> > Using one of the last produced LDPs, would assure better quality output, than a model from the eighties.>
> Particularly towards the end of Laserdisc's life, there were a number of cost-reduced players released. While I don't recall specifics, many of them had inferior output to models that were over a decade old at that point. I understand your point that later models *should* be better, but that wasn't always the case. Hell, even in the '80s there were noticeable variances in playback quality and features between machines - which is one reason why industrial players were generally preferred over consumer-grade models.>
Thats not exactly what i meant with my explanation. Of course, industrial players where more durable, had better components and what not, but what i wrote would still apply to those "industrial" players too. I am not a expert for LDP models and thats why i asked for some model-nr., so that i can continue with my search.
> Even some of those Star Wars: A New Hope discs are suffering from laser rot. On a long enough timeline, all of them will. It's just that the laserdisc games have had longer to get to that point and so have statistically-greater instances of degradation.>
> > And Firefox, is one of the best looking games here. 90% of the LD games will look way more ugly. They where produced very fast and very cheap with the lowest eighties technology.>
> I disagree with that statement to a certain point. Remember that LD technology was not cheap at the time or over its lifetime, and that many games used multiple revisions of or completely different players during their production runs as reliability issues (which were usually, but not always, mechanical) surfaced. The players could only be bought in from the manufacturers at specific price points, and pressing LDs may have actually been *more* expensive for games than retail titles due to the relatively low numbers of discs produced.>
I am sorry, but you got me completely wrong here and i should explain that more clearly. Its not the LD medium itself (this in fact, was awesome at that time). I meant more the "content" of it, the what you called "master". This content was produced fast, very cheap and with low-quality standards and is that, what was mentioned by Dave about Firefox for example and Firefox is one of the better "masters". I have seen four captures from SailorSat and three of them, are just "quick and dirty" work. Only Mad Dog looked "acceptable", but still far from a good "master".
Which brings us to the next point you wrote:
> However, this is an unsolvable problem as we're working solely with the media that was generated under those circumstances, and even the greatest LD player ever made can't make a disc pressed from crappy source material look better than the material on the disc itself. If we had access to pressing masters things might be better to a certain point, but I'm willing to bet that by now all of those are long since discarded and/or destroyed.>
With this, you answered your own questions regarding Digital Leisure and DL, Space Ace and so on. They had Don Bluth and they had the original masters. As this is basically a animation movie, it was quite easy to recapture stuff and even create a HD release of it. Stuff that you simply cannot do with Mad Dog and all the other games, with real actors. Those games where not recorded on film (nearly resolution independent, huge colorspace), but rather on video (fixed small resolution, small colorspace). So even if you have the masters, you will not come far with it.
OK, so here's a question from my somewhat limited understanding of how NTSC video actually works: what options exist other than a Blackmagic card? Basically, I'm wondering if this is something that couldn't be accomplished with the use of studio equipment in a pre-processing phase ahead of digital capture on some other equipment, or possibly even the same as proposed.
Of course there is other studio equipment like a Betacam SP, but you would still be in the analog world and we need to go digital in some form, to make it accessible for normal people. There is no workaround for this.
> My thinking is that if the specific fields required can be broken out to a separate digital stream (or frame), the codec that captures and plays back the digital file can take care of the combinatory problem at playback.>
I dont know, what you exactly want here. If you mean interlacing/fields, i am not aware of any codec on this planet, that can do this. If you mean the VBI data, this can be done and is written in Aarons arcticles you linked previously.
IMHO here lies a problem. Nearly all capture cards, where not designed to capture the "whole" frame. Even in the Firefox thread, you will not see such a capture (starting with page 1). Professional equipment will capture VBI data, but not the whole frame. You may achieve this with hacked videodrivers, but this is not recommended and a ideal solution at all. I consider it very hard to do it the right way, especially if you want to keep the interlace/fields intact, which would be crucial for further processing. To be honest, i could be wrong here as i never seen the original captures, but i think the captures from Aaron have errors regarding this topic. We only need to know, which lines of the VBI data are needed, but we dont need the whole frame, this will cause only trouble. This is the reason why i asked if the software for proving captures, could be rewritten. Professional equipment doesnt work that way (cheap stuff neither), like it is expected in the article of Aaron. So the approach of the LD tool in MAME is wrong, regarding the VBI data, as it is expecting the "whole" frame (525lines).
Which brings me to the last point. Yeah, you can hack all kind of stuff, like the IR remote for exact frame jumping and what not, capturing straight from the laser lens to your eye. I think we should avoid as much as possible of this hacks. The interlace/fields, analog sources/noise, VBI data etc. all of this, is very delicate and very picky and with a single shifted scanline, you will break all your capturing effort into useless shit. Keep it simple, treat the source right, capture it uncompressed/lossless and thats it.