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The Semi Official Laserdisc Thread (For Hipsters and Old Farts)
(05-16-2019, 02:49 PM)engineer Wrote: I was playing it through a blu-ray player, maybe it had an effect?  I can't remember.  I don't usually use my zoom in functions, I can say that though.
The LD is being sent through an upscaling Panasonic DVD-R, though, so that's why that one appears more smooth, if you're wondering.

The DVD seems to feature more headroom, while the LD seems to show more along the bottom edge (notice the ID badge).  The LD does have a more true "cooler" color hue, though, while the DVD features a slight green tinting.  Overall, I prefer the LD.



What Blu Ray player was that through?  The True Lies DVD has a flag that'll automatically trigger zoom functions on certain DVD or Blu Ray players.  It did on my first Panasonic Blu player.  (Oh, the useless trivia rattling around in my head)
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I did not know that there were blu ray players that did that...or DVDs..
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There weren't very many. My True Lies DVD was the only one that did that, and only with one specific Panasonic model.
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That may be the most obscure feature I've ever heard of..
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Tomorrow, 11am, High Energy Vintage, Somerville MA...
GET YOUR ANALOG ON.

   
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(05-16-2019, 08:05 PM)mondguy Wrote: There weren't very many. My True Lies DVD was the only one that did that, and only with one specific Panasonic model.

My bu-ray player never did that but my old Sharp TV had the zoom feature.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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I've still gotta check on that TRUE LIES thing.

The LaserSwap was pretty great. Got to meet up with several online and IRL friends, talk movies and such. Picked up a few movies for myself.

KILL POINT with Richard Roundtree and Cameron Mitchell
NINJA TURF from the co-director of MIAMI CONNECTION
An ABBA "DiscoVision" music disc - one of the earliest LaserDiscs made
FLESH AND BONE with Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and James Caan
and the Criterion Collection edition of EL CID with Charlton Heston and Sofia Loren

A good day!
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So I checked the TRUE LIES disc (DVD).  Playing it on a Sony BDP-S3100 blu-player onto an Element HD monitor, here's how it went.
When the disc started: the "Attention" red screen warning was windowboxed.
The "play movie" menu page filled the screen: left to right and top to bottom.  I hit "play movie."
The "20th Century Fox Home Entertainment" animated logo was windowboxed.
And when the movie played, it played normally letterboxed at 2.35 ratio.  

Pretty wild.  The letterboxing and windowboxing was all over the place.

   

   
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So it's anamorphic....but not really?
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Kooky, right?
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That actually looks pretty decent..
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Maybe the windowboxing is because Fox repurposes those warnings and logos for all their home media and they're just 4:3 because it's an easy catchall format?
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In retrospect, given the clear and obvious advantages, how the fuck did Laserdisc not become more successful? Other than schools, I can't remember ever in my life seeing a Laserdisc "in the wild" until college.

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Price, I think. Tape is cheap to make and cheap to replicate; optical disc manufacturing (especially at LD sizes) is more complex and was plagued by gremlins in the early years. Plus, LD requires computer control and digital signal processing in an era when both of those were only beginning to get seriously smaller and cheaper; VHS (at least in basic VCRs) is little more than a cassette tape biased for the reproduction of composite video signals that TVs of the day were already processing.
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And you have to flip/change discs every 30 minutes..
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Also that. Though you had to change tapes halfway through any of the big epics, too...
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Yeah but not every 30 minutes. That's a lot of disc to potentially scratch up or smudge..
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(08-05-2019, 03:43 PM)fraid uh noman Wrote: And you have to flip/change discs every 30 minutes..

Every 30 minutes?  Oh damn, that would be terrible.  I thought it was once per film (still annoying) until the "auto flipping" ones that were super expensive came out.

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Yeah unless I'm mistaken....a two hour movie would be two discs, both sides. Three flips.

But even then, I was right on the verge of trying to get one because around 96-97 I'd just discovered what made widescreen better and got tired of having to look for letterboxed movies on VHS. DVD came along just in time..
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Standard Play, or "Full-Featured" (basically, the ability to freeze-frame) was 30 minutes. Extended Play was an hour per side.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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Hey, been a while hasn't it?

I've mentioned before in a couple of threads about how I've been going through various items of mine for selling off in preparation for an apartment move soonish. I don't know where to or when, but I know it's coming. Anyway, in an effort to lessen the load of my personal collection of "stuff" - both to have less things and to put together relocation funding - I've started getting around to my LaserDiscs. I'm not quite leaving LD behind just yet, since I'm keeping two players and a handful of Criterion Collection discs and a few other specific titles and special editions. But today I spent the day going through the bonus features for the classic LD box sets of THE STAR WARS TRILOGY DEFINITIVE COLLECTION and the Black/Gold Logo covered version of the TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY SPECIAL EDITION.

As these were two of the LD collections that set the highest standard for home video bonus features - that remain in play to this day on newer more high-def formats - it was a lot of fun going through the animations and making-ofs that I've had in my possession now for as much as seven or eight years but only today finally got around to revisiting and re-experiencing. I took the afternoon comparing the bonus stuff on these discs (featurettes, interviews, commentary tracks) to the various other DVD and blu-ray editions I've picked up over time and I still remain impressed by them and their picture quality on my little old LD-use dedicated Toshiba CRT. As far as extras go, I'm one of those guys that, if he really loves a movie, has to pick up every edition if it even has a few new bonus features. GHOSTBUSTERS, HALLOWEEN, BLADE RUNNER, THE EVIL DEAD TRILOGY, ICHI THE KILLER... It seems the SWT and T2 might also be on that list.

I haven't decided if I'm going to put them on the sale shelf alongside about a hundred or so other LaserDiscs and box sets for selling-off, or if I'll decide at the last second to keep them another twenty years. (And how crazy would that be?) If I knew I was moving into a better situation than I am now, I'd keep everything. But as SW fans often say, "I've got a bad feeling about this" and suspect that wherever I end up will be smaller, more expensive and probably a few steps down, so I have to be prepared to live an minimalist as I can...

But today, it was fun to revisit a few classics in a format that helped make me an "O.G." next-level movie fan, back before everything was online and letterboxed images were still a tough thing to describe to people. Those were the days.
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Presentation counts for a lot. That SW box really makes a statement on the shelf, and I love that it's called the "Definitive Edition," with everything its pre-1997 pedigree implies.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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Right? I have them both on the shelf now next to the box set of Russ Meyer's THE VIXEN TRILOGY.

That makes a couple of statements, too.
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I have no idea where else to put this, but I had a dream in which I was at a garage sale flipping through the inevitable stack of LPs/LDs and came across a late-'80s/early-'90s film directed by Joe Cornish under some Disney imprint - some kind of urban sci-fi/cyberpunk adventure, like a family-friendly version of Strange Days or something. The gatefold had a prologue comic by Mike Mignola. I kinda wanna move to that timeline.
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Regarding that "zoom in" feature embedded in non-anamorphic DVDs, I've only seen that happen with certain Fox DVD titles. HOME ALONE, TRUE LIES, and OFFICE SPACE were the ones I remember doing that. It's actually a cool feature because when you play subtitles they won't be cut off as they typically would from using a TV's zoom feature.
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I'm gonna spot check a couple more. THE ABYSS, STRANGE DAYS, the STAR WARS prequels, etc.
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Pretty sure the prequels are anamorphic. If you meant the non-anamorphic theatrical versions of the OT, they didn’t do that trick, at least not on my blu-ray player. I think Fox only had their early titles with that feature before adopting anamorphic all across. By the time those theatrical versions hit DVD it was 2006 and that practice was probably forgotten.
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The Fox DVDs that I tested were...
Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition
The Abyss: Special Edition
The Star Wars Original Trilogy Special Editions (single disc versions)
Porky's
Romancing the Stone
Silver Streak
and Strange Days.

The only film that remained windowboxed was Strange Days. All others auto-recalibrated to their proper (ish) letterboxed aspect ratios of 1.85 or 2.35.
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