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? about LD players

Old 10-29-01, 08:52 AM
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? about LD players

Does anyone know anything about the magnavox laserdisc player CDV-305? I found one for sale but was wondering about the features. Do all laserdisc players have the ability to play the second audio track? Will they play all laserdiscs? I know they don't have region encoding but they have CAV CLV do I need a special player to play the different types?
Thanks
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Old 10-29-01, 11:24 AM
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I'm not familiar with the CDV-305. But, as far as I know, all LD players will play secondary audio tracks and both CAV and CLV formats. Some machines will play both sides of a disc without you having to turn it over, but lower-end units won't.
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Old 10-29-01, 02:27 PM
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Ahh.. you have come to the right place. Welcome to LDtalk.com!

The fast answer is NO.

Here are some details. Laserdiscs have a few different audio schemes. The technology was around for almost 20 viable years, and audio kept improving. All players will play standard audio on the LD, known as PCM audio, often Dolby Prologic or Dolby Surround. But some LDs were released with DTS, which any newer player can handle, you just need a DTS decoder, or listen to the PCM tracks. Your player can switch to one channel or the other, because the digital tracks and the analog tracks are separate. So a DTS disc may have an analog director's commentary.

BUT... many discs started coming out with Dolby Digital 5.1, then only called AC-3 encoding. To do this, they used a different method. They used on the analog channels to put the audio encoding. NOT ALL PLAYERS CAN HANDLE this. Many players don't have AC-3 ability. That means that channel spits out noise only.

You can still listen to the sountrack from the digital source, but you won't get AC-3.

Now, even if your player can handle AC-3, another quirk comes to the front. The AC-3 from the LD payer is ANALOG! It comes from the analog track. Older high end receivers had an Analog AC-3 input, but not newer models. The Dolby Digital is either coptical or coaxial digital input.

The LD player sits out AC-3 on an analog RF connector. There are converters (sometimes hard to find) that change the analog AC-3 to standard digital for your receiver. These converters (Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony) are often over $100.

One other option, forget getting DOlby Digital on those discs. It's not a huge deal and PCM on LDs is pretty darn good.

All these players can play CLV and CAV discs. Better models added digital picture stuff like freeze frame to CLV mode also. Better players have a better picture. Models like the Pioneer CLD-D703 and D704 are known for an excellent picture. The Magnoxes are just rebranded Pioneers. I think that model was from around 1992.
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Old 10-29-01, 06:02 PM
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All players play CLV or CAV format, that's not an issue, but only the more expensive players could freeze frame a CLV disc. Only the last generation of LD players (after 1995) could get AC3 off an analog track like randyc describes, but like you have said, that's not really a concern, because you can always listen to the dolby surround tracks regardless. The relatively few discs that had AC3 are the common blockbuster titles that you'd just get the DVD now anyway. The only reason I still have a LD player is for those obscure titles in my collection that were never made with 5.1 sound anyway. I don't know about the Magnavox, but the main concern I would have is whether it's new enough to play the digital tracks at all. A really old player might only play the analog tracks, which would be a problem with LDs that have commentary tracks on the analog track (The commentary's all you would be able to listen to!). The Magnavox may be dirt cheap, but I think you'd be better off getting a Pioneer, or Denon which were made mainly with Pioneer parts.
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Old 10-29-01, 06:02 PM
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Thanks Randy but could you clear a few things? Then I will light the Wicker Man for a better selection of DVD's for the next year
The worst is that I wont be able to get AC3 right? Even if the disc has AC3 it should still have the PCM or Pro-Logic or whatever? And nothing special is needed to play a CAV or CLV or whatever disc? and is the audio commentary on LD's just like a DVD choosing the other audio track? The reason that I have even thought about getting the LD player is so I could listen to some of the commentaries on them that aren't on DVD and the other extra's. Thanks again.
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Old 10-29-01, 06:17 PM
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Everything you said is correct. You will have access to movies not on DVD and will be able to listen to the director's commentary on those movies that have it. You will also find out about the treasure disc, Under Siege II. (inside laserdisc joke!.. I sell laserdiscs and I had 80 of them. Sigh, EIGHTY!).

Kunert is correct though if you want to listen to a stereo soundtrack on some discs, you might need a digital sound capable player, WHICH THAT ONE MIGHT BE. I believe they place the commentary on one analog track (left?) and the full soundtrack on the other channel.

Make sure you don't spend too much on that player. More than $150 would probably be too much.
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Old 10-29-01, 07:30 PM
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well I had the chance to get the player for $40 but the seller never said if guarenteed to not be DOA. So I am still hunting. I don't want to spend much I don't see myself getting that many lasers but there are a few that I want. Oh well my hunt continues
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Old 10-29-01, 08:52 PM
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Any working player for $40 is a steal if it has the remote. Make sure it has a remote!
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