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View Full Version : Why Laserdisc?


arcaneimagery
03-27-2003, 08:33 PM
I'm really not trying to stir up shit but im just curious as to why someone would even want to get into Laserisc now when its a dead format, granted a very good one but it had its problems namely that you had to flip the disc in the middle of the movie if you didnt own a player that flipped it automatically and if you were watching a movie like the Abyss you had to flip it anyways. Also both the players and movies themeselves were too damn expensive and hard to find, I do understand the idea that you pay for quality but there were just too many obsticals involving laserdisc even though I absolutly hated VHS with a passion. I love DVD and I spent lot of money on my setup in fact all im missing is an HDTV and i'll be complete,I even spent the $600 on a nice ONKYO reciever not to mention the cash I previously spent on my Pioneer DVD Player,Klipsch speakers, and RCA 32 inch (one word of warning dont buy anything by Panasonic/Technics both my original dvd player and reciever were made by them and they both died within a two year period, my DVD died after one year and a week voiding my warranty). Even if I did own a few laserdisc's I would carefully package them up and store them in a safe place after they were replaced with DVD. I mean come on guys your holding on too hard to a format that has totally died out and as much as you wish it would comeback just like I wish LP's would make a comeback it just isnt happening. Im not trying to start a flamewar on this subject just stating my opinion, yes Laserdisc was far superior to VHS it just cost too much and was finally killed off by a new superior product, DVD.

mcchrist
03-27-2003, 09:06 PM
Why Laserdisc?

Why not?

jscott
03-27-2003, 09:16 PM
I don't know if I'm speaking for the entire Laserdisc forum, but I own a LD player & several discs (click my link to see which ones) because of several reasons.

1- You can't get the Star Wars trilogy (at least the original, NON-special editions) on DVD. This is one of the main reasons I bought an LD player.

2- There's many films that have sub par DVD transfers compared to the LD, and some LD's have more features than the DVD counterpart. Example: Dawn of the Dead- Elite Cannes edit CAV boxset. Only version of Dawn availible with a commentary by Romero.

3- Lots & lots of my LD's I paid very little for, and most of these are not films that I would've paid $20+ for the DVD release.

4- My Father bought an LD player in 1983 (Pioneer top loader w/wood panels on the side), so guess who got the chore of getting up & flipping the disc (as well as flipping Dad's vinyl LPs)? After mastering the art of holding a Laserdisc by the edges, I don't mind having to flip discs (which I don't have to do anymore, thanks to auto-reverse, but changing discs is still a regular chore).

5- I'm still a sucker for the 12" format (vinyl or Laserdisc). In fact, I'm a DJ, and I spin techno on vinyl only (any chump can set the BPM counter on their DJ CD player & mixer to auto, but let's see you match BPM's using the pitch control).

6- The Cover Art!!!!! How cool does your DVD look when sitting next to a 12" gatefold of a special edition LD? Not very.

In regards to changing from one disc to another on Laserdiscs, I tend to think of it as owning the actual 35mm (or 16mm) film reels. Kinda makes me feel privilaged to own them, but I'm just a geek who takes pleasures in the simple things in life.

jscott
03-27-2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by mcchrist
Why not?

Goddamn. Why didn't I just post that to begin with? Oh well, enough of my yakkin, let's boogie!:banana:

Dave
03-27-2003, 09:23 PM
No, it's not going to make a comeback. That's a silly statement, and I don't believe anyone here ever hoped for a comeback. I have stated that I hope a company like Synapse or Elite comes along and starts doing Limited Edition releases for some of their releases. It'll probably never happen, though. But one thing is certain. We'll never see major studios films on LD again.

Why laserdisc? Probably the same answer to "Why DVD?". We love movies! We love OAR! We love special editions! I love The Howling. I love The Howling SE LD. I love The Frighteners. I love The Frighteners SE LD. There are dozens of dozens of examples I alone could name of stuff I own on LD that isn't on DVD. Amazing Stories eps., Tales from the Darkside eps., Twilight Zone 80's eps., Family Dog box set, Monster Squad (widescreen too). That's just the beginning. There are tons of rare Japanese imports that I've been collecting. Dario Argento doc, Encyclopedia of Horror box set, Scream Greats, etc. There is just tons of stuff out there. We want it on DISC. Even if it were on VHS, and a lot of this stuff isn't, I'll take a laserdisc any day of the week.

The fact that LD is "dead" (your words, not mine) is more reason than ever to get into it. Players are cheap now (I picked up a NEW CLD-D606 - FLIPS THE DISC - for $160 off ebay), movies are cheap - especially if it's on DVD already. Buy the DVD for $20-$25 or buy the LD for $5. If it's not a movie I love and the LD is OAR, I'll get the LD to save money. I just picked up some great deals on laser. I got Ransom Director's Cut (not on DVD) for $8, Psycho SE LD for $10 (LD has all the DVD extras, DVD isn't 16x9, and the LD has an isolated score not on the DVD), Animal House SE LD for $8 (DVD isn't 16x9 - I don't think), Aliens theatrical cut (DVD is extended cut only - that way change later this year with the rereleases).

I have to tell you, these sort of threads are usually from people wishing they got into LD. You come here and read our joy over the laserdisc format and think: "Hey, no fair, I don't have that. How can they still be enjoying a dead format? :cry: " The fact is, many of us still enjoy LD more than ever. I love browsing the laser section on ebay and trying to scope out some good deals. LD is only dead from a retail standpoint. As long as we're still spinning discs, it's alive and well my man.

It's true that a lot of stuff on LD is making it's way over to DVD, but the list of LD exclusives (movie itself, OAR, or the extras) is still extremely large. And the fact is, DVD isn't usually that much better than LD. There are many factors, of course. But a recent LD (say 1998) and a DVD release of the same year look pretty damn similiar in terms of A/V quality. And this is coming from someone with a 16x9, so don't give me that "Well, of course it doesn't on your shitty 27" TV."

arcaneimagery
03-28-2003, 12:20 AM
No im not jelious over laserdisc even though I will say I wished the format had become more popular and taken out VHS but it didnt because people like me and you that enjoy OAR and all the special bonuses like deleted scenes,director commentaries,added documentaries,lost trailers ect ect ect are the minority and its that simple. To illustrate that fact ask the average person that buys movies how many times they watch all the extra features and nine times out of ten they'll say never and lets not even get into OAR because most will complain about "the annoying black strips on the top and bottom of the screen". It doesnt matter if you explain to them the evils of pan and scan or that a full screen movie on a 4x3 has almost half the original movie image cut out of it they wont understand the concept nor care to. Yes if all the dvd's in the world vanished tommorow I would be one Laserdisc finding motherfucker because I absolutely hated VHS with a passion and the main reason was because of the tracking problems (I hated those annoying distortion lines) and the fact that the more you played a movie the worse it looked (a good example would be go into any old video store and see if they have the original release of the Evil Dead when Palace was the distributor and try to watch it which is how I first saw it when I was 14 I actually thought the movie was supposed to look that fucked up) and the shitty audio quality on VHS, and the fact most o the time with some rare exceptions they didnt even make a letterbox release. No im not knocking you guys that love laserdisc at all I just think its a little too late to get into it and dont give me the ebay alternative because I really dont trust doing buisness like that with someone that can easily fuck you over and just take your money, I know most of the merchants are honest and reliable maybe its just my fear i'll get someone that isnt. So if anyone knows of a good Laserdisc retailer within two hours distance from me (I live on the Maryland Pennsylvania line) that has a great horror selection that is reasonably priced and also sells the players let me know and I might change my mind about Laserdisc.

Paff
03-28-2003, 01:01 AM
Well, speaking for myself, I got into Laserdisc right as DVD was coming around. In those days, DVD players were at least $400 or more, and the selection was pitiful. I had widescreen Dolby Digital releases of many favorite movies on laser that didn't come out on DVD for years. Yes, most of those are now available on DVD. But why spend another $20 or more to re-buy a movie on DVD when the LD looks and sounds damn near as good? Especially if it's a movie you don't watch that often.

Yes, I've re-bought a few favorites on DVD, but for most I'm more than happy with the LD. If I were to dump LD right now, I'd have to spend several thousand dollars to re-build my collection.

Remember, just because one has LD does not mean he can't have DVD too! It's not one or the other, but rather a way to maximize your video possibilities.

And finally, like everyone else above me has said, there are tons of films not out on DVD that are out on LD. Not just Star Wars and Indiana Jones (although that's enough reason for many people right there), but a lot of Hammer classics and other rarities. There is also alot of DVDs that seem to have the wrong aspect ratio. Black Christmas comes to mind. Everyone complained about the framing on the recent WS DVD, and I did a side-by-side comparison and the WS LD is framed much better.

I do admit it's a little questionable to get into LD NOW, but for those of us who were collecting long before DVD took off, it's just easier to keep both media in our entertainment systems.

Dave
03-28-2003, 07:17 AM
And why, exactly, should we care about Joe Sixpack not liking OAR? I could care less what they think or want. As long as studios give me OAR, they get my support. If they don't, they don't get my support (i.e. money).

Ebay has a feedback rating. Use it! If a seller has 0 feedback, don't trust them. If a seller has 100+ feedback, it's safe to do business with them. You can pay via credit card about 99% of the time, which means you are covered against fraud. I've never had any problems buying off ebay. There are also plenty of stores that sell used laserdiscs. As for finding a store locally, I'd forget about that. There were a few near me, but they closed up show or moved further away. There's nothing wrong with buying over the Internet. Shipping prices are usually reasonable (if not, don't buy from them).

It's not our responsibility to find an LD store near you, nor is it our responsibility to convince you to buy LD. That is something you need to do if you are interested. But again, you are better off buying over the net, especially in terms of the player as most stores won't have LD models anymore.

Also, most LD extras were "good" extras, not the bullshit fluff you find on most DVDs. Don't get me wrong, there are some great special edition DVDs out there, but there's also plenty that are full of long commercials that they call documenatries and featurettes. I watch most of the extras on my lasers, so your reasoning need not apply to me. Also, OAR alone is a good reason to get LD.

Don't resist the force. Get laser. You won't regret it.

arcaneimagery
03-28-2003, 08:53 AM
Dave I wasnt implying you guys should do my legwork for me as far as finding a retail shop just asking more for suggestions if anyone lives in the pennslyvania,Maryland,Virginia,West Virginia region. Yes I do hate most major releases extras, case in point was the Lord of the Rings. I felt like most of them were just commercials but we're horror movie fans and most of the extras are right on target, I love my dvds from Blueunderground like The Prowler, Toolbox Murders, and Shockwaves. They did a great job on all of these and I doubt they are on Laserdisc. The only reason I would want a laserdisc right now is for the original cuts of Starwars, on a sidenote George Lucas has gone mad and wont release the originals on DVD just the Re-releases and I hate those but three movies alone wont make me want to buy the format.

Paff
03-28-2003, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by Dave
Also, most LD extras were "good" extras, not the bullshit fluff you find on most DVDs. Don't get me wrong, there are some great special edition DVDs out there, but there's also plenty that are full of long commercials that they call documenatries and featurettes.

Not to change the topic here, but that phenomenon is just kind of the nature of the beast. SE Lasers often came out years after the initial video release (and you all thought "double-dipping" was new??), when there was time for reflection on the film.
Nowadays, the SE stuff is usually done the same time as the movie is made! Hence, the fluff.

Paff
03-28-2003, 09:04 AM
Oh, and on the topic of buying a player, you're right to be wary of E-bay. Yes, you can get a decent player cheaply, but you can also get screwed if it's not packed super-securely.

Also, don't get your mind set on a new player, you're actually MUCH better off getting a used one!
"new" players stopped being made more than 6 years ago (well, with the exception of those high-end Japanese players), so they've been sitting a while. Belts could be dry rotted, gears may need greasing, etc. A used player will likely have gotten some use over the years and be in better shape. Also, the last few players made (those Pioneer LD/DVD combos) are actually not as good as some of the Pioneers made in the early to mid-90s

Atmims
03-28-2003, 04:37 PM
I use to collect LDs and had a small collection but I really just quit buying them because a lot of used LDs I bought had slight signs of laser rot (Those speckles all over the video, I think that's laser rot) and a lot of wear on them. I totally understand what Paff and Dave are saying though, It took a lot for me to just quit buying LDs and even more to sell the collection I had.

Dave
03-28-2003, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by arcaneimagery
Dave I wasnt implying you guys should do my legwork for me as far as finding a retail shop just asking more for suggestions if anyone lives in the pennslyvania,Maryland,Virginia,West Virginia region. Yes I do hate most major releases extras, case in point was the Lord of the Rings. I felt like most of them were just commercials but we're horror movie fans and most of the extras are right on target, I love my dvds from Blueunderground like The Prowler, Toolbox Murders, and Shockwaves. They did a great job on all of these and I doubt they are on Laserdisc. The only reason I would want a laserdisc right now is for the original cuts of Starwars, on a sidenote George Lucas has gone mad and wont release the originals on DVD just the Re-releases and I hate those but three movies alone wont make me want to buy the format.

I don't mean to seem like I'm attacking you, but you are throwing logic out the window here. Toolbox Murders SE DVD was released in 2002? There were **NO** LD releases (besides a Dragon's Lair LD, which doesn't really count) in 2002. Guess what? In 10 years I'll be able to say that Spiderman 10 is on <INSERT LATEST FORMAT HERE> and that it isn't on DVD, or HD-DVD, or whatever. I'm sure Toolbox was released movie only on LD either in US. Japan, or both.

Where is Bram Stoker's Dracula SE DVD? I know where my SE LD is - right on my shelf.

Where is Frighteners SE DVD? I know where my SE LD is - right on my shelf.

The list goes on. There are plenty of LD exclusives and plenty of DVD exclusives. Where can go around in a big circle here if you want.

bigdaddyhorse
03-28-2003, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by Dave


Where is Frighteners SE DVD? I know where my SE LD is - right on my shelf.

[/B]

That still needs to move to my shelf! :D :D :D

Bottom line, laser is nice format that has a lot to offer, and tons of great shit that will never even see dvd, or probably any other format down the road. I got into laser shortly after dvd. I was looking for stuff on ebay and started seeing all the cool SE lasers of movies I like that had shitty bare-bones dvds. I grabbed a cheap player and was off. My laser collection isn't too big, but I did just invest in a nice player (still half what I paid for my first dvd player). With the exception of some of the SE boxsets, most lasers are cheap, and often better than the dvd counterparts (for instance, I got Boyz 'N Tha Hood LD off ebay for $8 shipped. The dvd finally dropped to $14.99 at stores, but where's the commentary, the deleted scenes, the screen tests? LD only!)
If you don't want in on laser, that's all well and good. Plenty of great shit is on dvd, and all in all I prefer dvd. The problem is that some of the great shit just will never get to dvd, and that's where laser comes in, to fill the gaps in my movie collection.

Dave
03-28-2003, 08:30 PM
Shit, I don't have a big collection myself. Take a look at the link in my sig. That represents about 75% of my collection. Eventually I'll completely the list.

I do love the Japanese discs, though. I've been buying a lot off of ebay lately. I picked up some 80s Twilight Zone episodes for $12.00 each. A STEAL!!! And they were sealed!

Hellbilly
03-30-2003, 08:33 AM
I got into LD around 1994/1995. Why? because I wanted to see my movies in the OAR.
My first LD was Hooper's The Mangler which I've ordered from a German
retailer.
They were advertising it as being unrated and widescreen but when I got the disc it turned out to be FULL SCREEN. :rolleyes: (I don't think this film was ever released in widescreen on LD in the US, not sure though).
I bought about 70 films on LD until I switched to DVD in 1998.
I had the opportunity once to buy that Frighteners set but passed because I was certain it would pop up on DVD someday with the same features.

Still waiting though.

Anyways, the last one I got was Elite's The Evil Dead.
I still watch my LD's once in a while but not as often as I used to.