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Laserdisc revived - pics added

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Basis of the project is a Hi-vision (muse) laserdisc player, Sony C2ex. Reason for using it instead of a Pioneer X0 is modability and potential to beat the X0 on Ntsc material. Both are LD only, have a shorter wavelength laser than the non Muse players and direct Bnc composite video output.

My intention is to capture the original trilogy on laserdisc in the best possible quality. People wanted detailed info about what i have done and doing to it (mostly tech/modding stuff for those interested). First of all i got two players from Japan, the C2ex and one broken Mdp 999 (Both Japan only high end) 999 is 30kg overbuilt. In the design of the merged player i have made almost no compromises, Muse (hi-vision) playback has been removed permanently. Some sections of the motherboard have been desoldered in order to keep the amount of active components to a minimum to further reduce fine "mosquito" noise. The 25 pound video processor from Runco has got the same treatment, now its no longer a scaler but only 5xBnc C-video input and 1xS-video output (it had 32 more connectors before), the reason for putting it in the loop is because of its very high grade design, broadcast quality Time base correction and adaptive 3D comb filter. Back to the laserdisc player, the chassis from the Mdp 999 is very sturdy and will be the base of the player. 5 massive brass feet on a thick cast aluminium plate with two 2.5mm copper plated steel plates to further stabilize it (see picture) the rest is all copper plated. On the other hand you have the C2ex that has much more high tech hardware but doesent come close to the chassis of the 999, merge them and "Hercules" is born. Its currently under the knife so to speak till i start reassembly pending a large order of capacitors (total around 200 and silver solder) bypassed by different film capacitors for different sections of the mainboard. The best of the bunch is Vishay Mkp 1837 that will be used around the most crucial chip (laser-RF to analog composite decoding) and the optical pickup input (flat) lead. Assortment of Wima film caps for the rest of the capacitors. After its been put together its going to be dampened and shielded, c2ex came with some sheet metal shields, they will be acid dipped and coated with copper before getting back to further avoid Emi and Rf interference. Together with some chip damping and shield planes. First line of defense is a 8mm aluminium lid that came off the 999 (the thicker the better in such applications) The final chassis will consist of 3mm sandblasted aluminium plates with copper sheets in between, however i dont anticipate to finish the whole chassis before i start capturing. The power filtering system will sit in the 999 chassis while the c2ex can operate fine on its own. Several powersupplies will find use in the player, some from broadcast equipment with very low dc noise output. The stock powersupply is disassembled waiting for new premium caps and mkp10 bypass. The acceptable quality OT movies only exsist on LD and a few numbers of deteriorating prints. Even the LDs dont have eternal life, so im going to do all in my power to get the best captures possible. I Heard Arine.D talking about rainbowing on the JSC discs, that is good news to me because it means there is resolution potential on those discs when they rainbow on an X-9.

 

 

Laserdisc for life, Denon LA3500, Sony C2ex/+\Mdp999 “Hercules”
if you want to contribute: http://paypal.me/LDRevive

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That thing is hardcore!  Or, to quote Star Wars: "Look at the size of that thing!"

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Extreme LaserDisc Capture


Episode II: A New Hope

Moth3r said: No, there is no video embedding option in this forum software (thank god!)

 

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Dunedain said:

Aleksbmw: Whoa, a customized laser disk player, sounds very cool! :)

Just wondering, if you're going to spend that much on equipment and customizing, wouldn't it have been better to start with an X0 player and then super charge it with all the best hardware you can think of to absolutely maximize video capture clarity, color accuracy and detail? I thought the X0 player was supposed to be the ultimate in quality, so it makes sense that it would make for the best base high-end player to mod. Or perhaps this Sony C2Ex player has some qualities that made it a better candidate for modding? In it's modded state, do you think it can make better captures than even the X0 project's X0 player?

 

I'm wondering this too.

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The X0 is an awesome player, but with modding i dont think its worth it (6k$ from my contact in Japan) when my "hercules" can (most likely) beat it. Not even the X0 got such extreme powersupplies as this thing, it got the same wavelength laser, it got direct Bnc (not comb filtered) output. It doesent have the 5 ntsc decoders but my Runco Vfc-4404 got several chips that handles different luma and chroma decoding tasks.

 

Laserdisc for life, Denon LA3500, Sony C2ex/+\Mdp999 “Hercules”
if you want to contribute: http://paypal.me/LDRevive

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Well, its sounds like this is something to get alittle excited about

However, I dont want to be Johnny Raincloud but capturing is only half the battle

Remember guys, ALOT of post processing was going into the X0s transfers to make the LDs show their full potential
But even with this in mind, with your modded player we can get a nice solid transfer to work with, something alot of people have been wanting the X0 team to release forever

Im gonna keep my eye on this, I hope to see good things from you Aleksbmw! :)

Moth3r said: No, there is no video embedding option in this forum software (thank god!)

 

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Since your into telecine CompMovieGuy, ive noted that they really cranked out a big amount of sharpness out of the 35mm Pioneer Japan used for My Definitive Collection. Im watching it right now, noticing small visual details i didnt notice in the dvd release (US - Mitsubishi master tape).

Laserdisc for life, Denon LA3500, Sony C2ex/+\Mdp999 “Hercules”
if you want to contribute: http://paypal.me/LDRevive

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This sounds like an awesome player and I'm certainly looking forward to any transfer you will make. But what set(s) are you planning to capture?

Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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Definitive Collection Japan, Special Collection Japan. I got a very nice 97 SE set too but this is closer to the newer HD releases and is not high on my priority list.

Laserdisc for life, Denon LA3500, Sony C2ex/+\Mdp999 “Hercules”
if you want to contribute: http://paypal.me/LDRevive

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Please do the 97 SE at some point - I might hate it, but it's certainly preferable to the 04 SE, and the fact that it's not the original version doesn't mean it shouldn't be preserved in the best possible quality as well.  And the more transfers (especially one from such a badass piece of equipment as yours seems to be), the better!

a trolling bantha

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Interesting you're hot-rodding a Sony. The consensus back in the day was that they were nowhere near as good as Pioneer models. (I personally owned a MDP-333 for a while and was unhappy with it.) Although the indusrtrial units seem to be the exception.

Any idea how it will handle moderate to severe laser rot? One legendary feature of the X0 is the ability to play badly rotted discs.

With all the rare LD titles still out there, I'm amazed nobody thought of this sooner!

Will you be posting more pictures of this beast? :)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Some very good news.

I am wondering. Once you are done with the transfers do you plan on doing any video enhancing to them. It really doesn't matter to me. Anything is better than the VHS's and the GOUT

"The other versions will disappear. Even the 35 million tapes of Star Wars out there won’t last more than 30 or 40 years. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be the DVD version [of the Special Edition], and you’ll be able to project it on a 20’ by 40’ screen with perfect quality. I think it’s the director’s prerogative, not the studio’s to go back and reinvent a movie." - George Lucas

<span> </span>

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Thanks for the info and advice  Alek.  I'm going to have to look into this ... once I get my player working properly that is :(

Is there any chance you can go into even more detail on what you've done to your player and some more detailed advice on how to go about modding other players please?  I'd be especially interested in seeing how you mounted the copper shielding plate around your circuit boards etc.  Any chance of some under the hood type pics of the C2EX please?

If television is chewing gum for the mind, then the prequels are the worlds first visual laxative.

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This sounds amazing.  Any chance you'll create a PAL Hercules?

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Aleksbmw
Ive never been too much into LDs, tho I like niche things. But there are plenty of people on here who know way more than I do about the best set of LDs to use. Id say drop Moth a line, with you doing an awesome project like this he would be more than happy to help and is a real nice guy

Moth3r said: No, there is no video embedding option in this forum software (thank god!)

 

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Already following the thread with interest...

Then s-video into capture card.

What capture card are you using?

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Thinking Pinnacle Miro DC30 plus, probably going to be reclocked (separate precision crystal oscillator with its own power supply) for even more accurate A/D conversion.

Laserdisc for life, Denon LA3500, Sony C2ex/+\Mdp999 “Hercules”
if you want to contribute: http://paypal.me/LDRevive

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I seem to recall that using s-video with LD's causes unwanted artifacts (dot crawl, etc.) that basically ruin anything gained by using s-video - why use s-video instead of composite, if laserdisc is a composite beast anyway?

a trolling bantha

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Ok let me explain, most standard laserdisc players use outdated comb filters to separate chroma (color information) and luma (black and white) in the incoming signal from the optical head. Thus giving poor s-video performance, many users with newer Tv`s that incorporate an onboard 3D comb filter report less dot crawl when using composite. My player does not do this on the direct composite output, instead i feed it into a broadcast grade Video processor with TBC and Motion adaptive 3D comb filter via 75 ohm Bnc connectors.

Laserdisc for life, Denon LA3500, Sony C2ex/+\Mdp999 “Hercules”
if you want to contribute: http://paypal.me/LDRevive

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Bring on some samples already LOL,all I keep reading is spechs and such,lets see a sample,because if this is going to be the next X0 then I may as well not capture mine then.

"put up or shut up" and please don't take this as a bash,but we have all read what a fantastic capture something "can" be and NEVER see shit,and I really don't think I have to mention any specific project here do I?

I just want to say it 1 more time,I am NOT attacking you personally,but we have all read this kind of stuff before,and also Welcome to the boards,this really is a great place to be.

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Aleksbmw said:

Ok let me explain, most standard laserdisc players use outdated comb filters to separate chroma (color information) and luma (black and white) in the incoming signal from the optical head. Thus giving poor s-video performance, many users with newer Tv`s that incorporate an onboard 3D comb filter report less dot crawl when using composite. My player does not do this on the direct composite output, instead i feed it into a broadcast grade Video processor with TBC and Motion adaptive 3D comb filter via 75 ohm Bnc connectors.

Awesome, good to know - sounds like this could give us a great capture as a starting point!

a trolling bantha

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To get the ultimate detail you'll want to capture multiple sets of laser disks from the same collections, so that any detail that isn't captured on one set is capped from the other sets, then re-combine them into one image with max detail, like the X0 Project did. But you'd need something like that black magic program that was able to do that, combine multiple sources that let all the cumulative picture detail be collected into one video.

The goal, of course, being to get a final picture that is superior to the 2006 official Star Wars unaltered trilogy DVD set in detail and overall quality as much as possible. :)

The Star Wars trilogy. There can be only one.

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Dunedain said:

But you'd need something like that black magic program that was able to do that, combine multiple sources that let all the cumulative picture detail be collected into one video.

 

 I was under the impression that "Black Magic" did more than that. If that's all there is to it, we can do that with AVIsynth.

-G