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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Laserdisc Fan Community's LiveJournal:

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Friday, December 23rd, 2016
3:21 pm
Cheap frames for LPs / Laserdiscs
If anyone in the UK wants to frame LPs or laserdiscs, Poundland have just started selling some frames at a quid. They're plastic but feel reasonably sturdy, and the glass is real glass, not plastic. Much better than the ones I bought on line a couple of years ago that cost about £3 each and were horrible.
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
5:09 pm
Large laserdisc lot for sale (Near Tower Bridge, London, UK)
This guy is selling off a large collection pretty cheaply by UK standards - link to his ad is below:


Unusually for Gumtree, he appears to be ready to do mail order (at least in the UK) as well as allowing people to collect them from his home. While I didn't actually count his disks, he's definitely got several hundred - I saw them - and all of the ones I bought are in reasonable used quality, ranging from ex-rental to very good.

I don't know how long this will last - he's apparently moving soon and needs to shift them before he goes. One warning - he's on the fourth floor (US fifth floor!) of a block of flats with no lift, getting large quantities downstairs would not be fun!
Thursday, February 19th, 2015
4:40 pm
Faulty laserdisc player, receiver, projection TV etc - Ashford Surrey UK - and an interesting switch
Spotted on Gumtree - all the usual disclaimers: this is nothing to do with me except that I spotted the ad and thought it might be of interest to UK members, Gumtree doesn't support buying on line, and I have no idea if any of this is any good or if it has been sold already.


In other news, I was looking for a TOSLINK switch that could handle three or more inputs and came across one of these on ebay:


Aimed at X-box users, It's not just a remote controlled TOSLINK switch; as well as having an X-box input, it also switches four sets of svideo, video, RGB video, TOSLINK, and analogue sound, and incorporates an ethernet hub. This is a discontinued model because it doesn't handle HDMI, and is VERY cheap if you can find one - CEX, Britain's biggest chain of second-hand game stores, were last selling them at £8, about $12.

It's cheap enough that I've bought it to play with it - if it turns out to be rubbish I should be able to sell it on easily enough. I'll post again when I've had a chance to try it, should be some time next week.

update - This arrived faster than expected - so far I've only tried it as a remote control TOSLINK switch but that seems to work very well, I have no reason to think that the other parts will give problems. It turns out that there's also a model with six sets of inputs but that has some oddities - it's much bigger and only four sets have TOSLINK inputs, only three have network connections, and the network ports are also switched on and off by the switch - presumably this has something to do with gaming network speed. I'm also getting the impression that the company may have gone out of business, their web site seems to be permanently down.
Sunday, October 5th, 2014
8:41 pm
Selling my Onkyo ED-901 AC-3 Decoder (eBay UK)
I've listed my ED-901 on eBay UK


Starting price £0.99 with no reserve, buy it now price £75

Please read the full listing, since I'm not sure it's in full working order.
Friday, June 6th, 2014
4:57 pm
Tom Cruise and Laserdiscs
Tom Cruise talking about laserdiscs on The Tonight Show


Also a GIP because I finally made an icon from one of my favourite discs.
Monday, May 26th, 2014
11:24 pm
A new toy!
Tomorrow I'm hoping to pick up a Pioneer LV-4300D industrial laserdisc player, as shown here:


One thing I didn't understand - why does it have RGB outputs? My understanding is that the signal from a laserdisc is always composite, so presumably the player is decoding the signal and assigning it to the RGB channels by filter. I'm guessing it's for compatibility with displays that don't support composite, and that there won't be any advantage in using it.

I don't yet know what other outputs it has, since it was sold in Europe I'm hoping for SCART and expect composite, stereo sound, possibly digital sound outputs, but I haven't seen a picture of the back so I simply don't know. I'll post more once I know. No idea how good it'll be, but since I'm only paying a tenner for it (about $17) I'm happy to give it a try. I'm not getting a remote - many industrial players were used for applications where the remote was never needed - but I can live without, or pick up something compatible.
Friday, May 16th, 2014
9:21 pm
Pioneer CLD 925 for sale - Bath, UK
Spotted this on Gumtree.com, there's no remote but I thought it might be of interest to anyone who can get to Bath easily; as usual I need to stress I have no idea if this is any good or not, but the price seems OK since these typically sell for a good deal more.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
1:34 am
Recommendations for a small subwoofer?
I'm thinking of getting a small powered subwoofer for my home cinema setup, which is in a room about 10' x 15' with a lot of sound absorbent books, sofas, etc.. Doesn't need to be hugely powerful, I'm just looking for a little more clarity on low frequency sounds. Really DON'T want to shake the house and annoy the neighbours!

Any recommendations?
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
4:23 pm
Got myself an AC-3 decoder!
The CLD-D925 I bought recently came with a lot of American disks, many of them AC-3, so I decided to start looking for an AC-3 RF decoder. A couple of weeks ago I found an Onkyo ED-901 unit on ebay UK, listed at £70 but the vendor eventually took an offer of £40. Got it a couple of days ago, and now have it installed and running. Performance is pretty good, though I'm not sure I have any discs that really stretch the surround sound capabilities (recommendations gratefully received) and it has inputs for other digital and analogue sources, with some cinematic effects built in, so ought to be very useful. So far I have the laserdisc player hooked up to it (RF, optical digital, and analog sound), which has freed up a couple of other sockets on my amp, always useful.

In recent months I've also added a switch box to let me use optical digital from all of the devices that currently support it, since the amp only has one optical digital input, replaced my old upscaling DVD player with a blu-ray player (which also does web TV things), and replaced the old TV stand which was falling apart. So here's my current setup:
photoCollapse )
  1. Sony STR DEA475 amp; Surround sound, receiver, etc.
  2. Pioneer CLD-D925 laserdisc player
  3. SCART switch - also called Euroconnector, this is a big clunky analogue RGB & sound connector, used by my older kit.
  4. Ellion DVD/HD recorder. The laserdisc player and video and digital receiver feed into this via SCART, with output to the TV.
  5. Onkyo ED-901 AC-3 RF decoder - converts all laserdisc sound outputs to 5.1-channel audio.
  6. Optical switch for TOSLINK optical digital sources (computer, digital TV receiver, DVD recorder) to amp
  7. Astratec digital TV receiver/HD recorder
  8. Sony BDP-S1100 Blu-Ray player; region hacked for DVDs, and connects to the internet for BBC iPlayer and other online video and audio sources etc.
  9. Toshiba SD-22VB VCR/DVD player
  10. Computer, a fairly basic Linux box that's mostly a backup PC and used occasionally for media files.

Also the usual screen, speakers etc. which haven't changed since my last update.

I'm already thinking that the table is too small, so I'm looking for some wider shelves to replace it!

I actually got round to watching a movie last night, for the first time in weeks. Only another 250 or so to go from the "unwatched" pile...
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
4:15 pm
A couple of things I forgot to post
The CLD-925 I bought is working very well - I've decided I can't really justify keeping my old CLD-950, I'm trying to declutter as much as possible, so that's now for sale on ebay UK: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131120804191
Remember, this is a model that can't play analogue-only PAL laserdiscs.

Also, a review I posted on the laserdisc data base boards that might be of interest here - long with some graphics:

The Pied Poper of Hamelin and CinderellaCollapse )

Finally, the LP frames I mentioned in a previous post work, but are made out of relatively flimsy silver-finish plastic, not metal - my mistake entirely, I can't have read the description properly.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
7:07 pm
Job lots of laserdiscs in UK
Spotted two lots of laserdiscs on sale in London / Essex - annoyingly neither gives a list of titles

37 discs for £35, mostly sealed, Essex

100 for £100, London, photo looks a bit naff.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
12:04 am
Remotes for Pioneer CLD-D925, and a Sony Lasermax that might be cheap, and frames for covers
I may have a chance to buy just bought a CLD-D925 but it apparently doesn't have a remote. If I've got this right the correct remote is a CLD-D115, but it's been my experience in the past that there's a certain amount of interchangeability - my current remote (for a CLD 950) worked with my old CLD-D515, for example.

So if I can't get the CLD-D115, what other remotes are people using for this player?

Also, I spotted this on ebay UK


I think it's PAL and analog-only sound, but might be of interest to collectors, with 20 discs (mostly music, all analog). Works out a bit too expensive for me, but if someone lives nearby it might be worth a look. I think it may end up selling quite cheaply since it doesn't come up if you search on laserdisc players.

Just to make it clear - I'm not selling this and have no idea what condition it's in!

Finally, if anyone remembers me looking for frames for LPs last year, to frame some of the more interesting LD covers, I've found a cheap source: findmeagift.com sells them in various colours / materials at £1.99 to £3.99 with fairly reasonable postage, and take PayPal. The cheapest at £1.99 are aluminium; the most expensive are the ones I actually wanted, the black ones, at £3.99. Fortunately I happen to have a can of black spray paint handy, so I've bought a few of the aluminium ones and will spray them black!

update findmeagift.com have just sent me a code which gives a one-off £2 reduction to any new customer who buys from their site. I should mention that it gives me a £2 credit towards my next order too! Code: FFHRE5HTZ-MR
Sunday, December 29th, 2013
11:15 pm
My new setup
Back in 2009 I posted a picture of my old setup

I've been decluttering and reorganizing my flat recently and as part of it finally got the TV on the wall above the fireplace, so I thought I'd post some pictures of it as it is now.

cut for photosCollapse )

Originally I had the TV and some of the equipment standing diagonally in the corner of the room, taking up a big chunk of floor space - the new setup has let me put it all against the wall and under shelves, which has freed most of that space. I put off doing this for nearly 10 years because I thought I might want to use the fireplace, which wouldn't be good for the TV, but I've finally decided it's probably never going to happen - central heating works well enough for me. At the same time the fireplace is early Victorian and one of the nicest features of the flat, I didn't want to cover it by putting the TV in front of it.

  1. My "new" laserdisc player, a Pioneer CLD-950. With the exception of the analogue sound problem I've previously mentioned it works very well. Single sided play, but seems to be solidly built and plays PAL and NTSC so I'm reasonably happy.
  2. Digital TV receiver and HD recorder.
  3. A cheapo upscaling DVD player connected to the HDMI input, and to the optical Toslink socket on the amp. Region hacked. I may eventually replace this with a blu-ray player if I can find one that can be region hacked for DVDs.
  4. DVD/HD recorder. The laserdisc player and video and digital receiver feed into this, with output to the TV. Connected to the wired digital socket on the amp. Region hacked.
  5. Android internet TV thing and media player - connects to BBC iplayer etc, linked to TV via HDMI. If I eventually get a blu-ray player it will probably have this capability, and I'll move the android box to another room.
  6. HDMI switch (remote controlled)
  7. VCR / DVD combo. I don't actually own any videotapes at present, but occasionally it's useful to be able to play them. I bought this cheap, not really needing the DVD player, but at some point it may turn out to be useful. Region hacked, but for some reason shows NTSC in black and white - possibly just a cable problem.
  8. SCART switch - also called Euroconnector, this is a big clunky analogue RGB & sound connector, used by most of my older kit.
  9. Computer, a fairly basic Linux box that's mostly a backup PC and used occasionally for media files, now connected to the TV via HDMI
  10. Sony STR DEA475 amp; Surround sound, receiver, etc.

    In the second picture:

  11. Speakers - A fairly ordinary home cinema setup, there are also surround speakers on the wall, not shown in the photo. The smaller speakers at the top to each side of the chimney aren't part of it, they're for my music setup - that's separate from the home cinema setup, with speakers in two rooms.
  12. The TV is a 40" Teco LCD - it's a bit old now, 1366 x 768 resolution, with a load of inputs for video, computer, HDMI etc., and can handle NTSC as well as PAL. Sooner or later I'll probably replace it with a modern LED design.

On the whole this is working well - the TV is a little higher off the floor than I would prefer, but not so badly I strain my neck - it just makes it difficult to do anything else while watching TV.
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
2:32 pm
A few "new" discs
Just back from picking up a job lot, mostly music, all PAL except for the ones marked NTSC

PLFEB 34311 - Hard Day's Night, A (1964)
PLFEB 34301 - Help!: The Beatles (1965)
PLFEA 34321 - The Beatles: You Can't Do That!: Making of A Hard Day's Night (1995)
ML100166 - Compleat Beatles, The (1984) - NTSC
17004 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) - NTSC
PLMCC 01031 - Verdi: Aida: Studer: Royal Opera (1994)
072 148-1 - Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine (1989)

90-0509-5 - The Pied Piper plus Cinderella - two shorts by Cosgrove Hall, a company that made stop-motion animation films for children
BBCV 1016L - Paint! - film about painting techniques

Haven't tried playing them yet but they all appear to be in excellent condition, no signs of rot etc. The last two look like they may be analogue sound only, which means I won't be able to play them, but you can't have anything.

Cost me £25 (about $41) plus train fare, but I got some other things from the same vendor so I'm not counting that.

later - the last two are indeed analogue PAL, which is a shame because the animation looks good, but unfortunately without sound it's a bit pointless. The others are fine - just watched Help! which I haven't seen in ages.
Friday, December 6th, 2013
10:46 am
Laserdiscs on Gumtree (UK)
Don't know if anyone else is interested - someone in Berkshire is selling a lot of laserdiscs on Gumtree. There's nothing I particularly want, and it's a bit out of my way, so I thought I'd pass it on in case someone else is interested.

Thursday, November 21st, 2013
8:56 pm
Farewell analogue sound
OK, so I've already replaced most of the laserdiscs I can no longer play with DVDs, and have given most of them to the Trinity Hospice charity shop in Kensington Church Street which already had some - I've kept 2001 and a couple of others which I'm thinking of framing, and one that isn't available on DVD which someone has promised to transfer for me. All I need to do now is sell the old player - it's got several watchers but no bids with four days to go, I'm hoping that someone will start the ball rolling soon. It's a shame, but given how old the technology is now I suppose it's inevitable that it gets more and more difficult to keep everything working. At least this way the majority of my disks are playable, with the old player, in the last year or so, it was a coin toss if things would work for any disk, not just the analogue ones.
Monday, November 18th, 2013
4:13 pm
Putting things into perspective
I appear to own 119 laserdiscs - of these 16 are not playable with the replacement laserdisc player. Three I already have on DVD, others are readily available. I can't persuade myself that it's worth trying to get another player, or repair the old one, just for the other 13 disks, So I think that I'm going to sell the old player on a "spares or repair" basis, which hopefully will cover most of the cost of the replacement, buy the discs I really don't want to live without on DVD, and give the unplayable laserdiscs to the Science Fiction Foundation, charity shops, etc., since it's rarely worth trying to sell them on ebay. The list is as follows:

Blade Runner - Got the DVD
Romancing the Stone - Got the DVD
Star Wars - This is the "Han Shot First" cut, but I have a DVD version - it was on the 2nd disk of the limited edition release, a straight transfer of the laserdisc to DVD.

2001 - Thought I had the DVD but apparently not - definitely one to buy
Chariots of Fire - Cheap on DVD
Dune - cheap DVD
Escape from New York - cheap DVD
The Great Muppet Caper - cheapish DVD
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - I can live without.
MASH - Cheap on DVD
Queen: Greatest Flix - I will miss this one, it has some interesting performances, don't think there's a DVD. But I may know someone who can transfer it for me.
Raiders of the Lost Ark - Cheap on DVD
The Stunt Man - Available on DVD but moderately expensive - but it's a film I like so it's on the buy it now list.
The Thing (John Carpenter) - Cheapish DVD
Witness - cheapish DVD
Young Frankenstein - cheapish DVD

Sorry if this offends LD purists, but I have to try to be a little practical about this.

I might as well ask if anyone is actually looking for any of these discs - remember that they are PAL and analogue sound only, and fairly elderly discs - at least one has some brown marks but seems to play OK - and that postage will be expensive, especially outside the UK!
Sunday, November 17th, 2013
5:08 pm
A "new" player - and trouble with the old one.
I just picked up a Pioneer CLD-950 very cheaply on eBay UK - single sided and not a wonderful specification, but plays PAL and NTSC. However, what I hadn't realised before I bought it is that it apparently doesn't play analogue sound tracks. Is this correct, or is there some trick I'm missing? Don't have a huge number of analogue sound discs, so it isn't a major problem, but I'd like the capability.

The reason why I needed another player is that my CLD-D515 (2-sides, PAL/NTSC, analogue/digital sound) has decided to be VERY awkward about loading disks - it'll only do it if I put the disk in the drawer, switch off, let it power down, then switch on, let it go through its startup routine, then press play. Even then it's got very picky about which disks it'll play. My guess is that it's out of alignment and/or needs a thorough clean. I can probably open the casing and vacuum, but beyond that I'm at a bit of a loss, and Pioneer pointed me at a service company that quotes £60+VAT (about $121) for a no-warranty repair, which means it really isn't going to happen.

Can anyone point me at some "laserdisc player servicing for dummies" instructions? Or recommend someone in the London (UK) area who won't charge an arm and a leg for this?

All help very gratefully received!

Apologies if you see this twice, I also posted it at the lddb.com discussion boards.
Monday, September 30th, 2013
9:22 pm
Nothing to do with remote controls!
Finally got around to cataloguing my laserdiscs this weekend - the list is on line here. I appear to own 118, which is not as many as I thought, though a lot of them are two or more disk sets.


Almost all of them are PAL, and I haven't checked if any that say NTSC are actually PAL, which seems likely, but I thought people might be interested.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
8:43 pm
Gear4 for the last time
So I've tried a few things and it's becoming obvious that this is pretty useless - the app was designed for iPhone and doesn't add more keys etc. on an iPad, which means that very basic functions (such as selecting SCART, HDMI, VGA, etc.) aren't on the default screen for the TV. Since they no longer make this it's unlikely that there will ever be a better app. It doesn't know about my amp, laserdisc player, another TV, and an HDMI switch I use, and it's VERY slow because it is doing the bluetooth conversion and verifying transmission for each button pressed.

I suppose it may be possible to get it to do more, but life's too short. I'm going to put this back on ebay, but I wouldn't advise bidding on it.
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