High(ish)-end Laserdisc players for digital displays? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 08-23-2009, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Summary
I currently have a Pioneer CLD-D704 Laserdisc player - I’ve been wanting to replace it for a few years now, partly because it has developed a fault which has defied all attempts at repair, but also because I’d like to get a better one.

But, despite reading about a million threads on the subject, so far I haven’t been able to decide which one to get, so I could use some advice from other laserfans – especially those who use players with digital displays rather than CRT projectors or TVs.

I’m fond of the Laserdisc format, but I don’t don’t have a huge collection, so I don’t want to go to the HLD-X0/X9 price level.


What I’m unhappy with in the D704
I’m not too unhappy with the D704’s performance on black and white films, but there are some problems. I was watching the Citerion CLV disc of Casablanca the other night and sometimes noticed a sort of fixed pattern noise, like vague vertical or horizontal lines. This was minimized by turning the display’s edge enhancement right down. Also there was often very noticeable ringing and a rather crude type of false-contouring. The composite and s-video outputs look pretty much the same to me on B&W, so perhaps the composite output is actually digitised for processing (anyone know how many bits are used for that?).

Colour material often looks really bad – with colours reminiscent of VHS. I remember that when I was watching my colour LDs on a 27” Trinitron TV they looked great, and the Epson LCD projector I’m currently using looks fantastic with other stuff, so I don’t really understand why colour LDs look so bad on it. The colours often look really inaccurate and bleed quite badly. This is especially noticeable with flesh tones and these can change from scene to scene. Watching the opening titles of the Austin Powers DTS disc, I noticed that dot crawl is quite bad using the player’s s-video output, but there isn’t any when using the composite output, so presumably the projector has a much better comb filter than the player. The projector hasn’t been calibrated, but the colours look fine with DVDs and BDs.

Perhaps because colour material looks so bad, most of the LDs I’ve bought or watched recently have been old B&W movies that have never been relased on DVD or BD.

Possibly some of the problems I’m seeing may result from the way the discs themselves are mastered, and are not created by the player. That does make me wonder whether it’s worth bothering about marginal differences in picture quality between players…


What I’m looking for in the 'new' one
I would like to get a more film-like image with less ringing and less of a processed appearance. I’d also like to get better colour performance if I could. Maybe a slightly soft image from the player would help to minimise any disc mastering problems?

One thing I really dislike about the D704 is the front panel styling - the way the front curves backwards at the top – and I need to mount it in a Middle Atlantic custom rackshelf, so I’d prefer to get one with a flat front. I suppose I’d have to remove the wooden side panels on the Elites.

I need the ‘new’ player to be better built than the D704, because I live in the UK and it’s impossible to get US/Japanese LD players serviced here, as far as I know. It would be nice to get one with a quieter mechanism too, but that’s not a huge issue.


My Current Display
I will only ever be using the ‘new’ player with a digital display. At the moment I’m using Epson’s current flagship projector and sit about 11ft from an 8ft wide (16:9) screen. This looks fantastic for HD material, but artifacts that weren’t noticeable 12 years ago on my old 27” Sony Trinitron start to look really horrible when blown up onto a big screen…

I will also be getting a scaler soon, probably a DVDO Edge or VP50 Pro. The VP50 Pro has a 2D comb filter, but the Edge has a 3D one I believe, although there are no adjustments for it mentioned in the Edge manual. I’ve heard that the DVDO comb filters aren’t very good, but you’d think they should be better than the ones in 13-18 year old LD players. Anyway, for B&W material presumably the comb filter wouldn’t matter.

I would probably just use the digital audio output into a sound processor for all discs, so analogue sound quality isn’t an issue.


Short Listed Players
From what I’ve read, the D704, CLD-99 and LD-S9 have similar performance, apart from the comb filters. There seems to be a view now that the more advanced 3D comb filters create undesirable artifacts (which are possibly more noticeable on a large front projection screen) and these filters are best used in 2D mode. So assuming I use the composite output, I’m guessing I won’t see much improvement from a 99 or S9 over the 704.

So my shortlist is: LD-S2, CLD-97 (or McIntosh clone), CLD-95 (don’t know much about these) or the CLD-R7G, with the S2 and 97 being the front runners.

The general view seems to be that the S2 has the highest build quality of the US models, and some say the best picture quality too (is it sharper than the 97?). For me the downside with the S2 is its age (reliability) and weight (cost of shipping to the UK). On the other hand, the lack of a flipping mechanism means there’s one less thing to go wrong and I don’t mind manual flipping too much. I don't care about playing CDs either. Does the S2 have digital audio outputs though?

People often say the 97 gives a less ‘digitised’ (albeit perhaps softer) picture than the 704/99, with less noise. I’m not really sure what’s meant by ‘digitised’ in this context though. I mean, Blu-ray is ‘digitised’, but I’d be very happy if my LDs could look like that… Does it mean that the 97’s image looks less processed than the 704’s? I think the 97 is the best looking of all LD payers (apart from the HLD-X0!) and the disc flipping facility is nice to have.

Is the CLD-95 a lower spec version of the 97? It’s more compact (and I assume cheaper) than the 97 or S2 and I wonder if it might be nearly as good.

I understand the R7G is basically an indifferent player with a very advanced comb filter. Possibly the comb filter doesn’t look so advanced nowadays, so this may not be a good option if I use the composite output, but at least they’re a bit newer than the other players.

By the way, I sometimes see people saying they bought a used player with ‘low hours’. Do Pioneer players record their operating hours somewhere? If so, how do you get access to this information – is it in a service menu?


Conclusion
If anyone has read this far(!), I’d appreciate your thoughts on the players I’ve mentioned, and whether I am right to reject the 99, S9 etc.

I’d be particularly interested to know whether any/all of these players (and the D704) convert the video signal from analogue to digital then back again for both the composite and s-video outputs, and how many bits are used in that process. I suspect that digital conversion might be the source of some of the artifacts I’m seeing on the D704. I would think digital video technology must have been fairly primitive in the early 90s…

Also, what is the best approach to setting digital display/scaler controls like mosquito noise reduction, block noise reduction, edge enhancement etc, and is it best to turn off any noise reduction on the player?
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post #2 of 33 Old 08-23-2009, 04:07 PM
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This is a somewhat complex issue as not all laserdisk players process the output video as expected.

First Laserdisk is a composite recording format. That means the full NTSC or PAL composite signal is recorded on the disk using a single FM carrier. VHS and Betamax for example strip the chroma from the luminance and record it as a seperate AM frequency. Only 1" and 2" broadcast VTRs ever used true composite recording. Laserdisk actually uses the same FM frequency band as PAL direct recording broadcast grade VTRs. So apart form the lower S/N of Laserdisk, it is very close to broadcast quality. However there are several approaches that were used over the years for playback.

The earliest players that lacked a "TBC" seperated the chroma to perform the required jitter correction in the analog domain. Much like VHS (including Svhs) and Betamax do/did . So these older non TBC players should be avoided for today's upconverted viewing. And all LCD, Plasma, or DLP displays do digtal upconversion. Around the early 1990s digital TBCs were incorporated into the higher end models. These remove the jitter on the full bandwidth signal so the composite video output is the cleanest point to feed a modern scaler or TV. There were apparently some attempts with CCD based analog TBCs as well around this time. While the video remained analog and free from digital quantization, the noise of these CCDs far outweighed any deficiencies from the A/D and D/A digital processing chain of the digital TBC.

However Poineer played some tricks in some models with their analog noise reduction. After the TBC, they split the chroma and luminance with a comb filter, did the noise reduction onthe chroma side, then re-combined back to composite video. They also provided Svideo outputs from the seperated Y/C path. In these players it is best to use the Y/C output because you have already gone through the players internal comb filter for better or worse. No sense combining back to composite and splitting again. You can't undo any image damage from the players internal comb filter at this point. I think the CLD97 did this. The famed XO has a direct composite output right after the TBC before any noise reductiuon so this is the best output for this model. Others here can comment on the other models. Personally I use a CLD95 but have it modified for direct parallel digital out from the TBC feeding a broadcast decoder which is not a DIY for everyone.

The analog noise reduction in the older players was a chroma only system that halved the noise (well sort of) based on the NTSC and PAL encoding redundancies. It's performance is inferior compared to what today's scalers can do on the digital side. So I would try to use a TBC only processed composite output for feeding a scaler or modern display device.

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post #3 of 33 Old 08-23-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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If i we're you, i would go for the Pioneer LD-S2.
Unless you really need an auto-turn A/B Player, go for the LD-S2.
First place is one of the best Laserdisc Players because is has the same engine technology as the HLD X0, it means, it has a linear motor (instead of the conventional ones).
Second, it is built like a tank.
And third those players are like 20 years old, and i never heard that any needed a Laser pickup.

Now if you prefer a 2 side Laserdisc player go for the CLD 97 or the Mcintosh.
But these, in my opinion, are not as good as the LD-S2.

The CLD 97 was like $2600 USD, and the LD-S2 is a $3500 USD Player.
As for the Mcintosh we cannot compare the price with these, because is a Pioneer clone and Mcintosh priced their player very high just because it has Mcintosh written on.

But talk to Kurt, he owns a CLD 97, but tweaked
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post #4 of 33 Old 08-24-2009, 08:38 AM
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I have a McIntosh MLD 7020. It's a clone of Pioneer CLD-97 but it has a few upgrades over it. MLD 7020 has a RF out(For AC-3) already installed by McIntosh with McIntosh parts. It has the Digital Noise Reduction Turn On/Off switch on the front Panel.

I use my MLD on my LCD display. I have the same outcome. It is almost DVD-like with B&W movies(I only have one, Schindler's List). It os average with good mastered movies and unwatchable with not-so-well mastered movies. But my conclusion was that my LCD has terrible video processing(Sony XBR2) so for that reason I purchased a Pioneer Elite Plasma Monitor(141FD) But my theater room will not be ready for another 4 months, I boxed my McIntosh LD player and placed it next to my Pioneer Plasmas box as I was not using it at all with the current LCD.

I am seriously considering HLD-X0 because that is the only that gets the colors right but I have/am already spending too much(for me) money on my new HT setup, I dont know if I can spare another 3-4k on a not so pristine condition X0.

Note: Glimmie is correct on the comb filter in the CLD-97. I purchased an external comb filter(entech CVSI-1) for it. At firt I thought it made a difference but after some with and without entech tests, it does not offer better y/c seperation than the CLD-97's own but the VRS(Video Recovery System) do boost the colors. But my LCDs VP introduces more artifacts than it eliminates. I will try the MLD on the Pioneer with and without entech than decide if I want to keep any of them. I have heard that Pioneer Plasmas are the only modern displays which put out close to Crt like performance with LD players.
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post #5 of 33 Old 08-24-2009, 11:46 AM
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I also had some struggles getting my CLD-D704 to look good on a digital projector. I thought my laserdiscs looked great when displayed on my old analog projector (the low-priced runco 480i, basically repackaged zenith). However when I switched to a higher resolution digital projector there was a huge difference in image quality compared to DVD (via component). I tried several players (others were lower end players), never had a chance to try one of the high-end models you are talking about. However my conclusion, for what it's worth, is that analog video (laserdisc) is a good match for analog displays (CRT). For some reason the imperfections in the video signal are not that noticeable on a CRT screen, even projected at 100". But on a digital display it seems like the imperfections get magnified. Turning off sharpening, turning noise reduction up or down, I could never get the imperfections to go away significantly. Digital display devices like digital sources. This is my non-scientific analysis.

Just an interesting analogy: I also listen to vinyl records, which sound great (often better than my CDs) on my system. Some years back a company came out with laser turntables that can read a vinyl record with a laser pickup, and play them back without physically contacting the record. They cost a bundle, and I have never seen or heard one, just read reviews. Apparently they don't sound very good. Every bit of dust or surface problems seems to get picked up and magnified. The theory is that a real diamond running through a groove functions to clean and polish the groove as it goes, whereas the laser does no such thing. How I think this is an analogy, is that sometimes there are side effects of technology that turn out to be key components in the functionality. I would say in the case of laserdisc and analog displays, that deficiencies of analog displays perhaps work to reduce deficiencies in analog recordings (make them less apparent). I know you can get great, beautiful laserdisc pictures from CRT projectors, but I am not sure if you can get them from digital displays. Or rather, I don't doubt that some do get good results, but I don't know how they do it exactly. I didn't believe that a high-end laserdisc player would bring the picture quality close enough to DVD (let alone HD or blu-ray) to be worth pursuing i.e. I gave up...
Not saying you should give up! I hope you work out something that satisfies you and let us know about it. I sure do miss those laserdiscs...
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post #6 of 33 Old 08-24-2009, 05:38 PM
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First; what is your issue that cannot get repaired.

Next as others have said the 97 or MLD-7020 would be the best 2-sided option and the LD-S2 for the single sided.

If you don't want any digital processing get an entry level unit, something like the CLD-S201 or CLD-S104. A good working CLD-1010 is an older player but has a red laser. Some really like these and they are cheap but I prefer the 97 and S2.
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post #7 of 33 Old 08-25-2009, 10:17 AM
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Kurtis,
You have given me lots of good laserdisc advice over the years. As I said I am no longer playing laserdiscs. But can you comment on your experience? Are you playing your laserdiscs over digital display devices? Are you finding the quality to be comparable or better to CRT display? If so, can I ask what if any processing you are doing to the signal? How is it compared to DVD playback?
I know if anyone has a good laserdisc setup it would be you.

Roger
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post #8 of 33 Old 08-25-2009, 04:17 PM
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I have never found anything equal to my analog Pioneer 40" RPTV which died about 5 years ago. I prefer the analog look. If you don't mind the digitized look the Pioneer Plasma's work great, get one before they're gone. What I settled on is a CLD-97 (I want dual sided playback) and a Faroudja NRS scaler. There are other scalers today that probably work better but it is more of having the funds to invest. My HDTV's are a Pioneer Elite PRO-530 HD rear Projection unit. I have a Plasma PRO-111 in the bedroom. The only Digital TV I've seen that can come close to what the Pioneers do is a older Philips technology that worked well, no longer used as it was for NTSC processing only.
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post #9 of 33 Old 08-30-2009, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments. Does anyone know which players’ composite outputs are recombined y/c? If the CLD-97 is like that I would expect the D704 would be too, but as I said, I got much better results on dot crawl using the composite output, which suggests it isn’t recombined. I haven’t noticed any other differences between composite and s-video on the D704.

Everyone seems to agree that the digital noise reduction is bad, but how does it affect the picture when it’s turned on? I’ve never noticed much difference in picture quality whether it’s on or off on mine.

Glimmie, are you saying all the players with digital TBC digitise the signal to do the TBC? What effect does the TBC/jitter removal actually have on picture quality? I would have thought that in players of this age any digitization of the picture would lead to visible artifacts.

Is your CLD-95 fitted with an SDI output?!?

Kurtis, the fault on my D704 is with the side change mechanism - the pickup sometimes sticks in the ‘side B’ position, which prevents the disc from ejecting. About 18 months ago you kindly tried to help me fix this, but changing parts didn't help and in the end we had to give up.

You sometimes refer to players having an ‘analogue’ look and others having a ‘digital’
look but I’m not quite sure what you mean by that. To me, good analogue looks very similar to good digital. For example, when I see a 35mm film in a cinema, it looks very similar to a Blu-ray disc on a good digital projector. So if you have a situation where say a CLD-97 looks analogue and a CLD-99 looks digital, that suggests that one or both players must be producing distinctive artifacts. But what do these artifacts look like?

The CLD-1010 is an interesting suggestion - would the main advantage of this be better performance on discs with mild laser-rot and other defects? Is the picture softer than the others? To be honest I’d be concerned about the age of these players - how does its build quality compare with the LD-S2?

I suspect I’ll end up getting either a CLD-97 or a LD-S2 - is there much difference between them in picture quality?
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post #10 of 33 Old 08-31-2009, 07:43 AM
 
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Both have great picture. But i prefer the LD-S2.
The LD-S2 is better built, has stronger parts, and picture quality is better.
(This is my opinion only)
But if turning the disc manually is a problem for you, then go for the CLD-97.
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post #11 of 33 Old 08-31-2009, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus wood View Post

Glimmie, are you saying all the players with digital TBC digitise the signal to do the TBC? What effect does the TBC/jitter removal actually have on picture quality? I would have thought that in players of this age any digitization of the picture would lead to visible artifacts.

Is your CLD-95 fitted with an SDI output?!?

Yes the composite NTSC analog signal is digitized and converted back to analog after the TBC process. But the artifacts of the A/D D/A conversion are far below the aritifcats of an analog hetrodyne color corrector. The problem with the analog color corrector is you need an analog Y/C seperation and recombine at the corrector output. This alone causes more image degration than the digital process. Furthermore in an analog hetrodyne color corrector, only the chroma is stabalized, the luminance portion is still uncorrected. This destroys the SC/H relationship and amplifies dot crawl. Furthermore it greatly increases the Y/C smearing.

A digital TBC is a good thing!

You can't get component SDI directly from Laserdisk like you can on some DVD players. There are actually two flavors of digital video - component and composite. Composite digital was popular in the early 1990s but fell out of favor when compression technology made lower cost digital component VTRs possible. aka "Sony's Digital Betacam" in 1994.

What I did was to tap the composite digital in front of the DtoA comverter in the CLD95. I run that out of the chassis as balanced ECL to a home built converter that makes SMPTE compliant COMPOSITE SDI out of this non-standard parallel stream. More complicated than a simple SDI serializer because analog type sync must be stripped from the composite digital stream and made into the proper code words in the component SDI stream. Composite digital simply digitizes the analog sync and burst. Component digital eliminates the digitized sync waveform and simply uses a code word to save space in the stream. My COMPOSITE SDI stream then feeds a broadcast decoder that converts the COMPOSITE SDI into COMPONENT SDI. That then feeds a digital noise and grain reducer, then onto a DVDO VP50pro scaler.

Note that an ALL DIGITAL NTSC decoder is rather complex to do a good job. In addition to the obvious comb filtering it must also perform sample rate conversion. Composite digital is a 14.318mhz clock rate. Component digital is a 27mhz rate or more accuratly 13.5mhz X 2 (half for luminance and the other half for RY,BY) So the decoder must rate convert 14.3mhz to 13.5 mhz. This is a complex filter do properly and only two manufactures IMO ever got it right. Accom in the US and Innovision in the UK. I use a surplus Innovision decoder.

Because if this rate conversion problem some industry people have proposed a better solution is an analog decoder feeding a component digitizer, IOW, the decoding process is analog and there is no rate conversion involved. I tend to disagree as you have replaced the rate conversion problem with a re-quantizing problem. But it's a matter of preference in regards to image quality. Neither process is ideal.

At least NTSC and PAL are becomming obsolete today in technically developed nations.

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post #12 of 33 Old 08-31-2009, 04:41 PM
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So is this related to the digital composite signal that my old Sony and Panasonic D2/D3 decks use?

Tony!

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post #13 of 33 Old 08-31-2009, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
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So is this related to the digital composite signal that my old Sony and Panasonic D2/D3 decks use?

Same thing!

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post #14 of 33 Old 09-01-2009, 03:10 AM
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To you LD experts- How does the Elite CLD-99 compare vs. a CLD-97?
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post #15 of 33 Old 09-01-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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It doesn't in my opinion.
After the CLD-97 in America we went to another Generation of Players... and then the CLD-99 came...
By 1996 when America decided to go for "thiner" players and "less tank built" players, however Japan had a different strategy.
By that time the HLD X9 was being released, and at the same price in Japan as the CLD-99 in America... around $2400 USD.
Not to mention that they still had the HLD-X0 in production and the LD-X1 by order.
The LD-X1 orders lasted until 1998... and the HLD X0 orders until 1999.

Well looks like i got a little lost in you question, but i think this is important for you to know.

Conclusion: If you want a machine to last and blast don't go for the CLD-99, go for a machine built with the best picture quality and built quality. Sometimes people just buy some player but they miss out a very important point, if not the most important...
Since some machines are better built than others, the pickup's and spindle motors are also more resistant, and are you willing to invest in a machine not as reliable as an "old school" machine?
If something goes wrong and you have to buy another one for parts or whatsoever what is more expensive? Buy 2 of those or a good one?

Best LD Machines/Investment:

-Pioneer HLD X0 (If you are not willing to pay $1000 USD for a maintenance each time it goes, don't buy it, besides most parts are gone)
-Pioneer HLD X9 (Pioneer still has lots of parts, but to service this baby it will be around $500, still better than the X0)
-Pioneer LD-X1/S2 (no parts, but they will last...)
-Pioneer CLD 97 (Pioneer has mechanical parts for it, maybe the most economic to service)
-Runco (NEVER EVER BUY THIS, no parts available, and the people who sell them is because they are tired) Not to mention that an HLD X9 kick the ass of this player by miles. You don't need an X0 here...LOL

Hope this helps, and sorry if i was boring...LOOL
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post #16 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 08:52 AM
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If you like the DVD digitized look then the CLD-99 which uses DNR to lower noise levels would be fine but I think the 3D adaptive filter is way over-rated in it. Save money and get the CLD-D704. If you don't mind the digitized look and have the money get the HLD-X9. If you get the 99 or 704 you will have to learn how to clean or replace the spindle motor clamp surface as it looses it's grip or gets dirty and LD's will start slipping at some point.

If you like the analog look then the 97 is better, designed naturally for lower noise not needing DNR. The LD-S2 has even lower noise levels but is single sided.

It all depends on what is acceptable to you. I prefer the analog look so I use the 97.
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post #17 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 09:03 AM
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so the s-video is the best option for a CLD-97 Glimmie?
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post #18 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levy07 View Post

so the s-video is the best option for a CLD-97 Glimmie?

Well I am not familiar with that models processing chain. I have read it does all the noise reduction after the TBC using analog technology but operates in the Y/C domain. Then it recombines the Y/C noise reducer output for the composite output. If this is the case, then the Y/C output is the best to use as the signal has for better or worse, already been seperated by the 97s comb filter.

At a minimum I would turn off the players NR if you are feeding an external scaler. The digital NR in the newer scalers is far superior to the old analog noise reduction systems that Pioneer used in the CLD series. Best bet would be to have the player modified to provide a pre noise reducer composite output. The circuit would be a single high speed OPamp and a skilled repair tech with an engineering background should be able to fit it.

But in the end, what ever gives you the best image to your eyes is the best setup. Some may like the analog noise reduction over the digital technology.

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post #19 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 12:37 PM
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How many laserdiscs do you own? You know any bluray disc is going to blow the picture quality of laserdisc out of the water. We are talking 425 to 1440 lines of resolution. Anamorphic dvd actually blows laserdisc out of the water.
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post #20 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 12:49 PM
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I have found that converting my laserdiscs to DVD-R (I have a Pioneer CLD-D704 laserdisc player and a Toshiba RD-XS34 160GB HDD/DVD recorder) and then playing the DVD-R's on my Denon DVD-2930ci upcoverting DVD player results in a much better picture than hooking up the laserdisc player directly to my Toshiba DLP 1080p display... you might want to give that a try. Plus, it saves wear and tear on your LD's and your LD player.
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post #21 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO-630HD View Post

How many laserdiscs do you own? You know any bluray disc is going to blow the picture quality of laserdisc out of the water. We are talking 425 to 1440 lines of resolution. Anamorphic dvd actually blows laserdisc out of the water.

Quite true for BluRay. SD is often debatable. Yes a DVD is much quiter but has compression artifacts. A LD is a direct analog composite format with no compression. Albiet it has more noise and is a COMPOSITE recording. So is has NTSC artifacts as well.

Here is the advantage / disadvantage of LD versus DVD/BluRAy based on my 20+ years experience working in Hollywood mastering facilities.

1) If the material is film origionated and was retransferred in HD, there is no comparsion. The winner is clearly the BluRay (or defunct HD-DVD)

2) If the material is film origionated and was transferred to SD DVD via an SD component tape master, the winner is the DVD. The LD still has the NTSC footprint and reduced chroma bandwidth.

3) If the material was film origionated but transferred to NTSC tape such as 1 inch or D2, and not retransferred to a component tape format, the advantage goes to LD. The DVD may be a bit quiter but IMO, the compression artifacts are worse than the noise. The DVD while a component format still has the NTSC foot print in this case as the NTSC tape was the source for the DVD. The compression on top of that really makes it worse than a good LD.

4) If NTSC video origionated, the advantage clearly goes to LD. The same problems as above hold for DVD. The difference here is that this material is forever locked in NTSC. In option 3 above, there is still a chance the film can be re-transferred to component SD video or HD video. But a live event captured on NTSC tape is forever NTSC.

Film transfers were to composite tape up to the mid 1990s. Then everybody was pretty much on component digital D1 format. The studios re-transferred all the popular movies in component form, then again to HD starting on 2001. The less popular films may not have been re-transferred to component tape for the DVD release for cost savings. They would simply use the NTSC tape to make the DVD. Note that a typical transfer project then was about $80K, a bit more today for HD plus inflation. (We tried to say "six times the resolution, six times the SD cost". But sadly the studios said....)

Note for purposes of this discussion PAL is the same as NTSC.

I mainly collect music videos and concerts for my LD colletion. Most of the movies are now available on component transferred DVD or BluRay.

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post #22 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 01:42 PM
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I know that the o/p said that the HLD-X0 and X9 are out of his price range, but if we're really talking about "high-end" laserdisc players, those should really be the only two in contention. Every other LD model has the white smearing artifact on CLV discs. Every model. That includes the LD-S2 and CLD-97. The 97's picture is so soft that it may partially mask the artifact, but it's still very much there.

The HLD-X9 is the only laserdisc player I've ever owned that was completely free of this problem. I haven't used the X0, but am told it is also immune.

Once you notice the white smearing artifact, you can't not see it ever again. It is terribly distracting and frankly unacceptable.

For that reason alone, the X9 was worth every penny I paid for it.

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post #23 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

I know that the o/p said that the HLD-X0 and X9 are out of his price range, but if we're really talking about "high-end" laserdisc players, those should really be the only two in contention. Every other LD model has the white smearing artifact on CLV discs. Every model. That includes the LD-S2 and CLD-97. The 97's picture is so soft that it may partially mask the artifact, but it's still very much there.

The HLD-X9 is the only laserdisc player I've ever owned that was completely free of this problem. I haven't used the X0, but am told it is also immune.

Once you notice the white smearing artifact, you can't not see it ever again. It is terribly distracting and frankly unacceptable.

For that reason alone, the X9 was worth every penny I paid for it.

I agree with this. I never noticed the white smear on my cld 79 and had read much about the issue. I thought the white smear was an issue some people had between their laserdisc players and TV's as my cld-79 didn't have it. I then got an X9 and it took me about 30 seconds to realize my 79 did indeed have white smear and that it wasn't interactions between TV's, it was in the players themselves. The X9 made me a believer very quickly.
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post #24 of 33 Old 09-02-2009, 09:57 PM
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Morbid curiosity motivates me to ask if someone here can post a screenshot demonstrating the white smear issue on CLV disks. Thanks in advance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaylor74 View Post

I agree with this. I never noticed the white smear on my cld 79 and had read much about the issue. I thought the white smear was an issue some people had between their laserdisc players and TV's as my cld-79 didn't have it. I then got an X9 and it took me about 30 seconds to realize my 79 did indeed have white smear and that it wasn't interactions between TV's, it was in the players themselves. The X9 made me a believer very quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

I know that the o/p said that the HLD-X0 and X9 are out of his price range, but if we're really talking about "high-end" laserdisc players, those should really be the only two in contention. Every other LD model has the white smearing artifact on CLV discs. Every model. That includes the LD-S2 and CLD-97. The 97's picture is so soft that it may partially mask the artifact, but it's still very much there.

The HLD-X9 is the only laserdisc player I've ever owned that was completely free of this problem. I haven't used the X0, but am told it is also immune.

Once you notice the white smearing artifact, you can't not see it ever again. It is terribly distracting and frankly unacceptable.

For that reason alone, the X9 was worth every penny I paid for it.


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post #25 of 33 Old 09-03-2009, 09:40 AM
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i am also interested in the "white smear". maybe i just haven't noticed it.
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post #26 of 33 Old 09-03-2009, 04:06 PM
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For the earlier post, never assume the the S-Video output from a LD player is better. LD is recorded in Composite format. So try both and the one that looks best is the one to use. Usually the TV has the better Y/C separator.

For the white smear, just look at credits against a black background. You'll see from the characters a white tail and the is not completely black. The X9 has no white smear and to the right the white stops at the characters and after that it is black. Now the CLD-79, 99, CLD-D704, LD-S9 are the worse I've seen, the sharper the picture the worse it looks.

Now it doesn't bother me. Also if you TV brightness is turned up higher than required by test patterns that makes the smear worse.
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post #27 of 33 Old 09-04-2009, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Theimpaler View Post

Morbid curiosity motivates me to ask if someone here can post a screenshot demonstrating the white smear issue on CLV disks. Thanks in advance.

Since I no longer own any players that suffer from the smear, I can't take a photo.

My favorite go-to example is the beginning of "Goldeneye" when agent 006 (Sean Bean) points his gun at 007's face. A ghost image of the gun barrel smears to the right and practically touches Brosnan's face.

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post #28 of 33 Old 09-07-2009, 11:01 AM
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Without a screen shot I can't be sure but this sounds like "ringing" Ringing occurs in improperly or cheaply designed video amplifiers and associated circuits. In a LD player it it no doubt occuring in the filters in before and after the digital chain or even in the RF front end. The reason the X0,X9 and LD2 ar clean is that they were "no cost barred" units.

This can be fixed if one wants to go throug the circuits and clean up things up with better components and more complex circuit designs.

I have an old 1 inch broadcast VTR at home. Some day I may try taking the RF output from the laser diode through a buffer and send it through the 1 inch machines playback RF system. The frequencies are very close as Laser Disk used the same FM bandwidth as PAL composite recording. This should result in a very clean playback path.

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post #29 of 33 Old 09-07-2009, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Without a screen shot I can't be sure but this sounds like "ringing" Ringing occurs in improperly or cheaply designed video amplifiers and associated circuits. In a LD player it it no doubt occuring in the filters in before and after the digital chain or even in the RF front end.

It's not ringing in the sense of a simple electronic halo around an object. It's a ghost image of the object, translucent but fully-defined, that smears to the right of the object.

This only happens on CLV format discs. The same movie with otherwise the exact same video transfer but in CAV format will not exhibit the problem.

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post #30 of 33 Old 09-07-2009, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

It's not ringing in the sense of a simple electronic halo around an object. It's a ghost image of the object, translucent but fully-defined, that smears to the right of the object.

This only happens on CLV format discs. The same movie with otherwise the exact same video transfer but in CAV format will not exhibit the problem.

Well I'll have to look for it. I still have an old Sony MDP455 that may have this problem.

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