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 HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS

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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:47 pm

Hi, I'm a newbie to these forum websites so if I've made a mistake or done something stupid please do feel free to correct me as well as help me with my post...

I have a standard but very reliable and great performing pioneer LD player and my favorite collection of discs.
I have a nice home cinema set up including: samsung plasma, teac stereo amp, kef speakers, sony video, sony dvd, camb audio sacd, ipod touch with dock, ps3, wii, sky+hd, a few audio splitters and a harmony 1000 remote.

I am always on the look out to get new (and old) gadgets for my set up and recently came across hi-vision.

Can anyone please tell me what do I need - exactly - to play a hi-vision/muse disc?
Including hardware, cables, the discs etc..

Thank you all for your help and how great it is that the fantastic laserdisc format is still such a beloved way of enjoying a film.

Darth Laser (or Rob as my wife calls me)
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mc211177

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:45 am

You will need one of these player but they are worth at least $1000 each and discs costing upwards of $500
Pioneer HLD-V500, i do`t have picture of this one.

Pioneer HLD-1000

[img][/img]

Pioneer HLD-X0
[img][/img]
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:48 am

Even by laserdisc standards those look like beasts
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mc211177

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:54 am

Beasts they are my uncle has bottom one, the Pioneer HLD-X0.
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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:00 am

Indeed but that bottom black one looks so cool - would love to see that in my home theatre set up!

What I would ask though is once I've purchased my Hi-Vision LD, I have read that I would need to purchase a MUSE decoder?
Is that right?
How do you connect one up to a UK Plasma TV?

The one MUSE or HV disc I really want is Bram Stokers Dracula - seen one on ebay for £265 -

I know its very excessive to have for one film - but my interest is in finding out what I need - then i'll start thinking about buying one later
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mc211177

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:30 am

There is one on ebay item no.190518583543
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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:46 am

Yea i've had a look - I actually prefer the look of your uncles black x0 model,
it would look better in my set as everything else is black.
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Fri May 20, 2011 1:55 am

Just out of interest, can anyone tell me if Hi-Vision discs are anamorphic or letterboxed?
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Fri May 20, 2011 6:33 am

Just out of interest (and as a measure of my ignorance) can anyone actually tell me the difference between anamorphic and letterboxed?

I've been into widescreen formats for decades, and I have been asked this question about various laserdisc and DVD releases, and I have to confess I don't really understand the terms. To me, they each produce a correct proportionate widescreen image on my monitor or projection screen.

I understand about anamorphic lenses fitted to cinema projectors which stretch out a 'squeezed' image so that, for example, a widescreen film can be printed onto standard 35mm film. I also understand the matting effect of the black bars used in letterboxed presentations. This is how some films can be filmed and screened in 4:3 ratios (early Ray Harryhausen stuff on LD, for example) but can later be 'matted' for a widescreen presentation, as was usually the case in theatrical presentations.

But what does this mean in visual terms? Is there any real aesthetic or technical difference as far as the viewer is concerned? Some people seem to prefer one and shun the other. Why?
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Fri May 20, 2011 7:10 am

As far as I understand it "Letterboxed" is a fullscreen presentation with black bars added at the top and bottom, this means a roughly square image is stored with a lot of the resolution being used up to show the black bars.

Anamorphic stores a rectangular image with the same vertical resolution as the fullscreen, this means that no lines are being taken up by the black bars and we get a higher quality image.

I'll try and draw a quick diagram:

Letterboxed: Widescreen but with black bars taking up vertical resolution
Anamorphic: same widescreen image with the same vertical resolution but with no black bars meaning more lines available to store the picture


At least that's how I understand it...I may be utterly wrong
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Fri May 20, 2011 7:35 am

HippieDalek wrote:
Anamorphic stores a rectangular image with the same vertical resolution as the fullscreen, this means that no lines are being taken up by the black bars and we get a higher quality image.


Great diagrams and a plausible explanation. I'm sure you're right and I may be stupid for saying this, but what implications do anamorphic discs have for viewers with non-widescreen TVs?

I've encountered (about a couple of times) DVDs which play back with a 'compressed' image so that everyone looks 10 feet tall, but I simply switch my WS TV to one of the various widescreen options and, hey presto, everything looks normal. But when I've sold such DVDs on, through Amazon, eBay and the like, I've had disgruntled buyers complaining that the discs are faulty and they want their money back! I assume their TVs cannot unsqueeze such squashed images, but then why would manufacturers produce discs that not everyone can view properly?

I recall some early LDs (Paramount's first edition of FRIDAY THE 13TH was one) which was similarly squeezed and had to be stretched out for proper viewing, but by and large, such titles were few and far between. Can I assume, therefore, that most LDs are 'letterboxed', i.e. the black bars are part of the encoded signal? After all, the need to store compressed digital data didn't really apply to LDs as it does to DVDs. LD coding was totally un-compressed.

While we're are it, what were those 'Squeeze LDs' that Pioneer and Toshiba produced in very limited quantities? I gather that they were anamorphic releases, but they seem to have been a non-starter since most players couldn't stretch the image out.

Finally, have you noticed that many TV dealers display working monitors in-store with incorrect images, i.e. 4:3 'standard TV' pictures stretched out to fill the wide screen, thus rendering all footballers like fat little Teletubbies chasing an oval football? The pity is that many people set their TVs in the home in the same way. My brother-in-law ALWAYS watches his TV like this and cannot understand why I have to leave the room! For a few people, aspect ratios are VERY important. For everybody else, no one seems to give a fig.
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Fri May 20, 2011 7:59 am

laserkb wrote:
Can I assume, therefore, that most LDs are 'letterboxed'

Yep

laserkb wrote:
While we're are it, what were those 'Squeeze LDs' that Pioneer and Toshiba produced in very limited quantities? I gather that they were anamorphic releases, but they seem to have been a non-starter since most players couldn't stretch the image out.

Yep again. Squeeze LDs were anamorphic and could only successfully be played on TVs that could correctly interpret the signal. These days I believe all new TVs can. There was also PALplus which was the same thing for Europe but it took off even less than Squeeze.

As Hi-Vision is basically Hi-Def laserdisc (1035 lines) I was wondering if it was all picture or whether it was letterboxed like most laserdiscs. A quick glance at lddb seems to show that most Hi-Vision discs came out before Squeeze which got me wondering.

laserkb wrote:
Finally, have you noticed that many TV dealers display working monitors in-store with incorrect images, i.e. 4:3 'standard TV' pictures stretched out to fill the wide screen, thus rendering all footballers like fat little Teletubbies chasing an oval football? The pity is that many people set their TVs in the home in the same way. My brother-in-law ALWAYS watches his TV like this and cannot understand why I have to leave the room! For a few people, aspect ratios are VERY important. For everybody else, no one seems to give a fig.

Yeah, that always annoys me. I especially noticed it when I was a student and many other students played their DVDs through a PS2 rather than buying a decent player, and by default they were setup wrong to stretch the image. I lost count of the number of PS2s I set up correctly in the Dundee area just so I didn't have to get a headache watching something...
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: HI-VISION LASERDISC PLAYERS AND MUSE DECODERS   Thu May 26, 2011 1:22 pm

Have been reading more, it sounds like Hi-Vision is sorta-anamorphic in that the pictures are stored as 1.78:1, if the film is of a different ratio then it adds black bars...so pretty much like 4:3 but a different shape.
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