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post #1 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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i have about 250+ and would like to convert to dvd .any ideas on a dvd burner to do this job, i understand the two side problem with lds .if i could pause the dvd burner ican shorten the pause time during the lds turn . i have a pioneer auto turn ld player which would make it easer. any ideas on a dvd burner, or am i wasting my time ? any help would be great.
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 02:01 PM
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I have converted a few of my laserdisc that are not on DVD or were flippers like Pelican Brief, Sleepers and A Time to Kill. I wish you could buy DVDs in dual-layered versions of these movies, but they have never been corrected.

Here is what I did. I recorded the laserdisc to the hard drive of a Pioneer stand-alone recorder. The recorder incorporates an 80gb hard drive. I connected a Pioneer dual side LD player to the recorder via composite video. When I had researched this matter it was advised composite video was better for converting analog sources, such as VHS and LD.

After sides 1 and 2 of the LD recorded I paused the recorder for recording side 3. With the movie recorded on the drive I used the recorders editing features to delete the gaps between the layer flip and side 2 and 3.

The recordings came out really nice taking advantage of LD's 425 lines of resolution. VHS conversions are okay but since the original source is only 240lines of resolution they lack detail and color. Then you can either use the TV or DVD player's zoom to reframe the movie to 16 x 9 upon playback.

Hopefully, with BluRay the flippers and letterbox titles will be corrected.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 03:23 PM
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I have about 500 LDs. My Philips LD player does not play side B automatically, I have to flip them. I also have a Pio DVDR with a HDD, and use this to transfer. I have used the S-Vid out for transfers, and all have looked quite good. Some of my projects have involved transferring animation, and other shorts. Recording to HDD first lets me divide them into titles, and select thumbnails for each. I can re-order them if I want. I can also place chapter stops where I like. Some of my LDs have still photo archives. Most of these will let me play them at 1/32 speed, so the DVDR can capture them easily, without me having to step through each, frame by frame.

My advice is to only transfer things that aren't out on DVD, or older, no longer available versions. At least start with that sort of stuff. Also, cartoons look about as good on LD as they do on DVD. I am planning to transfer all my LD sets of Golden Age of Looney Tunes to DVD, but put everything in chronological order, by release date. That's going to be a lot of work!

If there are some high energy films, with heavy soundtracks, you have on LD, check to see if a DVD is available cheaply. It seems that most things have on LD are either not available on DVD, or marked down cheap.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 03:29 PM
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As mentioned a DVDR w/HDD would make things easier but you can certainly pause the recorder during times you don't want recorded.
If you're movies are between 2+ to ~3hrs/disc I'd suggest a Panasonic EA-18 or the EZ-28 with digital tuner, use single layer discs and Flexible Record. Using FR you're able to tell the recorder exactly how much time you want to use to fill the disc. If the source is much longer than 3hrs I'd use DL discs which the Panasonic can also record to. Again use FR to specify source length. Give yourself a few extra minutes just in case things run long.
I'd have to disagree with Ernie6 in cabling. For the great playback quality of LDs I'd use S-video, using composite will lessen your resolution. Composite may be OK for standard VHS but that's about it. As Kjbawc said if you want to set your own chapter marks a DVDR w/HDD will be needed (unless you use RAM discs(which the Panny or Pios also record to)).
Panasonic and Pioneer don't make DVDRs w/HDDs for US sale but Philips and Magnavox do, check Wajo's sticky for more info on those models.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 04:30 PM
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I used my Panny EZ17 and recorded LD via S-Video connection. Most LD were over 2hrs, but I did use the EZ17 SP 2hr recording mode. Had to use 2 DVD-R discs of course, but I did not want to sacrifice PQ. It worked out that 2 sides of the LD fit on one DVD-R.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 06:13 PM
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Gary, if your screen is HD, and of any size, like 32" or over, I would only record in SP or better. As LDs have natural breaks at one hour, or less, it is easy to split a long title over two discs, if your DVDR won't record on +R DL discs.

If you live in or near Canada, try to pick up a Canadian Pio with a HDD, and you won't be sorry. It will record +R DL discs, and has a big range of recording speeds, so you can maximize the bitrate to fill out the disc. They will also make high-speed bit-for-bit copies of +R and -R SL discs.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 06:57 PM
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It is my understanding that laserdiscs are encoded and stored on the disc as composite signals, unlike VHS and S-VHS tapes. For that reason, even if your laserdisc player has an S-video output, it is often recommended to use composite cabling to deliver the signal to your recorder or display device. This is based on the assumption that the comb filter is newer (and thus usually better) in the recorder or display device than the comb filter in the (usually older) laserdisc player.

VHS and S-VHS are stored on the tape as Y/C (separate chrominance and luminance), and therefore S-video connection is superior because it avoids two conversion steps, as opposed to composite connection.
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

I have about 500 LDs. My Philips LD player does not play side B automatically, I have to flip them. I also have a Pio DVDR with a HDD, and use this to transfer. I have used the S-Vid out for transfers, and all have looked quite good. Some of my projects have involved transferring animation, and other shorts. Recording to HDD first lets me divide them into titles, and select thumbnails for each. I can re-order them if I want. I can also place chapter stops where I like. Some of my LDs have still photo archives. Most of these will let me play them at 1/32 speed, so the DVDR can capture them easily, without me having to step through each, frame by frame.

I can't help asking what you're going to do with all those 500+ LDs following transfer to DVD? I'd be happy to recycle them for you free of charge.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 11:56 PM
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LDs tend not to age well, they get noisier with the years as they decompose, so many are actually not worth the trouble of transferring. The letterboxing just kills the resolution when you make a DVD copy, and the pan/scan LDs won't fill a 16:9 screen. Since the majority of what were "state of the art" $40 laserdiscs can now be bought as $6.99 or even $3.99 anamorphic remastered 16:9 DVDs at Wal*mart or Best Buy, I advise simply replacing most of your collection. The very rare Voyager/Criterion discs of classic 4:3 films are worth transferring, and whatever you have that has not been released on DVD, otherwise don't bother unless you are frugal, rarely watch those discs, and have a lot of spare time to do the transfers.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-22-2009, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvalkan4 View Post

It is my understanding that laserdiscs are encoded and stored on the disc as composite signals, unlike VHS and S-VHS tapes. For that reason, even if your laserdisc player has an S-video output, it is often recommended to use composite cabling to deliver the signal to your recorder or display device. This is based on the assumption that the comb filter is newer (and thus usually better) in the recorder or display device than the comb filter in the (usually older) laserdisc player.

Only if you have a player with direct composite, which I believe is limited to the higher-end players such as Pioneer's Elite series. Otherwise, the composite output is simply a composite->internal Y/C filter->recombined composite signal, which will look worse than than the player's S-Video output.
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-23-2009, 01:17 PM
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I must admit I never used LD or CED, I went right from decent VCRs to DVD so I can't say first hand Composite or S-video. Using DVD or even CECBs I can S-video definitely makes a difference for the better. I guess it would be best to try both methods and see what one you like best. Decent S-video cables can be had for <$5 so personally I'd try both methods. As JD213 said it may even depend on your brand of LD player. I know with CECBs the brand makes a difference. With my CM-7000 there is a big difference between composite and S-video while on a Apex CECB I tried I noted little difference between composite and S-video.
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-23-2009, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all the input , i think iam going to try to transfer as many as i can to dvd. , and hope for the best ,alot of what i have are out of print and may never be on dvb/blueray. keep the sugestions coming. NASCAR 24.
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-23-2009, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernie6 View Post

I have converted a few of my laserdisc that are not on DVD or were flippers like Pelican Brief, Sleepers and A Time to Kill. I wish you could buy DVDs in dual-layered versions of these movies, but they have never been corrected ... Hopefully, with BluRay the flippers and letterbox titles will be corrected.

A little off-topic, but I do not understand what needs to be corrected on the DVDs.

I have the Laserdisc and DVD versions of A Time To Kill, and apparently do not notice any differences. What does the Laserdisc do correctly that the DVD doesn't do correctly?

Thanks!

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post #14 of 18 Old 02-23-2009, 09:44 PM
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Certain movies on Laserdiscs were mastered differently from their follow-up DVD release. Mystery of the Wax Museum, a 1933 two-strip Technicolor Warner Bros. movie came out as a double LD feature with Doctor X around 1995. The LD had the correct color timing. The DVD version, a supplement to the Hosue of Wax DVD, had its color scheme changed from the one surviving print of this movie, so blue colors were introduced. In addition, the DVD technicians used so much noise reduction to get rid of print damage on some reels that the colors at times looked like they had been applied with a spacula.

When Republic was releasing LDs from its film library, movies like Pitfall with Dick Powell, the sound had much higher bit rates than on DVD with Dolby, sometimes at 384 Kbps. Music DVDs like Enya's Moonshadows had PCM audio tracks. For that matter, many LDs had PCM audio tracks, something you rarely see on non-musical performance DVDs.

Whiles there are few instances where there is a good reason to copy an LD onto a DVD recorder when there is a DVD of the material also out, those instances do occur. Criterion LDs of movies such as Scaramouche and King Kong had commentary tracks that were not ported over when the DVDs of these movies came out from other distributors, Criterion held onto its audio material. It would have been nice to hear Stewart Granger describe making the movie Scaramouche, but $80 was too much to pay for the privilege.

Pioneer just stopped manufacturing its last line of LD players, so it just a matter of time before most owners of LDs find their LD players breaking down and no one around to fix the players anymore. Then this discussion will become academic.
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post #15 of 18 Old 02-23-2009, 10:26 PM
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Certainly it makes sense to transfer anything from LD that is unavailable or degraded on DVD reissues. I've done about two dozen such transfers myself either to retain out-of-print bonus features/commentaries or because the LD has original theatrical footage later "repossessed" by the director or studio in favor of idiotic directors cuts that supplanted them (Spielberg leaps to mind). But the vast majority of LDs in peoples collections are on par with commercial VHS tapes: no point in transferring when a far better DVD reissue is available for a couple dollars. Remember if you were into laser, you were into it for the quality. In our present era of crappy 16:9 LCD displays, LD transfer is barely more tolerable than VHS, you will prefer the studio DVD reissue in almost all cases. Prior to any transfers, be sure to screen your LDs for age damage- I was shocked by how many of my LDs from the 1990s show significant decomposition, primarily in the form of excessive luminance noise. That sort of noise uselessly sucks up DVD-R encoding bandwidth like you wouldn't believe, so be very sure the commercial DVD reissue isn't a good or affordable alternative before you bother.

I think the DVDs the OP was referring to were early pre-DL reissues of lengthy movies that required flipping, just like the old LDs did, so he felt he would rather dub the LD to one continuous side of a DVD-R for convenient viewing.
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stump69 View Post

I can't help asking what you're going to do with all those 500+ LDs following transfer to DVD? I'd be happy to recycle them for you free of charge.

I believe the Tex Avery Collection is worth some $, as it has not been issued on DVD, and almost certainly never will be. My Criterion version of The Magnificent Ambersons isn't out on DVD, and probably won't be. It is a unique reconstruction of Welles' original cut, using stills and script for the destroyed parts of the print. That may be worth some $. I have a few other things, some Criterion, that won't be released again. But, most of my LDs aren't that valuable, and as I noted earlier, are often available on DVD for bargain prices. And, as Citibear notes, some are deteriorated. I know this is true of Yellow Submarine, Bliss, and one of the four sides of Wings of Desire. If I decide to put them on e-bay, I'll let you know.
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I think the DVDs the OP was referring to were early pre-DL reissues of lengthy movies that required flipping, just like the old LDs did, so he felt he would rather dub the LD to one continuous side of a DVD-R for convenient viewing.

CitiBear, thanks for the clarification. I guess I was looking at the actual transfers, rather than the issue of the DVD being a 2-sided flipper. It does seem strange!

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post #18 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 02:38 PM
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Citibear is correct I felt is was more convenient to dub the laserdisc of Pelican Brief, Sleepers, A Time to Kill and Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil on a single side DVD-R. It had nothing to do with saving money it dealt soley with "flippers". Because LD's were high quality I was confident the dubbings would be pretty good. Believe me if these titles were available on single sided dual layer DVD I would buy them without question.
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