Laserdisc & budget PJ's....


Standard Member
Oct 5, 2003
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Hi Guys,

Here's a question to those of you ancient enough (in AV terms of course !!) to still remember (& own) laserdisc players & discs.
How do you get on with them with your projectors...?

I've just got an Hitachi PJ-TX10, great picture with DVD but Laserdisc looks pretty ropey. Now this is similar on my plasma, but on my old 42" RPTV Laserdisc looked almost as good as DVD, if not quite as detailed or solid. The jaggies on the projector on LD are pretty horrific, yet on DVD the image is smooth & detailed. Now I know that LD doesn't possess the same res as DVD, but in theory it resolves 440 lines (if memory serves) which should easily beat VHS & still produce a reasonable image.

So what's the answer !! I'm using a Pioneer CLD-D925 via S-video (although composite ain't far behind - probably due to the Pio native being composite with cheap onboard conversion to S-vid).
Do any of you yield good results with LD ? If so , how ?
Do i need a scaler ? (probably gonna upgrade the Yammy DSP-A1 for a Z9 which should at least provide some more scaling options).
Any body use Phillips or Sony PAL laserdisc players with better results ? or are you using imported Macintosh's/Muse/etc. ??

Any feedback would be great.


Oh yeah - also own a Pio 1850 LD player which yields pretty much the same results, so is it a pioneer thing ?
Laserdiscs will look poor in comparison to most DVDs.
The better the projector, the more it will show the shortcomings of this technology.
I wouldn't waste time or money trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
I think RTFM has hit the nail on the head there - I tried a Pioneer 515 on my HT1000, and the picture wasn't great either. :)

I converted one laserdisc to DVD using some noise reduction and double adaptive deinterlacing, and that has helped a bit, but it's still not going to be great by any means.

The smaller the picture the less the deficiencies will show up, so I think you'll have to watch them on a smaller screen.

How much do you want for the 925? ;)

Must admit I've yet to throw in a LD since I got the PJ, probably because I've not even turned on my Pio 919 since I got a dedicated DVD player. ;)

I had worried about the PQ and if it would put me off keeping my LD collection and finally convert the rest to DVD (once SW eps 4-6 come out :) ).

I can just about cope with SVHS as long as it's not too dark, I'd hope LD would be a bit better... might have to watch something tonight and see for my self.
Ancient enough for LaserDisc? - I had my first and only LaserDisc player back in 1991 when I was 11!

I was always amazed by it, able to play both sides without turning the disc, PAL/NTSC capability - especially in the variation between NTSC and PAL discs available - on reflection a bit like the region 1 and region 2 scenairo we have today. (Isn't it amazing that the Italian Job is only just coming to Region 2 - I was watching it on Christmas Day on Region 1 which is months ago!)

Anyway, I have watched a few discs on my Panasonic AE300 projector using S-VHS and the picture is no where near as bad as some of you are stating. In fact I would say it was slightly of less quality in terms of noise, than my trusty DVCAM which I view also through S-VHS which gives a cleaner picture. However LaserDisc is miles better than VHS, which it was oftern compared to back in the day...

I would position a good LaserDisc somewhere between S-VHS tape and DVCAM. I'm not really comparing DVD here as that's a separate matter altogether due to the way I view DVD's (progressive scan and component feed) and therefore not a fair comparison.
The only time I've seen laserdisc look excellent was with a CRT projector and outboard scaling...looked pretty good. For the budget end, though....for me it's a no go. I tried it with my Z1, ended up selling my 925 and 120 lasers! - no point in watching a movie with inferior pic quality imho...
thanks for the feedback guys.

I also remember seeing LD via a line doubler on CRT in the years pre-DVD, picture always seemed pretty damn good on CRT PJ's.
Just wonder why it looks so inferior even on a plasma which is virtually the same size as my old CRT RPTV (on which the piccie looked great ) ? Is it something to do with the pixellation of LCD PJ/Plasma displays versus the CRT pixels ?? Anyone know the answer ? Is it something to do with DVD output being more natively compatible with todays crop of display devices ?

I also got hold of a copy of the bootleg star wars DVD's (copied from LD's) just out of interest - they look pretty good, presumably they have had some processing done as per Gary's reply ?? Makes me wonder if a scaler could output this raw as a feed to display hence giving the same sort of quality ? (double adaptive de-interlacing ?? - anyone explain the conversion methods used that yield reasonable results ?)

LD may be dead, but I still have quite a few discs that I would like to watch occasionally in reasonable quality !!

P.s. - 925 not for sale !! how else will I watch Star Wars the way it was before George Lucarse messed around with it ?!!!-:laugh:

Convert it to DVD like I'm doing!!!

The 925 has a decent comb filter which removes dot crawl. My player has a little crawl which can also be seen on the DVD when played via a pc, but fortunately isn't noticable on the tv.

I'll do you some copies when they're done at a good price towards your player if you like. ;)

Nice try Gary !!:rotfl:

Are you converting the original trilogy or special editions ?

How are you capturing them ? S-vid to P.C. capture card ?

What size display do you watch them on ?

I have bootleg Special Editions copied from NTSC laserdiscs & the pic quality is pretty reasonable even when projected, that indicates to me that there must be a decent signal in there somewhere trying to get out ??

seriously, if you're after a 925 try E-bay, there's loads on there.

I'm converting the Definitive Edition (Non SE) trilogy, which I'm capturing via composite :(

It looks fine on the tv, but is a little fuzzy on the projector. The 5 Star editions are good, but the brightness is too high and you lose a lot of detail because of it. I'm trying to get a good compromise between detail and brightness, so made it look very similar to how the laserdisc looks on the tv. The original trilogy editions have lipsync problems, but as you say, the image quality isn't too bad.

I'd more or less finished ESB, but now the DVD authoring program is giving me all sorts of problems, so it looks like I'm going to have to start again with another program.

Still, it keeps me off the streets. :)

I'm looking on ebay all the time for a 925, but will have to sell my 515 to go towards it.


Hi Andy,

I'm don't just remember laserdisc, I still use it on a semi regular basis. I use the Pioneer CLD-925 and the import Elite CLD-99 (BTW, the Elite CLD-99 is the machine to go for if you still love laserdiscs, it's light years ahead of the 925 on S-VHS).

Originally posted by AndyGo
thanks for the feedback guys.

I also remember seeing LD via a line doubler on CRT in the years pre-DVD, picture always seemed pretty damn good on CRT PJ's.
Just wonder why it looks so inferior even on a plasma which is virtually the same size as my old CRT RPTV (on which the piccie looked great ) ? Is it something to do with the pixellation of LCD PJ/Plasma displays versus the CRT pixels ?? Anyone know the answer ? Is it something to do with DVD output being more natively compatible with todays crop of display devices ?

The problem seems to be with the internal scalers in LCD and DLP projectors, they just don't seem to work too well with laserdisc. I used a Vidikron VPH-40 CRT projector for years, and whilst it's picture was a little soft and you could see scan lines (it was video only, no line doubler/quadruplers allowed) but it was still ver watchable. When I moved to a Sanyo XP-21 LCD projector, Laserdisc looked dreadful, with really appalling jaggies and jerky motion. I looked at the possibility of buying a scaler, but I eventually put a Packard Bell PC-100 video card in my PC with DScaler. Whilst my PC is underpowered to use the adaptive filtering, the image is much smoother and more watchable now. I still have quite a few LD's which I probably won't replace or sell, including both my Star Wars box sets (Definitive and SE), Close Encounters box set, Tron archive edition and some of the James bond box sets which have far more archive material than the DVD's.

Later this year I'm upgrading to a 2.6 GHz PC in the room so I can use the best possible filters on DScaler regardless of processing power so that should puch forward the picture quality still further, though I also have designs on a nice, new DLP projector.

If you do a search on DScaler and Packard Bell it should give you quite a few links to work with, and the video card only costs £39, the software is FOC and it took a couple of hours to get it all up and running. Whilst it still is bettered by the PC scaling and playing DVD (as you would expect) it gives me a way of playing LD's with more than acceptable quality

I expect I'll eventually copy my LD's to DVD for everyday use and keep the LD's for playing every now and again, but before that happens I need to put a much quieter PC in the HT room.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Hmmm finally fired up the Pio919 last night and watched Mars Attacks! NTSC disc with DD. Black levels were horrid till I switched the 919 into 'Cinema' mode (only ever used 'Standard' on the TV). After that PQ wasn't that bad, certainly more noise then DVD and not as much res (oh the joys of 16:9 'enhanced' sources :) ). Worst thing was probably the solid reds, herringbone city! Was able to reduce it by using the 919s' 'Enhanced' PQ mode but it made the overall image a little washed out.

Setup was Pio919 via SVideo thru Yam A1 to Sony HS20. I didn't play about with any of the PJ settings. Think I'll give a PAL disc a try, maybe something that doesn't require as much zoom then if I can be bothered (first LD I've watched in months ;)) I might adjust some stuff on the PJ.
Yep, reds are certainly herringbone-tastic !!
I had a play with the plasma one evening, managed to tame a lot of the stuff, but then the picture looks so washed out it's hard to know which is worse !
Funnily enough, the herringbone reds looked a lot better via composite rather than s-video. Not sure why that is ?
Projector is currently out of action whilst it's permanent ceiling mount is being installed (chipboard T&G flooring upstairs so not as simple as it sounds - as I'm sure anyone who has hacked into theirs for an install will tell you !!!) When it's up, I'll have a better chance to have a bit of a play with the settings. It would be interesting to see what it would look like through the onboard scaler & component up-conversion of the Yamaha DSP-Z9 ? Probably only one way to find out though !!!!!!

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