2 sets of shutter glasses
    and a tron legacy blu-ray all for 765

    Toshiba 40WL768G 3D LED-TV + Blu-RayPlayer + 2 Shutter Brillen + EDIT: 3D Blu-Ray “TRON LEGACY” bei groupon.de
    Veröffentlicht von: tobygroby90, am: 19.07.2011 08:27:56
    Einzelpreise idealo:
    665€ TV
    111€ Player
    2x 66€ Shutterbrillen
    TRON LEGACY 20€
    = 928€

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  182. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 19, 2011 4:56 pm

    Lol @ omar. Omar, you go from telling us how new technology is not necessarily better, praising laserdisc over blu-ray like LPs over CDs, and then in the very next post you are thinking of buying some kind of fancy schmantzy 3D TV and Blu-ray deal? Dude, you are all over the map…..

  183. Posted by: omar
    July 19, 2011 5:01 pm

    you liked that ,huh!!!

  184. Posted by: omar
    July 19, 2011 5:03 pm

    i didnt exactly praise ld over blu-ray….i just said it might not be worth it

    but if 1 Kristy mcNichol movie is worth so much

    i could get this whole system just for Tron Legacy!!!!!

  185. Posted by: omar
    July 19, 2011 5:07 pm

    But, that is however, precisely my question

    they are bundling together here all the latest technology

    so for this price….do YOU think it’s worth it???!

  186. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 19, 2011 5:36 pm

    I have no idea about that stuff, as I have not researched those products. I am, however, very suspicious of the “gimmickness” of 3D technology.

    getting back to Star Wars, for anyone interested in how Lucas has bastardized and altered his own original art, read this amazing article. Wow. A little technical, but it shows how Lucas has in essence digitized the entire Star Wars film legacy and the newer versions (the Prequel) are actually shot in progressively lower lines of HD resolution than the original films shot decades before. Its worse than I thought. I can’t believe they allowed the original negative to be so damaged and bastardized.

    http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/savingstarwars.html

  187. Posted by: Jim
    July 20, 2011 8:13 am

    Wow, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple days. Lot of stuff to catch up on here.

    Yeah Rupert, I noticed that back in 2002/2003 after seeing ATTACK OF THE CLONES and then THE MATRIX RELOADED in IMAX; I thought MATRIX looked much better on that huge screen, cause it was shot on film rather than digital. I’m glad the industry hasn’t completely converted to digital liked they were predicting back around 2000 or so. It may be better someday, if they keep increasing resolution, but not yet.

    As for the LD/LP analogy, I look at it this way: LP is to CD ROUGHLY as LD is to DVD, and then Blu-ray would be like SACD. Blu-ray to me on a CRT HD set looks very film-like, in a lot of ways just like LD but with higher resolution, just as some audiophiles say SACD sounds more like vinyl than CD does.

  188. Posted by: Jim
    July 20, 2011 8:22 am

    BTW it’s doubtful that I will buy the STAR WARS movies on Blu-ray, unless they do release the original versions and they are good quality. I still have my prized THX “faces” editions, and at some point I will probably re-acquire the Defnitive Collection.

  189. Posted by: Jim
    July 20, 2011 8:32 am

    Hey Kevin, yeah I had a Mitsubishi HI-FI VCR from 1984; that sucker was big, and expensive when new(I bought it used though) and had a lot of buttons underneath the flip-down panel. I also had this really cool JVC model where the tapes loaded in sideways. My friend with the Beta VCR happened to have the exact same model.

  190. Posted by: omar
    July 20, 2011 1:57 pm

    blu-ray suffers from this region coding crap too…right???

    are region free bluray players available? and ifso are they just crap from china…or can you get decent ones?????

  191. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 20, 2011 4:31 pm

    With regard to filmmaking and technology, I agree with omar, the modern “CGIing” of most movies today is very disconcerting. Sure, now you can do anything, but that doesn’t make it LOOK real or even good. I think back to the classic epics I was weaned on as a kid—Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge over the River Kwai, 2001 A Space Odyssey etc. Think of those scenes in Ben Hur and other huge biblical epics of that era (Ten Commandments), where hundreds and hundreds of actual ACTORS, extras, were used to flesh out scenes to convey the massive scale.

    Can you imagine William Wyler saying “we can just CGI in the thousands of Roman citizens at the Chariot Race” or Lean saying “we don’t need to go to the desert to shoot this, we’ll just CGI in the sand” or Kubrick saying “forget about building all those impressive models to scale, we’ll just CGI in all that”. Ironically, despite I am sure the hard work it takes to create this computer animation graphics, it seems to be the lazy way of filmmaking, the easy way out. In many ways, it will STIFLE creativity. Think of all the things that filmmakers had to do to get their films to look right and realistic back then. They had to be inventive and creative on many different fronts. Now, just turn to a few computer geeks and whamo! There is just something not right about it all.

  192. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    July 20, 2011 6:57 pm

    Wow! A great deal of activity here while I was diverted to lamenting the impending demise of another technology I was an early adopter of…replayTV DVRs.

    Anyway, so many posts, so little time.

    Yes, the LD looked great on the 60″ screen with the Sharp LCD projector! Black level wasn’t great, but I still had a 60″ screen while my friends were mucking about with 19″, 21″, and 27″ CRTs. (No disparaging CRTs intended).

    I got into Laserdisc as an early adopter, just as I had with cassette, ELcassette, DAT and DCC (all of which are gone now, hmmm.) A friend invited me over to watch “Elephant Parts” played from this big, strange, shinny disc, and I was instantly hooked! I have a modest collection of about 400 discs, lots of SciFi, action, comedy, a few concerts, and a fair amount of Criterion and CAV, and an even smaller number with DTS.

    I own three players, a DVL-700, and Elite CLD-79 (with a damaged tray, I need to get repaired. Suggestions?), and an Elite CLD-95. Only the 95 is in-system at present, and its composite output is waaaay superior to its S-Video (Omar & Rupert).

    But, compared to a DVD or BluRay on the 100″ screen, the difference is night and day. I enjoy my LDs, some of which are fairly esoteric, that is why I have been desperately trying to squeeze as much resolution out of them as possible. Some of my favorites; Robinson Crusoe on Mars, The Natural, and Bladerunner (the original CLV release with the Harrison Ford narration, not the Criterion Director’s Cut edition) I have both, but the former is the one to watch.

    A story I used to tell my friends who collected movies on VHS. One night, when it is really quiet, go look at your collection. Get in close and listen. Hear that? That is the sound of all your tapes erasing themselves while they sit there due to the fact they are one magnetic layer wrapped around another. Pioneer estimates that Laserdiscs will last about 200,000 years. Have a nice day. (I killed me back then!)

    Anyway, enough ramblings, glad to have found a group that won’t abandon this great technology, or as Captain Taggart would say; “Never Give Up, Never Surrender!”

    Cheers,

    Eric

  193. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 20, 2011 9:02 pm

    That Elite 95 was the predecessor to the fantastic Elite 97 and you bet, composite is the way to go. That is a nice machine. But as several have mentioned, there is no way you are going to get any LD player look good on a 100″ screen, especially without a line doubler and compared to 1080p Blu-Ray. That is why I only view laserdiscs on my Sony Hi Def 36″ CRT. Laserdisc technology wasn’t designed to be displayed on huge screens without line doublers at least, and definitely was not designed with Hi Def LCD tvs etc in mind.

    I don’t know if lasers will last 20K years, but I just hope my LD players and my CRT tube lasts long enough to fully enjoy my LD collection for years to come.

  194. Posted by: Jim
    July 20, 2011 10:15 pm

    I agree that CGI is way over-used these days, but there is an upside to it; that they can do things with CGI that back in the day were ridiculously dangerous for stuntmen. In the old days a stuntperson could be (and sometimes were) seriously injured or even killed doing some of the crazy stuff they had to do to make a scene look realistic. I suppose the danger is the attraction though if you’re an adrenaline junkie.

  195. Posted by: Jim
    July 20, 2011 10:20 pm

    Hey Omar, region coding is a little different on Blu-ray I think, but it’s essentially the same thing as on DVD. I have seen region-free players on eBay and the ones I saw were actually pretty expensive cause they were MARANTZ models.

  196. Posted by: Jim
    July 20, 2011 10:25 pm

    Hey Eric, that’s pretty wild to think of LDs lasting 200,000 years. BTW what is ELcassette? I remember DCC. It’s kind of amusing now to recall the salesmen at Radio Shack hyping that format. 🙂

  197. Posted by: omar
    July 21, 2011 1:52 am

    I still USE DCC..great format!

  198. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 21, 2011 8:22 am

    Wow, someone just paid $1200 for a LD-S2 player on Ebay. That is a great player, but 1) its not as good as the Elite 97 and 2) that is way overpaying for that player. The 97s have been selling for $400-$700 depending on condition. Someone didn’t do their homework…..

  199. Posted by: Jim
    July 21, 2011 8:35 am

    Hey Omar, you can still get DCC tapes? How does it compare to DAT?

    I just recall at the time it was kind of a format war between DCC and Mini-Disc, and I remember the salesman at Radio Shack telling me DCC had the advantage of not skipping, overlooking the fact that MD has anti-skip, like a lot of those portable CD players from the ’90s. I used to have a PANASONIC like that.

  200. Posted by: Jim
    July 21, 2011 8:46 am

    Hey Rupert, I suppose if someone had that much $$$ to spend on an LD player, they might not have cared if they were paying too much, but the only way I would pay that much for an S2 was if it was NOS or something like that, i.e. brand new. That one with the AC-3 mod was enticing until I read the part about it doesn’t always play to the end of the disc. That one should have been cheaper too.

    BTW I had that problem with my DENON, and it turned out there was a strip of circuitry leading into the laser assembly that would kind of fold up as it moved toward the back wall, eventually blocking the assembly, so the technician simply had to adjust that to fix the problem.

  201. Posted by: Jim
    July 21, 2011 9:22 am

    BTW check out ebay item 130549014075–looks like a really nice 97, but I have to wonder about something: the seller claims to be the original owner, yet apparently he/she was not aware of or forgot to mention the AC-3 mod? (look at the back)

  202. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    July 21, 2011 12:11 pm

    I’ll just make a quick comment about CGI. I know the original complaint was against the OVER-use of CGI, so I’m not adding this to negate anything that has been said; I’m just trying to make sure we recognize that we’re all disparaging the unnecessary use of the technology.

    A movie like “Pearl Harbor” could NOT have been made in its entirety with conventional methods. Its CGI scenes are breathtaking. Sure, studios should be very judicious about using the best possible technique for delivering a captivating scene to the audience. But CGI can produce a visual and sensual slegehammer, and can be terrific when used right.

  203. Posted by: omar
    July 21, 2011 2:27 pm

    i just watched species…mostly real models…you can see in the final scenes that it is CGI,and it doesnt look fantastic,but it pulls of the scenes

    when i was a kid in the 70s movies like the Clash of the Titans could only do the best they could do to pull off stunning visuals….and you know as a kid you are even more critical…so many things were just simply not believable

    I made a great breakthrough when I saw Superman…because even though the visuals were not perfect…spiritually the movie succeeded to put you there…. so at that point i decided to appreciate movies for what they were attempting to be,as opposed to what they actually are

    some movies follow the role of some of my favorite filmakers….they are not so great unto themselves,but ,because they aspire to be something that I appreciate,I appreciate them all the same

    CGI has done some wonderful things in movies…. but when its used purely as a shortcut and the actual product is much worse than modelmaking or costumes or even painted scenery then its truly a copout

    most amazing thing i’ve ever seen??? Wagner’s ring cycle at the Metropolitain Opera….it’s all REALLY happening in front of you…no CGI…. movies should only be so good

  204. Posted by: Jim
    July 21, 2011 4:20 pm

    PEARL HARBOR is a good example of the proper use of CGI IMO, cause yeah those scenes could not have been done any other way. Also, the CGI in JURASSIC PARK looks way better than any stop-motion dinosaurs I’ve ever seen, and looks better than the CGI in a lot of movies that came after it. An example of the overuse of CGI would be IMO STAR WARS Episodes 2 & 3, where almost every freaking scene is shot in front of a green screen, which just kills the realism.

  205. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    July 21, 2011 4:39 pm

    ELcassette was a short lived “professional” studio cassette system. The cartridges themselves looked only somewhat like standard cassette tapes but were about twice the size, built from metal frames and plastic. They housed 1/4″ tape instead of 1/8″. Overall fidelity was probably about the same as their smaller cousins, but they commanded authority because you absolutely would not want to be hit in the head with one.

  206. Posted by: Eric Abbiss
    July 21, 2011 4:53 pm

    Actually, I think the 200,000 year estimated lifespan was a spec that Pioneer liked to throw out at CES, usually followed by quoting a long term study done by Sony regarding Beta tapes. Sony had apparently placed a test group of recorded Beta tapes into a hermetically sealed, temperature friendly environment chamber, and then pulled them out every few years or so to see if they had lost any fidelity, video or audio, during that time through the magnetic leakage from one winding to the next, separation of the magnetic emulsion from the substrate, etc. Their estimate after testing was that a magnetic tape would maintain virtually 100% fidelity for a maximum of 15 years, in such a sealed, tape friendly environment. After that it was a steady downhill slope to ultimate erasure or flaking off of the magnetic material itself. So, tapes stored in the average non-hermetically sealed man-cave would begin degrading in far less time. 15 years vs. 200,000 years. No contest.

  207. Posted by: Jim
    July 21, 2011 7:34 pm

    Eric, wow, that makes me glad I never bought that many VHS movies–I mostly used the format for renting or recording. I probably would have gotten into LD sooner, but up until ’96 the biggest TV I had was a 19-incher, and that bad boy cost me $300 new back in ’89. That was also the first TV I had with stereo audio inputs & outputs.

  208. Posted by: Pablo
    July 22, 2011 6:08 am

    Hey guys, I’m glad to see so much activity here lately.
    I have to sell my laserdisc player sadly.
    How much do you think I can get for it?
    It’s in pristine condition, McIntosh MLD7020, I have remote in perfect condition, manual look like its never been open and I have the original McIntosh double boxes it came in. Glass is flawless and I’m selling it with my rotel ac3 RF decoder to get 5.1 audio.
    Thanks.

  209. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 22, 2011 7:02 am

    Darn Pablo, I wish you had posted that about 3 weeks ago. I recently bought another Elite 97 as a backup player, otherwise I would be very interested. The McIntosh is a rebadged Pioneer Elite 97 with the addition of AC3. I have seen some crazy prices being paid for those lately, which leads me to believe people don’t know they are essentially identical to a 97 which lately have gone for a lot less. You can simply look at Ebay and view past auctions. Essentially there is no reason to pay substantially more for a Mac than a 97 depending on how important AC3 is to the buyer.

  210. Posted by: Jim
    July 25, 2011 12:59 am

    IMO AC-3 is not that important these days, since they have Pro=Logic 2 which gives you a 5.1 experience from any stereo signal, and on LDs the stereo PCM track is uncompressed (a feature shared with Blu-ray), so potentially it could sound even better than the AC-3 track on an LD.

  211. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    July 25, 2011 7:02 am

    I don’t think its that important also. For the reasons you stated, plus there were only about 4 years of AC3 releases. They started in 95 and quit making them in 99. Yet I still see people paying extra for AC3 capability and ridiculous prices for Demodulators. And for concert and music discs, AC3 is completely useless. You want to listen in uncompressed PCM stereo.

  212. Posted by: omar
    July 31, 2011 10:19 am

    rupert,

    still waiting for your review on the 1010!!

  213. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    August 3, 2011 12:17 pm

    I finally got the Pioneer 1010 last week but haven’t had a chance to hook it up in my system. I am going to do that this weekend hopefully. It looks like its in pretty good shape and powers up and spins etc, so now I just need to find a rotted disc and see what wonders it does on it.

    btw, I have been flabbergasted at how many Pioneer Elite 97s have been up for sale recently on Ebay. Amazing, which is bringing the price down to the lowest I have seen for those players. I love me my Elite 97s!

  214. Posted by: Jim
    August 9, 2011 1:19 am

    Hey all, right now on eBay is an auction for a FAROUDJA LD-1000 with a low starting bid. I’m pretty sure that one is based on a PIONEER as well (duh, right?)–my guess would be an upgraded CLD-99. (?)

  215. Posted by: omar
    August 9, 2011 3:38 am

    here’s a review I found that will make Rupert grin

    Bottom line is the LD1000 was built off the CLD-99, but pretty significantly modified at least cosmetically and the reviewer though they had done some internal tweaking as well. The reviewer reference player prior to the article was the CLD-97. The LD1000 doesn’t look anything at all like the 99 and weighs 40lbs instead of 23lbs for the 99 and 37lbs for the 97.

    Summary:
    “The Faroudja LD1000 LaserDisc Player proved to be an excellent performer in all respects. Although it measures slightly below my Pioneer Elite CLD-97 reference player in most conventional specs

  216. Posted by: omar
    August 9, 2011 3:54 am

    this quote was also of interest,

    The real battle between the 97 and 99 is how you feel about background
    noise. I modified my 97 to have the background noise default to OFF and you
    can really see visually that the unit has lower noise. If you don’t mind
    what I call a digitized look and use the DVNR and adaptive filtering in the
    99 then you would prefer that unit. But now the R7G and S9 have much more
    advanced Adaptive filters and more flexible that the ones built-in the
    monitors I’ve seen.

  217. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    August 9, 2011 11:56 am

    All that digital noise reduction and filtering etc of course is applicable if you are using the S video output and hence using the LD player’s comb filter, as I understand it. None of that matters if you are using the composite input, which is far preferable to allow the use of the now superior comb filters in today’s monitors and video display devices. The 97 has a baseline superior composite output to the 99, and yes, has a much lower noise level without any tweaking. Reds and blacks are solid as a rock on the 97. Pioneer put some great electronics into those 97s, which is why they are mammoth beasts.

  218. Posted by: omar
    August 9, 2011 12:12 pm

    are you bidding Jim?? it looks interesting to me 🙂

  219. Posted by: Jim
    August 9, 2011 9:59 pm

    It’s on my watch list. Aha! Yeah I suspected it was a 99. judging from the back, but they upgraded the digital outputs. No stock PIONEER model has a Balanced digital out.

  220. Posted by: Jim
    August 10, 2011 10:09 pm

    BTW Rupert, if you need a rotted disc, buy ANY copy of THE DEVIL’S OWN (starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt). I have NEVER seen a copy of that disc that wasn’t rotted all to shit 😀

  221. Posted by: Jim
    August 10, 2011 10:34 pm

    On the AC-3 front, I briefly had a demod in my HT system and don’t recall being that impressed with the sound, and it was a higher-end model as well (ADA), but I thought it sounded better with the built-in demod in my SONY STR-DA90ESG (my favorite receiver that I’ve ever owned). Nowadays I would generally say it’s not worth the trouble unless your receiver or pre-amp has a built-in AC-3 demod.

    Ironically, right around the time AC-3 was released, Harman Kardon came out with the CITATION 7.0 pre/pro (which retailed for $4k)–it’s “Six-axis” mode was the pre-cursor to Pro-Logic II, IIx, DTS NEO:6, etc. i.e. it essentially derived a 6.1 signal (utilizing a phantom rear center channel) from any stereo source, and the processing was analog.

  222. Posted by: omar
    August 11, 2011 1:16 am

    watched it last week…your right…it’s a rotten movie!!!

  223. Posted by: Jim
    August 12, 2011 1:17 am

    GATTACA is another one I have not been able to find a clean copy of, and to a lesser degree MEN IN BLACK.

  224. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    August 15, 2011 12:51 pm

    So the Faroudja went for $750 and I see McIntosh’s going for close to a grand. I would love to have a cool looking McIntosh, but its basically an Elite 97 with AC3 and a different faceplate. So Jim, did you bite on that?

    Watched and listened to some concert LDs this past weekend. Awesome sound, no need for AC3 on those. King Crimson Live in Japan will sear the hairs right off your nads. Also did an Allman Brothers disc, Brothers of the Road, pretty good sound and picture considering its a very early 80s laserdisc. And Yes, Live at QPR, a fantastic 1975 concert from the Relayer tour, really cool to watch. Mono sound on that one though, as it was never meant to be “officially” released. Somehow a Japanese company got the entire video and released it anyway, complete with a gatefold disc with great album-like color picture pamphlet in the gatefold. Some great music on laserdisc and uncompressed audio to boot.

  225. Posted by: omar
    August 15, 2011 2:23 pm

    i just compared Yes live in Philly and Q.P.R 75 yesterday!!! philadelphia video is poor but audio quite good….Q.P.R the audio mix is dismal,and its mono you say???but the videos great!!! go figure

    Queen movies are always great because they had their own film company and that makes a BIG difference

    watched Floyd PULSE for the first time…wow

  226. Posted by: Rupert Pupkin
    August 16, 2011 3:11 pm

    You have Live at QPR omar? Cool, not many people have that. It should say ‘mono’ on the back of the cover somewhere if I recall. The audio problems are due to a goofy mix in the first part of the concert, which is inbalanced and made worse by the fact that Moraz can’t play Wakeman’s organ parts at all—he butchers Close to the Edge. So its not the laser itself, its the recording. It does get better in the second part. But despite the sound problems, that crystal clear video is a priceless record of that era, mid 70s progressive rock at its peak.
    Philadelphia could have been so much better, don’t understand why they couldn’t have shot that better.

    You just now are hearing Pulse? Wow, that has been a concert staple for me since it first came out, first on VHS and then on laserdisc. That only recently made it to DVD. Fantastic video. If you like Floyd, Live at Pompeii is a must have. One of the first great concert films, it is still fascinating to watch the original Floyd performing Meddle era stuff live. As valuable as the early ELP concert film, Pictures at an Exhibition from about 1971.

  227. Posted by: omar
    August 16, 2011 4:42 pm

    funny timing on these posts…thanx,Ill skip to late in the concert…i was just so pissed that Steve Howe is dogged from the beginning…you cant hear anything…i dont think the keyboard is so bad…its just TOO LOUD!!! but it is 2 discs…so if there is a good halfhour in there im happy….shoot if theres a good 1 tune in there im happy……….. wait a second…with Yes 1tune IS a half an hour!!!!! Live at Pompeii is often cited on LD geek sites as a prime example of LD better than DVD…ELP is good.. the reason the Queen films are so good is that they show you what you are SUPPOSED to see…no stupid crap like showing the drummer on a bass solo…etc….

  228. Posted by: omar
    August 16, 2011 4:44 pm

    Wait a minute…YOU bought a videotape??? please…say it isnt so!!!!

  229. Posted by: Jim
    August 20, 2011 3:31 pm

    Nah, I didn’t bid on the Faroudja cause it went higher than I was willing to pay, especially since they didn’t list all the movies. Would be a great model to have though.

    IMO one of the best YES concerts is ABWH An Evening of Yes Music Plus from 1989 (which I wanna get on LD). That one has Wakeman on keys and he is f**king unbelievable. I have the Japanese version of 9012Live which is really good also.

  230. Posted by: omar
    August 20, 2011 4:54 pm

    ..its a good one..i just would like to see the band a bit more in their prime.

  231. Posted by: omar
    August 21, 2011 12:58 am

    ..clean copy of Men in Black?? its a great print!

    …but for the first time since Ive improved my players have I watched a disc where from the first moment on my thoughts were, “ugggh,its ONLY a laserdisc”

    Superman:the movie…ive got the widescreen version,absolutely horrible transfer

    anyone got a good one in their collection???which pressing is it?…this is unwatchable

  232. Posted by: omar
    August 21, 2011 1:01 am

    still waiting for a review of the cld 1010!!!

    watching disc 2 of QPR…yes the sound is much better…too bad its mono

  233. Posted by: omar
    August 21, 2011 1:14 am

    Yessongs is still the best…

  234. Posted by: omar
    August 21, 2011 2:00 am

    Rupert, Have you seen Genesis:a history??? youll love it as much as me… and thats what bugs me about QPR…I mean Genesis videos from the early days,this is a struggling band with no budget and the film quality,sound, camera direction ,is FABULOUS

  235. Posted by: Jim
    August 21, 2011 2:53 pm

    My brother gave me a bootleg DVD of GENESIS The Mama Tour, made from the LD, which is very HTF; I saw it on ebay for around $500 once. I saw them on that tour–the only time I’ve seen them live. They used so much juice with the light show and everything that they blew a circuit breaker–right in the middle of Illegal Alien! 😀

  236. Posted by: omar
    August 29, 2011 8:46 pm

    anyone want my japanese version CLD-99 Elite????

    its the Pioneer CLD HF9G

    with LD-G

    http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_cld-hf9g/pioneer_cld-hf9g.htm

  237. Posted by: omar
    September 10, 2011 2:44 pm

    anybody want my Pioneer CLD HF9G?????!!! it’s the Japanese GOLD version of a CLD 99 Elite.

    Im so happy with my LD-S9 and the 925 turned out to be a real suprise…plays great…PAL and NTSC so this thing is at my buddy’s in Philly sitting in the box

  238. Posted by: omar
    September 10, 2011 2:47 pm

    sorry folks,didnt realize it was a double post!!! anyways LD-G is cool!!! im just about to watcgh my newly arrived Ghost in the Shell boxset ,and i was psyched to find out it has LD_G!!!!

  239. Posted by: Jim
    September 11, 2011 5:52 pm

    I forget, do those Japanese players require a voltage converter for use in the US?

    * * * REMEMBER 9/11! * * *

  240. Posted by: omar
    September 12, 2011 9:02 am

    depends, however i bought this player from laserdisc super geek Bill Schwenke..he services and reconditions classic players…as a matter of fact the fotos on Laserdiscarchive are this actual machine!!! he also has a youtube video of him reconditioning this very unit….needless to say,when he did it he modified the electric to 110v-240v 🙂

  241. Posted by: Jim
    September 12, 2011 8:27 pm

    How much you want for it?

  242. Posted by: omar
    September 13, 2011 9:25 am

    hey,shoot me an email at jazz2future@gmail.com

  243. Posted by: Kevin Lotsberg
    September 24, 2011 7:07 am

    Does anyone need a Marantz DP870 AC3 demodulator for PARTS ONLY? The first one I bought didn’t work correctly. (It was listed as “untested” on eBay, which I believed since not everyone has an AC3 source to hook up for testing, but it was probably sold by an unscrupulous seller who knew of the problem.) If sold for parts, I would strip the feet and the Marantz logo (for another project) before sending.

    And on another note, how hard is it to perform the AC3 conversion on a CLD-D703 player? I can get a pristine one locally at a good-enough price that I can justify time/expense to upgrade it later rather than look for a D704. Or are there other significant differences between the two?

  244. Posted by: Jim
    September 25, 2011 7:56 pm

    Yeah, that’s why I generally don’t buy untested items, like a high-end LD player where the seller says “I don’t have a laserdisc to test it with” Buy one, dammit! Or my personal favorite, the guy who sells all the rare Japanese LDs but then says he doesn’t have a player to test them on. Buy a cheap one for $50 for sucks fake.

    As far as I know Kevin, the 703 is identical to the 704 except for not having AC-3. I’m not sure how expensive it is to do a mod.

  245. Posted by: ajsteele
    November 15, 2011 11:34 am

    I noticed you didn’t mention the CLD-R7G in your layout of players. I find it to be right below the LD-S9 with some advanced features only available in Japanese players. What do you think of the unit? Thanks.

  246. Posted by: Jim
    November 21, 2011 11:22 pm

    Holy crap, right now on eBay there’s a Mac, an X9 and a Theta (and I haven’t even looked at all the pages). I’m lukewarm on the looks of the Mac, but the performance is what really matters. If I had the money right now though I would buy the X9, even though I recently bought Omar’s player. Can’t have too many high-end players, right? 🙂

  247. Posted by: omar
    November 29, 2011 1:38 am

    $1500 was the price on the X9 + 300 shipping + plus customs(in my case)

    ….so are we ever gonna get a review of the “other” player with a red lense?????

  248. Posted by: omar
    November 29, 2011 1:58 am

    AJSTEELE

    those of us that keep this chat going only have experience with what we know

    have you in fact compared this Japanese version machine directly to a Ld-S9 or CLD-99,97???

    how does it compare? LD-G???

    i was not able to do a direct comparison btwn. my LD-S9 and HF-9G

    but the HF-9G looks excellent

  249. Posted by: omar
    November 29, 2011 2:01 am

    PAL update

    YES-IT SUCKS!!!!!

    ive only found 2 pristine discs and they play only so-so

    many companies put out way substandard pressings

    i only buy music related stuff on PAL if its considerably cheaper than its NTSC counterpart…i dont care as much about visuals in a concert film

  250. Posted by: Jim
    December 3, 2011 7:29 pm

    Omar, did you buy the X9?

    Also on ebay now is an LS1 by MSB technologies. It looks kind of like a Runco.

  251. Posted by: omar
    December 4, 2011 2:25 am

    that was a good price!!! i came in second on the second one….

    but I finally got my CLD 1010!!!!!

  252. Posted by: Jim
    December 5, 2011 6:10 am

    Cool–did you buy it on ebay or elsewhere? I’m curious to know how well it does with rotted discs…

  253. Posted by: omar
    December 5, 2011 6:39 am

    arent we all curious!!! i payed 57 bucks,no remote.owner states it plays great,so thats better than a esales store saying they “tested”it.

    it wont make a difference on rotted discs depending on the year of the disc. the rot filters on the later discs are superior to the rot filter in the cld1010,so if you use your composite inputs,the rot filter in your tv (as long as you have a later post 2005 set) gives a superior picture. Only idiots like me pay 57 dollars for a machine,when actually the best machine is a Pioneer LD-V4200.

  254. Posted by: omar
    December 5, 2011 6:41 am

    🙂 if it’s as good as we all hope it is,Ill be thrilled to have saved 1300 bucks on a X9….i couldnt care less about muse,and my S9 rocks!!!!!

  255. Posted by: Jim
    December 8, 2011 12:20 am

    I don’t think they made many CRT sets after 2005–that’s the year mine was made, and the last big one that I remember seeing in stores was the Samsung 30″ 16:9 slimline model. I think they kept making those for 2-3 more years.

  256. Posted by: omar
    December 8, 2011 2:08 am

    widescreen sets cut out too much picture when watching full screen mode…. my 40″ fullscreen is the equivelent to a 36″ widescreen….and a 36″ widescreen is equivelent to a 32″ when in fullscreen…(or something like that)……..

    as far as I know my 40″ trinitron is the largest ever made….anyone know of a larger set??? i paid 1300 in 2005 for it….i think you can get em for 500 now….or even free!!!!!

  257. Posted by: Jim
    December 10, 2011 10:43 pm

    As far as I know no one made a CRT larger than 40″ (unless you count video walls made up of multiple CRT monitors). RCA and Loewe both made a 38″ 16:9 set, which would have a slightly larger widescreen picture, but obviously a smaller 4:3 picture than the 40-inchers.

    Even though I’m currently using a 16:9 set, in some ways I do prefer a 4:3 set (as long as it has the 16:9 enhanced mode), cause I find bars on the top and bottom less distracting than bars on the sides. The only problem is most 4:3 sets lack HDMI inputs. Not an insurmountable problem, but it is the most convenient way to hook up my PS3.

  258. Posted by: omar
    December 11, 2011 3:01 am

    my Sony has DVI input on the back

  259. Posted by: Canuck
    December 13, 2011 1:08 am

    “Also on ebay now is an LS1 by MSB technologies. It looks kind of like a Runco.”

    I bought that one!

  260. Posted by: Jim
    December 14, 2011 10:42 pm

    True that, and I could always use an HDMI-to-DVI cable.

    Silly me, the MSB IS a Runco. Very high overall performance I would imagine…

  261. Posted by: omar
    December 14, 2011 10:57 pm

    yay! im retro hi-tek

  262. Posted by: omar
    December 17, 2011 4:00 pm

    CLD-1010

    IT ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

    im working on a cruise ship out of Ft. Laudrdale,so its a great opporunity to get laserdiscs from the states back to Germany when I return…i had my recent ebay win(55 bucks) shipped directly to the ship…ive only got one disc(yet!!!) …i sold I spit on your grave on lddb.com an rought it over for cheap shipping..
    our rooms are equipped with NICE small(17″ maybe) sony trinitrons…

    this is probably a good test disc because it was a cheaply made vintage film….
    picture quality….EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!! sharp edges,good color
    no frills,but solid straightforward machine…not having a problem with no remote either…

    im recent ebay purchases sent here,so ill be well entertained on long sea days…

    anyone want to send me your double copies to bide my time,id be most appreciative..better yet,send me your rotted discs so i can see if they play,as advertised. As well,no matter how dumb the movie!!!!

    in short,a solid

  263. Posted by: Jim
    December 22, 2011 10:27 pm

    Sweet! I’m going to pick up a 1010 one of these days.

    If I come across any rotted discs in my collection I’ll send them to ya.

  264. Posted by: Jim
    December 22, 2011 10:32 pm

    Actually I just remembered I do have one–it’s Warren Miller’s Endless Winter and it’s 4:3. Side 1 is fine but side 2 is rotted pretty bad. It’s still watchable but in dark scenes the rot is prominent. You still have my email Omar?

  265. Posted by: Mike
    January 17, 2012 10:12 pm

    I am hooked on “analog” sound versus “digital” sound which with my overly sensitive ears hears wow, flutter, hiss and echo. I just cannot get used to poor quality digital transferred sounds, as I was spoiled on reel to reel and LP’s. Would someone like me be satisfied with analog LD, I really want to experience “Koyanisqaatsi” on LD versus CD because I cannot tolerate the cheap “itunes” digital transformation sound of newer media. Sorry to piss and moan, but it’s hard to find a truly well engineered human ear sound with everything digitized.

  266. Posted by: Jim
    January 19, 2012 11:32 am

    I hear ya Mike–when I watch a laserdisc, especially music video/concert discs, I usually select analog stereo, unless it’s an AC-3 disc, since those only have an analog mono track as the AC-3 signal is encoded on the other analog track. DTS discs have an analog stereo track since the DTS signal is encoded on the digital tracks.

  267. Posted by: omar
    January 25, 2012 2:59 pm

    CLD-1010

    ITS TRUE!! ITS TRUE!!! ITS TRUE!!!!!!

    ive got a copy of Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta’s Fire and Ice.
    the second side is FUBAR…massive snow on the picture,and when the sound swells it distorts massively,it has been unwatchable.

    on the CLD-1010 there is very mild visual snow still but its an okay picture…not bad,not great….the sound was fixed!!! i couldnt boost the sound too high,but it sounds good!!

    WOW!!!!!

    I was so impressed,I tried a disc that has a puncture in it….that didnt work!!!

    how does it compare to my LD-S9???

    i used OUTLAND as a test,as I have 2 identical copies….good choice,as its dark…

    first impression as the computer writing is generated on the screen…. the CLD-1010 is sharper ,clearer…looks better

    …but thats it….sharper,in ways… my LD-S9 has way better definition,shading…etc. etc. and overall picture

    this is actually one of the major criticisms of the X9 and X0…that it is too digital,lacks cinematic feel(or so ive read)

    the CLD-1010 lacks AC-3 and S-video outs

    i have to say,by my refined musicians ears the SOund is Crystal clear just from analog out… the Red Laser works amazing !!! clear video that fixes defects,and crystal clear audio

    i have a totally screwed copy of Jimi Hendrix Rainbow Bridge…the surface looks like crystalized snow…when i find it,i will update!!!!!

  268. Posted by: Jim
    January 26, 2012 1:48 pm

    That’s so cool–why the heck didn’t they use the red laser in more models? I will pick up a 1010 one of these days. There’s one on ebay right now but the seller wants $400 for it, so they must know about the red laser thing. I could see paying $100 or so but not $400, since I don’t have very many rotted discs.

  269. Posted by: omar
    January 26, 2012 2:26 pm

    they consistantly go for 50 bucks…ive seen a couple end with no bids at 10 and 20….i paid 56 for mine because the owner claimed it was running perfect…

  270. Posted by: Jim
    January 26, 2012 10:51 pm

    I consider $50 a good deal for a fully functional 1010 considering what the player is apparently capable of. I would guess then that most people don’t know about the red laser advantage.

  271. Posted by: ajsteele
    January 27, 2012 6:40 am

    I have not seen the 1010 “consistently” sell for 50.00 or less. I know you got a good deal on it. I was one bid away from snatching it up but the old “save & forget to go back to it” syndrome got me. I had one a few years ago but the spindle and a few other parts went unused for too long and konked out

    Good luck with your 1010, it’s a fun unit. I have an R7G as my main player which puts out a phenomenal picture. It is not a suped up 600 series as some claim. The specs clarify that.

  272. Posted by: Matt
    February 9, 2012 1:34 pm

    I bought a Pioneer CLD-V820, but it can not play out singer’s songs except music. Pressing the “one touch karaoke” button seems unnecessary since karaoke feature is on all the time once laser disc(LD) is inside the player.

    Does this player not support my LDs or my hook-up is wrong. All the LDs I have can be played by my Pioneer CLD-D604 which is broken down now.

    Please help.

  273. Posted by: Toni
    February 29, 2012 11:56 am

    I am so lost…I just bought a Pioneer LD-V4400 player and I am trying to hook it up to my Panasonic plasma TV..with no luck. I know I don’t have the right connector cords but I don’t know what to get! Is there any way you can help?

  274. Posted by: Joshua
    April 21, 2012 11:55 am

    Hello , I have just gotten myself a nice collection of discs and a player [genEXXA Player]have never heard the brand myself but it seems to be powering up fine and in great condition.

    I just more less had a question i was hoping you could help me with , When it boots on fine , The tray acts odd , It open and closes randomly , And when i load in a disc , It says play , then pops back out , I cant seem to get it to play the discs.

  275. Posted by: omar
    April 22, 2012 10:50 am

    do a search on youtube for fixing laserdisc players.. there’s one guy in particular who is very helpful…. i got courage to fix my own and it works…first of all,it turns out cleaning the lense head fixes all kinds of other problems,including this one…really!!!also the spindle…. after having machines shipped to me,sometimes ive had to adjust two white plastic clips in the backside of the machine behind the tray…this could help…there is also a flat tape kind of wire bank that runs the tray…sometimes it needs to be fastened more securely….

    but my favorite easy fix…..try to play a cd,or dvd if you have a dvd playing machine….because it is lighter it loads easier…then by spinning faster works out some kinks…if you have a machine that doesnt support cd’s or dvd’s(like my LD-S9 😉 an 8″ ld works!!!

  276. Posted by: Jim
    April 29, 2012 5:55 pm

    Howdy all, I’ve been away from this site for a while now, computer issues and what-not. Toni, you oughta be able to hook up that player using a standard composite (RCA) video cable. Most new TVs still have composite inputs. They’re pretty easy to come by–Radio Shack, Best Buy, WalMart would probably all stock cables like that. Matt, I’m afraid I don’t know anything about those Karaoke players.

  277. Posted by: Jim
    April 29, 2012 6:00 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a genEXXA either, it’s not even listed on the laserdisc UK website!

  278. Posted by: Jim
    May 31, 2012 1:02 am

    H O L Y F * * K there’s an X0 for sale on eBay right now–first one I’ve ever seen. BTW LD players have been moved to the “vintage” category under consumer electronics if anyone else has had trouble finding them lately (damn eBay, always changin’ stuff…)

  279. Posted by: Lindsey Mundt
    November 7, 2012 11:33 am

    I want to buy my boyfriend the original Star Wars on LaserDisk for xmas, but I dont have a LaserDisk player. We have a samsung: lcd / 1080p / 60Hz / 40 inch TV, and so I have no idea if any will work with it. Do you know? Also, could I get away with buying a cheaper player or would it make the quality too crappy to be worth it. I just spent a few hours online trying to look this all up and I thought asking a knowledgeable person might be an easier way.

    Thanks

  280. Posted by: Moe
    November 7, 2012 1:59 pm

    Lindsey, chances are your Samsung TV has both composite and S-Video inputs. If it does, and I’d be shocked if it didn’t, you will be able to hookup any Laserdisc player to it.

    With LD players you kind of do get what you pay for. I don’t think you have to get one of the great players but I would at least shoot for one of the average or above average players mentioned above.

    I don’t know if you’re aware but the original trilogy was released in it’s unaltered form on DVD. They are no longer made but can be found used. They were released in 2006. The DVD’s were for the special versions of the films but on the second bonus disc they included the original films.

    Here are the links to them on Amazon.

    Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (Two-Disc Widescreen Enhanced and Original Theatrical Versions)

    Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)

    Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (Two-Disc Widescreen Enhanced and Original Theatrical Versions)

    These aren’t great transfers. They aren’t anamorphic, they don’t have 5.1 sound, they are essentially just the LD transfers ported to DVD. That said, it’s the best you’re going to get for the original unaltered trilogy. Good luck!

  281. Posted by: Omar
    November 8, 2012 2:57 am

    Lindsay,

    Moe speaks for the modern day viewpoint. as he is kind enough to post this great laserdisc page it is only one page in an entire overviewof Home Theater. If ypu were to ask this question on a laserdisc fan site I’m sure you’d get the same answer that i will give…..what a cool present! The significance of the star wars box in the laserdisc world is huge….. For the longest time laserdisc was the ONLY way to get star wars in a crisp format….the box is just awesome with 3 CAV discs per movie,the book….and yes a cool box!!! I personally would rather watch my ld box than a blu-ray anyday…..but yes i have a really good player,and yes it DOES make a difference…..people always advertise their crappy players on ebay as …original price 2000 $……. who cares!!!!! The above list of above average players and so on is a good guide….. If you read the posts ,youll see discussion about the CLD-1010…. For a low cost player i highly recommend it……it doeqnt excel in sound…but the red laser is what you need to defeat the rebels in Star Wars! Ok thats a joke…but star wars is about the visuals,and composite sound is still very good. Alaserdisc machine just to watch star wars? Sure!!!!!

  282. Posted by: Jim
    November 8, 2012 3:39 am

    I totally agree with Omar–like Moe said the DVDs of the originals are just the LD transfers, not enhanced for widescreen, so IMO you’re better off to get the original LDs ’cause then you get the original UNCOMPRESSED sound. Plus I still think my THX editions of the original trilogy look great.

  283. Posted by: Jim
    November 8, 2012 3:49 am

    On a side note, I find it kind of annoying that they waited so long to release them on DVD, that by the time they did the next generation of formats (Blu-ray and HD-DVD) was already out. I predicted that BTW 🙂

  284. Posted by: Gavin
    February 10, 2013 5:35 am

    Does anyone know why some laserdiscs are white rather than silver i have a few are they a manufacturing error do they have any extra worth thanks Gavin

  285. Posted by: omar
    February 10, 2013 7:29 am

    when you insert a disc on side A..you are actually playing the other side..

    since MANY discs are only one sided the other side could be anything…as long as it spins!!!

    the only white sided discs i have are 8″ discs.

  286. Posted by: Pete W.
    February 17, 2013 10:29 am

    Just found your site by chance on web browsing activity: have a large LD collection with quite a few duplicates, many LD players (a few just for parts and at the other extreme are some new in boxes), am exploring possible (simple) ways of copying some of the LD’s on to DVD’s (I know that may make me a heretic), but would like some suggestions. Let me know if I can help someone as well.

  287. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 2, 2013 8:50 pm

    Looks like I killed the string, was not completely serious–thought it would stimulate a discussion. Sorry

  288. Posted by: Jim
    March 2, 2013 11:14 pm

    Hey Pete, this forum seems to go thru long dry spells–I haven’t looked at it for a while myself. The easiest way to do that would probably be just hook your LD player up to a DVD recorder. That would be simpler than first digitizing the video using a computer, but of course you’d have to be ready to hit the pause button if you didn’t want to record several seconds of a blue screen while the LD player changes sides. Then again some DVD recorders have hard drives built in, so I would guess they have editing options.

    BTW are you planning to sell any of your new-in-box LD players?

  289. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 3, 2013 12:27 pm

    Jim: Thanks for the quick reply–that’s sort of what I had envisioned doing. Have a functioning Magnavox DVDR985, but the “grand plan” had been put on hold because it would have been time consuming…too many irons in the fire and not enough time in each day. Currently was going to use a line doubler to watch LD’s on “big screen” until I reviewed some negative comments on the forum. Have now gotten an Anchor Bay iScanVP50 to see if it will do a better job than a line doubler…but haven’t had time to try that arrangement yet. The “NOS” players, that are shelved in the house, were bought about 10 years ago, as retail dealers were closing out players; have a Panasonic LX-H670U and a Pioneer CLD-D505. Also have working Pioneer 702’s, 909’s, 919’s, etc, and more of that type that need my attention to function again.

  290. Posted by: Jim
    March 4, 2013 1:36 am

    Pete, I’ve owned every LD player model that you mention. The 505 was my first 2-side player–I started with the lowly CLD-S104, but of course that was still so much better than VHS that it put a big grin on my face. One of my goals is to put together an “old school” big-screen home theater with a high-end CRT projector and line-quadrupler (and an HDMI adapter for blu-ray, by-passing the line-quad), i.e. the kind of set-up I used to read reviews of back in the late ’90s, but couldn’t afford because it cost more than a new Cadillac.

  291. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 4, 2013 11:06 am

    Jim..Your comments jolt my memory; my first laserdisc player was the Pioneer VP-1000, which I got as a store demonstrator in Albuquerque, NM. It is the only player that I have owned that is not still in my possession–I think I gave it away to a budding laser fan. At that time I had a front-projection Advent, with a big 6′(?) curved screen–picture was definitely better quality than my Beta VCR tapes. Am anxious to see how my LD plans work out. Don’t have the space for a front projection unit like you envision–never got spouse’s approval either, when subject was brought up in the distant and recent past. Good luck on your dream setup.

  292. Posted by: Omar
    March 4, 2013 3:07 pm

    Hi guys, nice to see some activity in here! How my ld player treating you Jim? Pete if you want to unload some of your laserdisc doubles on me my email is omarkun@aol.com.

  293. Posted by: Jim
    March 5, 2013 12:10 am

    Omar, I sold that player cause I needed the $ for my trip to Tokyo, so now I’m looking for another one. It treated me well while I had it though.

    Pete, my introduction to laserdisc was a store demonstration at Macy’s–it was one of those early top-loading models. I was in Jr. high back then! I didn’t buy a player of my own until the ’90s though. Also, ever since I was a kid I always thought those front-projection TVs were so cool, but I never really had space for one.

  294. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 5, 2013 4:01 pm

    Told Omar I hoped he enjoyed my four hours of work–really did not know I had so many duplicates—and I need to improve the lighting in the room where they are stored; got “squinty-eyed” reading the titles on the visible back of the disc cases. Now back to my usual “duties”.

  295. Posted by: Jim
    March 6, 2013 11:03 pm

    I don’t have nearly as many discs as I did at one time, but when I have the space again I will get more. Lately I’ve been streaming a lot of movies (on VUDU) and the quality of streamed movies has gotten quite stunning, but I still love the analog look of laserdisc.

    The value of certain rare discs seems to be holding steady or even increasing. I just saw a copy of The Matrix go for $160!

  296. Posted by: Jennifer
    March 7, 2013 9:50 am

    I have a pioneer laser disk player. The model is CLD-1030. I want to know how much is it worth?

  297. Posted by: Jim
    March 7, 2013 5:17 pm

    Jennifer, looks like they go for around $50 on eBay.

  298. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 9, 2013 12:20 am

    Noticed a listing for an HLD-X9 on eBay–few bids had gotten up to less than $10 but shipping from Hong Kong is not cheap–sure it will be out of my price range before it is sold. Will be interesting to follow and see what it sells for.

  299. Posted by: Jim
    March 11, 2013 11:54 am

    Those usually go for around 3 grand. I recently saw an X0 go for close to 4 grand!!

  300. Posted by: Jim
    March 11, 2013 2:18 pm

    There’s TWO of them on eBay right now–both currently in the $500 range, and both from Hong Kong. Dammit, how come American sellers never have anything that cool? 🙂

  301. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 11, 2013 3:46 pm

    Jim–Do you think it’s the same X-9? The newer seller writes with better English, there are two years difference in the listed date of purchase, the reasons for selling differ, and the shipping prices differ–only the older listed player has no picture of the serial number and no remote, but does come with a “Swept Away” LD. Wonder who is bidding on the item, do you recognize any of the bidders? I would bet that there is at one representative from this forum. Omar already has one, so one would not expect him to be bidding on another.

  302. Posted by: rebekah k
    March 11, 2013 10:13 pm

    Hi there. I am looking for some info on my grandfather’s laser disc player.and many laser disc movies including star wars. How much are they worth now a days? The player is an RCA selectavision model # Sgt 250. Please let me in on any information you may have… Thank you!

  303. Posted by: Jim
    March 11, 2013 10:52 pm

    Actually, selectavision is not laserdisc, it’s a different format altogether called CED which stands for capacitance electronic disc or something like that, but confusing them is a common mistake. I know certain rare laserdiscs are worth quite a bit, but I don’t know if any CED discs are.

    Pete, hmmm I wonder, if so then one of the auctions is a scam, but that seems unlikely since both sellers have good ratings, and scams are usually done with high-dollar items like cars, or things sold in massive quantities like laptops. There was a rash of bogus car auctions a few years back, but they were laughingly easy to spot if you knew anything, cause they always had a ridiculously low BIN price, and specifically instructed you to use a different email and not go thru ebay.

  304. Posted by: Jim
    March 11, 2013 11:14 pm

    BTW hard to say if I know any of the bidders, since nowadays ebay only lets you see the first & last letters, but it looks like a couple ebayers have bid on both of them. I expect both to go a lot higher than they currently are!

  305. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 12, 2013 6:14 am

    Used to be in the cattle business, in the era of embryo transfers and artificial insemination of the 80’s, and (intentionally?) poor record keeping resulted in poor progeny from expensive bull calves with good bloodlines on paper only–“clean up” herd bulls and commercial cows bloodlines are not worth much. Some of the biggest scams now are the widely advertised and televised car sales, where the big money owners probably keep collector car prices by buying from each other. Shelby, who banked and lived near my ranch, helped educate us re collector car sales. Scams, unfortunately, take advantage of even the wealthy and educated–but I digress. Agree that the two X9’s are not the same LD player; but that does not exclude the possibility that at least one is not real. Omar may have an independent opinion.

  306. Posted by: Jim
    March 12, 2013 10:14 pm

    I got taken by a scam back in 1999 when I was an eBay newbie. The “seller” supposedly had a huge LD collection which was broken up into lots. I had the winning bid on one of the lots. All titles were listed which made it seem legit. There were no photos but most auctions didn’t have photos yet at that time. What should have made me wary however were the facts that the “seller” had 0 feedback, and required money orders sent to a P.O. box (that was before PayPal) Also the P.O. box was in Florida which seems to be where a lot of con artists gravitate to. I guess if the heat is on you can quickly jump on a boat and leave the country.

  307. Posted by: Omar
    March 13, 2013 12:41 am

    If youve read this thread you know that i own an ld s9,and trust me it is all the player you will ever need.the ONLY reason to buy an x9 or x0 is for the red laser or the muse. Many people prefer the s9 to the xs because the red laser can be TOO sharp, in my eyes that starts taking away from the reason that i prefer laserdisc,and i do prefer laserdisc. I learned from this thread that the cld1010 is a great affordable way to get a red laser and i now have 2 that i paid 50 bucks each for.muse requires an additional decoder and the very few titles id even consider wanting cost well over 100 bucks. If an x9 cost 1000 id consider it…but they dont…. The last few s9s ive seen sold for 600 bucks

  308. Posted by: Omar
    March 13, 2013 12:50 am

    No, i dont have one. As far as ebay, paypal really favours the buyer these days…. I havent been burnt since before 1999 on ebay, and the day i do again ill just smile, as ive saved hundreds of thousands on ebay, and thats not an exaggeration. Its a great place to save money, but the reality is that you can always get burned…. Or you can pay 6000 for the machine at a specialty shop and be secure. Im sure both machines will go for AT LEAST 2000

  309. Posted by: Jim
    March 13, 2013 11:38 pm

    Omar has a good point. I’m gonna keep my eyes open for an S9 if you can get one for $600! If I was rich I would still buy the X9 or X0 and use it with my front projection system, and MAYBE buy a Muse decoder as well. I’m also looking for a 1010 I can get at a reasonable price.

  310. Posted by: Omar
    March 14, 2013 11:26 am

    The price of runcos macintoshs have stayed consistantly at 650-700 bucks….x9sand0s i cant tell you because they appear so rarely…cld 97s and 99s seem to have gone up, and consistanly reach 600 bucks….

    Ive got to say the cld 1010 is consistantly annoying with its prehistoric features,but the picture is great,andtheres nohing wrong with analog 2.0 sound on a laserdisc

  311. Posted by: Jim
    March 14, 2013 5:04 pm

    That’s funny about the 1010–I’m watching one right now but the BIN price is a little steep @ $169. It does include free shipping though. IDK, maybe it’s worth it if the picture is really that good.

    I’ve only seen 2 X0s but they were both recent and finished in the $3k-$4k range. I’ve seen a few X9s and they finished in the $2k-$3k range. I think their value might be INCREASING so I’m eager to see how much these current ones go for.

    Another one of my goals is to take an extended trip to Japan (and get better at Japanese) so that in between sight-seeing I can look for some of those rare players and discs that were only available in that market.

  312. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 23, 2013 6:07 pm

    Jim/Omar–Now I see what you mean when you indicate that things can be quiet for a while; one week of silence after some active chatter. Thought that after the second X9 sold for over $2500 if you include shipping (and any duty imposed), one would expect to hear a comment or two. What did anyone think?

  313. Posted by: Omar
    March 24, 2013 4:19 am

    I wont find one on ebay for 1000 so i dont even bother

  314. Posted by: AJ Steele
    March 24, 2013 4:41 am

    You can just about get an R7G for 800 to 1000. I’ve never seen a X9 or X0 sell for less than 1,800 on ebay. Otherwise I would have had one. You can always go to Nick Santini’s web site and plunk down between 4 and 8 grand for a nice one.

  315. Posted by: Pete W.
    March 24, 2013 2:51 pm

    Since those of us on Moe’s Home Theater website have gotten to know about each other during the past couple of years, would it be OK to make the group of our friends, who desire to acquire or upgrade LD players, know that many of us have extra/surplus working as well as repairable players? Or is that against the guidelines or principles of our primarily informational and “chat room”? What would Moe say? We probably would not be able to furnish warranties, other than our word…in that sense we would not be considered competition for eBay, or would we? Guess that could open up a can of worms!

  316. Posted by: Omar
    March 25, 2013 5:16 am

    We are a very small group. The only deal so far was jim taking a player of my hands. How many can you possibly have :). I wouldnt sweat it!

  317. Posted by: Omar
    March 25, 2013 5:21 am

    Might i also add a big thank you to all the contributors to this comments area. We have confined our posts to commentary on hardware, noted only titles that we find exceptional, and provided a place for newbies to inquire about players,and even given a little repair advice. Id say the scene has been clean!

  318. Posted by: Moe
    March 28, 2013 10:10 am

    Everyone is welcome to use this page to offer up their old equipment/discs or point out good finds that you should come across. If it gets out of hand I may put a stop to it but I don’t think that will happen.

    I will get rid of obvious spam though.

  319. Posted by: Pete W.
    April 21, 2013 10:05 am

    Moe’s answer has succeeded in quieting down the activity for over three weeks. For what it may be worth, another X9 has shown up in Hong Kong, with the same/similar grammatical errors and owner’s history as the recent two listings for Muse players sold on eBay–it’s already at about $1500 including shipping. (One of the repeating bidders has no(?) history of eBay activity.) Could there really be at least 3 Muse players in Hong Kong? Does anyone know who was the purchaser of the other two? Just an inquiring mind….

  320. Posted by: Jim
    April 21, 2013 10:50 pm

    My email settings are supposed to notify me when there’s new posts on this site, but I just now got a notice and had to catch up. Anyway, that’s interesting–I think that’s the SAME seller that had one of the X9s before (I was actually a bit surprised that they went for under $2K, but then again shipping from Hong Kong costs a small fortune) so I’m not sure what to think. Deadbeat bidders maybe?

  321. Posted by: Jim
    April 27, 2013 11:30 pm

    Random note: factory sealed copy of The Matrix just went for $179 on ebay 🙂

  322. Posted by: Omar
    April 27, 2013 11:43 pm

    I sold an extra copy for 120 very quickly last week. I watched it through to ensure it was in good shape…and WOW what a great print! Very enjoyable always to watch,and the the additional making of is fascinating…they…lie star wars before…introduced many revolutionary filmmaking techniques in this film… Too bad its not CAV!

  323. Posted by: Jim
    April 28, 2013 11:31 pm

    Or DTS! Still one of my favorite discs though (it’s ranked #1 on the wish list on the LDDB)

  324. Posted by: omar
    April 29, 2013 12:33 am

    ok guys, lets rate our top 5 picks for best looking prints…..

    ive got to really think about this but immediately coming to mind are

    the matrix…of course!!
    CAV 2001 boxset

    ill get back with the rest later!!

  325. Posted by: AJ Steele
    April 29, 2013 4:55 am

    Great prints coming to mind are Titanic ( the DTS version is an added bonus), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun and The Getaway (with Kim Bassinger). The last entry is incredible (the movie itself is so-so)

  326. Posted by: Jim
    April 29, 2013 9:05 pm

    Wow, I don’t know if I can pick a top five! CAV sets generally are the sharpest: The Rock, Se7en, Twister, and Star Wars Definitive Collection come to mind. Also the “faces” editions of Star Wars and the SE box set, and Episode 1, to name some CLV titles. The Matrix, Robocop Criterion (I have the less common CLV edition)–and one movie that really sucked but the laserdisc looked great–that Batman movie with Scwarzenegger and Uma Thurman.

  327. Posted by: omar
    April 29, 2013 9:45 pm

    yes, se7en is very cool with the silver tint … did they produce a dvd with that, and did it look as good?

  328. Posted by: Jim
    April 30, 2013 12:51 am

    I don’t know, I’ve never watched the DVD. They probably have a blu-ray by now. I had never seen that movie all the way thru until about 7-8 years ago when I got hold of the CAV box set. At the time I still had my 32″ Sony TV–I just remember it looked stunning.

    BTW a couple of my favorites I forgot to mention: Face/Off (so classic–“WATCH YOUR F@#%IN’ MOUTH!” ha ha), and Saving Private Ryan.

  329. Posted by: Omar
    April 30, 2013 1:25 am

    When comments are made about ld pressings being better than a dvd pressing they usually include comments about trueness of color.. Just finished watching George Pals War of the Worlds…looks great..as do the other Pal movies… Not suprising as Pioneer made great looking discs….Cliffhanger is excellent…and they did many great music titles…. For US pressings Pioneer is at the top.. I find Japanese pressings otherwise superior.

  330. Posted by: Pete W.
    April 30, 2013 9:46 am

    Hate to divert attention from an interesting discussion about LD’s but there is an interesting laserdisc player collection on eBay that might be of interest to someone who can pick up the items in Southern California (Orange Co., to be specific)–looks like the group deserves a final price in the several thousands of dollars. Thought it might be worth a check, no pun intended.

  331. Posted by: omar
    April 30, 2013 11:14 am

    im watching 2001 now…it’s really amazing how the sound makes the whole experience better…… i just spent a bit of money on Green Hornet 1 and 2… i was starting to think i didnt necessarily need to have bought them…but then hearing the soundtrack on LD made it all worthwhile.

  332. Posted by: Jim
    April 30, 2013 6:33 pm

    Holy crap, that is a nice lot! A few years ago I drove out to L.A. to pick up a home theater system I bought on eBay. Got such a good deal it was worth the gas money. Plus, any excuse to drive out to the coast, right?

    I forgot to mention “Squeeze” discs–kind of an unfair comparison to other LDs I guess. The only one I’ve owned was The Fugitive. Looked really good.

  333. Posted by: Pete W.
    April 30, 2013 6:58 pm

    Are you volunteering to pick the lot up for me, Jim? Just halfway serious–the closest friend I have to Orange County lives in LA itself…and I am not sure that he has a large enough vehicle to pick the lot up. Just dreaming.

  334. Posted by: Jim
    April 30, 2013 10:19 pm

    I had a van at the time but not anymore. Decided to sell it due to high gas prices. I bought the thing just a few months before Katrina (great timing, eh?)

  335. Posted by: Moe
    May 1, 2013 9:53 am

    Is this the auction you guys are referring to? That’s one hell of a collection!

  336. Posted by: Jim
    May 1, 2013 7:58 pm

    That’s the one I was looking at. The seller added a couple more players to the lot also.

  337. Posted by: Omar
    May 2, 2013 12:35 am

    Ok,you guys wanto go in on it? Yes im serious…im happy with any one of the big three listed at the end

  338. Posted by: Jim
    May 2, 2013 1:28 am

    Whoever buys that lot could keep a couple of the players for him/her self and sell the rest individually and make a nice profit. I used to do that sort of thing a lot with eBay. I don’t really have the space right now for multiple players, or the means to transport them unfortunately.

  339. Posted by: Bob Lee
    May 5, 2013 9:26 pm

    I am looking for the Texasville Director’s cut LD it was part of the Pioneer Special Edition PSE93-34 box set 3 sides Play time 150 minutes, might you have any Ideas where to look for this… Thanks your help… Bob

  340. Posted by: Jim
    May 5, 2013 11:55 pm

    Ebay has tens of thousands of LDs listed at any given time. That’s where I purchased 95% of the discs I’ve ever bought. There are also discs for sale on the laserdisc database (www.lddb.com). If you do a google search you probably find other sites as well with LDs for sale (Craig’s list, iOffer maybe)

  341. Posted by: Jim
    May 6, 2013 12:09 am

    BTW somebody got a helluva deal on that lot, just over $2K for all those players and several AC-3 demods!

  342. Posted by: Pete W.
    May 6, 2013 9:06 am

    Wonder if Omar bought the lot–winning bidder started with “o” and he had expressed sort of an interest a few days ago, just thinking out loud.

  343. Posted by: Pete W.
    May 8, 2013 6:53 am

    Bob, you are probably not interested, but I have an unopened copy of the 126-minutes version of “Texasville” if you cannot find the boxed version with the additional time recorded.

  344. Posted by: RJ Bob Lee
    May 8, 2013 11:06 am

    To: Pete W
    I am interested in the PSE version of Texasville, contact me at hoghead4024@gmail.com

  345. Posted by: Jim
    May 27, 2013 6:43 am

    And now for today’s spiritual lesson 🙂

    Blessed are thee the faithful, though the world revile thee, and utter all manner of falsehood against thee, calling thee Luddite and hater of progress.

    For it was written, that at the dawning of the 3rd millennium would come the false god, and the multitudes would praise him, and even the elect such as writeth for Sound&Vision would be fooled.

    And thus it came to pass, that those scribes did praise the false god, saying: Behold! Who is like unto the DVD, and who can make war against him?

    And thus the multitudes received the mark of compression, copy protection and region coding upon their foreheads, and those who refused the mark were shunned and cast into the wilderness.

    But in the first decade of the new millennium, whilst the audiophiles despaired, a new hope arose, for the twins HD-DVD and Blu-ray did appear, saying: Rejoice! For while we offer not analog picture, we do bringeth back the glory of uncompressed sound!

    But the wise ones said: thou confuseth the consumer, and createth bitterness with thy format war. Thou cannot both remain–one of thee must prevail. And thus it was that Blu-ray battled with and slew his twin HD-DVD.

    He then did proclaim to the world: Behold! I have prevailed, and I bring you 1080p picture and uncompressed sound! And the multitudes did say “whatever”–but the audiophiles rejoiced! Yet some still longed for the resurrection of their beloved king…

  346. Posted by: AJ Steele
    May 27, 2013 8:01 am

    And yes a new king reigned and many were exceedingly smitten while a remnant of audiophiles did harkeneth back for laserdisc. In their hearts they did maketh thine own temples to the god that was once king. And through all manner of ways the enlightened audiophile did rise up and create web site forums to pay homage to the former, making known to the masses who gaineth not exposure.

    And in those days there existed revilers, tormenters and erotic television brighteners that in their ignorance blasphemed the good works done by the big shinny disc king. And yes as the mighty forums arose proclaiming glory to laserdisc, analog picture dreams grew and it did erect a statue of hope. There may someday appear a new heaven and a new earth and it shall return to the former things if a new marketing desire doth increase.

    While you now rejoice in blu ray, I say Amen, as it holdeth fast to new ideas. But woe to you that detest the former king Laserdisc. In its time it did slay much foolishness, and a generation of the wise prevailed.

  347. Posted by: Pete W.
    May 27, 2013 8:02 am

    Very good Jim, but did it take three weeks of solitude to come up with the “spiritual” message. Have a good Memorial Day weekend

  348. Posted by: Jim
    May 28, 2013 7:39 pm

    Yea Pete, I did meditate and fast upon the mountain of solitude for three times seven days, at the end of which time I received a mighty vision.

    My brothers and sisters, it shames me that in the telling of my tale I hath forgotten to mention the great and ancient kingdom, where the true king was revered more than anywhere else in all the world.

    I speaketh of the island nation far to the east. In this land the demon seed of the false god, which indeed had engulfed all the world in it’s fervor, spread less quickly, for they knew the worth of the true king.

    And this kingdom did produce magnificent shrines to the true king, and unlike those shrines in the west, which were made of ebon, or of silver, these shrines were made of gold, and some could even accommodate the true king when he ascended to his highest form, known as “Muse”

  349. Posted by: Pete W.
    May 29, 2013 8:51 am

    Good point, Jim, but less distance to the east than the kingdom of the great Muse, was the alternate universe of the Gauls, and their golden, multivoltage, CLD-99.

  350. Posted by: Jim
    May 29, 2013 11:22 am

    Ah, yes. BTW as AJ pointed out many people didn’t even know what a laserdisc was back in the day, I’m not sure how much can be blamed on weak advertising or just the public’s general lack of interest. I think a lot of people have just become aware of it in recent years via the internet. I myself did not prioritize laserdisc at first, due to the fact that you can’t record with it, but when I got into it I saw what I had been missing watching low-rez VHS tapes. I watch quite a few DVDs too, as you might not have guessed after reading my telling of ancient tales, but I never bought that many movies on DVD. Nowadays for renting new movies I stream on VUDU, which I like ’cause you don’t have to worry about scratches or fingerprints or late fees.

  351. Posted by: Pete W.
    June 6, 2013 9:59 pm

    Interesting item on eBay for a Pioneer CLD-HF9G, which I was not familiar with as an “equivalent to Elite CLD-99” but am not versed in 99’s as you all may be.

  352. Posted by: Jim
    June 7, 2013 7:19 am

    That’s the model I bought from Omar. It’s the CLD-99 for the Japanese market. It has all CLD-99 features, plus the LD-G (graphics) feature which lets you turn subtitles on & off.

  353. Posted by: Jim
    June 7, 2013 7:25 am

    There’s also an X0 on eBay right now, with a Muse decoder and 5 Muse discs.

  354. Posted by: omar
    June 7, 2013 7:36 am

    have you ever compared it to a 99 Jim???

    very strange all these x0s popping up these days

  355. Posted by: Jim
    June 7, 2013 1:31 pm

    I never owned a 99 so I can’t compare them. If one is better it’s most likely the 9G, but I doubt there’s a significant difference.

    We are seeing a lot of Muse players lately. I used to go years without seeing one of those on eBay.

  356. Posted by: AJ Steele
    June 7, 2013 2:23 pm

    I don’t hear much about the LD graphics feature so since it was mentioned, I can’t get mine to work on my R7G. I wonder whats going on Jim? Anyway, love to get my hands on a Muse player and I have just the disc in mind I would spin. I’m not so much waiting for the right time as I am waiting for the right extra paycheck.

  357. Posted by: John Paine
    June 7, 2013 7:36 pm

    My Question is –

    Despite searching the internet for some considerable time and not being able to read or speak Japanese –

    I have not been able to find out much about the SOUND FORMAT of MUSE Laserdiscs and the AUDIO CONNECTIONS on MUSE DECODERS.

    I hve read that STEREO or possibly 4 CHANNEL SURROUND SOUND could be put onyo a MUSE DISC but the MUSE DECODERS I have read about only seem to have 1 or 2 sets of L + R analogue audio phono sockets

    So I wondered if given a MUSE LD with a surround soundtrack on it – supposing that such a things exists – would each “STEREO” output need to be connected to Dolby Pro Logic style decoders to recover any MATRIXED audio information- such as a “CENTER” channel ?

    I would be most gtateful for ANY guidance regarding MUSE AF playback

    Regards,

    John ( thelasernut )

  358. Posted by: Jim
    June 8, 2013 1:00 am

    I don’t know much about Muse, but I have noticed that the discs have both their Muse sound formats (not sure how those work) and a Dolby Surround soundtrack, so I’m guessing you could use the DS track, and run it thru a receiver or preamp with Pro Logic IIx or DTS: Neo 6 or whatever to get 5.1, 6.1 or however many channels you want depending on how new and high-end you go.

  359. Posted by: Jim
    June 8, 2013 8:29 am

    You got me curious about Muse now–I noticed on that eBay auction that’s on right now (for the HLD-X0) you can see the back of his set-up, and I only see one cable feeding into the muse decoder, but there’s component video and stereo audio output cables hooked up. Also he’s using the analog stereo output of the LD player (he’s not using any of the digital outs), so I’m guessing he’s doing something similar to what I suggested.

  360. Posted by: Pete W.
    June 9, 2013 5:49 pm

    But Jim, can one assume the Muse’s owner is setting it up to get the optimal quality of his picture and sound reproduction. Owner may be like the owner of the expensive collector car, who was so inept/careless/under-the-influence that he drove it into Galveston Bay several years ago and walked off. Some people with a lot of money and expensive equipment do not seek/get the best advice.

  361. Posted by: Jim
    June 9, 2013 11:55 pm

    It looks like it was a quick set-up for demo purposes with that TV, but what’s significant there is apparently you can get a stereo/matrixed surround signal from Muse discs, which with these modern surround processors is all you would need to have 5.1, 6.1 or even more channels. It might take some trial and error since the manuals are probably all written in Japanese.

  362. Posted by: John Paine
    June 12, 2013 6:09 am

    Thanks for comments regarding MUSE LD AUDIO.

    As I don’t have any MUSE DISCS I can’t comment about what AF tracks they would normally carry but I have read that they can have STEREO (Prologic) OR 4 CHANNEL SURROUND ( L,R,C,S )

    My VICTOR HV-VMD1 MUSE DECODER ( one with English labels ) only gives a L&R DOWNMIXED Audio Output from any L.R.C,S tracks – but there are also Optical Connections which MIGHT access some of the surround channels – if one knew how ?

    Other Decoders are more confusing since Button etc Labels in Japanese but ALL Muse Decoder Guides I have seen are only in Japanese.

    Regarding Multiple Connections to Laserdisc Players –

    I guess most serious LD users would have several connections to their LD Player in order to play the various AF options –

    Analogue L+R – essential for Early Non Digital discs and any Digital Stereo (ProLogic) tracks decoded within the Player

    Digital – For Digital LD Discs to be decoded by AV receiver and also for direct decoding of “dts” Audio Laser Discs.

    AC-3 – For an AC-3 Demodulator to extract a normal digital signal to feed Dolby Digital Decoder equiped AV receivers etc.

    BUT as mentioned in one reply – the MUSE DECODER only has a SINGLE co-ax connection from the LD Player – and this provides – “1080i” COMPONENT Video Output + DOWNSCALED NTSC Video Output + Analogue and Digital Audio Outputs.

    Now – it seems to me – that while an available Audio track could be sourced directly from the MUSE LD Player – I imagine the digital Processing in the Muse Decoder would delay the Video Signal and could well cause LIPSYNC errors when compared with the Audio provided by the Muse Decoder.

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Has anyone tried this ?

    Regards.

  363. Posted by: Jim
    June 12, 2013 9:13 am

    Yeah I would guess that if you’re watching a Muse disc, for simplicity’s sake you should just use the coax cable, and then output 2-channel analog sound from the Muse decoder into your surround processor. I would probably only use the audio outputs from the LD player for standard discs.

  364. Posted by: Pete W.
    July 5, 2013 11:20 pm

    What has happened to everybody? No comments from anyone since the first half of June. Did that Muse laserdisc player and related equipment in the Philippines ever sell on eBay?

  365. Posted by: Jim
    July 6, 2013 2:17 am

    Work got busy again. As far as I can tell that X0 listed for $4100 did not sell. There’s another X9 on there right now (from one of the same Hong Kong sellers). Another interesting item I’ve seen a couple of times now is a 2002 (yes, 2002) re-issue of the laserdisc arcade game Dragon’s Lair. (remember that, from the early ’80s?) Apparently that was THE last LD ever made and it was pressed in the USA not Japan. Only 400 copies were made.

  366. Posted by: Pete W.
    August 10, 2013 10:20 am

    Guess it must be the summer doldrums; even when you post a comment about the last, albeit limited production, laserdisc, nobody wants to bite/comment. Maybe we should start a more inflammatory conversation/topic like the price of electricity that runs our electronics, gasoline prices that limit or enhance our ability to acquire repair parts/equipment, the dearth of quality Hollywood productions this summer, etc….

  367. Posted by: Jim
    August 10, 2013 11:27 pm

    🙂 Pacific Rim, anyone? Yeah, maybe if I was 12! Then again, I can’t talk since I’ve seen all 3 Transformers movies (on video). Yeah, I was beginning to think, to quote Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber, “man, this party really died!”

  368. Posted by: Moe
    August 13, 2013 8:16 pm

    I can’t wait to see Pacific Rim. I hope my inner 12 year old never dies. I look very forward to seeing giant robots and monsters fighting each other.

  369. Posted by: Jim
    August 13, 2013 10:43 pm

    I’ll probably watch it on VUDU. The last movie I saw in a theater was The Wolverine. Couldn’t wait for that one ’cause I was in Tokyo last year. Seeing it in 3D was like going back.

  370. Posted by: Jim
    August 22, 2013 8:46 am

    Drugs are bad, kids.

  371. Posted by: Jim
    September 16, 2013 12:24 am

    I see the last nonsensical post was deleted. I’m guessing this one will share the same sad, pointless fate. Some people seriously need to get a life.

  372. Posted by: Jim
    September 16, 2013 11:35 pm

    LOL, I don’t know, but that makes me think of Star Wars–“it could be worse–It’s worse!” I guess I won’t mention any more recent blockbusters by name ’cause that seems to bring on the spam. Who knows what kind of programs are prowling cyberspace looking for keywords! I doubt even The Shadow knows.

  373. Posted by: Omar
    September 17, 2013 3:01 am

    As nominated controller or er troller of this page( you gotta look through a lotta posts, but it’s in there) I gotta pull the reins a bit here. No literary quotes allowed.. Only cinematic quotes… Quoting comic books is okay , but only if at one point they evolved to film TV or some type of video format.

  374. Posted by: Jim
    November 9, 2013 2:02 am

    Is it OK if I quote The Pretenders? Where has everybody gone? 🙂

  375. Posted by: Jim
    November 9, 2013 2:06 am

    That’s from The Living Daylights BTW

  376. Posted by: Pete W.
    December 29, 2013 5:41 pm

    Jim~ I’m still here albeit confused about what to comment about since Omar’s policing observations and entries such as the one from 12/29/2013, which I do not understand or see any connection to laser disc issues. Had a good Christmas season and was looking forward to the New Year and the prospect of rearranging and improving my laser disc system reproduction and disc storage arrangement. How is it going with everyone else out there?

  377. Posted by: Alan D Bauder
    March 29, 2014 8:02 am

    Hi – I loved reading this article. I have a CDL-501 that came with 400 laser discs from ebay. It works great, but I would like to get another player with an RF output. I have been looking at CLD-99 and a CLD-97. I would really like to get the 97 because of the better picture quality. It has no RF output. I have been trying to find someone who could do that modification to the 97. SO far I have no luck. I guess I could do it myself, but my hands are not what they used to be. I getting hard and hard for me using them because of arthritis. Also I have the 501 hooked up to my Lexicon MC-12 with an S-video cable. I will try the composite. Also I am getting a Lexicon demodulator so I can eventually decode AC-3.
    Thanks -Alan

  378. Posted by: omar
    March 29, 2014 9:10 am

    im sure you guys DO have a sense of humour…!!

    unfortunately the spammers got in to our little club……..

    theres nothing that says the 97 is better… it is purely a matter of taste…. as well as the fact that many people relate their opinions to which tv they are broadcasting through,and how good the comb filter is on it….

    i personally love my 99

  379. Posted by: Pete W
    March 30, 2014 6:29 pm

    Omar–Good to see a familiar name back and monitoring the questions. Thought Jim and I were the only activity aside from the “scams” and that had been back 3 months ago. Alan, if you would like a free, operational 919 or 909, which would be some improvement over the 501, let me know.

  380. Posted by: Pete W
    April 1, 2014 8:20 pm

    Having had no response from Alan to my gift offer of 919/909’s….(just musing and considering options) My situation is such that dispersing a lot of my personal collection of LD’s and players may be warranted and was offering the combination players because of my assumption, may be in error, that Alan might be a newer LD user/convert than Jim, Omar, and others of us on Moe’s site. Having always wanted to support newer users, was just trying to help–if more advanced players are of interest to you, Alan, let me know where your interest in players, LD’s, lies

  381. Posted by: the pirate bay movies
    April 25, 2014 6:41 pm

    Samuels (Eminem) “Nothin’ On You” —
    Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr.
    After shooting for about two minutes and a half, he pulled the
    trigger. As the atmosphere began to disintegrate around me, I felt a fresh strength
    forge into my thoughts.

  382. Posted by: Tad
    May 4, 2014 10:39 am

    Hi, I have 2 LD players that I haven’t used in a while and wonder which is better, the 1990 Panasonic PRISM LX-1000U or the 1996 Pioneer CLD-D505? Also, I am just using composite video cable to my SONY LED TV. Should I do more, if I’ll be watching a lot of LDs from now on? Thanks

  383. Posted by: Pete W
    May 4, 2014 6:57 pm

    Tad…At the risk of being laughed at by other contributors/readers, the Prism is thought of as being an above-average player unlike the Pioneer, but has some drawbacks because it is an older design than the Pioneer, assuming both are in good condition. Depending on your location, it is generally easier to find parts/repairs on Pioneer models. For example, I have a few 500-series models in various conditions but only one or two Panasonic machines. You may be able to get information from Omar or Jim, e.g. Welcome to this modified chat room!

  384. Posted by: Tad
    May 5, 2014 10:56 am

    Thanks Pete, Unless I hear otherwise, I’ll continue to use my Panasonic PRISM LX-1000U from 1990, instead of my Pioneer CLD-D505 from 1996. I don’t want to spend more money on a “better” player or deinterlacer, if I don’t have to, though I’m open to suggestions. I plan on watching A LOT of LDs, since I just acquired a huge collection. Should I at least track down the Video Standard (Essentials) disc for calibration, though? Thanks again.

  385. Posted by: Pete W
    May 5, 2014 2:01 pm

    Tad Not knowing your location (am in NE Texas) have a copy of Video Standards, thought I had two–if interested in a loaner; if you are unable to locate one on eBay. You are probably aware of some tweaks to improve picture quality, such as line multipliers, etc. If your collection needs some enhancing or you have questions/comments, contact me. Not sure if Moe will allow us to exchange phone or e-mail addresses, although Moe knows mine, since the latter is required to utilize the “Comments & Questions” portion of the site.

  386. Posted by: bill krejci
    May 17, 2014 12:38 pm

    hi, i finally found a human reference for laserdiscs on the web! there’s a local shop that has a few old LDs for sale so it piqued my interest in going after an LD player. i figure ebay is the way to go and was wondering if anyone had a couple sentences of perspective i could use when watching auctions (rather than building a spreadsheet that includes all the awesome info above).

    thanks in advance. bill

  387. Posted by: Pete W
    May 21, 2014 9:30 am

    Bill: Lots of the information about LD players are well covered in the initial part of this chat room in the “History of the Laser Disk”; your selection of one (or more) will depend on the cost range, your location (service, parts, and shipping costs…) and the type of use you envision (movies, operas/musicals, games). If you can complete some more about the above, many of us can give you answers from our experiences. Pete

  388. Posted by: bill krejci
    May 21, 2014 9:37 am

    1) Budget: ~$200 initially, upgrade later after I prove I’m going to use it
    2) Location: Kansas City, MO, US
    3) Usage: 75-80% movies, 20% music, 0-5% games

    Thanks Pete/Others!

  389. Posted by: Pete W
    May 21, 2014 10:38 am

    Bill: Players are quite heavy and expensive to ship, plus they are easily damaged in shipping. Am an individual, but have dozens of players, from the majority of them you could pick one for no charge, check it to make sure that it is operational and take it home in your own vehicle–in fact, you could probably induce me to part with some of my duplicate LD’s for little or nothing. Having been a laser enthusiast for over 30 years, have always tried to support new “recruits” to the hobby. Am a long day south of you in NE Texas. If the offer sounds good, it may save you much of your $200 budget. Pete

  390. Posted by: Jim
    May 23, 2014 5:33 am

    Well, I just caught up on the last 6 months of this site! (what’s with my email notifications?) Bill, would you be referring to Vintage Stock? I’m originally from KC–I was back there recently and browsing in VS I found a few laserdiscs (I’m always looking for something rare). Anyway nice to see some activity and some new names on this site.

  391. Posted by: Pete W
    May 23, 2014 6:34 am

    Jim~ Good to see you survived the winter. As you could see from my recent posts, thought I could make a gift for an apparently new “convert” of player and LD’s but still no nibble/response. May be he just found some old LD’s, and is simply interested in seeing how they project, so that it is not worth the drive during the holiday weekend…or he located a player in the KC-area. Pete

  392. Posted by: Jim
    May 23, 2014 1:25 pm

    Nice to be back. I’m gonna have to check this site more often ’cause my email notifications don’t seem to work for long stretches of time. Anyway, it’s probably not that hard to find a laserdisc player in the KC area. Finding a shop that still services them might be another matter. There used to be a posh A/V store in Overland Park called Accent Sound (which sadly is no more). Back in the day they had the largest LD selection in the midwest.

  393. Posted by: Omar
    June 7, 2014 3:12 pm

    Pete, I wish you all the best for future days. Please drop me a note at omarkabir @yahoo.com

  394. Posted by: Jim
    June 8, 2014 3:33 pm

    Best wishes, Pete. I just don’t have the space right now, but if that situation changes I will certainly let you know.

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  396. Posted by: Juan
    April 17, 2015 1:24 am

    Can anyone recommend a good television for viewing laserdiscs? Travis Bickle, in his post from 2011, speaks highly about the Sony Wega model (he mentions both the SD and HD versions; I assume they’re both equally good for LD). Do others agree with this recommendation or have there own suggestions? I’m open to any advice. BTW, a good 3d comb filter is also important so I can transfer my laserdiscs to DVD using the composite from my CLD-D703.

  397. Posted by: omar
    April 17, 2015 2:29 am

    yes, the sony trinitrons are the best tvs ever. i run through asn upscaler to 780dpi through the dvi input and it looks fantastic. i dont think the model HAS to be called WEGA. just the DVI input is the ultimate. earlier models are also great!!!

  398. Posted by: Jim
    April 17, 2015 11:58 am

    OMG real posts on this site again! I would have to agree SONY probably made the best tube TVs, and tube TVs are probably still the best for watching LDs. I have a 4K TV now but I haven’t watched a Laserdisc on it yet ’cause it doesn’t have composite or S-video, but I’m planning to get something like a DVDO processor with HDMI out for my older formats. Back to SONY, I remember being in Circuit City back in the early 2000s, and thinking their SD sets looked better than most of the other brands’ HD sets!

  399. Posted by: lou bovasso
    April 30, 2016 9:38 am

    really enjoyed the article on LD players. I actually have 3 but only 1 works (pioneer cld2080-not the best). I have a CLD97 out for repairs to someone named Duncan but having trouble getting him to work on it. I actually offered him my DLV91 for parts. I think I may have to start considering my options to get a player that works and is better than the 2080.I assume the 97 is better than the 91 which is why I was trying to have the 97 repaired. I wanted to see what you had for sale and clicked on LASERDISC STORE but only could get meaningless gibberish. I am primarily interested in the best picture and actually have a Radiance video processor. Should I continue to try to get my 97 repaired or see if I can get the 91 repaired locally? I live in LA.Would it be better to begin looking for a used player in the 500 to 750 range and if so, any suggestions? I greatly appreciate your help. Lou

  400. Posted by: Richard Dobson
    September 18, 2016 9:27 am

    Is there anyway or any device I can add to,my year 1999 higher end large laser disc player to get a better picture on my 4K tv. Present picture seem washed out vs dvd and just not clear and crisp. Thanks for your help. I am not at my home right now so I am unable to give you my laser disc player information but it was one of the best in year 2000. Help,if you can and THANKS!

  401. Posted by: Moe
    September 27, 2016 10:33 am

    Richard Dobson, no there probably isn’t much you can do. The vertical resolution of Laserdiscs is only 425, the vertical resolution of your 4k TV is 2160.

  402. Posted by: test
    February 23, 2017 8:57 am

    This is just a test

  403. Posted by: Nobumasa
    March 5, 2017 11:22 am

    I have a Pioneer Elite DVL-90 Laserdisc player in working condition. Is it possible to transfer Laserdisc content (both audio and video) to Mac computer digitally? if so, what kind of connection devices do I need? Thank you for any suggestions.

  404. Posted by: Matt
    June 23, 2017 10:24 pm

    I’m brand new to laserdiscs and I just picked up a Pioneer CLD-D505 and plugged it into my LG 4k tv and I get the audio but no picture any help would be appreciated. Thank you !

  405. Posted by: Bob Lee
    July 7, 2017 12:57 am

    Is there an adapter that converts 6 channel dolby surround output to digital coax, or optical, I have SPD-E300 with AC-3RF demod built in I want to hook it to my Bose Surround system… I still have old surround amp, but want to retire it and don’t want two sperate systems…. thanks for any help… Bob

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