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 Post subject: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 22:59 
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Greetings all,

What does level 1 and level 2 rot look like exactly? I'm not always sure what I'm seeing but it's giving me collecting woes so please allow me to explain.

First and foremost I don't have nostalgia for Laserdisc as we didn't have a player for it when I was growing up in the 80s, we had a VCR and VHS movies, though when I first experienced laserdisc at a store in the late 80's as a child I've always wanted laserdiscs but my family never invested in the them., being 37 now I've started collecting them starting around 7 months ago.

I do most of my purchases of laserdisc movies locally; craigslist, retail stores, thrift shops, etc and have a dilemma that's starting to bother me that is sort of pushing me away from wanting to collect LDs due to overall cost of buying multiple copies of a LD just to find a rot free copy can be pricey; that dilemma is of course laser rot! I am well aware that I can get most movies on other formats such as VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, etc however there's just something about laserdisc that is simply appealing to me and my media of choice.

I usually end up purchasing 10 - 20 laserdiscs at any given time and almost always, without fail I end up with several laserdiscs with what im assuming is "level 1" laser rot. I say assume as im not sure if it's actually laser rot or not, the ones that I think has it have random and not frequent colored blips here and there usually not consistant and just once in awhile a speckle or so will showup and it can be quite sometime before I see blip(s) again so it's not "snow". I am aware of the difference between film dirt, drop outs, physical scuffs on the disc itself, etc) some instances are definitely laser rot of the level 3 - 4 variety but that only affects maybe 5 laserdisc in my entire collection and I'll toss them once I get rot free versions.

I tend to search LDDB for rot status on a per movie basis when purchasing as to avoid known rotters or "possible candidates" unless they are $1 or $2 then ill chance it, however I find it hard to rely on that as many times a movie will have no rot status reports but when I get the movie home and check i'll see those random and not frequent colored blips here and there as I mentioned above. I'm guilty for not reporting as I will usually replace a movie if there is rot and I assume that's what others may do and reporting for every instance of possible could lead to false flags so I don't report as its possible that what I'm seeing isn't actual rot and/or that it could just be small defects of that particular disc itself.

Any insight on what level 1 or level 2 rot looks like would be helpful.

I am however thankful and lucky that my Eraser and Demolition Man LD's seems to be overall laser rot free! :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 00:48 
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My first hunch is that like most new collectors you don’t know what rot actually looks like. Until you get that straight then you’re lost.

What you’re describing just sounds like random LD defects. Few discs are perfect. That’s not what rot is though.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 01:27 
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signofzeta wrote:
My first hunch is that like most new collectors you don’t know what rot actually looks like. Until you get that straight then you’re lost.

What you’re describing just sounds like random LD defects. Few discs are perfect. That’s not what rot is though.


Thanks for the reply, could you explain what level 1 and level 2 looks like then? The very first statement of my post stated I don't know what level 1 or kevel 2 rot looks like. :)

However, I do know what level 3 and 4 looks like as a few of my laserdiscs have colored snow all over the screen and audio is affected as well.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 01:31 
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chaniyth wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
My first hunch is that like most new collectors you don’t know what rot actually looks like. Until you get that straight then you’re lost.

What you’re describing just sounds like random LD defects. Few discs are perfect. That’s not what rot is though.


Thanks for the reply, could you explain what level 1 and level 2 looks like then? The very first statement of my post stated I don't know what level 1 or kevel 2 rot looks like. :)

However, I do know what level 3 and 4 looks like as a few of my laserdiscs have colored snow all over the screen and audio is affected as well.

The best way to figure it out is a mathematical equation.
If 5 is 100% and 3 would be 60% then you could figure out the difference from there.

I've always hated 1-5 scales, 1-10 is the only real way to get things truly correct.

As zeta said.

And I feel you really need to watch a whole ton of discs to literally see what rot is at a 1-2 level.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 02:01 
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I have a related, but much simpler question.

If I buy a disc that's been reported as a possible rotter, but it isn't, and the disc is like 25 odd years old now - it's not gonna start rotting after I buy it, is it? I mean if it was a rotter, it would've done so by now, right?
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 02:17 
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Levels 1 through whatever all look like multicolored snow, you just get more of it. At some point you usually lose the Digital Audio and when it’s really bad the player won’t track anything and the disc is unplayable.

Rot is not all that well understood. Premature rot (ie: “rot”) is usually thought of as a manufacturing defect that begins at the factory and then gets worse and worse. However I’m pretty sure that if leave your discs stacked 50 high in a van down by the Amazon river something bad will happen to them.

Rot can show up at any time but it probably never will as long as you don’t heat cycle the things or expose them to huge humidity or whatever. Any “premature rot” as I call it should already have happened by now.

I think we have people here who only collect rotters or something. People blow it way out of proportion and then make it their quest to find rot free copies of Eraser or Dante’s Peak. New News Flash: every copy of Dante’s Peak rots! No, not laser rot, just rot. That movie rots. It’s absolutely terrible.

My personal experience with rot is that it’s super rare, far less than %1 of every disc I’ve ever owned. I usually buy Japanese releases though and that’s a huge part of it. I also, for whatever reason, wasn’t into many Sony films in the late 90s and that’s the majority of late rotters right there.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 04:16 
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signofzeta wrote:
I think we have people here who only collect rotters or something.

What a strange hobby!
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 09:42 
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Oh, it is. I don’t know what’s become of it. We have “late release” only collectors now, something that can only exist when a format is dead. People who never open the discs, also something nobody ever heard of in the SD era. eBay has taught people to commodify absolutely *anything* to the point where the original point of the thing is lost.

“Why didn’t you open it?”
“Because it’s worth like a grand!”
“What idiot would pay a grand for this? That’s insane.”
“That’s the going rate. It’s not just fanboys, this is a grown up hobby for serious collectors.”
“Grown ups who pay $1000 for a terrible disc like this?”
“You’re just jealous. I have such terrific LDs. Look at what they go for on eBay!”
“Those are BIN prices, not completed sales. Btw, don’t you ever wonder who’s buying these things for just insane prices?”
“Collectors!”
“Well, yeah, but at some point in this collectible economy doesn’t someone actually have to LIKE the thing so much they’ll pay $1000 for it?”
“No, they pay $1000 because it’s worth $1000. Nobody likes this movie. None of these seven people on the planet who are selling it have ever seen it. It’s on HBO every day anyway.”

There is a significant side of LD collecting that uses this logic. It’s a valuable collectable because it’s a valuable collectible. Everything else is hater logic. It’s the hollowest egg of a scene imaginable because the valuation is always external. There’s only so much a guy can genuinely like shrink wrap.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 02:49 
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signofzeta wrote:
There is a significant side of LD collecting that uses this logic. It’s a valuable collectable because it’s a valuable collectible. Everything else is hater logic. It’s the hollowest egg of a scene imaginable because the valuation is always external. There’s only so much a guy can genuinely like shrink wrap.

Yeah, that sort of mentality most definitely isn't exclusive to Laserdisc.

To make matters worse, I've seen some truly incompetent professional coverage on collector markets, so people who aren't into this sort of thing are just being blatantly misled. For example, there was an article here last year about old toys and the person who wrote it used the BIN prices to gauge the value! That's not the same thing at all! I could put my soiled underpants on ebay for two grand but that doesn't make them worth two grand!
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 04:51 
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signofzeta thanks for the information on "level 1/level 2" laser rot.

BTW, the ridiculous moronic collectors logic is a plague for anything and everything considered "retro" these days. It's plaguing the gaming as well as "retro" computer scenes now including MS-DOS and Windows 9x games and hardware. Too mamy people use eBay as a price guide which is ridiculous; especially since they only base "going price" on active BIN and not actual competed/sold sales which are usually significantly sold for less than the retardedly inflated active BIN pricing.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 06:10 
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chaniyth wrote:

Too mamy people use eBay as a price guide which is ridiculous; especially since they only base "going price" on active BIN and not actual competed/sold sales which are usually significantly sold for less than the retardedly inflated active BIN pricing.

Well ebay has always been used as a price guide when items are sold.
The BIN pricing on ebay is taking a risk, you either price too high and sit on it or wait for that customer who will buy it at your price.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 21:24 
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rein-o wrote:
Well ebay has always been used as a price guide when items are sold.
The BIN pricing on ebay is taking a risk, you either price too high and sit on it or wait for that customer who will buy it at your price.


Oh I know, but if people are going to use it as a "price guide" they should at least do it properly by only viewing the Sold/Completed auctions only (not BIN) and look back the past 3 - 6 months and figure the average prices.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 07 Feb 2018, 18:08 
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I've been thinking about the whole thing from an entirely statistical perspective.

If you look at the list of the worst rotter titles, pretty much all of them are major Hollywood blockbusters. Now of course them being major blockbusters means they were produced in far greater numbers than, I dunno, the 1996 Wasp Woman disc (which is apparently owned by only 12 people on the entire site!), but when you have a disc owned by a thousand people compared to something that's owned only by a dozen, don't the rot reports kind of skewer the statistics against the former?
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 07 Feb 2018, 22:40 
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The user base isn’t even close to large enough to make it all work, sadly. Anecdotal evidence we’ve seen here over the years however has given some good tips. The American Sony plant and the UK plant making CDVs seem to be responsible for the majority of rot after the Discovision days. Some stuff released by Pony Canyon seem to have problems. People constantly bring up Eraser are just looking to martyr themselves. It’s really easy to avoid rot, just harder when the stuff you like is in those catagories. .
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 07 Feb 2018, 22:46 
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Or just stay away from Eraser, it was a horrible movie anyway and why buy the LD for a buck and complain about rot when you can buy the DVD for a buck, or the bluray for 3 from wallyworld.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 08 Feb 2018, 01:01 
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Yeah, if I want to see a 90's Schwarzenegger movie, I'll just watch Last Action Hero. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2018, 04:26 
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I think it could be improved algorithmically - i.e. any LVDS-3xxx with rot reports could get flagged as avoid.

There are some which are tricky though - there are 1980's Paramount releases with the same catalogue # made from 1981 (late Discovison or early Pioneer Japan - both high rot risks) through the late 80's (w/solid Pioneer US pressings) - the only way to tell is the UPC barcode/ISBN number.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2018, 14:40 
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signofzeta wrote:
The user base isn’t even close to large enough to make it all work, sadly. Anecdotal evidence we’ve seen here over the years however has given some good tips. The American Sony plant and the UK plant making CDVs seem to be responsible for the majority of rot after the Discovision days. Some stuff released by Pony Canyon seem to have problems. People constantly bring up Eraser are just looking to martyr themselves. It’s really easy to avoid rot, just harder when the stuff you like is in those catagories. .


From my experiences anything produced by WEA and Mitsubishi has rot too; just about any disc I have that's made by WEA or Mitsubishi has minor speckling which I'm assuming is "level 1" rot as it's not a lot of speckles but is relatively constant and over the entire screen; usually for a few minutes then dissapears. Most of those titles have no rot status listed here on lddb. Maybe I just have bad luck. :think: :wtf:
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2018, 12:20 
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One site improvement suggestion, if interesting: on the laser rot report page, how about posting a few typical screenshots showing each level of rot ?
I mean, one or two shots for a Discovision, a CAV LD, a CLV, analog / digital video etc. ?
That would surely help selecting the proper level as the rot won't show the same way for each recording technique on a same level.
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 Post subject: Re: Laser rot woes + lack of LDDB laser rot reports
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2018, 22:18 
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chaniyth wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
The user base isn’t even close to large enough to make it all work, sadly. Anecdotal evidence we’ve seen here over the years however has given some good tips. The American Sony plant and the UK plant making CDVs seem to be responsible for the majority of rot after the Discovision days. Some stuff released by Pony Canyon seem to have problems. People constantly bring up Eraser are just looking to martyr themselves. It’s really easy to avoid rot, just harder when the stuff you like is in those catagories. .


From my experiences anything produced by WEA and Mitsubishi has rot too; just about any disc I have that's made by WEA or Mitsubishi has minor speckling which I'm assuming is "level 1" rot as it's not a lot of speckles but is relatively constant and over the entire screen; usually for a few minutes then dissapears. Most of those titles have no rot status listed here on lddb. Maybe I just have bad luck. :think: :wtf:


Hi chaniyth,

It sounds like you do just have bad luck, or else you may be misinterpreting these discs as having laser rot. My experience with Mitsubishi has been extremely good. The only U.S. domestic release I can think of pressed there which actually has minor laser rot is "Cage II: The Arena of Death". My copy of it has very slight speckling on one side. The only titles I can think of pressed by Mitsubishi that you really have to be wary of are a few of the very early Japanese releases with reference numbers that begin with "G78F", "G88F", and "G98F". These are early releases by Vestron, Pony Canyon, Herald Films, etc. I have found quite a number of these which have at least mild rot, and a few I have even seen with very severe rot. However, most of these I have managed to find good copies of, so it is possible to do so. I just ask the seller to take a look at it first before committing to buy, if it has a reference number with one of the prefixes I listed above. I should mention that some of the older Japanese releases with these types of reference numbers were pressed at Pioneer Japan. These are thoroughly reliable, despite being of the same vintage (early to mid-80's). The Mitsubishi ones are the ones to watch out for. If you are interested in an early Japanese release like these, I would recommend checking the LDDb page for the release, see if it is listed as a Mitsubishi pressed disc, and if so, ask the seller to check it first. With regard to WEA, my own experience with them has also been good, with the exception of one title. It is the U.S. release of "The Hand". I have seen multiple copies of it, and have never seen one that is totally rot free. I finally managed to locate one which has barely noticeable speckling for only about a minute or two at the beginning of side two. This is the best copy I was able to find of this title. It's really weird, because the rot was always at the beginning of side two on every copy I ever saw of it, at least one or two of which were very severely rotted. If you are looking for that particular title, I wish you the best of luck in your search! In checking my own rot report page, that is the only WEA pressed title I have found with laser rot. That is quite remarkable, considering that I have 250 titles on my rot report! Keep in mind, however, that WEA was one of the smaller manufacturing facilities, and their production was mostly limited to Warner Home Video releases for the U.S. market. In fact, I suspect they may have actually been owned by Warner Home Video, although I don't know that to be a fact. In any event, my experience with them is a pretty small sample size. Unless you're really into titles released by Warner, I don't think you have much to worry about from WEA. The last thing I would tell you is that I have tried to be very diligent in reporting rot on every title I have ever encountered it on. If you see my userid, laserking, listed as reporting rot on a title you are interested in, you may be quite certain that it is one you should be cautious of buying without checking first. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in grading the rot level on every title I have reported. I hope that it will help you, as well as others here to avoid disappointment. Although I have reported rot on 250 titles, I have managed to locate clean copies of the majority of them, so it can be done, if one has the patience and persistence. Good luck in your search! :thumbup:

Best Regards,
David
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