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Posted: 30 Apr 2013, 06:37 

(more edits coming: Go to page 10 for more current info and sample links, it's improved a lot since these early posts!)

--- original post

I've been working on decoding Laserdisc video directly from the RF signal, bypassing most of the player electronics and hopefully (eventually) getting cleaner pictures.

I've been using an LD-V8000 with the RF test point hooked up to a video capture card using cxadc for raw 8-bit 28mhz capture (which I updated for Linux 3.5) to get the RF signal, and wrote some very slow, dirty, code to decode the laserdisc image, and another program to do time base correction and NTSC color decoding (which amazingly hasn't actually been done by anyone yet, as far as I can tell... I was rather surprised by this)

I've posted the rough source to github: - I did a little bit more work on this right now, before I head off for my real job ;)

There's a .jpg there with color bars with correct colors, albeit fuzzy.

The next steps are to clean up the software decoding (I'm thinking locking onto the analog audio signals, subtracting them from the RF, and then working out some sort of proper PLL for the video rf), combining the NTSC decoding phase using more information from the LD decoding, actually properly adjusting my players, and an AC3 mod but taken from the core RF signal.

(and/or purchasing an adjusted, modded player with a nice pickup... an LD-S2 might be out of my price range, but a CLD-1010 would be nice, and so would a gas tube model for Discovision disks...)

I'm surprised someone in Japan hasn't beat me to this, and if they have I'd definitely like to see it, it's almost certainly farther along than mine is!

(edited for a little more detail and clarity)

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 Post subject: "Wotcha" from the UK :-)
Posted: 27 Mar 2019, 23:24 

As a new(ish) joiner I thought I'd waffle on a bit...

I first saw LaserVision demonstrated on the British TV programme 'Tomorrow's World' when I was a schoolkid - probably around 1980. I then saw the players in shops - the stunning Philips VLP-700 and then the sophisticated Pioneer LD-1100. Unfortunately I couldn't persuade my parents to buy one!

However as a Doctor Who fan, when I saw a copy of the 'Brain of Morbius' disc on a rare trip to the London Virgin Megastore, I couldn't resist paying the princely sum of £19.99 for it - despite having no player.

LaserVision was on the wane. I had a Pioneer leaflet showing the futuristic LD-700, but, being still at school, there was no way I could afford £499 for that. And then a stroke of luck - a small hi-fi/video shop in my town was selling a secondhand VLP-700 for £59.99. Probably after much consultation with (and help from) my parents, I bought it and could finally watch my Doctor Who disc.

On limited funds I started building a small collection of discs - the other Doctor Who disc, the first three Star Trek films, a few music discs - Kate Bush, Queen, Pink Floyd.

The next big thing was CD-Video. Although I was no longer at school, I still couldn't afford the (I think) £499 for one of these players. When CD-Video itself began to wane, a local shop started selling the Marantz CV-55 for £199.

Reader, I bought one! And sold the VLP-700 to help pay for it. I was happy with the CV-55 - its RGB output was especially nice on my Sony TV. In the UK CD-Video was music-only though, no films or TV series were being released at all at this point - no wonder it wasn't really selling.

I became a subscriber to the excellent UK magazine "LaserDisc Review", and that started talking about a unique new Pioneer player, the CLD-1450 - the first ever PAL/NTSC player. Suddenly the whole US and Japanese disc catalogue would be available - more Doctor Who, more Star Trek, more everything! I was earning now, so I could afford one at full retail - although the £499 (why were they always £499?) stung a bit.

A local company, VideoWorld of Swanage, were doing a conversion to ensure that they played back 'true' NTSC instead of the standard transcoded version, so that's where I bought it. I sold the CV-55 to the same person that bought the VLP-700, and was quite content with my new player.

After a few years though, the miracle of 'play both sides' beckoned to me, and so did the smart Sony MDP-850D. I have a nasty feeling this cost £699, but I sold the CLD-1450 to offset it (to the same person who bought my CLD-1450, CV-55 and VLP-700!).

And that was it. I never had a huge collection of discs - maybe 50 or so? - more TV and music than films. DVD came along, I bought an early Sony player (DVP-S7700) and realised that this was the format for me. I kept the MDP-850D, but sold some discs as they were superseded by DVDs.

And that would have been it, except that I always regretted selling some of the earlier players, and also regretted not owning a few players I used to gaze at longingly in brochures and shop windows. A few years ago I bought a 'dead' VLP-700 for not much on eBay, hoping it might be an easy fix. Of course it wasn't - I think all VLP-700s are dead now.

I also got two of the dream machines from my schooldays - the Pioneer LD-1100 and LD-700. The first LD-700 from eBay was (as advertised) dead bar a flashing light, but perfect condition - then I bought another, fully working but battered, and combined the two to produce a mint condition working machine.

I also picked up a CLD-S310 and a CLD-1450 for £10 each from charity shops, and most recently a DVL-909 (smart but dead) and DVL-919 (battered but partially working), and have done the same trick again to produce a working smart 909. Rather late in the day, I can now freeze-frame CLV discs!

I don't do much with the machines now - they're just a curiosity in the spare room, I rarely watch a disc right through - but it's been fun tinkering with them. I don't think I'll buy any more, although if I could ever find a working Philips VLP-720 (which I don't think was ever sold in the UK) I'd be tempted :-)

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Posted: 29 Apr 2019, 02:05 

Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior (1980) [1109-70] . Thoroughly enjoyed the film, but not this 1982 PDO disc - it's fairly soft (from a 16mm print?), my first disc's badly rotted, and whoever mastered this was clearly struggling to make the film comprehensible in pan-and-scan -- it's both slightly letterboxed and slightly horizontally compressed. (And slightly rotated, although I suspect that wasn't deliberate!) The beautiful costumes and staging shine through occasionally, though, and the subtitles aren't bad. So I'll be keeping an eye out for a better release of it...

Great movie. A shame about your disc. The BD is excellent and I recommend it.

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 Post subject: Re: CLD-S310s and NTSC
Posted: 08 May 2019, 22:04 

So a proof of concept. This is with just the jumpers set to dual ntsc/pal playback.

It plays!

As expected, the picture is black and white and the speed is in fact a bit slower than it should be. This is where adding the ntsc timing circuits will give proper playback. Like I say, it's a handful of components and should result in a pretty nicely priced dual system player.

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Posted: 15 Aug 2019, 15:45 

Spent the whole day processing covers today.


700+ covers among which 250 covers are new, pushing the cover(age) above 59%.

Most of the 700 are including both front and back covers.


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Posted: 04 Oct 2019, 05:22 

atsampson wrote:
A feature idea - a view like "Top 100 - Collection - LD", but only showing PAL discs.

That shouldn't be too hard...

Here you go:


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Posted: 16 May 2021, 15:54 

New full length CLD-S104 video up:

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