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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 14 Feb 2021, 03:25 
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itsvince725 wrote:

Ah, okay. I mean, if I want to get good sound quality from my LD machines I probably should be using SPDIF/TOSLink anyway but it's nice to know I don't *have* to. My current main player is a CLD-D505 from 1996 which I'm sure is plenty modern enough.


You should use both.

Remember, LD discs can have two soundtracks (digital and analog). Toslink only works for the digital tracks so if you played a disc with only analog sound (very common), you won't hear anything.

Also, sound is subjective as well. Sometimes an LD player's left and right audio outputs (sending out the digital track) will sound better if it sports a better or just different sounding D/A converter vs. the one you have in the AV Receiver. I always felt that my CLD-3030 (1988 model) sounds especially amazing for music as I feel there is a more analog warmth to them. However, after Pioneer (and other manufacturers) switched from the multi bit DA converters to the 1 bit direct linear converters around 1991, they just weren't the same. So in most cases when I use my CLD-D701 or later players for digital audio playback, I choose to use the optical out of them and let my AV Receiver do the decoding.
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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2021, 03:35 
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In short, most of us with full home theater setups have three different paths from the player to the receiver. Digital (TOSLINK or SPDIF) analog (RCA) and AC-3 (through a demodulator). %99 of the time the RCA jacks are my preference (CLD-99).

There are no AC-3 discs that require that you listen to the AC-3 sound since they also have PCM stereo. However there are DTS discs that effectively require DTS decoding because DTS takes the place of the PCM tracks. If the analogs have been used for commentary...you’ll need DTS or you’ll only be able to hear the commentary.
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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2021, 05:59 
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signofzeta wrote:
However there are DTS discs that effectively require DTS decoding because DTS takes the place of the PCM tracks. If the analogs have been used for commentary...you’ll need DTS or you’ll only be able to hear the commentary.


Never though of that, and indeed there seems to be 4 releases that don't even have a mono analog soundtrack of the movie because all analog tracks are used for commentary and/or movie musical score:

Blade (1998) [ID5423LI]
Dark City (1998) [ID4643LI]
Lost in Space (1998) [ID4712LI]
Rush Hour (1998) [ID5477LI]

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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2021, 18:02 
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admin wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
However there are DTS discs that effectively require DTS decoding because DTS takes the place of the PCM tracks. If the analogs have been used for commentary...you’ll need DTS or you’ll only be able to hear the commentary.


Never though of that, and indeed there seems to be 4 releases that don't even have a mono analog soundtrack of the movie because all analog tracks are used for commentary and/or movie musical score:


Yeah I remember this but couldn't remember if it was for AC3 or DTS discs, just that it was an issue with some later discs.
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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2021, 21:41 
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signofzeta wrote:

....However there are DTS discs that effectively require DTS decoding because DTS takes the place of the PCM tracks. If the analogs have been used for commentary...you’ll need DTS or you’ll only be able to hear the commentary.



Especially in the mid 1990's, this was definitely a problem since DTS was more the boutique codec. Now that DTS and Dolby Digital are essentially the norm in all current AV Receivers, this problem of having to choose what codec I can play has been nullified (except if you want to play Dolby Digital track off of LD and don't have a Demodulator).
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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2021, 23:52 
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I doubt it was ever a problem for very many people. Every DTS disc has a non-DTS equivalent (I think...?) with the DTS version being a higher priced, quite possibly special order item. I think it’s more likely to be a problem now since only now would someone have a random DTS disc as part of a collection or whatever without the means to play it. Back in the day those things only sold to people who had standalone DTS processors which cost hundreds of dollars in addition to a $1000+ 5.1 system that probably already supported AC-3. The analog Dolby Surround is hardly a satisfactory substitute for PCM so buying a DTS disk without DTS gear makes no a sense.

I do remember a letter or two in Widescreen Review or Videophile from angry fans with analog only players claiming they would abandon LD if this kind of thing ever became the norm. In in the end it never did become the norm and we all were forced to abandon LD anyway. :)
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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2021, 05:43 
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Totally agree with you on that.

I was mostly inferring that most of us would have a pretty modern AV Receiver set-up w/ DD + DTS decoding and collecting any disc at this point would play in an instant without issue. However, I never really thought about a laserdisc collector w/ no sound system at all or one w/ only analog inputs and in that case they would hear garbage on their speakers when playing a DTS disc until they realized @ some point that they have to manually switch to the analog track to hear the movie.
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 Post subject: Re: AC3 RF demodulators are very expensive, any alternative?
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2021, 20:08 
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If they have an analog only deck a DTS disc is the same as any other disc as far as they are concerned (assuming it’s not one of the four titles listed above as having commentary). If they have a deck that does Digital Sound then they will get garbage from the analog outs until they manually switch to the analog tracks. It’s possible that later players have a mute function for this, like how newer CD players won’t play data through the DAC, but my newest player is from 1995 so I can’t check.

If one had an optical connection between the LD player and the AVR and the AVR didn’t support DTS, I’m not sure if it would play noise or mute itself.
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