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Paff
01-11-2009, 01:57 AM
I guess this could be posted in either Laserdisc or High Definition.

Based on a conversation in a thread between Dave and myself, I'm wondering how some of you have done with Lasers on HDTVs. Obviously, you are not gonna get anything even approaching HD quality, or even anamorphic standard def DVD, but I'd like to maximize my Laser performance. After previewing a few discs, I've noticed that the wider the ratio on the LD, the worse it looks on my 42" 720p plasma. Full frame LDs actually don't look bad, if you can believe it! 1.85:1 is ok too, but scope just looks horrible no matter what I do. This does make sense a bit, as you are using the fewest lines of resolution.

I want to pick up one of these: http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5281. At my film festival in October, I had to turn some standard def sources (DVD and DigiBeta) into a 1080p projector. I used a similar product from Gefen, component-to-DVI, and it performed amazingly. It was not HD, but it's the best I'd ever seen standard definition video projected in a theater. Hopefully that composite-to-HDMI will make the lasers decent.

Anyone else had any luck?

Dave
01-11-2009, 10:03 AM
The other option according to everyone at AVS Forum is getting an HLD-X0 or HLD-x9. Cost would probably be $1000-$1500 I imagine. Apparently those have a narrow laser (due to supporting Muse LD) that makes them put out a remarkable image.

ekent
01-11-2009, 02:49 PM
Paff, the newer A/V receivers convert analog signals up to 1080p (such as the Sony STR-DG920), perhaps that could be an option for you. It doesn't cost much more than the product you linked and might be a more cost effective option.

Paff
01-11-2009, 06:38 PM
Well, buying a $1K player is out of the question. I'm dedicated, but not a fanatic. I'm trying to be as practical as possible.

I'm pretty sold on the scaler. For one thing, I know I can get it cheaper than what I listed there, that's just the manufacturer's site with the most info. Since the ONLY thing that does is scale video to HD, I trust it more than something like an A/V receiver which does several other things as well. Plus, if you go into the manual on the Gefen, you'll see that it has many settings which will allow you to tweak the video. On the one I used for the film festival you could toggle back and forth between anamorphic and standard, as well as pick the output size (720 or 1080). They're pretty versatile units

Dave
01-11-2009, 09:24 PM
Keep us posted, Paff. I agree with you how being a fanatic, but I am looking into getting my "final" LD player sometime in 2009. Doubtful it will be a HLD-x9, but I may revisit the LD-S9. It won't be until later in the year. Keep us posted on the scaler.

Matt89
01-11-2009, 09:36 PM
Hey guys, in case you missed it, there's this format called DVD with vastly superior image quality to LDs. And hey, they upscale too! ;)




*Nah I'm just kidding. It's a nostalgic thing, I know, I know.

~Matt

Paff
01-11-2009, 10:47 PM
Now, I know you're just taking the piss there Matt, but click on the link in my sig, and you'll see why keeping Laser active is pretty necessary in my home theater. Yes, several of those titles are already re-purchased on DVD, with a lot more to come. But a lot of other movies fall into that zone of "I want to keep it in my collection, but I don't like it enough to warrant a double dip"

elahrairrah
01-11-2009, 11:08 PM
I hooked up my CLD-R7G to my friends' 50" plasma merely through S-Video and it looked pretty darn good to me. My friends were impressed as well, because they thought that LD was old tech, and would look like crap.

Though if you have a HUGE screen, and none too sure about the internal de-interlacers and scalers in your HDTV, you can always invest in a better scaler. Of course that is a pricey solution.

I'm none too sure about devices like that one posted in the first post, but if you're seen it in action, then I guess scaler technology has gotten a lot better and a lot cheaper in recent years!

Matt89
01-11-2009, 11:15 PM
Now, I know you're just taking the piss there Matt, but click on the link in my sig, and you'll see why keeping Laser active is pretty necessary in my home theater. Yes, several of those titles are already re-purchased on DVD, with a lot more to come. But a lot of other movies fall into that zone of "I want to keep it in my collection, but I don't like it enough to warrant a double dip"

Yeah, that's honorable. But hey, you have the Criterion of Carrie! I've always wanted it, seeing as how it has a commentary exclusive to the LD and all.

But to be honest, I really want a LD player, as I have the Criterions of Halloween and Taxi Driver and I really want to listen to the commentary by Scorsese. :o

~Matt

elahrairrah
01-12-2009, 12:38 AM
Hey guys, in case you missed it, there's this format called DVD with vastly superior image quality to LDs. And hey, they upscale too! ;)

Yeah, you know what? I really want Terror in the Aisles and Scream Greats: Tom Savini on DVD. Oh wait, they're never coming out on DVD. Thankfully I have the Laserdiscs! :D

Uncle Jay
01-12-2009, 05:46 PM
Yeah, you know what? I really want Terror in the Aisles and Scream Greats: Tom Savini on DVD. Oh wait, they're never coming out on DVD. Thankfully I have the Laserdiscs! :D

Your Terror in the Aisles LD, is it the That's Shock! Japanese Import or a bare bones Universal LD release? I'm curious because I've been searching for the bare bones LD release, but I'm not even sure it exists. I know that there's a CED LD release, but what good is that, haha!

-UJ

elahrairrah
01-12-2009, 06:26 PM
Your Terror in the Aisles LD, is it the That's Shock! Japanese Import or a bare bones Universal LD release? I'm curious because I've been searching for the bare bones LD release, but I'm not even sure it exists. I know that there's a CED LD release, but what good is that, haha!

-UJ

As far as I know (and according to the Laserdisc Database) there never was a US released LD of Terror in the Aisles. Makes sense because the movie's release was around the time MCA/Universal wanted very little to do with Laserdisc after the DiscoVision debacle at that point.

I have the Japanese That's Shock LD. Though in addition to the SelectaVision CED that you pointed out, it was also released on JVC's VHD format in Japan (also under the title That's Shock.)

So other than VHS, those are the only ways to get this movie (if you don't count that mucked up version they show on FearNet!)

Paff
01-14-2009, 08:01 AM
I hooked up my CLD-R7G to my friends' 50" plasma merely through S-Video and it looked pretty darn good to me.

This got me thinking, as it's long been accepted that composite is a better option for LD than S-Video. Now, I did look at the specs on the R7G, and it seems to have a pretty good comb filter (the logic goes that LD is inherently a composite format. If you use the S Connection, you are using the comb filter in the player. If you use the composite, you're using the comb filter in the TV. In general, TVs have better comb filters than LD players).

Anyway, I did try the S connection on my 704, and I have to say it looked absolutely horrendous. The composite was much better.

I'm still gonna try the scaler though.

elahrairrah
01-14-2009, 05:06 PM
This got me thinking, as it's long been accepted that composite is a better option for LD than S-Video. Now, I did look at the specs on the R7G, and it seems to have a pretty good comb filter (the logic goes that LD is inherently a composite format. If you use the S Connection, you are using the comb filter in the player. If you use the composite, you're using the comb filter in the TV. In general, TVs have better comb filters than LD players).

Anyway, I did try the S connection on my 704, and I have to say it looked absolutely horrendous. The composite was much better.

I'm still gonna try the scaler though.

The 704 has a decent comb filter, but still only 2D. Most HDTV's are incorporating 3D filters (and good ones finally.) So yeah, you'd be better off with the composite for that one.

I used to have a CLD-79, which is basically the same machine as the 704, and it does provide a good picture with the right connection. The line-doubler I used only had a 2D filter as well, so I ended up using S-Video for this player often. Only when I connected it to a newer model HDTV would I use composite.

The R7G's filter is a 3D filter, but not the same one as the more highly vaunted LD-S9 and HLD-X9 as most people say (those two have a Mitsubishi filter, the R7G has a slightly newer NEC filter.) I use S-video for that for everything except for capturing LD video to my computer.

Let us know how well that scaler looks! If it does you well, hell, I might get one!

Paff
01-15-2009, 05:48 AM
OK, you get it. Good.

See, I have friends that automatically assume S-Video is better than composite. In fact, these are the brothers that gave me the Criterion Bonds. One of the reasons they're clearing out their LD collection is that LDs look so horrible on their HDTVs. And they have mid-level Panasonics, not higher end Pioneers like us. I'll bet anything they tried using the S connections.

My composite connection is still pretty crummy, but miles above the S.

When I looked up the R7G, all the info was Japanese, but I did see "3D Y/C" in amongst all the Hiragana. I know the 704 does not have a comb filter that good.

I'm hoping to get the scaler within a month. Want to do some research for pricing...the link above is the manufacturer's site. When we were shopping for our festival, we found the HD Mate Scaler from the same company for $50 less at a different site. I'd go E-bay, but I need a money-back guarantee if the thing does not offer significant improvement.

elahrairrah
01-16-2009, 07:02 PM
That's about the only thing that worries me with that scaler. In the specifications, it states nothing about how it does Y/C separation. In fact it says nothing at all about comb filters either. It has to have one (since it has a composite input), but the quality of it is never stated.

You might want to even consider one of those instead of the scaler, since if you have a quality HDTV, the scaler is probably pretty good, but the comb filter might not be.

This one here on ebay looks pretty promising:
http://cgi.ebay.com/KRAMER-FC-10D-COMPOSITE-S-VIDEO-COMB-FILTER-TRANSCODER_W0QQitemZ320326535994QQihZ011QQcategory Z21166QQssPageNameZWD4VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Even uses professional BNC connectors for the composite connections. And they have a 7-day guarantee.

Paff
01-17-2009, 09:45 AM
Any idea what the level of that filter is? 2-D? 3-D? 3-Line?

To be honest, I don't know the difference. I've just always owned TVs newer than my LD players, so the comb filter in the TVs was always better.

That may have changed with the plasma, as having a good comb filter in a plasma is a waste of time and space. And you bring up a good point. The scalers I used at the film festival accepted a component input, which means the signal was already separated properly. The Gefen scaler in my first post may not do a good job of that separation, so upscaled crap is still crap.

Damn....decisions decisons.....

Dave
01-17-2009, 09:53 AM
You may want to post on AVS Forum. I have no doubt you will find the answer you need.

Paff
01-18-2009, 09:02 AM
Here's an interesting article from Josh Zyber:

http://www.mindspring.com/~laserguru/digitalage.html

I think I'm gonna skip that comb filter and go for the scaler instead. For one thing, I was doing some adjusting on the TV, and saw an option to toggle on the "3-D Y/C Digital Comb Filter". Now, maybe it's not the best filter on the market, but I'm guessing it's about the same quality as that Kramer model. In other words, I doubt the improvement will be too dramatic.

Reading Zyber's article, it seems line doubling or scaling is the better option. Line Doublers are kind of extinct. So once I get a little more money, I'm gonna get that Gefen scaler. I'll let y'all know how it goes

Paff
01-27-2009, 03:42 AM
Last night I watched Rosemary's Baby on laser. First full-length movie I've watched since going HD. It wasn't bad, but I don't remember that disc having a stellar transfer anyway.

I'm really gonna have to try more discs. One of my benchmarks was Boogie Nights, which always looked fantastic on SD, but looks like shit on my plasma. I should try more discs, like say Austin Powers or L.A. Confidential.

I have the feeling that while some discs may be very watchable on my plasma, there will likely be several that were ok on my SD but pretty putrid in HD....

elahrairrah
02-04-2009, 03:40 PM
Last night I watched Rosemary's Baby on laser. First full-length movie I've watched since going HD. It wasn't bad, but I don't remember that disc having a stellar transfer anyway.

I'm really gonna have to try more discs. One of my benchmarks was Boogie Nights, which always looked fantastic on SD, but looks like shit on my plasma. I should try more discs, like say Austin Powers or L.A. Confidential.

I have the feeling that while some discs may be very watchable on my plasma, there will likely be several that were ok on my SD but pretty putrid in HD....

I guess that might be one of the reasons why I've had pretty good luck with Laserdiscs on my friends' plasma since I've usually only used discs that look pretty darn good to begin with (Disney movies, The Rock DTS, Saving Private Ryan, etc.)

I'm sure if I used something with a bad transfer, it'd look even worse on their plasma!

Paff
02-05-2009, 07:28 AM
I'm not so sure anymore. I actually think I'm a little happier with the bad transfers! They're muddy and soft, and stay muddy and soft on the plasma. But the good movies (Boogie Nights, and Austin Powers) came from digital sources, and they seem to look more pixelated than the poorly done discs.

More research to be done, methinks

X-human
02-08-2009, 07:40 PM
I just watched a LD of The Wizard of Speed and Time on my plasma and it looked good, infact in a way it made me realize how processed upconverted DVDs can look. There was some really great travel shots with a camera mounted on a motorcycle and the image was real clean and clear. No noticeable blocking. I suspect that this segment went through less intermediates than the rest of this film, so that might be why it looked as good as it does.

I'm using the BNC out on my player and converted it to RCA. I'm sure it's not as good as straight BNC but it's better than using the RCA out.

Paff
02-08-2009, 11:13 PM
I'm using the BNC out on my player and converted it to RCA. I'm sure it's not as good as straight BNC but it's better than using the RCA out.

:confused:
Why? BNC is coax cable, just like RCA. The connector is different, but that's it. The cable itself is the same, two conductor cable.

I watched Jackie Brown on LD on Friday night, and it was fine. A lot of closeups in that one, and the detail on the faces was readily apparent. Of course, I then followed it up with The Descent on DVD, and there's a noticeable difference with the look of DVD vs. LD. I'm beginning to see that it's not a matter of LD being "bad", just different.

X-human
02-09-2009, 12:18 AM
:confused:
Why? BNC is coax cable, just like RCA. The connector is different, but that's it. The cable itself is the same, two conductor cable.

The BNC components are often better than its RCA components. Perhaps it's not going to create a discernible difference but I had the connector on hand so why the hell not?

elahrairrah
02-09-2009, 04:57 PM
I'm using the BNC out on my player and converted it to RCA. I'm sure it's not as good as straight BNC but it's better than using the RCA out.

What kind of player are you using? If you're using a Pioneer LD-S2 or HLD-X0 then you are probably benefitting from using the BNC output since, from what I've read, the BNC outputs on those players are purely composite with no Y/C recombination.

Paff
02-10-2009, 05:23 AM
What kind of player are you using? If you're using a Pioneer LD-S2 or HLD-X0 then you are probably benefitting from using the BNC output since, from what I've read, the BNC outputs on those players are purely composite with no Y/C recombination.

No, that makes no sense at all. As mentioned before, BNC is simply a different form of two-conductor cable than RCA. If you get a BNC-RCA convertor ('cause heaven knows I've had to buy enough of them in my film festival work), you'll see there ain't any electronics or monkeying with the signal. Just a different form of two conductor cable.

Now, what BNC does offer is a locking connection, so that the cable will not accidentally become unplugged, and also provide a good connection to the sheild. The locking mechanism is the reason they are used in "professional" applications (like you mentioned above). You can plug and unplug them a million times and they'll still make the same contact. An RCA might get spread out and loose if you're using it over and over again.

Like X-Human said, if ya got a BNC lying around, sure go ahead and use it. But as long as the RCAs are still making a tight connection (and you don't plan on disconnecting and reconnecting several times), you'll get the exact same video (or audio) quality. The signal carried on a BNC output is exactly the same.

elahrairrah
02-10-2009, 11:56 AM
No, that makes no sense at all . . .

. . . The signal carried on a BNC output is exactly the same.

I'm afraid you're wrong in the cases of the LD players I've mentioned. From the The X0 Project (http://www.x0project.com/articles.php?i=00001):

As an example of its no-compromises approach, the X has a true 75-ohm BNC connector on the back, not just a cheap RCA connector. The X's composite output picks up the video stream before it is broken into chroma and luma. This seemingly-small detail allows us to use today's superior methods of processing the 'raw' composite signal, whereas nearly all other players separate first with now-obsolete components and then recombine to form the composite output. This means the composite signal has already been through a bunch of outdated processing before you can get at it. Even the much-lauded CLD-97 and CLD-99 players do internal Y/C separation prior to noise reduction and then recombine Y and C to create the composite signal. Since our source laserdiscs are encoded in composite, it is important that we use this output rather than S-Video.

This archived thread (http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=615675) on the AVS forum talks about how that pure composite video stream is only output from the BNC connector on the HLD-X0. I can't find the thread now, but I found another that states the BNC connector on the LD-S2 has the same non-altered composite output.

Paff
02-12-2009, 07:12 AM
That whole non-altered composite thing is interesting, as I've never heard of it before. And going to my original point, I wonder why it's on BNC-only, as BNC is still just a coax connector. It's not like there's a certain kind of signal that can ONLY be carried on that kind of cable.

If this wonderful non-altered signal was run through a $3 Radio Shack BNC-RCA converter, then through a GOOD RCA cable and into a TV, I guarantee there would be no difference. So why was a BNC used, if old-style RCAs would have carried the signal just as well? And especially why has this "non-altered" composite signal never been used before, if the technology to carry the signal has been present all along? Not to mention, what was the point of breaking down the signal, then re-assembling it?

I'll keep looking around on this. Like I said, interesting concept, and I've never heard of it before now...

elahrairrah
02-12-2009, 02:03 PM
Not really sure why they chose the BNC connector for the pure composite output. My only guess was that at the time when the players were first put on the market--1990 for the LD-S2, 1994 for the HLD-X0--equipment that they would hope to utilize that pure composite stream were more of the professional type which would have BNC connectors.