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View Full Version : Yay I got a Laserdisc player! But it's broken...



Erik F.
08-21-2010, 06:08 PM
Hello everybody!

I got a great deal on an old Laserdisc player with 47 movies, many of them old horror and cult films like Fulci's Zombie, Dawn of the Dead and Escape From New York. Only paid roughly $150 for the whole lot. However, I had to get it all home on my bike (getting 40 kg of Laserdisc stuff home through this means of transportation is not an especially good time, let me tell you) and I seem to have broken the player somehow. The tray that holds the disc behaves really strangely. When I push the Open button, the tray does slide open, but not completely and then closes again very rapidly. If I put a disc into it (this cannot be done without some force unfortunately) the tray slides out again as soon as it has closed with the disc, and then continues to open and close until I take the disc out. In short there seems to be some kind of mechanical malfunction with the tray itself.

Of course I got very sad finding that the player didn't work when I finally had gotten it home, so I started experimenting with it and found out that it in fact can play discs if I tilt the player almost vertically when it starts reading the movie. When the disc has started spinning I can even put the player down on the floor (there is no chance in hell getting this enourmous piece of equipment into the tv bench unfortunately) and it keeps playing the movie without problem until it's time to change the sides on the disc, at which time the procedure naturally has to be repeated. This at least gives me some hope, as it probably means it's not the laser that isn't working, but instead something else, probably something a little bit easier to fix.

Is there anybody here who is knowledgable about these things that could maybe give me a few tips about where to look for errors? I tried removing the cover, but really couldn't see anything that could be wrong with it (I don't know anything about these mysterious machines).

Anyway, I'm still really happy with my purchase. I guess the LD technology was more successfull in the US, but over here you never see these machines or the movies in any flea markets. Growing up I only knew one person who owned a Laserdisc, and he had everything imported from the US, so I don't think LD even existed in the Swedish market. Here are a few pictures of my beauties:

http://i34.tinypic.com/2qxbz7t.jpg

http://i36.tinypic.com/34e4yn5.jpg

http://i33.tinypic.com/2569sw2.jpg

http://i37.tinypic.com/4hyujm.jpg

http://i33.tinypic.com/2nln5i.jpg

http://i33.tinypic.com/168v1co.jpg

Robert Hubbard
08-22-2010, 02:11 PM
Try Bayview Electronics - http://www.laserdiscservice.com/

I sent my player to them when it was having problems, and they did a great job in fixing the problem! If you can't ship it to them, try contacting them anyway; they may know of someplace to recommend that's closer to you.

Jack J
08-22-2010, 02:51 PM
That's an awesome collection, Erik! Congrats with your purchase (even if the player broke!). If I were you I would just take it to any non-brand radio repair shop, I'm sure they can fix it for you. Just find a place that's been there for a number of years, not some new place where they've never heard of LD players.

Jonathan D. Cox
08-22-2010, 07:33 PM
I've seen that MUNCHAUSEN disc go for $50 by itself so I think you got yourself a nice deal. Hey why not start off your LD collecting by purchasing one of the rarest discs ever, Orson Welles CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT. It is now on ebay at, I kid you not, a fair market price. http://cgi.ebay.com/FALSTAFF-CHIMES-MIDNIGHT-LASERDISC-/330463531753?pt=US_Laserdisc As completely insane as the price is I am tempted. It would look so nice next to my copy of OTHELLO.

Jason Lee
08-23-2010, 12:20 AM
Seeing as it seems only to be the opening/closing mechanism that is being strange, I would take it to a local electronics place you can trust and they wil probably fix it no sweat as it is nothing to do with actual laser / reader in the player...

Jonathan D. Cox
08-23-2010, 07:08 AM
Since these machines are mysterious to you I think I should comment that unless your tv is older than your player you should always use the compsite video output.

Erik F.
08-23-2010, 07:58 AM
Yeah, I think I'll do like you guys say and try to find some place locally that can repair the player. I'm only worried it might cost more than the whole package did in the first place. :(

Jonathan D. Cox: Haha, I like Orson Welles as much as anybody, but $300 for one movie feels a bit steep to be honest. I have however once paid $750 for one video game, so maybe I'll warm up to the idea.

And why go with composite when it has scart? Has it got something to do with what kind of signal it sends out?

Jason Lee
08-23-2010, 09:53 AM
:D
I have however once paid $750 for one video game,



Hey Erik,

you are not letting this little comment get away without a FULL explanation of you sudden moment of insanity!!:D

K.O. Svines
08-23-2010, 01:35 PM
And why go with composite when it has scart? Has it got something to do with what kind of signal it sends out?

He's probably talking about composite vs. s-video. If it has a scart, I'm sure you can connect it that way, although the signal itself will still be composite. Since the video is stored as composite signal on the laserdiscs, there's no point in using s-video, since in most players, they convert the signal from composite to s-video and is usually inferior compared to the comb filters present in most TVs from the last 10-15 years.

Although some players actually convert the composite signal to s-video anyway, and when outputting the composite signal, it re-converts it back to composite.

Jonathan D. Cox
08-23-2010, 01:45 PM
Here is a useful link. http://moesrealm.com/home-theater/guides/laserdisc-guide/

Mattias Karlsson
08-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Better to buy a new player.

Jonathan D. Cox
08-23-2010, 08:56 PM
Since we have the attention of LD owners here I have a question. My player is starting to make additional noise while playing CAV discs. Sort of a rattling sound. Should I worry?

Werner Von Wallenrod
08-24-2010, 03:08 AM
My LD player's been doing that, too... and for a long time now (couple years). It's probably not a good sign, but so far, it hasn't exploded or anything.

Erik F.
08-26-2010, 03:55 PM
Jason Lee: It was an arcade game PCB, a vertical scrolling shooter called Muchi Muchi Pork! (video here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhbpaugpkSc), but beware of extremely annoying voice sound effects) by the stg company Cave, back when I was a hardcore Shinobu Yagawa fanboy. Great game, just maybe not $750 great, so I sold it within a couple of months. I love arcade games but that is a REALLY expensive hobby if you're buying newer games. A newly released game can cost something like $2000!

Mattias: Now you wouldn't happen to know someplace in Sweden I could get ahold of a nice (and somewhat cheap) LD player, would you? De tenderar ju att vara lite svåra att hitta här hos oss. :)

Jack J
08-26-2010, 04:17 PM
De tenderar ju att vara lite svåra att hitta här hos oss. :)

Yes yes, but you may not need to buy another one. That's why I recommended that you find an old-fashioned radio repair shop because even tho they don't sell laserdisc player any more I'm sure they would know how to repair one. The inside is just screws and wires just like any VCR or DVD player. No problem for a radio repairman. And if it's really just the closing mechanism that's slightly crook then they might not even have to get new parts.

Terry Carpenter
08-26-2010, 04:33 PM
Jason Lee: It was an arcade game PCB, a vertical scrolling shooter called Muchi Muchi Pork! (video here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhbpaugpkSc), but beware of extremely annoying voice sound effects) by the stg company Cave, back when I was a hardcore Shinobu Yagawa fanboy. Great game, just maybe not $750 great, so I sold it within a couple of months. I love arcade games but that is a REALLY expensive hobby if you're buying newer games. A newly released game can cost something like $2000!



That game looks amazing.


Sorry I don't have anything to add to the discussion. :)

Jonathan D. Cox
09-01-2010, 01:29 PM
With great trepidation I finally hooked my Pioneer CLD-95 up to my plasma. Much better than I expected, at least with fullscreen discs.

Jonathan D. Cox
09-01-2010, 07:59 PM
Let me add that using my plasma's speakers that I believe that LD has better audio than sd dvd. I tried Criterion's OTHELLO and was extremely pleased. The gold LD of Welle's THE TRIAL was surprisingly of lesser quality. CRASH and TIME BANDITS were OK. ONIBABA really didn't work with the 2:35 ratio reducing the image resolution a little too much. I do enjoy the reduction in video noise without using any of the tv's additonal noise reduction abilities. What really iritates me is that my TV forces grey side masks when using the 4:3 setting. This is usually no problem as my Oppo and cable box allow me to utilize black side masks. Really what I need is a larger variety of screen size options to better accomodate the image without cropping. Of course this would mean I would have to purchase an outboard video processor and that means more cash output that I really cannot justify. Actually what would make me happy would be to reduce the video noise when I watch it on my tube.

BTW Apparently the CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT LD sold for $300 although not to me.

Derek Steckler
09-02-2010, 02:29 PM
Yeah DTS and AC3 laserdiscs had great sound, not as compressed as DVD. Incidentally, can you imagine how much storage you'd get if Blu-ray technology was applied to laserdiscs?

http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEesAmfi02Myhe

Jonathan D. Cox
09-02-2010, 02:58 PM
Ha! That's awesome. If only...

I have a high pitched hearing loss and I really notice a difference between dvd, blu-ray, and laserdisc. With sd dvd I usually need closed captions but not so with with LD and BD. Same with understanding vocals on vinyl sourced from anaolg masters. I have decided to move my LD back up to the bedroom and hook it back up to my 36" 4:3 digital tube (which doesn't have an HDMI input btw). The biggest complaint I have about LD on the plasma is that the black levels are awful. Using the black level adjustments available on my set just made everything look worse. My wife has hinted that she would like to have a plasma for our bedroom in the next 2-3 so until then back to status quo.

K.O. Svines
09-18-2010, 07:37 AM
I don't think black levels on laserdisc is really that bad. Granted, on a plasma it does stand out, but after I calibrated the input (I can calibrate separate inputs differently without affecting the other on my plasma) using the Video Essentials laserdisc, it didn't look bad at all (all things considered).

Jonathan D. Cox
09-19-2010, 04:28 PM
I do need to purchase the Video Essentials disc.

AdamAskov
01-02-2011, 08:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGTfQQXBLMc

Check out Zaranyzerak's cool little Laserdisc rant called "Laserdisc: The Formant No One Respects".