Is Laserdisc the 3DO of home cinema?

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GameCubed
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Is Laserdisc the 3DO of home cinema?

Post by GameCubed » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:11 am

I recently picked up a Laserdisc player and a bunch of movies at a garage sale. I originally got it for novelty's sake, just to see what it was like. I vaguely remember my middle school having one, that was used a couple times to show us documentaries.

What was surprising, is that when I got it home and hooked it up, I started thinking that it was pretty darn cool. It was a Pioneer model that, coincidentally matched my other (outdated) Pioneer components, so it looked nice stacked up on my entertainment center. The interface, lights. and buttons were pretty spiffy -- everything giving it that "this was really expensive new" feel. The tech behind it was, I think, under-appreciated and ahead of its time. And hey, it can also play karaoke discs!

It's funny, because it's a similar feeling to when I first hooked up the FZ-1. It's a classy piece of electronic equipment. It looks expensive. There something fun about the impracticality of 3DO longboxes, just like the ridiculous size of the laserdiscs. Then there's the huge original price tag. I remember reading how the 3DO was originally targeted to be a high-end gaming and multimedia machine and should be priced accordingly. You had to be really committed to be at the vanguard of 3DO-buying. Laserdiscs were similarly stratospherically priced. I have one movie that's still in the plastic wrap with a price sticker of $45! Some of the collector's editions or Criterion Collections were well over $150.

Thinking about it, I'm kind of surprised no gaming platform ever used the LD format. I could totally see the 3DO being based on LD's instead of CD-ROMs. I wonder if that would have made any difference to the system's success. I mean, a lot of the appeal of the PS2 and PS3 were the movie-watching capabilities. I guess the HD-DVD accessory for the Xbox 360 turned out to flop just like HD-DVD.

Any other Laserdisc owners out there?

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:23 am

There was a game system that used LaserDiscs, it was called LaserActive.
Image
You could also buy add-ons for it to play Sega Genesis carts & CDs as well as TurboGrafx-16 cards & CDs and Karaoke CDs & LDs. The unit with a gaming pac cost $1,600 US (in 1993 money)

I still have mine in it's original box.

I also have a good collection of LaserDiscs which I currently play on my imported Pioneer CLD-R7G. Litterally the best picture quality you can get from a LaserDisc player. To those who know LD it is better than the S9 and way better than the CLD-97/99.
Image

PM me with a list of LDs you got with it. I have a few that I'm thinking of getting rid of and maybe we can do a trade/sell.
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Post by mattyg » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:33 am

somebody needs to put a bucket under my chin to collect the drool - nice!
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Post by MadMan » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:10 am

I, too can testify to the power and majesty of the Pioneer CLD-R7G!!!

I have one too. And running the Criterion Collection version of Se7en (Seven), the one made from the silver print. It will blow your socks off!!


Oh and Atari was going to use the 7800 to control a LD player.
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Post by GameCubed » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:00 am

3DO Exp - OMG, that's amazing! I thought I had heard about every system, but you learn something new everyday! I must have more info about this.

Is that a picture of your system? Way to make me feel inferior about my LD player :cry: The one I found was a Pioneer CLD-D504. In looking up the different models, I only wish I could have found a Pioneer Elite, or one that could also play DVD's.

I really like the tray-within-a-tray operation of the CD player function. It's sort of like the mini-mouth of the alien from Alien.

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Post by GameCubed » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:02 am

I'll have to get together a list of what I've got. I would like to find a copy of the Keep on Laserdisc. I'm a huge fan of Michael Mann, and I rented this movie on VHS long ago. Sadly, it's never been released on DVD or Blu-ray, but I guess there is an LD version.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:43 pm

There are a few LD+DVD combo players but they playback really sucks. It was about convenience not quality. Elite's are great models, I was going to go with the Elite CLD-99 and then I read the now historic review of the S9 and the comparisons. I was already to put down the cash when I was told about the R7G, and the best part is they are cheaper because no one seems to know about them due to the (greatly deserved) S9 hype!

That is not a picture of my player. I on;y bought the Sega PAC as I couldn't get the TG-16 one. I will tell you this though the playback for regular LD movies is pretty sad. My first player was a horrid Magnivox and this comes in very close in picture quality. Still better than VHS but I also still have a CLD-D501 and the picture quality is waaaay better than the CLD-A100 (LaserActive). But you really can't get better than the R7G, unless you feel like paying $4,000 for a MUSE player and don't mind loosing most of the functions and having to get up to flip the disc. :)
MadMan wrote:I have one too. And running the Criterion Collection version of Se7en (Seven), the one made from the silver print. It will blow your socks off!!
Silver print? Please do continue...
GameCubed wrote:I would like to find a copy of the Keep on Laserdisc... I guess there is an LD version.
There are two versions one is Pan& Scan (diagonal strip in upper right corner of cover), the other is widescreen (horizontal strip or just text on top of front cover)
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Post by MadMan » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:32 pm

Yes, silver print.

Here are the details:
They processed it differently so that the darker scenes would retain more detail. It has the warm analog color gamut that DVD could never achieve.

Voyager would do stuff like that from time to time, like adding commentary tracks over the analog channels, making THX prints (Silence Of The Lambs), or digging up extra footage (Forbidden Planet) or just releasing a correct edition of the film as a way to apologize for crappy releases by the studios (2001: A space Odyssey, Ghostbusters, Citizen Kane, Yojimbo, Mon Oncle, Blade Runner, ect.......)


http://www.amazon.com/298-Se7en-Laserdi ... -2-catcorr
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Post by Scarlettkitten » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:48 pm

I also collect laserdiscs, I have a CLD-2950 and a 1450 as a backup, plus around 400 Laserdiscs mostly bought from the states.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:51 am

I know all about Voyager's Criterion Collection but I've never heard of a silver print.

Ooo 2950, classy and it'll play both PAL and NTSC. Have they both been modded for AC3?
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Post by MadMan » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:11 am

3DO Experience wrote:I know all about Voyager's Criterion Collection but I've never heard of a silver print.

Ooo 2950, classy and it'll play both PAL and NTSC. Have they both been modded for AC3?
I really wish that I could be more helpful, I am away from my library right now.

The picture quality of it is just amazing, they would go into a totally dark room, and you could really see everything! On the insert they mentioned that only a few of the theatrical films were processed this way due to expense.

Once you watch it, the standard DVD will look too bright and washed out.
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Post by MadMan » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:23 am

Oh and one more point to address:

A hundred years ago I worked for Incredible Universe, it's like a cross between a Fry's a Best Buy and the CES. It was retail on steroids.

We would have vendors come in to train us on their stuff all of the time, and YES we did have a long presentation by our 3DO crew. We were all prepped on the FZ-10 launch, the new lower prices, got to play FIFA and GEX. It was fun.

Right after that, our Pioneer rep gave their LD presentation using a THX wow disk, if you don't have one, GET one!!! I had to sweat through THX training to get mine.

Anyway, she used a CLD A100 to run her demos on. After which I asked if Pioneer had licensed a PAC for 3DO compatibility. Instead of a flat, "NO!", she gave me a rather ambiguous, "We'll see."

Ahhh the good old days!!!
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:32 am

Ah the THX WOW disc, once a holy grail. It used to be I didn't buy it because it was so expensive, now I haven't bought one because they show up so often for only $12 I always say "I'll get it next time."
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Post by Auto-Fox » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:20 pm

Now, all this just truly warms my heart... I have a Pioneer LD-870 at home, sadly without the spiffy remote, and out of all my A/V equipment, including my DVD player and high-end Fisher VCR, my LD player has to be my favorite.
What can I say? I've always been a fan of analog video, and you don't get any better than LaserDisc for that.
I currently have, on LD:
- Jurassic Park.
- RoboCop.
- Superman: The Movie.
- Twister.
There's a used book store around here that, oddly enough, sells used LDs as well, so I'm slowly but surely expanding my collection.
Next on the list: Tank Girl.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:31 pm

an 870, so far you have the earliest one in the thread. I also have Tank Girl on LD that movie is sweet! I also have a pdf of the manual for your unit if you are interested.

Should I move this topic to General?
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Post by Auto-Fox » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:01 am

Oh, hey! That would be great. I've been trying to get a little trouble-shooting done, but I of course have no idea what I'm doing.
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Post by Scarlettkitten » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:52 pm

3DO Experience wrote:I know all about Voyager's Criterion Collection but I've never heard of a silver print.

Ooo 2950, classy and it'll play both PAL and NTSC. Have they both been modded for AC3?
Both of mine are unmodded, I love the 2950 it's a well built machine and hasn't failed me yet, plus it only cost me £20 8) when I first got it i tested it with the Tron CAV set and OMG it's awesome, I was drooling.
Last edited by Scarlettkitten on Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:01 pm

You can now get the manual here.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:15 am

OH I forgot! This auction just sold a week ago, it went low but that's because the thing was in such bad functioning shape. Too bad the games didn't come with it, Rondo of Blood and Snatcher, that would have been sweet!
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Post by avanteproject » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:29 am

Oh man, I love LaserDisc. I only have about 20 discs right now (Alien, Terminator, T2, Back to the Future Trilogy, Predator, Airheads, CLeRKS, to name a few) but I think the format is awesome! Much better than DVD.

I think a lot of comparisons can be made between LD and 3DO.

Excellent hardware innovations.
Appealing mostly to a niche crowd.
A number of exclusives that still aren't available on other formats/consoles.
Special features that paved the way for later formats/consoles.
Both could play movies and games.
Neither support RGB :roll:
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Post by Vance » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:22 pm

LDs were too easily damaged. Usually an analog sector that just blocked the graphics for a bit, but if it was data... you weren't getting that thing working again, ever.

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Post by UK3DOFAN » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:16 pm

Yes LD had that mystique about it like that the 3DO did, both way ahead of their time and underappreciated.
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Post by Lightning » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:26 pm

I'd say yes, LaserDisk is the 3DO of home cinema.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:13 pm

avanteproject wrote:I think a lot of comparisons can be made between LD and 3DO.

Excellent hardware innovations.
Appealing mostly to a niche crowd.
A number of exclusives that still aren't available on other formats/consoles.
Special features that paved the way for later formats/consoles.
Both could play movies and games.
Neither support RGB :roll:
DUDE!
Vance wrote:LDs were too easily damaged. Usually an analog sector that just blocked the graphics for a bit, but if it was data... you weren't getting that thing working again, ever.
Yup you gotta treat them with extreme care.
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Post by Vance » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:19 pm

3DO Experience wrote:Yup you gotta treat them with extreme care.
I have hypertyhroidism and a bad cough and a boxer break. Extreme care is something that should be happening in my direction, not the other way around.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:23 pm

Well with hypertyhroidism at least you'll stay thin, but what's a boxer break?
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Post by Vance » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:29 pm

That's when you're stupid enough to punch something really hard with a closed fist. It's a break in the pinky bone... not sure what the one up in the hand is called so I'll refer to it as the Fibrilosis Demonica for no good reason... and it wasn't set properly.

I can't write too well, in other words. I'd have a doctor do something about it, but I have lucid nightmares about them pulling out a rubber mallet the moment I'm done speaking.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:39 pm

Lemme guess, is was the thyroid that made you angry enough to break your hand.
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Post by Vance » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:54 pm

The hand happened about... uh... oh god 17 years ago, I guess. I was in high school. I'm old now.

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Post by Auto-Fox » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:31 am

Really, really sorry to necromance an old topic, but I have some extraordinary news.
I NOW HAVE A VP-1000!!!1!
Released in 1980, it was pretty much the second ever LaserDisc player, after Phillips released the format and first player in 1979. It's a BEAST, it must weigh at least 30 pounds! My dad found it on the side of the road in its original (rat-chewed) box, and it seems to be in decent shape, it's got all the manuals, the remote, and even the external noise-reduction unit (a pass-through for the stereo outputs on the back).
I don't know how well it works yet, haven't plugged it in, and I'll need to find space for it. The buttons are a little sticky, so I probably have to open it up and do some cleaning.
Hopefully it works fine. It's got all sorts of arcane function buttons I'm itching to try.
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