Some LD help, please

Discussion in 'Laserdisc' started by Fistfuck, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. Fistfuck

    Fistfuck Slowest to 2000 posts

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    Alright, I'm considering getting a laserdisc player, mostly so I can get the original Star Wars trilogy on a non-degradable format. Ebay is probably how I'm gonna do it. What should I look for? What's a good price to pay? Etc.
     
  2. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    For a half decent player I'd say at least $150. You want one of these models:

    CLD-D504
    CLD-D604
    CLD-D605
    CLD-D606
    CLD-D704

    In that order. The higher up you go, the more it will be. D704 often goes upward of $300. D505 is usually $150 or less. I picked up a new 604 on ebay for ~$160 or so. I'm very happy with it. It has Digital Out, AC-3 RF Out (for Dolby 5.1 lasers - original Star Wars is not, so this doesn't matter to you), S-Video Out, etc. Great player for the price.

    All those players above have dual side play, so they switch sides automatically.

    There are other models that support dual side player, including various Elite models, but they'll cost more.
     
  3. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Well, buy a Pioneer player, and be sure it's a double-sided player. (Laserdiscs can only hold 1 hour or less per side, and need to be flipped over. You definitely want one that does it automatically). There are some other brands that are actually Pioneer clones, like Mitsubishi or Pro-Scan.

    I'm using a Pioneer CLD-D704, one of the best players ever made. You can find one for around $300, sometimes more, sometimes less.

    Other good Pioneers are the CLD-D406, CLD-D606, CLD-D504, CLD-D703.

    Unless you buy a rather hard-to-find device called an RF-Demodulator, you won't be able to use Dolby Digital sound. But that's ok. Dolby Pro-Logic on LD sounds amazing.

    If you find some players on E-Bay you like, just post the auctions here and I'll let you know if they're any good.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    hehe...you beat me to it Dave
     
  5. Fistfuck

    Fistfuck Slowest to 2000 posts

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    Wow, I really wasn't looking at spending that much money. I'm not necessarily looking for something fancy, just something that'll hold together and play the disc. I may end up buying a player off a friend's father.

    Also, can someone explain AC-3 to me? I'm assuming it's similar to DD 5.1 mix, but with only 3 channels.

    In addition, what are some titles I should look for? How does the Aliens SE LD differ from the SE DVD? I think I might pick up a Halloween LD because of the commentary. I found an ANOES SE LD with a red and green striped cover, but no details. Can anybody fill me in on that?

    I feel like such a tourist, but I honestly know shit about LDs.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    Skip the Aliens SE LD. It's a known rotter (certain discs have rotting problems, but it's rare) and with the super deluxe DVD box set coming out later this year, it sounds like it may have all of the laserdisc supplements.

    I'd hold off on the Criterion SE LD too. It sounds like Anchor Bay's Halloween DVD is going to have the commentary track. Not that the Criterion LD isn't nice - I love the thing. But they threw extras at the end of each side change, which really interrupts the flow of the film.

    AC-3 = Dolby Digital 5.1 It's stored on an analog track on the laserdisc. You need an RF demodulator to convert the signal to digital and then feed it into a receiver. Those are expensive too - around $100 at least. I would just skip it. Star Wars (the originals, anyway) are in Dolby 2.0, so you can just use the regular digital output from the laserdisc player.

    You can get cheaper players, but they really suck. And believe me, you don't want to have to get up to flip the disc after 45-60 minutes. Then get up after another 45-60 minutes (sometimes less) and change the disc.

    LD players were never mainstream, so they never became as cheap as DVD players. I have seen the CLD-D504 sell down around the $100 range, so you may be able to score one at that price. I wouldn't go with anything less myself.
     
  7. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Well, the thing about LD players is that quality is player-dependent. As in, a $100 single sided player will look like shit compared to a CLD-D704 or something. Like I said, link some E-bay auctions and I'll give you my opinion.

    AC-3 IS DD5.1, it's the old name for it. Like I said, unless you buy a RF-Demodulator, you won't have to worry about it.

    Halloween. Buy the Criterion CAV version. This version is 2-disc. The 1-disc CLV version does not have the commentary. I'll explain CLV vs CAV another time.

    The Elm Street disc might be defective, you should buy it then send it to me first....seriously, it's got bonus stuff not on the DVD.

    The Aliens SE is a box set, and I think it contains the "director's cut" scenes, but separately. Only the DVD allows you to watch the those scenes inserted back in the moviw. But only the LD allows you to see the theatrical cut. Buy the "remastered-widescreen-THX version"

    LDs are fun, and sound fantastic. If you liked Dazed and Confused, that movie sounds so much better on Laser. Definitely take some time and buy a decent player.
     
  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    That's technically incorrect Dave. They're not Dolby 2.0, they're Pro-Logic Surround. 2.0 is a form of Dolby Digital, and if the lasers were 2.0, you'd need an RF Demod.

    Or, more simply, Dolby 2.0 sucks ass, Dolby Pro-Logic Surround kicks major ass.
     
  9. puddytay

    puddytay Guest

    Hey if you are going to buy one just for that its not worth it. Just pick up some bootleged transfers of the movies for under 10 bucks. Thats what I did and the picture is excellant.
    Now if there are over 20 movies your wanting I say go for it. But you need to remember laser rot.
     
  10. Sam

    Sam Member

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    I got the Pioneer DVL-919 combo DVD/LD player working so now I'll probably sell my DVD player. Works great on both ends.
     
  11. Fistfuck

    Fistfuck Slowest to 2000 posts

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    Tell me more about that ANOES, Paff. If you want just go get it off ebay. The price is very low.
     
  12. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Disagree 1.

    First of all, I've seen the Star Wars DVD bootlegs. They were mastered from Laserdisc, and lost a LOT in the translation. I have original Star Wars LDs. They kick ASS compared to the boots.

    Also, the issue with laser rot is relatively dead. No discs have been manufactured in 3 years, and laser rot occurs almost immediately, or not at all. Yes, rot exists (mostly Columbia/Tri-Star discs), but if all your LDs are rot-free now, they'll stay that way.

    A true movie fan will definitely want a LD player. In addition to the obvious titles (plus the Indiana Jones movies), you can have stuff like:
    Mute Witness
    The Stepfather
    Family Dog box set
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest coffee table book/LD
    In The Mouth of Madness DTS
    The Thing (51)
    The Haunting (63)
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre (better quality)
    Phantasm 2
    Phantasm 3
    Twin Peaks pilot
    Amazing Stories
    Cat in the Brain
    Dario Argento: Master of Horror
    Trauma
    Two Evil Eyes
    Chasing Amy (proper framing)
    Bram Stoker's Dracula (Criterion)
    Silence of the Lambs (Criterion, THX sound mix)
    Aliens (theatrical cut)
    The People Under The Stairs
    Phantom Menace (better sound)
    Supercop (Criterion)
    Jaws (full documentary)
    Dazed and Confused (WAY better sound)

    and that's just off the top of my beer-addled head...
     
  13. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Disagree 2

    I'd keep the 919 as a LD-ONLY player. (or, even better, just buy a LD player instead of a combo).

    LD players are not made anymore, so you wanna keep them around as long as possible. I'd not want to decrease my motor's life by using my LD player for DVDs, when DVD players are so easily available.

    In other words, if your 919 kicks the bucket, you can easily replace the DVD part, but replacing the LD player is not so easy. Do what you can to preserve the life of the LD player.
     
  14. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Added stuff:
    Audio Commentary
    Deleted Scenes
    Screenplay
    Behind-the-scenes materials.

    I don't know how much of that stuff made it to the DVD.
     
  15. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I downloaded some fan made Star Wars boots off the Internet. These came from both the SE LD box set and the LD THX "faces" copies. Video wise, based upon my initial scanning of each, I'd say they're roughly 75% the quality of the lasers. Audio wise I'd suspect they're vastly inferior.

    You want the original Star Wars trilogy on a disc format. If you want the highest quality presentation possible, then the lasers themselves are the way to go. Every DVD bootleg in the world will not match the original laser source. It can come close, but never 100%.
     
  16. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    :sleepy:

    As far as I know, though I could certainly be wrong, there are no Dolby Digital 2.0 laserdiscs. I think it's safe to assume I was referring to 2.0 Surround. :banana:
     
  17. John

    John Guest

    I didn't have one for the longest time. One day I decided to call some shops around town to see if they had even heard of them, hoping to save a few dollars on one. Well, this one guy thought he knew what I was talking about and told me to head on out and he'd try and 'dig it up'. To make a long story short, I ended up buying a Yamaha RF-Demodulator, brand spankin new for $30. He said he didn't see a use for it and nobody had ever shown interst in it.

    I know this is one of those things that rarely happens. Before dropping $150 or so on ebay, call up a few lesser known music/sound/repair type shops to see if they may have one. You may just luck out! :glasses:
     
  18. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I lucked out too on a demodulator. I got the Pioneer RFD1, which has autoswitching capabilities to save an input on the receiver, for $90. That one sells on epay for $200+!!!
     
  19. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    I have an ALIENS SE box set that has no speckling at all. Same for the original film box set also.
    The SE of Nightmare on Elm Street is GREAT, but the colors (the red mostly) is a tad "Smeary". Otherwise, I highly recommend this title for purchase.
    I'm disappointed that my StarWars box set has speckling (only Return of the Jedi, however).
     
  20. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    I just stumbled on this thread and was thinking of getting a better LD player.
    So no matter what I get I'll need a Rf demodulator?
    I have a Kenwood rciever with both optical and coaxel digital ins.
    That wouldn't decode a 5.1 or DTS signal like it does for my dvd players?
    I was thinking/hoping I just needed a digital out on the LD player and I'd be set.
     

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