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Author Topic: The 100 Year Disc
Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted September 02, 2008 08:51 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
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Well hopefully [Big Grin]
Reading through previous topics of people transferring there home movies to DVD does make one think how long those DVD-R discs last. I have heard that even after a few years you might run into problems, long ago we had our Super8 home movies transferred to video tape..never..again the quality was poor so now we have... DVD.. another trap for the unwary. After my last experence I came to the conclusion that there is only one way to watch your old home movies and...yes...thats with a good Super8 or Standard8 projector nothing else will come close.

Back in the early 90s we did a six week trip to the UK, I made the big mistake of buying a video camera we came back with 3 hours of video the content of which was very good, however the video quality was not. To this day I wish I had taken the same footage but in film instead, it might have cost a lot but certainly not as much as that video camera which is now junk, well for those original tapes and other important video stuff taken years ago I will attempt to transfer them onto the Archival discs in the hope they will last [Roll Eyes] not for the 100 years but for a while at least until they come up with something else.

PS. I do use a modern digital video camera which is a far cry from the one I used back in the 90s, making a video history of film work etc at the cinema where I work "so far its looking good" [Cool] however hopefully soon we will be heading to a National Park "up the mountains" and the camera we will be taking along will be our old Canon 512XLE Super8 [Smile]

Graham.

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James E. Stubbs
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 104
From: Portland, OR
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted September 02, 2008 11:52 PM      Profile for James E. Stubbs   Email James E. Stubbs   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They said CD's would last forever.... To quote and English swear... BOLLOCKS!!!! Find me a 10 year old CD that plays for crap.... You can't... But I have 100 year old acoustically recorded gramaphone records that still play just fine. Just like my grandfather's 60-70 year old home movies are still wonderfully watchable.... But my 15-20 year old video tapes are totally unwatchable. As are many of my oldest DVD's are not in that great of shape either.

Graham, may I suggest a dual/multi archive solution? In addition to the gold discs, which are good, it's the plastic that surrounds them that is crap, store all your vital memories and data on 3 different formats: Gold CD ROM, GOLD DVD ROM, and a portable hard drive. I've found 20 year old hard drives in junk piles that oddly still work. This way no matter what, somwhere in the future one format or the other, beside the actual film, will stil be usable.
Cheers,

--------------------
James E. Stubbs
Consultant, Vagabond, Traveler.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted September 03, 2008 10:34 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank God most of my family movies are on Kodachrome! The Bolex 18-5 projector will run for at least another 100 years, so I see no reason to mess around with archiving to DVD, which will probably be out moded in a few years with something else. One scratch on a DVD and you are done for. As Graham says, you just can't beat film.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: California
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 - posted September 03, 2008 11:03 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But James' advice is good. However, with decent storage -- much as you'd provide your films -- discs should have a decent shelf life. My oldest CDs are over 20 years old and are as good as new, my oldest CD-Rs are 7-10 and are fine, and there are no DVD problems I can find yet. So something is different here. One issue might be the brand of recordable blanks, some of which are good and some were junk to begin with -- I've seen plenty of the latter type fail, but that was exactly what was expected.

Redundant backups are a wise things to do.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted September 03, 2008 11:42 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know, I find myself being on the rare side of supporting the other side, but, if done properly, storage on disc can last a good long time.

I made a feature film on mini VHS tape called, "Pink BIson 3: Love Connections" starring Myself and about six other people. We shot it literally in between college classes. I directed as well, and despite a few "costume problems" (A character having a different shirt on in the very next shot? Bloody hell! Learned a lot there) it did quite well.

I edited it all on a computer program. We first digitized onto archival CD's in a "wide format" (using as much room on the discs as possible, not scrunching it up any), and then loading it into the program to edit it, (which I did, along with adding the soundtrack, ect.) I was amazed that I was able to edit it in little over a week, (I almost went insane!), but then, I did a time and frustration saver by shooting almost the whole film in sequence, shot by shot, from the beginning to end, so trimming and editing it was fairly simple.



It ran 80 minutes (including funnier than hell end credit sequences as well as a surprise ending!), with animated titles as well. From everybody who have seen it, they tell me it's a lot funnier than most of the comedies that are put out these days, and a lot cleaner!

In the future, I'm thinking about doing a "directors cut", as well as a very extensive "digital clean-up" of the original VHS tape masters to make the film look and sound better than ever!

I just state all of this to say that Computers and CD's and such are a life saver! I would have NEVER had the budget to make this film otherwise.

And I still have all of my original CD's from the late 1980's ("Bread's Greatest Hits" and the soundtrack to "Chariots of Fire") and they still play brilliantly.

Now I would argue, alongside of you, about how much more fragile the digital format is, but proper storage will make them last a lot longer!

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted September 03, 2008 07:10 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
James
Thanks for your advice and will do what you suggested.

I dont think storage is the full story with DVD, I have at present a problem with one disc from The Criterion Collection "A Night To Remember" bought a while ago along with "The Third Man" and David Leans "Great Expectations" those last two still play fine however "A Night To Remember" wont, up up to a few years ago it was OK and have tried it on four other multi-zone players none will read it, the disc looks in perfect condition and was properly stored.

I do have resevations with something thats claimed to last for 50-100 years "where are the real facts to back it up"

The big down side to DVD in particular with home movie transfers is that like "A Night To Remember" which is a commercial DVD produced to a high standard "one would think", that if something goes wrong with the disc everything is lost and you have no chance to retrieve any of it.

For home movies or anything thats really important using film [Smile] is the only option, lately I recieved a roll of slides from processing and as usual stunning quality from my old Canon FTB camera now over 30 old years old. The local camera shop that does the slides mentioned that a few years ago they would do it twice a week its now daily due to the increase in demand in film, last year I sat through some old Standard 8 films shot over 40 years ago the quality was stunning looked as fresh as the day it was taken. I am sure those films will still be around for many years yet. Digital cameras video or still are convenient to use and have there place but so has film and an important one at that.

Graham. [Smile]

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Steven J Kirk
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Southern England
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 - posted September 03, 2008 08:18 PM      Profile for Steven J Kirk   Email Steven J Kirk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe that when an organisation like the British Film Institute have small format footage of historical importance they wish to archive they make a 35mm blow-up to preserve it.

I saw recently that the Warner vault in Burbank keeps 35mm negatives of all CGI films in addition to any HD masters, because of the 'unproven' longevity of digital.

--------------------
VistaVision
Motion Picture High-Fidelity

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Jim Schrader
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Savage, MN, USA
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 - posted September 03, 2008 08:28 PM      Profile for Jim Schrader   Author's Homepage   Email Jim Schrader   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How about all the people who transfer their precious home films them get rid of the films thinking they will no longer be needed one should always keep the originals. [Wink]

--------------------
jim schrader
"Let's see “do I have that title already?"

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James E. Stubbs
Expert Film Handler

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From: Portland, OR
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted September 04, 2008 02:06 AM      Profile for James E. Stubbs   Email James E. Stubbs   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Long term sterile anal-retentaive storage of CD's DVD's etc will probably preseve them for quite some time. The problem is that in average use digital discs only last 7 years and were in fact only engineered to that standard. Hence my suggestion of mulit format storage. On top of the I forgot to mention that anyting of value should have TWO COPIES. One to play and one to NEVER TOUCH. The problem mentioned w/ some DVD's not playing is actually a technological problem w/ the DVD players themselves. When the Matirx came out on DVD it was so CGI intensive that many players would flat out choke to death on it. Hence my other suggestion to store them as ROM's NOT VIDEO FORMAT! You should have those too, but a ROM format will be readable in 100 years in all likelyhood. 40 year old
5 1/2" floppy discs from old IBM PC's are still readable in my modern PC specifically becuase it's in a digital format that all PC's understand. So store your gear in a DVD video format, video CD format and good ole AVI's on ISO ROM discs. Heck if money wasn't an object just have new prints made! HA!

--------------------
James E. Stubbs
Consultant, Vagabond, Traveler.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted September 04, 2008 09:55 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Jim ...

I'm appalled when I see people transfer they're old Super 8 films to VHS or CD/DVD and then toss the films! I have rarely, (if ever) seen a transfer of a Super 8 film look great on VHS, perhaps on DVD, but they have to be damned good with the quality.

and then, to prove there neanderthal like tendencies, they don't bother to even clean they're film! I can't count how many films transfered to video look like they have been dragged through the streets first.

I was doing restoration for a friend of they're trip to Rome Super 8's, (with stops all over Europe), when I was done, they were really surprised at what they saw. They had an old GAF projector, (I was quite surprised that the films looked as good as they did after that GAF!) and the films would either shutter wrong or any number of other problems. These films were actually shot quite well. Well, what do you know, grandpa knew what He was doing with that camera!

I personally think transferring to DVD, IF the person doing the transfers has a good head on his shoulders, is the best way, as, while VHS has a lot of surface "noise" to the image, DVD , from what I have seen, doesn't carry over that noise problem to the image, giving a more accurate transfer.

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted September 04, 2008 10:10 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Graham,
My 5 year old Criterion DVD of 'A Night To Remember' is also now unplayable. Just like you, the disc looks fine - no scratches, but it does look dull, not shiny, and nothing boots up at all - the player does'nt even recognize it. Considering Criterion is a premium company, and the disc cost $40.00, you would expect it to last for decades. Very scary - and another reason to hang onto your old Kodachrome films and a great 8mm projector.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 525
From: Dallas, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 04, 2008 12:36 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The problem is that nobody understands.

That 8mm film will outlast any known digital format...if not duplicated. What I mean by this is that if someone transfers the film (regardless of the quality of the transfer) to a video format and then sticks that tape/DVD/hard drive on a shelf in the closet alongside the film original, years later that video transfer will be unplayable while the film will probably still be ok (provided it didn't dry out and become brittle or suffer heat damage, etc).

What has to happen is that the video transfer must be re-duplicated every 5 years. With analog video like VHS, that resulted in a quality loss every time. With digital video, there is no quality loss provided you re-duplicate it BEFORE the disc or hard drive becomes unreadable.

The ideal situation is to transfer the films in as high of definition as possible, with the least amount of compression possible. THEN it can be re-compressed to fit onto a DVD or Blu-Ray for regular playing BUT the original master should be kept in two different mediums (one disc and one hard drive) in two different locations (in case your house burns down) and re-duplicated every 5 years. Transferring the films is actually a very good idea, provided you have the ability to do it in a high definition format (ideally uncompressed too), because it is far easier to "preserve" a digital transfer than to preserve the film. At some point in time the film WILL become unrunnable. The fact that the film will outlast a video many times over isn't the issue.

And it goes without saying the film should be thoroughly and properly cleaned and lubricated before transfer.

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1632
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted September 05, 2008 11:00 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
My 5 year old Criterion DVD of 'A Night To Remember' is also now unplayable. Just like you, the disc looks fine - no scratches, but it does look dull, not shiny,
Wouldn't that mean that the aluminum wafer(s) has been exposed to oxygen, oxidized, and has lost the ability to reflect the laser? Flawed manufacturing, to be sure.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 128
From: West Milford, NJ
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted September 05, 2008 12:00 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Find me a 10 year old CD that plays for crap
Eh? I have over 700 CD's going back to 1984 when I bought my first CD player, stored at room temerature and all well played, but not scratched. ALL but one of them plays fine. The one that failed was a British pressing of the Tangerine Dream soundtrack to the film Flashpoint, and it was clearly a manufacturing defect that effected the entire run.

I bought my first DVD player the month they became available here in the USA. I recently (this summer) went though all my early DVD purchases from that time period, and they all played fine.

Either you are not being careful with your software, or you are storing them in a horrible enviornment.

Yes, film will out live all these electronic storage formats. There is not doubt about that. On the other hand, your CD's and DVD's should out live you with little or no special care.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 05, 2008 06:10 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
There were a lot of the original first generation cd's which are no longer playable.

One or two record companies here in the UK had an exchange programme running some years back to replace CD's which were no longer playable.
Yes it was due to oxidation of the aluminum layer. I still have a few in my collection of Classical Cd's bought in the mid 80's which have now got a brownish patchy look to them which will skip when played.
Exactly the same thing happened to Laserdiscs here in Europe. Many early ones developed brown patches which resulted in very bad noise in the picture until they eventually stopped playing altogether. When Philips relaunched Laserdisc in the late 80's whith digital sound and gold in colour instead of silver they were soon plagued with what everyone called the brown spot disease. Brown spots wold appear which carried on growing in size until portions of the discs would not play.

At work our design department backed up all their work to CD and then eventually DVD-R's well I can report that a lot of those early DVD-R's are now unusable. We have spent a great many hours trying to retrieve the data off those Discs some successfully some not. So how stable are the vegetable dyes used for DVD-R's? bet they are not as stable as Kodachrome and some of the other more permanent film stocks.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted September 05, 2008 09:21 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You really do learn something new almost everyday! I never knew dyes were even used in the production of Laserdiscs or DVD's!

I can say that some of my Laserdiscs have begun to have problems, though I haven't checked for spots. I haven't even noticed any defects period, and I have one of the top of the line Pioneer players, but I suspect that it might need re-aligning or something, as it seems that I can hear some kind of "wobble" inside the player.

What I really like to have is one of those Pioneer combo DVD/Laserdisc players. I don't know it for a fact, but I'm assuming that since it has to have a laser sensitive enough for DVD, it must paly Laserdiscs to thier best potential.

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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From: Dallas, TX, USA
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 - posted September 05, 2008 09:39 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The one that failed was a British pressing of the Tangerine Dream soundtrack to the film Flashpoint, and it was clearly a manufacturing defect that effected the entire run.
My CD of that plays just fine today. I don't know if it was a British pressing or not though.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 06, 2008 05:38 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Another Laserdisc collector [Eek!] I thought I was on my own in this area of collecting!

I think this spot problem was confined to European production only. I think the Pioneer plant had the problem licked very early on but the Philips Dupont plants had real problems. This carried on with CD's and some early DVD's and goes to show that optical media can suffer badly.

I too have a Pioneer player it's the CLD-D925 with AC3 out etc and plays NTSC as well as PAL discs.
I am still trying to collect all the The X Files Discs which were released in the US but not here in Europe. There is still something about the picture quality of good old analogue video [Smile]

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Steven J Kirk
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 873
From: Southern England
Registered: Apr 2008


 - posted September 06, 2008 06:13 AM      Profile for Steven J Kirk   Email Steven J Kirk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Analogue is best!... and Steam Trains!... and Horses instead of cars!... C'mon Dobbin, time to go to the shops for a loaf of bread, and some turnips.

--------------------
VistaVision
Motion Picture High-Fidelity

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Martin Jones
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1269
From: Thetford , Norfolk,England
Registered: May 2008


 - posted September 06, 2008 08:18 AM      Profile for Martin Jones   Email Martin Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Surely, Kevin, Laserdiscs are digital, not Analogue! Now, CED is a different matter...they are analogue. Any other CED collectors out there?

Martin Jones

--------------------
Retired TV Service Engineer
Ongoing interest in Telecine....

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Eric Baucher
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 143
From: MD
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted September 06, 2008 12:34 PM      Profile for Eric Baucher   Author's Homepage   Email Eric Baucher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I love super 8 and 16mm too but as far as super 8 is concerned, its weak link is the equipment. no one is making parts anymore. one day a new problem will start to develop in all projectors (like the gooey belt problem) that wont be so easy to fix, so something must be done because the only reason so many projectors still work is they arent quite old enough yet to completely die without new parts......but at nearly 30 years we're getting very close. wonder what that common issue will be...first the belts.....then.....?

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Paul Adsett
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From: USA
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 - posted September 06, 2008 01:36 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Eric,
I do not share your pessimism about the longevity of movie projectors. Bear in mind that projectors (particularly silent ones) are basically very simple mechanical devices and are usually easy to repair. I know if you say that to a GS1200 owner, he will probably choke, but I am talking about the Bell and Howell 606 Regents, the Bolex 18-5's, Eumig P8'S etc. These are all extremely well designed and rugged machines. I look at my little 18-5 and it runs as good as it did when it was made over 40 years ago, and except for the belts I can't see anything that will ever go wrong on it. You can always find appropriately sized rubber O-rings, which substitute perfectly for the original belts belts. Same thing with my 9.5mm Pathe Baby - made in 1922, and still running perfectly. No doubt there are a bunch of cheaply made projectors out there that are going to fall apart, but if you stay with the quality brands like Bolex, Eumig, Elmo, and you maintain your machine, I think there is no question at all that they will way outlast any electronic video equipment that you can buy.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 06, 2008 04:05 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Martin, Laserdiscs are Analogue for video. The first generation had the sound on an FM carrier a bit like std FM radio and was analogue the later second generation had both Analogue and Digital soundtracks for NTSC and only Digital CD quality sound for PAL.

The bandwidth required for PAL is greater than NTSC so they couldn't squeeze the 2 types of sound into the same space. In fact on the PAL disc they had to pinch a little of the Chroma signals space to get the CD quality sound tracks onto the disc which resulted in noisier colour especially the reds compared to the original all analogue discs.
This is the reason that most NTSC discs look much better than their PAL counterparts.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted September 06, 2008 07:34 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kevin, I ask you ...

I asked a question earlier on, stating :

If a combo DVD/Laserdisc player has a laser that is sensitive enough for DVD's, would it not play a laserdisc to it's best potential?

By the way, Kevin, I have a whole mess of Laserdiscs that I have upgraded to DVD copies and would be happy to part with. Would you like a list of them? They would go fairly dirt cheap.

Also, concerning Laserdisc, when I have watched my Laserdiscs on my older model, (made during the laserdisc era)
"Sharpvision" LCD projection TV, they seem to actually look better on this TV than my DVD's. Why would this be?

I can only guess that a laserdisc has all the information for each frame of film, on the each frame of the "laserdisc", while the DVD, to save room on the disc, will have less information displayed, therefore sometimes in still scenes with little movement, a dvd will almost look like it is freeze framed, where the laserdisc has all the grain, happily giving away that it is still a moving film image!

Am I right ... or completely off?

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 06, 2008 08:13 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, Your spot on. With Laservision there was no compression of the video. With mpeg on DVD you have compression to get all the info on a smaller disc.

As they say you dont get something for nothing.

I know that there were times here in the UK that one of our TV companies resorted to Laserdisc when they couldn't get a decent 16mm print! I wonder if they do that with DVD? Maybe with BluRay it will be a different story.
We have a bluRay player at work made by Sharp and so far I have not been impressed. Stuff played back by that machine still looks clinical and we have had problems with some discs which I think is down to finger prints etc. We are now getting to the point where so much info is being crammed into such a small area that physical problems are once again rearing their ugly head. Maybe the 12" disc wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Yes I would love to see your list. super8 at mrelmo dot co dot uk

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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