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I am interested in getting a LD player to add to my system (mainly for the Star Wars trilogy). I did a search on this site but couldn't find a specific answer to this question: Is there a difference between a LD's AC3 RF output and a coaxial digital output (like on a DVD player)? My receiver has both optical and coaxial digital inputs, but I fear that I will probably need an RF demodulator if I want Dolby Digital sound from a LD player.


Also, I understand that Pioneer makes the best LD players, can anyone recommend a good 2-side playing model (both with or without AC3 RF output)? I really don't want to spend too much since I will only get it for the Star Wars trilogy, and probably won't watch too many other discs, so I don't think a pioneer elite player is necessary. Any recommendations on where to buy a player, other than eBay? Are there any sites where I can find out specs of LD models? Since they all seem to be discontinued, I couldn't find any info on Pioneer's site.
 

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The AC-3 RF output is different than a regular digital output, because Dolby modulated the digital signal on one of the analog channels so that the regular digital channels would remain available for PCM. Thus, it's not a "normal" digital signal. You have to have an RF demodulator -- either a standalone unit which costs $120 and up on eBay, or one built into a flagship receiver like the Denon 5803 or Pioneer 49TX. It connects via a regular 75 ohm video composite cable. Be aware that the original Star Wars series on LD only had PCM tracks; the "Definitive Edition" series (the altered one) was the one with the AC-3 tracks. If you're getting the player to save the "original version" of the films, you don't need AC-3 at all.


I think your goals are wise. Don't spend too much for an LD player if all you want to do is watch Star Wars. I recommend something along the lines of the Pioneer CLD-D504, which was a popular midrange model. (I have the 504.) Be aware that laserdisc has more "chroma noise" or color smearing than DVD, and the amount of chroma noise varies inversely with the quality of the player. Getting rid of that noise will require a much more costly player.


Try searching this forum for LD recommendations. I posted some more information in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=133607


Good luck!
 

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Quote:
...the "Definitive Edition" series (the altered one) was the one with the AC-3 tracks.
no, the 1993 Definitive Collection is the original movies in a CAV box set with a ton of extras, and has PCM stereo audio only. The sound and trasfers are the same as the 1995 inidividual THX discs (with vader/trooper/yoda on covers). The only LD release with AC-3 tracks is the 1997 Special Edition box set
 
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