Review of ABT102 Precision Deinterlacing Card for DVDO iScan VP30 - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Dale Adams View Post

I'm in the middle of developing some performance improvements now which may well fix the problem you're seeing, but I won't know for a while yet (probably a few days).

Can you update the ABT102 algorithms on the VP30 add in boards through a firmware upgrade? I thought that wouldn't be possible?
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post #182 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

Can you update the ABT102 algorithms on the VP30 add in boards through a firmware upgrade? I thought that wouldn't be possible?

It's possible, but you need a special ROM programmer to do it. In other words, it's not something the end user of the VP30 can do. If ABT does decide to upgrade the ABT102 at some point, it would require either a board swap or sending in the ABT102 card to ABT to be reprogrammed. I don't believe any decision has been made yet about how we might go about doing such a thing (probably because it hasn't been needed yet).

- Dale Adams
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post #183 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 09:42 AM
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Wow! Thanks for all the replies. It's good to know that someone else found the same artifacts.

I'd like to make it clear that I didn't know that anyone from ABT/DVDO was on this forum. THat's great! I thought this was just another forum, like Sound and Vision (my usual forum), but a particularly good one.


I meant no insult or disrespect to anyone at ABT. I wouldn't have bought this product if I didn't think they were good. I simply want to feel that it was a good investment and get the enjoyment I paid for. I appreciate you guys looking into our problems and questions.

It really is wonderful that people from ABT frequent this forum. No, I don't know of any other company who does that. I'd heard their customer service was excellent, which was part of why I bought the vp30.

Someone asked me what kind of diplay I have. It's a Sony 50' LCD RPTV with one HDMI input (which is why it's disappointing that I can't get the vp30's auto switching to work). I know it's not state of the art, but it's pretty good.

If it helps, I mainly use the vp30 with the component outs of my old Denon2900 or with the HDMI 480i output of my Sony player (975 or whatever the model is). My cable box seems to have trouble with the VP30 (I get random black boxes and sometimes an error message saying that my display is not compatible, etc.). I've never found out why that is. Maybe it's a problem with the cable box.


I've also wanted to know exactly what the vp30 does when it gets an input signal at the same resolution as its putputting. In other words, if its output is set to 1080i and I feed it a 1080i signal (from HD cable or from an upconverting dvd player,etc.), what does the vp30 "do" to the signal? Does it just pass it through (aside from any picture quality adjustments)? I've wondered this, especially as HD and Blu-Ray are on their way.

Thanks again.
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post #184 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Adams View Post

Still, that doesn't mean there's no hope. (There can always be a new hope. ) I'm in the middle of developing some performance improvements now which may well fix the problem you're seeing, but I won't know for a while yet (probably a few days).

- Dale Adams

You should not have done this Dale now you know its our duty to bug Josh until they find some way to update our 102 cards we simple can't live without these performance tweaks...... you just created the demand ....

Daniel.

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post #185 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by madshi View Post

You need to be aware that we consumers are in a very good situation with DVDO here, because several important DVDO guys are actively helping out on these forums, doing their best to help us. They don't have to do this. We shouldn't shy them away from the forums, so please be kind.


You couldn't be more right.
This relationship between DVDO and AVS is special...
I don't know of anything like this elsewhere for HT folks.
This interaction sealed the deal for me...I will continue to purchase DVDO products in the future.

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post #186 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 10:18 AM
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Well, I'd have to agree with that. Sorry I didn't know.

BY the way, how do I know if my dvd player is a 50hz source or a 60hz source? I read the dvdo FAQ again, and it still doesn't make any sense to me. There's nothing in the dvd player manual about 50hz or 60hz.
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post #187 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

You couldn't be more right.
This relationship between DVDO and AVS is special...
I don't know of anything like this elsewhere for HT folks.
This interaction sealed the deal for me...I will continue to purchase DVDO products in the future.

AMEN. If there was an electronics Hall of Fame, it is possible that we have several future inductees in this forum alone. Not too bad - can you say that of any other forum? Like you, if it weren't for the gents at DVDO that hang here, I might have given up on the VP30 (as, say, Gary was close to doing ) - instead, I hung in there thru V1.07 and the ABT, and now have a pretty nice product. Which can most likely be swapped for a VP70, when I get a projector that warrants such a processor.

Plus - I liked my old Iscan Pro SOOOO much, I would have bought almost anything from DVDO. That was one sweet unit. Didn't do much, but did it D@@@ well.

Jon

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post #188 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hifichip76 View Post

BY the way, how do I know if my dvd player is a 50hz source or a 60hz source? I read the dvdo FAQ again, and it still doesn't make any sense to me. There's nothing in the dvd player manual about 50hz or 60hz.

Most DVD players only produce one or the other. Typically, if you live in a country with a 60 Hz video standard like NTSC, then the player you're using will produce a 60 Hz output. The same is true if your local video standard is a 50 Hz one like PAL or SECAM - i.e., the player's output will be 50 Hz.

There are, however, players which will output either. You probably don't have one of these, as they're usually only available through nonstandard channels.

Another thing to look at is the DVDs you're using. There should be some fine print on the back of the package which states the region code (e.g., USA is region 1) and video standard used.

- Dale Adams
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post #189 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 10:47 AM
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Yes, I'm R1 (New York) USA, so I guess it's 60hz. I do also have a multi-region player that I haven't really used much.

Thanks.
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post #190 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 11:01 AM
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You can press the "info" key on your VP30 remote. It should tell you whether the VP30 receives 50Hz or 60Hz from your DVD player. At least my iScan HD+ does.
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post #191 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 11:14 AM
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Quote:


If it helps, I mainly use the vp30 with the component outs of my old Denon2900

FWIW, I run a Denon 2900 w/SDI into the VP30/ABT102 then out (RGBHV) to a Sony G70. I am unable to observe the artifact you described on EPIII.
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post #192 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifichip76 View Post

Has anyone else looked at this dvd with the new card? That's the first thing I want to know.

I see this problem to some degree on at least 5 of the Star Wars DVDs. The severity of the problem varies quite a bit, with Episode V being the best of the bunch.

Quote:


But beyond that, how could such a state of the art product not handle something so simple- the opening credits of a movie? It could not have been designed this way intentionally.

The problem with the opening text crawl of Star Wars and the ABT102 is that it its triggering the detection logic in the 102 for cross-fades between out-of-phase 3:2 pulldown scenes. The ABT102 tracks cadence in a number of different ways. Ideally, all of these should agree as to the nature of the cadence in any given scene. However, the motion in this sequence is such that it intermittently causes differences in two of the cadence tracking mechanisms, and this difference looks exactly like what you get with a cross-fade between two out-of-phase 3:2 sequences.

The SiI504 does not have any such cross-fade tracking capability, which is why it does not drop out of lock on this. But then it also combs on 3:2 cross-fades, too. TANSTAAFL, I guess.

I've developed a fix for this, but it requires logic changes to the ABT102. It may also require that the VP30 be run in film bias mode (although I'm still looking at a workaround for this). For what it's worth, this is the first clip I've run into that exhibits this particular behavior outside of a real cross-fade. The problem with needing a logic change to the 102 is that the ROM on the ABT102 board which contains the FPGA code is not user programmable. I'm still thinking about possible ways to make this work with the existing version of the 102, but I can't make any promises at this point.

Anyway, that's what's happening. I'd be interested in hearing about any other instances similar to this.

- Dale Adams
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post #193 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 05:15 PM
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A double cross fade, eh?

You never cease to amaze me in how you work these things out, Dale.
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post #194 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 05:37 PM
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Dale - don't want to stop you from your research, and playing with the card, but sheesh - we can always wait for the next version of Star Wars - maybe just drop a line to Lucas, and he can release a new special edition that is edited better.

Jon

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post #195 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Adams View Post

...snip....

TANSTAAFL, I guess.

....snip....

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. Great book

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post #196 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 06:18 PM
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and he can release a new special edition that is edited better

I don't know if an editor that good has been born yet.

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post #197 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 07:40 PM
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Episode V being the best of the bunch.

Truer words have never been spoken.

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post #198 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 08:13 PM
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All I can say is thank you ABT, my picture now looks great being fed from my BUD(10' Sat 4dtv), it was horrible with the internal proccessor in the VP30, now with the 102, it is like it should be.

A very happy customer (hopefully the HDMI handshaking issue gets solved soon on my Sony DHG-HDD250).

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post #199 of 432 Old 05-31-2006, 11:16 PM
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I'm confused, is the problem localized in LD versions of SW or in the DVD versions, or both?

Cheers,
Ofer LaOr

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post #200 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by oferlaor View Post

I'm confused, is the problem localized in LD versions of SW or in the DVD versions, or both?

One of the LDs, and a mastering error was confusing the ABT102.
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post #201 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Carled View Post

One of the LDs, and a mastering error was confusing the ABT102.

I believe the cross fading stuff Dale was talking about was directed to the problems hifichip76 reported with a Star Wars DVD.

I hope DVDO's next gen video processor will allow algorithm upgrades of the ABT102-HD through a "simple" firmware upgrade...
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post #202 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by madshi View Post

I believe the cross fading stuff Dale was talking about was directed to the problems hifichip76 reported with a Star Wars DVD.

Oh, DVD was it... hehe...

I guess Ofer wasn't the only one who got confused...
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post #203 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by madshi View Post

I believe the cross fading stuff Dale was talking about was directed to the problems hifichip76 reported with a Star Wars DVD.

Correct.

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post #204 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 06:23 AM
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Since there was/is so much buzz over opening credits, I dug out my copy of the Episode 3 DVD (region 1 - USA). The "shimmer/wiggle" is there on the words, as they crawl. Uh, so what? I had watched the movie twice, which was quite enough, without noticing or caring. I'm tempted to go back and quite hifichip's smart remark that "no one wants to watch demo clips all day." (pp) While I saw what he was complaining about, I had to go back and watch it several times to be sure it was a problem. And then watched again with different deinterlacing settings. hifi - how is this different than watching clips?

fwiw, there was an imperfection, denon 1600 -> VP30 -> Runco 980 Ultra. Looked better to me with di set to "film." But now it occurs to me - I need to go home tonite, and try the Denon running 480p, bypassing the ABT altogether - see if there is any difference. (I'm kidding- it didn't bother me before, and isn't worth bothering with now. Yankees are on tonite also )

Yup, spend all night watching clips.

OTOH, between watching the Star Wars intro crawl, watched Yankees win on ESPN-SD. ABT worked like a charm - SD sports (with diagonal base paths) aren't going to look a lot better. Works for me, Dale. Thanks.

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post #205 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 09:58 AM
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There is no such thing as a perfect deinterlacer. Period. But the ABT102 seems awfully close to perfection by providing a robust and balanced approach to the task. As such, it is the very best SD deinterlacer on the market today IMO. What is there not to like? It has better low angle processing than VXP and HQV and beats them all (including Faroudja) hands down on cadence detection. Now lets hope the HD version of their deinterlacer is every bit as good!

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post #206 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 01:13 PM
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Dale, thanks so much for taking my questions seriously and looking into the issue on the SW discs. Last night, I looked at some of the other SW discs. They all seemed to have the problem to some degree, but I really only found it bothersome on Ep. 3. I understand that there's something odd about that scene. I also watched the scene using three other deinterlacers I have, and the problem only occurs with the ABT. WHy are they able to handle it so well, even though they're not as good in general? Is it because the ABT is so sophisticated and has so many ways to detect, that it's also easier for it to get thrown by something so unusual?

Thank you for your detailed explaination of the problem.

I don't mean to be picky. Most such glitches wouldn't bother me, especially if it was just a random movie scene. But I am a pretty big SW fan and have been looking forward to watching them through the ABT since I first ordered it.

I hope you can find a solution for it and I really do appreciate your efforts in any case.

Kevin
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post #207 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewWong View Post

Just managed to confirm that the ABT102 seems to do the following with 480i 60Hz or 576i 50Hz video :

1. When graphics or still picture is put on screen, I see a huge amount of edge chroma noise (ICP/CUE) on the edges of text, and whatever image is on the screen goes really aliased ( like what you see digital zooming in on a pic )

2. As soon as credits start rolling, the ABT102 locks on and the edge chroma noise disappears and the still image that was on the screen goes smooth and clear again.

I've also seen the same behaviour on a broadcast MPEG2 SDTV (576i 50Hz) stream output from my STB via component.

I could believe that my Pioneer DV-733/47Ai CUE is so bad that the VP30 can't fix it completely, but the blocky image still problem was a surprise. And to see the same thing on a broadcast MPEG2 stream also makes me wonder.

I now have a DVD that can repeatably do it ( US Region1 480i 60Hz Thomas Tank Engine : Percy's Chocolate Crunch Track 9 ).

I took a look at chapter 9 on this disc. Everything you're seeing (well, almost everything) is in the source material on the disc. Here's what's happening:

1) On the still frame at the start of the chapter, the aliasing is all in the source. It looks like a combination of 2 factors. The main one is that the background image appears to have been created from a single field with simple line replication. There looks to be just a bit of ICP in this as well (this is the one thing not directly encoded in the source material), which makes it a little less obvious by imparting some visible line structure into the image.

The vast majority of the noise on the text is cross-luma artifacts (sometimes called dot-crawl, hanging dots, or chroma-crawl), not ICP or CUE. This is an artifact caused by the high frequencies around sharp color transitions bleeding into the luma component, and it occurs when the combined luma and chroma in a composite video signal is imperfectly separated. This disc was mastered from a composite source using what appears to be a mediocre Y/C separator. The cross-luma artifacts are encoded right into the video stream stored on the DVD. You can see these artifacts around any part of the image with very saturated colors (e.g., the yellow letter "1" and the red pinstriping on the train); they appear as a moving checkerboard pattern.

2) There's an interesting transformation which occurs between the still frame and the start of the rolling credits. The background image slowly morphs from the line-replicated image to a smooth looking image over the course of ~8 frames. It's not a hard switch. The scrolling credits are now moving so the ABT102 deinterlacing the moving text based on a single field of data. This reduces the visibility of the cross-luma artifacts around the text (which are still there).


I observed all this in several configurations:

A) Both an S-Video and an HDMI 480i signal from an Oppo 970 to a VP30 with an ABT102.

B) An HDMI 480i signal from an Oppo 480i to a VP30 with an SiI504.

C) Looking at the decoded data from the DVD on my computer frame-by-frame. This was done by extracting the chapter in question, decoding the MPEG 2 data, and examining the resulting sequence of frames in both QuickTime and frame-by-frame as single images in PhotoShop.

It is not the ABT102 (or any other deinterlacer) creating the problems you're seeing on this disc. They're encoded directly on the disc and would be visible with almost any video processor. (You might be able to get rid of some of the Y/C separation artifacts by sending a composite signal from the DVD player to a processor with a 3D Y/C separator in the video decoding front-end.)

As this is the only source material you've specifically called out that I can look at, I don't know if you're seeing the same type of behavior from your other sources as well. It's certainly possible, and probably likely. I saw the aliasing type of artifact on one other DVD source noted in another post in this thread - "Baby Einstein". (What is it about kid's shows that they all seem to have this lousy mastering?) Cross-luma artifacts are, unfortunately, all too common on TV shows transferred to DVD. You may be seeing some Y/C separation artifacts from analog broadcast sources if you feed a composite signal to the VP30, as it has an adaptive 2D Y/C separator which will not be as effective at eliminating these artifacts from still images as a 3D filter. You mentioned that you're using a digital STB, though, so it's more likely a head-end problem.

- Dale Adams
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post #208 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifichip76 View Post

Last night, I looked at some of the other SW discs. They all seemed to have the problem to some degree, but I really only found it bothersome on Ep. 3. I understand that there's something odd about that scene. I also watched the scene using three other deinterlacers I have, and the problem only occurs with the ABT. WHy are they able to handle it so well, even though they're not as good in general? Is it because the ABT is so sophisticated and has so many ways to detect, that it's also easier for it to get thrown by something so unusual?

The ABT102 was designed to detect a number of problem cases which trip up many other deinterlacers. Examples of this are cross fades between out-of-phase 3:2 pulldown signals, cross-fades between 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown, multiple source types on the screen at one time, difficult or unusual cadences, etc. An older design like the SiI504 often does not handle this type of material very well.

However, it's been my experience that no detection method is bulletproof, and there will always be some number of 'false positives' for every valid detection. Ideally, these are few and far between, especially in proportion to the number of valid cases, but there will be some instances where a false detection is made. This may be a flaw in the basic algorithm (e.g., perhaps it's not selective enough) or just that one statistical case which hits all the right trigger points. This particular clip actually sets off a number of different detection mechanisms, so it's more likely a combination of a problem with the algorithm sensitivity and the exact source content of this one scene.

Quote:


I hope you can find a solution for it and I really do appreciate your efforts in any case.

I do now have a revision of the ABT102 which does not trip up on this scene (or any of the other Star Wars openings). However, this currently requires that the ABT102 be run in a mode which, while good for well-mastered DVD material, is not what you'd want to use for all sources. I really like to avoid these types of special modes (although they are needed for certain very problematic sources) and have a general purpose operating mode which works well for everything. I'm not there yet, but I'm still working on it. If you do happen to notice any other sources with similar problems please let me know.

- Dale Adams
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post #209 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 02:15 PM
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In my SW ep3 pal edition region 2, when outputting the deinterlacer in 2:2 odd (the way i watch the whole movie) the problem completly vanishes, in film bias mode or auto the problem is barely noticable; i hope it helps.

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post #210 of 432 Old 06-01-2006, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Adams View Post

I do now have a revision of the ABT102 which does not trip up on this scene (or any of the other Star Wars openings).

Dale, just curious if you think this could be the same problem happening on those laserdiscs, or if that's probably something different going on?

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