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Info Wanted: The laserdiscs vs. The best bootlegs

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 (Edited)

Hey peepz,

Just wondering about the actual quality of the OT laserdiscs available, the Definitive Collection, the Faces set etc. Now we have the TR47 set which currently is considered the best transfer of the laserdiscs. But, and here comes the real question to all those who own and frequently watch their SW laserdiscs, what is the difference between those and the best bootlegs out there, including maybe MeBeJedi´s transfer if you´ve seen it in action. What I want to know is how are the black levels on the laserdiscs, the sharpness, color balance, are there any ghosting effects (motion blur) and so on and how does it compare to the bootlegs?

peace,

Rebelscum

peace,

Rebelscum
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The faces is considered to be better than the definitive.

Also, do you have tech info on the TR47 (and maybe BT downloads)?
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I think I found reviews of what is considered the 3 best bootlegs:

TR47: http://www.prillaman.net/starwarsdvdreview-bootleg5.html

Dual Layer: http://www.prillaman.net/starwarsdvdreview-bootleg4.html

Anamorphic: http://www.prillaman.net/starwarsdvdreview-bootleg5.html

Though none say if the Leia ESB footage is there or not.
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Has anyone tried the Farsight Animorphic DVDs yet?

I like the bitrate and other specifications, and I'm hoping this offers the highest-end video of the bunch.
http://web.newsguy.com/theprofessional/ebay/sw_logo_s.jpg
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It looks like this thread is already getting away from its original purpose so I will apologize if I digress as well.

I have the "Faces" LD set on order (should have it soon) and no other versions so I can't speak of the actual LD quality but I will say that I have many, many different "transfers" of the LaserDiscs to "bootleg" DVD, however, predominantly all are from the same source, the Definitive Collection which is a good transfer but not as good as the "Faces" edition. Many of these transfers have been rather "white washed" especially the opening to ANH. This is due not only from limitations of the source but also due to the poor quality of the ANH Definitive transfer which was fixed for the "Faces" edition.

MeBeJedi and Zion are the first (that we know of) to be working on transfers of the "Faces" LaserDisc set. From what we have seen so far from screenshots, these sets will definitely rival their "Definitive Collection" counterparts.

As to whether there is any resolution loss in terms of brightness/contrast or "black" levels, I am sure there are some... there are a lot of transfers out there and not everyone has taken as much care into their transfers. MeBeJedi has involved the community here at the OT forum and thus increased his tenacity for perfection. Zion is doing really good as well. These will both definitely be the ones to get going forward.

MeBeJedi, Zion, Rikter... can you guys chime in and give us your thoughts?

Oh yeah... for the person looking for BT downloads... keep looking... there is a "torrents" thread in this forum and there you will find everything you seek
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Thanks for the info BadAsh71, and you´re right, let´s try to keep this thread on the subject. The laserdiscs versus the best bootlegs out there...

peace,

Rebelscum
peace,

Rebelscum
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The quality of laserdisc captures depends heavily on the LD player used for playback. Unlike DVD players, which can be difficult for people to tell apart, the quality of LD players varies widely.

I believe TR47 used a CLD-79, which is a pretty nice deck. That certainly helps push the quality of his rips to the top.

What we really need is someone with one of the higher-end Japanese LD players, such as the LD-S9 or HLD-X9, to rip the LDs. The Japanese models were noticeably superior to the models released in North America and provide the best image quality.

As for the LDs versus the bootlegs, when you're dealing with analog sources (video on laserdiscs is analog, not digital as many assume), transferring the source to a digital format is bound to introduce some artifacts. Especially on consumer equipment.

If you can afford a nicer LD player like a CLD-79, CLD-97, CLD-99, CLD-704, or one of the Japanese imports, then watching the Faces LDs themselves will provide the best experience. The boots are a decent substitute though.
originaltrilogy.com Administrator

MTFBWY…A

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Jay brings up a good point.... can the usual suspects jump up to the plate and let us know about their hardware and their thoughts on both their own transfers as well as others they have seen in comparison to the actual LaserDiscs?

This would be interesting to see.
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Yea I kinda wonder why so many go for the definitive version just because the package looks nicer than the faces. When in fact the faces have every advantage over them, including but not limited to less changes and the guaranteed ESB Leia footage.

I think I'll probably wait for MeBeJedi and Zion to finish their version before going for another set of bootlegs.
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"Yea I kinda wonder why so many go for the definitive version just because the package looks nicer than the faces."

I think a lot of it is hype over the name and the fact that it is CAV. It's not a bad set, but I personally prefer the Faces transfer over it. There is a difference. Maybe, when I'm done with ANH, I do some comparsion captures

As for my current DVD, I botched it (it was too dark), so I'll have to send Rikter the files tomorrow or Thursday. It's not vaporware, I swear!

"then watching the Faces LDs themselves will provide the best experience. The boots are a decent substitute though."

Very true. They are also more convenient (and getting a laserdisc player fixed is very expensive now.)

Hey, Jay - did you see my suggestion yet?

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Originally posted by: Jay
As for the LDs versus the bootlegs, when you're dealing with analog sources (video on laserdiscs is analog, not digital as many assume), transferring the source to a digital format is bound to introduce some artifacts. Especially on consumer equipment.


- That problem should be almost eliminated with the eventual dual-layer versions right? With about half as much more space devoted only to the picture should give us a noticebly better and artifact-low picture. The only dual-layer release out there filled the extra space by including the extras on the movie discs themselves when instead they should have devoted the lot of it to just the picture and sound IMO. Let´s hope MeBeJedi, Laserman and Zion will provide us with dual-layer, artifact-low anamorphic transfers giving us the best possible rip of those Star Wars laserdiscs.

peace,

Rebelscum
peace,

Rebelscum
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MeBeJedi, what LaserDisc Player are you using?

I am sure you answered that in the "bootleg" thread but that sucker has topped 92 pages and I'm at work
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Originally posted by: Rebelscum- That problem should be almost eliminated with the eventual dual-layer versions right? With about half as much more space devoted only to the picture should give us a noticebly better and artifact-low picture. The only dual-layer release out there filled the extra space by including the extras on the movie discs themselves when instead they should have devoted the lot of it to just the picture and sound IMO. Let´s hope MeBeJedi, Laserman and Zion will provide us with dual-layer, artifact-low anamorphic transfers giving us the best possible rip of those Star Wars laserdiscs.

peace,

Rebelscum


I guess it's also possible that given the source a double layer won't really do much good.
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I am using a 701, Ash.

"given the source a double layer won't really do much good."

I beg to differ, and hope to prove you wrong.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
I am using a 701, Ash.

"given the source a double layer won't really do much good."

I beg to differ, and hope to prove you wrong.


Please do

Seriously though... the current DL version of the OT was a big waste of time because it was compressed more than it should have been to allow for "extras" to be included on the same disc. While it still was less compressed than TR47 or Dr Gonzo's version, it wasn't by much and thus the outcome was not much of an improvement.
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Just to set your mind at ease, Riktor, Magnoliafan and I have been discussing several possible "special" SW DVDs, including separate DVDs with their own extras. Rather than try to fit every single possible thing on one DVD, there will be different versions. For example, I'm contemplating an English/German version.) I'd also like to make a version that has the regular LD transfer, as well as seamless branching with as much original OT footage as can possibly be dug up and included.

In a perfect world, I would LOVE to make a version with as much of David Prowse's original voice as is possible (along with Yoda, etc.) That would be a hoot!

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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I think Ash and Jay pretty much said it all. The faces set is definitely more colorful, but in my comparrison shots, it looks like the black levels are a little lighter on the faces set as well. I'll post some pics when I get home from work.

Capturing from LD's is not an easy process and there is a lot that goes into making the video look good. Since it is an analog process, you can get things like video noise and ghosting introduced into the signal quite easily if you're not careful (and even if you are). But with the amount of filters and color correction tools available, it is possible to make that analog capture look incredible on a 65" digital plasma screen.

To capture my LD's, I use a Pioneer CLC-V2600 player. As far as I know, it was a commercial model and one of the best quality available. As a former home theater salesman, I use only high quality Monster video and audio cables as well as a high-end Monster power center to minimize any signal noise (no sales pitch intended ). It works wonders and makes processing the video much easier.

The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is the issue of "laser rot". For those of you who have LD players, you know what I'm talking about. I don't know if it has something to do with the age of the discs, or just the way they were manufactured, but a lof of the Definitive sets out there have rot on certain discs. The set I borrowed from a friend is almost worthless because rot spots are inherent on over half of the discs. I've also seen some of this on the Dr. Gonzo dvd's.

Something I've recently discovered and will be doing for my DVD's is a process called TOOT, which basically compares three different sources of video to eliminate any rot spots or other noise. I'm currently looking for one more set of the faces trilogy so if you've got a set you wouldn't mind letting me borrow in exchange for a set of DVD's, send me a PM.


My Projects:
[Holiday Special Hybrid DVD v2]
[X0 Project]
[Backstroke of the West DVD]
[ROTS Theatrical DVD]

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Originally posted by: zion
I think Ash and Jay pretty much said it all. The faces set is definitely more colorful, but in my comparrison shots, it looks like the black levels are a little lighter on the faces set as well. I'll post some pics when I get home from work.

Capturing from LD's is not an easy process and there is a lot that goes into making the video look good. Since it is an analog process, you can get things like video noise and ghosting introduced into the signal quite easily if you're not careful (and even if you are). But with the amount of filters and color correction tools available, it is possible to make that analog capture look incredible on a 65" digital plasma screen.

To capture my LD's, I use a Pioneer CLC-V2600 player. As far as I know, it was a commercial model and one of the best quality available. As a former home theater salesman, I use only high quality Monster video and audio cables as well as a high-end Monster power center to minimize any signal noise (no sales pitch intended ). It works wonders and makes processing the video much easier.

The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is the issue of "laser rot". For those of you who have LD players, you know what I'm talking about. I don't know if it has something to do with the age of the discs, or just the way they were manufactured, but a lof of the Definitive sets out there have rot on certain discs. The set I borrowed from a friend is almost worthless because rot spots are inherent on over half of the discs. I've also seen some of this on the Dr. Gonzo dvd's.

Something I've recently discovered and will be doing for my DVD's is a process called TOOT, which basically compares three different sources of video to eliminate any rot spots or other noise. I'm currently looking for one more set of the faces trilogy so if you've got a set you wouldn't mind letting me borrow in exchange for a set of DVD's, send me a PM.


wow. Looks like your version will be the ultimate OT DVD!

So for those of us who want it, how much will it cost?
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"or just the way they were manufactured"

That is correct. Some pressing plants were more prone to creating such discs. IIRC, it involved the glue used to adhere the two sides to each other.

"Something I've recently discovered and will be doing for my DVD's is a process called TOOT, which basically compares three different sources of video to eliminate any rot spots or other noise."

I will be doing this frame-by-frame for my anamorphic version. If one frame has a "glitch" somewhere in the scene, I will copy/paste an identical glitch-free section from the previous/next frame. Vegas makes this exceptionally easy.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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I've watched both the Dr Gonzo and TR47 versions on my computer and definitely prefer Dr Gonzo's, even if it is a bit soft. Right from the start of the title crawl, I noticed a bunch of artifacting in the TR47 version that is not present in Dr Gonzo's. If you look at the text, you will notice lots of dots and lines crisscrossing over the letters in the TR47. For some reason the picture quality during the movies seemed more pixelated as well. I also prefer the anamorphic transfer because it doesn't waste valuable space on the black bars...which appear pixelated in the TR47 version. That's not to say the Dr Gonzo transfer is perfect. I noticed some ghosting in certain scenes and slight blurriness that the TR47 transfer does not suffer from.

MeBeJedi, what you're doing sounds fantastic. Are you ever going to make your anamorphic version available?
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"I also prefer the anamorphic transfer because it doesn't waste valuable space on the black bars"

But you still lose resolution if you watch it on a 4x3 monitor.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Is it true that anamorphic offers no benefits (and in fact might make it worse) since the source isn’t anamorphic?
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I think that greatly depends on the quality of the zoom feature on your widescreen tv. I have a Philips 32" TV with an incredibly good zoom feature. If I have a really good quality 4:3 transfer of movie and blow it up it becomes almost as good as if it were anamorphicly enhanced. So if your TV has a lousy zoom feature you obviously won´t get much from a 4:3 source, while a proper 16:9 anamorphic transfer would look much better. That´s my experience at least.

peace,

Rebelscum
peace,

Rebelscum
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The "benefits" of Anamorphic will be reaped solely by those who are in possession of 16:9 displays. If you're watching these on a standard 4:3 TV, the anamorphic will mean nothing for you really. I'm unfamiliar with the process of making the image anamorphic, so I can't really say if it will be worse or not. Making an image anamorphic artificially seems to me to have an inherent limitation built into it. Whether that limitation translates to a worse picture on a 4:3 set, or merely a somewhat less than stellar picture on a 16:9 display, I can't say.

I currently have the TR47 Trilogy, the Farisght Anamorphic, and the Dr. Gonzo Anamorphic.

I personally like the TR47 transfer best of all of them... on my 4:3 TV. On the 16:9 set, not so much. It's not anamorphic, but it's not as soft as the other transfers, which I suspect might be an issue to do with the anamorphic conversion. That said, it's not a perfect transfer. I'm surprised that the black bars were left in the film as is, instead of being removed with his encoder program and replaced with solid black which would have taken up a lot less space. If I could do it back in 99, he can certainly do it now. All that really requires is going back and replacing the subtitles, seems worthwhile to me.

Farsight. I was really excited about this set when I first heard about it. I even prefered the Farsight Jedi ot the Gonzo Jedi. But, Farsights ANH is just unbelievably bad. By far the worst transfer of ANH I have ever seen. Worse than my old vhs cassettes. The colours bleed badly, the image is in very poor condition. I don't know if this is an issue of the capturing, the source material or what. It seriously looks like it was captured through unsheilded RCA cables that had several power cables laying on top of them. For all of farsights good intentions, the end result is dramatically inconsistent.

Dr. Gonzo. These are nice decent transfers. A bit on the soft side (a problem I notice on the anamorphic sets) but nothing too upsetting. One issue I've had, and this may just be my downloads, but for me, the audio always drops out noticeably during the millenium falcon being captured by the tractor beem sequence. My first download it dropped out enourmously, the second time, only a bit, but still noticeable.

I'm really looking forward to MeBeJedi's set, he's been putting a lot of effort into these, and I'm eager to see the results. I'm tired of watching my definitive collection, swapping discs isn't my bag baby.

Visit my Webcomic! Nonstop Pop

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I know what anamorphic is. But I was wondering if making an anamorphic transfer from a non-anamorphic source would do no good. Kinda like changing a 128kps mp3 to a 320kps one. You get no benefits, just more work and a bigger size.