Do TOS laserdiscs offer digital output?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by billsantos, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. billsantos

    billsantos Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    I recently acquired a Pioneer Elite CLD-59 laserdisc player, which has analog outputs along with a coaxial digital output, and a couple of Trek laserdiscs, The Menagerie and one with episodes 58/59. Although I can watch and hear the discs using audio analog output, I am getting nothing into the PC using the digital coaxial output from the player. Question: Is there something wrong with my setup or do TOS laserdiscs offer only analog output? Thank you, Bill
     
  2. MANT!

    MANT! Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    in Atomo-vision
    sorry, they don't..


    Laserdisc is a composite video format: the luminance (black and white) and chrominance (color) information are transmitted in one signal and it is the responsibility of the receiver to separate them. While good comb filters can do so adequately, these two signals cannot be completely separated. Compared to the entirely digital DVD, Laserdiscs use only analog video. the Audio is often digital like a CD..
     
  3. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location:
    Where truth is better than fiction
    The discs you have do not have digital audio tracks --only analog audio. Because of this you will not hear anything from the digital output; you will need to connect the analog (left and right) outputs to hear the audio. The Japanese box sets of all three seasons of TOS do have digital audio however, but they are hard to find and still fetch crazy money on eBay. They also have non-removable Japanese subtitles and the blue third season main title sequence is used for all three seasons.
     
  4. billsantos

    billsantos Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Yes, unfortunately, that's what I discovered. Worked fine with a CD I had here, but only analog out for the two Trek LD. Now do you know if the Japanese versions have the original tracks (in English) included or not? This could have a big impact on sound quality. I noticed on the Blu Rays that when any language other than English is selected, the original sound quality takes a big dip.
     
  5. JDF

    JDF Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2000
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    However, if you can find the "all color" release of "The Cage", that laserdisc did come out at a time when including digital audio was standard practice. But that one was the only one to get digital audio.
     
  6. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    On the bright side, the Laserdiscs are the closest we're probably ever gonna get to having the true original sound mix for the second and third seasons. If that's important to you, anyway. It was to me, so I have the whole run on Laser. On a tube TV set, they look great. HD not so much.
     
  7. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location:
    Where truth is better than fiction
    With the exception of the aforementioned issue with the main titles, I believe the audio mixes on the digital tracks are very faithful to the original broadcasts -- perhaps the best those tracks could ever sound since the Japanese transfers seemed to have been done with more care than the domestic ones.

    It's unfortunate that the video quality of the domestic discs is so iffy (not to mention the seemingly random placement of the "next episode" spots), because with the (albeit analog) original audio that would be the best "retro" viewing experience. Because of the burned-in subs and the wonky main titles the Japanese discs -- in spite of their superior transfers -- don't fit the bill.
     
  8. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    For that true retro feeling, I dig out the old VHS editions, with 2 episodes per tape. There were like 6 tapes and they all "pre-restored" prints. They look like crap, but boy it's like stepping back into the 70's and watching Trek on Channel 11. Except without the ramdom syndication cuts.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Escaped from Trumpistan
    Boy... there are times I really miss those days. Trying to make it home by 4pm to catch the daily airing. And it really didn't matter what episode was showing... I sat there for 60 minutes and happily watched.
     
  10. BolianAuthor

    BolianAuthor Writer, Battlestar Urantia Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Torrance, California
    Kind of off-topic, but I'm saving to get all three seasons of TOS on DVD, but the original DVDs... not the TOS-R set... I wanna be able to watch the original in the original form. :)
     
  11. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    How is the sound mix different? I hadn't heard of this before.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Escaped from Trumpistan
    Buy the Blu-ray sets, that way you get the best of both worlds.
     
  13. JDF

    JDF Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2000
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    That's right. With the Blu-ray, you can choose the CGI modified version or the original effects version. With either version, the episodes were still properly transferred in high definition. With the original version, you also get the original mono soundtrack. That's something you don't get on the DVD release. Even on the original 40 Vol. 2-episodes per disk DVD, you don't get the original mono sound. You get the newly created (at the time) 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. And that is your only choice. Ever mind a few editing goofs in a couple of episodes due to the remastering at the time. There was a list that Paramount admitted to over at the Home Theater Forum back then.

    Other than that, that original DVD release did feature the first time the original source music song "Goodnight, Sweetheart" was used in "City On The Edge Of Forever" since it first aired. Except for some initial Beta and VHS releases of just this episode, all full series VHS and laserdisc issues had different music. All releases since have the proper music now.
     
  14. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    In the last two seasons (and the last portion of the first), there was no exterior Enterprise "rumble." However, beginning with the 1999 DVDs, there suddenly was. The Blu-Ray "mono" track also has those sounds. Also, a number of episodes have different music (and sounds), either substituted or added at certain points. Some dialog was edited and/or looped in order to be "corrected" yet all of these latter day adjustments are still heard on the "broadcast mono" tracks of the Blu-Rays.

    The Laserdiscs/VHS editions are as close as we ever got, but even those aren't perfect. The main titles for the first season were standardized with the Fred Steiner arrangement of the theme (with the exception of WNMHGB) and the phaser rifle impact sound effect is muted in Where No Man.

    There are some really bad music issues with The Menagerie part 2. After the opening credits, it starts off with music from The Doomsday Machine, which wasn't even an idea at this point. At least the BD mono track corrects that. For the first season, the mono audio seems right.

    Most people really wouldn't care, but I spent the first 14 years of Trekkiedom listening to the series on audio tape and I had gotten very accustomed to the original sound mix. When it's wrong, it sticks out to me more than the new effects ever did.
     
  15. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    ^^ Interesting, thanks for the reply.
     
  16. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003