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Old 12-30-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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Back in the game with a new player

My wife and I moved recently. I dragged along my last (albeit full) cube of laserdiscs with me. My wife asked what I planned to do with them and she suggested I save them to sell in the future as collectibles. I told her most were worthless and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. We are talking 30-40 lasers here. They are heavy, expensive to ship, etc. My player, a CLD-D604, is average but always got the job done. It makes a strange noise when starting up and puts an error code on the display. If you shut it off and turn it on, it works just fine. For now.

I'm part of the laserdisc forever group on facebook. It's fun. People that are simply in love with the format. I was once that way. Nostalgia has always played a strong role in my likes of various movies and what not.

I have been slowly eyeballing a new player to get. HLD-X9, the mother of all players, was out of the question. One just sold on ebay for $1600. Way out of my price range. Same for LD-S9, although that is $1000 or less. There is one other player, the CLD-R7G, that has the updated Japanese comb filter (though I'll just be using the RCA cables). A private seller offered me one for $900 delivered. Still too much.

I stumbled across Yahoo Auctions in Japan. Apparently it's pretty popular. I found a CLD-R7G for just over $200. Wow! Recently serviced and cleaned. I bit. Used a bidding service and it cost me just over $300. I'm likely to spend upwards of $200 on shipping, but I'm okay with that. I may even send it to a guy that does service on them in the States and updates some of the parts (better clamp).

Anyone interested in a kinda working CLD-D604?
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:11 AM   #2
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Funny you mention this, Dave. I just got my new 60" plasma screen today, and was doing all the setups, marveling at the way my Blus looked, etc. Then for grins, I decided to see how LD looked, and I have to say it's not bad! Oddly enough, they look better on my 60" 1080p screen than they did on my 42" 720p screen. I was not expecting that at all. I gotta do more testing, along with some calibration (this was just done on factory settings, haven't done my Video Essentials yet). Really though, LDs are still entirely watchable.

I don't know much about those Japanese players, Dave. How do they compare to some of the higher end American players like the CLD-D704, and Elite 79 and 99?
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:22 AM   #3
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That's encouraging news. This is often compared to the Elite 99 so it should hold its own pretty well. I too have a new TV that has never seen laser, so I'm anxious to see how it holds up.

I have a handful of the last batch of lasers - Deep Blue Sea, Iron Giant, and a few others. I'll let everyone know how it holds up.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
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Dave, another suggestion is to get a Faroudja NRS scaler. These used to go for several thousand, now you shouldn't pay more than $200.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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I'll loom into a scaler if it looks like crap. I have ready that all HD TVs have scalers built in and they will often do better than those older scalers. Wouldn't it be funny if it were new TVs that made lasers look a little better?
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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After hearing Dave and Paff rave about LD for over a decade I finally decided to get on the bus earlier this month. So far I've watched a couple discs on my cheapy player, but have since bought a bunch more discs that I'm looking forward to check out. Gotta say, it's a pretty fun little format and the picture quality is better than I expected.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
I'll loom into a scaler if it looks like crap. I have ready that all HD TVs have scalers built in and they will often do better than those older scalers.
Not Faroudja. Those things were around $5K when they were first manufactured, in a time when there were no HD sources (Blu, etc) but people had HD screens anyway. They were designed to get the maximum performance out of SD sources. There's on-board de-interlacing, where they interpolate the signal to fill in the missing info. Oh, you'll still see the jaggies if you get close enough to the screen, but from 10' away it's entirely watchable.

I mean, think about it. If you're in charge of R&D at Samsung, LG, Panasonic, whatever, how much are you going to invest in your HDTVs' upscaling ability of SD signals? All OTA signals have to be digital now, and almost all inputs are hi-def. I got a near top of the line plasma, and there's only two non-HDMI inputs (and the composite and component are actually combined, so it's really only one). My last HD screen had SIX! So I'm not thinking the upscaling ability of today's screens will be all that special.

I'm gonna give it a real workout tonight with my first viewing of a Laser I picked up years ago but never got a chance to watch: It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. At the time, it was the only complete, proper aspect ratio of the film (and actually still is until Criterion's Blu Ray edition comes out in a few weeks)
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:51 AM   #8
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I'll look into it for sure, Paff. I hooked up my 604 to test it out before it begins its journey up north in another week or two. It still works - has the same U1 error it has always had. Once it accepts the disc (takes one or two tries), it plays just fine until it is left alone for a few hours. Anyway, I threw in The Iron Giant and it looks like shiiiaaatttt on my new 60" TV. The encouraging news is that, zooming in didn't produce much of hit to the image quality. Surprising. I took a few pictures that I'll include here. Obviously a cell phone picture is not going to reproduce what I'm seeing in person. It's mostly just for fun. Oh, and I have to point out that I don't normally have cables exposed like you see in the pictures. That is because I was fucking around behind the TV (the whole 1-2" of space I get when I tilt it out) trying to get the composite cables plugged in.

If my new player looks 25% better, I'll probably be happy enough as is. If not, I'll look into the scaler. I have limited space as I wall mounted the TV and wall mounted two shelves underneath it for players and what not. I struggled with hooking up an LD player as it will consume a lot of space. As it is, I'm thinking about getting a 5.1 soundbar so I can eliminate the receiver out of my setup (it's not currently hooked up but will be soon if I don't get the bar). My TV is one of the few that will output a pure 5.1 signal to a soundbar. I could probably fit everything but all the clutter right under the display would drive me insane. In a few years when the babies are older I can get a nice stand for equipment and put it under the TV or something.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
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Paff, do you have that Faroudja scaler? From what I can tell, there are two flavors. The most recent being a DVI output only. My TV doesn't have DVI so that scaler wouldn't work for me. Doing some research on lddb, it looks like another now lost cost scaler would be the DVDO Edge Green. It's definitely something I will consider if the image isn't where I would like it to be. I get a bonus at the end of Jan and might be able to squeeze one more purchase in if necessary.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:31 PM   #10
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Dave, which ones were you looking at? Here's the two I know of:

http://www.curtpalme.com/docs/NR_Series_Brochure.pdf

http://www.curtpalme.com/docs/nrs_dvi.pdf

Would you believe I actually own THREE of them? Here's the story. I bought an NRS from E-bay. It arrives, and it has the wrong output setting (it's a factory thing). E-bay guy won't take it back. So I buy another one. It works, and I'm impressed. However, it occasionally shuts down on its own. I contact Faroudja (actually, the company that bought them), and arrange to have the first one reprogrammed. They do it for $150.
Last year though, my film festival was trying to figure out a way to get our Blu-Ray players to interface with the DVI projectors at the theater, so we got the NRS-DVI. Works great, but only for SD sources. It was also an E-bay deal, no returns, so I buy it from the film festival.

This means I have three Faroudja scalers, two working, one a bit iffy. And here's my offer to you, Dave. I will GIVE you the iffy one, just pay me for shipping. If you like it, you can probably send it off to Faroudja for a tune-up (the flat rate on that is $150).

Oh, and just an FYI, if you get one of these, you'll need three BNC-RCA adapters (the composite outputs of the Faroujda are BNC). Get those at Monoprice for a couple of bucks. Radio Shack charges $5 EACH, Monoprice charges $0.95
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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Done! Awesome, man. I appreciate it. I would love to try it out. You want to drum up some shipping charges to 02062 UPS Ground?
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:44 PM   #12
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Dave, just PM me your address, I'll hit up UPS this weekend and then tell you how much it was. I know you're good for it.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:11 AM   #13
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I had a Pioneer Elite CLD99 and later an HLD-X9.

The CLD99 was great, much better than my previous player, but the HLD-X9 was a different level again. If a normal player is 5/10 then a CLD99 would be 7/10 and the X9 would be 10/10.

I paid about $2400 for the X9 when it was new and sold it about 6-7 years ago for $2200, so they do hold their value very well, being so rare.

I got rid of about 99% of my LD collection a few months later, but if you still have a big LD collection it's definitely worth tracking down an X9. With a good LD transfer it's very close quality wise to a non-anamorphic DVD, it really has that little video noise.

For a scaler you should be able to get an old Iscan VP50 or VP50 pro very cheap now. I've running a 20 year old NEC CRT projector (with a custom HDMI input board) with an Iscan VP50 at full 1080p to a 92" screen and it looks great. It has all the analogue inputs you'll ever need and outputs RGB or HDMI.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:17 PM   #14
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I was thinking about buying this 60" LG one which many reviewers say it's great. Anyone here owns this? Model is 60PN6500:
http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-60PN6500-plasma-tv

I'd check Panasonic plasmas but they don't sell 'em here anymore.

Also, I was thinking about putting this one in my bedroom but was worried about how many meters away should I be to have a good view of a movie played in it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:33 AM   #15
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There's a good chart here, showing pic. size and viewing distance:

http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html

My mate just got the 50" version (50PN650) of that LG Plasma TV last week and it looks great to me. We compared it to the 60" version in the shop and it looked good too, but it was about double the price (950 here, the 50" was 470) so he just went with the 50 despite me doing my best to talk him into the 60.
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