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 Post subject: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 09:34 
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Greetings everyone. This is my first post in ANY forum, so please be gentle if I am asking questions that have been covered #### times and I just don't see them because I'm so green I haven't figured out how to use the search engine yet. Anyway, I have a Pioneer CLD-S201 that I bought new back in the mid nineties and have finally dug back out. When new, I ran it through a 27" CRT and it looked amazing. Now, it's going into a 55" LCD and looks horrid. I know it's a low level player and LD doesn't mesh well with today's HDTV, but I even hooked it up to an old crt and it still looks bad. The colors are fine, there is just tons of noise in the picture. I have tried multiple composite cables with no luck. I had to turn the sharpness down to zero to get a watchable picture. Sadly, my VHS looks twice as good as my Laserdiscs (seriously)!!! I think I have a bad case of crosstalk, which would mean I need to get my player aligned?? Would this be worth it, or should I just try to find a different player? This has been a very reliable machine for me, I am just completely disappointed in the picture. Any suggestions on where to get service done near NE Ohio or how much an alignment will cost? I don't want to ditch my player, But I don't want to end up spending a few bucks less for an alignment than I could have for a better unit.
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 10:07 
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landisman13 wrote:
Greetings everyone. This is my first post in ANY forum, so please be gentle if I am asking questions that have been covered #### times and I just don't see them because I'm so green I haven't figured out how to use the search engine yet. Anyway, I have a Pioneer CLD-S201 that I bought new back in the mid nineties and have finally dug back out. When new, I ran it through a 27" CRT and it looked amazing. Now, it's going into a 55" LCD and looks horrid. I know it's a low level player and LD doesn't mesh well with today's HDTV, but I even hooked it up to an old crt and it still looks bad. The colors are fine, there is just tons of noise in the picture. I have tried multiple composite cables with no luck. I had to turn the sharpness down to zero to get a watchable picture. Sadly, my VHS looks twice as good as my Laserdiscs (seriously)!!! I think I have a bad case of crosstalk, which would mean I need to get my player aligned?? Would this be worth it, or should I just try to find a different player? This has been a very reliable machine for me, I am just completely disappointed in the picture. Any suggestions on where to get service done near NE Ohio or how much an alignment will cost? I don't want to ditch my player, But I don't want to end up spending a few bucks less for an alignment than I could have for a better unit.

The CLD-S201 is a pretty low-end player. Also, read this.
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 15:41 
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The CLD-S201 is a pretty low-end player. Also, read this.

I have read that article several times. It's very good. I have researched several line doublers, scalers, running through a dvd recorder / upconverting receiver. I just dont want to be whipping a dead horse with my little 201. I know this hobby can cost a lot, I guess I'm cheap in the fact that I can't justify spending several hundred dollars on a decent video processor, just to watch discs I'm getting for a buck! Don't get me wrong, I'd love to eventually have a killer set up with a crt projector and everything, I just cant believe that VHS is trumping laserdisc on my current set up. So this bring me back to my original question: Does the CLD-S201 really suck this bad and I just didn't notice before because my old TV hid it's defficiencies or could there be something out of whack in my player?
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 19:17 
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well, i had one and it played for 20 minutes and then never ejected the disc again.
i had to pull out the screwdrivers to get my LD back out.

as far as crosstalk goes, it's not that bad that it would be unwatchable. can you post a picture or video to show how bad it looks??
also are you sure the cables are good, and if so are the contacts clean?

and lastly, what is the LD, is there rot on it, and is that what you are seeing and thinking it's the player etc.
rot will look like snow or noise on the image.

and if its rot you won't need anything other than a new disc.

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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 19:26 
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Welcome to the wide world of internet forums! First tip: all forums will have a "quote" feature that provides special formatting for the quoted post making it clear who said what and usually links back to it. On this forum it's a tiny button at the top-right of every post. (The exclamation mark next to it is just for reporting spam or abuse to the moderators.)

If you have the capability of showing images on your TV (perhaps by USB stick, perhaps by hooking up a laptop by HDMI) I previously posted digitized screenshots of Ultimate Oz playing on my CLD-S201 through a DVD recorder I bought used from a member of this forum for a low price. If not, try viewing this resized shot fullscreen on your computer monitor.

If you find those look good, first make sure that you're watching a highly-rated disc in the first place since there are certainly bad LD releases. (Also realize that you don't have to zoom in on this 4:3 movie like you do for letterboxed films.) Beyond that I'll let our experienced members suggest what might be wrong in your setup since I'm a LD newbie. It should obviously look better than VHS, unless your VCR significantly softens the picture and you find that more pleasing than a more noisy image.
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 20:48 
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landisman13 wrote:
The CLD-S201 is a pretty low-end player. Also, read this.

I have read that article several times. It's very good. I have researched several line doublers, scalers, running through a dvd recorder / upconverting receiver. I just dont want to be whipping a dead horse with my little 201. I know this hobby can cost a lot, I guess I'm cheap in the fact that I can't justify spending several hundred dollars on a decent video processor, just to watch discs I'm getting for a buck! Don't get me wrong, I'd love to eventually have a killer set up with a crt projector and everything, I just cant believe that VHS is trumping laserdisc on my current set up. So this bring me back to my original question: Does the CLD-S201 really suck this bad and I just didn't notice before because my old TV hid it's defficiencies or could there be something out of whack in my player?

If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, I would say as far as scalers go, get an iScan Plus. It is incredibly bare bones as it will just take composite and/or S-Video in and output 480p over (analog) RGBHV or YPbPr, but it will presumably do a better job then your TV would and deinterlacing artifacts tend to be more visual than scaling artifacts. It goes for roughly $50 on eBay. Also, I would say save a search on eBay for a Panasonic LX 600 because in my opinion it out performs the CLD-D703 (and thus the CLD-D704) and costs usually half as much (the one I used to have cost me rougly $100), and I've tried them both side-by side. (There's one on eBay now, but it's been there for a while and it's $275. If you hold out you can get one for a much better price.)
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 21:21 
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Thanks everyone for your input. Well, my cables probably could be better. I do have some old 80's discs that look pretty lame compared to my newer ones. T2 Judgement Day Special Edition is probably my best disc as far as picture quality goes. The Cable Guy, on the other hand has one side rotted so bad, that it affects the sound. Those screenshots of OZ don't look too shabby... That's about how I remember mine looking the last time I had it hooked up. I have been able to get a fairly good picture by turning down the brightness, contrast, and sharpness. I was just surprised as to how "good" my old VHS looked compared to the LD. I am OK with a softer image, but with the levels I have had to reduce the brightness & contrast to, some darker parts in movies get pretty hard to see. I don't have a video capture card, but I will try to get some pics on a digital camera. (don't know how well that will illustrate what I'm seeing though)
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 21:53 
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This is pretty close to what I'm seeing...
Attachment:
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2013, 22:53 
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Your issues are probably coming from multiple places. On one hand, the S201 is probably the most low-end LD player Pioneer ever built. The chassis is made from recycled Ritz cracker boxes and tuna fish cans.

At the same time though, I'd be surprised if a proper calibration didn't make things look better. Chances are your TV has the contrast, brightness, and color jacked up way to high for LDs low SNR meaning you are amplifying all the flaws.

And then your TV could just suck at SD. Keep in mind that 55" was science fiction when LD was around. Even the most beautiful woman on Earth has nasty skin when you look at it through a microscope.

Honestly, I've yet to see an LCD do an even passable job on LD. The better plasmas do a great job and CRT is still the best.

I would try running Video Essentials or something like that first before spending $$$ on equipment. Scaling and noise have little to do with each other.

I wouldn't be surprised if a CLD-99 looked just as bad on your TV.

As for crosstalk, I think I see a little of it in that picture. Crosstalk in general is no fun, but the problems are magnified when the image is being upscaled. "A game of telephone", if you will.

EDIT: My mistake, the S201's replacement, the S104, was probably the most low end player made.
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2013, 00:13 
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This is exactly why I bought Pioneer Elite Plasma's when best buy was clearing them out. Most LCD's have very poor NTSC decoders and the picture looks horrible. The inexpensive units like VIZIO look really bad. You need an external processor/scaler to provide a component or HDMI output to make it look good if you are picky.
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2013, 01:47 
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Yeah, the tv did have everything jacked up. That pic was with the standard settings. I have been able to significantly improve it by lowering levels. From my viewing distance, it really doesn't look too bad. I do plan on getting a copy of Video Essentials and seeing what I can come up with. I would also like to give the iscan plus a run. I like the idea of not playing too much with the signal, but deinterlacing seems to be a minimum requirement when dealing with HDTV. Thanks again everyone for your input.
--So I guess the CLD-S104 is made out of Great Value cracker boxes? HAHAHAHAHA
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2013, 03:40 
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My 32" LCD does a great job with LD and that's with no external devices, it honestly looks close to DVD. With a 55" LCD its going to be a bit more difficult because such a size is going to amplify the flaws of LD which are non existent on smaller LCD TVs, but regardless the key is to perfect the picture settings. If you can get that right first and you still feel the need for improvement, then you can move on to scalers to put those final finishing touches on the picture.

I don't need DNR, but if you find the picture is too noisy/grainy, then you should let your TV to the noise reduction rather then your player. Although even then it should be set to 'low' because anything more will scrub away too much detail.
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2013, 12:07 
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LD Player > DVD recorder with a good 3D comb filter > CRT.

Best picture you're ever going to get with this format, guaranteed. Even the lowly S201 would probably look decent ran through the right gear if those screencaps linked above are anything to go by. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2013, 23:09 
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signofzeta wrote:
On one hand, the S201 is probably the most low-end LD player Pioneer ever built. The chassis is made from recycled Ritz cracker boxes and tuna fish cans.


Hey I happen to like Tuna Fish. So don't knock it. :lol:

I'd be pleased to know if my Pioneer laserdisc players are built from recycled Tuna Fish cans. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2013, 03:24 
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I like tuna fish too and Abbie LOVES to lick the tuna cans clean :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2013, 19:29 
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alien wrote:
My 32" LCD does a great job with LD and that's with no external devices...



pretty much the same result here with my 46" 2011 INSIGNIA LCD model; my 1988 PIO CLD-3030 feeding into it via a single passive A/V switchbox;

Image

Image


- picture is hardly perfect, but if that actually seriously bothered me, i would have probably long since went strictly Hi-Def by now...
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 24 Nov 2013, 07:23 
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OK, so after some more research, I think I'm starting to understand... My combination of a crappy LD player and a cheap LCD TV are making my picture look less than desirable. I probably should have mentioned that I'm viewing on a Sanyo 55" LCD (1080p/120hz) with a direct composite connection. So if I'm getting this right, my TV is deinterlacing and upconverting the signal from 480i to 1080p. When I hook a SD DVD player to the composite, it looks equally bad. However, my upconverting blu ray player hooked through HDMI looks stunning with the same SD DVD. (I'm NOT trying to compare blu ray to LD, just trying to figure out how the technology works) All this said, I'm assuming that the blu ray player has much better processing than the TV based on how the same DVD looks through each connection. (I know this isn't exactly an "apples to apples" comparison because I'm using 2 different DVD players through 2 different connections) I'll be getting a new LD player waaay sooner than a new TV and I assume that my TV's lousy processing is still going to be better than even the best LD player, so an external processor that has better performance than my TV is probably going to be the only thing that will help me out. I just don't want to spend more on a processor than what it would cost for a better monitor. So...I guess I'm gonna say that this is "as good as it's going to get" for now.
Two quick questions for my experienced friends:
1. My picture jumps around on a still frame of a CAV disc. What would cause this?
2. Anyone ever use RG-6 coax with RCA terminals for a composite cable? Any benefit to this?
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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 24 Nov 2013, 07:26 
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quick thought.
if you get a higher quality external processer you will have it for a long time, even when that TV dies you will still have the processer.
so it may be worth your money to do so IF you plan to keep and use LD and DVD.

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 Post subject: Re: Does the CLD-S201 suck this bad??
PostPosted: 24 Nov 2013, 08:47 
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landisman13 wrote:
OK, so after some more research, I think I'm starting to understand... My combination of a crappy LD player and a cheap LCD TV are making my picture look less than desirable. I probably should have mentioned that I'm viewing on a Sanyo 55" LCD (1080p/120hz) with a direct composite connection. So if I'm getting this right, my TV is deinterlacing and upconverting the signal from 480i to 1080p. When I hook a SD DVD player to the composite, it looks equally bad. However, my upconverting blu ray player hooked through HDMI looks stunning with the same SD DVD. (I'm NOT trying to compare blu ray to LD, just trying to figure out how the technology works) All this said, I'm assuming that the blu ray player has much better processing than the TV based on how the same DVD looks through each connection. (I know this isn't exactly an "apples to apples" comparison because I'm using 2 different DVD players through 2 different connections) I'll be getting a new LD player waaay sooner than a new TV and I assume that my TV's lousy processing is still going to be better than even the best LD player, so an external processor that has better performance than my TV is probably going to be the only thing that will help me out. I just don't want to spend more on a processor than what it would cost for a better monitor. So...I guess I'm gonna say that this is "as good as it's going to get" for now.
Two quick questions for my experienced friends:
1. My picture jumps around on a still frame of a CAV disc. What would cause this?
2. Anyone ever use RG-6 coax with RCA terminals for a composite cable? Any benefit to this?

I'd agree with you there that you'll (probably) see the most improvement by upgrading your player. In addition to the players already mentioned, I thought I'd recommend the LD-V8000 as well, I don't have personal experience with it, but it has a pretty good reputation and there's a few on eBay right now for ~$100. Also, if you're after an external scaler that will scale to 1080p and allows timing adjustments in case your TV has weird issues getting 1:1 pixel mapping, I'd recommend an iScan HD from my personal experience.

Also, as to your question. That sounds like it might be a sync issue I (and others) have experienced before as well. A full-frame TBC should fix that. You can usually find old broadcast equipment for that on eBay used for a hundred or so.
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