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Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace - ZigZig's Laserdisc Preservation (Released)

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If you don’t have a MySpleen account, the files are available on simple request: please send me a PM.


Presentation

Here is a new preservation of The Phantom Menace Laserdisc. I made it for my own purpose (so that I can use some scenes in my almost finished theatrical HD restoration), but I think it has sufficient quality, sharpness and resolution to let you enjoy it as such!

IMHO, it offers the most comfortable experience of watching a Laserdisc capture, according to current standards (choice of subtitles and audio tracks, average quality of the image, encoding in x264), while being as consistent as possible with the original Laserdisc (original chapters, original subtitles, original soundtracks, original colors…): no source other than the LD was used, nothing was changed, added or removed.
This preservation was achieved with the best hardware (Pioneer HLD-X0, Comb Filter EVAL-ADV7842…) and the best softwares, at the best possible resolution.

Method

  • Average of 4 captures of two different copies of the (new) discs with a Pioneer HLD-X0 player
  • Composite to 3D Comb Filter EVAL-ADV7842
  • Capture Card Magewell HDMI Pro
  • 4 x Uncompressed 8bit RGB captures (MagicYUV)
  • Manual IVTC, except for the beginning chapters (disclaimer and “logos”) which were not interlaced and/or not telecined
  • Denoising with Neat Video 5.0 (cleaning on a profile built solely on the basis of the digital noise, no cleaning of the grain): the residual noise was kept for future reintegration
  • format warped to the correct ratio (177/160 according to SMPTE RP 187)
  • Improved sharpness: average of several upscales via Topaz Video Enhance 1.2 with different settings (HQ and CG), then downscale to the original size of 720x480 (DAR 4:3).
  • Overlay with the noise previously removed
  • Isolation of the original Japanese subtitles, deinterlacing, scanning and then inlaying in VOBSUB format (with SubLog filter + BDSup2Sub512)
  • Chapters fully compliant with the original LD (original titles translated from Japanese inlay)
  • Original sound captured in bitperfect mode (Dolby Digital EX 6.1, PCM 2.0) and mono analog track, without any retouching, fade in/out or gain change.
  • Dolby Surround Track 4.0 (L, C, R, S) recreated from decoding PCM 2.0.
  • HD scan of the cover (outside and inside), insert, OBI, bonus cards and discs

Result

  • Matroska container (mkv)
  • Video 720x480 (4:3) encoded in x264 High 3.1 at 17,5 Mbps, 23.976 progressive fps
  • Original Japanese subtitles (bitmaps embedded in a IDX/SUB file)
  • Audio tracks:
    o Dolby Digital EX 6.1
    o PCM 2.0
    o Analog Audio (mono)
    o Dolby Surround 4.0
  • Bonus pictures (cover, inserts, OBI, bonus cards…) embedded into the mkv file as attachments

Disclaimer

Downloading this version requires to own an official version of the film.
This file can be shared or used in third-party projects, under the following conditions:

  • In the case of a share, its quality cannot be altered (no recompression please), and it must always be accompanied by this presentation
  • In the case of use in third-party projects (fan-edits, reconstructions, regrading, etc.), please always mention this original source.

Requests

  • If you detect errors (missing frames, bad disinterlacing…), don’t hesitate to contact me
  • If you own the original VHS in other languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, etc.), and if you can record the audio track (raw, without cleaning or retouching), I would be happy to be able to integrate it into a future v2.

Screenshots

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Original artwork

Sleeve, insert and obi:
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Discs:
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Bonus cards:
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Download link (WeTransfer) available on simple request (please PM me)

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Some people, who have just created their account and have 0 public message, contacted me to have the link.

To prevent these files from being sold on eBay, only “real” OT members (who have a real activity on this forum) will, of course, receive the link.

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ZigZig said:
… in my almost finished theatrical HD restoration

Ooooh, really looking forward to this

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very curious to have a look at this!

The screenshots as posted seem stretched to 16x9, however. I’m guessing that’s inaccurate to what the rip itself looks like?

IIRC, this laserdisc was also mastered to a lower IRE level, leading to the blacks looking crushed unless brightness/contrast were adjusted on the display itself - something to do with the difference between the Japanese and North American markets? I’m not completely sure on this, and could be wrong (someone please correct me if I am), but I know from personal experience with the disc that it definitely looks a lot more contrasty and crushed than other late-era laserdiscs.

Thanks so much for doing this, and posting it. The amount of work is tremendous!

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Hi Broom Kid,

Thank you for your interest in this preservation!

Broom Kid said:

very curious to have a look at this!

The screenshots as posted seem stretched to 16x9, however. I’m guessing that’s inaccurate to what the rip itself looks like?

The rip was stretched to 177:160, according to the SMPTE RP 187 which was applied on this LD. With the proper DAR (display aspect ratio) set to 4:3, the picture has exactly the same proportions as the HDTV.

But the screenshots were not made with the proper 4:3 DAR (even if the mkv file is correctly set to this ratio).
So yes, the screenshots are inaccurate to what the rip itself looks like.

Broom Kid said:

IIRC, this laserdisc was also mastered to a lower IRE level, leading to the blacks looking crushed unless brightness/contrast were adjusted on the display itself - something to do with the difference between the Japanese and North American markets? I’m not completely sure on this, and could be wrong (someone please correct me if I am), but I know from personal experience with the disc that it definitely looks a lot more contrasty and crushed than other late-era laserdiscs.

Indeed, this LD uses a Japanese IRE (black to 0 instead of 7.5). Since the capture was made with a Japanese player (HLD-X0) which is conformed to the Japanese IRE, the colors and contrasts are 100% accurate.

Broom Kid said:

Thanks so much for doing this, and posting it. The amount of work is tremendous!

Yes, it took me a couple of months… But I love to do this 😃

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It is available (and seeded) on MySpleen right now.

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Thanks so much for putting in the time to do this! Not sure if something went wrong with the download, but I’m not able to get it to play past 00:27:30. Video stops in both VLC and mpv. Anyone else having similar issues?

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Hi DavidMDaut,

Sorry to read about this issue.

I tried to play the minute between 00:27:00 and 00:28:00 on VLC, MPC-HC x264 and Microsoft Films: everything seems to be fine.
Could it be an issue with the download? Could you try to download it again? So far, noone else reported similar issue.

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I’ll give it a shot and report back! Could’ve just been a hiccup in the download.

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DavidMDaut said:

I’ll give it a shot and report back! Could’ve just been a hiccup in the download.

It worked fine for me for those times. Use MPV player or redownload the file. Here is the SHA256 and MD5 Checksum you can check it against.

SHA256

9eacf4c48ec9b9677c2d848f4abac1f89c6505fa2b3a5e0d3180f73afdcd464f

MD5

b23ffde778e3ff27e77f702b5f6982db

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How does this compare to your PaNup SDTV copy of the Theatrical Cut? I tried comparing them in VLC but I didn’t see anything too different.

Regardless of the differences to it though, seems like this is the definitive version of the Laserdisc. Did you rip this from a sealed copy? Your post implies so.

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very very impressive quality for a laserdisc capture i am blown away i still have this ld one of the few a kept when i got rid of my players and collection this will be my go version untill a 16mm or 35mm grindhouse happens

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Bobson Dugnutt said:

How does this compare to your PaNup SDTV copy of the Theatrical Cut? I tried comparing them in VLC but I didn’t see anything too different.

It’s difficult to compare, I personnaly should say that this LD preservation is better than the PaNup thing :
Pros : sharpness, colors, sound and average quality are, by far, better in this LD preservation than in the PaNup SDTV copy (which was a merge of 2 poors sources with lot of artefacts compression)
Cons : the usual LD issues are present (ghost artefact in some scenes), the lack of vertical details is visible in some scenes (ex: the horizontal lines on the screen of the Neimoidians in the first scene are not visible here)

Regardless of the differences to it though, seems like this is the definitive version of the Laserdisc. Did you rip this from a sealed copy? Your post implies so.

Actually, I did rip 2 sealed copy and 1 not-sealed copy.
But both sealed copy had major crosstalk issues (mainly in the blue sky around 00:50:00), that the already-opened one didn’t show. So it was difficult to apply a TooT filter.

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So… does anybody know where I can find English forced subs and synced Theatrical DTS audio for this, if they exist?

Nobody sang The Bunny Song in years…

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Danfun128 said:

So… does anybody know where I can find English forced subs and synced Theatrical DTS audio for this, if they exist?

English forced subs will be provided soon (here), thanks to Schorman who captured the original Closed Caption.

I don’t think that the Theatrical DTS audio is synced to the LD (there are some minor timing issues on the LD, such as missing frames, probably due to the original telecine process, so the Theatrical DTS won’t be perfectly synced).

The aim of this preservation was only to provide complete capture of the laserdisc, not to make it syncable with other sources by modifying it, adding frames or audio tracks that didn’t exist on the original discs.

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Thank you! Haven’t seen the original version since 1999. My friends didn’t even realize when I told them they haven’t seen TPM as it was originally since theaters so naturally they were intrigued.

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Yes, I have those two SD copies (TB and ORF) and I’m going to see if this added to those can improve it. In particular the three shots that don’t exist in HD (until we hopefully get a film scan). This version is glorious is so many ways.

And I hope that you might be tempted to do the one LD version that does not exist in this quality - the Definitive Collection/Faces. True we have the GOUT discs, but I have some concerns that some of the GOUT issues might be reduced with a proprer pulldown reversal and such an LD preservation might offer some improvements.

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Hi yotsuya,

I managed to get a real HD quality for the three missing scenes (arrival on Coruscant, Senate, Night on Theed) and it will be - very soon - available in the “Despecialized” TPM I’m currently finishing.
BTW, there is a little more than those three scenes (ea : the night on Tatooine, digitally shot, was totally regraded for the DVD, with additional and missing frames).

I’m really tempted to do the 97 SE LD (PAL + NTSC, so that a PaNup could achieve a nearly-HD quality). The DC and the Faces are already available in very good quality, is there an interest in recapturing them?

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CourtlyHades296 said:

I’m more interested in a scan of JSC than Faces.

There is already an excellent version of JSC. I have it and it is nearly as good as this version of TPM. It is also a much older LD release by about 15 years. The DSC and Faces release hasn’t seen a lot of love because it is mostly a repeat of what go released in 2006. But I think that has some flaws that a high quality LD preservation might fix.

althor1138 has done great work and has done so many versions except the DC, Faces, and TPM.

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Wars-Laserdisc-Preservations-See-1st-Post-for-Updates/id/15283

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Thanks for sharing it, it looks great!

When you say “4 captures”, you mean to record the movie 4 times per disc?

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So how accurate are these colors to a preservation of the original negative?

Wondering if this would be useful as a color reference for my TPM regrade.

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The colors are definitely more accurate than the DVD/HDTV, since they were not yet regraded by Lucasfilm. And the HLD-X0 player that I used is famous to render the colors without any artefact. But it remains a NTSC Laserdisc, so colors are never 100% accurate : Never Twice the Same Colors…

IMHO, they are a little bit too greenish. The SD captures (ORF1 and Scandinavian C+) seem to be more accurate than the Laserdisc: for the few scenes that were not regraded on the DVD, colors are 100% similar to the ORF1 SD capture.

Anyway, IIRC, the master used for the LD was taken from an interpositive, so the colors are close to a theatrical experience, but not 100% the same.