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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 03:00 
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Stretching is...satanism. Worse than pan and scan, worse than that weird thing new TVs do where they make old films look 60fps (my goodness that is eerie), even worse than colorization, dubbing, or the love conquers all edit of Brazil. Stretching is what little old ladies do when watching the 4:3 feed of the shopping channel on their new HDTV they've owned for five minutes.

Black bars aren't harming you. The don't mess up the image. The only thing they do is waste screen space, but at least they make it so the image isn't funhouse warped.

Yes, blowing up the image enhances flaws. I usually do it because my TV is *only* 34" and it makes the image bigger, but it does amplifies the failures of the picture. It wouldn't be much different than sitting closer to the screen though.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 03:04 
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LaserDisc is standard def - analog standard def, and I personally don't have any problems with it when seen on my LCD panel or Sanyo projector and it's 8 foot screen. The flaws that were visible on 50-inch SD projection televisions are still there but now, in most cases, we are getting full color resolution (the VAST majority of SD TV's, even big screens, only decoded 40 lines of color) and the progressive scan gets rid of interlace artifacts like line twitter, the weird NTSC interlace "boiling" and a host of other artifacts. It doesn't look as good as HD or a well done DVD, but I love how it looks and am more than happy with LaserDisc on a modern set. It doesn't take huge amounts of money or equipment to enjoy LaserDisc on an HD set. Just correct expectations.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 04:15 
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alien wrote:
Thanks for those stories dewdude & signofzeta.

I can certainly understand that on giant screen HD TVs like a 46", my 55" LED display I have hooked up in my living room, and obviously sets that are 60" and above would make a old analog format like LD look like total crap. Hell my 55" blows up any microscopic picture flaws in SD & HD broadcasts, compressed torrents and DVDs, so I hate to think what LD would look like on that. However even then, despite HD TVs in general these days lacking care for analog inputs, I have to say that I just don't see these issues you guys talk about viewing Laserdiscs with my bedroom 32" LCD. Granted my picture settings are stabilized and not out of whack with sharpness, contrast, colour, brightness and DNR all blown out the wazoo which would even make Blu-Ray look bad, plus I tend to stick with later released strong transfers like Goldeneye, Men in Black, Star Wars Episode 1, but even then old transfers from the early 80's (even though they show there age) are still more then watchable to me. My 32" has many picture enhancement features (although I always keep the DNR off for both DVD and Laserdisc playback), I sit about 6 feet away and I don't use the zoom feature because well my HD TV display doesn't have any zoom options. Only 2 aspect ratio modes to choose from which are obviously 4:3 or 16:9, and personally I'll take a ever so slightly stretched image over a box with black bars on all sides of the image (top, bottom, left and right.) Hell I have said this a few times already on other threads, but watching Men in Black a few nights ago on LD on my 32" was almost DVD quality. It was sharp, had well saturated colours, solid blacks and most of all had good detail overall.

Plus wouldn't zooming in on the picture just make Laserdisc look worse anyway? making the flaws in the source even more obvious?


I've never said it looks like crap on an HDTV regardless. That 70" Sharp has some very advanced video processing, so laserdisc, directly in to it, looks outstanding. It also does that funky frame rare interpolation someone mentioned, which I kind of like. I knew my TV was going to be crap, but I underestimated how much below the average it would be.

My Onkyo home theater receiver on the other hand, outstanding. You can zoom in without the flaws jumping out at you. But, its selling point was its video processing.

I'll take some sample photos later. I found a Fuji Coolpix S3280 today that I bought, which is more camera than I expected for under a hundred Bucks. Its only 14MP, but has a 24x optical zoom....about 567 mm lens. I shot a few pics of my LCD with 1/60 shutter speed, still playing with that.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 04:18 
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signofzeta wrote:
Stretching is...satanism. Worse than pan and scan, worse than that weird thing new TVs do where they make old films look 60fps (my goodness that is eerie), even worse than colorization, dubbing, or the love conquers all edit of Brazil. Stretching is what little old ladies do when watching the 4:3 feed of the shopping channel on their new HDTV they've owned for five minutes.

Black bars aren't harming you. The don't mess up the image. The only thing they do is waste screen space, but at least they make it so the image isn't funhouse warped.

Yes, blowing up the image enhances flaws. I usually do it because my TV is *only* 34" and it makes the image bigger, but it does amplifies the failures of the picture. It wouldn't be much different than sitting closer to the screen though.

I am actuelly quite sensitive to tinkering with the aspect ratio which is why I opt for letterbox/widescreen releases over pan and scan versions of the same movies because I hate seeing information on the left and right sides of the image chopped off. Anamorphic really was a god send for widescreen overall. However with the limitations in regards to my 32" display in terms of it lacking any zoom modes, watching it in 16:9 mode to me is preferable to watching a significantly smaller image with black bars on all sides hogging up a large portion of the screen. You also hardly even notice the stretching because its so minimal on my screen from 6 or so feet away, in fact it looks just fine especially with something shot at 1.85:1.

I also hate the reduction of quality zooming in general does to things. It exposes the flaws more which I'm not in favor of personally.

You are also heavily over over exaggerating with all those things you mentioned which are far worse in my opinion if you saw just how minimal the stretching is.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 04:29 
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disclord wrote:
LaserDisc is standard def - analog standard def, and I personally don't have any problems with it when seen on my LCD panel or Sanyo projector and it's 8 foot screen. The flaws that were visible on 50-inch SD projection televisions are still there but now, in most cases, we are getting full color resolution (the VAST majority of SD TV's, even big screens, only decoded 40 lines of color) and the progressive scan gets rid of interlace artifacts like line twitter, the weird NTSC interlace "boiling" and a host of other artifacts. It doesn't look as good as HD or a well done DVD, but I love how it looks and am more than happy with LaserDisc on a modern set. It doesn't take huge amounts of money or equipment to enjoy LaserDisc on an HD set. Just correct expectations.

:clap: :thumbup:

Well said...

I mean I could understand the quality being bad if you had your contrast pumped up to the max, brightness too high, lots of sharpness and DNR set to medium or high with the backlight running at 100%, like I said these settings will even make Blu-Ray look crap let alone DVD or Laserdisc, but as long as you have the appropriate settings then I just can't see the problem. Overall not as good as DVD or even close to HD obviously, but still quite decent and perfectly watchable.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 04:46 
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I don't even use the sharpness control on my set because, face it, film is not a 'sharp' medium. It has a natural roll off on edges that can appear sharp, but really are not - and it's even softer if the IB Technicolor process was used. Programs shot on video are sharp, and for those I use my Faroudja TV Enhancer that applies Faroudja's patented non-linear bandwidth expansion to small, low-level edges and large, high-level edges, adaptively depending on signal content - it also applies chroma bandwidth expansion to make the image look like it has greater chroma resolution. Set too high and the image will look etched, but at the lower settings, like no more than 4 clicks from 'off', provides just enough enhancement to make the image look like it has greater bandwidth overall without enhancing the noise or adding false outlines or ringing.

LaserDisc is a noisy medium, in both the chroma and luma channels and sharpness controls only enhance the noise.

Sharpness controls on televisions are not there to be used by videophiles - they are for people who think big outlines around objects means sharp and how the image is supposed to look.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 05:32 
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alien wrote:
You are also heavily over over exaggerating with all those things you mentioned which are far worse in my opinion if you saw just how minimal the stretching is.


I'm not exaggerating them, I'm just sensitive to them. Making a 4:3 images fit a 16:9 square then the stretching is the same on every TV, your's mine, anyone's. That's just basic geometry. It will vary a bit from set to set because of flaws in the system (or in cases where they have that nauseating non-linier stretch, which is even worse because things change shape as they move across the screen) but they are more or less the same.

Image

That's a 4:3 shot stretched to 16:9. It looks like that. Every time. On everyone's display.

But like I said, whatever makes you happy is great. If you consider the sound from your TV's built in speakers to be "great" then, we're from different planets. If you can watch a stretched movie rather than have some blank area on your TV, then go for it. This is basically the letterbox debate from the 90s all over again and I'm not going to fall for it this time! :)
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 05:40 
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disclord wrote:
Sharpness controls on televisions are not there to be used by videophiles - they are for people who think big outlines around objects means sharp and how the image is supposed to look.



I don't want to start a war in the thread; but...to me, sharpness is basically akin to cranking up the noise on some sources. The only time I've seen "big outlines around objects" is with scan velocity modulation on my RPTV; which tends to make text look blown out.

I keep mine cranked up and it doesn't have the negative effect everyone claims; again, it all depends on the quality of the source. On my FiOS; it might enhance the macroblocking; but it does tend to add a bit of definition...not much, but a little.

But, again, we all have different ideas of what looks good as much as we have different ideas on what sounds good. Add in to that the fact we're all using drastically different hardware in different viewing conditions and arguements will ensue.

..and; I know, I need to shut up and take some pictures. When the party dies down here; I will.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 06:11 
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signofzeta wrote:
alien wrote:
You are also heavily over over exaggerating with all those things you mentioned which are far worse in my opinion if you saw just how minimal the stretching is.


I'm not exaggerating them, I'm just sensitive to them. Making a 4:3 images fit a 16:9 square then the stretching is the same on every TV, your's mine, anyone's. That's just basic geometry. It will vary a bit from set to set because of flaws in the system (or in cases where they have that nauseating non-linier stretch, which is even worse because things change shape as they move across the screen) but they are more or less the same.

Image

That's a 4:3 shot stretched to 16:9. It looks like that. Every time. On everyone's display.

But like I said, whatever makes you happy is great. If you consider the sound from your TV's built in speakers to be "great" then, we're from different planets. If you can watch a stretched movie rather than have some blank area on your TV, then go for it. This is basically the letterbox debate from the 90s all over again and I'm not going to fall for it this time! :)

Different strokes for different fokes. I suppose you are right when it comes to the stretching of the 4:3 signal to fill in a 16:9 display being basically the same or at least very similar depending on the aspect ratios across all HD TVs, but again to me, even though its not the best framing in the world its still better then pan and scan or cropping off the top and bottom of the image and also enhancing flaws in the source by zooming in on the picture. Zooming in is not staying faithful to the aspect ratio or widescreen format which sounds like a bigger insult to me then simply stretching the image so a majority of the space isn't wasted. I don't mind black bars, they are not the issue for me when stored above and bellow the image, I just don't like bars on the left and right as well which makes up basically a box in the center of the screen, I doubt many people watch LD's or non-anamorphic DVDs in little square boxes like that.

Also I don't consider audio coming from my TV's built in speakers "great" I hate not having a sound system of any kind, but the reality is I don't have the funds for it, so what I consider great is a comparsen of what other movies sound like coming directly from the TV speakers..
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 06:14 
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EDIT: Again, the player is an CLD-604 going straight (composite) to a Sony XBR960, which is a huge wide CRT HDTV from 2004.

Next week I'm getting a CLD-99 so...look out!

Some more shots I took tonight:

From Fantasia: Special Edition (1940) [1236 CS]


Mickey looks super noisy, water looks super amazing.
Image

Image


From Mimi wo sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart) (1995) [TKLO-50170]

Image


Image

Detail
Image

From On Your Mark (1995) [PCLP-00652]

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Image

Image

Image

Image

Detail
Image


From Galaxy Express 999: Galaxy Box [BELL-374]

Image

Image

Detail
Image


Last edited by signofzeta on 04 Feb 2013, 09:24, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 07:26 
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signofzeta, those shots are great, i still use a CRT and wasn't sure how something like Galaxy Express would look
since it's older and a nice transfer.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 08:05 
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The Galaxy Box is really really good. Its a hell of a lot cleaner than those Ghibli discs. I think the subtle nature of the source material is kinder to LD sometimes than the higher contraster sharper stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 10:12 
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signofzeta

Nice captures on those. Can you see the slight mild EE if that is or maybe the CRT sharpness around the close-up of the cat.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 17:27 
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So, I took a *LOT* of screens of my TV last night with two movies; my CAV Discovision "Smokey and the Bandit"; and Kingpin. Smokey was used because it's one of my favorite discs right now; being almost as old of a video transfer as you'll see on LD; Kingpin was simply because of the few seconds at the end of disc one with Vanessa Angel in that red dress. Wowza. The LD's are running through my Onkyo receiver for scaling. Since Smokey is a open-matte transfer; it gets both full-frame and widescreen samples. Kingpin also has a few 4:3 shots to compare to the 16:9 zoom. All the pictures were taken with my recently acquired FujiFilm Finepix S3280. ISO was set to Auto/800 mode; shutter speed was 1/60th of a second and I'm not sure what the aperture was because the camera was set to shutter priority mode. I also took all these from the same position on the couch; using the 24x optical zoom lens to reach out and touch the TV. There is apparently some distortion in the images from the zoom lens; it's apparent in some photos and is something I can't do much about. I took, last night; about 18 photos of Kingpin and 39 photos of Smokey. This was mostly because I was playing with camera settings during Smokey. There was also the six-shot continuous shots I took toward the end of each collection; yielded about 1 frame per second.

I fully intend on going back and editing this post later after I've cropped/resized some images suitable for inserting in to the post. I'll also have to go back and try to remember; especially with Smokey; which ones were taken 4:3, which were 16:9, and which were zoomed versions of which. So, for the time being (and I'll be modifying this post later, though I will keep the link to the http directory where all the "right out of the camera" stuff is). That's going to take some time...since I have to choose. While it'll probably take me a whopping hour or less to do; let's not keep you waiting anymore.If someone comes along and replies to this post before I get a chance to edit it; then just for the sake of upping the count and making sure people know I've posted something new to the thread...I might make a new one.
http://dewdu.de/ldshots - that is the main directory. There are 3 photos in this directory; DSCF0163 - DSCF0165. These are going to serve as what I call "reference" photos. These are three random shots from an episode of Robot Chicken that I had on FiOS DVR. The FiOS box is running through the Onkyo as well, since I have it set to output the channel's native resolution; so it's 1080i to 1080p. Same exposure settings on all three; the *only* difference aside from the scenes is the amount of zoom. The last reference photo is really kind of useless; but shows off zoom.

http://dewdu.de/ldshots/smokey - Various shots of Smokey and the Bandit. These start out, for the most part, freeze-framed on some random frame with varying zoom levels to show details in the TV; up to the pixel level. Then there's some random shots taken during play; then there's a few more of another frame at varying levels (frame 5300; the pause display was an attempt to "organize"). *THEN* there's some 16:9 zoom shots after the "pause" status display; including the last six or so which were done in rapid shot mode. There are 3 AVI's; these are MJPEG compressed 1280x720 videos of playback captured with my camera...in case you want that.

http://dewdu.de/ldshots/kingpin - These start off with the 4:3 letterbox aspect. The first 3 were done with 4:3 mode..again varying levels of zoom. One picture shows the TV's status since it'd just resyncd after seeking...so it's a bit obvious. Then there's a blue play screen...so I know when I flipped it to 16:9 zoom on the Onkyo. The rest of the photos are of this zoom mode with varying levels of optical zoom. The AVI is a capture of the same scene the screenshots were taken from (I think I played Chapter 16 like, 20 times last night. So glad you can't wear these things out).

I quite honestly don't expect anyone to view the videos. They're large; the one for Kingpin isn't but 30 seconds; but just over 100MB in size. And there's no audio...for a reason...it was late (yes, quarter to three in the morning my time) and I had the speakers muted.


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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 17:42 
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laserbite34 wrote:
signofzeta

Nice captures on those. Can you see the slight mild EE if that is or maybe the CRT sharpness around the close-up of the cat.


I noticed that too, and it looks more like ringing introduced in the television or player (LaserDisc players have a LOT of filters that can introduce subtle ringing) rather than edge enhancement, which is usually much more pronounced in an attempt to give the impression of sharpness.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 18:45 
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Ok, since I've done all this in my usual style of no organization; I'm totally lost.

Here's a few screenshots I've cropped and resized for posting in the thread. The originals are 4288x3216; these are resized to be 600 pixels wide. Two posts above; I've got all the links to the "source" folders; all the photos (including the junk ones). The images here are directly linked to the full size.

Here's a reference shot; it's the Robot Chicken screen I mentioned above.

Image

Ok, on with the movies!

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) [12-004]

My prized Discovision title gets first crack! Since this movie is open-matte; you're getting both 4:3 and 16:9 view modes.

First, the 4:3:

Image
This is frame 5300 of side 3. This is a paused freeze-frame from the obvious CAV edition.

Image
While this isn't frame 5300, it's a similar one. We're still 4:3 here, but zoomed in on the screen.

Image
Here's a random shot I grabbed while the unit was playing.

Ok, now here's what it looks like with the Onkyo set to 16:9 zoom mode.

Image
Guess what, it's frame 5300 again!

Image
More of frame 5300; optically zoomed in to the 16:9 zoom (double zoom?)

Image
No more frame 5300; but here's a random shot of Burt taken while playing. This was part of the rapid shot mode I was playing with.

That's it for Smokey. Like I said above; ALL the Smokey pictures in full resolution are at http://dewdu.de/ldshots/smokey - including 3 AVI's of MJPEG compressed video taken with the camera of the TV while playing.

Ok, let's go for something more modern; something made within the last 15 years that has digital audio; well...at least dts...

Kingpin (1996) [ML107092]

If you were anything like me in the mid 90's, you were a teenage kid with cable TV and watched Weird Sience not because it was a good show; but solely because of Vanessa Angel. Needless to say; there's ONE scene in this movie I chose for screenshots...simply because Vanessa looks really hot in this red dress. Granted I have the DTS version; the analog audio tracks are still really good; and the letterbox presentation means I'm happy the Onkyo does aspect zooming properly; that didn't stop me from showing it unzoomed.

Image
This is approximate cropping of my TV size; the TV's display is visible to show it's the unzoomed 4:3 letterbox aspect.

Image
Here's another shot with the Onkyo zooming it in.

I forgot to take close-ups of the TV for this...though the two I did didn't focus well. They're in http://dewdu.de/ldshots/kingpin/ - along with a large AVI of that entire scene, sans audio; and other pictures I took but didn't post. Also, despite my best attempt to go as manual as possible....these still don't look 100% like the LCD itself. The TV's input display looks...funky...where as with the naked eye it's nice and crisp.

I'm sure I'll take more; and if anyone wants to browse my public collection and request I throw movies on to take pictures of; I'll gladly oblige.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 21:52 
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disclord wrote:
laserbite34 wrote:
signofzeta

Nice captures on those. Can you see the slight mild EE if that is or maybe the CRT sharpness around the close-up of the cat.


I noticed that too, and it looks more like ringing introduced in the television or player (LaserDisc players have a LOT of filters that can introduce subtle ringing) rather than edge enhancement, which is usually much more pronounced in an attempt to give the impression of sharpness.


Yeah, I'm not sure what that is. The convergence on my (or anyone's) XBR90 is far from perfect so it could be that. The video quality of this disc can also be very disappointing at times. And then there is the fact that the player is kind of mid grade, and side 2 never plays quite as nice as side 1.

TV settings could be it as well, but that's complicated. I have the special features turned off when there is such a thing as "off", but there isn't always. There is this X/Y graph where you have to choose how much "clarity" versus "reality" you want, which is frustrating and vague and stupid.

I'll go to that point in the disc again and mess with it. If it gets jaggy when paused we'll know it's on the disc or in the player. If it stays soft it will be the TV. I'll also try again when the CLD-99 shows up.

Also, The Bandit looks great! Especially considering how early it is. While LDs in general got better over the life of the format, great or terrible discs exist from every era and Bandit here is a great example.

I like this thread.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013, 22:08 
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signofzeta wrote:
Also, The Bandit looks great! Especially considering how early it is. While LDs in general got better over the life of the format, great or terrible discs exist from every era and Bandit here is a great example.


Like I said in the thread I made when I got the movie; I thought it looked every bit of that analog-tastic that I'd been missing from watching a movie. I do have to come clean and say that Bandit used some highly tweaked brightness and contrast settings; along with some saturation adjustment. Those were done inside the Onkyo; the TV was somewhat set based on black bar output from the Onkyo and a DVD calibration. I have a really "nasty" habit of adjusting my color controls for every disc I throw in the player.

The actual disc; without adjustments; looks a little washed out...but that could be LCD's in general...which is why I do such bizarre brightness/contrast ratios. It is, in my book; a fine example of early LD/DV releases....plus it looks a million times better than anything VHS could have put out...probably even better than the NTSC premium cable was pumping out. I also believe that's a later Bandit release. It appears to be the orange bumper transfer and came in a sleeve and not a box. Though I realize that doesn't mean someone couldn't have stuck some orphaned discs in an empty jacket.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 01:38 
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dewdude wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
Also, The Bandit looks great! Especially considering how early it is. While LDs in general got better over the life of the format, great or terrible discs exist from every era and Bandit here is a great example.


Like I said in the thread I made when I got the movie; I thought it looked every bit of that analog-tastic that I'd been missing from watching a movie. I do have to come clean and say that Bandit used some highly tweaked brightness and contrast settings; along with some saturation adjustment. Those were done inside the Onkyo; the TV was somewhat set based on black bar output from the Onkyo and a DVD calibration. I have a really "nasty" habit of adjusting my color controls for every disc I throw in the player.

The actual disc; without adjustments; looks a little washed out...but that could be LCD's in general...which is why I do such bizarre brightness/contrast ratios. It is, in my book; a fine example of early LD/DV releases....plus it looks a million times better than anything VHS could have put out...probably even better than the NTSC premium cable was pumping out. I also believe that's a later Bandit release. It appears to be the orange bumper transfer and came in a sleeve and not a box. Though I realize that doesn't mean someone couldn't have stuck some orphaned discs in an empty jacket.


All the DiscoVision CAV discs of Bandit are from the same transfer, regardless of the jacket they came in - the orange bumper's were added after the fact to the same master tape transfer with the red bumpers, so the only differences would be due to the disc mastering. Since LaserDisc is an analog medium, every disc will need different adjustments of color and contrast, etc... Especially DiscoVision because the SMPTE had not firmed up the standards and the pro monitors were not self adjusting and had to be adjusted by eye several times a day. LaserDisc, even in the DiscoVision era, was capable of surpassing broadcast NTSC in every parameter, especially cable which used various methods to cram multiple channels in a limited space.
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 Post subject: Re: The Laserdisc Screenshot Thread
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2013, 02:01 
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I meant to say mastering and not transfer; it seems half the time when I'm comparing different pressings of things...there's a new master or transfer involved. The other issue is; aside from the flashy Discovision opening; I've only seen a hint of a bumper at the end of side 2. I suspect there's some odd compatibility issue; when my player goes to side 2 from side 1; my players display shows "End"; and continues to do so for the entirety of side 2. I don't recall seeing anything but movie on side 3 and 4.
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