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Posted: 12 Aug 2012, 22:04 

Independence Day: ID4 (1996) [0411885]

The Movie:
You are advised not to discharge your firearms at the alien spacecraft - it might inadvertently trigger interstellar war.
With the special effects boom in the mid to late 1990s, the disaster film reared its ugly head once more, with such extravaganzas as Dante's Peak, Armageddon, Deep Impact, Volcano, and my favorite of them all - Independence Day.
Mixing the disaster elements of toppling cities and large explosions with the classic sci fi plot of an alien invasion, Independence Day represents all I enjoy in film making. With a stellar cast featuring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, and Robert Loggia an alien invasion has never hit the screen with such style and splendor.
Wait - what the hell am I telling you all this about? EVERYONE has a copy of Independence Day on Laserdisc. It's the top disc in everyone's collection, and if you don't already have a copy or two(I have two myself) you're probably collecting Laserdisc wrong. I don't need to tell you about Independence Day, you've probably already seen it 6 six times on six different copies.
Bottom line is that even though it's cheesy as all hell and has plenty of shallowness and hammy dialogue, I absolutely love Independence Day through and through. For many years it sat atop my list of favorite films and was only recently dethroned by The Dark Knight Rises. If you haven't seen it, go out and form your own opinion - mine seems to be that of a small minority.

Exploding onto Laserdisc with a 2.35:1 letterboxed transfer, Independence Day looks....ok on Laserdisc. Despite it's high regards with the ratings on its LDDB page, I find that for the most part, it's merely adequate. Most scenes don't pop off the screen compared to several other films in its class, especially in the third act of the film. Fine details, even for Laserdisc occasionally seem obscured for the last half hour or so. To be fair however, Independence Day does shine when ever something explodes, as the rippling explosions look fantastic. The special effects scenes are top notch, while everything else seems moderately flat.
Signal noise is present in moderation through out the film though it never really becomes distracting.

Be prepared to crank your 5.1 surround receiver as ID4 may have one of the most impressive AC3 encoded digital surround tracks on the format. Lows are constantly being pumped out of the .1 LFE track, while the devastation echoes all around you as building crumble under the heat of the gaining explosions. The annihilation of Los Angelos on the first side of the film is especially impressive, with the sound of buildings shattering all around you as the score pumps through the front speakers. Be warned, playing this film at anything less than 11 is seen as unfair treatment of your surround field. That's how good it sounds.

Import Dissection:
For those of you who collect Japanese Laserdiscs, this one may seem less than enticing. It shares the exact same video and audio transfers, plus an additional layer of subtitles on top of the letterboxed frame. There seems to be no motivation to pick this one up other than an excellent front jacket art. Only for the most hardcore of Japanese LD collectors who have everything else and can find it cheap.

Buy it if you don't already have it, and skip it if you can't handle a little cheese on the side of your epic cinema. It's fun above all, and those who expect a deep and thought provoking movie should look elsewhere. I however, love every minute of it, and will continue watching it for years to come.

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Posted: 31 Dec 2014, 07:43 

Outbreak (1995) [13632]


The transfer is near excellent. Everything you would expect from a disc dating 1995. The video is very stable. No speckles, dots, scratches or any imperfections which is expected on this fresh transfer. I didn't see any aliasing or major bad edit. Gennum VXP deinterlacer stayed in film mode throughout the film. It is totaly noise free. Just a tiny bit of chroma noise that is inherit with Laserdiscs. Blacks are deep and solid(thanks to low chroma noise). There is good amount of grey detail. There isn't any artificial contrast boosting. Colors are very strong however LDs shortcomings are apparent here, especially on flesh tones. If LD had a little more chroma bandwidth, this could be a very film like experience. Fortunately I couldn't see any trace of edge enhancement or video noise reduction. Overall the picture is soft. I have seen transfer very clean, free of edge enhancement and overall sharper. This transfer is not sharp by any means. There might be some minor gaussian filter applied which caused the soft image but I couldn't see any ghosting or smearing indicating digital video noise reduction. Side changes are between appropriate scenes, nothing distracting. The aspect ratio is a nice 1.85:1 which fits perfectly with modern widescreen displays. My copy is totally rot free.

I just read the review on on the blu-ray release of the film. It's nearly a perfect match to my observations. That review also mentions dull colors on flesh tones and a possible filter that cause the image to be soft. This confirms either the Blu-ray disc was sourced from the same transfer or this movie simply looks like this. I guess blaming LDs chroma bandwidth was unnecessary since the BD release also has the same narrow colors.


Available soundtracks are AC-3 and Dolby Surround on PCM channels. This review is for the AC-3 track. It is absolutely perfect. Very clean and detailed. I couldn't hear any roll off on the high frequencies. The bass is strong and deep. This mix utilizes all 5.1 channels to full extend. If you want to show off discrete surround channels, especially overhead effects, this is the demo disc for you. Helicopters flying over your head is absolutely fantastic. This will be among my audio demo discs.


Pioneer Elite Kuro Pro-141FD 60" Plasma monitor (ISF calibrated)
PMS Crystalio II VPS-3800 Video Processor
Pioneer HLD-X0 (BNC Composite output)
Lexicon LDD-1 RF Demodulator
McIntosh MX-121 Pre-Amp/Processor (All speakers are calibrated and tuned)
McIntosh MC207 7ch Power Amp
Martin Logan Theos Fronts
Martin Logan Stage X Center
Martin Logan Descent I (Two subwoofers)
Martin Logan Motion 4 Rear and Sides
All wires,interconnects, power cords and other cables are Audioquest

HLD-X0 has its sharpness up by 2 notches out of 8. Chroma noise reduction(CNR) at 2 out of 8. All other settings are off.
Crystalio II is using Gennum VXP deinterlacer in film mode. 3D comb filter is enabled. Luma and chroma gain are both at 1, luma and chroma coring both at 25. Dot Crowl filter is set to adaptive. Smooth scaling is set to 2 for less aggressive scaling(nearly no ringing). All other settings are disabled. Output is 1920x1080p59.94.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra discs like crazy
Posted: 26 Sep 2017, 13:28 

Having just picked up 70+ hddvds without cases, I put my dead copy's cases to use. Which brings up the fact that shipping said hddvds would be a lot cheaper without the cases. I'm all about saving money, I like the idea of trading, for me, this could work.

But that said, it does seem like most of us with large collections already have most of the common titles and are looking for the same less common ones.

I agree, but at the same time, there are holes in my collection of common titles and at this point it is either buy them for $4+shipping or trade for them. Buying them individually is risky given the high occurrence of rotters.

Either way, I will put together a list and post it. If anyone wants to trade, let me know what titles and I can check them out.

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Posted: 27 Sep 2017, 01:54 

This is the 50th Anniversary Box Set. A friend who knows I collect LDs gave me a bunch of Disney LDs that he ran across. In the group were two of this box set, which I started watching with my daughter.

Fantasia: Special Edition (1940) [1236 CS]

The Box Set - Compared to every other Disney (or non-Disney) box set, the box is an oddly large shape that is ~25% larger on one side than a normal LD. The label is on the long side, so due to the extra length it makes it difficult to store with the label facing out. The long side is just too long to put into the correct orientation along side of other normal sized laserdiscs. Besides 3 discs, the box includes a commemorative program, and a matted lithograph of Mickey as the sorcerer's apprentice. The box quality is very good, but the plastic insert that holds the discs is a little too easy to crush or bend when putting discs away after use.

Picture Quality - Of the 500+ laserdiscs I own, this is probably one of the better movies for scaling to 1080P (using VPS3800). The PQ is top notch, and is a real treat to watch and had an old school film grain texture that did not detract from the movie and felt right. I personally enjoyed the PQ through all of the animated scenes. The only time I noticed scaling artifacts was during rapid movement of smaller objects. However, the visuals were just as good and is probably one of the better laserdiscs I have seen PQ-wise. I am certain that being CAV animation helped with scaling. Regardless, very enjoyable.

Discs - In order to make the chapters work, they split the movie into chapters at the end of a given music piece so as to have a natural stopping point. A total of 5 sides of discs were used for the main move and a 6th side (CLV) contains supplementary content. The choice in chapter splits created an interesting oddity in the set. Side 2 of 6 was dedicated to the sorcerer's apprentice scene for a grand total of 10:31 of run time. Very confusing the first time you come to the end of the disc, and say to yourself, "didn't I just put that in there?" I had check that I didn't somehow start midway through a disc as I expected run time to be closer to 30 minutes.

Finally, sound quality. The movie discs have a digital and analog tracks. There is a significant difference between the two tracks. The analog track is in mono and sounded muddy compared to the digital track. The digital track is in stereo (or limited surround) which is used to great effect for sound staging. During many of the early scenes of the movie, the left to right movement in sound stage was well placed and added an extra dimension to the movie I don't think would be there in mono. The digital track also had a considerably wider dynamic range compared to the analog track. If playing back the movie, I would recommend the digital track along with properly set up stereo system to fully take advantage of sound staging. From a historical perspective, I was able to find that the original movie was largely released in Mono, but if you want an interesting read about the history of surround sound, google FANTASOUND.

All in all, I would recommend this disc set to someone who enjoyed the original Fantasia. No frills with the audio compared to many more current movies. However, I think for its time, the audio showed well, and is a byproduct of its original release date of 1940 and subsequent audio renditions.
I would say the biggest negative I can say for the disc set is the stupidly oversized box. It just doesn't fit well into my storage, and imagine woudn't for most collectors. If they had just put the label on the short side instead of the long side of the box, I may have found it more acceptable. Clearly the creators didn't think much about how people would store it, or how it compared to other box set offerings.

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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Stereo?
Posted: 28 Sep 2017, 04:00 

Made a quick update to the "advanced search" to add soundtrack (mono/stereo/surround/etc.) on top of sound encoding (Digital/CX/DTS/AC3/etc).

Because soundtrack internal IDs do not match between Digital/Analog, it's limited to LDs with a digital soundtrack for now.

Here are the results:

Ultra Stereo (553 titles)

As well as:

DTS Stereo (22 titles)
Chace Stereo (30 titles)
Roland Sound Space (11 titles)


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Posted: 03 Oct 2017, 21:08 

On the end credits of 'Chronos' (1985) HD-DVD it states recorded in "dbx six channel surround sound" I assume it would state same on the laserdisc pressings.
Laserdisc pressings
Chronos (1985) [72333-80017-6]
Chronos (1985) [ID3548MM]

Chronos (1985) [RB16009]
Chronos, The Ultimate (1985) [RBF-HD-90002]

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 Post subject: Dumbo [024 AS] NTSC (1941)
Posted: 05 Dec 2017, 20:45 

In 1941, Dumbo was released to box office acclaim. Telling the story of the elephant with big ears, this classic holds up as an adult just as much as it did as a kid. The film carries the distinction of the first Disney Animated Feature released on VHS, with a 1982 release date also matched by the first Laserdisc. In 1991, the disc was remastered with digital sound.


The first thing you notice is that a Buena Vista logo plasters the RKO logo. Other than that, the picture is great, representing the painted cels in great detail. The Pink Elephant sequence stands out as having good picture quality.


The conversion of the mono sound to Laserdisc is really nice. Don't expect this disc to have high-fidelity audio like Fantasia.


The artwork on this disc looks much better than the version released in 1982. My copy came with a business reply card, something you don't see on Laserdiscs very much.

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Posted: 03 Jan 2018, 05:07 

Quite an advanced age for a venerable format!

Although there was a pre-production test batch of Jaws back in 1977, the first commercial release hit the market end of 1978 as Jaws (1975) [12-001] .

And somehow, even the first released can still be played today!

29954c07bf0e1ff6684db0ba148a07d4.jpg (is it what heavy laser rot looks like on a cake? ;-))

Let's see if other formats will still play 40 years after entering the market.

For some reason, *6* seems to be the magic number for new video commercial formats:

DVD -> 1996
HDDVD/BD -> 2006
UHD BD -> 2016

Let's synchronize our watches now and try to play these formats by, respectively, 2036, 2046 and 2056!


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Posted: 31 Mar 2018, 21:02 

A few years ago, I found this link for info on LD and bookmarked it:

Which lead me to: which is now gone.

I was able to find a snapshot of the data from 2010 at:

maybe this information should be preserved at lddb somewhere?

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Posted: 20 Apr 2018, 15:50're browsing through cable channel menus and as you notice the movie titles you try to remember if they were released on Laserdisc're running on a treadmill and as certain times come up on the clock, they make you think of Laserdisc player model numbers (ie: 406, 604, 704, 909, 919, 939, 959, 1010, etc.)'re talking movies with a friend or friends and when their favorite movie is mentioned you try to recall if you have it on Laserdisc (bonus points if you actually say you have it on Laserdisc)

...a friend of yours posts a music video that they like on social media and you comment that you have the video on Laserdisc find a music/thrift shop that sells old records and you HAVE to check to see if they sell Laserdiscs find a used electronics shop and you HAVE to check to see if they have Laserdisc players

Feel free to add more!

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Posted: 03 May 2018, 23:42 

Yes there is a way to enter service mode without the remote, the service manual will tell you how to do it. It is not the same for all units.

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Posted: 12 Jul 2018, 20:39 

Hello everyone im film historian love having films on dvd used to have a large vhs collection but got rid of them once i had replaced the titles with dvd but am creating a personal database of films with the formats the films were released in from 35 and 70mm right up to blu ray and hopefully find the release dates of these various formats as an example star wars 1977 all formats this film has been released on from 35mm to blu ray including special editions etc but as i said its just for my own personal use
I like most genres of film and also collect films which are special editions with two discs i source these mainly in charity shops etc and they are reasonably priced
i also collect the bond films but they have been issued in so many different versions its a nightmare trying to fathom which year that particular disc was released in
i also have an interest in cinema history and cinema projection 35mm 70mm and digital i also visit the new beverly cinema website which is the cinema owned by quentin tarantino who will not under any circumstances show digital films all the films he shows are 35mm either from his own private collection or borrowed from collectors
Iam also doing research about the Dundee Scotland cinema owner J B Milne who owned the largest privately owned cinema chain on the east coast of scotland from 1928 to 1968 which i am hoping to write up as a book and get it published

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Posted: 04 Sep 2018, 03:44 

Hello everyone,

Our friend amaroc from Poland has been kind enough to send me low-res (200dpi) and high-res (600dpi) scans of an old quarterly UK LD magazine Laser Disc Review .

I nice chunk of LD retail history unfolding over the years.


I created a specific subdomain for this:

Currently 22 issues uploaded, check by year:




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Posted: 25 Oct 2018, 03:04 

Tom cruise Jimmy fallon about Laserdiscs

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Posted: 23 Feb 2019, 09:37 

I watched The Ghost and the Darkness last night. Normally I wouldn't mention this film but the surround mix ( I watched the German Blu-ray ) was outstanding. Wow. No wonder it won an oscar for best sound effects back in the 1997.

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Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 02:18 

admin wrote:
Found it!

=> Jiko [LKH-601]


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 Post subject: Unboxed: V on Laserdisc
Posted: 01 Sep 2019, 17:01 

Another very nice "vintage" reviews by Josh Zyber of:

V: The Original Miniseries (1983) [11489]
V: The Final Battle (1984) [14146]
V (1983) [NJL-11443]
V2 (1985) [NJL-11576]


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Posted: 09 Oct 2019, 02:18 

That info wouldn’t necessarily be proof of anything. For one, it would only matter for LDs made from theatrical prints and even then it would only be totally definitive proof if every print was the same which in reality they sure aren’t. By 1994 if anyone was making a ground up restoration they’d be making a new print for it in which case, considering 4:3 was the home video standard, they could very well have chosen to leave the whole frame visable even when it was or wasn’t on the theatrical release. The Abyss special edition, for example. Old LDs with weird aspect ratios are that way because they were at mercy of the best print they could find which may have been a cropped version dubbed in German or whatever. Personal prints are used a lot in the early days of home video and those could have all sorts of copying mistakes in them but if all the OGs are lost the seeing the original ratio listed on IMBD is going to do...what for you?

I sort of care about info like this but the more I look into it the more I realize that the hard data some of you guys are wanting may not exist definitively. The more you look the less there is to believe in. You have to believe in there being a %100 totally correct ratio and there really isn’t one on a lot of things.

That being said...does anyone have a correct list of which Looney Toons are supposed to be wide? That is super confusing to me because Warner sometimes crops things to wide and sometimes gives you a choice, some shorts look like they were designed to work either way. Year of release isn’t the same as order of production so when they go by whatever date in their mind marks the cutoff between wide and 4:3 Toons it’s often wrong.

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Posted: 09 Oct 2019, 03:37 

Scope shorts definitely exist. Disney made a few, some Tom & Jerry shorts are in scope as well I think.

That being said...does anyone have a correct list of which Looney Toons are supposed to be wide? That is super confusing to me because Warner sometimes crops things to wide and sometimes gives you a choice, some shorts look like they were designed to work either way. Year of release isn’t the same as order of production so when they go by whatever date in their mind marks the cutoff between wide and 4:3 Toons it’s often wrong.
And then there's fun cases like Lady & The Tramp where the full frame and widescreen versions are technically different movies because it was shot twice, once for each. Except then Di$ney gets lazy and just crops the widescreen version for full frame home video releases, if they bother including it at all these days.

The JSC of Top Gun has a special feature about the choice to use full frame aspect ratio instead of widescreen, but it focuses entirely on the flight footage, whereas watching the movie, some of the character scenes do look a little bit cramped, but maybe that's just me.

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Posted: 14 Oct 2019, 20:16 

This is essentially the same as the "open matte" vs "hard matte" discussion on so many other threads. The original "Lethal Weapon" for example was shown in theaters at 1.85 and the composition on the film was a mix of both. Some scenes are hard matted (b-unit stuff if I recall) and others are open matte. The same is true for "Back to the Future", but in that case, VFX shots were hard matted while most other shots are open matte.

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Posted: 17 Oct 2019, 19:11 

“Surround” is the brand name for home use, Dolby Stereo is for theaters. I don’t know when that distinction was made but I’d guess when the first home surround processors came out, when was that? Perhaps that was when they started putting the info on the discs. Before that there was no official way to use matrixed surround.

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Posted: 20 Oct 2019, 00:04 

Based on this link.....

.... Dolby Surround was introduced for the home by 1982 but I know for a fact that 1987 was the first introduction of Dolby Pro-Logic for the home. I started collecting LD's in '87 and very vividly recall seeing a lot mainstream releases sporting the Dolby Surround logo on their jackets. If they did not and just noted "stereo" on the jacket, I would usually still play the disc back w/ Dolby Pro-Logic and it would still produce some incredible surround sound (the Japanese anime Baoh was one such title I recall that had some excellent surround effects).

Anyway, not sure if the intent of some software manufacturers was to save money on licensing by not stating Dolby compatibility but I would not be surprised. It wasn't tough back then to matrix encode just about anything to work w/ a Dolby Surround processor since it was a simple math concept (e.g.: L+R = Center and L-R = Surround). As for hardware, I don't think many manufacturers tried to skirt the usage of the Dolby Surround circuit on their eq since that was really the buying point for many consumers that wanted surround sound. I would probably not have bought an AV Receiver w/o Dolby since I might feel I wasn't getting something that did meet a certain minimum standard (although I think high end manufacturers like Lexicon had their own proprietary surround decoding scheme that ignored using anything Dolby and I believe they actually sounded better).

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Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 05:39 

Seems a lot of early titles do not indicate any surround information on the jackets though it was present in the soundtrack, how should this type be classified?

Same for CED announced as "Stereo" but actually carrying over the surround information from the original masters.

Best way would be to ... just play the disc and turn on Prologic/Surround decoding to for sound the center/rear channels?


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Posted: 03 Nov 2019, 05:21 

Just watched How to Murder Your Wife, I noticed that the picture was shifted slightly to the left which put the que marks off screen, only once being partially shown.

There are many transfers on LD (& other formats) like that.

Also many LDs that quote "presented in the original aspect ratio" or similar wording are often way off the original ratio - surprisingly quite a number of the ROAN LDs carry the "original ratio" quote but are way off & I really would have expected them to have taken more care with details like that.

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 Post subject: Re: VP-1000 (Looping video)
Posted: 03 Nov 2019, 19:07 

I think you're going to find the pinion gear is broken. This typically occurs when the player is shipped without the transit screw.
When you take the bottom off, you'll see a motor assembly on the edge of the slider assembly. Taking off the 4 screws will allow you to lift off the motor assembly. Flip it over and you'll see the gear. Part #62 in this picture.

This gear was used in all Pioneer built top loading players. VP-1000, LD-600, LD-1000, LD-1100, PR-8210, LD-V1000, LD-V1001, Magnavox VC-8010 & Sylvania VP-7200. The only difference was the VP-1000 version was a hollow gear and easily broken. The other players were solid and much more sturdy.
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