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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 15:01 
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takeshi666 wrote:
rein-o wrote:
so much of this post is non sequitur

So a typical tripletopper post then?

Yep, but I wanted to post that so others won't get the wrong idea that he may be right :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 19:00 
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Was it really a cancellation or just evolution?
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 21:14 
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Hey I started the post asking questions about top loaders vs front loaders, and the obvious advantages to the media not being scratched by a spindle and the advantage to hiding the lens.

Then I noted the drawback of a Panasonic LD tray that was so quick the media wouldn’t stay centered, and eventually when trying to slow it down manually or re-ejecting and re-inserting the media, caused a media disc to shatter in the player.

Thankfully that media player didn’t have both AC3 and S-Video, so it wasn’t high end anyway. Because when they repaired it, they didn’t resolve the initial complaint, they gave me a discount on a working Laser Disc player with S-Video and AC3.

So In all my optical media experiences, I had one unrepairable scratched music CD which I easily replaced at the time, , and one scratched lens on a Dreamcast, which I just got back form the shop today, and it works, both caused by top loading media, and one shattered LD, of 2 episodes of a TV show I can now get on Amazon Prime, caused by front loading media. The music CD was "Jimmi Hendrix - Are You Experienced CD-G" and the LD was "UFO Season 2, Episodes 1-2." Thankfully the data is easily replaceable. Not a bad track record for 35 years of optical media ownership. And notng else was wrong with the Dreamcast so it was a $20 repair plus shipping.

Compared it to tape: I had 2 audio cassettes (one at the worst time, at my junior high talent show. Luckily I was able to improv my way out.) and 3 Betamax tapes snap, and countless tangle incidents inside the head of a Beta which cause permanent problems with the media.

I usually didn’t touch the record player because most of the stuff I wanted was video games, and I recorded music off the radio.

So i guess I’m partial to front loaders becuase top loaders can scratch either the lens or the media, and the compared to LPs, the media is considered Center-to-Edge data. There’s no dead spot like on LPs where you can poke the media feeling for the spindle, and not scratch it, or at least if it can, you got WAY more leeway.

@substance why are you partial to top-loaders?

@tasuke was 1984 the year Pioneer became the "step-father of the Laser Disc format."

Finally, no one is answering this question? I’d like some advice on top loaders on how to avoid lens scratches and disc scratches. But I’m not complaining about moving the conversation of topic with CD PLAyers and ESP buffering and stuff like that. It’s funny how I’m accused of derailing my own thread. ;)

If I grab a 12 cm optical disc by opposite edges, I might miss the center, and there I could scratch the disc. If I use the thumb-index-middle method, where I stick my index finger in the center, I can more accurately feel for the spindle. But if my initial poke hits the lens, there’s potential over time to ruin that, like with my Dreamcast.

And I am trying to be careful. Considering I damaged only One CD and one lens from a top-loader, and one LD from a front-loader, and the problems with trays are rarer and a more obvious sign for professional help, whereas top loading discs and dealing with exposed lenses is an every-time-I-use-the-media event, not a once in a blue moon case with bad trays, I need a little advice in dealing with top-loaders. Thankfully all the good LD players with S-Video and Digital Audio and AC3 are all front-loaders, and I doubt anyone will make a top-loader anymore.

By the way, I’m trying to be careful, but I’m kind of blind when looking at centering the disc from above. Those things are so exact, whereas a tray or slot loader can be a little off-center and it will self-correct. Heck, even the Wii had a way to load 8 cm Game Cube discs without an adapter that was easy peasy.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 05 May 2019, 07:31 
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audioboyz1973 wrote:
Was it really a cancellation or just evolution?


I would assume evolution.

Probably the reason top loaders came first is simply that they didn't know how to make front loaders yet. The same could be said about the first gen VHS and Beta decks as they were top loaders as well.

Also, I would think the helium neon laser and the mirror / prism set-up for the pick-up assembly in the top loaders did take up quite a bit of space that would have been made adding a loading mechanism an unnecessary complication. Heck, they were making a 1st gen piece of technology and probably wanted to make the machine as simple as they could so a top loader design was a no brainer.

Lastly, try making an auto reverse player w/ a top loader system? Now that would be a complicated mess so it's obvious the front loader was going to be necessary evolution change for any future player design (and not to mention that front loading makes sense as you can put the machine anywhere on a rack).
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 07 May 2019, 17:40 
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There are pros and cons to a top loading mechanism vs a front loader.

One of the reasons why VCRs went in that direction was that it lessens the amount of dust and other foreign objects entering the machine.

One main disadvantage to the front loader is that it pushes the price up having to include a loading/ejecting motor and tray.

There's a reason why many of the initial disc based video game consoles used top loaders than front loading trays since it made the hardware cheaper; even though Sega with their Sega CD and SNK with their Neo Geo CD consoles initially featured a front loading tray, they moved to a top loader eventually.

Even in the last generation or so, Sony used a top loader for it's scaled down PS2 Slim and Nintendo used one for their Gamecube for cost saving.

In some ways I wish some more top loading LD players were a thing since the front loading mechanism is something that can break down after repeated use eventually. With parts becoming harder and harder to procure, this is a genuine concern.

Then again, as ldfan just posted above, it would be nigh impossible to make an auto turn system with a top loader--unless the player included another laser attached to the lid with another mechanism to move the laser included there.

And that would pretty much defeat the purpose of having the top loader with less moving parts to break since more was added.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 07 May 2019, 20:23 
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As t the claim that top loaders are easier to maintain than front loaders:

I have a Panasonic LD player with an overly fast eject tray, and that was hard to repair. Luckily a guy said he could fix that specific issue and did not address the issue I stated, causing him to give me credit towards a Pioneer LD player with S-Video and Dolby AC3. That incident also damage one media unit.

Vs.

A top loading CD Player scratched my Music CD to cause skips.

And The Dreamcast lens got ruined in a separate incident, and I had to take it into the shop.

I’m thinking the media is better off with a front loader for the more common problem for a scratch in the center-to-edge media.

For players, top loading is better.

I guess there is a balance between player health vs media health. I’ve had 2 players ruined vs 2 media units ruined. The player issues were a Panasonic LD player and Dreamcast Laser Lens. The media damaged are Jimmi Hendrix "Are You Experienced" CD-G and UFO Season 2 Episode 1 and 2.

Now that I think about maybe it’s six of one, half dozen of the other. I guess it depends on whether media or players are rarer and cheaper to replace. Common media is no big deal to replace, but rarer and more in-demand media are harder to replace than machines. The question is which one is more preventable and which one wouldn’t cause a chain reaction, like the bad tray ruining an otherwise good media. I’m just glad no uber-rare media was damaged.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 07 May 2019, 20:28 
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Most people have used both with none of the issues you describe. Aside from the Dreamcast laser dying, that’s almost guaranteed to happen.

A laser lens is like 8mm around and fixed in place. How hard can it be to make sure you never touch something that’s that small?
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 07 May 2019, 23:55 
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I am glad it didn't evolve to slot loaders. Sometimes they annoy me. a drawer or top loader is fine and nostalgic.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 00:14 
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The only one I don’t like is the “entire drive pops out on a drawer” like you see with later day laptops, some iMacs, etc. That really feels like the least durable variation. I don’t like the entire drive banging around on a flimsy drawer like that.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 00:49 
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xtempo wrote:
I am glad it didn't evolve to slot loaders. Sometimes they annoy me. a drawer or top loader is fine and nostalgic.


Slot loaders are really gross. I was pleased when they did the ultra slim PS3 so I could get away from that.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 03:14 
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signofzeta wrote:
Most people have used both with none of the issues you describe. Aside from the Dreamcast laser dying, that’s almost guaranteed to happen.

A laser lens is like 8mm around and fixed in place. How hard can it be to make sure you never touch something that’s that small?


First of all, only 2 pieces optical media destroyed, and 2 players of optical media being repaired is a pretty good track record for 35+ years of owning optical media, considering most of these formats are no longer made, like LD, and video game systems, which you can’t go to the store and easily replace.

Second, there’s no perfect solution, The front tray loaders and front slot loaders are a lot more forgiving on the media and there is no exposed lens in these cases. But the top loaders have no motorized parts associated with loading the machines.

So what’s easier to replace, laser lenses and media of top loaders, or loader motors of front loaders? The only mechanical problem I had with a front loader was a speedy tray. I think someone juiced the motor before I found it at a thrift store. I assumed all you had to do was dial back the motor speed by adjusting it with a screwdriver and the problem should be solved. But the repairman said a new part which was no longer made was needed.

I would use top loaders more if I can find ways to prevent a finger poke on the lens or a slide-scratch on the media. A little help with some handling techniques with top loaders would be helpful.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 04:17 
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tripletopper wrote:
First of all, only 2 pieces optical media destroyed, and 2 players of optical media being repaired is a pretty good track record for 35+ years of owning optical media

Wait a minute, you are older than 35.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 07:21 
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tripletopper wrote:
The only mechanical problem I had with a front loader was a speedy tray. I think someone juiced the motor before I found it at a thrift store.


I did use to own a Panasonic LX-101 and I did find the tray to be a tad faster than most of my Pioneer units but nothing really excessive. How much faster are we talking about?

tripletopper wrote:
I would use top loaders more if I can find ways to prevent a finger poke on the lens or a slide-scratch on the media. A little help with some handling techniques with top loaders would be helpful.


Since I have never heard of this issue before and I myself have never had an issue of damaging anything on my top loaders, maybe it's just about being a bit more careful. Almost sounds like you are aggressively forcing your discs into your players.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 16:46 
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ldfan wrote:
tripletopper wrote:
The only mechanical problem I had with a front loader was a speedy tray. I think someone juiced the motor before I found it at a thrift store.


I did use to own a Panasonic LX-101 and I did find the tray to be a tad faster than most of my Pioneer units but nothing really excessive. How much faster are we talking about?

tripletopper wrote:
I would use top loaders more if I can find ways to prevent a finger poke on the lens or a slide-scratch on the media. A little help with some handling techniques with top loaders would be helpful.


Since I have never heard of this issue before and I myself have never had an issue of damaging anything on my top loaders, maybe it's just about being a bit more careful. Almost sounds like you are aggressively forcing your discs into your players.


I don’t think I’m being excessive, I’m just blinded to the spindle because the discs are opaque.

If I don’t center it right with the old technique (no index finger poking through the center) I seem to have to glide the disc to find the center.

The new technique protects the media by having my index finger feel in advance to the disc touching the spindle wrongly, but at the risk of possibly touching the exposed lens.

Front loaders avoid both possibilities. I never had trouble with a front loading Sega CD, PS2, Xbox Prime, Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, Wi U, or Xbox One in terms of disc loading. The only problem was the used Panasonic LD. It was Way too fast, ejecting 30 cm in 1 second, vs a CD’s typical 12 cm in one second. So I have to wait an extra 1-2 secodns. Big deal :p compared to junking an LD player.

I think I have the home-filmed video of my panasonic loading fast on YouTube when I originaly noticed the "finding center problems":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf9IFAXFLF8
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 17:09 
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tripletopper wrote:
As t the claim that top loaders are easier to maintain than front loaders:

I have a Panasonic LD player with an overly fast eject tray, and that was hard to repair. Luckily a guy said he could fix that specific issue and did not address the issue I stated, causing him to give me credit towards a Pioneer LD player with S-Video and Dolby AC3. That incident also damage one media unit.

Vs.

A top loading CD Player scratched my Music CD to cause skips.

And The Dreamcast lens got ruined in a separate incident, and I had to take it into the shop.

I’m thinking the media is better off with a front loader for the more common problem for a scratch in the center-to-edge media.

For players, top loading is better.

I guess there is a balance between player health vs media health. I’ve had 2 players ruined vs 2 media units ruined. The player issues were a Panasonic LD player and Dreamcast Laser Lens. The media damaged are Jimmi Hendrix "Are You Experienced" CD-G and UFO Season 2 Episode 1 and 2.

Now that I think about maybe it’s six of one, half dozen of the other. I guess it depends on whether media or players are rarer and cheaper to replace. Common media is no big deal to replace, but rarer and more in-demand media are harder to replace than machines. The question is which one is more preventable and which one wouldn’t cause a chain reaction, like the bad tray ruining an otherwise good media. I’m just glad no uber-rare media was damaged.

Don't know what to tell you other than I've had top loading video game consoles and CD players and CD-ROM drives since the 80s and I've never scratched any media on them.

And the laser in both my Saturn and Dreamcast are still going strong.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 17:55 
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tripletopper wrote:
I think I have the home-filmed video of my panasonic loading fast on YouTube when I originaly noticed the "finding center problems":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf9IFAXFLF8


Yeah.... that video is not going to do it for me. :eh:

Maybe you can retake it with something that actually has resolution?
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 19:49 
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ldfan wrote:
tripletopper wrote:
I think I have the home-filmed video of my panasonic loading fast on YouTube when I originaly noticed the "finding center problems":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf9IFAXFLF8


Yeah.... that video is not going to do it for me. :eh:

Maybe you can retake it with something that actually has resolution?


Someone on Youtube wanted to denmonstrate the speed of the ejector. I filmed it with a 3DS, and converted it to 2D because I wasn;’t sure how you felt about 3D. The 2D conversion was a little boxy and a little slapdash, but if you got a 3D TV, this should be clearer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3FAnPNTwwI

That’s all the evidence I have of it left. It’s gone to a goodwill as a repairman’s delight.

But by the sound cues you can time when it comes in and out. Keep in mind it’s at least a 30 cm tray. and it comes out in less than a second. That’s a too fast ejector.

Plus it has a better shot. Of course you can look at one eye and the sound cues to measure the speed of the ejector.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 22:33 
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I agree. That is extremely quick. It could knock a disc out of the well once in a while perhaps.
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 Post subject: Re: I can see why top loaders were cancelled early on.
PostPosted: 08 May 2019, 23:02 
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signofzeta wrote:
I agree. That is extremely quick. It could knock a disc out of the well once in a while perhaps.


I knew what the problem was, a way too fast ejector uncentering the disc. Most of the time I heard no spinning noise. But the few times I heard the spinning noise, it always played.

So the amateur LD diagnostics was correct. Too fast disc ejecting causing off-center loads. Luckily I got a discount on a Pioneer with S-Video, Toslink, Coaxial, and Dolby AC3 hole.

CD-G would have been nice, but I got a Sega CD or Sega Saturn and maybe a 3DO and PS1 for that.

By the way, why doesn’t the Xbox One CD player properly play CD-Gs? It also doesn’t display analog closed captions on a DVD, whether burnt off TV or a store-bought copy. And what about home burnt VCD before I had a Panasonic DVD TV Recorder? Finally if someone made a Red-and-Blue player, how hard is it for something computerized to have an HD DVD player as a separate Xbox One S app? I don't know enough about the Red-And-Blue player. Does the laser need to be tuned for HD DVD? Does HD DVD need something not currently in an Xbox One S? A couple of big oversights from Microsoft.

The only reason I’m not complaining about Laser discs is becuase they physically don’t fit... unless someone wants to make a "Terrordisk" the size of a Laser disc, so Laser Disc backwards compatibility can be added. (a 1 TB+ optical disc, combining LDs sheer size with technologies in compression since then. You could fit an entire 4K (with lower resolution compatibility), 30-bit color (with 24-bit color, and 8-bit monochrome compatibility) 3D (with 2D compatibility), Dolby Atmos AND DTS X (with lower standards compatibility down to mono), 13-episode, one-hour-with commercials-per-episode season of a series on there)
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