Back in the game with a new player

Discussion in 'Laserdisc' started by Dave, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    My wife and I moved recently. I dragged along my last (albeit full) cube of laserdiscs with me. My wife asked what I planned to do with them and she suggested I save them to sell in the future as collectibles. I told her most were worthless and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. We are talking 30-40 lasers here. They are heavy, expensive to ship, etc. My player, a CLD-D604, is average but always got the job done. It makes a strange noise when starting up and puts an error code on the display. If you shut it off and turn it on, it works just fine. For now.

    I'm part of the laserdisc forever group on facebook. It's fun. People that are simply in love with the format. I was once that way. Nostalgia has always played a strong role in my likes of various movies and what not.

    I have been slowly eyeballing a new player to get. HLD-X9, the mother of all players, was out of the question. One just sold on ebay for $1600. Way out of my price range. Same for LD-S9, although that is $1000 or less. There is one other player, the CLD-R7G, that has the updated Japanese comb filter (though I'll just be using the RCA cables). A private seller offered me one for $900 delivered. Still too much.

    I stumbled across Yahoo Auctions in Japan. Apparently it's pretty popular. I found a CLD-R7G for just over $200. Wow! Recently serviced and cleaned. I bit. Used a bidding service and it cost me just over $300. I'm likely to spend upwards of $200 on shipping, but I'm okay with that. I may even send it to a guy that does service on them in the States and updates some of the parts (better clamp).

    Anyone interested in a kinda working CLD-D604?
     

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  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Funny you mention this, Dave. I just got my new 60" plasma screen today, and was doing all the setups, marveling at the way my Blus looked, etc. Then for grins, I decided to see how LD looked, and I have to say it's not bad! Oddly enough, they look better on my 60" 1080p screen than they did on my 42" 720p screen. I was not expecting that at all. I gotta do more testing, along with some calibration (this was just done on factory settings, haven't done my Video Essentials yet). Really though, LDs are still entirely watchable.

    I don't know much about those Japanese players, Dave. How do they compare to some of the higher end American players like the CLD-D704, and Elite 79 and 99?
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    That's encouraging news. This is often compared to the Elite 99 so it should hold its own pretty well. I too have a new TV that has never seen laser, so I'm anxious to see how it holds up.

    I have a handful of the last batch of lasers - Deep Blue Sea, Iron Giant, and a few others. I'll let everyone know how it holds up.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Dave, another suggestion is to get a Faroudja NRS scaler. These used to go for several thousand, now you shouldn't pay more than $200.
     
  5. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I'll loom into a scaler if it looks like crap. I have ready that all HD TVs have scalers built in and they will often do better than those older scalers. Wouldn't it be funny if it were new TVs that made lasers look a little better?
     
  6. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    After hearing Dave and Paff rave about LD for over a decade I finally decided to get on the bus earlier this month. So far I've watched a couple discs on my cheapy player, but have since bought a bunch more discs that I'm looking forward to check out. Gotta say, it's a pretty fun little format and the picture quality is better than I expected.
     
  7. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Not Faroudja. Those things were around $5K when they were first manufactured, in a time when there were no HD sources (Blu, etc) but people had HD screens anyway. They were designed to get the maximum performance out of SD sources. There's on-board de-interlacing, where they interpolate the signal to fill in the missing info. Oh, you'll still see the jaggies if you get close enough to the screen, but from 10' away it's entirely watchable.

    I mean, think about it. If you're in charge of R&D at Samsung, LG, Panasonic, whatever, how much are you going to invest in your HDTVs' upscaling ability of SD signals? All OTA signals have to be digital now, and almost all inputs are hi-def. I got a near top of the line plasma, and there's only two non-HDMI inputs (and the composite and component are actually combined, so it's really only one). My last HD screen had SIX! So I'm not thinking the upscaling ability of today's screens will be all that special.

    I'm gonna give it a real workout tonight with my first viewing of a Laser I picked up years ago but never got a chance to watch: It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. At the time, it was the only complete, proper aspect ratio of the film (and actually still is until Criterion's Blu Ray edition comes out in a few weeks)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  8. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I'll look into it for sure, Paff. I hooked up my 604 to test it out before it begins its journey up north in another week or two. It still works - has the same U1 error it has always had. Once it accepts the disc (takes one or two tries), it plays just fine until it is left alone for a few hours. Anyway, I threw in The Iron Giant and it looks like shiiiaaatttt on my new 60" TV. The encouraging news is that, zooming in didn't produce much of hit to the image quality. Surprising. I took a few pictures that I'll include here. Obviously a cell phone picture is not going to reproduce what I'm seeing in person. It's mostly just for fun. Oh, and I have to point out that I don't normally have cables exposed like you see in the pictures. That is because I was fucking around behind the TV (the whole 1-2" of space I get when I tilt it out) trying to get the composite cables plugged in.

    If my new player looks 25% better, I'll probably be happy enough as is. If not, I'll look into the scaler. I have limited space as I wall mounted the TV and wall mounted two shelves underneath it for players and what not. I struggled with hooking up an LD player as it will consume a lot of space. As it is, I'm thinking about getting a 5.1 soundbar so I can eliminate the receiver out of my setup (it's not currently hooked up but will be soon if I don't get the bar). My TV is one of the few that will output a pure 5.1 signal to a soundbar. I could probably fit everything but all the clutter right under the display would drive me insane. In a few years when the babies are older I can get a nice stand for equipment and put it under the TV or something.
     

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  9. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Paff, do you have that Faroudja scaler? From what I can tell, there are two flavors. The most recent being a DVI output only. My TV doesn't have DVI so that scaler wouldn't work for me. Doing some research on lddb, it looks like another now lost cost scaler would be the DVDO Edge Green. It's definitely something I will consider if the image isn't where I would like it to be. I get a bonus at the end of Jan and might be able to squeeze one more purchase in if necessary.
     
  10. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Dave, which ones were you looking at? Here's the two I know of:

    http://www.curtpalme.com/docs/NR_Series_Brochure.pdf

    http://www.curtpalme.com/docs/nrs_dvi.pdf

    Would you believe I actually own THREE of them? Here's the story. I bought an NRS from E-bay. It arrives, and it has the wrong output setting (it's a factory thing). E-bay guy won't take it back. So I buy another one. It works, and I'm impressed. However, it occasionally shuts down on its own. I contact Faroudja (actually, the company that bought them), and arrange to have the first one reprogrammed. They do it for $150.
    Last year though, my film festival was trying to figure out a way to get our Blu-Ray players to interface with the DVI projectors at the theater, so we got the NRS-DVI. Works great, but only for SD sources. It was also an E-bay deal, no returns, so I buy it from the film festival.

    This means I have three Faroudja scalers, two working, one a bit iffy. And here's my offer to you, Dave. I will GIVE you the iffy one, just pay me for shipping. If you like it, you can probably send it off to Faroudja for a tune-up (the flat rate on that is $150).

    Oh, and just an FYI, if you get one of these, you'll need three BNC-RCA adapters (the composite outputs of the Faroujda are BNC). Get those at Monoprice for a couple of bucks. Radio Shack charges $5 EACH, Monoprice charges $0.95
     
  11. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Done! Awesome, man. I appreciate it. I would love to try it out. You want to drum up some shipping charges to 02062 UPS Ground?
     
  12. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Dave, just PM me your address, I'll hit up UPS this weekend and then tell you how much it was. I know you're good for it.
     
  13. sinister

    sinister Member

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    I had a Pioneer Elite CLD99 and later an HLD-X9.

    The CLD99 was great, much better than my previous player, but the HLD-X9 was a different level again. If a normal player is 5/10 then a CLD99 would be 7/10 and the X9 would be 10/10.

    I paid about $2400 for the X9 when it was new and sold it about 6-7 years ago for $2200, so they do hold their value very well, being so rare.

    I got rid of about 99% of my LD collection a few months later, but if you still have a big LD collection it's definitely worth tracking down an X9. With a good LD transfer it's very close quality wise to a non-anamorphic DVD, it really has that little video noise.

    For a scaler you should be able to get an old Iscan VP50 or VP50 pro very cheap now. I've running a 20 year old NEC CRT projector (with a custom HDMI input board) with an Iscan VP50 at full 1080p to a 92" screen and it looks great. It has all the analogue inputs you'll ever need and outputs RGB or HDMI.
     
  14. Franco

    Franco Weekender

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    I was thinking about buying this 60" LG one which many reviewers say it's great. Anyone here owns this? Model is 60PN6500:
    http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-60PN6500-plasma-tv

    I'd check Panasonic plasmas but they don't sell 'em here anymore.

    Also, I was thinking about putting this one in my bedroom but was worried about how many meters away should I be to have a good view of a movie played in it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  15. sinister

    sinister Member

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    There's a good chart here, showing pic. size and viewing distance:

    http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html

    My mate just got the 50" version (50PN650) of that LG Plasma TV last week and it looks great to me. We compared it to the 60" version in the shop and it looked good too, but it was about double the price (£950 here, the 50" was £470) so he just went with the 50 despite me doing my best to talk him into the 60. :)
     
  16. Franco

    Franco Weekender

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    Thanks for the chart!

    Yeah, both are great, and there're models with and without Smart TV feature in those LGs! I guess I'll go for the one with 60". And will probably keep my 29" CRT for TV movies I have in DVD (4:3). It's just tube TVs occupy too much space. Hope it still fits here when I buy the plasma one.
     
  17. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Paff I know we PM'd a bit on this, but I'll post this information here just to save it.

    So Paff sent me a scaler; awfully kind of him. I just paid shipping.

    Let me start by stating that I hooked up my 604 player last week to my 60" Vizio TV. TV is only several months old and it's a 2013 model, so it's NEW. I put in Iron Giant (a later release) and it looked like ass. I wasn't too surprised. That's part of the reason I got the Japanese player (shipping tomorrow).

    Yesterday the scaler from Paff arrived. The 604 isn't hooked up anywhere. It as sitting in a closet. When I tested it last week, I just put it on the floor. I have a mount TV and mounted shelves, so to hook up the player permanently would require opening up the casing on the shelves and hiding the wires accordingly. I didn't want to do that with a new player on the way. After the test, the player went back to the closet. To test the scaler I decided to use the bedroom TV, a 55" Samsung plasma. This TV is from 2010, so it's ancient by TV standards. I plugged in the scaler, hooked up the player, and fired it up. Looked pretty good. Significantly better than how it looked on my 60" Vizio. I was impressed. FYI, I zoomed in to blow up the image on both tests. On the first test (no scaler), I used the TV zoom. On the second test, I used the scaler zoom. For comparison sake, I hooked up the player without the scaler to see how it looked on the Samsung. Here's the shocker. It looked just as good; perhaps even better. I was floored. Now I know most, if not all, modern HDTVs will scale analog sources. Does this mean the Samsung scaler simply beats the Faroudja scaler? It's possible. I need to test more. Try with S-Video, play with settings, etc.

    I had originally planned to hook my new LD player up to my living room TV, but I'm starting to think it might end up in the bedroom. Not only because it looked better, but because I'll be able to watch more movies. I get out of work at 11am and typically go home to nap. My sister-in-law is there helping with the babies. I can't ever watch movies during the day - babies are watching their Yo Gabba Gabba and what not. So throwing a laser on the bedroom tv while I try to take a nap would make the most sense.

    The test will continue but I'm going to wait until the new player arrives next week. I have a few pictures I'll post but they are from a cell phone so are hardly anything concrete in terms of what I'm actually seeing. They will give you a vague idea.
     
  18. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    So, if I'm reading this correctly, you haven't tried the scaler with the new Vizio, only the older Samsung? And that on the Samsung, the scaler performed about the same as hooking it up directly?

    I'm sure you'll try this anyway, but make sure you try the scaler with the Vizio. It's very possible the new Vizio has minimal circuitry (comb filter) designed to improve the look of analog sources. After all, who uses analog sources anymore? (see my previous post on the subject). The 2010 Samsung still had some of that technology.

    I have to admit, I haven't tried connecting my 704 directly to my new Plasma; I've only gone through the scaler. Unfortunately, with only one analog input on the plasma, I can't do a true A/B comparison. I have to run one test, change the cables, and run it again. It's a bit harder to see which option offers a better picture in that situation, unless the difference is really huge.

    I do say that I was more impressed the way LDs looked on my 60" plasma (through the scaler) than I expected. At the very least, it certainly looked better than on my 42", which really threw me for a loop.
     
  19. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Yup you are correct.

    I will try it on the Vizio but I'll wait until my new player arrives. I'll try both players though, just to see.

    I was very surprised how good it looked on my 55", but was more surprised that it looked a bit better w/o scaler.

    New player should be here next week. I'll keep you posted.
     
  20. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Any updates on your player/setup, Dave?

    I haven't watched any all month. When I ran It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World last month, I was getting a lot of squealing from my player. But for Chinese New Year, I decided to throw in one of my old kung-fu flicks, Dragon Lord from 1982 starring Jackie Chan. It really looked good (and no squealing from the player).

    Oddly enough, I'm starting to think it's my discs with mediocre transfers that look best (Hong Kong discs were traditionally rather poor....often taken from theatrical prints, so the scratches, dirt, and cigarette burns are all visible).It's the discs from the late 90s, at the end of the format, that show the limitations. I'll have to check my copies of stuff like L.A. Confidential, Boogie Nights, Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, etc to confirm my theory. One of the discs I originally checked for quality was the first Austin Powers movie, which was considered a "reference quality" disc back in the day. It really looked terrible (it didn't help that it was also showing in HD on the Encore channel, and comparing LD to HD isn't even in the same ballpark. It's not even the same fucking sport).

    Luckily, the reason I'm still holding on to LD is the extensive collection of Hong Kong discs like I mentioned, and a ton of horror. Most of those got good transfers, but not exactly "reference" quality. They should be fine.
     

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