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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for advice on processing input from my Laserdisc player.


I have quite a Laserdisc collection including several good players and some good discs like the Original Star Wars Trilogy, etc.


10 years ago or so my HTPC was running XP and I was using a program called DScaler, along with a TV-input card that had composite input, to process the video. This made the laserdiscs look a LOT better than just running the composite video directly into the TV. A few years back that HTPC finally died. My old TV-input card doesn't have drivers for Windows 7 or 8, and the DScaler program seems to be more or less abandoned at this point.


I am sort of considering making a "Vintage HTPC" running XP and using my old input card to restore the functionality I had a decade ago, but if I can somehow find a way to do the same thing on a modern HTPC, that would be ideal.


The main issue is that Laserdiscs offer only interlaced, composite video. One of the main things DScaler would do would be to De-interlace the signal. Is there any modern software that does that?
 

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Just to clarify...


- If I'm reading your post correctly, it sounds like you used your old HTPC to play (not capture to hard drive) analog LD sources to a digital display (i.e. LCD or plasma TV). This means the HTPC would have to convert the analog source to some digital video format (MPEG?), then de-interlace (with DScaler), then upscale to a valid DTV resolution (i.e. 720p or 1080i) for proper display on your digital monitor/TV... and your HTPC did all of this on-the-fly, in real time. Is this correct?


- If your answer to the above is YES, what software (besides DScaler) was used to accomplish this real-time playback of analog LD video?


I'm simply trying to understand what you had before, that you want to accomplish again. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, DScaler is a program that was used to basically view the composite input from the capture card. It would work with almost any capture card, but only a few select models of capture cards allowed you to use the advanced DScaler features (such as being able to deinterlace the video) by having DScaler access the hardware directly. It is with one of those cards (Hauppauge WinTV-Go) that I had it setup and working.


DScaler was the only program I used for this. Upscale processing was done automatically by simply running the DScaler window fullscreen and having my HTPC set to my HDTV resolution. It was all on-the-fly.
 

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I see. To be honest, I'm not sure if there are any modern alternatives to DScaler and compatible TV cards for analog (tho' I may be wrong about that).


I've been around this HTPC forum for a while, and haven't seen any recent discussion on how to use an HTPC as an analog video processor. I know this used to be popular back in the mid-2000s, but it seems that the interest has waned considerably since then. So unless someone here can point out something else to try, I'd just go with your initial thought of simply re-using DScaler and your compatible TV input card for your vintage HTPC with WinXP build.


Good luck on your endeavor.
 

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Get a decent receiver that comes with built-in video processor. That's all you need. No PC needed and better results as well, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121  /t/1524547/laserdisc-video-processing#post_24538097


Get a decent receiver that comes with built-in video processor. That's all you need. No PC needed and better results as well, IMO.

I already have everything I need to watch HD and for surround, the laserdiscs are just a side project but nothing that would be the basis of a receiver upgrade. Even then, composite is a pretty old video input format at this point and I'd be surprised if a modern receiver would put much emphasis in that area. You would think that TVs would have decent built-in video processors for their composite inputs but I still have not found a TV that comes close to what I can get using DScaler.
 

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I suggest you try installing the card on a Win7/8 system (or installing W7/8 on the pc), and see what generic driver Windows Update will fetch for it. It it works, then you can use MPC-HC to upscale/play the captured video. Check this and this threads for modern upscaling options.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotNoRice  /t/1524547/laserdisc-video-processing#post_24541123


I already have everything I need to watch HD and for surround, the laserdiscs are just a side project but nothing that would be the basis of a receiver upgrade. Even then, composite is a pretty old video input format at this point and I'd be surprised if a modern receiver would put much emphasis in that area.

The video processor doesn't care where this video comes from. Modern receiver can digitize composite video without problem.
Quote:
You would think that TVs would have decent built-in video processors for their composite inputs but I still have not found a TV that comes close to what I can get using DScaler.

TVs are too competitively priced to have any decent processing built-in. AVR is a different story. A mid to high end AVR will have sophisticated video processor that can handle your laser disc video quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121  /t/1524547/laserdisc-video-processing#post_24541826


The video processor doesn't care where this video comes from. Modern receiver can digitize composite video without problem.

TVs are too competitively priced to have any decent processing built-in. AVR is a different story. A mid to high end AVR will have sophisticated video processor that can handle your laser disc video quite well.

Thanks but like I said before, buying a brand new receiver just to maintain functionality I had 10 years ago for a format I barely use isn't really in the cards. I'm also still skeptical about the processing a new AVR would provide for a format (composite) that hasn't been relevant since before the DVD era. I know I can do this with the HTPC, so I'm not really chomping at the bit to spend money on something I know I can do for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roussi  /t/1524547/laserdisc-video-processing#post_24541511


I suggest you try installing the card on a Win7/8 system (or installing W7/8 on the pc), and see what generic driver Windows Update will fetch for it. It it works, then you can use MPC-HC to upscale/play the captured video. Check this and this threads for modern upscaling options.

My current HTPC runs windows 8 and i've tried many times to get the card working on there. DScaler doesn't support anything beyond XP either so it's not just a hardware issue. I can get generic input working but so far nothing that offers advanced features such as the ability to deinterlace the video (all laserdisc video is interlaced), which is what I'm after more-so than simple upscaling. Still, lots of info in those threads, thanks for the links.
 

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Posting mainly to say I empathize with your position Chris. I bought a DVDO Edge Green awhile back in hopes of achieving LD watchability but haven't hooked the player in to it yet. I also have an oldie-but-goodie Sony 25" XBR CRT TV awaiting repairs as the ultimate "solution" (for me anyway) where I intend my own man-cave-office to play LDs.


Most all of movies worth watching in my thousand-plus collection are out in better formats (whether DVD or BD) but there are some discs that are classics I'd like to watch again.


Good luck with your search and let us know if you solve your dilemma. I will report if/when I get my player plugged-into my EDGE whether it makes me happy...
 

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Just thought I'd suggest a better AVS subforum for the OP's initial question:

http://www.avsforum.com/f/18/dvd-players-standard-def


Some discussion of LD still takes place in that particular subforum of AVS, and Kurtis Bahr contributes his considerable LD expertise there frequently (he helped someone with an LD issue as recently as two weeks ago).


Your chances of getting helpful information about LD are better there than it is here, IMHO.


Hope this helps. Good luck to you
 
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