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Posted: 13 Sep 2017, 09:19 

Hi everyone,

I understand that the forum has been slowing down because, well, we already talked and discussed 99% of what could be said/explained on LD and LD Players over the years.

I can see that visitors are reading/searching the forum but less contributions these days, except maybe in the "technical questions" for Players starting to age and slowly breaking down.

There are, however, a LOT of good posts and great information laying deep in the old topics that would benefit from more exposure/indexing.
After considering several options, I decided to give "Thanks for Posts" a try: https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/thanks_for_posts
thanks.png
For now you can add a "thank you note" on a post linked to an active account (not yours obviously, this is not Facebook!) and when enough thanks are received, I'll be able to pull out a list of popular topics and posters (in quality, not in quantity or most recent posts).

If you bookmarked or liked an old post, don't hesitate to go like it to give him a chance to shine again for newcomers!

And if you want to enable notifications (PM or Email) when someone thanked you, you will have to update your User Profile here:

http://forum.lddb.com/ucp.php?i=prefs&mode=personal

UCP.png

Julien

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Posted: 13 Sep 2017, 14:40 

I have always wanted to able to thank people on this forum for their particular posts without having to write it.

Glad you like it!

I hope it will not be understood as something similar to a Facebook "Like", but as a tool to highlight significantly insightful/well argued/documented posts that are worth reading even years later. Some of Disclord's posts on the technicality of video/audio formats were really great!

Julien

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Posted: 06 Apr 2018, 03:10 

Publius,

Tried PMing you, regarding the return of the Muse Decoder. Please contact me.

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Posted: 10 Apr 2018, 02:10 

=> Sent him a PM as well

He was on LDDb yesterday, he can't be far.

Julien

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Posted: 23 Jul 2019, 19:29 

There is something I simply do not understand. If the original mono audio track is missing, what are these new 5.1 and even 7.1 ! upmixes based on ?

The Hong Kong companies no longer have the original mono tracks in alot of cases.

They probably have access to original audio stems but that would require them to mix a new mono track which was done with Police Story but unfortunately it was mixed very poorly and had to be replaced on the Eureka release.

Even if they do have original audio it's usually bad quality compared to the old laserdiscs.

Sometimes we get lucky and they have a nice original track but it's really the luck of the draw.

In HK people really don't care about original mono audio and like the horrible 5.1 audio tracks that are featured on the blurays.

Ever notice how every single HK bluray only features a 5.1 mix with new sound effects & almost NEVER has original mono?

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 Post subject: Re: Koyaanisqatsi
Posted: 23 Jul 2019, 20:01 

I have both pressings, and actually the first (Pacific Arts) pressing has a digital soundtrack as well. I think you're referring to the fact that the second (Image) pressing has Dolby Surround, which provides some nice ambience.

That said, the mastering of the music in the Pacific Arts pressing is excellent, and I would argue that this alone makes it worth considering. I've made digital rips of the soundtracks of both of these LDs, and I have a solid preference for the Pacific Arts version. (In fact, out of all of the versions of this score that I own (3 CDs, 2 LDs, 2 DVDs, and BD), the Pacific Arts LD is my favorite, partially out of quality, partially out of completeness.) This is subjective, and it's probably not something you would notice if you are actively watching the movie, but there you go, food for thought.

So:

-- If you're going to be watching this as a movie, then I recommend the Image pressing, as it has better PQ and the Dolby Surround.
-- If your interest is primarily in the sound quality of the score, and you will be listening to it on a good sound system, then I recommend picking up both copies and giving them an A/B test.

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Posted: 18 Aug 2019, 09:03 

I wanted to type out some more on this disc in the "what laserdisc you bought last" thread but I figured I have enough to say about this one to give it it's own thread.

https://i.imgur.com/5jY1OxW.jpg

I expected this to be the kind of static "virtual aquarium" you can buy to this day on varying formats, but it's actually just diving footage shot with a special camera and you see a diver exploring some reefs and messing with the fish. The disc is single sided CAV and clocks at about 20 minutes worth of content but in reality it's really less than ten minutes because the same footage is duplicated across two different sections called "Zone I" and "Zone II", and the necessary glasses are provided for both. The Zone I glasses' arms simply fold while the Zone II ones require assembly.

https://i.imgur.com/itZRf9b.jpg

Zone II is essentially just your bog standard red and blue anaglyphic 3D and while it works at some points, a lot of the time it doesn't because anything too close to the camera is too far apart in either field, making it impossible for your eyes to focus on them the right way, thus ruining the effect. I actually tried standing away from the TV but at the point where I could almost focus on it properly, I had my back against a wall and might as well had been looking at a postcard at an arm's length. It's also technically in monochrome and the composite video renders the fields extremely blurry, neither of which help. Luckily the disc is encoded in CAV so you can probably get some decent 3D stills to freeze frame on.

https://i.imgur.com/MdMJvRc.jpg

Zone I in the other hand uses something called the Pulfrich effect (you can read more about it here ; I only learned what it was because the provided insert had the name in the description) and the glasses only have a darkened lens over the right eye, and somehow this produces the impression of 3D. While due to the nature of the Pulfrich effect, detailed in the wikipedia article, the 3D effect is relatively subtle and only works with objects that are in motion which makes everything else in the scene look flat, the fact that this half of the video is presented in full colour makes it look a bit more convincing and a lot clearer.

Overall, I wouldn't really recommend this title. While the amount of footage provided is kind of pathetic, it does strain your eyes quite a bit even after the ten minutes of a single chapter, so maybe they chose to keep it limited for that reason. Knowing what I now know about this disc, I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to buy it unless I could get it really cheap in a lot or something. It's really only interesting as a novelty and underwhelming for it's price.

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 Post subject: Re: Best quality Laserdiscs
Posted: 06 Sep 2019, 15:17 

Here's another thumbs up for a PAL LD release. I recently viewed the Pioneer LDCE UK release of Cliffhanger (PLFEB 31991) and was genuinely impressed by the picture quality on offer, solid colours and excellent overall clarity (quite amazing on close ups) the only criticism being what appears to be occasional aliasing artifacts, whilst sound quality was equally top draw stuff with some of the best rear effects and sound steering that I've ever heard, in fact very close to DD 5.1 at times but with all the benefits of the superior PCM audio. It would be interesting to compare the other European releases of this movie as I note that the French and German discs were manufactured by DADC Austria, whereas the Italian and British versions are made in Japan by Pioneer, anyone out there own/seen these other EU issues?

Finally a quick screenshot of the movie, it obviously doesn't do proper justice but does give an indication of the quality. Source Pioneer CLD-925, Display Sony VPL VW 500ES 4K Projector.

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Posted: 30 Sep 2019, 21:07 

confederate wrote:
t is better than the DVD where you can
see compression artefacts. For 4:3 aspect ratio video laserdisc is perfect.


This and audio are why I prefer LD over DVD.

Nice to see you around confederate, been awhile.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
Posted: 13 Nov 2019, 14:25 

As I understand it the NHK Muse broadcast channel was fairly popular in Japan, with regular broadcasts commencing in the early 90's (the earliest test broadcasts in the late 80's) and continuing until November 2007.

Many people also had so called M-N decoders which produced a 60Hz (not 59.94) NTSC output from the Muse channel/signal. This apparently still gave noticeable PQ improvement over the normal broadcast NTSC.

The last of a quite limited number of Muse LD titles was released in 1997 so Muse on LD really was niche within niche stuff.

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Posted: 20 Dec 2019, 19:40 

6. UHD Disc

I have a UHD player and am very impressed with the overall picture quality. This is a huge improvement over Blu Ray and the level of detail encountered in Blade Runner
is just amazing.
Despite having some changed sound effect and ocassional EE, I fully agree with you that Blade Runner got a magnificent UHD-BD. Warner isn't really a favorable studio imo but that disc is a must-own for sure.

I'm gonna be a bit short on this...

1. Blu-Ray - Yeah we all know UHD-BD is better technically speaking but the library of films available on Blu-Ray is really great. For consumer usage it's fairly rare to push the format to its limit, which I feel says a lot. Audio is awesome too. Forced FBI warnings, slow menus and hard region coding sucks tho.

2. Laserdisc - As a cinephile who loves physical media, Laserdisc is a always great to look back at. The only aspect that haven't aged too well is the picture quality in most cases, which becomes a factor when you've converted to modern formats. Apart from that it really has everything I like with a home video format. Awesome covers, magnificent audio and an overall taste of quality. It was made by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, and while you often encounter mainstream titles you cannot deny that the format had a really strong lineup in its 23 years on the market.

3. DVD - Can be seen as a final way out when you really have no alternatives. Kind of tedious that you can get better quality off modern streaming services but at least you can get plenty of DVDs for peanuts nowadays.

4. UHD-BD - Only placed this low due to the lack of interesting titles on the format. No further comment needed I assume.

5. HD-DVD - On the consumer side it's hard not to like HD-DVD for what it was. Few people remember this but Sony actually subsidized the Blu-Ray manufacturing and patenting for the first few years in order to compete with Toshiba, which was already at an equal price point for the studios. No region lock, no java menus and more supported video modes would have all played a role in the long run. Also there was an HD-50 disc which could certainly compete with Blu-Ray, but I don't think it was ever utilized. That would've made it somewhat future proof (not sure about 3D, Atmos etc however).

6. VHS - I don't think anyone have any really fond memories of this format.

7. Video CD - While perhaps more convenient than VHS, I will probably never stand to watch an entire film on this format again.

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Posted: 22 Dec 2019, 06:58 

1. Laserdisc. The format I always lusted after growing up. The format for adults with jobs. The format for true purists. I tried to buy a player at Cash Converters in 2002, it turned out to be PAL only despite the protests of the staff and wouldn't play my only LD (Macross DYRL Perfect Edition CAV). I argued for about an hour in the store to get my money back. Then girls and clothes and other s**t took over but I always knew I would return. After my second stint in Japan, where I was dirt poor, I returned to Australia in 2009, even though I was unemployed the bank here gave me a $5000 credit card. Like any good citizen should I put it back into the economy and used it for prostitutes, alcohol, sneakers and a Pioneer LD player off ebay..since then I've struggled to keep players working and to build my LD ecosystem. I still love LD, will always love LD and it will be my primary format until my lack of technical skill or money finally forces me to just watch my DVDs : (

2. VHS. Fansubs traded at the Canberra Anime Society, fantastic stuff recorded off SBS TV with cystal clear Aussiefied subtitles. I wish I'd kept most of my VHS collection. Dubbing people's wierd tapes, eg got Video Days that way off my Japanese housemate and briefly got into skating because of it. There is something so pleasing to me about the VHS picture. Back then all I wanted was a S-VHS deck but it was out of reach for the likes of me..of the few VHS tapes I have left some of the ones recorded off SBS-TV look phenomenal, I had really good reception of SBS back then for some reason. Don't think they could have been broadcast in Stereo but I had the only Sony VCR I could afford new, a mono deck so I'll never know but it made good recordings. Before then I had a National VCR that I taped the entire run of Robotech onto. That set got me so many friends in my final two years of high school in '94/'95. Used to lend it out to guys. Other s**t I used to record that I remember, Married with Children and Samurai Pizza Cats :lol:

3. VCD. This format got me content that saved my life in the second half of the '90s on a uni student budget. With my J-Saturn and VCD card, Sydney's Chinatown gave me access to the best of Japanese underground movies, kung fu s**t and p0rn. Thank you VCD. You sucked but helped me so much in of my many times of poverty. Watching Tokyo Eyes on VCD changed my life and made me realise my need to live in Japan and get Japanese girls.

4. DVD. Did me good after a grilfriend gave me a PS2 in '02. I suddenly had access to a lot of wierd s**t and it looked better than VCD. Didn't really seem as elite as LD but some later R2 releases just f***ing rule and are really beautiful and well mastered with the most made of the format. Honestly give me a Kuraray case and Jap mastering and that is as valuable to me as a nice LD release because on my setup it holds up honestly. PCM sound is identical to LD, on my CRT with scaling and with my comb filter and with a good master macroblocking is non existent. Overall LD is still less harsh and more natural which I love. But I'll take a good DVD release anyday.

? Blu Ray. Sucks s**t, this is a good example of how when there are no limitations people fail to excel. Technically should be superlative but what I've seen is terrible and doesn't look good at all. Could be to do with the idiots working in the industry today who think everything should look like CGI for some stupid reason. Blu Ray represents the superficial new world to me and I hate it. It's not pure or desirable to me at all.

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Posted: 23 Dec 2019, 11:03 

Didn't Nobel just make it up to feel less guilty about inventing dynamite?

I like the part (sarcasm) where Obama won the peace prize for being elected president just for being black> the ultimate condescentian of a president elect. Typical European leftist elites, virtue signalling how good and noble they are while actually being blatantly racist by having lower expectations for minorities.

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Posted: 04 Jan 2020, 16:51 

Did a quick search, some of the songs were changed.

Alternate Versions
The film's original soundtrack has been changed in different ways for its two DVD releases:
The Image DVD replaces Dave Grusin's beautiful "Freedom Epilogue" score music (where the horse is set free) with a reprise of "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" by Willie Nelson, originally heard during the opening credits. This actually works well, though one wonders why a piece of original score had to be changed.
The newer Universal release goes a step further, removing "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" from the opening credits (and in fact from the film completely) as well as "Freedom Epilogue" and replaces them both with a very inappropriate generic harmonica-driven instrumental which is meant to sound like a Willie Nelson song.

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Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 00:52 

I am again interested in how to tell the difference between PDO UK and Sonopress West Germany pressings.

I asked about this during my last period of interest in LaserDiscs, and came to what I thought was a satisfactory conclusion. My takeaway based on the discs I had examined was that PDO UK discs were rounder on the edge and Sonopress ones much more sharp/tapered. PDO discs also had their outer ring of dashed markings substantially further from the edge than Sonopress ones, such that with Sonopress ones you can actually see the outer dashed markings through the edge of the disc itself.

However, with more than a bit of annoyance I've just noticed my copy of 4064-70 The Onion Field (both discs of it) exhibits all the hallmarks of a Sonopress disc as mentioned above, and yet has "Made in England" featured prominently on both the outer cover and the inner sleeves.

Is this actually a Sonopress disc despite claiming to be "made in England"? If not, what exactly is going on here? Is it simply impossible to reliably identify Sonopress vs PDO UK discs? Surely there must be some way of telling!

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Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 02:19 

Sleeves can say one thing and the disc could be another.

The real way are the mint markings on the inner ring outside of the sticker.
I don't have any PAL discs and hope someone else can show pictures.

But you need to look at that ring, if you are looking for sonopress by asking people selling LDs then it may be harder for a non
LD person to figure it out.

I know there was a film I was on the hunt for years ago NTSC and it had to be the one make not the other.
Hope that helps a little

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Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 10:10 

Sadly both PDO and Sonopress lack mint marks besides the two rings of dashes. Unless they're under the label, that is. I'll post some photos this evening.

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Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 22:07 

"Made in England" (likely PDO) http://tim32.org/~muzer/sonopress-pdo/20200106_205015.jpg
"Made in England" (likely PDO) http://tim32.org/~muzer/sonopress-pdo/20200106_205025.jpg
"Made in West Germany" (likely Sonopress) http://tim32.org/~muzer/sonopress-pdo/20200106_205034.jpg
All three in the above order, from top to bottom http://tim32.org/~muzer/sonopress-pdo/20200106_205140.jpg


Based on this I really don't see any reasonable way of telling the difference between these two factories...

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Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 22:58 

Wow, no not really.

I only ever had this Steel and Lace (1991) [ID8195FR]
It says unknown but I swear the copy I had was made by PDO or I though it was marked. Had the block inner is all I remember.

From your pictures I was going to say the sticker as one is closer to the edge of bars than the other but that won't work
as the one on top and bottom are the same with the one in the center being different.

Did you ask before on the forum or was it on facebook or somewhere else??? I have no interest in PAL but would love to read about it.

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Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 23:39 

I did ask on the forum before but it was in a thread that was kind of half-related, and I didn't really receive a response. I must have been confident at the time that I'd found a way of telling but reading it back now it really doesn't seem to work based on the discs I've looked at, so I think I must have just managed to kid myself into believing it did work at the time...

Even more intriguingly I've just found multiple clear pictures of a Sonopress disc online https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/records/3619-eurythmics-videoofficial-greatest-hits-uk-laserdisc-781-012/ , and not only does it have a mint mark (albeit one that would be hidden under the label on my Princess Bride disc), I have noticed that the dash pattern is slightly different (mine, and all the PDO ones, have one part where it goes .-., whereas this one I've found goes -..-). Maybe this doesn't mean anything, but I'm not going to discount the possibility that my "Sonopress" disc is in fact a PDO one with incorrect labels applied!

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Posted: 07 Jan 2020, 02:01 

Not 100% sure but were Sonopress & PDO LDs not pressed/manufactured in exactly the same way using the same system types & processes? Pretty sure they were though & on the video of the Sonopress manufacturing plant they are pressing LDs with Philips on some labels.

Were Sonopress not involved in LDs for only a few short years? Started pressing LDs in 1982 but unsure of when they stopped.

Still huge in many things, a bit below from their site.

60 Years of Sonopress
Press Release04/18/2018
International provider of media services celebrates anniversary
From LP to UHD – 60 Years of Sonopress
The international media service provider Sonopress celebrates its 60th anniversary this month. On April 22, 1958 in Gütersloh, a company was founded that has since developed into one of the most innovative and successful replication service providers. What began in the late 1950s with six record presses in a small workshop is now one of the globally leading providers for digital storage media production, and the preferred service provider of all music majors, numerous games manufacturers, and world-famous Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures International. Over the past six decades, more than one billion vinyl records and as many as seven billion storage media have left its production halls. Along the way, some important innovations were developed, most recently the Ultra HD Blu-ray 100.

Milestones in the company's history:
1958 Record production begins in Gütersloh
1969 Start of music cassette production
1977 Establishment of the Mexpress record plant in Mexico City
1982 Start of laser disc/optical disc/video disc production
1984 Foundation of Topac - Gesellschaft für Tonträgerpackung [a company specializing in the manufacturing of packaging for recorded media]
1985 Start of CD production
1986 Acquisition of RCA’s music division by Bertelsmann in the U.S.
1991 Foundation of Sonopress Pan Asia in Hong Kong
1992 Discontinuation of record production in Gütersloh
1994 Establishment of digital storage media production in Dublin, Ireland
1997 Entry into DVD production
2001 Start of production of the first Xbox console games for Microsoft
2004 Presentation of the first storage medium with HDTV content
2006 Opening of the Sonopress site in Yaroslavl, Russia
2008 Celebration of the 50th anniversary in Bielefeld
2011 Takeover of Universal Music Group International’s archiving
2016 Market launch of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

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Posted: 07 Jan 2020, 21:00 

I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.

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Posted: 07 Jan 2020, 21:35 

I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.
Interesting. Did PDO have any facilities besides Blackburn (in England)? Perhaps The Princess Bride does indeed come from PDO and the "Made in West Germany" markings on the sticker, sleeve, and cover are from a previous pressing which they never bothered to change?

If your Sonopress titles had a label as large as The Princess Bride's would they cover up the mint marks? Would there be any other way of telling the difference?

If you could perhaps post some photos, especially of the centres of the discs, perhaps we can come up with some surefire way of telling the difference even in the event of labels covering the mint marks...

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Posted: 07 Jan 2020, 23:38 

I'm pretty sure all of these examples are actually PDO. Which PDO facility is unknown. All of the Sonopress titles I have have stamped mint markings, going all the way back to the "Elton John: Live in Central Park" disc issued in 1982.

Really helpful info - thanks blam :thumbup: .

Were PDO pressing in plants other than Blackburn?

.

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Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 17:18 

There is a hk one
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