Laserdisc Questions

Discussion in 'Laserdisc' started by Lone Wolf, May 21, 2004.

  1. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Member

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    I was thinking of taking the dive into laserdisc, and have a few questions.

    1. Is it even worth it?
    2. What player would you recommend to someone just starting out? Is there any I should avoid at all costs?
    3. What are some must have lasers? What are some to avoid?
    4. Are there any other issues besides laser rot I should be aware of?
    5. Anything else I should know?

    Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    >1. Is it even worth it?

    Really hard to say at this point. Within the last year or two, a LOT of Laserdisc-exclusives finally came out on DVD (or at least have been announced). I'm talking Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Thing (1951), Pulp Fiction (w/extras), Halloween (w/commentary), etc.

    Right now, about the only thing LD has going for it is great cover art, and superior sound (especially with DTS). But while the LD sound is definitely better than DVD, I'd say it's only slightly better; you have to be a real audiophile to care about the difference.

    >2. What player would you recommend to someone just starting out? Is there any I should avoid at all costs?

    Buy something by Pioneer only. You want a used player. Since none have been made in the last several years, if you buy a never-opened one, it's been sitting unused for a long time. Belts dry out, grease dries up, etc.

    As for model numbers, you want CLD-Dxxx, or an Elite. The second "D" is VERY important, as it means "Double sided". This means that at the side flip (1 hour in), the player automatically flips the disc. Otherwise, you have to get up, remove the disc, and flip it yourself. (Actually, the player technically doesn't flip the disc, it moves the laser to read the other side)

    3. What are some must have lasers? What are some to avoid?

    For horror, you need the Texas Chainsaw Massacre by Elite, as it has digital line removal that even the DVD doesn't have. Cover is gorgeous too.
    Still might wanna get Star Wars, as the original theatrical releases are available, not just the Special Editions.
    Anything with DTS will amaze you, but you have to pay a little more for 'em.
    Suspiria is great, as it has the original sound mix, the new DVD has normalized some levels, and some feel it takes away from the impact.

    >4. Are there any other issues besides laser rot I should be aware of?

    Just that some Lasers have a picture quality on par with VHS, as often it was the same master used for both releases. It was only later on that studios started doing remastering and special editions.

    Again, hard to say if it's worth getting into at this point. I still buy and watch Lasers, but I have enough invested into it to make it worthwhile. Not sure I'd jump into it now if I was committed to DVD.
     
  3. (Unfortunately,) there are still plenty of laserdisc exclusives... Whether they're far superior versions (Criterion lasers of Baron Munchausen or Crash, The Frighteners signature series, etc) or just films still not available on DVD (Metropolitan, Four Seasons, Kicking & Screaming, etc etc etc).
    Frankly, at this point, I would like DVD to invalidate my laserdisc collection by releasing it all on DVD, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I gotta say, 2003-4 was a bad time for having several of my Lasers get invalidated.

    There's the aforementioned Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but in that time, the following previously laser-exclusives also came out on DVD:
    The Thing (51)
    Wait Until Dark
    The Haunting (63)
    Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
    Curdled
    Kiki's Delivery Service
    Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy

    It's only a matter of time before everything comes out on DVD. Some may be further off, but the amount of LD-exclusives is going to approach zero. Sure, there will still be a few here and there, and some Lasers will have special features that aren't out on DVD. But that number will be so small, it's kind of hard to justify getting into the format at this time.

    Like I said, I have enough invested in it, that it's still an option for me. I just don't know if I'd recommend getting into it at this point if you're already deep into DVD.
     
  5. Alan Smithee

    Alan Smithee Member

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    Well apparently the original versions of the Star Wars films will always be exclusive.
     
  6. Jason25

    Jason25 Moderator

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    Paff makes excellent points here and I agree completely.
     
  7. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    If you have some extra money laying around it's worth getting into.
    The LD exclusives are dropping like flies, buit many remain (at least in my collection).
    Fallen last year from my stack of lasers
    Boyz in the Hood
    Halloween (comm. only, the Siskel and Ebert review and text pages about the genre remain ex.)
    Fear of a Black Hat
    Leatherface (2 commentaries, both better than the dvd one. DVD has better doc and deleted scenes, but the comm. with Greg Nicataro is great on the laser)
    Howling (one deleted scene is cut on dvd, and nudity is missing :( , plus stop-motion werewolves didn't make it either)

    Still standing proud
    Menace II Society criterion
    Dead Presidents cri.
    Frighteners boxset (the 4-hour doc will always stand! Awesome set, but hard to get and pricey)
    Sling Blade cri.
    Plus other criterions like The Killer and This is Spinal Tap are still way cheaper than the dvd versions. Sid and Nancy has more stuff than the dvd, esp. the text/photos of the real Sex Pistols US tour.
    As for just movie exclusives
    Cellar Dwellar
    Dr. Mordrid

    If you really love movies and extras (esp. commentary), laser migth be a good investment. I agree with everything Paff said about players. Even some lasers with just normal digital sound (not 5.1 or DTS) still sound better than dvds with 2.0 soundtracks. Fear of a Black Hat is prime example of this, the dvd souns like shit and has the same video transfer, not even anamorphic. The dvd does have the extras though while laser is only the movie.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2004
  8. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I did end up buying a Pioneer CLD-D604 Laserdisc player. I found out that the gatefold covers on some of these are indeed awesome. I know it may not be worth it in the long run, but I see I can still have some fun with this format. Does anyone have any suggestions on were to buy Lasers at? Thanks for your help.
     
  9. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    That's a pretty solid player. Ya got DTS capability (with the optical output), and Dolby Digital 5.1, but you'd need something called an "RF Demodulator" to get the Dolby Digital.

    There are still some places to buy Lasers. E-Bay is your most likely option. I'd suggest picking up a couple of DTS discs there. Big Emma (http://www.bigemma.com) still carries a lot of discs too. And Ross' Exchange (http://www.rossexchange.com) is still active in buying and selling LDs.
     
  10. wizzer

    wizzer get outta here ewe

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    i did this a few months back. i'm also buying a laserdisc today. Balto :glasses:

    the dvd is fullscreen and what i believe to be pan and scan. i just saw the LD and it's letterboxed. my player is an older model though- cld 1070.

    paff- how do i access the commentary tracks on LD's like leatherface? i know they are on there but i don't know how to make my player play them.
     
  11. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

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    Wizz - I don't know the button offhand, but there's one to change the sound tracks on your LD player. That is how you do it. It switches it from Analog L to Analog R - also w/digital too.

    The 604 is a good player. I have that same one, or the 606; I forget which, but they are similar.
     
  12. wizzer

    wizzer get outta here ewe

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    there is no button like that on my player :( if it's on the remote, then i'm shit out of luck because i have no remote.
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Yah, I've never seen anything like that on the player. It's always on the remote.
     
  14. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Damn, that sucks. I'd say to get another player with a remote. I'm gonna PM a dude's adress who sold me my last laserdisc player and might be able to help you with a working remote. I'm alos gonna try to find this place that sells replacement remotes.
     
  15. wizzer

    wizzer get outta here ewe

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    right on :) there's no way i'm going to buy another player though.
     
  16. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    My LD player doesn't have a remote either. I came accross one looking around the internet and the cheapiest I could find it was $79.99! But it was usually about $108! I'll have to find a universal remote because that's more than I paid for the LD player itself!
     
  17. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    The thing with Universal Remotes is that very few of them (if any) have Laserdisc-exclusive functions, such as the L/R, Analog/Digital, etc.

    I think there's a place called replacementremotes.com.
    You could also consider E-bay, and just get any Pioneer Remote (as long as it has the functions you need)
     
  18. NIN

    NIN Member

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    I know this is a old thread but that is just what makes it little funny. Still today, 2006, there are hundred after hundred movies not released on DVD anywhere, that are released on LD. I'm doing a list of LD's not on DVD and I would guess that it's over 1000 movies on LD that are not on DVD yet. I would guess a couple of 1000 music videos/consert disc only on LD and rather much LD's that have better PQ, AQ or just different version/extras.

    So, as with VHS, LD can still be a good investment for people that like horror, b-action, trash and odd movies.
     
  19. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Hey guys I have a couple of questions. First off, my first LD player (Pioneer CLD-D503) has a few options for audio. Since I'm primarily using it to rip LD's to DVD, I'm unclear which setting I should use. There is an Audio button on the player and on the remote which display 1/L 2R or 1L or 2R. I'm assuming that the option 1/L 1R will be the best option, but I need clarification.

    Secondly, I just purchased a Dawn of the Dead LD from Image/HBO Video (the one with the three-headed picture of zombified Roger on the cover). It contains an exclusive interview with George Romero which I cannot find. It's not on any of the three sides (the B side of disc two has no data on it, I checked). I contacted the seller on eBay and he told me that certain players will and will not play additional content. I have had no issues with bonus content on any of the other LD's I own. Any advice guys?
     
  20. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Audio on Laserdiscs is all confusing. There's Digital, Analog, and that L/R thing you've noticed. Even stranger, the Digital is not digital like we know now, where some kind of decoder is needed.

    As for Dawn of the Dead, I looked it up on lddb.com, and it said this:
    "Package states interview with George Romero, but disc has none"
     

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