marcus 2013

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.
marcus 2013

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!
marcus 2013

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.
marcus 2013

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.
marcus 2013

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?
marcus 2013

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...
marcus 2013

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:
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.