The Pioneer CLD-704 Laserdisc player is considered by many to be one of the better Laserdisc players that a mere mortal could afford and definitely the best non-Elite player that Pioneer ever made. The player has most of the bells and whistles that a good Laserdisc player has: autoflip, digital out, AC3 and S-video out which are the four that I find the most important. It also has digital video noise reduction (V-DNR) which allows manual on-screen adjustment of both high frequency and color video noise. It has a video signal-to-noise ratio of 51 db which is a key spec for Laserdisc players.
A lot of my friends wondered why I bought a Laserdisc player. The answer is simple – while DVD’s are a much better format overall, there are still a lot of movies that are not available on DVD that you can get on Laserdisc. The big one being the original cut of the original Star Wars trilogy, you know the one where Greedo doesn’t shoot first. George Lucas has finally promised to give us Star Wars on DVD on September 21, 2004 but they are going to be the special edition versions. While I am going to buy those, I like having the orginal cuts of the movies that I grew up on a loved. Laserdiscs often sound better than their DVD counterparts as well due to their PCM soundtracks. Also DTS Laserdiscs are all full bit rate and the sound on them is amazing. Plus you can often get Laserdiscs for really cheap in the used bin or on eBay. Last but not least those big 12″ shiny discs are just plain cool and you get nice big art work on the packaging.
I have gone through several Laserdisc players. I am always keeping an eye on classified ads looking for good deals so I went through a rapid succession of players. My first was a Pioneer CLD-S104, which is a great beginner player. I then jumped on a Pioneer CLD-504 that came with an RF demodulater and the Star Wars SE box set that I got for a steal. Then came a Pioneer CLD-606 that I picked up on eBay that came with a whole bunch of discs. This player never even made it into my system; while it was in transit to me I found my CLD-704 for $50 in the classifieds; the 704 at the time was going for about $350 on eBay so I just couldn’t pass it up. The great thing is through all this I have sold all my extra players, some of the discs that I picked up with the players and a RF demodulator and in the end I have made more money then I spent, so in a sense my Laserdisc player was free.
Looking to buy a Laser disc player? Then check out my Laserdisc store!
Pioneer CLD-704 Laserdisc Specs
- Horizontal Resolution: 425 lines
- Video Signal-To-Noise Ratio: 51db
- Frequency Response: 4-20,000Hz
- Audio Signal-To-Noise Ratio: 115db
- Video Output Terminals: RCA Jack (75ohms, unbalanced)
- Audio Output Terminals: Digital output (Optical & Coaxial) RCA Jack x 2
- AC-3 RF Output: RCA Jack x 1
- Headphone Output: Yes (with volume control)
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 16 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 17 1/8
- Weight: 18.5lb