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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    Sadly, the player arrived damaged. As soon as I took it out of the box, you could hear a piece rolling around the inside of the player. As it turned out, there was a small transformer type piece and two small plastic gears. While the shipping box looked great, there was little padding on the inside to absorb shock. just a thin piece of bubble wrap around the player and some newspaper on the side of the box.

    Have you used rinkya.com before, Paff? They are a third party. You can bid on yahoo.co.jp auctions and they'll get the winning item and send it to you. They charge a fee based on the amount of the auction. They are pretty popular. Google searches find good and bad things said about them, as to be expected.

    I told Rinkya I want a claim filed but the reality is that would mean returning the player to Fedex. That's not happening (I haven't told them that yet). I'm going to dispute the charge with my credit card company too, just to get them involved. I'm not looking for a free player. If they refund all of their fees (~$100), I would be happy with that.

    It's too bad, too, because the player looks mint.

    I contacted two people regarding a repair. Kurtis Bahr (long involved in the LD community; I remember him on the newsgroups back in the 90s) and Duncan of laserdiscservice.com. I opened the player and sent them pictures of the part that broke off. Both believe they can repair without having to replace the part, but couldn't guarantee it. Kurtis quoted me a better price and he lives closer, so shipping is cheaper and turnaround time is quicker. He received it on Friday and told me he would have an initial look this weekend. Best case I'm out $100. Worse case I'm out $200 + return shipping. Considering how cheaper I got the player, I'm still ahead of what they typically sell for here in the States, but only by $100 or $200. The only plus is Kurtis will fully tune it up and replace any worn gears or belts. I had considered having that done anyway; I just wanted to wait until I had a little more free money.

    Kurtis told me the plastic piece this component is attached to, the one that broke off during shipping, is very brittle and it is a common problem. He said Pioneer actually changed the plastic in the replacement part because of it. He has the replacement part in stock, too. That is where the $200+shipping price comes from; if he has to replace the entire part. So perhaps I'm blaming Rinkya more than I should. But considering this was traveling from Japan to the States, there's no arguing it was packaged poorly.

    Another plus is this particular player does not need a voltage converter. So the one I bought is getting returned to Amazon for another $38.00 back in my pocket.

    Best case I should get it back this week, though I suspect it will be the following week.

    I've picked up probably 12 lasers over the past few weeks, too. I'm dying to give them a spin. I'm done buying, though. I'm officially broke.
     
  2. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    As for newer lasers, I have been listening to the commentary on the Elite Dawn box (a 1998 release) and think it looks great on my Samsung TV. And I've been looking at all the blu releases, too (got the Arrow and Happinet blus).

    As for newer lasers and newer (late 90s) movies, well, I tried Iron Giant simply because it looked like shit on my new Vizio TV. It looks very good on my Samsung plasma.

    These are with my old player, too. Who knows what they'll look like with the new player.
     
  3. sinister

    sinister Member

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    That's one thing I don't miss about LD players, they were always quite fragile and prone to shipping damage.

    The first HLD-X9 I bought was destroyed in transit. Took it to local repair shop and they said the transport mechanism was damaged beyond repair. In the end I had to involve my credit card company to get the shop I bought it from to replace it.

    The replacement one arrived OK.

    When I finally sold it years later I used loads of extra padding and double boxed it in a *huge* box filled with extra packing and it still arrived damaged. Luckily the damage was minor and the buyer was able to have it repaired locally.

    So that was 2 out of 3 times shipping an X9 and it was damaged in transit. It was a really big and very heavy player though.

    Hope you can get your new player running OK.
     
  4. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I got the repaired player back. It's working great now. More importantly, it looks as if Rinkya is going to foot the repair bill. I paid it but should get reimbursed.

    I tested it this weekend with the scaler and straight composite connection to the TV. While the image is slightly better than my 604, it's not significant. As for the scaler, I tested with svideo too but I'm still not impressed. Paff, I'm seeing artifacts on the screen. I played with detail settings and what not but I can't find any balance that I like. I find myself going back to straight composite to the TV.

    I'm not convinced a scaler cant improve the image but perhaps because this NRS has issues I'm just not seeing it. I do like some of the features, such as the ability to put a black bar over Japanese subtitles. Awesome!

    I may get an IScan HD+ in the near future. While I'm locking up the wallet, I do have some stuff I'm selling on ebay and wouldn't be opposed to using those funds buy it. As for now, I'll be enjoying the CLD-R7G with a straight composite connection to the TV.
     
  5. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Black bar over the subtitles?? I didn't even know about that function, Dave! Unless you're talking about the "Letterbox" setting, which is pretty much the same as zooming in on your TV.

    I'll have to try connecting my 704 directly to the TV with a composite cable and see if I prefer the look without using the scaler.

    Last night I watched my HK LD of Executioners, the 1993 sequel to The Heroic Trio, starring Anita Mui, Michelle Yeoh, and Maggie Cheung. I have the Tai Seng American release of the movie too, but I hate their LDs as they put the subs in the letterboxed area so you can't zoom in. The HK discs have the subs in the picture. I have to say, it was quite watchable, and only a couple of scenes really made me aware that it was a laserdisc. Well, that and the side flip of course!
     
  6. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    No it has a feature that allows you to raise a black bar and it will cover the subtitles. I read about some other scalers having that feature, too. Pretty cool feature.

    I'll post back again when/if I get a HD+. I found a used one I would buy if he still has it.
     
  7. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Ah, the bottom blanking. I just ignored that, as I'm more concerned with the picture and not the letterboxed area. I think I have only one disc where that would be handy, the Japanese release of Phantom Menace.
     
  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Oh, and I can't imagine that the HD+ would be significantly better (or better at all for that matter) than the Faroudja.
     
  9. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    The HD+ definitely edges out the Faroudja. It's not night and day better but it's superior to the TV, which the Faroudja is not. And I'm not seeing the MPEG artifacts. In fairness, I haven't toyed with the settings too much on either one (besides setting the HD+ to 1080). But with default settings, the HD+ wins out. Not to mention the remote, onscreen settings, etc.

    Anyway, it's been fun revisiting it and I'm now ready to actually start watching lasers again. I'm more excited that they are completely watchable now on my 55" TV, even when zoomed in on.
     
  10. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Dammit Dave, you're making me consider the HD+ now.

    Can you take some screenshots of all three setups? I might also have to try connecting my 704 directly to the TV and comparing that vs. the Faroudja. If it looks the same to me (like you're experiencing), I might have to look into an HD+

    Hey, do you have the Video Essentials LD? They've got that Snell & Willcox pattern, the one with the bouncing ball. I always get a color smear on that ball (It's black and white), and if that could ever be shown right, that would be the definitive "best way" of connecting LD to HDTV
     
  11. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    HD+ I found used for $130. No brainer.

    At some point I'll be hooking the player up to the computer to capture Dawn. I'll do comparison shots then.

    I don't have the disc but I've seen the smearing in many discs. Doesn't happen on the CLD-R7G
     
  12. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    You should find a copy of the Video Essentials LD just to have. I've always sworn by the calibration procedures done with that disc.

    Here's the Snell & Wilcox pattern:
    [​IMG]

    That big ball in the middle moves around, and on the best configuration it will look black and white like in the picture. But if you get color smears in it, then it's not ideal. I've never gotten it without the color smears on LD (DVD and Blu have always been fine)
     
  13. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Holy shitsnacks. There was one (HD+) on E-bay for $150 obo, I offered $125 and they took it.
     
  14. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I hope you like it Paff and see the difference I saw. I was wondering if perhaps that Faroudja just had some faulty hardware leading to poorer image and the shutoff issues...

    Here are a few cell phone shots. Some observations:

    1) Not as good, or accurate, as feeding through a computer. I will do those someday some Dawn reviews I'm working on.

    2) American Pie is a 2000 release so we are obviously talking about a top notch presentation on the disc itself.

    3) CLD-R7G player; one of the higher end Japanese players. You got the Muse players (HLD-X9, etc., LD-S9, and then probably this one I got).

    Even with those factors, when you figure I'm zooming in on the image and taking the shots from a cell phone, they look pretty damn good (no pun intended). I am playing with all sorts of color, brightness, and contrast settings. Though I went back to default for these shots and just fine tuned minimally to try and get it close to default settings on TV and scaler.

    I get giddy looking at these shots and want to run into the bedroom to watch a disc. Actually, I'm going to do that. Giving my new Caddyshack purchase a spin to celebrate the life of Harold Ramis.
     

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  15. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Those do look pretty good Dave, but I do think you need to do some calibrating of your screen (cell phone camera or not). Seriously, get a copy of Video Essentials.

    I'll be getting my HD+ this week, so I'll try doing a similar comparison. I'll find a CAV disc so I can get that perfect pause, and literally have the exact same frame up.
     
  16. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    I agree on the calibration and I will look into that disc. The defaults on this TV are dreadful so calibration discs are a good idea.
     
  17. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    A few Video Essentials on eBay. One solo for 17 and one in a lot of 4 discs - video, MTV disc, karaoke 8", and Heavy Metal. Offered 17 and they accepted. Maybe this Heavy Metal won't be rotted? Worth a shot. As for Video, there is one version with an AC3 issue but I'm not doing AC3 on this setup.
     
  18. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Did you see if it has the filter for the color calibration? It's a little strip of dark blue film that you look through when you have color bars up. You adjust the color and tint, until the top bars match the bottom ones.
     
  19. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Probably should have checked that. From what I just googled, if your TV allows you yo turn off R G B individually (mine does), you don't need it. But being a completionist with stuff like that, I will probably get the DVD for a few bucks (same strip) if mine doesn't have it.
     
  20. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Yeah, it's the same thing. I bought VE copies on LD and DVD I lent out my DVD copy, and the idiot lost the strip. So I just use the one remaining strip for both formats.
     

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