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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2015, 04:13 
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I have never had a single DiscoVision disc in my collection despite owning dts LDs, MUSE discs, anamorphic PAL+ releases etc. I would love to own one but they are
hard to find in Europe. I wonder how they play on the X0.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2015, 23:51 
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I'm really wanting the CAVs of Psycho, Dracula and Frankenstein for the sources used. Never find them though.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 10:47 
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While the covers are kind of cool, and I understand the history of the discs themselves, I personally usually pass over disco vision discs when I run across them. Maybe I'm being ignorant, but everything I've heard is that they're not mastered very well. Also I believe they're all pan and scan? Which I'm not opposed to depending on the movie, but meh. Not for me. Cool pictures nonetheless.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 20:52 
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I'm sure I speak for every DiscoVision collector - we don't collect them for the quality of the mastering or the transfer. If you want to watch "Psycho", there are far better mediums to view the Hitchcock masterpiece.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2015, 01:58 
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blam1 wrote:
I'm sure I speak for every DiscoVision collector - we don't collect them for the quality of the mastering or the transfer. If you want to watch "Psycho", there are far better mediums to view the Hitchcock masterpiece.


Precisely this, right here. I bought the DiscoVision edition of "Frenzy," for example, not because it's amazing, but because it's broken. The LaserVision edition that MCA put out in the mid 80s is vastly better to just watch. It's the flaws and the baby steps toward making a new technology come together that are what fascinate me about DiscoVision.

Of course, there are the odd films you more or less can't get anywhere but DiscoVision. "Diary of a Mad Housewife" or "Fellini's Casanova," for example. The former is available on VHS, but it's altered and cut down, and if I recall right the latter is only officially available in Italian instead of the original English.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2015, 14:03 
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Only by accident. 3 years ago, Ive found a small collection of Discovision
titles, they were part of a large collection of US/Japanese silent movies on LD.
A strange mixture.

Only regular and not so scarce titles, like Xanadu, Sgt. Pepper, Rollercoaster,
the art gallery title, Abba, Donald Duck, etc.
Quality varies, picture quality of ABBA was bad, but the sound was ok.
The 3rd side of Sgt. Pepper was weak too.
In general the quality was moderate and ok for its age.
I try to collect more titles, but I dont want to pay above $ 20 for a title,
because of the high postage fees to Germany.
So I have to miss "women at work" and cant watch "the solar system".
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2015, 14:50 
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I own a few, the bulk of which came from a children's daycare center / pawnshop in Atlanta around 1986. Paid $5.00 apiece for them, I thought I had a gold mine until I started playing them. For me Discovision discs are like a box of chocolates.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2015, 13:04 
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I recently came across Raise the Titanic on laserdisc. It has a grey cover similar to Discovision but different enough to not confuse it. Are these done byba different company, or were they an in between period after Discovision but before regular LD releases?
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2015, 19:09 
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ace2184 wrote:
I recently came across Raise the Titanic on laserdisc. It has a grey cover similar to Discovision but different enough to not confuse it. Are these done byba different company, or were they an in between period after Discovision but before regular LD releases?


Is it perhaps Raise the Titanic (1980) [9023-80] which was released in 1981 by MAGNETIC VIDEO? That one was pressed by PIONEER in Japan. Most of the MAGNETIC VIDEO issues were pressed by PIONEER Japan though a few were pressed by DISCOVISION, not sure what the actual number was but other users here will be able to provide more information.

This was released while DISCOVISION were still issuing discs I believe.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2015, 07:29 
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je280 wrote:
ace2184 wrote:
I recently came across Raise the Titanic on laserdisc. It has a grey cover similar to Discovision but different enough to not confuse it. Are these done byba different company, or were they an in between period after Discovision but before regular LD releases?


Is it perhaps Raise the Titanic (1980) [9023-80] which was released in 1981 by MAGNETIC VIDEO? That one was pressed by PIONEER in Japan. Most of the MAGNETIC VIDEO issues were pressed by PIONEER Japan though a few were pressed by DISCOVISION, not sure what the actual number was but other users here will be able to provide more information.

This was released while DISCOVISION were still issuing discs I believe.



I'd have to check the disc, but I believe it is the Magnetic Video copy. To my untrained eye they resemble a Discovision disc.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2015, 19:44 
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As referenced above, many of the "Magnetic Video" titles were pressed in Japan, with the fine print saying "Manufactured in Japan by Universal Pioneer for MCA DiscoVision". Japan discs from that period were somewhat better than those from the US DiscoVision plant, but not by much. Pioneer Japan's output quality in 1981-1982 was sub-standard in my opinion. Most titles will have speckling in some cases and outright snowstorms in others. This was accompanied by the wonderful helicoptering noise of CLV discs by the end of the side. They didn't really get their crap together until mid-83.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2015, 22:13 
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Got my first DiscoVision title to complement my laserdisc collection. I got Shogun Assassin. Really like the movie, and wanted to own it on laserdisc. Seems the only NTSC version available is this ancient release. So far I've bought two of the same movie. The first one had a cover that looked like it barely survived Hiroshima and have light rot. The picture is okay, but the sound reminds me about a worn LP record. The second I got had a perfect cover. Put in the disc and side 1 were rot free, and side 2 were heavily distorted in both sound and picture. Swapped around the discs so the one with a nice cover have the least damaged disc. Guess the s****y one goes up on the wall.

Do I have bad luck, or are these old DiscoVision discs prone to laser rot?

Besides my slightly bad introduction to these releases, I must say it is still fun to own one. The name it self is probably as 1970s as you can get it. Loved the DiscoVision opening title too. Quite unique and distinct cover art as well. The early baby steps of the LaserDisc format. :)
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2015, 22:20 
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blam1 wrote:
Japan discs from that period were somewhat better than those from the US DiscoVision plant, but not by much. Pioneer Japan's output quality in 1981-1982 was sub-standard in my opinion.


Quite a few of the early music Japanese titles from 81-84 are a certainly risky to buy. In particular ones beginning with the MP catalogue number. That said I've perfect copies of all the titles I own, but did need to buy 3-5 copies sometimes to get a good one! If they are bad, they are usually really bad!
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2015, 23:28 
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samaron wrote:
Do I have bad luck, or are these old DiscoVision discs prone to laser rot?


"Shogun Assassin" was pressed by MCA DiscoVision, in Carson CA - what would later become Pioneer USA. Your experience is fairly common. There has been the old "Does DiscoVision Rot" debate going on for years - and while it looks exactly like rot, it's really just s****y manufacturing. There are reports of the odd disc getting worse over the years, but by-in-large that has not been my experience. Discs that looked good back in 1979 typically still look good today.

It's also important to note what kind of player you are attempting to use. Pioneer's players hare actually pretty good at hiding most speckling. They can't hide a full-on snow storm or the audio issues that are related to contamination, but the individual speckles themselves can be cleaned up. Panasonic and Sony players SUCK at speckle rejection. I personally think they make it look worse. If you want to know what the disc REALLY looks like, put it into a first or second generation player (Pioneer VP-1000 or PR-7820 [1st Gen]; Pioneer LD-660, LD-1100, PR-8210, Sylvania VP-7200, Magnavox VC-8010 [2nd Gen]) and play the disc.

I actually use a VP-1000 when I check my DiscoVision discs. If it looks good on that player, it will look good on other Pioneer players. It isn't very forgiving with disc lockups, so really ... if a side plays all the way through on a VP-1000, it's going to play in just about anything.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2015, 23:36 
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laserdisc_fan wrote:
blam1 wrote:
Japan discs from that period were somewhat better than those from the US DiscoVision plant, but not by much. Pioneer Japan's output quality in 1981-1982 was sub-standard in my opinion.


Quite a few of the early music Japanese titles from 81-84 are a certainly risky to buy. In particular ones beginning with the MP catalogue number. That said I've perfect copies of all the titles I own, but did need to buy 3-5 copies sometimes to get a good one! If they are bad, they are usually really bad!


You're absolutely right. I was trying to be kind - but the Pioneer Japan quality issues were not really cleared up until early 85 in my opinion. Anything from 81-84 is a crap-shoot. I've never found a clean copy of "Galaxina", "Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack" was another problem. Every single copy of "Picture Music" I have ever seen is garbage, both the US release and the Japanese release. A bunch of the early 8" titles are junk too.

Lately, I've been trying to go back and get clean copies of really old titles from Warner Bros and Columbia. "Close Encounters", "Caddyshack", "Night Shift", "The Man with Two Brains" all Japanese pressings are a colossal pain in the a**. Pioneer very quietly repressed them with great 1990 era pressings. Sometimes updating the cover art ("Private Benjamin", "Deal of the Century") and sometimes not ("Night Shift", "Man with Two Brains"). They are not remastered, they are the same analog only horrible Pan & Scan transfers from 1980s. But they are clean.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 12:15 
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blam1 wrote:
"Shogun Assassin" was pressed by MCA DiscoVision, in Carson CA - what would later become Pioneer USA. Your experience is fairly common. There has been the old "Does DiscoVision Rot" debate going on for years - and while it looks exactly like rot, it's really just s****y manufacturing. There are reports of the odd disc getting worse over the years, but by-in-large that has not been my experience. Discs that looked good back in 1979 typically still look good today.

It's also important to note what kind of player you are attempting to use. Pioneer's players hare actually pretty good at hiding most speckling. They can't hide a full-on snow storm or the audio issues that are related to contamination, but the individual speckles themselves can be cleaned up. Panasonic and Sony players SUCK at speckle rejection. I personally think they make it look worse. If you want to know what the disc REALLY looks like, put it into a first or second generation player (Pioneer VP-1000 or PR-7820 [1st Gen]; Pioneer LD-660, LD-1100, PR-8210, Sylvania VP-7200, Magnavox VC-8010 [2nd Gen]) and play the disc.

I actually use a VP-1000 when I check my DiscoVision discs. If it looks good on that player, it will look good on other Pioneer players. It isn't very forgiving with disc lockups, so really ... if a side plays all the way through on a VP-1000, it's going to play in just about anything.


Yeah, were thinking it had some relation to poor manifacturing. This is the very beginning, after all. Saw a video from 1978 where they show the production. No gloves or such when handling the master that they use to stamp up the discs from. Of course, things were clean, but not nearly as clean as the Japanese Pioneer production facility from the late 80s/early 90s. There they dressed like it was a biohazard lab from a zombie movie. Full coveralls, masks, hair net, gloves, etc. In the old one, they just threw on a white lab coat to look fancy...

Not a bad idea with using a very early player to test with. I've found the HLD-X9 to play almost everything you throw at it, no matter how distorted. Light rot is indeed hidden and not noticable during playback. I've had discs that the LD-S9 (my previous player) wouldn't play, but the X9 managed to do it. Are the first generation players hard to come by, or prone to breaking down?
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2015, 18:48 
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The biggest issue is finding one in good condition. And having a laser tube that actually lights. I wish I had a couple grand to drop on an HLDX9.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2016, 03:50 
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Hey just thought you all might find this interesting. Here is what my copy of the Discovision US Demo looks like, note the handwritten manufacturing info...

Image


Last edited by cjm on 12 Dec 2016, 04:56, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2016, 04:18 
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Cool :) How well does it play? (31-32dB isn't that great for a handpicked disk, but I guess it was acceptable to them then)
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 Post subject: Re: MCA DiscoVision Collectors?
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2016, 17:16 
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Nice find. The "dead side" is a CLV title - I've seen both sides of "House Calls" as dead sides on this title.
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