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Anyone offer a laserdisc-to-DVD transfer service?

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Anyone offer a laserdisc-to-DVD transfer service?

Old 01-04-07, 12:52 PM
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Anyone offer a laserdisc-to-DVD transfer service?

I've got a batch of laserdiscs that have never been released on DVD. I would like to make back-up copies of these laserdiscs for the time when my player goes south.

I've seen VHS-to-DVD services. Does anyone do the same with laserdiscs?

Thanks for any guidance.

P
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Old 01-04-07, 02:14 PM
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While it's legal for private individuals to make backup copies of their media, it's NOT legal for anyone to make money from the process. You won't find a reputable duplicator who will copy copyrighted material. I can't speak to under-the-table sorts of operations.

Backing up Laserdiscs is not difficult with an analog capture card, simple editing software, and a DVD burner with simple authoring software. Many burners come with all the software you need, and so do many capture cards.

Standalone DVD burners designed to copy VHS will also copy Laserdiscs, since LD's are just analog video devices anyway. You'd lose AC-3 soundtracks, if present, but the analog audio would copy just fine.

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Old 01-04-07, 02:58 PM
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Patherto, drop me a line if you need any help.
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Old 01-05-07, 06:10 PM
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I also do CED, Beta and hopefully soon Cartrivision to DVD transfers
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Old 01-06-07, 12:38 AM
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lots of movie rental stores in my area do it

these rental stores are not blockbuster video btw
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Old 01-06-07, 05:02 AM
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I've seen a few sellers on eBay who offer such services so long as you send them an original source you personally own. They used to charge $25 - $30 with shipping. I haven't checked in the past 6 months however.
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Old 01-06-07, 12:12 PM
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Since you've already got a laserdisc player, why not simply pick up a cheap DVD recorder and make your own backups?
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Old 01-06-07, 08:17 PM
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Yep. If you have more than 5 or 6, you'll be ahead of the game by simply buying your own standalone DVD recorder and making your own (and even more ahead of the game by borrowing a friend's).
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Old 01-07-07, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
I also do CED, Beta and hopefully soon Cartrivision to DVD transfers
Sadly, my CED player needs a new stylus (I know, "good luck"), but I do have a Hi-Fi Beta machine, so I can do those as well as LD. What the heck is Cartrivision by the way?

I don't see much of a point in charging someone as long as they understand it's going to take a while. I mean, if these things aren't available on DVD, then I'm getting some material I wouldn't have otherwise, which is worth my time in itself. Of course it would suck if someone had 100 or so Laserdiscs of stuff I have absolutely no interest in, but there's always trades that can be worked out.

I'd agree that picking up a standalone DVD burner is better than paying people $25-30 per disc to do transfers, especially if you don't have a PC and the know-how to author DVDs. The only problem I have with going that route personally is that it might be okay if you just want to be able to watch stuff on your DVD player until an official DVD is released, but when a lot of this material will most likely never be officially released, I much prefer to make something that looks like any other store-bought DVD. If you have the know-how or can find someone to do it for you, especially for free or for trade, it's much better than paying a part-time wedding videographer to make dupes on a standalone or use preset templates in cheap authoring software, which is what a lot of them do. If you're never gonna replace the DVD-R with an official DVD, it makes sense to make it look nice, since you'll be watching it for a looong time.
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Old 01-08-07, 07:12 AM
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Thanks to all of you for your help on this. I own an iMac which doesn't accept cards of any sort. I've worked out a deal with a member to take care of this, and we'll see if the quality is worth the postage. I'm also on the outlook for a backup LD player, which I will have tuned up and waiting for that inevitable day…

Thanks again.
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Old 01-08-07, 09:12 AM
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Is it possible to do a direct digital transfer from a laserdisc to a DVD, or are all the methods employed simply a matter of capturing the analog video and audio from the laserdisc player and recording to DVD?

Just curious…
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Old 01-08-07, 09:16 AM
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Well, I certainly hope not. Laserdisc manufacturers used the analog channels for Dolby 5:1 and/or directors' commentaries. On my deck I can easily choose which channels I want, and they all come out of the same cables. I can't conceive of any reason why the analog channels would be the exclusive output from a LD deck.
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Old 01-08-07, 10:02 AM
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Forgive me, but I don’t really understand your reply. Perhaps I did not frame my question very well, or am simply not familiar enough with laserdisc players (I don’t own one) to intelligently ask my question.

When copying a DVD, one typically will actually rip the data from the disc and then burn it to a blank DVD using their computer. At no point is a DVD player or its analog A/V outputs actually used.

I was wondering if, in like manner, the digital data from a laserdisc can be captured and then somehow transferred to DVD, as opposed to simply recording the video and audio feed from the analog outputs of the laserdisc player (be it composite, s-video, or even component video outputs).
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Old 01-08-07, 10:12 AM
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There are two digital and two analog audio channels on most laserdiscs. The analog was originally the only sound, and it was kept for backwards compatibility with older players. Still later, one of the analog tracks was used for Dolby Digital sound. The two digital tracks are Dolby 2.0 stereo. If you were to copy a disc, the digital tracks would be converted to analog in the process. Confusing, isn't it?
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Old 01-08-07, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Commander Dan
When copying a DVD, one typically will actually rip the data from the disc and then burn it to a blank DVD using their computer. At no point is a DVD player or its analog A/V outputs actually used.

I was wondering if, in like manner, the digital data from a laserdisc can be captured and then somehow transferred to DVD, as opposed to simply recording the video and audio feed from the analog outputs of the laserdisc player (be it composite, s-video, or even component video outputs).
Laserdisc video is analog, not digital. There's not way to "rip" it. The only thing digital about a laserdisc is the audio track.
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Old 01-08-07, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rdclark
While it's legal for private individuals to make backup copies of their media, it's NOT legal for anyone to make money from the process. You won't find a reputable duplicator who will copy copyrighted material. I can't speak to under-the-table sorts of operations.
B.S.

There's any number of commercial services where you send them your VHS/laserdisc/vinyl and they copy to DVD/CD and then send the digital copy and the original back to you.

Nothing illegal about it.
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Old 01-08-07, 12:37 PM
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I agree. I once had a PAL VHS version of Song of the South. I had to sign a contract stating this was for my own personal use, and got both the PAL original and an NTSC version back. It was a rather expensive service though. (I think somewhere around $40 to $50.)
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Old 01-08-07, 12:37 PM
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Patherto, drop me a line if you need any help with a backup LD player.

Last edited by ProfessorEcho; 01-08-07 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 01-08-07, 12:54 PM
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Yeah but it's "Song of the South"!!

Originally Posted by rennervision
I agree. I once had a PAL VHS version of Song of the South. I had to sign a contract stating this was for my own personal use, and got both the PAL original and an NTSC version back. It was a rather expensive service though. (I think somewhere around $40 to $50.)
This is irrelevant, but I'd just like to point out that "Song of the South," in any of its manifestations, goes for a hefty premium on eBay. So you might be able to unload your PAL tape and come out even.
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Old 01-08-07, 12:54 PM
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just curious as to a list of films that you may want to save onto dvd. what arre the top releases not on dvd? is it just the odd commentary here and there? what i'd like to see is someone recreate the old criterion laserdisc covers in a cd size form and then copy the laserdisc content onto dvd. it would be like owning a mini laserdisc collection.
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Old 01-08-07, 01:05 PM
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Did you see DVD Savant's January 1 column? He listed off about a hundred films that have never been released (or which have, but the job was botched). He's the expert in rare film.
I'll list off what I've got:
The Defense of Firebase Gloria
84 Charlie Mopic
The Insect Lady
History is Made at Night
Distant Voices, Still Lives (this one is really weird, because the BBC just put out a book on DVSL, and you can't see it anywhere)
Viva Villa!
The Crime of M. Lange
La Chienne
Le Grande Chemin
Plus a few more in foreign languages that I can't recall here (at work)
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Old 01-08-07, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dharding
B.S.

There's any number of commercial services where you send them your VHS/laserdisc/vinyl and they copy to DVD/CD and then send the digital copy and the original back to you.

Nothing illegal about it.
WTF??? So just because people do it and stay in business it's not illegal? I'm not following your logic here.
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Old 01-08-07, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by patherto
This is irrelevant, but I'd just like to point out that "Song of the South," in any of its manifestations, goes for a hefty premium on eBay. So you might be able to unload your PAL tape and come out even.
Actually though, if making an NTSC copy of a PAL tape is covered under "fair use" (which I'm not sure it is), you'd be in violation of the law if you didn't destroy your NTSC copy once you sold the PAL tape, or at least included the NTSC version with it. Making a backup copy is only okay with the provision that any backup copies be destroyed or their ownership transfered in the event that the original is sold or given away.

By the way though, I also use an iMac (17" widescreen G4 800MHz) and I'll be using a Dazzle DV Bridge. If you'd rather look into that option, they can probably be had for a couple hundred bucks. Of course beyond that, getting Final Cut Pro to do editing and cleanup as well as DVD Studio Pro to do the authoring will be a little more pricey. Also, FCP doesn't seem to want to capture through the Dazzle, so I capture DV in Premiere, and open that file up in FCP. I'll also be using Photoshop to create menus, etc. Should be worth it, but if you do go shopping for an external capture device, definitely stick with a Firewire device that doesn't compress to MPEG on the fly. Many USB devices just won't cut it, and if your iMac doesn't support USB 2.0 (don't think mine does), they may not work anyway. The two I'd recommend are the Dazzle DV Bridge and one by Canopus, but I've not tried that one.
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Old 01-08-07, 03:08 PM
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By the way though, I also use an iMac (17" widescreen G4 800MHz) and I'll be using a Dazzle DV Bridge. If you'd rather look into that option, they can probably be had for a couple hundred bucks. Of course beyond that, getting Final Cut Pro to do editing and cleanup as well as DVD Studio Pro to do the authoring will be a little more pricey. Also, FCP doesn't seem to want to capture through the Dazzle, so I capture DV in Premiere, and open that file up in FCP. I'll also be using Photoshop to create menus, etc. Should be worth it, but if you do go shopping for an external capture device, definitely stick with a Firewire device that doesn't compress to MPEG on the fly. Many USB devices just won't cut it, and if your iMac doesn't support USB 2.0 (don't think mine does), they may not work anyway. The two I'd recommend are the Dazzle DV Bridge and one by Canopus, but I've not tried that one.
Hoky smokes, Rocky, just how much have you spent on this project of yours? A quick glance puts the bill at over $1000. I'm interested in having a few laserdiscs transferred, but there's no way I could justify that outlay. I appreciate your help, however.
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Old 01-08-07, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by patherto
Hoky smokes, Rocky, just how much have you spent on this project of yours? A quick glance puts the bill at over $1000. I'm interested in having a few laserdiscs transferred, but there's no way I could justify that outlay. I appreciate your help, however.
Well, the iMac itself was $2000 to start with. Anyway, it was worth it to me to be able to create DVDs of stuff that may never be released, and I wanted to do so in a manner that would be close to what you can buy at retail. Also, I planned to use the machine for freelance voiceover work, but I have studios at work I can use, so I never got around to setting up one at home, except of course to do video stuff. Between graphics, DVD authoring, and possibly some 3D animation and music in the future, I hope to turn an investment I couldn't really afford in the first place into a venture that will at least help me afford to support my DVD addiction.

The only real bummer in the situation is that now, 4 years later, you can get a Mac mini that's more powerful than my iMac for about a quarter of the price, and DVD-R media has dropped from the $8 per disc it was when I started to about 50 cents or so. Still, I needed to get an early start, because I'm still working on setting up an efficient workflow.
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