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Old 05-21-2004, 07:56 AM   #1
Lone Wolf
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Laserdisc Questions

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.
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:36 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:21 AM   #3
Werner Von Wallenrod
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(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.
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner Von Wallenrod
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.
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.
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:06 AM   #5
Alan Smithee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paff
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.
Well apparently the original versions of the Star Wars films will always be exclusive.
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paff
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.
Paff makes excellent points here and I agree completely.
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paff View Post
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.

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.
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:39 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 08:43 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Wolf
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.
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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:12 PM   #11
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i did this a few months back. i'm also buying a laserdisc today. Balto

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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:15 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:36 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:07 PM   #14
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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.
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.
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bigdaddyhorse
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.

right on there's no way i'm going to buy another player though.
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