Anyone here ever own a LaserDisc player?

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by shadow_priest_x, May 18, 2017.

  1. bubbleboyjones

    bubbleboyjones Belt Purple

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    I got one in the early 90s(maybe around '93). I didn't actually own a lot of discs but there was a video store in my area that actually was renting them out and i knew someone with a lot of discs for borrowing.



    Laserdisc was by far the coolest period for home movies. It won't be duplicated again for obvious reasons.

    • Letterbox formatting of the movies was an eye opener. People sometimes forget how bad pan and scan was and that was the standard for VHS and cable. I fell in love in with letterbox the first time I saw it at home. Just felt cinematic
    • Audio blew away VHS
    • The artwork made it feel more tangible. Halloween Criterion edition is a work of art. Seeing some like that 1994 was pretty groundbreaking and just badass.

    Flipping the discs wasn't an end of the world thing at the time considering how much better the experience was over VHS. We were living in the stone ages at the time with rewinding VHS movies..etc.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  2. shadow_priest_x

    shadow_priest_x Titanium Belt

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    The big problem with widescreen films back in the day was that the TVs were so small, relatively speaking, and the letterbox process cut off so much of the screen that you always ended up losing about 30-40ish% of your screen real estate on what was only about 25ish" TV. That's brutal.

    I actually hated widescreen movies at first. Fucking hated them. Eventually, as I shifted into DVDs, I got used to it but early on if I had a 25" TV then I wanted 25 inches of picture.
     
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  3. SoberAwakening

    SoberAwakening Black Belt

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    I never did, but when the teacher rolled in the TV laserdisc/VHS combo at school, you knew it was going to be a good day.
     
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  4. JudoThrowFiasco

    JudoThrowFiasco Charming Quark Platinum Member

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    We did, watched the hell out of batman returns on it -- limited selection at jumbo video to rent them, but overall, kicked the shit out of the plebeian vhs
     
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  5. bubbleboyjones

    bubbleboyjones Belt Purple

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    Heh, this was basically the debate I had with some of my friends back then(most people hated widescreen). I always looked at it the other way in that you lost the real estate of the movie itself in an effort to zoom in. Even though it was small I just loved sharp cinematic look of widescreen.
     
  6. shadow_priest_x

    shadow_priest_x Titanium Belt

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    I still have a small VHS collection and have watched a few pan-and-scan movies in the last year or so. They feel very claustrophobic now, as if the picture doesn't give you any room to breathe.

    However, you may or may not know any of this as it's something that a lot of people aren't aware of, but many movies back in the day used the "open matte" process, where filmmakers would intentionally shoot their movies in a way that they would look good in widescreen OR at home on VHS in full screen. This was not pan-and-scan, but something entirely different. Filmmakers would shoot for widescreen but "protect" for 4:3. Many movies were shot this way, like Top Gun, Schindler's List and several of Kubrick's films. So in these cases, you actually didn't lose any information.

    Here's an example from Top Gun, showing the widescreen presentation as well as the open matte 4:3 version:


    [​IMG]


    And an example from Jaws:


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wrestler160

    Wrestler160 Green Belt

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    Yes

    I also have Toy Story, The Lion King, and Speed.
     
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  8. bubbleboyjones

    bubbleboyjones Belt Purple

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    Open matte is a decent compromise(technically there is a little information lost on the side and the composition does change). I could see composition being an issue in some cases where widescreen actually helps the suspense if intended by the director.



    [​IMG]
     
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  9. ralphc1

    ralphc1 Steel Belt Platinum Member

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    DVD is a laser disc.
     
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  10. shadow_priest_x

    shadow_priest_x Titanium Belt

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    Open matte is not a perfect solution to (the now non-existent) 4:3 problem but it was much better than Pan & Scan and as long as the director was shooting with it in mind, then the results can be good.

    One question to ask is how much, at the end of the day, open matte actually impacted a person's viewing experience vs seeing a film in its OAR. I mean, how many people loved Top Gun just a little less in open matte than they did in widescreen? I'm sure not many.

    I actually would go so far as to say that if the average TV was still around 25" and 4:3 then I would be a big supporter of open matte even today. It's seems to be the way to make the best of a bad situation.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  11. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre Steel Belt

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    Great point. I forgot about the letterboxing and such. And if it said Criterion Collection it meant good things for the viewer.

    Loved me some Adventures of Baron Munchausen on laser disc. Can't recall if that had extra shit, but damn that was a great looking move. Almost an odd combination of Time Bandits and Brazil.
     
  12. shadow_priest_x

    shadow_priest_x Titanium Belt

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    What's amazing about this is that they're already talking about high-definition and widescreen TVs in this vid. One guy even says that HDTVs are only "three to five years away." Try more like 15ish years.

    As far as I can tell, this video was shot either at the end of 1989 or sometime in 1990. I didn't realize that HD had even been conceptualized at that point.
     
  13. bubbleboyjones

    bubbleboyjones Belt Purple

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    I think it depends on the film. Top Gun might even be better in open matte but maybe something like Halloween which Carpenter uses composition for suspense might suffer with open matte. In reality I don't think it matters to the average person but just some film geeks like myself which is why they don't cater to a niche audience. Luckily we don't have this issue in modern times for the most part.
     
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  14. MaureenCretis

    MaureenCretis Brown Belt

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    Mmm analog signal encoded in a digital format... what a chunk of shit
     
  15. Dragonlordxxxxx

    Dragonlordxxxxx Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    We owned a few LaserDisc players back in the day. During those times, my prized possession were the Director's Cut/Collector's Edition of Aliens, The Abyss and Terminator 2. I think we still have about 60-70 LaserDiscs in storage.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. shadow_priest_x

    shadow_priest_x Titanium Belt

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    That's awesome. I now know that Dragonlord comes from money.
     
  17. MusterX

    MusterX Steel Belt

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    @shadow_priest_x

    LaserDisc, I'll tell you about LaserDisc.

    [​IMG]

    Back in the late 80's I knew a guy in Garland, Texas whose dad was a drug dealer. We didn't know for sure that he was a drug dealer but he kept odd hours, nobody knew what he really did, his son included and he always had money, and other things. Anyway, one night he walks in carrying a LaserDisk, no box, no documentation and the first movie we ended up watching on it was Bladerunner. It looked phenomenal.
     
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  18. shadow_priest_x

    shadow_priest_x Titanium Belt

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    That sounds like a formative experience.
     
  19. Nononononotorious

    Nononononotorious Banned Banned

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    What's the difference between laser and dvd?

    The laser just had less data storage which meant lower quality?
     
  20. MusterX

    MusterX Steel Belt

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    Must have been because I still remember that guy and his mysterious dad all these years later.
     
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