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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 25 2014, @06:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the Ches-ko-ba-tuta-creesta-crenko-ya-kolska! dept.

mechanicjay writes:

While a bit pop-culture and light hearted, it's an indelible part of every geek's soul, so perhaps it's worthy of a front page discussion:

Over at Movie Pilot, Alex Rosenhiem puts forth a compelling argument for preservation of art and of shared cultural experience and why that matters. He couches it in the context of revisionism as applied to the Han/Greedo Cantina scene, long a source of nerd rage, countless arguments and is even it's own meme. The moment is a pivotal one for the development of the Han Solo character, but more importantly Rosenhiem argues that Art, Star Wars included, gives us access to the past and where we were at a certain point in time when we first experienced it.

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  • (Score: 2) by willie3204 on Tuesday March 25 2014, @06:53PM

    by willie3204 (826) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @06:53PM (#21124)

    I have the original on laser disc and watch it from time to time... I've also heard they re-released the original on DVD some time back (2005?) is that right?

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @07:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @07:13PM (#21128)

    Yes, there was a DVD set made of the original 3 films. Each came with a "bonus disc," which was supposedly the theatrical version. In fact they were just ripped from the Laserdisc. They look good enough -- way better than the VHS copies I watched 100+ times as a kid.

    That set is out of print and goes for a fortune online. I bought it at Walmart like 7 or 8 years ago from the clearance bin. *shrugs*

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:15AM

      by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:15AM (#21344)

      Laserdisc can and does exceed the vast majority of DVD videos produced.

      It was the Cadillac of home entertainment, and only well produced Bluray is even capable of beating it today.

      They could pull those rips from Laserdisc because the quality was so good, and you won't see artifacts from digital compression on a Laserdisc. Sound wasn't half bad either, but nothing compared to the digital sound you have on DVDs and Blurays. That was probably remastered.

      If anyone has the Laserdiscs today you could play it with a high end Laserdisc (my family still has the best one ever produced) and watch Star Wars as it was meant to be seen.

      Not that abomination Lucas produced with new CGI to make some more money.

      P.S - I hate digital video because the content producers are too damn cheap to make a quality encode, and the average consumer player is crap and can't handle a good encode anyways.

      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:37PM

        by evilviper (1760) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:37PM (#21787) Homepage Journal

        Laserdisc can and does exceed the vast majority of DVD videos produced.

        You're completely wrong. LaserDisc has, at best, about 2/3rds the resolution of a DVD. Add to that DVDs typically being anamorphic, while laser discs were letter-boxed, and you're losing even more picture.

        I've seen good transfers from Laser disc, and they're a significant step below the quality of any DVD you can buy.

        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mechanicjay on Tuesday March 25 2014, @07:22PM

    My too, my wife actually found a copy of the Definitive Collection [] a couple years ago. It's like 3 discs per movie, all in CAV format. It's the cleanest audio I've ever heard. It's way crisper than the compressed remastered DVD editions. For that alone it's completely worth it.

    I need to hack my laserdisc player to output something besides composite output -- the comb filter just isn't up to the task on the 40 inch widescreen.

    They did release some Original cut DVD's a few years ago, though I don't own them. In the middle of writing this reply, I came across this: [] It's basically a 20 page manifesto about why those DVD's suck. :)

    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 1) by willie3204 on Tuesday March 25 2014, @07:24PM

      by willie3204 (826) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @07:24PM (#21139)

      The quality of my laser discs is pretty poor. Not sure if its the disc or the player. Would love input on it

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by mechanicjay on Tuesday March 25 2014, @07:52PM

        Seems there are different laserdisc editions out there. There are some Bog standard Laserdisc (in widescreen and fullscreen), the THX release and the Definitive Collection. If I had to guess, I'd say that quality gets a bit better as you progress through that list.

        Quality of the output from the player though, I think really comes down to the output of the player. If the player only outputs a coax, it's going to suck no matter what you do. If you have a composite video out, it's dependent on the quality of the comb filter in the player and your tv, which combines/separates out the various color/brightness/picture signals you get with a composite, 3-wire signal.

        My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
        • (Score: 1) by dast on Tuesday March 25 2014, @08:26PM

          by dast (1633) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @08:26PM (#21172)

          Where are my mod points today? +1 to you, sir.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by dpp on Tuesday March 25 2014, @09:09PM

    by dpp (3579) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @09:09PM (#21192)

    I also have a laserdisc copy. As others responded, the Definitive Collection is outstanding quality. CAV, excellent audio.
    I purchased this new, when it came out, for about $250. As I understand the history of the production, as they were readying the "new" versions of the films (re-release at theatre with updates such as CGI Jabba & other f/x added), they went through a thorough process of cleaning up original prints (grain/noise), re-processed/re-created the multi-channel audio, to make a *perfect* copy (print) of the original film, including digital form. Those new "masters" were used for producing the source for the updated films.
    However, fortunately for us (who have/have watched the Definitive version) the best release of the original film was created.
    According to Lucas, the story goes that after those original edit masters were made, used for the laserdisc production, some were inadvertently destroyed during the only the "new edition" masters exist now? Sounded like a made-up story to give an excuse why they won't re-produce the original edits, used for the laserdisc Definitive production.

    Regarding new master copies -
    Being a Star Wars buff, I even purchased a laserdisc copy (Japanese import, as it came out in Japan long before US release) of The Phantom Menace. I'd edited together the (best, imho) fight scene with Darth Maul - just the fight, editing out the other scenes occurring concurrently, and was able to make an outstanding digital copy. I used a old digital-8 camera which allowed me to input from the laserdisc & stream over firewire to my PC.

    Anyhow...I'm only mentioning the "new master copy" idea, as I've been able to get fantastic quality from my Pioneer laserdisc player, using component out (no s-video, not composite-ugh), directly into a projector with a video processing (component analog-to-dvi/hdmi, processing onboard cleans up further).

    If Disney/Lucas never give us a clean original release, I might just have to hook-up the video editing PC again & make a clean 5-channel digital copy from those laserdiscs.

    I just popped the Pioneer laserdisc (best audio&video chip version, last release), after 6yrs in storage, to watch another film I'd not seen released on DVD/digital download the equipment still works great. Here's hoping there's no laser-rot on the Star Wars discs.

    • (Score: 1) by willie3204 on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:41AM

      by willie3204 (826) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:41AM (#21257)

      Excellent post.
      I have just, to my complete and total dismay, discovered my laser disc is in fact not a laser disc at all. It is a CED disc []. How sad. It does however explain the incredibly POOR video quality. Oh well I'll just wait for the re-re-re-release of the original film ripped from laser to bluray :p

      • (Score: 1) by dpp on Wednesday March 26 2014, @08:50PM

        by dpp (3579) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @08:50PM (#21744)

        You know it's funny (not "haha"...but "odd/sad way"), when the CED discs came out MANY people purchased them after seeing great press on laserdisc quality. My uncle, a tech+audio+video buff picked one up. Later he purchased a laserdisc and of course we immediately compared/contrasted the tech.
        It's interesting to see how companies do the "knock off"/"ride coattails" and succeed to some degree, often to the extreme detriment of the consumers.
        Thanks for reminding me of that competing large disc format.