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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2019, 14:29 
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You're right ! The component is a 入力 ! I thought it was a Muse 出力.
You can record Muse after the Muse decoder, but there is no decoder inside this !
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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 10:19 
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Very interesting posts here, thanks for the info & pictures.

MUSE on the rear of VHS units I have never seen before, thanks for the pictures.

The MUSE thing was mentioned at a couple exhibitors meetings in the early to mid '90s that usually turned into a bit of a bicker match though some useful & interesting information & facts would sometimes emerge.

Fuji TV were talked about as being involved in early HD broadcasts in Japan & they are mentioned on a couple of LDs that I have that have High-Vision or HD mentioned on the covers.

The MUSE format was discussed but it was not covered in any great detail. As far as the home media market was concerned here in the UK it was mostly about VHS rental & retail sales figures, even where the LD market was concerned that was usually skimmed over as the sales were a fraction of the VHS market & the DVD system was getting ready for a then future release so it was starting to gain a bit more time being discussed though quite a bit of that at the time was about who were in & who were dragging their heals. Paramount were apparently "not helping" though when the DVD format was ready for the consumer market they "were in" by the launch date.

The number of MUSE units produced really do appear to be so low compared to the predicted sales figures which were rather optimistic.
Pretty sure it was around 1992 or '93-ish or so & Panasonic(?) had quoted a predicted figure of 1,000,000 MUSE player unit sales by 1999 or 2000 though it may have been even higher - it was a while ago now but pretty sure the quoted figures were around that mark. The predictions from PIONEER were much much lower & again it was a while ago but pretty sure they were talking of producing 1000 units or so per month to start with & total sales of 250,000 or 300,000 or so by 1998 or 1999.

Not long after the MUSE format was released in Japan it was clear that the predictions were way off the mark & it was not mentioned much at all after that but I do recall talk of how the unit & disc costs were so high that the uptake was very low indeed & the releases to that point did not help & looking back there may have been something in that. Also much more attention was being given to the then up & coming new DVD format which did take off much faster than most had expected back then.

Any talk of a US or UK/European release of the MUSE format was very short & it was clear that it was never going to happen.
Are the MUSE unit numbers produced confirmed as if they are correct it must have been rather costly for PIONEER & the other manufacturers who were involved back then. The consumer cost of the MUSE discs that were released was high & it was mentioned that as the cost to produce the MUSE discs was not that much more than the cost to produce a standard laserdisc made them a bit of a "rip-off" & that was the term used, perhaps a little arrogant as far as the disc pricing was concerned.

I have only ever seen a couple of MUSE discs - Lawrence of Arabia & one with fish on the cover, sorry but can't remember the name of the title - but I have not seen a MUSE player in the flesh & so have never seen one in action as such but the covers/cases were rather nice.

It was a while ago, must be 25+ years now, so I may be way off on some of the figures & it was not something I would have taken any more than a passing interest in back then as I could not afford a decent standard LD player but it was of interest. The VHD format was also mentioned a couple of times also but again it was clear that other than brief mentions it was never getting a US or European release so again only skimmed over to keep us up to date on what was happening in the consumer market worldwide at that time.

Has anyone got any idea of how many working MUSE player units have survived? Given the numbers produced or what I have been lead to believe were produced it cannot be that many now surely or am I seriously mistaken?

I do wish I had paid a bit more attention to the few times the MUSE format was mentioned but as the meetings were more to do with the cinema exhibition side of things & it was only mentioned among other things to keep us informed of what was happening or not happening in the consumer market I am perhaps lucky to have heard anything about them at all.

One point that was made was that the retail cost of the players plus the required decoders & the cost of the discs was very high but the expectation was that so called serious AV buyers in Japan would buy enough product to keep it viable on the retail market but that clearly did not happen. If nothing else it was an interesting diversion within the LD format.

I would like to see some of the MUSE discs in action but I doubt that will ever happen, don't think many at all got to the UK & I would not be able to shell out the funds to start going down that route.

Cheers to all.


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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2019, 23:43 
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I think MUSE Hi-Vision was more relevant as being used for HD broadcast in japan, which you needed a MUSE decoder for.
The whole MUSE LD thing was a niche. Though now that it is no longer used for broadcast, the only thing left to do with the
decoders is to watch those LD's. There probably were systems like that tested in europe, but they were likely not called MUSE.
I remember we had two D2-MAC (i think that was the name for it) test channels via cable, but no decoder for it.

Nowadays to me it seems everyone and their grandma has a MUSE player and decoder - it is not such an awesome oddity anymore.
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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 05:06 
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lons_vex wrote:
Nowadays to me it seems everyone and their grandma has a MUSE player and decoder - it is not such an awesome oddity anymore.

Well those players and decoders all existed of course; but you're right there has been a steady flow of them out of Japan over the years.
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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 08:40 
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I'd imagine MUSE decoders are at least a bit more commonplace than Hi-Vision players, since the former would've have other uses than just decoding Hi-Vision LDs. Plus since they have no moving parts, it's probably a lot easier to find a working decoder than a working Hi-Vision player.

Kind of a shame they didn't make them with other features, like LD+G decoding. Then it'd have even more useful applications.
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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2019, 14:25 
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As I understand it the NHK Muse broadcast channel was fairly popular in Japan, with regular broadcasts commencing in the early 90's (the earliest test broadcasts in the late 80's) and continuing until November 2007.

Many people also had so called M-N decoders which produced a 60Hz (not 59.94) NTSC output from the Muse channel/signal. This apparently still gave noticeable PQ improvement over the normal broadcast NTSC.

The last of a quite limited number of Muse LD titles was released in 1997 so Muse on LD really was niche within niche stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: MUSE Decoder....
PostPosted: 14 Nov 2019, 11:41 
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I remember staying at a Japanese girlfriend's parents house in the Saitama suburbs in 2001 and enjoying HD analogue broadcasts. Phenomenal and still the absolute best picture I have ever seen. A lot of cherry blossoms and period dramas I remember. Not sure exactly what gear they had but they had a widescreen TV and it looked great.
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