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 Post subject: HARDWARE DATABASE v1 is now online!
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2022, 07:32 
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(this is a draft explanation that will eventually become a help section/FAQ, previous topics can be found in Hardware Database discussions)

Took me a few months but I slowly updated the code to add devices for now (parts, remote controls, etc to come later).

Why build such a database?
Same reason than the LDs database: the information is slowly fading away from internet as manufacturers/servers/online services shutdown or retire.
I think it was time to move to the next level and also document all things hardware related to LDs (and beyond) so that everyone here can manage their gears (and maybe learn a few things along the way).

I had plans for a Hardware section right since 2002 and started a draft/prototype in 2009 when updates stopped but it remained mostly cold until we started a thread on all players, remotes, DACs, etc.

blam1 took an immense amount of his time to compile all known data in a giant Excel spreadsheet that served as a starting point for the new iteration of the database.

Is there a complete LD PLAYER LIST? If not let's make one
The REMOTE CONTROL definitive list
Receivers and other equipments that support AC3RF
Master list for DAC chips used in LD players

Right now it comes with these categories:

  • A/V Component (anything handling audio and video, such as switch boxes, scalers, converters, etc.)
  • A/V Receiver (Integrated Audio-Video who can do a LOT of things but ultimately feed speakers)
  • AC3 Decoder (devices purely handing AC3/Surround, otherwise under Sound Processor)
  • AC3RF Demodulator (devices handling purely AC3RF, otherwise under AC3 Decoderor Sound Processor)
  • Amplifier (ONLY amplification, no decoding/switching)
  • Auto-changer (specific to professional LD players with multiple discs capability for Karaoke)
  • Blu-Ray Player (usually including CD and DVD as well)
  • Captioning Decoder (Either Closed Caption or TELETEXT)
  • CD Player (might also play SACD or CDV or VCD but not DVD)
  • CED Player
  • D-VHS Player
  • DTS Decoder (devices purely handing DTS, otherwise under Sound Processor)
  • DVD Player (might also play CD, SACD or CDV or VCD but not Blu-Ray)
  • Graphics Decoder (Either CD+G or LD-G)
  • HD DVD Player (might also play CD and DVD)
  • Laserdisc Player (including Combi LD/DVD and related techs like HDVS, BASEBAND, WIDEBAND, etc. incompatible with standards LDs)
  • MUSE Decoder (both decoder and NTSC down-converters)
  • Pre-Amplifier (switching, decoding but no speakers output)
  • Sound Processor (AC3/DTS/others like CX or Digital Audio decoders, including DACs for now.)
  • UHD Blu-Ray Player (last generation of players able to play most discs like CD/SACD/DVD/BD/4K BD)
  • VHD Player
  • Video Processor (scalers, line doublers, enhancers, etc. mainly handling video signals)

We might add more categories if needed like (PDUs or pure DACs).

I tried to design templates for each category but in real-life there are SO MANY possible combinations and hybrid devices that it quickly showed its limitation.

So instead I opted for a global unique template for all devices that REQUIRE EXTERNAL POWER to run normally.
This mean (for most cases) stand-alone devices that you plug to the power socket on the wall. This is why remote controls will be considered as "parts" instead.

The first section has the basic common attributes (color, model, brand, dimensions, power requirements, clone/OEM, etc.).

For now I designed 3 main domains: Format Compatibility, Decoding Capability and Physical Connections.

Format Compatibility

Some players can play only one format (ex: CED or VHD) but Combi LD/DVD could play many and "universal players" can play most discs.
Some LG drives could read both BD and HDDVD, etc.

Each time you select one format a section will appear below with some specific information that can be added (DTS-compatible, region lock, etc.).

  • CED
  • VHD
  • LD
  • CD (audio)
  • CDV (LD content on CD)
  • DVD VIDEO(including HD VMD)
  • VCD (MPEG1)
  • SACD
  • HD DVD
  • Blu-Ray (including 4K/UHD)
  • D-VHS

Decoding Capability

So far I have found only 3 mains decoding classes:

  • AUDIO (such as all the Dolby and DTS flavors, LPCM, HDCD, etc.)
  • MUSE (they had tons of specific connectors)
  • CAPTION (how far you could customize the captions in size, color, position, parental lock, etc.)

Physical Connections

This is by far the scariest section when you look at it the first time, but it's not that bad after a while when you get the logic behind it.

By trying to fully describe a lot of existing devices, I came across TONS of connectors I had never personally seen or used before.

  • CONTROLS IN/OUT (such as remote control repeater, triggers, DIN8, DIN5, CD Sync, RS-232, USB, Ethernet)
  • POWER Outlets (extra power oulets at the back to daisy chaind, either switched (on/off with the device) or unswitched (always on))
  • Audio IN (MANY types in both analog and digital in various standard such as RCA, BNC, fiber, XLR, Toslink, USB, jacks, MIDI)
  • Audio OUT (same as Audio IN + speakers connections)
  • Video IN (again MANY types in both analog and digital in various standards such as Coax, S-Video, BNC, DB15, Japan D, SDI, DVI, HDMI, Display Port)
  • Video OUT (same as Video IN)

I'm sure I missed some connectors, such as the weird SONY TV input described here: Need help: unknown (to me) connectors!

If more connectors, decoding, formats are needed, we will add them as we go.

For now I'd be happy if most people on the forum/website can successfully add most of their devices with accurate information and pictures whenever needed. That should keep me busy for the next 20 years of LDDb! I started coding the first alpha version around April 2002 and I setup/registered the User #1 (admin) on August 8th, 2002.

You can still see my old eBay/Only shop (static page) here. I shut it down when I left Japan. then started cataloging my own collection until I registered and published updates on the alpha version from November 2002 and beta version early 2003.

Working on this first version of the Hardware Database taught a LOT of things I didn't know about commercial audio/video products, including some high-end brands I never really heard about -- being completely out of my budget at that time -- but that you can find a lot cheaper today.

Please help us complete information if you have them at hand, and let's keep this fun for everyone!

HLD-X0/9 LD-S9 OPPO 105/205 SL-1200G
LDD-1 MSC-4000 R2144 PONTUS II C45 MC257
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