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Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 21:22 

Regarding newer 4k TVs, specifically Sony brand...

I used this site as a starting point for my settings:

They have extensive information and tests for calibrating your TV/monitor. Where a lot of the info you see online is questionable I trust these guys due to the level of detail and extremes they go to with product testing.

Anyway, I've been tweaking settings back and forth for a while on this TV and feel like I've found the ideal settings for LD on this display (Sony XBR55X810C). This TV has memory for each input so you can set the Composite input correctly without affecting other inputs.

Aside from the actual picture settings which I made with Video Essentials, there were a few settings that I had not initially utilized until recently. Those settings being the "Motion Flow", "Cine Motion", and any kind of Noise Reduction.

Re-visiting the site linked above I was drawn to the section on 24p playback and motion interpolation. I had avoided these settings previously because I don't like the soap opera effect (SOE) and don't want to be adding fake frames that don't exist.

Then, after reading the individual sections by clicking on the "learn more" links I realized what this was; an inverse telecine circuit! As you can see in the review, my TV handles 24p over 60i. It is a 120Hz display so it will deal with anything you throw at it.

Basically, by setting "Motion Flow" to "True Cinema" and the "Cine Motion" to "High" you are detecting 24p content that has been telecine-ed to 60i, it reconstructs the original 24 frames and then uses the 120hz refresh to do a 5:5 conversion also preserving the original 24 FPS of the film. This has made a significant improvement in clarity and motion for me.

Sony has used these terms in previous models and they have not always had the same effect. They have, in the past, been synonymous with the SOE. Depending on your model the above info may not be accurate. I can tell you that on my display I'm not seeing the SOE and watching a LD feels normal.

In addition to that, which is huge, there are built-in noise reduction circuits for "Random Noise" and "Digital Noise". I've set "Digital Noise" to "High" and that has greatly improved titles that aren't as clean as some of the latter releases. Cleans them up really nice without artifacts. I don't notice any improvement with the built-in VNR on the CLD-D704 but I think that only applies to S-Video output anyway, which this TV does not have. If I toggle it on/off it doesn't seem to negatively affect a title that already looks decent so I leave it on for now (I'm watching the Connery Collection, Goldfinger and it looks great zoomed in).

Blacks are like midnight.
Colors and resolution are insane.
Motion is accurate.
SW zone plate is clear when still.
Zoom works great.

My only complaint is that there is overscan. I can't see the edge of the SW test plate in any direction. Feels punched in. Has nothing to do with the bezel (at least on the L/R sides). It isn't terrible but it ain't right either :(

Here is a cell phone photo of the screen so you can draw your own conclusions:

Sony XBR55X810c Composite Input.jpg

I hope that has been informative and maybe even helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: DVDO VP50 Pro problem
Posted: 14 Jun 2018, 16:39 

OEM power supplies are available from Astrodyne TDI in New Jersey. They are a US distributor of Chinese power supplies.

The DVDO VP50 uses this exact PS. It is rated for 6Vdc at 7A. The one in the picture has a 5 pin DIN but mine came with the exact DC coaxial connection for the VP50. Nice tight fit. You may want to talk to a service rep to make sure on the output connector. They were very helpful and great to deal with.

$85 US and like 6 weeks shipping for a single unit.

This should solve overheating problems and cheap PS that keep dying.

FYI - I bought a generic PS from eBay that claimed to be for the DVDO VP50 for $12. It did not power the unit at all.

Hope this helps someone ;)

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Posted: 06 Feb 2019, 17:46 

Here is an article in the news from today at Engadget:

Just mentally replace 'DVD' with 'LD' in your mind when you read it. Same point being made here regarding the streaming services going away and/or controlling the flow of content that is available.

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Posted: 28 May 2019, 18:02 

Welcome to the Sony 4K club ;)

I'm glad people are realizing that modern TVs can present a nice image for LD out of the box. It may even rival magic boxes costing thousands of dollars. Maybe.

The fact that you may need a breakout cable moving forward is not ideal but as long as it works - it works. Glad you figured it out and thanks for sharing your experience.

With regard to AR settings on a Sony, as mentioned, you only really need "Normal" (4:3) and "Zoom" (1.78:1 Letterbox = Full Screen). A 2.35 movie would be correct on the Zoom setting. 1.66 movies are hard to get right however. I'll usually use the Normal 4:3 setting and know the top and bottom are slightly cropped. If you need to matte out burned in subtitles (Japanese movies) then you are SOL on that front.

Scaling is fine nothing to mention, like ringing.

I highly recommend looking up your TV or one you're looking to buy and seeing if it has the features you want/need at this website:

They do pretty deep testing and have good explanations of their findings and methods. Of note were the motion settings and Color Temperature settings.

Motion Settings for Sony's:

According to these guys the Sony's are able to do inverse telecine on 60i signals then they do a 5:5 of the 24p for the 120Hz panel so you get smooth accurate motion. Not sure how they do on animation with odd cadences but the Looney Tunes stuff looks good to me. Comb filtering is about as good as it gets IMO. Colors are nice but don't "pop" as much as on my Faroudja.

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 Post subject: Re: Capturing PCM from LD
Posted: 12 Aug 2019, 16:03 

M-Audio Transit will work. USB2 connection. Its old and probably cheap on Ebay. There is a new Pro version that will require an adapter since the optical input is on a mini connection. The new one probably has better drivers than the old version. Here is a link to the original model for reference. No affiliation. I have the old one and confirm it works as advertised.

Any MOTU interface with Toslink, like the Traveler, will work great also but is more expensive. I personally use a Traveler mk 1 myself and just did this the other day with come concert LDs. I've found these cheap locally on Craigslist. This will require a firewire connection but their newer products also have USB connectivity.

Ideally when you do the capture you should set the clock source to Optical/SPDIF or External so that the LD player is the sync master. This should help reduce jitter or noise. Setting should be 44.1KHz, 16 bit, Stereo.

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 Post subject: Re: Capturing PCM from LD
Posted: 17 Aug 2019, 18:19 

I'm an audio engineer by trade. Its my main source of income. I've been doing this for 20 years now. Never have I ever heard of the insanity of something coming in on Optical S/PDIF and getting D/A converted internally except to exit from an analog output which is not the case here. That sounds like suspect hardware/software if that is really happening. How can a piece of software in a computer (binary - digital) convert a digital signal to analog then digital again and why on Earth would that be plausible ever? All analog audio must be A/D converted to use in a computer but digital audio stays digital until you play it out of an analog output.

Actually, Audacity being free and Windows being Windows this all makes sense :)

So again, keep this simple because it really is. LD Optical output>USB Optical device Input>USB cable>Host computer USB input>Audio Software. Set the software for 44.1KHz, 16 Bit, Stereo WAV file. That is the setting and there is no need to try anything else in this scenario. If the software has a selection for input source, choose the one for the (USB) capture device. If there is a selection for (word) clock source choose external or optical or USB, whatever they call the source input (the USB box). Do a 1 minute test. Depending on the software and your hardware you may not be able to monitor the digital audio in real time. When the recording is finished be sure to reset the (word) clock source to internal or you may run into sync issues when you playback.

The main issue, I suspect, is Windows and/or Audacity coupled with the lack of experience. Don't get discouraged - you'll figure it out eventually.

Unfortunately it's not that simple if one desires bit-perfect captures, since the audio could get internally converted to analog and then back to digital by the PC/input device, or otherwise altered so that it's no longer an exact digital copy.

The first posts on these threads on FanRes would probably be good starting points for making sure that you're recording the exact PCM data:

Knowing the hardware I have personally I know for sure my sampling rate is correct and also that that there is no D/A/D going on (I can’t even...that makes no sense to me).

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 Post subject: Re: Capturing PCM from LD
Posted: 25 Aug 2019, 16:50 

Ok, that is something that actually makes sense why it isn't working then. Strange that something wouldn't accept the consumer standard sample rate of 44.1KHz. Anyway, move on. That M-Audio box is actually perfect for your application. Its cheap and has very humble requirements. It even will pass through AC3/DTS. I'd read up online about using it with whatever OS you're on. It may have some buggy limitation in Windows.

As for clock sync, read this: So basically think of digital as a stream of info running at a certain speed (44,100 cycles per second in this case) controlled by a clock. When two different systems need to work together they need to decide who is the master clock signal. Usually it should be the source if you don't have a separate master clock source like many studios have. If you set the receiving end to be the master there is a chance you may have jitter or drop outs due to a clocking mismatch.

Now look at the setting/preferences in Audacity or whatever DAW you're using. I use a MOTU product that has a software panel that controls all that stuff. I just choose the clock source from a drop down menu. Your system will have be different so just look around.

In PCM capturing news someone responded to my post on Head Fi and mentioned this:

"Maybe the CM6206 can only handle 48k sample rates on S/PDIF? The data sheet says "S/PDIF I/O 48 KHz sampling rate" a couple of places. Laserdisc audio (including DTS) is at 44.1."

Interesting! So I might try the M-Audio transit when I can afford it.

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 Post subject: Re: Capturing PCM from LD
Posted: 13 Sep 2019, 05:02 

forper wrote:
Crying with happiness right now.

..and thank you Sonicboom for the Transit recommendation. I will conduct many PCM transfers now I have the capability! :lol: 8-)

Okay , okay if you guys died I would be sad for a bit

Right on! Glad you got it to work finally. Enjoy the fruit of your labor dude.

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Posted: 28 Oct 2019, 18:35 

All Faroudja and other video processors should be avoided. Faroudja shut down way before per pixel adaptive deinterlacing so none of the Faroudja stuff has decent processing per today’s standards.

Interesting you mention that. Here is a quote from the FLI2310 product brief from 2003 (used in the DVP-1080 from 2005/6):

• Per-pixel Motion Adaptive Deinterlacing
• Patented FilmMode Processing - Used for proper de-interlacing of 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown material.
• Edit Correction - Film content is continuously monitored for any break in sequence caused by “bad edits” and quickly compensates for the most effective reduction in artifacts.
• DCDiTM by Faroudja - Video is analyzed on a single pixel granularity to detect presence or absence of angled lines and edges, which are then processed to produce a smooth & natural looking image without visible artifacts or “jaggies”.

Not trying to be argumentative. Not trying to make blanket statements. Just looking for some clarification between some of the different products that are often discussed here and to learn from those who are knowledgable.


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 Post subject: Re: Best quality Laserdiscs
Posted: 17 Dec 2019, 17:55 

Meet Joe Black (1998) [LD 83377-WS]

Picked this up the other day having never seen it. The movie is...whatever but the PQ is like DVD. Later release and man it looked great!

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 Post subject: Re: The Cotton Club
Posted: 27 Dec 2019, 18:37 

Most Hollywood movies from the mid to late 1950s or early 1960s recorded all dialogue on set to mono analog 1/4" tape on a Nagra III then other Nagra models until around 1989 when Jeff Wexler (The Natural, ID4, Fight Club) first began using DAT to record dialogue on set.
First movie I did with DAT was "Ghost" in 1989 on a SONY D-10.
Prior to DAT those 1/4" tapes often got printed to a piece of film so they could edit and sync sound to picture. Then all the scoring and other audio gets recorded and mixed with the dialogue, likely to analog tape or maybe just a film print for distribution. Some videos below illustrate the process a little.

In 1986 Sony introduced the D1 (component) digital video format and from then on "Digital Mastering" was possible. Prior to that it was likely 1" analog video tape. The D1 system allowed a SPDIF input so that the master contained digital audio. D2 (composite) arrived in 1988.

So technically speaking LD with a completely digital audio chain was not happening until 1989 at the very earliest and even then, Jeff was a Pioneer so it wasn't for another year or so before more mixers adopted that workflow. Even then, the DAT tapes *may* have just been transferred (via analog) to a piece of film as before the days of DAT because their systems had not evolved yet.

So, The Cotton Club in 1984 was almost certainly recorded to 1/4" analog tape (on set dialogue) so if the LD has PCM on it you should know that the source of the PCM is still analog.

Maybe some of that was useful....

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Posted: 09 May 2020, 17:31 

cplusplus wrote:
Disney used laserdiscs in the lines of some of their rides because of the looping capabilities.

What I wouldn't give for a Star Tours or Captain E.O. promo LD....

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Posted: 11 May 2020, 17:17 

45 minutes........... this person needs to learn how to direct or "trim the fat"

Scanned it, wish they showed the image from LD, must have a large collection but no player?

This comment is




Rein-O, you're advised to just scroll past things like this if your "input" is nothing more than a derogatory slam. There is no need to comment on every single topic here, as you do. Yes, of course, you're entitled to your opinion as I'm sure you will retort.

When you take the time to shoot, edit and present an informative video to help the community and to further engage new enthusiasts of this format and to help them understand the technology better, please let us know so we can all comment on how crappy we think your video is.

Thanks for sharing your opinion Rein-O!

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Posted: 29 May 2020, 15:23 

I'd like to attach a file from the Philips Technical Review, VOLUME 40, 1982, No. 10 which explains the Manufacture of LaserVision video discs by a photopolymerization process but alas the file is larger than the 2MB allowed here.

It goes into detail about PMMA and 2P

EDIT: I uploaded it to dropbox:

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Posted: 07 Jun 2020, 16:46 

Lots of great tips and advice. Keep at it man I know you're super frustrated and likely close to giving up. You have nothing to loose at this point however and everything to gain.

You have some of the best techs here to help you (certainly not counting me in that group).


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Posted: 09 Jun 2020, 15:37 

Welcome to the club duderino.

Well, not all comedy but a good time is guaranteed for all.

A Classic: Wizard of Oz, The: The Ultimate Oz - Collector's Edition (1939) [ML103990]

Not that its stoner related but Dead Man is a great movie and a soundtrack that allows your mind to do all the work since there is little dialogue.

I'd also mention any classic animation like Looney Tunes, Disney (esp: Alice in Wonder Land & Fantasia), Winnie the well as things like Heavy Metal (1981) [74656]

Don't forget Pink Floyd's The Wall as well as their concert stuff like Pulse.

In that vein check this out:
Paul McCartney: Rupert & the Frog Song (1985) [PA-86-M037]

How about:
Kids (1995) (Uncut) [LDVM6311]

Also, personally I enjoy all the Nature and Space stuff from Lumivison especially IMAX features:
Ring of Fire (1991) [LVD9509]
Floating World, The (1989) [LVD9024]
To Fly (1976) [LVD9113]

The Mind's Eye series is a trip as well:
Gate to the Mind's Eye, The (1994) [ID2926MM]
Odyssey Into the Mind's Eye (1996) [MLV49877]

These are also pretty chill:
Anima Mundi (1992) [ID2609MM]
Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1983) [ID5304PA]
Microcosmos (1996) [10480 CS]
Ansel Adams: Photographer (1981) [ID5339PA]
Isao Tomita: The Planets (1991) [ID8421DB]

Seasonal Stoner ideas:
Nightmare Before Christmas, The: Deluxe CAV Laserdisc Edition (1993) [2774 CS]

Gallagher: Melon Crazy (1984) [LV2339]

I hope you feel better soon ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Fawlty towers is racist
Posted: 15 Jun 2020, 17:45 

I'm not saying we should ban/censor. I'm not a book burner. Make art that makes people question their own reality - PLEASE!

My entire point was that if we as HUMANS move in a direction away from the formulaic and cliche'd stereotypes that are portrayed we might begin to see each other more as equals than we obviously do now. Did the Jazz Singer improve race relations or did it make them worse? Does that image have an impact today 100 years later? Sure does, though maybe not to YOU.

Jazz Singer vs Blazing Saddles. You can tell one is more serious than the other and with comedy you can begin to see how things like racism/sexism/homophobia are just so inherently unacceptable by the way they take things too far. Even the writers would probably agree that the characters they created are assholes and that is the point. You associate that behavior with assholes (like when people here say things like "China Virus"). Contrary to the Jazz Singer which was a serious drama that in fact celebrates a time when it was acceptable, even entertaining, to do blackface.

I just bought Fawlty Towers DVD set for my 77 year old father. I love all that stuff, especially Are You Being Served? I grew up watching Married With Children and All in the Family too. I GET IT. HA HA HA its funny, ok? I also grew up watching GWTW with my Mom because she really enjoyed it and I grew to enjoy it as well. Though, what I really enjoyed, was In Living Color . That show pushed back on all that racial stuff, gave it a new twist and a Black perspective and it was HILARIOUS. Some people at the time, however, thought it was racist against White people because they portrayed them and dumb prejudiced honkeys when in fact all they were doing was what other shows had already done for Black folks. They spoofed so hard on Anglo-American culture/media and its all genius. So there is my point again, there will be more shows that are produced/written and performed by non-whites and may be super critical of whites. I guarantee they will suffer a lot of criticism for being racist against while people. Just wait. Comedy has the ability to walk the line that drama doesn't, in my opinion.

I also watched the Rodney King beating and trial then watched my city burn to the ground. Now I'm seeing the same thing happen almost 30 years later. Nothing has changed but it needs to. I'm sorry if you disagree.

Again, some people here are very upset that SotS was never made available in the US beyond VHS. Disney decided to not promote the fantasy that slavery was not that bad anymore. Kudos to them. The government didn't force them to shelf it either. Those people are angry at the content creator/copyright holder for stealing their childhood away or whatever. "My heritage is being destroyed by the liberals!" I've never seen the movie and I could give a crap if is is or isn't released here (see how your personal experience can have an effect on being objective?). Keep pissing up a rope, waiving your flags and watching your VHS tape. Same with HBO and GWTW. When you own a media corporation you make the choice as to what is shown. Until then you get what you get. Sorry. Why don't you petition Disney/HBO and demand they give you the programming you deserve, lol. You should be proud to live in a democracy hahaha! Power to the people.

BTW I'm mixed race first generation American for whoever asked. My Dad is straight up R-A-C-I-S-T. That doesn't give me any more right than anyone else to say anything on anyone's behalf except mine. You can say whatever you want and I'll listen. I'm not some savior of the people or whatever. I just believe in listening to people and taking their concern to heart. Especially when a certain group has been systematically oppressed in this country. I, personally, think that is more important than people who aren't able to own SotS on 4K BR in the US in 2020.

I didn't start this topic. I'm just voicing an opinion as many here have and will continue to do so. I will continue to stand up for what I believe and don't have a problem confronting opposing opinions. That's how we grow. You do the same so hopefully we can meet in the middle and be civil, respectful, adult humans.

If this makes you uncomfortable you can ask to have this thread closed/removed/banned/censored or what have you ;)

Sheesh, people are the f'ing worst...and its only Monday!

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Posted: 29 Jul 2020, 15:32

SPU45-103 it has a coaxial 2.5mm plug. They make several model. I suggest contacting:

Brittany Febus | Customer Service Representative, Low Power
36 Newburgh Road | Hackettstown | NJ, 07840 USA
PH: 1(908)850-5088 x1230

You're welcome.

I paid ~$65 and had to wait 6 weeks for delivery from China. This is a distributor of OEM products made in China.

The specs are identical to DVDO's SINPRO power supplies. I bought one for a VP50 that was otherwise non-functional. This worked PERFECTLY and the plug fits nice and snug. The $6 power supply from amazon didn't work and didn't fit well.

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Posted: 31 Aug 2020, 23:51 


Things are not always what they seem. I opened up the original PS again. I'll correct my earlier statement and say the board is somewhat labeled but is cramped and hard to see anything. Plus I'm not a pro so there is that.


Anyway, I tried to trace the wires to their sources and now understand why I was confused before.

For one, there was a ton of brown dookie that was used to hold the wires in place originally. I've heard this can become conductive over time. The 2 black and the yellow seemed to be connected to the same solder point but after meticulously cleaning the dookie away with 99% Alcohol I was able to see they are in fact separate. There were a few capacitors that also had the dookie of death surrounding them and so I cleaned all that away.

Now I could finally see that the Blue wire was Ground, albeit not labeled on the board.

The 2 Black wires were soldered to the same point and measured 12V.

The 2 Red wires were also soldered together and measured 17V.

Yellow measured 24V.

Remember how I said Yellow and Black were almost connected via the dookie? I'm guessing that was the main issue but I maintain that I know nothing.

This is in contrast to what the label on the PS says (3.3V, 5V, 12V, 5Vsb).

I decided to just put humpty dumpty back together again and install it in the Crystalio and hope it didn't explode.

Prior to all of this my symptoms were a ever present chirp, like maybe from the fan I thought. This thing is always on so maybe the fan chirped and was nearing end of life. I've run it with the top open before and don't notice the fan coming on. So maybe the PS is overheating? Then it randomly powered off during a few movies but would work if I powered it back up until one movie it did it a few times too many and I decided to unplug it and investigate.

Now that I cleaned it all, re-installed it and powered it on......nothing. Well almost. It did power on normally but no input or output. The front panel buttons were also non-responsive. Sh!t.

Power down, check connections and unplug/replug the front panel connector.

Power up and bang, we are back in business! I'm running it with the top off and after about a half and hour I hear a little bit of the same chirping noise and the fan is not spinning at all...still quieter than before. The PS is hot to the touch but that's probably normal. I'm guessing that if it gets too hot it will shut down again. At that point I'll probably put in the replacement I bought.

I'm going to wait and see what happens with this for now but I do have a replacement and now I know what the C2 logic board wants (left to right looking at the mobo from the front):

Blue (Gnd), Black x2 (12V), Red x2 (17V), Yellow (24V)

I really hope this has been or will be helpful to someone in the future. I also really hope the guy who was snarky to me reads this and re-evaluates his style of "helping people". What's the use of posting online so much an being a Laserdisc personality if you are only going to be an elitist jerk when people humbly ask for help? Communities are about supporting people and coming together as a team not joking about people's taste, skill-set or volume of acquired knowledge.

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Posted: 05 Sep 2020, 19:02 

My LD-S2 would not eject at all when I bought it. The original grease had become quite sticky. I cleaned and replaced the old grease with fresh white lithium grease and have not had a problem since.

See the spots marked 2 in the attached image. I would just replace what you can easily get to in order to avoid any issues that might arise from further disassembly.

Thank you! Mine does the same. I'm in no rush to open this beast up but maybe if I get the courage to do the AC3 mod I can do both at the same time.

I love how we all share knowledge and help each other just to keep these things alive!

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Posted: 09 Sep 2020, 16:15 

Next step is to find a new DVDO PSU, but I hear the eBay ones are not great for use and suffer early deaths?

That's correct the ones online are generally garbage. Sinpro was the one included with the DVDO. Astrodyne TDI makes the exact same OEM part. I bought one and can confirm it is 100% what you want. You need to call Britney:)

Scroll down to the last post by me.

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Posted: 20 Sep 2020, 16:00 

The problem is it looks like the connector is totally different to that required by the DVDO VP50 Pro?

One other thing, which took me back a bit. The bloke at Sinpro said due to safety certificates and standards even if they could make the old SPU45E-103 they wouldn't be allowed to import it to Europe for safety reasons. :wtf:

Anyone know of another PSU that would work and is safe?

The Astrodyne TDI is the direct replacement. It has the correct DC plug for the DVDO, not DIN....I doubt you'll find another OEM that makes this one due to the strange voltage/amperage.

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Posted: 25 Sep 2020, 21:27 

I’ve been interested in Super NTSC since reading about it here in the LDDB forums. Disclord (RIP) had the most to say about it and is the muse for my further investigation of its use on Laserdisc titles.

More people are also stumbling across this info here and have more questions and are interested in seeing the difference.

So, after watching Deep Impact yesterday I’ve decided to do a write up and see if we can convince people with the technical knowledge to come forward and share what they know. Please, if you know more that what is being covered here we’d love to hear it!

Background on the Technical Details
As noted by Disclord
Yep, it has to start in component D1 for,at to be encoded to SuperNTSC and then stored in the composite D2 format. I don't have the Faces set but if they were supplied to Kuraray in the D1 for,at then they would be SuperNTSC since, according to Joe Kane and someone else I can't mention, all component D1 sources were encoded to SuperNTSC at Kuraray - and that wouldnt be changing the films in any way but better mastering quality - it's hit and miss at the other pressing plants - towards the end of LaserDisc's life, say 1997 or so, almost everything from every plant is SuperNTSC since D1 had become the mastering standard from down reszed HD transfers - compare a non-SuperNTSC release like the CAV Dick Tracy with a later SuperNTSC disc and you'll see the major reduction in artifacts achieved, especially on diagonals, even when decoded with a non Faroudja decoder - and 3D Adaptive decoders look even better. The Fifth Element is an amazing looking SuperNTSC disc and has 2MHz of chroma resolution too.
Super NTSC on LD has to be from a component source and be encoded to Super NTSC as opposed to normal NTSC. The products used were likely Faroudja brand since they invented the technology and hold the patents. The source tape was either Sony’s D1 Digital component or Panasonic’s D5 HD.

D1 boasted uncompressed digital Rec.601 compliant (interlaced) 4:2:2 video in YCbCr color space. While this format was released in 1986 it was primarily used for broadcast since at that time there was no home video format that was in the component space. Sony released D2 a similar composite tape format in 1988. When you see “Digitally Mastered” on a LD it is probably on a disc released after 1988.

Once DVD was being developed the studios had to make new component masters from new film scans for newer movies that were just making it to home video. Think about movies that came out theatrically in 1996. Those were making their first home video appearance on VHS, LD, and DVD. The masters would likely be in component format to take advantage of the component nature of DVD and then be easily converted for other formats. I highly doubt they used Standard Definition D1 as a mastering format for DVD. If they were smart the studios would scan new films at a higher resolution to future proof them and save time/money. By that time some of the LD mastering facilities had new technology from Faroudja called Super NTSC. Kurray in Japan being one of, if not the first to use it.

It wasn’t until DVD came along late in 1996 that there was a need to produce component masters for duplication. I’m not positive, but I speculate that DVD master tapes were Panasonic D5 HD format (1994). D5 HD allows 1080p@23.98. If you rip any major studio DVD movie (film) you’ll see that the VOB/MPEG file on the disc is usually 23.98 progressive. 1080p/24 down-res’d to 480p/24 is easy to do and you have a Blu-Ray ready HD master at the same time. Makes sense to me but Disclord mentions that Kurray used D1 component tapes converted to D2 for LD mastering despite those being interlaced and hence locked at Standard Definition and not future proof.

What is Super NTSC anyway?
Super NTSC was an encoding/decoding process very much like NTSC or PAL are. You input component and the output is NTSC. The difference is all the things Disclord mentions; higher resolution due to pre-combing luma/chroma and extended color bandwidth. Also much less video noise. Its a very clean stable signal that looks like a soft or analog DVD.
The History of Television, 1942 to 2000 By Albert Abramson Page 228

Super NTSC has the visual characteristics of a 1050 line, 59.94 Hz, 15 Mhz RGB signal without NTSC artifacts. It included luminance detail processing, Y and C adaptive combing before NTSC decoding, Y/C multiplicative bandwidth expansions, and motion-compensated line doubling.
I have PDF files by Yves Faroudja describing the technology but can't upload them here because PDF is not allowed. I'd hate to have to convert them to jpg...I see all the manuals are in PDF format so maybe there is a way.

People have been asking for a list of titles and some have been mentioned; Titanic, Fifth Element, Deep Impact, Star Wars (Faces), etc.

How to tell the difference?
All I can add is that if you have any of the above titles and a Faroudja decoder you can tell what is Super NTSC quite easily. In fact, you don’t even need a Faroudja decoder as any NTSC decoder will still produce a better image with a Super NTSC encoded disc. Look for video noise, especially in dark scenes. If there is none its probably SN. Look for places where you’d normally see artifacts on fine details like car grills, space ships, AC vents, clothing patterns, wide moving shots of nature, etc. If there are few to none its probably SN. Look at the overall picture and check out the color saturation and bleeding. If it looks solid and doesn’t bleed its probably SN. At the other end of the spectrum pop in any disc from say 1994 or earlier. It should be pretty obvious that those discs are not SN encoded.

I watched Goldeneye the other day and it looked stunning. Then I put on Conan and it looked noticeably not as good. Then I put on Deep Impact, again a very noticeable improvement. Then put on Memoirs of an Invisible Man which was back to looking more like Conan. What I’m saying is that unless you A/B it can be hard to distinguish but it becomes pretty obvious when you see Super NTSC vs non-Super NTSC on the same system.

As mentioned previously, if you’re looking for Super NTSC encoded LDs good candidates are movies theatrically released ca.1996 or later and mastered by Kurray. They will all have new film scans made and be stored on D1/D5 HD.

Note that ALL DTS titles were released after 1997 and mastered at Kurray however if there was a catalog title that already had a LD release the older master tape may have be reused and DTS sound added in mastering. I have no idea but I’m saying that not all DTS titles pressed by Kurray are defacto SN encoded just that they are good candidates. I'd almost bet that all DTS LD releases are the same (video) masters as their DVD counterparts. It would be easy to reduce the bitrate of the DTS stream to fit on the DVD as required by the bit budget.

What About Star Wars?
This is my speculation with Star Wars faces set from 1995. According to lddb user Mitch the 2nd run was in 1998 at Kurray. The Definitive Collection , mastered by Mitsubishi, came out pre-DVD era (1993) and so was not likely on D1 unless they were thinking ahead (possible). Then again, since DVNR was applied it seems likely a new master was made and thus could be on D1 component. Legend here says the faces set is just the DC in CLV format (same master). I’m going to check out my faces discs today since they’re all the Kurray pressings. Being that they're later releases its possible that either Kurray had the time to implement SN encoding by 1998 if the master was D1 or that if the master was D1 in 1993/1995 for the DC and the first run of the Faces that Mitsibushi/Pioneer may not have been up to speed on SN encoding. However, the SE Trilogy Set from 1997 made by Pioneer does have Super NTSC encoding according to Disclord's comment. Everyone loves that version right?

So Pioneer ca.1997 has SN encoding capabilites....

The List
The Fifth Element
Deep Impact
Meet Joe Black
Wizard of Oz THX CLV 1996
From Dusk Til Dawn
The Man Who Knew Too Little
Good Will Hunting
Great Expectations
Nothing To Lose
Wild Wild West
Goldeneye AC3 (not Kurray)
Mission Impossible (not Kurray)
Top Gun AC3 (not Kurray)
Star Wars Trilogy (Faces 2nd press at Kurray) *maybe*
Star Wars Special Edition Trilogy 1997 (Pioneer)

If you have both Goldeneye AC3 and DTS you can do an A/B comparison since the DTS was manufactured at Kurray and the AC3 at Pioneer. Probably hard to tell since the AC3 is already impressive.

As mentioned by Disclord, at a certain point probably around 1997/1998 almost all mastering facilities were using Super NTSC encoding so that is probably why late releases look so good, blame DVD.

This was long winded but if you have anything to add please do. There is not enough reliable information on Super NTSC encoded Laserdiscs. I'd love to know more about the post-production video workflow using D1 sources to make composite products like LD. Please add movies to the list if you think they're SN encoded. There are probably a lot more than we previously thought.

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Posted: 16 Oct 2020, 18:04 

Great responses from everyone so far.

I've been watching more movies with an eye for the mastering. I would have to agree that a major part of why later LDs look good is the component sources and higher resolution scanning of the film as compared to pre-DVD era LD mastering, even digital mastering. Anything from a D1/D2 source was always a 720x486 sample so that is baked into the image. When you scan a film at 2K then reduce that 2K to NTSC it will always look better than scanning the same film at D1 resolution. Especially now with large fixed resolution screens and the tendency to zoom in. Maybe it didn't matter as much with CRTs.

Also, consider the source generation. A movie released in 1982 and made available on LD in 1995 for the 4th time might be using a safety copy or other multiple generation copy away from the actual theatrical print. Criterion, and some other titles, specifically list what the film source was (negative, inter-positive, etc). So when all the stars line up and you get an old film that gets a new component HD scan (for DVD) from a new/better source and a SN mastered LD you win big. I'm assuming this is what Rein-O is talking about with GWTW. I have the snapper DVD that likely is the same transfer and it does look great. I think the THX Oz from the box or the single disc mastered by Kurray are similar situations.

Moving on, I found it interesting that while Kurray is touted for being the plant that used Super NTSC the most it seems that Pioneer USA has more titles that are noted by Disclord as being SN (Fifth Element, Titanic, Deep Impact, etc). How does he know anyway? Was it mentioned in an article/review back then? Did he have contacts? I never quite understood how he had all that info. I think he was a projectionist but I have no idea. He sounds like he could be a sales rep...

Another small point to be made regarding color is that D1/D2 uses 4:2:2 sampling while DVD compliant MPEG-2 uses 4:2:0. That means that technically speaking there is more color information on a LD versus a DVD. Combine that with Super NTSC and it is possible to have a much more vibrant color on LD but for things like chroma noise, etc.

@9954Tony you're totally with me on this and I love it. I have the same CFD-SN but I'm using the FLI2300 in the Cyrstalio II. Thanks for sharing the PDF. I think that you're correct in that the benefits are encoded into the signal and need to be decoded properly to work as intended. However, a lot of the Faroudja patented stuff is imitated and implemented under different names by other manufactures so its possible that they too decode SN in some way. Look at Dolby Stereo you can decode it with Pro Logic, PLII, PLIIx, or even DTS NEO, etc. And, again I agree that ALL of this info is speculative so from title to title and plant to plant there will be variances. I had that Abyss and sold it since I have both box sets and the DVD. Film does have grain and when you're shooting in a tank in the dark there will be grain no matter what. Underwater film grain has to be hard to encode/decode. Check out Sphere and see what you think. Pioneer USA press with 59-xxxxx mint marks. Similar visuals. Armageddon sounds like it may have been delivered to Kurray on D2 not D1...baked in NTSC. In fact, all Armageddon US LDs were Kurray pressed and probably all look exactly the same.

@signofzeta yes, I think you're correct that one could observe the difference on a scope. Though if SuperNTSC has to be compatible with NTSC (and also decoded) then it may look like PONTSC (Plain old NTSC) on a scope. I would guess that somewhere in the VITC you could find some info about it. I recall that some THX discs use the VITC for something like that.

@ertolli you can master a DVD from anything but for major Hollywood movies I'm hoping DigiBeta was not used as it records 2.34:1 DCT-compressed digital component video signal that then needs to get MPEG-2 encoded. I'm guessing not. But you're right there are some really amazing looking 100% analog LDs mastered from 1" C.

@odotb3 Good note on Con-Air. I have the AC3 that I should re-visit but remember it being "meh". Big action movies (especially 2.35:1) with lots of moving wide shots and a very detailed set are difficult for NTSC (and MPEG-2).

So maybe the Domesday crowd can help us out and see if there is any way to identify Super NTSC encoded LDs. Without that or a definitive list from a definitive source we're all just chasing at shadows in the dark.
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