Formats : It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

LaserDisc player.

Anyone else have one? I remember when they were being sold at local (Massachusetts) stores like Lechmere and Ann & Hope and I think my childhood neighbors had one, but they recently retired to Florida before I could raid their garage. I did see one at a Salvation Army, but there were not discs and nowhere to test it out.

Anyone else own and play LaserDiscs to this day?

Thanks!

Dave

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

I don't have a player, but I do own about 200 Laserdiscs... I bought them over the last 5 years or so because I was looking for certain films that didn't get a release on dvd, and Laserdisc offered better image quality than a VHS tape would. I have an older friend who has a player, so we cut a deal and he'd make recordings of them on to dvd-r's for me.



"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

That's cool, yeah! I was thinking of finding one at a yard/garage sale or Craigslist as most people want to get rid of their outdated stuff without knowing that there are nuts like me who want it. Anyone could have one shipped from Ebay, but what's the fun in that?

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

I still have three players, all from Pioneer, although one is badged as Hitachi. It's been several years since I've played a movie on them, so I'm worried that rubber parts like belts or rollers might have perished by now. I briefly had a Sony player, but it lived down to the lousy reputation that Sony's laserdisc players have on Avsforum by not working at all.

Real soon now i plan to capture the lossless PCM audio from some discs and see if they'll sync with video from dvds. This requires a player with S/PDIF output, a surprisingly rare feature. The Hitachi had locations on the circuit board for digital output, so it wasn't hard to add both RCA and Toslink outputs. See my post at diyaudio.com for more details.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

Ended up getting a nice Pioneer model from a guy in the next town over (after 2 people backed out). Now I just have to work in a solid horror collection.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

why?

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

God knows! It's the classic "get stuff as an adult that you always wanted as a kid". Plus I like older electronics and stuff.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

Was thinking of getting one myself but decided against it as LaserDisc are huge and I have nowhere to store them safely.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

I happened to have lucked out with a guy in my next town selling one for $65.00 with a pile of discs. Others in the area wanted at least $100-200, which is too high for a dead format. I hooked it up in my Three Season Porch to a basic LG 24" HDTV.

Pros:

It's a nice looking piece and not nearly as bulky as I would have thought. It's actually smaller that my '70's era receiver.

This discs, while large, have a heft to them. They feel like business.

The online LD community seem like a nice group.

Cons:

I totally forgot that half of the movies are not in letterbox or widescreen format.

It's nearly impossible to find, sell or trade discs locally. Most vintage record stores are cool and fun to deal with, other nearby Craigslist folk are either clueless or outright hostile.

Similar to VHS, there's a cutoff for when movies were put out in the format.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

I'd say to check out your local Half Price Books store for some Laserdisc movies.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

Nah, already gone baby gone. Went Blu ray instead.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

Are you serious? Apparently you're serious!

I owned several, a Pioneer, a Phillips, then a Magnavox. At 425 lines of top-to-bottom resolution, LD is better than VHS, but not as good as DVD's 480, plus LD has more picture grain and noise than DVD, and compared to blu-ray, forget it--LD is archaic and antiquated technology. I was an early adopter of LD in 1983 so experienced horrendous video grain and noise as well as a persistent helicoptering audio noise in early MCA "DiscoVision" (when disco music was all the rage and burning up the charts) titles from the late 1970s.

Letterbox entered in the late '80s with The Color Purple and then E.T. (thank you Steven Spielberg!). Even if the LD is letterboxed, there's no anamorphic on LD, so you'll lose yet another 30% of picture resolution right there zooming in on LD's non-anamorphic picture to fill your widescreen HDTV. Plus LDs only offer 57-1/2 minutes playing time per side on CLV (constant linear velocity) discs with digital sound, only around 30 minutes playing time on CAV (constant angular velocity) discs, and then you have to flip the disc over or insert the next disc to see the rest of the movie. Have I painted a clear enough picture yet?

With blu-ray offering almost all of the same titles as LD in crystal clear 1080p picture with no disc change except for 4-hour movies mastered in a high bit-rate like Lawrence of Arabia, it's a no-brainer--my money would be on blu-ray, unless, like you say, you're an electronics nostalgia freak and just want to experience what it was like to play and watch movies on LaserDisc. Blu-ray players are now only about $50 and blu-ray movies can be found as cheap as $5 in Wal-Mart bargain bins. Hopefully you didn't spend more than $50 including LD movies.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

Hi, thanks for the reply! My weird journey into LaserDisc, from buying to selling, lasted exactly one month. I was able to score a nice late-model Panasonic (maybe?) for $65.00 with a stack of movies that I never completed one. It was nice to see most of Birdy, though. I did forget the key bit that many discs did not have Letterbox, so that was my first mistake. 2nd was thinking that they'd be easy enough to find. Boston had two stores with a decent selection, but it was also kind of depressing knowing that nothing past the early 2000's was going to be released (if not sooner). The online community, while nice, were not eager to sell or trade any of their collection for a reasonable amount. In short, a fun format to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.

I sold the entire shebang for the amount I bought it from, some guy even paid $70.00 to have it shipped via US mail to the Midwest. I'm sure he's enjoying it.

I blew $25.00 for a nice Blu Ray after that, which is fine.

Now I'm looking for a Sony Walkman.




Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

The LD of Blade Runner is supposed to be amazing.

But, you have to flip it over, right? Like early 2-tape VHS sets with lengthy films like Ben-Hur and Titanic?

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

I actually had that one in my hands, but didn't buy it. I know the older versions of LD players had to have the disc flipped, but I believe this one (circa 1998) didn't need to. Honestly, I never really made it through a full movie to find out, haha.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

All movies had to be flipped. Some needed multiple discs, especially if they were encoded at CAV which enabled special features like perfect still frames. To me, the best feature of LD was the lossless CD quality audio, or full-bitrate DTS on a few titles.

BTW, there were a handful of anamorphic widescreen laserdiscs produced.

Re: It's 2016, I'm thinking of finally getting a...

Yeah, LD players around the mid-'90s could do "auto-flip", i.e. the laser assembly would move around from side A to side B of a disc. This caused about a 10-second delay in the movie. Good time to go to the bathroom.

What titles were released anamorphically on LD?
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