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Posted: 15 Dec 2011, 16:29 

DiscoVision's rotted very early in the packaging, so if it's not rotted now, it won't rot. When I lived in New Mexico, I had virtually no problems with rot, even Sony DADC America titles were/are fine (I just played my DADC copy of Contact the other day and its still perfect). But now that I live in Missouri, with very high humidity, I've had some good discs rot, like my Japanese import 8-inch pressing of "Twist Of Fate" - it was perfect at first, now it's rotted. And I only bought it a year or so ago.

I have some early PAL discs that have turned a bronze color and have what look like coffee stains under the surface - they were clear and clean when new. I don't have a PAL player though, so I can't say if they would still play or not.

Rot always manifests itself as red & blue speckles. Black/White speckling is either tape master errors or pit defects due to a missing half-cycle of the FM carrier - that's a 'pressed in' or mastering defect and won't get worse. Snits (rolling black/white lines) are due to either surface dirt or dust/contaminates under the disc surface and are a pressing defect - and won't get worse.

Your ability to see any of the above defects depends on the frequency response of your player and television - and if you have a good comb filter. The better each is, the easier it is to see the defects. Also, some discs are just pressed 'noisy" and actually look best through a "Channel 3" RF input on a CRT set - the high frequency losses from the RF transmission make most pressing defects much less visible since RF is limited to only 330 lines horizontally and that's only if your set has a comb filter. If it's a notch filter set, then horizontal resolution will be around 3MHz, 260 lines or so. About VHD Video Disc quality.

Oh, and cleaning a disc with Windex won't hurt it a bit. I've done that for 30 years and never had a problem. Pioneer even officially recommended Windex or "Clean & Shine", which I don't think is made anymore.

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Posted: 08 Jul 2012, 02:14 

What did you pay for the msb upgrades if you dont mind me asking. I went onto their webpage they ask a thousand to a few thousand for upgrades of current cd/bd players. Maybe they were more reasonable back then,given even a cheap player was a thousand or so. Now you can buy a already super good oppo bd player for $500. I dont know how many people would pay 2-3k on top of that to upgrade. Then I know lexicon bd playet is oppo rebadge with 2500 markup or theta rebadge with some mods with 2k markup. You never know

The mods were done back in 1997 and cost me just about $400. They were much cheaper for everything then. Now their prices are outrageous for what they provide. They are still willing to add am AC-3 output to an LD player but want more than 500 for it.

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Posted: 18 Dec 2012, 20:36 

As most of us on the LDDB know, the stock Panasonic LX-900, while a superb player, has one serious defect - a video output amplifier that dynamically changes the APL (Average Picture Level) of dark areas of the image, raising them up into gray by anywhere from 7.5% to even as high as 20%. A few of the 900's do not have that problem at all, typically the later units made in 1994/95. The Runco LJR-I Super LaserDisc Player and The THX certified version, the Runco LJR-II Super LaserDisc Player, have a special board developed by MSB that fixes the problem and also ensures correct chroma levels, differential chroma phase and gain and units were all hand calibrated to ensure a correct 1-volt video output level.

What I'd like to do is have owners of LX-900's post the serial number of their player as well as its manufacture date - and also list, if they can tell, if their player has the APL problem and how severe it is on their unit. Also, any Runco owners please list their serial numbers and manufacture date - and if they've ever compared the player to the stock 900 and their impressions of differences, if any, in overall picture quality.

Me and another person may - we are still trying to decide if it's feasible - offer an upgrade for stock 900's with the APL problem that, like the MSB mod for Runco, would fix the error and basically make the player a pseudo-THX Certified unit, since our mod would exactly duplicate the circuit board that MSB used. Also, list what you'd be willing to pay for such an upgrade to your player or what you think it would be worth.

Having a listing of manufacture dates as well as knowing if the unit is affected by the APL problem would help us get a handle on how many units were defective and when Panasonic fixed the problem. It would also help us to know if there are enough players and willing owners to offer the modification.

Just list the info in this topic thread.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 05 Feb 2013, 16:55 

The Wega (for those who don't know, it's pronounced Vega) name was applied only to Sony's sets that used the FD Trinitron tube, which was a perfectly flat, in both directions, CRT tube that Sony developed in partnership with Dow-Corning glass - it used specially formulated and tempered automotive windshield glass for the front faceplate to help it withstand the incredible pressures the flat, square tube was put under. The Trinitron name stayed on the sets that used the conventional Trinitron tube that was flat vertically, but had a slight barrel-shaped curve horizontally. For a short time they also applied the Wega name to some of their flat plasma or LCD sets, almost using it as a replacement for the XBR name to identify their best-of-the-best sets, but XBR stayed as the high-end marker for televisions, like Pioneer's Elite name or Sony ES. Their low end CRT's with the flat tube didn't always get the Wega name and those were just FD Trinitron sets.

The very first Wega's introduced in 1998 were a 32-inch and 35-inch, and both came in the standard Wega name and in XBR Wega versions. A $9,000 35-inch 16x9 XBR Wega was also introduced at the same time - it didn't have the improved fine-pitch Apeture Grill like the later 16x9 Wega's, but even so, Consumer Reports - in a rare rave review - tested it and said it was the very best television they had ever tested and in many parameters even surpassed their $35,000 professional Sony Broadcast monitor. The 35-inch XBR Sony had introduced in 1997 to go along with the DVD launch was not only their first set with component inputs, but the first that had a color demodulator that decoded the full 1.5MHz chroma bandwidth of LaserDisc's and broadcasts - it also was Sony's first set to use a red phosphor that was much closer to the original red specified by the NTSC (Sony's reds had been quite orange up to that time) - and happily, Sony continued that improvement with all the high-end Wega's having the improved red phosphor and wideband chroma decoding - Sony even went further and put in an "accurate" NTSC decoding mode that shifted the color decoding axis back to the I/Q standard, eliminating red and green push, as well as setting the white balance to the correct D6500 Kelvin color temp. They made these switchable so people could have an inaccurate picture if they wished. Their ultimate XBR Wega, the 16x9 model 910 (I think that's the model number) had the incredible Super Fine Pitch Apeture Grill for over 900 lines of horizontal resolution and the blue and green phosphors were also replaced with phosphors that were much closer to the NTSC standard, producing an image that had an almost "Technicolor" look due to its incredible saturation and purity - it could also produce shades of yellow and other colors that standard sets simply couldn't do, making it a transparent window into the original film you were watching. The only current televisions that can come close to the color gaumut the Sony reproduced are the DLP projectors that have the 6 or more segment color wheels with the addition of yellow, cyan and magenta filters in addition to the normal RGB filters. The only drawback to Sony's HD CRT offerings is the awful DRC - Digital Reality Creation scaler they built into the sets - I've never seen one that worked right without damaging the picture or adding aliasing artifacts to the image.

I don't know if Sony's final CRT HD sets would take progressive signals natively via HDMI and bypass the DRC - does anyone know?

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Posted: 15 Jun 2013, 15:18 

By contrast, the AnimEigo BGC discs were made in one pass, superimposing the subtitles on a playback of the original Japanese master tapes (in Japan!), & recording to D-2 composite digital. There should not have been any Y-C separation involved.

Yeah, but didn't most means of superimposition back then do some kind of Y/C separation? Like, for example, is done inside of most LD players? They had to use some kind of hardware to put the titles on.

For years TV stations superimposed text and stuff without splitting the signal to Y/C or doing it in the component domain - in fact, once in the NTSC composite format, they tried to avoid ever going back to component (or the simpler Y/C) if at all possible until the mid- to late-80's when the D1 component format became available. And even then, D1 spawned the composite D2 format for stations that didn't have or want to invest in component islands of equipment. Early digital magnetic disc still stores for instant replay and special effects sampled the NTSC signal in its composite form and it was processed in the NTSC domain.

LaserDisc players only started splitting the signal internally so that DNR, chroma dropout compensation and and Digital TBC could be applied separately to the luma and chroma signals - then output as S-Video and cheaply recombined and output as composite. The Panasonic LX-900 does its digital TBC and dropout compemsation in the digital composite domain and then splits the signal 2D Logically to do the DNR. Early S-Video equipped players, like the very first LaserDisc player to have a built in comb filter, the Philips CDV-488, does all of its analog TBC and digital FX in the composite format, returns the signal to analog and only then splits the signal for the S-Video jack with a single line CCD-based comb filter that is made from discrete components (its the only player to use a comb filter made from discrete components. The rest all used off-the-shelf IC's and the LD-S2 was the first player to use a digital comb filter) The Composite output of the CDV-488 is pure NTSC, yet like earlier players with no internal comb filters, on-screen frame/chapter overlays and other info are done without splitting the signal.

The LaserDisc of Olivia Newton-John in Concert is like the aforementioned anime titles - it was shot in NTSC, then split for whatever reason for editing and FX - then improperly recombined with the chroma out of register on the FX and permanent dot crawl that can only be gotten rid of by using frequency separation, cutting the video resolution to 250 lines or so.

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Posted: 11 May 2014, 23:09 

I have the Hi-Vision MUSE LaserDisc of Lawrence of Arabia and it has the reel change marks too - while not up to Blu-ray standards, its a beautiful transfer of the restoration with excellent MUSE encoding - it really gives the 'feel' of watching actual film. The 4-channel discrete audio sounds wonderful too although, like most films from that time, the surround track isn't used much - if you want more surrounds you need to switch to the PCM Dolby Stereo track, which should be the same as the Criterion edition since the 2-channel PCM tracks were encoded in the same way (and in the same spectrum) on both regular LaserDisc's and on MUSE discs.
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