Laserdisc player repair place recommendations? (in USA)
August 2, 2010 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Laserdisc player repair place recommendations? (in USA)

I'm hoping the hive can point me to a knowledgeable, reliable, and reputable place that can repair my two Laserdisc players. Both are Pioneer models. One is a CLD-D503 and the other is a DVL-919.

The 503 powers up, but when I press the "Open/Close" button for the tray, all I get is about 30 seconds of clicking. One day I turned it on, it did that, and it's always done that since. The 919 appears to have tracking problems on LDs or DVDs (just a guess).

I would guess that many people would wonder why I don't simply replace all my LDs with DVDs since my Laserdisc players can't run forever. I intend to do that with most of them. However, the biggest reason I prefer the Laserdisc version in many cases is that some of the movies I have on Laserdisc have been modified when they are/were released on DVD. DVD releases of classic 80's movies such as "Sixteen Candles" often have soundtracks that differ significantly from the the original movie and the Laserdisc. I'm sure it's not a problem for people who aren't accustomed to the older films, but for me it wrecks the movie.

So, anyone know of a great place that will repair my two LD players? The most important criteria for me is that the players are repaired correctly. I can't tell you how many times I have taken in consumer electronics for repairs, and I receive the unit back with the same or other problems.

As an aside, what I intend to do is to get the players repaired, and then copy the movies to a DVR for the future. If/when I get my players back, I'll probably post a question regarding the best way to record the content of the LDs. I currently know very little about that and I don't even have a DVR.

Also, I'm located near Chicago on the off chance that there's a place in that area that someone could recommend. Like I said, I'm most concerned with high quality repair work. I'm guessing I'll have to box these things up and ship them to a repair place (assuming one exists).

Many thanks!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You might try asking the University of Chicago Film Studies Center who services their machines. (I know for a fact that they have working players there, and their study collection include a pretty decent number of laserdiscs).
posted by bubukaba at 7:51 PM on August 2, 2010


As a guy who works at a video store that made its money on the laserdisc boom, we get this question a lot. It sucks that they're broken, but have you considered just going to a pawn shop and seeing if they have any models for sale? Might be cheaper than getting them fixed. Good luck!
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 10:15 PM on August 2, 2010


There are a few hundred laserdisc players on ebay.

If I were in your shoes, I'd pick one up, pick up a video encoding card, and transcode my laserdiscs to dvd9.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:28 PM on August 2, 2010


Response by poster: bubukaba: "You might try asking the University of Chicago Film Studies Center"

Ah! Outstanding idea. I sent them an email at their contact address and a woman there responded that she doesn't know of any "commercial ventures that still do work on laserdisc players" although she did give me the name and email of the guy who fixes their machines. However, she added this caveat: "He may be far too busy to take on this small a job but you can try him."

I'll email him and hope for the best. Many thanks for the tip!!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:04 PM on August 3, 2010


Response by poster: PostIronyIsNotaMyth: "It sucks that they're broken, but have you considered just going to a pawn shop and seeing if they have any models for sale?"

A great idea as well. I'll have to start looking for all the pawn shops in my area and see what I can find. I would think there's a decent likelihood that some pawn shop in the Chicago area has a Laserdisc player. This had never occurred to me. If I do find a working unit this way, the added benefit is that I don't pay any shipping charges. Thanks!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:09 PM on August 3, 2010


Response by poster: ROU_Xenophobe: "There are a few hundred laserdisc players on ebay. If I were in your shoes, I'd pick one up, pick up a video encoding card, and transcode my laserdiscs to dvd9."

You make an excellent point. I think this will be what I end up doing if I can't find anything locally. The only wrinkle for me is that I probably shouldn't get a player off ebay until I have a DVR and I'm proficient in the details of how to use it. Ebay sellers typically give their buyers only a short grace period for returning the unit, so I think it would be wise to have my DVR all set up and ready to record right when the player arrives in case it's not in as good a shape as the seller says. If I buy it now, I may not be able to tell it's got a problem (or it may develop one) by the time my DVR is built.

Whatever avenue ends up working out for me, I now know that I need to first build and learn how to use a PC-based DVR so I can record the movies off my Laserdiscs right after I get a player, regardless of where I obtain it.

Also, thanks for mentioning DVD9. Knowng that tidbit, I found some info to get me started on how to transcode these puppies. Thanks!!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:21 PM on August 3, 2010


The only wrinkle for me is that I probably shouldn't get a player off ebay until I have a DVR and I'm proficient in the details of how to use it. Ebay sellers typically give their buyers only a short grace period for returning the unit

I don't think you want to do this with a DVR like a tivo. The usual way I've seen people talk about this online is with a video capture card or USB device. They're like $50-100.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:25 AM on August 4, 2010


Response by poster: ROU_Xenophobe: "I don't think you want to do this with a DVR like a tivo. The usual way I've seen people talk about this online is with a video capture card or USB device. They're like $50-100."

Yes, I agree. I worded that poorly. I plan on building a dedicated PC for recording all of my obsolete media to DVD (and another when DVD is obsolete, and another after that, and so on until I lose interest or die. Gotta love this world of hyper obsolescence.).

My "best" PC right now is a single core Athlon 64 3700 with 3GB, and the mobo only has one paltry PCI-E x16 slot. I really doubt it has enough guts to transcode my stuff now. I plan on saving the cash up to get a new beastly multi-core machine when PCI-E v3.0 is released and the initial bugs worked out. I've been out of the PC scene for a few years now.

Thanks again for all your comments/help.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 2:30 PM on August 5, 2010


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