View Full Version : Laseractive questions
04-11-2006, 08:22 PM
What is the going price for a Laseractive LD player and the Genesis module? I'd really like one. And is the laserdisc player in the Laseractive a dual sided one? Swapping discs sucks. What outputs does it have? S-video? Component?
04-11-2006, 08:45 PM
As for outputs it is probably limited to composite. LaserDiscs are composite video by nature and the video must be split up to be viewed in s-video. This won't improve the video, but if your LaserDisc player (with s-video) has a better Y/C splitter than your TV then it may look a bit better than just running a composite cable. Yes, LaserDiscs are ANALOG. The sound is usually digital, but the video is analog. LaserDiscs aren't even as good as Super VHS. I still have a LaserDisc player (it swaps sides automatically and even plays DVDs). I have pretty much grown to hate it. Also the LaserActive probably does not have an AC-3 RF output for Dolby Digital sound. I'd be surprised if it even had a digital output for PCM audio and DTS sound. On that note I'd be AMAZED if the LaserActive swapped sides for you. I imagine it's a very basic LD player.
04-11-2006, 09:00 PM
Hmm... A lot of people swear that some Laserdiscs, not all titles have better video quality then their DVD versions, and better sound to boot.
All I really know about this player is that you can hack AC-3 into this player. I saw a guide somewhere, IIRC, it's a pain in the ass. But didn't dualsided LD players come out in the late '80s and become common place shortly later?
04-11-2006, 10:49 PM
You can hack AC-3 into any LaserDisc player, even the oldest ones. It is a bitch, though. As for better video quality, that would depend on the DVD. A lot of early DVDs were single layer and compressed all to hell, making them look like ass (Dracula starring Keanu, Batman starring Tim Burton, etc). Those LaserDiscs tend to look a bit better. But LaserDiscs have around 425 "pixels" horizontally whereas DVD has 720. Auto side-swapping players have always been pretty expensive, and I imagine Pioneer wanted to keep the cost down for this unit even though it is expensive.
04-12-2006, 12:41 AM
Sometimes Laserdiscs look better because they're analog, and so was the source. The other advantage to laserdiscs is that they're a lot better than VHS, don't wear out, and many laserdisc releases were never put on DVD.
At any rate, last I heard the going rate for the LaserActive was somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 for the base unit, and around the same amount for the Sega module (and more for the NEC one). But that was some time ago.
At any rate, I'd say it's not really worth it, unless you REALLY want those Laseractive-exclusive games.
04-12-2006, 02:01 AM
I'd only consider it if they had Road Avenger (aka Road Blasters) for that thing.
Sometimes Laserdiscs look better because they're analog, and so was the source.
Well I'd say that 95% of LaserDisc material originates from 35mm film running at 24 frames per second. 3:2 pulldown is inserted to bump it up so TVs running at 29.97fps can play them. There are no anamorphic widescreen LaserDiscs to my knowledge. DVDs however are stored at 24fps right on the disc (when it is properly authored). The DVD player itself adds the pulldown upon video output. Not only does this improve compression due to fewer frames, it allows for playback in progressive scan (480p) on capable sets. Anamorphic widescreen increases overall resolution on widescreen sets. With LaserDisc you must ZOOM the TV in for it to fill the screen, whereas the DVD just needs to stretch horizontally, therefore more vertical resolution is present. LaserDiscs cannot run in progressive scan, but some TVs can "reverse telecine" to detect it, remove it and make it look a smidge better. Of course this will result in a little bit of lag and sharp eyes and ears will notice that the sound and picture are out of sync if this is done. I watched True Lies on LaserDisc a little over a week ago and the picture quality was pretty bad. I used to think it was so great (I used to be a HUGE Laserphile). LaserDiscs are best used on 4:3 analog TVs.
LaserDiscs ... don't wear out
They are prone to what is called Laser Rot. All of my discs are still fine (I assume).
04-12-2006, 10:08 AM
Thanks for your help. And I thought Laserdisc was as great as everyone made it to be.
04-12-2006, 01:14 PM
I wasn't even considering widescreen. That's... a separate issue.
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