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 Post subject: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 03:00 
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I am wondering if this is a decent player? I might be getting one and would like to know. The players on ebay are being priced by it seems by people taking pretty highly potent drugs.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 04:01 
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Well, the default answer is "all Sony LD players are junk."

I can say that as well since I owned one. Though it was a model slightly older than that one--MPD-A3 (the MDP-800 is also known as the MDP-A7.)

Apparently Sony LD players have some kind of design flaw where the picture will darken over time and it isn't correctable. So I wouldn't take the chance.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 04:38 
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The 850 was supposed to be the only good Sony player. Sony was known for a grainy picture and mechanical issues.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 07:23 
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I disagree that all Sony players were junk, since it's a pretty subjective term anyway. The early lasermax series is an exception up through the 1700AR with nice video via the composite output, and the very end of production MDP-V series are also very nice machines, good picture quality, AC3 capable, and reliable with none of the associated problems of the other Sony models (perhaps because they were the last and bugs were worked out). I currently have two of these models and use them regularly with fine results.

A generalization isn't always the best way to understand things. That being said, there's other players I'd buy first if all things were equal in the purchase. But if the price is really low, and you have a chance to test it out, and the test is satisfactory, I'd take the chance.

I've also owned both 1958 and 1959 Edsels, and they were perfectly fine automobiles, better than the typical Ford of the time and as good as any Mercury.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 08:45 
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It is just being thrown in with a collection of discs. It sweetened the pot a little. I am still pondering the trade.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 10:40 
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My first laserdisc player was a Sony MDP-850D and although it seemed a sturdy unit and looked quite cool with the portcullis door on the front those were the only redeeming qualities. Picture quality was really poor in terms of sharpness and colour and it was the only player I have ever owned that had major disc loading problems. It constantly failed to load discs, especially when side changing. At one stage I even had to strip the player to get my disc back out! I got fed up with it in the end and was so glad to move to a Pioneer player. There is no way I would ever buy another Sony laserdisc player again at any price. Even a really basic Pioneer player would give you much better value for your money and trouble free operation in comparision.

The fact Sony couldn't even make laserdiscs properly for such a long period of time in the dreaded DADC plant speaks volumes about the quality of manufacturing in general. The best advice I could give is avoid Sony like the plague.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 17:35 
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All speaking to experience. I had the same problem with both Pioneer and Panny regarding disc retrieval, and more problems with side change trouble with Pioneer.

That's true enough about the Sony LD plant putting out lousy pressings. Many suspect an ulterior motive due to Sony's interest in pushing DVD. I wouldn't put it past Sony to have unterior motives, as they have become one of the sneakiest and most subversion corporations since they blew it on the Betamax.

Their behavior during the HD and Blu-Ray tussle proved them to not be beyond graft and corruption in their methods, and in my opinion, they broke anti-trust laws while doing so, But at that moment we had a Justice Dept. administration more in tune with hassling regular citizens than minding what corporations were doing. (Still do for the most part)

To me that in itself is a good enough reason to never buy any new Sony stuff, but as even in a family with some members that act disgracefully, there are some who do not, and there have been many Sony technological advances that were well done. As an example, the Wega XBR series of CRT sets. I can imagine some execs in a board room saying that if the LD player looked good enough on a Sony 25" trinitron, then they didn't need to go any further.

Except for the few models I already mentioned, getting a Sony player is a chancey deal, and it may or may not suit you. I had one person who came to look at several LD players to purchase one, and would not even consider anything else except the Sony ones.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2011, 18:29 
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I'd agree with your comments about Sony in general.
The company has undoubtedly produced some great products as well as some stinkers so I'm not an anti Sony person, not by a long shot.

In fact I've a mountain of Sony equipment in my house still - much of it acquired completely free due to the Sony Pulsebeats scheme which ran in the UK for over a decade for owners of the Sony credit card. Whilst the scheme had its flaws it still managed to deliver many rewards to those who used the credit card. I've multiple DVD recorders, Blu ray players, video recorders, walkmans, discmans and MP3 players so am very familiar with Sony products over that period.

Sony still on rare occasions demonstrated an almost Pioneer attitude in some of the products they developed.
A good example is the Sony Walkman X series MP3 player. Beautiful device yet doomed from the word go.
It was pitched to compete with the Apple itouch and similiar such devices which was the wrong market to target.
The X series was in a different league in terms of sound quality and build quality - nothing Apple produces either past or present compares and I am an Apple fan!
Anyone who owns an X series knows what I mean as it was easily the best MP3 player ever produced for sheer sound quality so Sony got it right even if the public didn't agree. Used X series walkmans consistently fetch very high prices on Ebay - I can understand why.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011, 01:31 
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I'm definitely not a Sony hater as I still use Minidiscs and have several Sony units, and I have a few Sony WEGA TVs.

It's just that I'll never buy another Sony branded LD player.

Save for maybe one of those crazy Asian models that play LDs and VCDs with factory AC-3 RF output. I'd get one of those just for fun.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011, 01:50 
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The only Sony LD player I would buy would be a HIL-series Hi-Vision machine.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011, 04:30 
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elahrairrah wrote:
I'm definitely not a Sony hater as I still use Minidiscs and have several Sony units, and I have a few Sony WEGA TVs.

It's just that I'll never buy another Sony branded LD player.

Save for maybe one of those crazy Asian models that play LDs and VCDs with factory AC-3 RF output. I'd get one of those just for fun.


That's the MDP-V series I was talking about. I lucked across two of them, one came from Canada, and the other locally, each way less than $100, and I have not been disappointed.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011, 06:28 
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publius wrote:
The only Sony LD player I would buy would be a HIL-series Hi-Vision machine.


The Sony Hi-Vision player have the same grainy picture as the regular Sony players. Only good thing is if you want to play Hi-Vision discs.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011, 11:22 
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krbahr wrote:
publius wrote:
The only Sony LD player I would buy would be a HIL-series Hi-Vision machine.


The Sony Hi-Vision player have the same grainy picture as the regular Sony players. Only good thing is if you want to play Hi-Vision discs.



Useful to know - I guess I will not be buying one of those then because I've seen with my own eyes the grainy picture in the Sony MDP-850D and that was not the case in any Pioneer player I ever purchased.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 20 Dec 2011, 04:11 
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No grainy picture in either of my MDP-V series players, nor in the Lasermax or 1700AR I still have.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 01:03 
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Found a review of this player in an old issue of Video Magazine.

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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 01:21 
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Sony only for me. Every Pioneer I've owned (5?) has had big problems compared to the Sonys which usually only have tray, door issues.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 04:27 
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So long as we’re necroposting like fools...

I’m of the opinion that Sony LD players suck but if I found a working one at the Salvation Army store tomorrow for $40 I’d buy it even without the remote. Any working player is a good player in 2019.

I find anything built to the standards of an LD player is vastly more reliable than today’s total garbage. I have so much gear that is 20, 30, or even 40+ years old that has had almost no issue ever it makes almost everything made today seem like junk. Every DVD or BR deck, every smart phone, most new game consoles, none of that stuff will last as long as my LD players or PC Engines or whatever. The Marantz 2230 I rock out to every day is from 1972. I run this thing at 80% for sometimes two hours a night and it’s from the Nixon’s first term, dude! Take that, every iPhone I’ve ever had!
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 04:32 
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forper wrote:
Sony only for me. Every Pioneer I've owned (5?) has had big problems compared to the Sonys which usually only have tray, door issues.



I suppose it's really unfair to give Sony a bad rap on LD player reliability since they were such a small player in the format's life. I only owned one Sony model and it was a disaster but I have 10 working Pioneers and have never had a problem except for the occasional mechanical and sometime electrical adjustment.

However, during my days selling LD players, it was always common to see a lot of broken Pioneer units due to fragility of the Alpha Turn players during shipping. However, once they were fixed, the players were very much indestructible.

In any case, I would still prefer a Pioneer over a Sony just because there are more of them out there which means there is a greater chance of obtaining spare parts to repair any of them (although that number is dwindling as well).
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 04:42 
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The most reliable Sony stuff I’ve had has been remanufactured. It’s like they just needed a beta test of every unit they sell. You fix the first thing that falls off and then it’s usually good.

I have a Sony BR deck that’s quite early, it has composite out actually. It’s slower than the slowest thing ever but despite my kid beating it around for quite a bit it still runs, sitting on the carpeted floor. In a house with long haired cats and two dogs. It’s pretty awesome. It’s also pretty awesome to have to wait four minutes for Marry Poppins to load. Utterly awesome.
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 Post subject: Re: How good is a Sony MDP-800
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 04:58 
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signofzeta wrote:
So long as we’re necroposting like fools...

I’m of the opinion that Sony LD players suck but if I found a working one at the Salvation Army store tomorrow for $40 I’d buy it even without the remote. Any working player is a good player in 2019.

I find anything built to the standards of an LD player is vastly more reliable than today’s total garbage. I have so much gear that is 20, 30, or even 40+ years old that has had almost no issue ever it makes almost everything made today seem like junk. Every DVD or BR deck, every smart phone, most new game consoles, none of that stuff will last as long as my LD players or PC Engines or whatever. The Marantz 2230 I rock out to every day is from 1972. I run this thing at 80% for sometimes two hours a night and it’s from the Nixon’s first term, dude! Take that, every iPhone I’ve ever had!


Newer consoles ARE junk. It took them a couple years or so to have PS3s be somewhat reliable. My PS4 and Wii both require external fan attachments to stay cool enough now. The list could go on and on.

Meanwhile my Parasound HCA 2200 II is still f***ing slaying, my Klipsch Heresy's (different set-up from the amp, actually, that is powering some Magnepans) from like...I don't even know, the 70s maybe still rock hard.

Oh and I have a couple Pioneer LD players, they both work fine still. And one of them was in service at a karaoke bar for who knows how long before sitting in storage for many years as well before I bought it off the original owner. Fired up an LD when I was buying it and the first try it looked good with no issues I could see.

I have a slow Sony BD player too, actually. I might upgrade some day, but the price of stuff like Oppos are already very unappealing to me. I might bite though, my Oppo DVD player is really nice and has been a tank. 4 years of heavy use and going strong. Hopefully it holds up, I'd hate to have to use some random piece of crap. Though I do have another Oppo in reserve.
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