View Full Version : Laserdisc Player?

02-02-2003, 10:25 AM
I don't know why, but I have this nagging desire to add a laserdisc player to my system.

I keep seeing players and discs at various places and have been wondering whether it would be worth it to add one to my system.

Any recommendations? :?

Kevin P
02-02-2003, 10:53 AM
It's definitely worth it to add a LD player if you want the original Star Wars trilogy or the Indy trilogy on media other than VHS :roll:

The later model Pioneers are good, if you can find a CLD-D704 go for it, it was one of the best players they made.

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02-02-2003, 11:46 AM
Thanks Kevin,
The CLD-D704 was one of the players on my list to look out for as well as the CLD-97 and CLD-99 from Pioneer. I also read a comment someone posted that the Mitsubishi 7057 is a relabled CLD-D704?

Andrew Pratt
02-02-2003, 12:10 PM
I've been looking at adding an LD player for years now but for one reason or anther I haven't and the longer it goes the less and less need I feel to own one. Still with some of the cheaper ones you see posted now its still tempting

http://www.htguide.com/CFBoards/images/signatures/andrew_sig.jpg (http://www.mts.net/~glendap)

02-02-2003, 12:12 PM
Hi Kevin,

I used to have both the cld704 and cld-97 (a gorgeous tank!)...both nice players. The problem is that on my 16x9 hidef TV, LDs don't look too good, especially compared to progressive scan from the RP91....beware, you might have the same results on your 65inch widescreen hidef Mits & RP91....

You would also need an AC3 demodulator to get full benefits from AC3 LDs.

Have you heard JohnT's 5.1 setup with the Aragon soundstage?

02-02-2003, 02:06 PM
Hi Andrew,

That's pretty much the way I feel. I keep putting off the idea and it keeps coming back. I keep asking myself why I want one, I talk myself out of it for a while and then it comes back again.

Hi Ricky,
I figured the video quality would be less than the quality of DVD. Did you feel the quality of the video was such that you couldn't accept it after getting used to DVD? If you had the opportunity would you put another laserdisc player in your system?
Yeh, the decoder was another piece of the puzzle.

After having the 704 and the 97 did you see any major differences between the two beside finish.

I haven't been over to John T's since he bought the Aragon, we're trying to setup a time to compare both either at his place or mine. It won't be for another few weeks, that is if John can hold on to it that long. :)

02-02-2003, 04:15 PM

I never did an a/b with both LD players, and most of my LD viewing was on my old 32inch Toshiba tube. Almost every thing I've read about says the 97 produces a better picture.

You should find out how your TV will process the LD output without altering or stretching the picture (and it will go through the TV's line doubler too)...and if it works for you. And yes, personally, I could not accept the LD video quality compared to progressive scan DVDs.

George Bellefontaine
02-03-2003, 12:26 PM
Laserdics were a great thing when they came to the market several years ago. They made vhs tape viewing look like a pile of mush. But dvd was a great leap when they first hit the market and they just seem to keep getting better. So much so, that I have a hard time viewing some of the ld titles in my collection. There is a noticable drop in resolution when going from dvd to ld on an 8 foot wide screen. I already have about half of the titles replaced with dvds, but I still have many titles that may never see dvddom so I expect I will still be using my ld player for some time yet.

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Kevin P
02-03-2003, 12:55 PM
To get a rough idea of how a LD player would look on your TV, put your TV in the letterbox zoom mode (if you're using a 16:9 TV) and put on a non-anamorphic DVD, and use the composite or S-video output on your DVD player. An average quality DVD will look about the same as a good quality LD in this configuration.

Some of the best LDs can rival many of the non-anamorphic DVDs out there. And it's a common assertion that the sound on LD is superior to DVD--this is especially true for PCM Dolby ProLogic LDs as compared to DD 2.0 on DVD. If you have DTS capability (a digital output on your LD player), many of the DTS LDs will blow away their DVD counterparts sound wise.

The CLD-97 and CLD-99 are probably the best LD players Pioneer ever made, with the CLD-D704 a close second or third. You won't go wrong with any of these players.


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02-03-2003, 02:24 PM
Often, the biggest key to getting really good picture quality out of a laser disk player is the Y/C filter, which separates the chroma and luminance information. Note that unlike DVD, LD uses a conventional NTSC signal. And any laser disk player with S-Video is doing the separation on board. In many cases the Y/C filter even on pretty good laser disk players is not up to the same standards as the best standard NTSC TV's. For example, the Y/C filter on my Panny LD player isn't as good as that in the Tosh RPTV I gave to my daughter. It's usually best to try it both ways, on either S-Video or composite, and determine visually which works best. The Video Essentials test disk is great to use for that.

Also, some projectors have very good Y/C filters- like the 10HT- I can honestly say that the best LD reproduction I've see (free of all fringing and trailing dot artifacts) was on a Sony 10HT.

Unfortunately, the inherent chroma (color) bandwidth of LD players is quite limited, typically no more than 1/3 to 1/2 of a good DVD. So on a better display, and particularly when scaling, the limitations become somewhat obvious. But, if you want to watch some of those movies that are currently only out on LD (I've got almost all of them), it's the only game in town... and in many cases I prefer music video's on LD, again for the sound, unless it has a good PCM track (in addition to DD) and you use that. Sessions on 54th street are a good example, on DVD.


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We'll screw up the other planets later....

02-03-2003, 06:22 PM

Thanks for your replies. That was the type of constructive feedback I was looking for. I'm a big movie fan and have really grown to enjoy the video quality of DVD.

I know even now I have a hard time watching cable television on the RPTV because of the poor picture quality compared to DVD.

If an incrdible deal comes along on one of the Elites 97 or 99 I still may try it but for now I think I'll hold off. Thanks again.

02-04-2003, 10:07 AM
I kept all my LDs and am glad I did. There are still many titles on LD that haven't yet come out on DVD. Also, there a some movies on DVD where the inferior sound track bothers me, "The Fifth Element" comes to mind.
However, don't think that they are like vinyl. They have the problem of laser rot and aren't a "forever" medium. I have been lucky so far but, the few that have come down with rot go right in the trash.

George Bellefontaine
02-04-2003, 12:10 PM
I also had a few with the rot. Like Bob they went in the trash bin. But I have been pretty lucky in that regard, considering the size of the collection I once had.

My Homepage! (http://www.mts.net/~glendap/george.htm)

John Holmes
02-04-2003, 12:45 PM
I still use Laserdisc. There are just too many films that I enjoy, that haven't made it to dvd yet.

As far as the picture being inferior to dvd, after about ten minutes into the film, this becomes an non-issue for me. Though I have to admit, getting the darn thing serviced is like pulling teeth! A definate glitch of a dead format.

"I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's (http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mycollection.asp?alias=jt357)

02-04-2003, 06:12 PM
I thought laser rot only happened with LD's made at a few facilities before a certain time and the ones that were manufactured after would not have this problem as time goes on. What does it look like?

02-04-2003, 07:38 PM
You may be right, Kevin. I have only had rot show up on 4 discs so far and they were some of the earliest that I purchased. As to what it looks like, when you start watching the movie artifacts start showing up. The worst was like snow.

George Bellefontaine
02-05-2003, 11:53 AM
I recall there being some info on laserdisc rot on titles mfg. before a certain date in the 80's, but I don't recall the exact date. The ones that went bad on me were are very early titles. One I really recall was IN COLD BLOOD because it was in 4:3 and the rot looked like a bloody snowstorm.

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John Holmes
02-05-2003, 02:20 PM
I have only had one disc to rot (MIB). It looked like a bizzard when playing.

"I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's (http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mycollection.asp?alias=jt357)

02-05-2003, 06:33 PM
Can you see any defects on the disk surface or is playing it the only way to find out? I would think there would be some sort of visible defects on the disk?
I had a DVD (Broken Arrow)that was brand new put it in the player and the image started pixelating locking up and finally quit playing when I took out the disc the entire surface was covered with what looked like air bubbles. I know DVD's don't suffer from rot at least not that I've heard of, but I wondered if that was similar to what people saw on laserdiscs with laserdisc rot?

Kevin P
02-05-2003, 07:42 PM
Laser rot is not visible by inspecting the disc. You have to play it to determine its condition. Sony (Columbia/Tristar) LDs are generally the most prone to rot, and it appears as colored speckles or snow in the picture, and in more severe cases, audio dropouts or noise.

A friend of mine gave me his old copy of Multiplicity, which I discovered had rot. It was still watchable but with some snow, but the PCM soundtrack was trash on the 2nd side of the disc. I had to switch to the analog audio track.

Kevin, the DVD you mention was probably a manufacturing defect, if you say you saw air bubbles. "DVD rot" is different from "laser rot." If a DVD rots it's because of a manufacturing defect where the layers separate, or the disc gets contaminated somehow. Laserdiscs would rot due to moisture embedded in the substrate corroding the reflective surface.


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02-06-2003, 06:37 AM
Kevin, thanks for the clarification.

Wow it's pretty much hit or miss since you can't visually inspect for it. I guess the only thing collectors can do is stay away from the discs from certain manufacturers made before a certain date.
That's the one thing I enjoyed about going back to vinyl you could find the LP's cheap and you could always inspect them for visable damage or defects before buying them.

02-06-2003, 10:27 AM
Ron Howard likes the way the movie "The Unforgiven" looks so in prepping for the film I am working on I pulled out my LD of the movie to refamilerize myself with Jack Greenes photograpy. It is not all that old of a title. Much to my disapointment the second disc has laser rot. It was a WB title but, I would guess that if laser rot is studio specific it propably has to do with what facility they used to manufacture the LDs. Could be that Warners used the same company as Sony.

02-06-2003, 01:11 PM
:D I have about 90 LD's including the latest release of the Star Wars Trilogy. My player is a CLD-D704 which I was very lucky to obtain almost new at a *used* price. Apparently the previous owner had it for about 6 months and used it only 3 or 4 times. I purchased it for $900 CDN with the box and original packing material all in tact. I have a Marantz DP870 processor hooked up to the MULTI inputs of a Rotel RSP1066. This covers the demodulator issue but unfortunately limits me to the Dolby Digital processor of the Marantz. My HDTV is a Toshiba 40H80 which I must say makes the LD's picture look pretty good. I find that the key to a good picture on a RPTV is to make sure the set is properly converged in service mode.
If you do not have a collection of LD's then I see no point in owning an LD player as I don't think LD's are available in North America any more, unless you plan on importing them.
I still am very happy with my CLD-D704 and am currently looking for an additional machine to use as parts should mine decide not to work. Is my player for sale.......? Sorry, I'm keeping this one until it stop's working and can't be fixed.

Good luck.

George Bellefontaine
02-07-2003, 11:51 AM
The CLD 704 is a great little player. I gave it to my son who is still using it. When dvds first came out I bought a Pioneer DVL 700 combi player. It is also a great little player though I rarely use it for dvds now that I have a Sony 7700. But the DVL 700 still gets some LD time.

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