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Old 11-29-2012, 06:08 AM   #1
Blu-21 Blu-21 is offline
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Default Laserdisc to DVD vs DVD to Blu-Ray

I think overall its fair to say that the biggest transitional upgrade from one format to another in more ways then one was VHS to DVD, but to those who were watching Laserdiscs back in the day and then eventually invested in DVD and now obviously have done the same with Blu-Ray, which is the bigger leap forward quality wise? What's a more substantial difference?

LD was a standard definition analog format, DVD is a standard definition digital format and of course Blu-Ray is a high definition digital format..
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
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Although the jump from DVD to bluray was very substantial i still think going from VHS to laserdisc was huge.
I remember watching my first widescreen laserdisc and my jaw dropping to the ground at not only viewing the film in its OAR but the quality was leaps and bounds better than tape. I knew right there and then that I would become a film junkie.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:15 AM   #3
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I don't consider upgrade from Laserdisc to DVD to be anywhere near as substantial as upgrade from VHS to DVD, let alone DVD to blu-ray.

To me though, the biggest eye-opener was OAR; seeing all those movies I had watched so many times since I was a child on TV and video, suddenly seeing them in widescreen - especially 2.35:1 - it was like watching an entirely different movie! Higher resolution and better picture quality doesn't come even near not having half the picture chopped off.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:49 AM   #4
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It wasn't until the advent of Blu-Ray that the sound quality of Laserdisc was bested. Therefore LD was the pinnacle of technology for so many years.

End. Of. Discussion.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pondosinatra View Post
It wasn't until the advent of Blu-Ray that the sound quality of Laserdisc was bested. Therefore LD was the pinnacle of technology for so many years.

End. Of. Discussion.
LD did not have anamorphic widescreen.

End. Of. Discussion.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:23 PM   #6
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The first bunch of dvds I saw looked pretty ropey compared to laserdisc - really compressed versions of the laserdisc masters. It took me a while to move over to that format and I never was a real fan. It didn't take BD long to win me over.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
LD did not have anamorphic widescreen.

End. Of. Discussion.
Might want to rethink that. I have over a dozen that are.



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Last edited by Pondosinatra; 12-14-2012 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:54 PM   #8
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LD's for a long time had better picture and sound than VHS, and most of the mid 90's DVD's. Sadly, I did not have the cash to buy lots of LD's then (had over a 100 I think). I started buying DVD's back in 1996 and they were 'cheaper' than LD's that's for sure. LD was superior in sound and picture during DVD's inception, only until DVD's were manufactured entirely digital is when they became superior. Oh and I remember if LD's get a scratch, you can still watch the disc and skip over it, DVD's cannot do that.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:49 AM   #9
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Laserdisc is inbetween VHS and dvd PQ wise, but dvds are compressed where laserdiscs were not. I found early dvds better than lasers. I still have some lasers and can notice the difference between the picture quality. IMO, lasers are a poorer than than dvds even early ones.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:20 AM   #10
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Leaving out VHS as the OP did, I would say going from DVD to BD. I like the sound better on my LDs than my DVDs, and generally could not tell a picture quality difference.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:14 AM   #11
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I remember Widescreen Review saying that if they had used the surface size of laserdisc for DVD technology, those discs would have looked better than the DVD's did. I've gone from VHS to Laserdisc, to DVD to BluRay. A friend at work sees very little difference between his Laserdisc and a BluRay but he is running these on a 720p 42" Pioneer Elite panel he says.

As TV's got better, I could see the vast differences in each format over the former one but had I kept my old 20" Hitachi monitor I'm sure those differences would be slight if not null. Because lines of resolution improved on displays, you could see not only the improvements as the formats changed but also the vast limitations of the former. Play a VHS tape (or Beta) on an old 420i CRT and it looked great. Play that same tape on your new HD panel and the tape looks like 5'th generation tape.

Point is, one cannot see the differences in formats and lines of resolution unless you have the display to match them and if, like most of us you have progressed in display along with format, the differences in percentage are very close... 50%, 100% etc each time you advance. High resolution displays certainly take advantage of more lines of resolution but again, they also show the imperfections of older sources with fewer lines of res'.

As things progress into 4K and 8K, we will get to a point where none of us want to watch an old Blu-Ray, just like few of us want to watch an old VHS tape or Laserdisc on our new panel.

For myself, I've got a ton of old DVD's and they are still greatly watchable on my panel but truth be told, I'd rather watch a Blu-Ray. I'm not dumping my DVD's, I put a lot of cash into those things and I can still watch them or lend them out plus there are many I will not buy the BD version of because I simply do not re-watch those nearly as often as others so for me, the DVD version is fine. The Laserdiscs I've kept are concerts that were not carried over to DVD but I sold the rest because the DVD versions were just so much better in PQ once I bought my present panel.
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Last edited by DavePS3; 12-14-2012 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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I compared my Laserdisc of "Close Encounters" with the DVD and the BD, since it is the only movie I own in all 3 formats. DVD was a bit clearer than LD, some more detail, but not much. On the other hand a harsher picture with digital artefacts, not as pleasing to watch. BD is in a totally different league, much better than DVD: more detail, no visible artefacts, a smooth, very pleasing picture.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:20 PM   #13
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I've done a few transitions over time: VHS and CED to LD, LD to DVD, DVD to Blu-Ray.

Ranking my three transitions from biggest to smallest leap:

1. VHS/CED to LD. A *huge* leap in quality, both video and audio. A huge leap in quality of presentation, too, with OAR, commentary tracks, extras like trailers and making-of docs, etc.

2. DVD to Blu-Ray. A large leap in quality, both video and audio. Negligible leap in presentation (prettier menus, interactive bits I never really use).

3. LD to DVD. A moderate leap in video quality for anamorphic widescreen, a small leap for full-frame (but a negative leap for non-anamorphic widescreen DVDs, which typically used LD masters and then hampered them with EE and compression artifacts). Earlier posts notwithstanding, anamorphic LDs were a rarity (might as well have brought up the HD MUSE laserdiscs), whereas anamorphic DVDs are common, so I give the nod to DVD overall. Negligible leap in audio (PCM was usually better on LD, as were the rare DTS releases, but DVD made it far easier to use AC3). Large leap in presentation quality (menus instead of chapter stops! no more arcane switching between analog/digital audio and L/R channels to get commentary tracks!).

I still find LD to be quite usable, and discs from the heyday of LD's life (say 1992-2000) still look really nice on modern TVs when played through a decent player. I immediately removed VHS from use when I got into LD, but still buy and use LD and DVD for material not available on BD; that should give an idea of just how big of a leap VHS to LD was... VHS just looked like unusable trash compared to LD, but LD I'm still using alongside its successors.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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Might want to rethink that. I have over a dozen that are.

Hmm, I stand slightly corrected. But you must have every single "Squeeze LD" ever released, many of which could only be imported from Japan.

http://www.mindspring.com/~laserguru/squeeze.html

Anyways to me the bottom line is DVD (at its best) > LD (at its best). LD > DVD (at its worst). Blu-ray > any other home video format. And no, I don't think in a few years I'll be swapping out my BD collection for 4k.

Last edited by lobosrul; 12-14-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Hmm, I stand slightly corrected. But you must have every single "Squeeze LD" ever released, many of which could only be imported from Japan....
Yup. There were also 4 'Squeeze' North American releases, which I also have.



Everyone is saying how Blu-ray is such a phenomenal improvement over DVD. Obviously it is technically, but I've only ever seen a handful of releases that absolutely blew me away - Blade Runner, Prometheus, Planet Earth series, and Baraka - by that I mean releases that actually made my jaw drop, or utter 'holy crap that looks awesome'. Basically releases that lived up to what Blu-ray promised.

I also appreciate the efforts of Criterion and the work they do.

But for most studio releases from the 80's and 90's.....meh.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #16
lobosrul lobosrul is offline
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Originally Posted by Pondosinatra View Post
Yup.

There were also 4 'Squeeze' North American releases, which I also have.



Everyone is saying how Blu-ray is such a phenomenal improvement over DVD. Obviously it is technically, but I've only ever seen a handful of releases that absolutely blew me away - Blade Runner, Prometheus, Planet Earth series, and Baraka. I also appreciate the efforts of Criterion and the work they do. But for most studio releases from the 80's and 90's.....meh.
I used to think BD was always better, but that (a good) DVD was adequate for most older movies. Then I upgraded from a 42" HDTV to a 73", and yeah DVD is pretty much un-watchable to me now.

I also appreciate Criterion, but sometimes I think they're pricing themselves out of the market.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu-21 View Post
which is the bigger leap forward quality wise? What's a more substantial difference?
.
There is no doubt Bluray was the bigger leap, laserdisc and dvd were about the same quality however there were times when some of my laserdiscs actually looked better than the dvds.

With blurays, there is no questions what is superior although some recent dvds do look much better than older releases.

One thing that laserdisc had with the ac-3 tracks were that the audio was the exact same theatrical mix, dvds often were re-mix for home theatre and sound levels would very.

Overall, blu ray was the biggest leap.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
LD did not have anamorphic widescreen.

End. Of. Discussion.
Not in the United States, anyway...

http://www.mindspring.com/~laserguru/squeeze.html

There were, in fact, a handful of 16:9 titles on LD in Japan, most notably "Terminator 2."
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cubdukat View Post
Not in the United States, anyway...

http://www.mindspring.com/~laserguru/squeeze.html

There were, in fact, a handful of 16:9 titles on LD in Japan, most notably "Terminator 2."
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #20
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I never owned a laserdisc(poor university student at the time) but I think biggest jump was vhs to dvd. laserdisc created lot of things that dvd became famous for - digital format, commentary, better surround sound, etc. since a lot of people didn't have the laserdisc, the jump from vhs to dvd was huge because dvd was something that really you couldn't do with vhs - the improved quality, commentary, etc were just not a real option for vhs. for people going from laserdisc to dvd and even from vhs to laserdisc, there were improvements but they were steps up not jumps like vhs to dvd - vhs to laserdisc had the problem of going from rather small tapes to rather large records so that was kind of a negative. for dvd to bluray, again, it is a step more than a jump. the quality difference is huge but again, for most people it is nothing more than a fancy dvd. so really I think the laserdisc to dvd and dvd to bluray are about equal.
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