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jscott
09-04-2002, 05:48 PM
My first player was an RCA LDR-600, and it was a decent player, but on certain discs, the picture would have dark, horizontal lines that vibrate, or flicker, creating an almost strobing effect. This was very noticable when viewing films in the dark. At first I just thought it was either my cheap player, or bad discs. So last winter I upgraded to a Pioneer CLD 504, and guess what? Same thing. What really got me pissed off was my purchase of the Jaws CAV boxset. The flickering horizontal lines were on all 4 discs in the set. Last night, in a fit of boredom, I dusted off the RCA and hooked it up. Every disc I put in played flawlessly. Does anyone have any explanations as to why this occurs? Could it be because I have too many cables criss-crossing each other behind my AV components? Has anyone else expirienced this problem?

Dave
09-04-2002, 07:03 PM
Let me get this straight. The problem happened with the RCA and, subsequently, the Pioneer. Now you try the RCA and the problem is no longer occuring? It's only happening with the Pioneer now?

Once of my previous players was a Pioneer Elite CLD-D59. It had the same problem you described. I tried EVERYTHING to find out what it was. Replaced a/v cables, tried a different TV, and I even tried a different house (to confirm it wasn't a power issue). Couldn't narrow it down so I decided it was the player. Had it serviced - same problem. Had Pioneer replace it - same problem. Finally I just sold it off on ebay and bought a CLD-D504, which DIDN'T have the problem. Interesting that your 504 does.

Eventually upgraded to a 704, which also didn't have the problem. Though the 704 had a ghosting problem, which is common on a lot of high end players. Even my Pioneer LD-S9 has ghosting/streaking, but it's minor and not all that noticable to me.

Welcome to the world of laserdisc. Seems they are super sensitive and it's really luck of the draw.

jscott
09-04-2002, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by Dave
Let me get this straight. The problem happened with the RCA and, subsequently, the Pioneer. Now you try the RCA and the problem is no longer occuring? It's only happening with the Pioneer now? \

You are correct. The only reason I can possibly imagine, is that there's some type of interference coming from one of the 9 different pieces of equipment that surrounds my LD player, or maybe something to do with the power strip that everything's plugged in to. Personally, I do prefer my Pioneer to the RCA, because it runs much quieter, and has a slightly better picture. However, I'm going to be using the RCA untill I can find an RF Demodulator, because my RCA has a PCM optical output. This was the main reason I switched back, because most of my discs only have Dolby Surround, and it sounds so much better than using analog L/R cables.

PS, If anyone finds an RF Demodulator for sale, please let me know. I haven't seen one on Ebay that's gone for less than $150, and when I have seen them cheaper, I haven't had the dough.

Paff
09-04-2002, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by jscott
However, I'm going to be using the RCA untill I can find an RF Demodulator, because my RCA has a PCM optical output. This was the main reason I switched back, because most of my discs only have Dolby Surround, and it sounds so much better than using analog L/R cables.

Um, are you aware that an RF Demodulator is ONLY useful for Dolby DIGITAL LDs? That does not include discs with "Digital Sound", only those with an "AC-3 Dolby Digital" sountrack on Analog 2. There are a decent amount of Dolby Digital Lasers, but it's not a huge number. Example, the Star Wars (orginal editions) and Indiana Jones movies are not AC-3. You'd still need L/R cables (or your Optical) for those movies.

So if you're finding that the RCA has better sound than the Pioneer (and I do like the sound on the optical outputs too), getting an RF Demod won't completely cure that issue.

As far as your picture issues, I'm clueless. I've used 3 Pioneer players and 1 Proscan, and never seen it. Have you tried both the S-Video and Composite outputs?

jscott
09-05-2002, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by Paff


Um, are you aware that an RF Demodulator is ONLY useful for Dolby DIGITAL LDs?... Have you tried both the S-Video and Composite outputs?

No, I was not aware of that. Thanks for letting me know Paff. Now I'm seriously considering selling my two current players and buying a better model, so I'll have all the features I need. As for trying composite/S Video, yes I've tried both ways on my 504, and the problem was more visible through composite (S Video seems to have a smoother, less noisey picture). I'm going to hook my Pioneer back up tonight & see if the problem still exists.

One more technical question. I know that the Pioneer DVL909 & 919 (DVD/LD combo players) have component video outputs. Do these outputs work for Laserdisc playback? Or do you have to run an S Video or composite cable for LD playback? This is something I've always been curious about.

Paff
09-05-2002, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by jscott
One more technical question. I know that the Pioneer DVL909 & 919 (DVD/LD combo players) have component video outputs. Do these outputs work for Laserdisc playback? Or do you have to run an S Video or composite cable for LD playback? This is something I've always been curious about.

Hmm...I dunno, but since Laserdisc is not a component source, I'd imagine that there would be internal tinkering in the player that would degrade the signal if it was trying to convert to Component. That electronic tinkering of the signal would be circa 1997-8 technology.

I'd avoid those combo players. For less money, you can easily buy a much better LD only player, like the Pioneer CLD-D704. That player has all 3 audio outputs: L/R, Optical, and AC-3 RF. It has S-Video and Composite as well.

For the RF Demod, just look through your LDs and see which ones are Dolby Digital. Decide how much you want to pay to hear them in Dolby Digital. If it's more than the cost of a Demod, buy one.

Oh, and not all Dolby Digital tracks outshine their Pro-Logic counterparts. I've found that Pulp Fiction Criterion, Boogie Nights, Empire Records, and Apocalypse Now all sound better if you leave it on Pro-Logic. However, Beavis and Butthead Do America sounds a LOT better in AC-3. Go figure.

jscott
09-05-2002, 01:54 AM
I've been reading up on the 704, and I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT! (the noise reduction feature sounds phenomonal) Guess I'll be on the hunt for one on Ebay. As for the AC3 situation, I guess I'm just curious to know what it is I'm missing. Then again, off the top of my head, I only have 10 LD's with AC3, so it's not a necessity.

Dave
09-05-2002, 04:56 PM
704's occasionally sell over on Home THeater Forum and the AVS Forum - keep an eye out there. I sold my 704 for $350 several months ago on HTF.

I agree with Paff, though. Stay clear of combo players. There are too many problems I've heard about. Plus, you can get a decent DVD player for like $150 now, so it's better just to get both and put less wear on each player.

Paff
09-05-2002, 07:28 PM
Yes, the 704 is definitely the best bang-for-the-buck LD player out there. Sure, there's better players (as Dave will attest), but they will cost you quite a bit more.
A 704 will probaby go in the 3-400 dollar range. Also, if Dolby Digital is not a priority, a 703 will do the same job. I don't know if the 703 has an optical output though. I know it doesn't have the AC-3 RF out (although that can be added on by yourself if you're good with a soldering iron)

The Video Noise Reduction on the 704 is not as big a deal as it sounds. Some purists will tell you to disable it, but I use mine, and have it cranked all the way up. I do notice a slightly softer picture with it on.

But I really love my 704, and have literally doubled my LD collection in the 2 years I've owned it. With that player, well-mastered LDs look almost the same as DVDs, and sound better too. And since you can easily find good LDs for less than $5, it's a friggin no-brainer.
The first thing I noticed was no more "swimming blues" on LDs. Put in a Miramax disc, and look at the blue area around the big M. You'll see that the blue "shimmers" a little. The 704 completely killed that.
Before I got that player, I seriously considered switching to primarily DVD except for stuff like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Now I only trade in LDs for DVDs when they add a significant amount of extras. And in some cases, I've actually re-acquired the LDs, since they look just as good as the DVD, and sound a lot better. (ex: I watch the laser of Tomorrow Never Dies for the film, I only use the DVD for the extras)