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DrTobiasFunke

Laser Discs... Why so expensive? Hidden Gold?

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Was just noodling around on eBay and discovered how expensive old laserdisc players are these days.  Anybody know why?  Is there some hidden potential in these ancient technologies?  Or simply a case of it being an old collectable thing nowadays?  As soon as I saw the prices, I started thinking 'Mmmm, maybe I should be on on the lookout for one of these...' (Damn social psychology).

So hoping someone might have some insight into why these machines are so desirable.  And, more importantly, should I be desiring one also.  Are they the AV equivalent of turntables?

thanks all....

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collectors' tax  😁

definitely not analogous to vinyl, a format that can still produce state-of-the-art results.

even standard definition has better picture and sound.

forget comparisons  with hd discs or streaming.

 

i tried to sell my collection but could only get rid of some dts discs and some boxsets.

since i'm stuck with them  i picked up a nice pioneer cld-d925 to give them an occasional spin and reminder how far home video has come.

 

😄

 

 

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Hi @DrTobiasFunke  & @michaelw

 

They were a huge leap up from VHS in the 90s, excellent picture and sound quality, I can remember importing them from the USA for ~ $40 each delivered, cheaper if you purchased 10-12 at a time. I still have about 30 still, my favourites like the Star Wars Trilogy Limited Edition, which cost about $ 150 at the time, and like @michaelw still occasionally play them on warm summer nights through an old 720p projector onto a screen purchased on eBay and sound through an old set of SoundBlaster computer speakers with a small sub.

 

JJ

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25 minutes ago, michaelw said:

collectors' tax  😁

Yep, that makes sense.

I remember (back in the day) the aura surrounding them was that they were a very elite thing.  (I was too young and too poor to experience them first hand).

Appreciate the responses, guys👍

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If you can find a player that works you may find it hard to find a disc that doesn't suffer laser rot. I sold all of these for $200, the Star Wars alone was close to $500. The person that bought them didn't have a player and just wanted them for the covers. 

 

Laserdiscs.jpg

Edited by powerav

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Laserdiscs were designed for the collector's market.  Laserdisc players can be picked up from Japan in very good condition inexpensively. Pioneer stopped making them in 2008 or 2009.  The most recent laserdisc player for sale here on SNA was earlier this month for $100 in Tasmania.

 

I'm selling a collection of laserdiscs on gumtree and have had more bites than on SNA, although the best is the Australia Laserdisc Group on Facebook, who do such things as organise DVD/ video/ laserdisc fairs at the Astor here in Melbourne. I have met some very fine people there, along with the not-unexpected sprinkle of fanboys. Recommended.

 

key words (Facebook):

 

Laserdisc Group Australia

 

Bitrot/ laserrot

 

Not so much of a problem any more, due to the power of the internet.  A statistically large-enough sample of sales has been tracked on the Internet Laserdisc database so that laserdisc buyers can predict the odds of buying a bitrotted disc.  Here is the link and the Laserdisc database commentary.

 

For example, when selling, I was able to find whether bitrot reports came about from 1 in 20; or 1 in 10;  or 1 in 5 discs sold of a particular title.  These odds are reflected in the pricing. Collectors factor it in to their purchase price. This means that some rare discs at the $50 mark with 5% chance of bitrot will still sell for $50.  It's part of the package.

 

Worst factory for manufacturing laserdiscs that suffer from bitrot? That well-known friend of the consumer, Sony.

 

The laserdisc database is quite wonderful.

https://www.lddb.com/index.php

 

[snip]

https://www.lddb.com/laserrot.php

 

image.thumb.png.bf7957e1df86d67b0b98dbb1d3765e20.png

 

[end snip]

 

As for why they are collectible: a mix of reasons.

- They are beautiful artifacts

- Many have analog sound, not digital, coupled with digital visual reproduction

- Han shot first, no matter how much Disney rewrites history.

 

 

Groundhog Day.jpg

Edited by ThirdDrawerDown
added bitrot comment and a framed image

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I used to collect LD for many years when they were all the rage.  As previously remarked the PQ and SQ were much better than VHS or Beta at the time and on par with S-VHS.  

Only had a very few titles affected by the dreaded Laser rot.  

 

My player is a Pioneer CLD-1850 which is a NTSC / PAL machine.  When Dolby Digital titles started to hit the market I modified my player to provide Dolby Digital AC-3 RF output which I fed into my Sony TA-E9000ES processor pre-amp to do the decoding. One of the few high end pre-amps to have this feature.  :)

 

Oh the nostalgia.  

 

Cheers,

Alan R.

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I've got boxes full at home
I am thinking of putting them in new outer record sleeves then pinning the sleeve to my theatre walls (no damage to cover) ,visually the covers are striking !!

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third drawer...

i thought 3m was the sworn enemy of LD ?

what do you mean by "... coupled with digital visual reproduction " ?

ld video was analogue.

 

monkeyboi...

are you the alan r who had a website dedicated to the ta-e9000es ?

i had a sony ta-e9000es too.

it did an amazing job as a ht preamp.

my players were yamaha cdv-1700, pioneer cld-d770 with rf mod.

last year i picked up a mint pioneer cld-d925 and sony ep9es to handle  ac-3 rf

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On 13/01/2019 at 4:57 PM, michaelw said:

third drawer...

i thought 3m was the sworn enemy of LD ?

what do you mean by "... coupled with digital visual reproduction " ?

ld video was analogue.

 

monkeyboi...

are you the alan r who had a website dedicated to the ta-e9000es ?

i had a sony ta-e9000es too.

it did an amazing job as a ht preamp.

my players were yamaha cdv-1700, pioneer cld-d770 with rf mod.

last year i picked up a mint pioneer cld-d925 and sony ep9es to handle  ac-3 rf

Yep, that's me. Guilty as charged for not maintaining the website.  Apparently lots of broken links.  :( 

Still got the TA-E9000ES, TA-P9000ES and two TA-N9000ES units.

 

Cheers,

Alan R.

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I had a frickin' laser disc player when I lived in the USA. Cost me $10. I could go out to the op shops and pick up frickin' laser discs for about $2 each: original Star Wars, Platoon, etc, and quite a few concert LDs. Good times.

 

Just as cassette is enjoying an inexplicable revival,  then maybe frickin' laser discs will also enjoy a revival for music: it has the inconvenience and expense of vinyl, the large cover art, the nostalgia, digital playback,  and hipster exclusivity. The best of all other formats in one bulky product!

 

--Geoff 

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I miss the sound quality from laser disc players.  DVDs sound like a 128bit MP3 in comparison. 

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9 minutes ago, DJGopal said:

I miss the sound quality from laser disc players.  DVDs sound like a 128bit MP3 in comparison. 

Yes so true. Remember doing a LD Vs. DVD comparison of the opening scene of T2 back when DVDs were new to the market and its was exactly as described above.

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I've stil got a player and some discs. One of the discs is the first DTS one Jurassic Park and I imported the Japenese version of Starwars: Phantom Menance (Full Bandwidth Dolby Digital Audio), it was a big deal back then. 2 of the best sounding laserdiscs at the time.

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Imo, if you are considering buying one now, dont bother. Horrible tech, even in It’s day it was tedious, quality was all over the place, and compared to today’s disc, LD’s novelty will wear off quickly.  

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5 hours ago, Sime said:

Imo, if you are considering buying one now, dont bother. Horrible tech, even in It’s day it was tedious, quality was all over the place, and compared to today’s disc, LD’s novelty will wear off quickly.  

The same logic applies to cassettes compared to vinyl and CD, yet it's enjoying a bit of a revival these days.🤪

 

So who knows ...

 

--Geoff 

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Don’t agree, when you have Jurassic park on CAV laserdisc and one has to change sides 5-6 times during the movie, nothing compares to the inconvenience of LD. 

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Laserdiscs make great frisbees!!!!........😁

 

So glad I got rid of mine when DVD came out...........and so on.......... and so on!!!!!!

Edited by JohnL

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Heretics, the lot of you! LD will always have a special place in my heart. After all it was my first step up from VHS rentals and solidified my love for film.

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Had laserdisc and all my players have giving up most of my players were pioneer elite. I got 1000s of discs that I can not bin and love the cover art. 

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