R.I.P. Laserdisc 1978-2009

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
Post Reply
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 6792
Joined: October 16th, 2004
Contact:

R.I.P. Laserdisc 1978-2009

Post by James » January 14th, 2009, 4:11 pm

http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news_de ... p?id=17346
This is a sad day for all LD (Laser Disc) fans... Pioneer is stopping the production of their three latest LD players, the DVL-919, DVK-900 and DVL-K88
http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/14/pion ... disc-play/

Yes, we're just as shocked and horrified to hear the news as you are, but it seems to be true. Pioneer, the last major electronics manufacturer to continue production of laserdisc players, has announced they'll discontinue all three of the models they currently offer, leaving dozens of hardcore fans in the dust

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 4813
Joined: September 1st, 2006
Location: You're always better off with a really good lie

Post by Daniel » January 14th, 2009, 4:35 pm

I... didn't even know they still made players. :shock: I always assumed those who had LD still had their original players, had one of the last combo players, or just bought used ones second-hand when theirs gave out.

Very sad news for those who still have it, on the top of my head for folks around here - Ben, Droo, George and Rand... and I think that's it. Of course, George is making DVD-R copies, so not so sad for him. ;)

Still, that's great that Pioneer have supported the format this long. I never got into them sadly, but I did know of them, and remembered them when I joined here. Such a shame, even though they were a bit pricey, they still sound so much better then DVD and even Blu-ray! (though not in the picture category) All those great classic box sets, how I would have loved those!! DVD has some, and even the ones that are around don't come up to snuff with their LD counterpart (Droopy - although the latter non Tex look great!)

RIP LD, I hardly knew you.

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18385
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » January 14th, 2009, 9:11 pm

It had to happen...I'm surprised they went this long. Hopefully they will continue to offer parts for those with older machines who want to keep the format going privately. I know dubbing to DVD sounds good, but you're kind of adding compression to an already compromised picture. I'd certainly like to keep my collection going...maybe I'll hunt down one of these new players for future use...

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2949
Joined: October 24th, 2004

Post by GeorgeC » January 14th, 2009, 9:38 pm

That's the good part about Pioneer going on for as long as it did.

If you have an older machine (like I do -- '92 model!), then there's the possibility of getting a newer make if the old machine goes bad on you.

One big problem, though --- shipping costs are going to be HIGH coming out of Japan. I don't think Asian neighborhoods outside of Japan stock LD equipment much anymore. Everything's basically gone DVD last time since I was in an import store.

Frankly, I want to get OUT OF the whole laserdisc business because of the space they take and I'm not that attached to the format, either. <Ouch>

DVD transcription from LD isn't that bad -- it still beats VHS most of the time IF the LD was done well to begin with(!) --, but granted it won't be as good as starting with fresher material and going to DVD from there.

I'm not that surprised LD continued in Japan as long as it did. The format was more appreciated over there and continued quite a few years longer than the US (and especially Europe!) seeing as tons of shows were actually cheaper on LD or marketed for it in Japan.

Even after DVD's debut, it took a while for the Japanese to warm to DVD and LD continued for a quite a few more years. (At least 4-5 years beyond 1997.) The PS2 was really the machine that started DVD rolling in Japan just as I'm sure the PS3 is influencing Blu-Ray sales to an extent, too.

(PS3 is a bigger deal outside of Japan, though, which is in a videogame recession. Nothing's selling well besides the Wii and PS2 development is still decent in spite of pressure from US game journalists and industry know-it-all's to pronounce the PS2 dead. IT... JUST... WON'T... DIE...! It is the immortal game console! Mwuahahahhaaha!)

It has been a while, though, since I've seen any kind of advertising for new anime (or anything else) releases on LD. There should continue to be some kind of collector's for classic series and OVA releases on LD in Japan considering over half that stuff has never been re-issued on DVD, let alone Blu-Ray now. I suspect the collector's market will be much more faithful in Japan going by how quickly a bunch of American LD collectors dumped their collections when DVD was announced...



P.S. -- The PS2 was just officially launched in Central and South America a few months ago. Although I'm sure there's been a small import market in those regions for years, Sony is keeping the PS2 around as an introductory/low-end/lower-middle income machine. It's stupid to kill the goose when it's still producing golden eggs...

Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 5210
Joined: October 23rd, 2004
Location: SaskaTOON, Canada

Post by Randall » January 14th, 2009, 10:55 pm

I'm shocked that there were still new players available. I had no idea.

My one and only player still works fine. It blew a fuse a few years ago, and I had no problem having it repaired locally, so hopefully I'm still in good shape.

This looks like a good time to finally do that laserdisc feature I was planning. :)

American_dog_2008

Post by American_dog_2008 » January 15th, 2009, 3:52 am

Those were the days!

Wish I had one!

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18385
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » January 18th, 2009, 3:44 pm

Don't forget George that Japan also used that "Hi-Vision" format, which I <I>believe</I> used special players and was an "interim" format between LD and DVD as it would contain progressive anamorphic video on the discs along with standard AC-3 sound coding. Good reasons why the format and players kept coming, I would think.


I love my LD collection and couldn't ever give it up. Writing the Nightmare Before Christmas and Sleeping Beauty reviews had me going through those respective sets again recently and just enjoying the little extra bits here and there that weren't carried over.

I think, ultimately, when a set-top Blu-Ray recorder is practical, I would then look at converting material over and putting the discs in storage. I just don't see the point of compressing stuff that isn't quite as good as DVD to begin with, and I'm not actually a fan of DVD compression in general, especially on home recorders.

But although there could well be an awful waste of "bandwidth" in going from LD to BD-Rs, at least I wouldn't be introducing extra anomalies into the equasion. Like Rand I was very surprised players were still out there...maybe in a year or two I may look into picking up a spare through an importer, though my current combi is doing well (not that it gets much use now with dedicated DVD player and computer drives in use) and I still have my original LD machine which just about works (as long as the auto-side change mechanism doesn't try to kick in!)

Sad that LD is "gone for good", but not a shock and more of a surprise that it was still actually going.

Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 5210
Joined: October 23rd, 2004
Location: SaskaTOON, Canada

Post by Randall » January 23rd, 2009, 8:58 am

For those who'd like to see what laserdisc had to offer cartoon fans, I've put up an article on Animated Views, which also links to some of Ben's in-depth looks at specific LD sets.

http://animated-views.com/2009/laserdis ... sc-player/

Post Reply