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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a laserdisc that I want copy to DVD using my Panny DVDR and am looking for a couple recommendations regarding settings since it's been a long time since I played a laserdisc.


The laserdisc is mono audio, however the player has options for selecting digital audio or I believe PCM audio. It's my understanding that PCM is the preferred choice, is that correct?


The Panny has Video Noise Reduction On/Off selection on the line inputs. Somewhere I read, possibly on this forum, that recording from VHS you should have NR turned on. One of the reasons is that the VHS tape may have quite a bit of noise & the DVDR is wasting some of its bit rate to encode the noise. My laserdisc player is a basic model with composite video output only. Is turning on the NR advisable with a laserdisc?


And comments would be appreciated.
 

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I don't have a laser disc but copy from both VHS and DVD to DVD. I basically leave my NR setting (available when line input is selected under the DISPLAY button) ON all the time. I don't notice it adversely effects the resolution of the picture but it does help if your source has any noise. Another thing to adjust is under FUNCTIONS, OTHER FUNCTIONS, SETUP, VIDEO, BLACK LEVEL. I almost always have that set to DARKER. I find if set to LIGHTER it's just a little bit too light. Again like the NR filter the DARKER setting is not very noticable, but does help a bit.

Someone else with a LD may be able to answer your audio question. If it's MONO only I guess I'd use a Y splitter cable to feed the Pannys(L&R) inputs.

If the LDs have CP you'll need some type of filter to remove it. I'm surprised any LD was made w/o both S-video and stereo audio but then again I never really got into LDs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/16992393


Someone else with a LD may be able to answer your audio question. If it's MONO only I guess I'd use a Y splitter cable to feed the Pannys(L&R) inputs.


If the LDs have CP you'll need some type of filter to remove it.


I'm surprised any LD was made w/o both S-video and stereo audio but then again I never really got into LDs.

On most recorders, if you plug the audio into just one of the audio inputs, the recorder will automatically feed the mono signal to both channels.


Laserdiscs do not have copy protection.


Composite vs S-Video. The very first LD players only had composite outputs. In fact, the video on the disc is recorded as a composite signal. S-Video out was only added for compatibality with newer TV's. If your player had both outputs, what is recommended is to do a test recording and see which device has the better Comb filter (the LD player vs the DVD Recorder). Normally, the newer device would have the better filter. Even though my player has both, I transfer discs using the composite (yellow) cable.


-Bill
 

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Do the transfer using the composite (yellow) connection: most who have done laserdics dubs feel the format runs contrary to expectations, providing a better image via composite. Not too many LD players have S-video connections anyway. A great many laserdiscs have suffered some degree of deterioration over the years, the format is not as "archival" as many of us believed. If you notice an excessive amount of grain or noise in the picture that wasn't there originally, the LD is going bad, and use of noise reduction on both player and recorder may be beneficial. Mono audio input can be tricky with some DVD recorders: if you use one jack you may end up with annoyingly low sound levels in the dub. First see how the LD player is handling the output: are both L+R output jacks sending the mono audio? Then no problem: just connect the usual stereo patch cord. If the LD player is only sending sound thru a single channel, attach a Y adapter as someone suggested above: this increases your odds of good audio on the dub. With a mono laserdisc, there is little to no difference in the various soundtracks, and the DVD recorder is going to compress the audio anyway. Select whichever sound format sounds best to your ears. A mono disc may only have analog audio anyway, the digital option may or may not be available.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 /forum/post/16991828


I own a laserdisc that I want copy to DVD using my Panny DVDR and am looking for a couple recommendations regarding settings since it’s been a long time since I played a laserdisc.


The laserdisc is mono audio, however the player has options for selecting digital audio or I believe PCM audio. It’s my understanding that PCM is the preferred choice, is that correct?


The Panny has Video Noise Reduction On/Off selection on the line inputs. Somewhere I read, possibly on this forum, that recording from VHS you should have NR turned on. One of the reasons is that the VHS tape may have quite a bit of noise & the DVDR is wasting some of its bit rate to encode the noise. My laserdisc player is a basic model with composite video output only. Is turning on the NR advisable with a laserdisc?


And comments would be appreciated.

I know this sounds like a cop-out, but during my laserdisk transfer "project" I had disks that looked best if transferred one way, and others that looked best another way. My recomendation is to make some test recordings using various settings and connections to see which looks the best to you. My experience is that there was no single setup that worked for every disk. You say that you have A laserdisk, one. This should not be too much of a chore with only one.


My single biggest complaint during my project was the utter insanity of the results from choices I made early on. I was a purist, so I always bought the letterboxed versions if they were available. These were set up so the correct aspect ratio was with a 4:3 television, since 16:9 was unknown at the time. Well, now that I have a widescreen television, the laserdisks have the proper aspect when I use the TV in 4:3 mode, so I have letterbox bars form the disk, and pillarbox bars form the television, and a "postage-stamped" image in the center of the screen. Oh, there is a zoom function, of course, but then the image quality becomes very poor.


For many of these titles, I just bit the bullet and bought the DVDs. Sigh... I really liked my lasterdisk collection, but technology has moved on.


Not all of them were bad, some transfers were very good and well worth the time. They released stuff on Laserdisk that has never been seen on tape or DVD.
 

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Yeah, I bought into laserdisk as well when a local big stereo shop was closing down and I got a Yamaha unit for 100 bucks. It would start to skip after it got hot and sometimes had issues with scratched disks but had excellent video and audio for a couple of movies till it got hot


I rented and dubbed a TON of movies with it and I usually used the Svideo to the TV and the regular outputs to the VCR. I also bought a bunch of movies on Ebay and in the local shops when DVD came out and it seemed they immediately dropped laser disk
I think it was as much because there was no way to put on copy protection or DRM as anything and DVD had loads of it.

I later got a Pioneer 504 and a Panasonic both with auto reverse and no issues and sold the old one for 10 bucks as a huge cd player


I'd follow the advice given, I think LPCM uses more space then the other sound modes but if the disk is mono it might be analog audio only anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have several laserdiscs & have copied a few, but now need to do more. My player only has composite video out so that decision is already made. The one disc's audio is Japanese on one channel & English on the other. I have a Y adapter to use going into the DVDR.


I usually experiment a bit before making the actual recording, but sometimes it's difficult to notice differences in video or audio quality. I'm trying to get some suggestions in case I have to flip a coin on which setting(s) to use, figuring the "collective" will keep me on the right path.
 

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I don't know about your player, but my Pioneer CLD-D704 outputs the selected audio (L/1 or R/2) out of both outputs. So even though it's mono with no stereo separation, it still comes out of both L & R channels, so you wouldn't need a y-adapter.


I've only done a couple transfers so far (most of the LD's I have I now also have on DVD), but the S-Video looked much better than composite (though I know the OP doesn't have that option). I also turn off the V-DNR, but on some discs it's actually beneficial.
 

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I have over 500 LDs, and have transferred about 20 of them. I have Philips' top of the line player, and I find I get better PQ using its S-Vid outs.


As to audio, my experience with LDs is that you can select either an analog, or a digital sound track. Only rarely have I ever noticed a difference in audio quality from one track to another, when listening from the fiber optic audio out, and sometimes the analog was better. But, you will be recording from R/L audio outs, and it's a mono sound track, so I doubt you could detect any difference in the track you select, except the language, of course.
 

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On my Pioneer CLV-3090 I always use the S-video output. Years back, there were postings how DVD players had better signal splitters so you should use the yellow composite video connection. I never did. If you player is anything like the 3090, make sure of you audio settings. I use the digital audio output. Check that both audio RCA cables are firmly seated, to avoid unintentionally recording only one track. Panasonics can record LPCM sound at the 1 hour XP setting, good for stuff like my Enya Moonshadows LD.

Laser rot does affect some LDs, so it is a good precaution to make DVDR backups of LDs. Some LDs have commentary tracks as well; your decision if you have such LDs on whether you want to record a second copy with the commentary track.

Making backups is a very time consuming operation.
 

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Since Laserdisc in CAV is Un-compressed format makes more sense to transfer these to Blu Ray, and use an upscaler, or just leave them original.

The other day i saw a "demo" of Aliens Special Edition CAV Box Set, and it actually putts the DVD into trash.

The Laserdisc is way better.
 

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The occasional CAV "deluxe set" can indeed be mighty impressive, but whatever advantages it holds are usually lost upon transfer to DVD-R: the hardwired 4:3 letterboxing just kills it, even at XP. You do see some incredibly dedicated gearheads play games with PC encoding to eliminate the letterboxing and create pseudo-16:9 DVD-R copies, but its a lost cause. The only way to get full benefit from the rare laserdiscs that are truly superior is to just play them on a good laserdisc player. Since these are now scarce, it gets harder and harder: many LD players, including Pioneers, just weren't really that good in retrospect and they don't age well. Compared to VHS, they were a revelation, but compared to DVD they often fall very flat (especially in luminance noise). I've done about 35 LD transfers to DVD-R, but over time ended up replacing most of them with commercial DVD releases when they go on sale: despite some glaring DVD mastering flaws, generally you're better off with the studio 16:9 DVD. The only transfers I keep are of exclusive-to-LD releases that will never be seen on DVD, or the "bonus" material from common movies that was not carried over to their DVD re-releases.


Transferring the LD movies is one thing, transferring the "bonus" LD material is something else entirely. Think long and hard about whether you'll really ever watch it again: the effort to dub it to DVD-R can be enormous, and you lose the intuitive LD navigation in the process. My worst nightmare was the bonus material in the Criterion CAV set of "Close Encounters"- it took me days to tediously copy over to a DVD/HDD recorder, and then I realized I had chosen a recording speed that exceeded the capacity of a single DVD-R. I didn't want to use dual-layer media, or split the material across two DVD-Rs, since the whole thing ran just shy of 135 mins. The thought of re-doing the transfer made my head hurt, so instead I went in and ruthlessly trimmed bits and pieces I knew I'd never watch again (how many B/W photos of a 29-year-old Steven Spielberg playing with his dog in front of the mothership entrance ramp can you look at? Criterion/Voyager were a bit much with this stuff sometimes).


This disc has the usual LD "bonus" navigation: two simultaneous "talking heads" interviews running at the top of the 4:3 frame, using the independent L or R analog audio tracks, while the movie excerpt or other graphics run below using the muted digital audio tracks. This requires copying one interview, then rolling back to the beginning and switching audio tracks for the other interview. Over and over and over again, interrupted by still image slide shows and script pages and diagrams and who knows what else. Very very difficult and tedious to copy over to DVD-R, especially the still image galleries which can run hundreds of images and cannot be stored on DVD-R in the same logical manner used by CAV laserdisc. This is not at all fun to do, so I strongly recommend investigating the official DVD releases in these cases and considering whether you can be satisfied with what they offer. Fortunately most DVD remasters do include most if not all older LD bonus content.
 

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When someone has a "simple" way to copy the AC-3 DD5.1, then I might get excited.


I think those doom people had a way to do it, but you needed an EE degree to understand what you were doing.
 

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I'm appreciating reading through this thread. Preserving at least some of my laserdisc collection has been weighing heavily on my mind since my best player (Pioneer CLD-D704) needed a repair last year. Pioneer still had the part, but I went out and bought a nice Pioneer DVR for the job, but have not begun.


I have already anticipated the tedium of trying to transfer over some of the supplemental materials of a complex set like the Close Encounters discs above. This sounds similar to the Adventures of Baron Munchausen with selectable audio commentaries over deleted scences, interspersed with text. It's interesting to watch from the LD itself, but I can't imagine sitting there for who knows how long with the remote, as my DVR records my live actions. The thought of that kind of task has held me back from starting.


In some cases, the work won't be so hard. I don't intend to copy everything, as some of the more common titles have been reissued to DVD or now BD. I do see myself making copies of some films with secondary audio commentary tracks turned on, to keep as bonus features for my newer replacements on current formats.
 
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