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Laserfilm Videodisc Player Discs

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
One of the many grandfathers of modern video disc formats was Laserfilm (not to be confused with Laserdisc). Laserfilm never made it as a consumer video format, but was used internally by McDonnell Douglas who branded it. Laserfilm used discs made of photographic film. Instead of the laser reflecting off the disc, the laser beamed through the disc to a detector on the other side. The player could play masters (the negatives) as well as the copies. Laserfilm was utilized mainly for flight simulators by connecting several players in sequence.

I am very interested in communication with retired McDonnell Douglas engineers or anyone who has experience with this format. I am also interested in discs for the player, the Sansui LFS-4400, if any still exist.

Thanks!

digitalbt
post #2 of 49
ebay
post #3 of 49
Hmmm, a technology I've never heard of. Apparently nothing of a commercial nature was ever released for it--no doubt owing to its 18 minute length restriction (for full-motion video).

Good luck finding anything to demo in it.
post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 
What's ebay?
post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
Any former McDonnell Douglas employees out there remember the players? Apparently they were used for Flight Simulators. Also, the manual says "The player reads photographic film-based master and duplicate video discs containing FM audio, video, compressed audio and digital data, using a non-contacting type laser pickup, and reproduces the information as video, audio, and digital data outputs. Disk recording times: Normal motion video and audio: 18 minutes, Still with sound: 36 hours, Sound only (compressed audio): Approx. 42 hours. Disc speed: 1800 RPM CAV.
post #6 of 49
I also very foolishly bought one of these a few years ago out of curiosity. I got it home, hooked up the RF coax cable (its only video connection), verified that it generated a blue screen, and.... well, that's all you can do with it. There is no media to play on it. It's basically an oversized doorstop.

Here's another web page with some info about LaserFilm:

http://www.deadmedia.org/notes/15/155.html
post #7 of 49
Thread Starter 
Well, Josh, in my book, the only foolish thing would have been NOT buying it! Then you would have never experienced that amazing blue screen. It's a peice of history, and very interesting! Mine has what's called an LNB video output (composite), a connection used in professional video. I had to drop in at Radio Shack and pick up an LNB to RCA adapter. My machine has not produced a blue screen, however, but black. I have seen on screen messages, (such as "put in a disc you nerd, if you can find one") so I know the unit is alive. It's extremely well constructed, almost looks like a Sony or Pioneer Laserdisc player cabinet.
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalbt View Post

My machine has not produced a blue screen, however, but black. I have seen on screen messages, (such as "put in a disc you nerd, if you can find one") so I know the unit is alive.

Well, now that you've experienced all that you can ever experience from LaserFilm, what are you gonna do with that giant hunk of electronics?
post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 
LOL! Yep, its a hunk for sure. It must weigh 40 pounds! I think I got a hernia carrying it out of the Goodwill store.

Right now I'm pursuing finding someone at Boeing to see if anyone knows where to get media for this beast. I'll keep you posted!
post #10 of 49
How much did you pay for it?
post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
$12. $5 for the LNB to Composite Adapter. A total of $17.
post #12 of 49
That's not bad at all. I would probably bought it for $12 just for the sake of curiosity...I have a strange affection towards obscure technology.
post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
Me too, I'm all about the history of electronics and audio/video. A GREAT site to find video disc and videotape history is totalrewind.org. I've written the author of the site and submitted pictures of my Laserfilm player at his request...so we may see Laserfilm included there soon.
post #14 of 49
Cool! I love that site...every few months I'll become "retro-obsessed" and read as much as possible on old or failed technologies...this month my main curiosity lies with magnetic wire recorders...
post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Another one of my favorites is the Cardboard Record website: http://www.wfmu.org/MACrec/
post #16 of 49
These websites are great!! Any more???
post #17 of 49
Thread Starter 
Well, if you are into videodisc history, you must stop here for a few hours..this site covers the RCA Videodisc CED system:

http://www.cedmagic.com

Another one that covers DiscoVision:

http://www.blamld.com/DiscoVision/
post #18 of 49
post #19 of 49
post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 
Awesome links, thanks for sharing! Here's another one that appears to be growing in the UK..

http://www.terramedia.co.uk/index.htm
post #21 of 49
Thanks everyone!! This is great!! Now I have even more to read

-Justin
post #22 of 49
Thread Starter 
Another favorite player in my collection, only because it played home videos in VCD format was Philips CD-i. Here's the most complete site online for CD-i.

http://www.icdia.co.uk/
post #23 of 49
Thread Starter 
Here's another cool link I found today for CD-V

http://www.cdvideo.info/
post #24 of 49
Thread Starter 
Laserfilm is now featured on totalrewind.org!!

Here is the link sports fans...

http://totalrewind.org/disc/disc_opt.htm
post #25 of 49
I Am Going To An Auction 06-16-07 There Are 8 New Units Coming Up For Auction. Anyone Interested?
post #26 of 49
Thread Starter 
Did you go to the auction? Did you buy any laserfilm machines?
post #27 of 49
There were over 1700 titles released in CED format:
http://www.cedmagic.com/title-database/ced-titles.html

That's much more than BluRay or HD-DVD!
post #28 of 49
I used to own an LaserFilm machine and it was Sansui branded.
post #29 of 49
I have a McDonnell-Douglas LFS-4400 that I'm trying to get rid of. Similar to the original poster, I have no media, and holding onto this hardware is a drag.

I'm not able to post a link here, but if you have ANY interest in this, do a google on laserfilm and look down the first page for my chicago craigslist ad.
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan_H View Post

There were over 1700 titles released in CED format:
http://www.cedmagic.com/title-database/ced-titles.html

That's much more than BluRay or HD-DVD!

With ALL due respect what does CED that have to do with the laser technology?
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