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 Post subject: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2011, 16:51 
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I am roughly familiar with the PAL analogue television color encoding system. Lived in the UK in the mid 1980's and owned a mufti-system TV ... capable of operation in numerous countries.

:? However, I must confess that I know nothing of PAL Laserdisc(s) or the players. I assume that Pioneer (& others) made Laserdisc players for countries that used the PAL broadcast systems. Do these players play PAL discs only :?: Laserdisc was a niche format in the US ... was the format even more niche in contries that used PAL :?: Do PAL LD players require a PAL TV in order to view the discs :?:
  
 
 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2011, 16:58 
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Even though one of the original partners in the Philips-MCA optical videodisc format was a European company, PAL LD was a small market, as shown by the much smaller number of releases catalogued on LDDb than for NTSC. There are PAL-only players, mostly earlier models with analog audio only, as well as dual-standard PAL/NTSC players. If you wish to play back a PAL LD, you will need a display device which accepts PAL input, or a standards-conversion kit. You can, of course, play back a NTSC LD on a dual-standard player into any display which accepts NTSC input, unless you have one of a few wretched players which output "NTSC 4.43" when playing back an NTSC disc.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2011, 17:41 
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As the happy owner of a PAL/NTSC dual format player, CLD-D515, I can tell you that I use a DVDO "HD plus" upscaler to convert the LD signal to HD. It will accept either PAL or NTSC and convert to a variety of signal formats for practically any set, including 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and a bunch of others. There are more expensive DVDO units that will even do more.

I got the PAL player because I got a half dozen PAL discs in a big lot that were not on NTSC release in the US. It took a while to find the player at a good price. Since then I've added about 20 more PAL discs of films not released in the US on LD. There are more that I'm still looking for.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2011, 16:05 
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The sad thing about PAL discs, besides the 4% audio speed up due to the 2/2 pull down to get to the 25fps rate (why they didn't use 13/14 pull down I don't understand - it would have kept the speed correct!) is the poor quality of so many of the transfers - many, many PAL LD's are simply bad conversions of NTSC masters. Plus, the PAL LD doesn't really have room to hold the PAL signal so you can't have fully saturated chroma without interfering beats in the image, etc... PAL LD's had too many compromises as compared to NTSC LD's.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2011, 19:41 
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I am hoping to get a PAL LD player one of these days as there are a number of PAL releases I want to get.

I'm hoping a device like this would take care of the incompatibility issue:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Composite-RCA-S ... 5196ea5cb0

Hoping that it makes for a decent comb filter as well since it says:
Quote:
High precision Y/C separation to split composite color information into Y/C for S-Video output.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2011, 02:43 
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From what they state, it looks like you'd need the Universal model they sell. If you plan to watch the PAL discs on a HD set, best thing to get is a DVDO HD or HD+ enhancer/scaler. Good luck finding a PAL player in the US, it took me a long time to get mine, but well worth it since there's many UK LDs in PAL not released in the US, and they are in English without annoying subtitles too.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 27 Dec 2011, 17:03 
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PAL LDs were definitely a niche market. They were accepted as the Home Theatre format of choice until DVD came along and were available in the more discerning high st shops. Problem was, the number of discs in the UK catalogue was woefully low (in the low hundreds - perhaps somebody can back me up with the actual number). And other comparatively popular European markets like Germany and France weren't much use to us either. Any proper collector during the days of LD production depended on US or Japanese imports, US mostly, and these could be found in specialist shops or websites. Tower Records in central London made a good effort, but my favourite store was The Laserdisc Shop in Notting Hill. I look back with real nostalgia at that shop, although prices were not competitive, you could always get whatever you wanted and without creased or seam-bursted covers. I could only afford a handful of LDs a month on my wages as you'd pay between £25-£40 for a new release. Over £100 for most box sets. The UK PAL discs were generally cheaper at £18 - £25.

My collection was small (about 40-50) when LDs went out of production, but then prices plummeted on fleabay when lots of people ditched their collections in favour of DVD. My collection went up to 200+ very quickly after that!

I started with a CLD-D925 and followed up with a DVL-919E to coincide with me dipping my toe into the water with DVD once LDs went out of production. Both are very good players - I use the 919E as my main player.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 30 Dec 2011, 14:20 
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disclord wrote:
(why they didn't use 13/14 pull down I don't understand - it would have kept the speed correct!)

"13/14" pulldown (if there were such a thing) would not be correct speed at all, it would be slow motion. (Do the maths, it works out at a framerate of about 3.7fps!)

You're probably thinking of a pattern like 2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:3 pulldown, which would give you 24fps on a 50Hz display.

disclord wrote:
Plus, the PAL LD doesn't really have room to hold the PAL signal so you can't have fully saturated chroma without interfering beats in the image, etc...

I've never heard this before. Where did you see this?
  
 
 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 30 Dec 2011, 19:09 
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miles wrote:
disclord wrote:
Plus, the PAL LD doesn't really have room to hold the PAL signal so you can't have fully saturated chroma without interfering beats in the image, etc...

I've never heard this before. Where did you see this?

It comes from the frequency diagrammes in some of the technical papers he & I found years back. Essentially, the carrier frequency for PAL discs is uncomfortably low, so the video sidebands have a tendency to interfere with each other. If Philips had been willing to accept 30 minutes per side CAV play time, they could have moved the inner recorded radius outward, & increased the carrier frequency (since it's the width of the shortest track which determines the highest frequency which can be recorded).

See the lower right-hand corner of this figure, which compares the two standards. The PAL carrier frequency is substantially lower than for NTSC discs, whereas the subcarrier frequency is higher, so distortion & interference are much more of a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2011, 20:50 
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THis is all quite interesting stuff. I always expected the extra resolution made PAL discs superior to NTSC but if they were just butchered rehashes of the NTSC master it seems I was sadly mistaken.

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I can tell you that I use a DVDO "HD plus" upscaler to convert the LD signal to HD


How do you like this over bog standard composite in? I thought my TV did a great job of scaling it, though I do get some white bleed (could be the laserdisc source but who knows).
  
 
 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2012, 03:27 
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Well, the thing about running PAL in the US is that all PAL/NTSC capable players give you the composite signal in PAL format and we need it in NTSC. There's not really anything like a consumer model PAL/NTSC TV set. So you can get a PAL to NTSC convertor, or just get the DVDO HD (or above) model and that will convert PAL to HD formats that are standard worldwide. If you want to upscale to HD, that's what it does.

There's no real increase in resolution, but because it reduces jaggies, eliminates most dot crawl and edge bleed, and visible scan lines, it gives you the impression that the image is better looking. Plus this is most important on the letterbox LDs where a Zoom function on a TV just zooms the image and any faults without the added enhancement to reduce the faults.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 13:56 
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disclord wrote:
The sad thing about PAL discs, besides the 4% audio speed up due to the 2/2 pull down to get to the 25fps rate (why they didn't use 13/14 pull down I don't understand - it would have kept the speed correct!) is the poor quality of so many of the transfers - many, many PAL LD's are simply bad conversions of NTSC masters. Plus, the PAL LD doesn't really have room to hold the PAL signal so you can't have fully saturated chroma without interfering beats in the image, etc... PAL LD's had too many compromises as compared to NTSC LD's.

I feel (8 years after the event) I should stick up for PAL a little, after this scurrilous "too many compromises" attack :-)

Yes, our system played films a little fast, but at least we had smooth pictures, unlike the terrible juddering that the 3:2 pull down caused on any kind of NTSC pan - NTSC Compromise #1 :-)

I'm not sure NTSC (never twice the same colour?) had any colour advantage over PAL. In PAL land, we never needed a 'hue' control as the hue could simply not be wrong - NTSC Compromise #2

And of course the 100-odd fewer lines of NTSC resolution - NTSC Compromise #3

If you want to see the best that LD can offer (barring Hi-vision of course) get yourself a good PAL feature film transfer, or a high quality shot-on-video programme on LD...
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 15:28 
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Its sort of funny how people hated PAL but want these 48fps or even higher when watching TV or movies.
I can't watch these older shows when on broadcast TV now, they are too "smooth" and jittery in a way that I never noticed with PAL or other things.

I know I've posted before but I knew someone who had their new TV setup to play the films at a faster rate, and when I asked what was wrong with the image
he said, Oh, you get used to it....

And it was much worse than any PAL speedup I've ever seen.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 15:42 
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What you do is you break into that person’s house and change all the settings to normal. He’s a fool clearly and he’ll “get used to it” because he doesn’t even pay attention to what he’s watching. All of that crap is made for people too blind too even tell if it’s on or not.

My four year old LG TV died the other day (very impressive LG) so I hooked up a Samsung. It took me some time to find the motion smoothing setting but I turned it OFF first thing. I was watching The Secret Life of Pets and even that syrupy smooth CG animation was made more nauseating by 120fps motion smoothing. That s**t is SATANIC I tell you.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 17:57 
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Well he was a super fan of Bluray so I no longer am in touch with such a fool.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 21:08 
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yaffle2345 wrote:
disclord wrote:
The sad thing about PAL discs, besides the 4% audio speed up due to the 2/2 pull down to get to the 25fps rate (why they didn't use 13/14 pull down I don't understand - it would have kept the speed correct!) is the poor quality of so many of the transfers - many, many PAL LD's are simply bad conversions of NTSC masters. Plus, the PAL LD doesn't really have room to hold the PAL signal so you can't have fully saturated chroma without interfering beats in the image, etc... PAL LD's had too many compromises as compared to NTSC LD's.

I feel (8 years after the event) I should stick up for PAL a little, after this scurrilous "too many compromises" attack :-)

Yes, our system played films a little fast, but at least we had smooth pictures, unlike the terrible juddering that the 3:2 pull down caused on any kind of NTSC pan - NTSC Compromise #1 :-)

I'm not sure NTSC (never twice the same colour?) had any colour advantage over PAL. In PAL land, we never needed a 'hue' control as the hue could simply not be wrong - NTSC Compromise #2

And of course the 100-odd fewer lines of NTSC resolution - NTSC Compromise #3

If you want to see the best that LD can offer (barring Hi-vision of course) get yourself a good PAL feature film transfer, or a high quality shot-on-video programme on LD...



All valid points however the actual issue is the lack of high quality pal capable ld players. I have an HLD-X0 for NTSC and DVL-919E for PAL. The 919E is too noisy.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 08:31 
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substance wrote:

All valid points however the actual issue is the lack of high quality pal capable ld players. I have an HLD-X0 for NTSC and DVL-919E for PAL. The 919E is too noisy.


True to the extent that for build there were no players to match the X0 or X9, but the D925, largely recognised as the best PAL player, put out a really good picture.

When I compared it with an S9 I had, there was was certainly no vast chasm of difference.

I will admit, tho, the 925 sounds very industrial when it first starts spinning up compared with my X9, but they're not really the same player, are they?!

For those thinking of getting a PAL player, you want a D925. It is far better than any of the DVD-LD combos that play PAL discs for picture.


As for releases on PAL - I think one of the issues that undermined the UK PAL catalogue was that around 1989 / 1990 Warner Bros stopped supporting releases in the UK (although not in France and Germany), which certainly means there's a big chunk of English language releases missing from the latter period of LD in the UK.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 13:41 
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I thought the biggest market for say WB would obviously been any English speaking country since they don't have to redo the film with subs or dubs and change the cover art. Some of the other European covers are nice which I would only get it for that like Striptease. I have the JP English PAL boxset but I don't think I'll invest anymore from England as far as LDs because the player would be expensive plus shipping and might break.
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 06:42 
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Much of the English speaking market imported disks from the US...
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 Post subject: Re: PAL Laserdiscs & Players
PostPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 12:16 
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For what it's worth, the French market had quite a few VOST releases (ie. subbed) and they released some stuff that didn't get released in the UK. For example, the French box set is the only way to get the theatrical versions of Star Wars in widescreen, english, and PAL, as the UK only got them back in the pan & scan days, and they're CAV as well.
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