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 Blank Discs

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BeebMaster

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PostSubject: Blank Discs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:19 am

Does this wind up anybody else as much as me?

You buy a new disc, look at the running time, it says something like 56 minutes, and you think "Ooh - this might be a nice CAV disc" but when it arrives you find that all the content is on one side and the second side is totally blank!

The problem seems to be more prevalent with 2-disc releases, very often with these I've found side 4 to be blank.

Couldn't they have split it diffferently and had a CAV side, or found some trailers to put on the blank side? It seems such a waste!

There are even discs out there which are just a "mirror" on the blank side, there isn't even any information encoded saying "Turn the disc over"!!
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:40 am

I have a number of single-sided laserdiscs e.g THE BRUTE MAN & THE LINE, THE CROSS AND THE CURVE (Kate Bush) where the programme is short enough to fit on to one side. Yes, it would be nice if the manufacturers could have come up with something to put on Side 2, but that wouldn't always be possible or appropriate. And I prefer to have as few side breaks as possible, so with the above-named examples I find it better to have the programme play through uninterrupted.

This is why I find all-CAV editions of movies are a bit tiresome, especially if the side breaks are not well placed, even when using a "both sides play" machine. (There is a separate thread on side breaks which is well worth reading.) The Director's Cut of BLADE RUNNER was a prime example - CAV throughout, so three side breaks for a 2 hour movie, whereas there'd have been only one if it had been issued in CLV. (I don't think there was ever a choice with that one.)

I agree with you about the wasted opportunity that blank sides represent, but what I find particularly annoying are those 2 hour movies which are still spread over 3 sides. The last US NTSC title is a case in point: BRINGING OUT THE DEAD is 121 minutes long and could have been accommodated across two sides of a single disc, but no, it has to be on 3 sides, thus putting up the production costs and thus the purchase price. There are several such examples and you'll find that Side 3 often plays for about only 10 minutes or so. That really seems like a waste of a disc. Some will argue that this division over 3 sides is to prevent jarring side breaks, but this is often not apparent when you actually view these movies.


Last edited by laserkb on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:41 am

I've always found that rather annoying myself.

It seems like a bit of a waste but it was probably cheaper just to slap on a blank side or a generic "turn over disc" side than it was to master side 3 & 4 to be CAV or create extras to fill it.
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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:09 pm

laserkb wrote:
I have a number of single-sided laserdiscs e.g THE BRUTE MAN & THE LINE, THE CROSS AND THE CURVE (Kate Bush) where the programme is short enough to fit on to one side. Yes, it would be nice if the manufacturers could have come up with something to put on Side 2, but that wouldn't always be possible or appropriate. And I prefer to have as few side breaks as possible, so with the above-named examples I find it better to have the programme play through uninterrupted.

This is why I find all-CAV editions of movies are a bit tiresome, especially if the side breaks are not well placed, even when using a "both sides play" machine. (There is a separate thread on side breaks which is well worth reading.) The Director's Cut of BLADE RUNNER was a prime example - CAV throughout, so three side breaks for a 2 hour movie, whereas there'd have been only one if it had been issued in CLV. (I don't think there was ever a choice with that one.)

I agree with you about the wasted opportunity that blank sides represent, but what I find particularly annoying are those 2 hour movies which are still spread over 3 sides. The last US NTSC title is a case in point: BRINGING OUT THE DEAD is 121 minutes long and could have been accommodated across two sides of a single disc, but no, it has to be on 3 sides, thus putting up the production costs and thus the purchase price. There are several such examples and you'll find that Side 3 often plays for about only 10 minutes or so. That really seems like a waste of a disc. Some will argue that this division over 3 sides is to prevent jarring side breaks, but this is often not apparent when you actually view these movies.

Yes, it's annoying having to switch sides and discs but CAV always provides a clearer picture due to little or no cross talk. CAV is especially better for cartoons or CGI.
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BeebMaster

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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:00 am

I've got quite a few NTSC discs now where the films are just over two hours and they are split onto two discs with a blank side 4. The ones I've seen do seem to be fairly sensibly spaced out, 45/50 mins or thereabouts on each side - I haven't come across one with a 10 minute side 3 yet!

Probably the most "annoying" from a side changes point of view is the NTSC CAV edition of Jurassic Park, which is on three discs and each side is about 20 minutes! Even then though there is a blank side 6!

A while back on E-Bay I saw a CAV edition of "Gone with the Wind" on 5 discs - I bet that's ludicrous to try to watch. I forgot to bid, and I haven't seen it listed since.

On the whole, I do prefer CAV discs, there is more that I can do with them via computer control in my programmable players.
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:21 am

BeebMaster wrote:
Probably the most "annoying" from a side changes point of view is the NTSC CAV edition of Jurassic Park, which is on three discs and each side is about 20 minutes! Even then though there is a blank side 6!

Randomly I was watching that exact edition last night. For some reason I don't find it that annoying, I think because even though the side breaks are frequent they're well placed to emphasise the more comical moments of the film that I hadn't really noticed before, like Side 2 ending with Dr. Grant stepping in dinosaur droppings.

What I do find annoying though is that a CAV side can hold 30 mins and a CLV side can hold 60 mins, yet I very rarely see a release of either use the full space, it's usually around 22 mins and 47 mins.
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:00 am

HippieDalek wrote:
What I do find annoying though is that a CAV side can hold 30 mins and a CLV side can hold 60 mins, yet I very rarely see a release of either use the full space, it's usually around 22 mins and 47 mins.

Two examples of long playing sides that come immediately to mind are Side 1 of EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS (NTSC) which manages 60m 03 secs. and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (PAL) where Side 1 runs for 62m 58 secs. and Side 2 is 63m 51 secs.

That last example is just 9 seconds short of the absolute maximim possible on a PAL CLV side.

On the other hand, Side 3 of BRINGING OUT THE DEAD (which is not CAV) is only 16m 42 secs which is ridiculously short for an entire CLV disc, especially when it was the last NTSC release in the U.S.

All this has inspired me to go seek the shortest playing sides in my collection. I'm sure there are sides of less than 10 minutes - I can recall settling down after pressing 'Play' only to be getting up minutes later to press 'Eject'! I'll report my findings here.


Last edited by laserkb on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Atrributing quote)
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BeebMaster

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PostSubject: Re: Blank Discs   Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:26 pm

I think the longest playing time I've come across is 63'36" on the Encore Entertainment release of Fawlty Towers series 2.

The shortest would be about 5 or 6 minutes on a 5.25" CD Video, but that might be cheating, and even then there is additional audio-only playing time.

What is the absolute maximum number of frames on a CAV disc? Every source I've read seems to recite 54,000 as the limit but I've got discs with well over 55,000 frames.

I read in another thread that some blank sides of discs are recycled from error pressings or other unreleased material - is there a way to identify and play back these? Is there a way to play a disc beyond the end of its "official" running time?
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