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Picked up a Pioneer laserdisc player and a few 12” laserdiscs. I was reading that it can be controlled by a Mac but haven’t gotten any further. When I have some spare time, I’ll look into that.

It can def. be controlled by a Mac, probably depending on the model of Mac and laserdisc. My school years ago used to use a Pioneer that way, controlled by a Mac.

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I'd have to say that most people I know that have a Laserdisc simply use it as their dedicated Star Wars video player (myself included.) Since there's no non-special edition Star Wars on DVD or Blu-Ray, the best available version is THX widescreen Laserdisc. Proper letterbox, too, not that stupid 16:9.

 

Although, I've since bought a few more Laserdiscs because they're almost like the vinyl of movies. I love the large boxes, artwork, and inserts. I ended up buying Hellraiser (awesome box art!) and TRON because it seemed appropriate for the movie. :p

 

I would dearly love to find a copy of RAD, but it's super über rare.

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Yeah, I have a laserdisc player specifically for the star wars trilogy. The star wars dvds have a "bonus disc" that has a non-remastered version on it.

Going down the rabbit hole of the "original star wars" is a bit more than I can really take since there were several different "original" ones released in theaters, mostly with slightly different audio tracks. There's also several different laserdisc versions of the trilogy. I've enjoyed setting up the laserdisc versions and the "bonus disc" version, along with VHS versions, and watching them in "picture-by-picture" mode on the TV to observe differences between the versions. Unfortunately, only one audio track at a time or it just gets confusing.

Also, The Abyss' laserdisc transfer is great.

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I picked up a Laserdisk player and about 50 random discs at a garage sale last year. Sadly I haven't gotten much use out of it but it's certainly an "interesting thing". The sheer size *and weight* of the media does sort of blow your mind.

 

Probably the most interesting disc in my collection is the CAV-mode "Criterion Collection" version of Akira. It's somewhat unwieldy to actually watch the movie since CAV only does 30 minutes per side, necessitating *two* physical disk swaps (which would be four if the auto side-swap on the player didn't work), but it's the mode that offers "perfect" freeze-frame with no crosstalk or motion blur. (I'm not nearly enough of an Anime fan to be stoked over the idea of repeatedly pausing and drooling over individual frames of Akira but apparently a market existed for that.) The last disc in the set has a "Special Feature" which consists thousands of pieces of pencil tests, concept art, etc, (including an an issue of the Manga) encoded as individual frames, which you navigate by putting the player into "pause" mode and shuffling from frame to frame.

 

Oddly I *don't* have a copy of Star Wars.

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pioneerlaserdisc.jpg

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top 10 flops -- looks like laserdisk is at the bottom

http://www.manufacturingdigital.com/top_ten/top-10-lifestyle/top-ten-product-failures-and-technology-flops

I found this to be interesting:

 

10. LaserDisc

 

Manufacturer: Pioneer

Year: 1983

 

It may well have been the first commercial optical disc storage medium, but its sheer size and cost meant the Laserdisc ultimately failed. Although it had several advantages over its main rival at the time VHS, including far superior image quality, it was poorly received by the mainstream.

Edited by Guest
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Laserdisc was far from a failure. They were still making discs and players into the 21st century. They're also still hot in Japan.

I have multiple players. I have over 200 laserdiscs. They are pretty common to find in Vancouver now. There were quite a few compilation of early 3D graphics released on Laserdisc that you can't find anywhere else.

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I don’t have any Starwars videos in laserdisc or any other format. Of the laserdiscs I picked up, 5 are unopened. One I haven’t seen, ”The Making of Jurassic Park” so I’ll likely open it.

 

I was lucky and got a late model player with s-video. Also my TV has a zoom feature that lets movies in letterbox format fill the screen.

 

I had thought of connecting it to a ComputerEyes or VisionPlus card in a IIgs or maybe Video Overlay card.

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Oddly I *don't* have a copy of Star Wars.

 

Oddly, I have never owned a LaserDIsc player, yet I *DO* have the entire Star Wars Trilogy, each in their very original home-media LD release. (This one, for example.) :D

 

I have owned 2001: A Space Odyssey on on every home media it has ever been released on. (Although not every version - only one of each media format.)

 

As for that top 10 flops - I have owned, in some way, 5 of them. (i.e. LD, but no player, Betamax tape, but no player, Windows Vista, Nokia N-Gage, Newton MessagePage,) and would love to own two more (VirtualBoy, DeLorean.) They're also missing some even more epic flops: HD-DVD, DIVX, DCC, even MiniDisc was a failure in the end, thanks to MP3/iPod. (I have owned two of those.)

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Laserdisc was far from a failure.

 

+1. (With reservations, anyway.)

 

Laserdisc did have (far) less market penetration than VHS VCRs, but, well, wine has only about 1/6th the market share of beer in the US and no one calls wine a "failure", and Laserdisc legitimately held onto the "Videophile" niche for over 15 years. That said, perhaps with better marketing it *could* have done better although... I dunno.

 

I remember when I was a kid one of the top uses people had for their VCRs was the one "rich guy" with the deluxe cable subscription would record stuff off HBO and hand around tapes to those less fortunate. (And yes, that was technically illegal. Sort of. Maybe.) That was something you couldn't do with a Laserdisc player. One thing I think people tend to overlook today when passing judgement on these technologies was just how expensive they were back in the day. The first VCR my family bought was something like $500 in early-1980's money, which is the better part of $1,500 today. LaserDisc players actually weren't that much more expensive but you couldn't watch or trade pirated movies with them so for the vast majority of Americans who could barely afford one or the other (definitely *not* both) the VCR was the clear winner.

 

It probably didn't help that RCA dumped the CED SelectaVision system on the market right in time to screw with the public's perception of the "video-on-a-disc" concept. CED was a genuine lemon and a lot of people assumed the problems with it applied to LD as well.

 

Heh. Come to think of it, I wonder if anyone out there actually still has a working CED player and some not-worn-out-yet discs. *That* would be a find.

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The (fairly widespread) longevity issues with original run of DiscoVision disks undoubtedly didn't help but it's not as if LD is the only format that suffers "Laser rot". (Which is actually a manufacturing flaw in the affected disks, nothing to do with the laserdisk format per se.) There have been bad runs of CDs and DVDs with similar problems. It might certainly have been a factor in confusing the public about the difference between LD and CED, since CED disks *by design* wear out while LD's killer feature was (in theory) the discs should be practically immortal.

 

Play a VHS tape a few dozen times in a dirty VCR (or once in a broken one) and it'll look as bad as a pretty terminal case of laser rot.

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It probably didn't help that RCA dumped the CED SelectaVision system on the market right in time to screw with the public's perception of the "video-on-a-disc" concept. CED was a genuine lemon and a lot of people assumed the problems with it applied to LD as well.

 

Heh. Come to think of it, I wonder if anyone out there actually still has a working CED player and some not-worn-out-yet discs. *That* would be a find.

 

By the way, when I said I own 2001 on every home format it was released on, I do mean every home format it was released on. I do own it on CED. To my knowledge, it is fully functional, but having never owned a CED player, I don't know. (I bought it for $1 at a clearance sale to complete my collection soon after I got the Blu-Ray.)

 

A local role playing game store had a bunch (a few hundred) CEDs for sale a couple yeras ago - I don't know why they had them (I'm guessing the owner had them,) but I picked up a few purely for curiosity's sake. Most were $1, some were $2.

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I had the chance once to get a GLASS laserdisc. Very limited runs of custom laserdiscs were written to discs that had glass platters and a pink substrate instead of the usual plastic platters and a pressed silver substrate. They're very fragile but look VERY beautiful.

 

I still see CED once in a blue moon but the people have no idea what they have so they want $15 per movie and $70 for the player. The movie selection on CED is even worse than Laserdisc and ain't worth it.

 

Edited: The ColorTrak 2000 on the other hand was. My grandparents owned owned one and I owned one right until the tube wore out. They even had SCART. There was NOTHING in North America that even used SCART but it came with it anyways.

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Edited: The ColorTrak 2000 on the other hand was. My grandparents owned owned one and I owned one right until the tube wore out. They even had SCART. There was NOTHING in North America that even used SCART but it came with it anyways.

 

We had one of those 27" Colortrak 2000s, according to the manual the port wasn't SCART even though it used the same plug. The manual called it an "EIA-Multiport" and it was some sort of interface to plug in a cable descrambler (like an analog CableCard) so you could use the TV's built in tuner and remote to tune Pay-Per-View channels. The idea never went anywhere because cable companies would lose a profit stream in renting cable box remotes (it was a separate charge from the boxes themselves!).

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