Hopefully someone here can help me.
I just bought a Pioneer Laserdisc player. Model CLD-M401. And the best part, it came with fifty laserdisc movies.
Here is my old/new player:
... I have been staring at the remote for an hour.
I can't figure out how it works. Newbie is the appropriate word, very new to this classic technology.
I tried putting a few of the laserdiscs in and it just spits them right back out again.
What is going on?
The display button does nothing.
On the receivers screen it says CD. I don't see a way to change it to LD.
If that's even an option.
Obviously I'm doing something wrong.
I thought maybe it would recognize that I put a movie in but it refuses to read them.
Is it broke? What are my options?
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give me with this frustrating machine.
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#1 Do you have the discs right-side up? (down, actually)
#2 Maybe the player you bought is broken/faulty.
#3 Receiver? What receiver? How is it hooked up?
#4 If by receiver you mean the LD player, it should know correctly if a CD vs. an LD is put in. If it cannot tell the difference, something is broken/faulty (probably the laser mechanism). If by receiver you mean a separate A/V receiver/amp, then unless you were hooking up via HDMI it would not know or care what type of input it is getting and is just using the term "CD" generically based on the jacks the cables are plugged into. Again, how is it hooked up?
#5 Don't use the term "movies" so loosely. Are you referring to putting in your LD discs? (which should have worked) or DVDs/Blu-rays? (which should NOT have)
We can't help you further until you give us MUCH MORE INFO. Hookup layout, model #s of all equipment (not just the player).
However, if properly putting an LD disc into an LD player results in the disc being spit back out, there is simply something wrong with the system (either the discs or the player, or both).
Hope you can get your money back...
I know that just about everybody under 30 years old for some bizarre reason believes it is IMPOSSIBLE to get cheated when buying used equipment, but yes, people DO sell broken crap. Sometimes they know it doesn't work and they gamble that they can keep your money anyway by making it difficult to impossible to contact them again. Sometimes they don't test it to see if it still works. Sometimes they give it an insufficient quick test and if it works, they pronounce it in perfect condition but it will quickly break down under normal use. Sellers website have wildly differing policies on refunds if what you bought doesn't work with Craigslist maybe being the worst of them all. If it was clearly marked "as is" in the ad, you may be out of luck here if it is damaged. At least in the USA you most likely would be.
Laserdisc players can only be connected by older TV connections and on modern HDTVs, unless you really know what you are doing, it can be easily to connect things incorrectly. It may be OK, but you just don't have it connected correctly. As pointed out, you don't have to change from CD to LD - the player will autodetect what the disc is. You can verify the connection is OK by turning on the player. My Pioneer displays in purple to the TV when it's connected and it has a few words at the top of the screen. If you see something like that when you start the player, then you have it connected OK. In that case you might try playing both sides of a laserdisc as one side will have the video for sure, if not both.
If it's broken, I don't know if it's even possible to have it repaired. If it is possible, you probably won't want to pay what it will cost. Please note that laserdiscs may not automatically play on some players and after you insert the disc, you must push the play button on the remote or the player itself.
Finally, while this is not very likely, it's also not impossible. It is possible that the player is actually OK, but the discs you have are NOT laserdiscs. There were one or two other incompatible formats at the time and some people confuse them with each other and those other format discs won't work at all in a laserdisc player. If you want to post a photo (front AND back please) of the cover of one of your laserdiscs, we can tell from that if you have those weird other discs or not. If you post photos, please do it of a disc that won't play for you.
My lord, those things are 36 years old. Your location sure fits you DaisyRyder.Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence -Carl Sagan
I'd be happy to help you help me.
I'm pretty sure it's a legitimate laserdisc.
That's what this little mark means, right?
There's also one on the Pioneer (which I formerly called receiver. I'm a newbie, remember?).
And from now on I won't call the laserdisc JUST a movie.
There seems to be two sides to every laserdisc. I've tried both.
I'm hoping that the way I have it hooked up is the problem.
I hooked it up with composite cables straight to the flat screen.
This is bad?
Perhaps you could tell me what I need to properly hook the Pioneer up, please. Maybe a photo of an example?
If hooked up correctly and it fails to play a movi ... eh hem, laserdisc. Then I may have to rest content in the knowledge of faulty equipment.
... I know it's old ... The films are classic. Love old things and that sense of nostalgia.
Thanks for helping. I appreciate it.
Well, we still don't know what model TV you have, so it might be incorrectly connected (though not likely). It should be labeled "Video In" or "Composite In" or similar, NOT "Component In", nor "RGB" nor "YUV", as those are also forms of tripartite component (separate color) signals, while yours is a single, composite (combined colors) signal. Some TVs (including my own) have a single 3.5mm TRRS jack with a pigtail adapter that covers both types and you have to choose between the 2 for the correct type in the menu.
OK, so it's a legit LD. BTW, some are pressed on one side only, some (most) on both sides. It just depends on the disc. I do notice some strange reflections on the face of the disc. Don't know if it is damage to the disc or a reflection of something nearby/above.
Whether it's hooked up correctly (allowing you to see the picture) or not, it should still ACCEPT a legit LD disc and allow one to engage the Play button. If it can't even do that, you've got something majorly wrong. I'm curious: does it accept & recognize & play (factory pressed) AudioCDs?
Anyway, those are normal laserdiscs, not a variant. I think that what we see in the photo is a reflection so the discs SHOULD play. Again you have to be sure that you can see the opening start up display from the player before we can worry about anything else. Your TV likely has a button on the remote control where you can push it to change the input. You'll need to switch to the composite input.
Everything is hooked up properly.
Got the right channel input.
I haven't seen a c.d. in so long.
I managed to find a Dolly Parton album/c.d. and it played fine.
Tried to put the laserdisc back in again and it spit it back out.
I tried one more time and it got stuck halfway before ejecting.
Not wanting it to get stuck again, I slightly lifted the tray and guided it back in with my hand after pressing the open/close button ... Wanna know what happened next?
The laserdisc played a movie!!!
It works! It works! And wonderfully.
I can live with slightly lifting the tray for every laserdisc I put in there.
Thank you very much for troubleshooting with me.
I'm going to go watch Cobb on laserdisc.
And I may stick around this forum. I could have used your assistance several times in the past. Most likely will have a reason to bug you again.
Thank you again. You were all very helpful.
Hey Jman, didn't they stop making laserdisk players? I think you can still buy CD players somewhere. None of my friends use CD players anymore either.Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence -Carl Sagan
Laserdiscs held a max 60 minutes per side (CLV, Constant Linear Velocity), so movie discs were always double-sided. The highest quality discs were only 30 minutes per side (CAV, Constant Angular? Velocity), requiring 4 or more discs per movie.
I still get a little chuckle when I pop two LDs into my LD-W1 (from 1988!) and hear it swap sides. No disc flipping, the laser mechanism moved from top to bottom!
Say what you will about LDs. But how many largely mechanical electronic devices are still around 26 years later???
No, they WEREN'T always double sided. For example, a 135min movie might take up 2 discs, one of which was double sided (60 + 60) and one which was single sided (15).
BTW, most CAV discs were not Movies, but rather specialty programs.
More trivia: LaserDiscs often had 4 channel surround and subtitles where today's DVD/BR is a barebones 2 channel affair.
Just recently I got a laserdisc transfer from someone and it turned out there still were "CC" subtitles on that without him even knowing it!This is nøt å signåture.™
@Spiny Norman, you mistaken (or confused). From 1978-~1994, the best sound a laserdisc could have would have been LPCM stereo audio (similar to CD audio) or the stereo Analog audio. Once AC3 & DTS encoded discs became available (post '93-94), surround was available, but it most likely would have been the standard 5.1. Stereo tracks could have been Dolby Surround/ProLogic-matrix-encoded (which can be considered 3 or 4 channels), but that would only work if the receiver could decode correctly. Regardless, the "carrier" is still 2 channels. And while many NTSC discs might have both LPCM stereo and Analog stereo tracks, it couldn't use them BOTH simultaneously (had to choose one or the other), so one couldn't call that 4 ch either.
Also, any NTSC signal/device/format that didn't destroy the vertical interval info can retain VITC and/or CCs! This includes VHS/Beta, LD, VCD (if encoded/authored correctly), and DVD/BD (also if done correctly), etc. But CCs is not the same as modern DVD/BD subtitles anyway.
If you guys are going to keep doing "trivia", at least get it right!
However, by "highest quality movies" I'm referring to Criterion and Japanese releases which often used CAV because of the superior video quality. There's just something about the size and heft of a six or eight disc box set for a single movie! *SIGH*
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Will have to fire up the LD player tonight and watch some movies.
Also, the closed captions would only available to a TV when using composite or S-Video, which current model Blu-Ray players no longer possess. Since there are no HD connections that would allow a TV to display closed captions, it would be the Blu-Ray player's responsibility to decode and overlay the captions. I have not personally seen any that offer this feature (other than the PS3, I forgot about it), although I guess more may exist.
They do exist. There are some links here: http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=8995126&postcount=18
Last edited by usually_quiet; 23rd Aug 2014 at 12:42.
708-based captions should be compatible with BD & DVD. And there are a number of pro devices that can convert 608<->708, so I wouldn't call that a hindrance.
Yes, HDMI doesn't (yet) have a feature-set that includes CC streams.
But the model for captioning has changed: it used to be that the DISPLAY was in charge of recognition, formatting, and overlay. Now it is the PLAYER that does this (with standard BD, DVD subtitles), so the pathway via HDMI handles the already-overlayed video just fine.
I think this is going off on a tangent. The OP's needs re: Laserdiscs were met. The boasting about CCs (or audio channels) on LD vs. BD/DVD/other formats was shown as not based on historical fact.
And CC may be technically different but I don't quite see how the result not VERY similar to HoH subtitles? The point was again that there is still some content that has not been included since. I know this is VideoHelp, but there's more than just the technicalities.This is nøt å signåture.™
...and yes this is off topic, so I'll stop now
Last edited by usually_quiet; 23rd Aug 2014 at 17:47.
So the CC in TV streams really IS technically related to that on LD/DVD? I didn't know that.
www.lddb.com where you can check out exactly how many LaserDiscs had 4 channel (matrixed) surround or CC (even if that's technically different to discrete multi channel sound or subtiles - I myself would simply extract the CC to .srt).
Yeah, "was shown" indeed... Writing impersonal doesn't equal proof.This is nøt å signåture.™
Laserdiscs are just a recording of the analog composite signal. So that signal can contain the "line 21" (EIA-608) binary encoded closed captioned text. Some capture cards can capture line 21 and you can see that flickering binary data at the top of the frame.
You occasionally see this on HDTV (when an analog source was captured and upscaled) if the TV isn't set to overscan.
@usually_quiet, yes CCs aren't built into BD and barely into DVD, but they're not really necessary. The whole idea of CCs had to do with providing captioning for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing in compliance with ADA and other inclusiveness US Government laws. But the US Government doesn't really govern private entertainment (except as regards Broadcasting,...well, and Censorship & a few other topics). LD, DVD, BD, etc. are not broadcasted: they home viewing systems, so they (US gov) cannot mandate the CC requirement there. Historically, there was previously no capability for other types of subs, so CC was the only possibility available. That's why it's common on LD, VHS & Beta. DVD's subs supercede CCs technical-wise, and BD subs supercede DVDs, so duplication of sub formats for those systems is redundant/superfluous/wasteful/redundant . So that is why it was dropped completely for BD - anything you want to do with CCs, you can do with BD subs, but better (timing, placement, font choice, character set, background, adjustability...).
708 isn't specified/required in DVD/BD, but it is inconsequential to include it (especially if it already existed from source streams), and assuming downstream re-encoding doesn't strip it out, it could easily still be piggy-backing on the MPEG video payload data. It would just be ignored (and remain hidden).
@Spiny Norman, yes, CCs are formatted as EIA-608 data in the vertical interval on Analog systems (VHS, Beta, LD, Umatic, Video8, Betacam, etc...) and a HiCon digitized equivalent of 608, or its digital 708 cousin is also available in digital systems (DVD/BD/DVB/MPEG User Data - PS or TS).
Matrixed surround IS different from discreet. Very different. If matrixed surround were good enough, there never would have been a need for discreet surround distribution. Yet discreet digital surround formats (DD, DD+, DDTrueHD/MLP, DTS, DTS-HD, SDDS, etc) comprise almost ALL of the commercial surround offerings. Matrixed surround is an "also-ran". The "poor man's surround".
Don't get me wrong - I use it and enjoy it myself occasionally. And when I do surround mixes (from discreet master sources), I make special effort to create optimized Dolby Stereo downmixes. But the difference (between matrixed & discreet) is obvious and no one would want matrixed surround if they can get discreet.
I don't doubt that there were probably thousands or even tens of thousands of LDs that have CC and 2 channel Dolby Stereo/Surround/ProLogic (aka Matrixed surround) soundtracks. But to say that there are so many that have it on LD but that no equivalent (subs, matrixed or discreet surround) is even available for DVD or BD is fallacious. Are there a few? Probably, because studios sometimes take the cheap/easy route. But that cannot be extrapolated to your erroneous claims:LaserDiscs often had 4 channel surround and subtitles where today's DVD/BR is a barebones 2 channel affair.
This piece of ... work.
I was able to watch Cobb... So thrilled.
It wouldn't play the last five minutes though.
It wouldn't function at all last night.*
Even with lifting the tray slightly.*
Netflix wouldn't load, the laserdisc player wouldn't work.
Ended up watching Simpsons re-runs.*
... I'm hoping ... The Pioneer just needs to warm up after being powered on(?). We'll see.*
All of you are incredibly intelligent. I wish you could come to my house and help get this thing figured out.
Sure it is possible to put EIA-708 closed captions on DVD or Blu-Ray. I'm sure I could author such a disc myself from any number of recorded TV shows on my computer right now, and the authored discs would also have all kinds of other information in its GOP user data as well as EIA-708 closed captioning.
However, EIA-708 closed captions are going to be difficult if not impossible to find on commercially produced discs because EIA-708 closed captions are:
2. unsupported by either the Blu-Ray or DVD spec
3. probably unplayable by stand alone players (EIA 608 is far more likely to be supported, since it is officially supported by DVD)
...and closed captioning for broadcast TV (where EIA-708 is a requirement) is often done by third parties, not the people responsible for creating the content.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 24th Aug 2014 at 16:00. Reason: Changed " I doubt that EIA-708 closed captions are going to be difficult if not impossible" to what I actually wanted to say
@DaisyRider, sorry I can't timewarp back to the 1920's.
@usually_quiet, I mainly agree with you. And I'm pretty sure we both know fairly thoroughly what DVD & BD can support. And 708s aren't likely on either DVD or BD. The redundant part doesn't seem to enter into it too much, though: 608 captions are routinely still (redundantly?) included in DVDs even though subs can and do do a better job replacing them. And having worked as one of those "3rd parties", I can tell you that the majority of 608, 708 and DVD/BD subs are done by them (at the behest of the content creator) rather than by the content creator themselves. But, yeah, including 708 in my past argument re: CCs?_LD_vs_DVD/BD was peripheral and probably unnecessary.
There's the site www.lddb.com... A few examples that I found: Being Human (1994, Robin Williams), Jupiter's Darling, Return of the Musketeers, Life of Python (never released on DVD/BR (the A&E DVD is a different documentary from 10 years later)), Fisher King, Buffy, Wrongfully Accused (5.1). Some of those films are actually good (in other words most are worthless).
The thing is, I didn't look very hard. So if I looked systematically, and checked what films had no HoH subs on DVD/BR, I'd probably find a lot more.
If anyone happens to be able to get any of these subs off of the LDs... I'd certainly welcome it. I managed to make Life of Python srt subs from CC but couldn't get the others.
Last edited by Spiny Norman; 24th Aug 2014 at 17:32. Reason: forgot oneThis is nøt å signåture.™
Those features "can at least be found only on LD", and they can at other times "only be found on VHS" and at other times "only be found on DVD", etc. There will always be some titles that, because of the timing of history, will be more or less available/featured on one format vs. others. But 3 things are born out in media consumer marketing: 1-THE GREAT MAJORITY of titles will overlap in availability for all formats, and 2-the more popular formats by their popularity and longevity (so far: VHS & DVD) will have more titles and more alternate/supplemental features specifically available to only them, and 3-in general, each newer format increases the richness of features of the playback experience (exceptions: cut-rate tiers and SEE BELOW...).
Another thing to consider: Even a movie with a long tail is going to get the bulk of it's ROI at the very beginning of its lifetime. Marketing strategies will reflect that and monies will not be devoted to RE-transferring a (known so-so) pic (commercially, but possibly also artistically) that has "run its course" vs. a new release that might still garner bigger ROI, even if that pic was transferred better for an older format at the time of its release. This is one of those "exceptions" to the upward-mobility rule. Maybe the list you've provided all fall under that category?
Also, there is a big (enough) difference between "few" and "often".
Good luck in your quest.
But one thing you overlooked was that DVD/BR are mass produced while LD was for the dedicated film fanatics. That explains the extra care that some editions got and why some older titles like "Roman Scandals" made it to LD that are even now not available on DVD/BR.
Anyway, you demanded proof - which is a bit unsual as this isn't a court of law - so I gave you some. Yes, most - but not all! - of my examples were from the 1990s but that doesn't change the fact that they're there. Why don't you have a look at www.lddb.com yourself instead of arguing so sharply with everything I say? I hardly think my claim was controversial even if the exact number can't be determined immediately.
Last edited by Spiny Norman; 25th Aug 2014 at 04:43. Reason: typoThis is nøt å signåture.™
It was controversial & made you look like an LD fanboi.
Plus, it wasn't factual, just anecdotal. 7 examples doesn't make a trend.
Plus, though I haven't researched it much because it isn't well documented internet-wise, even a simple search through Amazon noted that Buffy & Wrongfully Accused are BOTH available on DVD, with BOTH CCs and DD 5.1 soundtracks. And Roman Scandals? 1933 Busby Berkeley musical MONO B/W? It's available in DVD (as an R2 import). Why not R1? - because it wouldn't sell. It is a good example of one of those exceptions I was referring to.
LD & CD & DVD are all "mass produced". They were even, for the first decade or so, ALL pressed at the same Terre Haute, Indiana, USA pressing plant. Their #s might be different, but don't kid yourself: LD only ENDED UP being marketed to "dedicated film fanatics" because all their attempts at selling to the masses failed. DVD (and to a lesser extent BD) market to BOTH masses and film fans. Have you never heard of "superbit" or "remastered" specialty releases? Criterion, for example, puts just as much effort into their DVD/BD catalog as they do LD.
I'm already aware of LDDB, you don't need to keep bringing it up. My father-in-law has a collection of ~<500 or so LDs, so I'm quite familiar with availability. Plus, and I'm not bullshitting here: I specialized in "Laserdisc technologies" while in University (dates me, I'm sure), so I know technically & economically what I'm talking about.
Nowadays, I would only look on LDDB if I were searching for a particular title, and even then ONLY if it weren't already/also available on DVD or BD. I'm guessing most people would follow a similar strategy.