Does anyone here collect laserdiscs[sup]1[/sup]?

[sub][sup]1[/sup] Laserdiscs – not DVDs.[/sub]

I have about 50. Once in a while I’ll scour eBay looking for something I know isn’t likely to turn up on DVD any time soon.

I only have a few – mostly Jacques Cousteau, plus the theatrical version of Betty Blue – but I’m awaiting the first three Star Wars films, which are the original theatrical versions. There’s another one I’m watching on eBay – but I’m not saying what it is until I see whether I win the bidding! :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

Laserdiscs seem to be the only way to get disc versions of films that are not available on DVD, such as Star Wars. Some of them also have extra features that the DVD releases do not. Good thing that people seem to want to get rid of them! :smiley:

Back in 1991, I joined the now-defunct Columbia House Laserdisc Club (which mutated into the DVD Club) and got the Star Wars trilogy. These discs have the unmolested versions of the original movies. I also have the Criterion Bladerunner (only the director’s cut is currently available on DVD and it’s out of print).

Can these discs be transferred to DVD? Or is even asking the question a bannable offense? :eek:

Sweet. I have the Director’s Cut and the original (which was the first video I ever bought) on VHS. Betty Blue has finally been released on DVD, but it’s the Director’s Cut. Now, I like the extra story content that explains why certain things happen; but it’s really too long.

One problem I see, as someone who only started last year, with collecting laserdiscs is figuring out which ones to get. As I said, some have features not available on DVD and some have ‘unmolested’ (as you put it) versions of the films. But many of them are films that I already have in my DVD collection and I see no reason to replace the DVDs. And there are films that may be available through eBay that I’d be interested in, but without looking for a specific title I’d have to slog through all of the offerings.

I think that you are permitted to make a ‘back-up copy’ of anything you (legally) own; but you would not be able to sell the copy, nor legally obtain a bootleg copy from someone else.

What he said. I have done this. Even though the LDs are in excellent shape, there’s always laser rot to worry about.

When you watch the original versus the new version, you are amazed at the difference in picture quality (and not just from the format differences). The company that did the cleanup did an amazing job.

I still have a couple dozen or so, but no functioning LD player to play them on.

I have a few laser disks. No player, though, nor can I recall the titles. However, I do have a working [del]CED[/del] VideoDisc player, as well as Star Wars, the first episode of Star Trek, the Pink Panther, Dracula, War of the Worlds, and a few more.

I’ve got about 70 or so, several of which haven’t been released on DVD yet.
Pink Floyd, Delicate Sound Of Thunder and Pulse come to mind.
Of course I’ve got the original ‘unimproved’ Star Wars trilogy (:wally to Lucas).

A friend of mine has hundreds, including all of the Star Trek original episodes and the animated series that was produced in the early 70’s. ::jealous::

I bought my first LD player (Panasonic) in '92 or so at a pawn shop and it still works flawlessly. I got another one, a Pioneer, from a friend of mine a couple of years ago and I’ve got it hooked up to my computer.

My copy of Heavy Metal is unwatchable now :mad: .
I also have a copy of REO Speedwagon High Infidelity that’s been slowly rotting for several years, although that’s not suprising considering it was made in '82.

One thing I miss is the packaging, kind of like LPs vs. CDs. One of these days I’m going to frame a lot of my disc jackets. My box set of Fantasia came with a lithograph of Mickey as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Star Trek: First Contact came with a 12"x24" poster. You don’t get those kind of extras with DVDs. Also, with LDs you get an intermission when the first side’s over, gives you time to get a fresh beer, take a leak, have a smoke, etc.
Can’t say I miss the price tag, though. On average, I used to pay about $35-40 for a recently released movie. The cheapeat disc I have is Rubberface, (Jim Carrey’s first movie), $12 ; the priciest was King Crimson, Three Of A Perfect Pair, $61 on ebay. Hell, the Star Wars movies were $60 each!grumble,grumble

I have about 100 LD’s in my library, at the moment, and when I get disposable income again, that number will likely go up. Among other things, I like them for their durability vs DVD’s. Toddlers can’t take the disc out of the player, and chew on it. Trust me on this. And the data is more robust than DVD encoding. I grant that not everyone is concerned about rampaging toddlers from Hell, but for those of us who are, it’s a definite advantage to LD’s.

I also like the freeze frame capability of LD’s over DVD’s. I have a moderately high end DVD player, and it doesn’t stop frames clearly all the time, usually only about 1/3 of the time. Otherwise one gets an image in transition, which isn’t really very useful if one is trying to read whatever it is on screen. (Newspapers, notes, etc. Yes, I’m a word geek. :D)

I am amused to see some of the things that are going for bargain basement prices on eBay and the like, now. Including things like Jim Henson’s Hey, Cinderella, which is not available in any other medium, IIRC.

BTW, about laserrot - my understanding is that it was a manufacturing problem, not an problem with the media storage. As such, once the problem was recognized the manufacturing process was updated. Thus only some of the earlier LD’s are susceptible to laserrot. If I’m wrong about this, I’d really like to know.

I won the bidding… On the Criterion three-disc edition of 2001: A Space Odyssey. From what I’ve read, this one has the best combination of image vs. extras. Lots of MGM versions out there for very little money. The Criterion edition is hard to come by. Got it for $22. :slight_smile:

Re: Rot. I have three Cousteau LDs that are unwatchable. They’re from the earlier series, and I’m guessing that they’re older LDs. Too bad, those are my favourite episodes. Anyway, the surfaces of these LDs look pitted all over.

My husband started collecting laser discs in 1982. Some of the earliest ones had problems; as does Johnny L.A. our Cousteau discs are almost completely unwatchable. I think it is because they used cardboard instead of plastic as the coating material on the side which was not recorded on. The cardboard side has badly degraded, and the last time my kids tried to watch one, it was like watching through a snowstorm. We have a disc of Paint Your Wagon which I know is as old as the Cousteau discs, and it was fine when my daughter watched it last month.

Those Cousteau series programs were really well done; I’d like to be able to find them again, in a more durable from.

Not entirely sure what you mean, *Greycat. I’ve just pulled out Octopus, Octopus. Are you talking about the backing where, on a DVD, the sidc would be silkscreened? i.e., the back of the disc? On this one, there’s a plain white backing that looks like vinyl. I suppose it could be paper. How would the backing on the non-reading side affect the reading side? (FWIW, the backing on this disc is in perfect condition.)

From what I’ve heard, the source of ‘rot’ is moisture trapped between the 2 sides, slowly corroding the aluminum. Laserdiscs were produced in the same plants as phonograph records and the humidity was not kept under control. Most of the MCA ‘DiscoVision’ LDs I’ve seen had rot. Once the discs were made in ‘clean room’ conditions, this problem mostly went away. I’m still pissed about my Heavy Metal disc, it was made in '96, dammit! Guess I need to go get it on Superbit DVD.
Here’s the Wikipedia article on laserdiscs, they say it was substandard adhesives that caused rot.

My three snowy discs are by Image Entertainment.

Incidentally, my LD player is a Pioneer CLD-E2000.

Does anyone have an opinion on it?