Discussion:
Deathwatch: Oppo Digital's DVD/Blu-ray line
(too old to reply)
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-03 13:16:38 UTC
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Most people have probably never heard of them, but for the last 14
years Oppo Digital has been producing "universal disc" players, that
is, well-built, well-performing machines that will play CD, DVD (NTSC
and PAL), DVD-Audio, SACD and just about any other type of video or
audio that can be put on a disc or streamed from a home network. The
first players pre-dated HD-DVD and Blu-ray, but once the format war
was over Oppo added Blu-ray to their products.

From the beginning, the players were well-reviewed and well-received
by a particular type of nerd because they not only were extremely
versatile but also just plain genuinely *good* while remaining
relatively reasonably priced.

For whatever reason, they never sold them in retail stores, at least
not as far as I can tell. They were strictly mail-order, but they were
easy to get ahold of and had amazing customer support.

Yesterday they announced "it is time to say goodbye."
https://www.oppodigital.com/farewell.aspx. No explanation is given, so
I have to assume this is just more of the universal plot to prevent us
from having Nice Things.
Congoleum Breckenridge
2018-04-03 20:36:04 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
Most people have probably never heard of them, but for the last 14
years Oppo Digital has been producing "universal disc" players, that
is, well-built, well-performing machines that will play CD, DVD (NTSC
and PAL), DVD-Audio, SACD and just about any other type of video or
audio that can be put on a disc or streamed from a home network. The
first players pre-dated HD-DVD and Blu-ray, but once the format war
was over Oppo added Blu-ray to their products.
From the beginning, the players were well-reviewed and well-received
by a particular type of nerd because they not only were extremely
versatile but also just plain genuinely *good* while remaining
relatively reasonably priced.
For whatever reason, they never sold them in retail stores, at least
not as far as I can tell. They were strictly mail-order, but they were
easy to get ahold of and had amazing customer support.
Yesterday they announced "it is time to say goodbye."
https://www.oppodigital.com/farewell.aspx. No explanation is given, so
I have to assume this is just more of the universal plot to prevent us
from having Nice Things.
The times are changing though, and streaming is engulfing the need for
physical media.
Louis Epstein
2018-04-03 21:20:54 UTC
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Post by Congoleum Breckenridge
Post by Terry del Fuego
Most people have probably never heard of them, but for the last 14
years Oppo Digital has been producing "universal disc" players, that
is, well-built, well-performing machines that will play CD, DVD (NTSC
and PAL), DVD-Audio, SACD and just about any other type of video or
audio that can be put on a disc or streamed from a home network. The
first players pre-dated HD-DVD and Blu-ray, but once the format war
was over Oppo added Blu-ray to their products.
From the beginning, the players were well-reviewed and well-received
by a particular type of nerd because they not only were extremely
versatile but also just plain genuinely *good* while remaining
relatively reasonably priced.
For whatever reason, they never sold them in retail stores, at least
not as far as I can tell. They were strictly mail-order, but they were
easy to get ahold of and had amazing customer support.
Yesterday they announced "it is time to say goodbye."
https://www.oppodigital.com/farewell.aspx. No explanation is given, so
I have to assume this is just more of the universal plot to prevent us
from having Nice Things.
The times are changing though, and streaming is engulfing the need for
physical media.
Those of us annoyed by streaming and insistent on physical media
being the only thing for which we are willing to pay for content
will have to engage in a rearguard strategy.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Michael OConnor
2018-04-04 02:09:14 UTC
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Post by Louis Epstein
Those of us annoyed by streaming and insistent on physical media
being the only thing for which we are willing to pay for content
will have to engage in a rearguard strategy.
I like physical media. While I like the concept and ease of purchasing music online from Itunes, I don't like the fact that I don't really own the music, in that I can only own it for five devices. For me, Itunes is good if there is one song on an album that I like and it's cheaper than buying the whole album.

As for DVD's as opposed to streaming movies, I will watch a movie on Netflix or cable, and there are some movies and TV series I have bought on DVD, but most of the DVD's I own I pulled out of the five dollar bin at the Walmart or found for three dollars at the Big Lots.

A few years back they pretty much stopped producing DVD recorders for recording things off your TV. I don't know if it was the TV networks and film studios that got together and pressured Sony and Samsung and others to stop producing them, or if it was the copy-protected encryption that most networks and cable channels started using to prevent people from recording their programs on DVD, or if it is the streaming that is preferred to having physical media, but the DVD recorder never caught on like the VCR did.

I know I'm old-fashioned but I still burn important programs on a CD, because even though I have Carbonite that backs up all my programs, there is a part of me that just doesn't trust that it can't possibly go down. I still like to have a backup disk.
Louis Epstein
2018-04-06 22:07:20 UTC
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Post by Michael OConnor
Post by Louis Epstein
Those of us annoyed by streaming and insistent on physical media
being the only thing for which we are willing to pay for content
will have to engage in a rearguard strategy.
I like physical media. While I like the concept and ease of purchasing
music online from Itunes, I don't like the fact that I don't really own
the music, in that I can only own it for five devices. For me, Itunes
is good if there is one song on an album that I like and it's cheaper
than buying the whole album.
I don't like the idea of its being possible to charge for web content;
to me,the Internet should have no admission charge anywhere but on entry.
Post by Michael OConnor
As for DVD's as opposed to streaming movies, I will watch a movie on
Netflix or cable, and there are some movies and TV series I have bought
on DVD, but most of the DVD's I own I pulled out of the five dollar bin
at the Walmart or found for three dollars at the Big Lots.
A few years back they pretty much stopped producing DVD recorders for
recording things off your TV. I don't know if it was the TV networks
and film studios that got together and pressured Sony and Samsung and
others to stop producing them, or if it was the copy-protected
encryption that most networks and cable channels started using to
prevent people from recording their programs on DVD, or if it is the
streaming that is preferred to having physical media, but the DVD
recorder never caught on like the VCR did.
I have plenty of blank DVDs...so my player won't record?
Post by Michael OConnor
I know I'm old-fashioned but I still burn important programs on a CD,
because even though I have Carbonite that backs up all my programs,
I refuse to trust the cloud.
Post by Michael OConnor
there is a part of me that just doesn't trust that it can't possibly go
down. I still like to have a backup disk.
-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-04 13:15:03 UTC
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On Tue, 3 Apr 2018 16:36:04 -0400, Congoleum Breckenridge
Post by Congoleum Breckenridge
The times are changing though, and streaming is engulfing the need for
physical media.
Amongst those happy with inferior video, inferior audio and raped
credits, yes.
Dave Garrett
2018-04-05 04:06:30 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
Most people have probably never heard of them, but for the last 14
years Oppo Digital has been producing "universal disc" players, that
is, well-built, well-performing machines that will play CD, DVD (NTSC
and PAL), DVD-Audio, SACD and just about any other type of video or
audio that can be put on a disc or streamed from a home network. The
first players pre-dated HD-DVD and Blu-ray, but once the format war
was over Oppo added Blu-ray to their products.
From the beginning, the players were well-reviewed and well-received
by a particular type of nerd because they not only were extremely
versatile but also just plain genuinely *good* while remaining
relatively reasonably priced.
For whatever reason, they never sold them in retail stores, at least
not as far as I can tell. They were strictly mail-order, but they were
easy to get ahold of and had amazing customer support.
Yesterday they announced "it is time to say goodbye."
https://www.oppodigital.com/farewell.aspx. No explanation is given, so
I have to assume this is just more of the universal plot to prevent us
from having Nice Things.
I have an Oppo DV-980H DVD player that saw heavy use for several years
until the tray started sticking. It was the best DVD player I'd ever
owned, but it was time I upgraded to a Blu-ray player, so I wound up
with an Oppo BDP-95 that had the region-free mod installed.

The BDP-95, although long discontinued and succeeded by several newer
models in Oppo's lineup, is still going strong and built like a tank. I
would not necessarily call it "relatively reasonably priced", especially
with the region-free mod, but you get what you pay for and I have never
once regretted buying it.

In addition to the fact that streaming is "good enough" for most people,
I think Oppo was also affected by Blu-ray players becoming dirt-cheap
while theirs were still several hundred dollars and up. But those who've
owned them tend to be fiercely loyal customers with substantial physical
media collections, and you'd think the company would have been able to
continue to be profitable in the niche market they clearly dominated.
There's been some speculation as to whether Oppo Digital's Chinese
parent company forced their hand for other reasons (although Oppo
Digital, based in Silicon Valley, is nominally an independent subsidiary
run separately from the parent).

I don't have a 4K TV yet, but when the time came to purchase a new TV, I
had assumed I'd be eventually likewise upgrading to one of Oppo's 4K
players. I'm really bummed that it appears that will no longer be an
option.
--
Dave
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-05 13:58:47 UTC
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Post by Dave Garrett
I don't have a 4K TV yet, but when the time came to purchase a new TV, I
had assumed I'd be eventually likewise upgrading to one of Oppo's 4K
players. I'm really bummed that it appears that will no longer be an
option.
Mine arrives today (well, maybe...it was supposed to be here yesterday
but FedEx apparently wasn't in the mood). They'll still be available
for a while, though apparently the announcement resulted in a major
spike in orders. Oppo is saying they'll manufacture through June.

As for your older player, I've never had to take advantage of it, but
I've heard from others that Oppo charges a flat $79 for out of
warranty repair. I hope that lasts for a long time: My BDP-103 makes
it possible to rip SACD, both stereo and multichannel.

Fantasy: Since they'll no longer need industry certifications, they'll
go out with a bang by releasing firmware that restores the functions
they were previously forced to remove by extremist hate groups like
the MPAA.
Dave Garrett
2018-04-05 19:30:55 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
Fantasy: Since they'll no longer need industry certifications, they'll
go out with a bang by releasing firmware that restores the functions
they were previously forced to remove by extremist hate groups like
the MPAA.
That would almost be too much to hope for. It's always irritated me that
I got my BDP-95 shortly after they removed the ability to play ISOs
directly.

I've been leery about installing firmware updates since I've had my
player, as I've seen at least one person claim that a firmware update
disabled his region-free mod, although that is not supposed to be
possible since it's a hardware add-on. But I'd take a chance on it if
they were to put everything back in the firmware that they've removed.
--
Dave
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-06 14:08:17 UTC
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Post by Dave Garrett
That would almost be too much to hope for. It's always irritated me that
I got my BDP-95 shortly after they removed the ability to play ISOs
directly.
That bit a lot of people. How removing that in any way prevented
piracy is a complete mystery. But hey, at least it made life more
difficult for those who author their own discs and want to test before
burning, so big win for the MPAA!
Post by Dave Garrett
I've been leery about installing firmware updates since I've had my
player, as I've seen at least one person claim that a firmware update
disabled his region-free mod, although that is not supposed to be
possible since it's a hardware add-on. But I'd take a chance on it if
they were to put everything back in the firmware that they've removed.
I don't install firmware on the 103 until some much braver person
reports that it doesn't remove SACD ripping. By the way, while the 103
can extract the data from SACDs, it can't play SACD-R. But the 93 (and
probably the 95), which can't extract the data, will play an SACD-R.

As for region issues, one extremely cheap workaround is to use
MakeMKV. You still wind up with the same non-transcoded bits, they're
just in a new container that's no longer region-locked.
Dave Garrett
2018-04-07 00:55:16 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
I've been leery about installing firmware updates since I've had my
player, as I've seen at least one person claim that a firmware update
disabled his region-free mod, although that is not supposed to be
possible since it's a hardware add-on. But I'd take a chance on it if
they were to put everything back in the firmware that they've removed.
I don't install firmware on the 103 until some much braver person
reports that it doesn't remove SACD ripping. By the way, while the 103
can extract the data from SACDs, it can't play SACD-R. But the 93 (and
probably the 95), which can't extract the data, will play an SACD-R.
Good to know. I wasn't aware until recently that certain models could
rip SACDs. The process seems pretty involved, based on the details I
skimmed, but nothing that anyone reasonably tech-savvy would be overly
challenged by. Although I have a fair number of SACDs, the ability to
rip them is probably not something in itself that would spur me to seek
out one of the Oppos capable of doing so. But I might feel differently
once players capable of SACD playback become scarce.
Post by Terry del Fuego
As for region issues, one extremely cheap workaround is to use
MakeMKV. You still wind up with the same non-transcoded bits, they're
just in a new container that's no longer region-locked.
I have MakeMKV, but I also buy non-Region-A discs quite frequently, and
am not particularly inclined to spend time ripping/reauthoring all of
them just to remove the region lock so long as I have access to a
region-free player.

I am always amazed at the number of times I've had discussions online
with people who lament the absence of this or that title in Region
A/Region 1 when it's readily available in other regions. Most of these
folks have large physical media collections, but have apparently not
considered that they could have a region-free player for the cost of
several Blu-rays. Perhaps the disinformation propagated by the MPAA has
had its desired effect in convincing people that they're going to Hell
if they dare to circumvent region coding.
--
Dave
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-07 03:54:51 UTC
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Post by Dave Garrett
Good to know. I wasn't aware until recently that certain models could
rip SACDs. The process seems pretty involved, based on the details I
skimmed, but nothing that anyone reasonably tech-savvy would be overly
challenged by.
I wrote a couple batch files. One issues the command to grab the
stereo tracks, the other grabs the multichannel. There's a GUI but
senility often made me tick the wrong box or not tick the right one.
There are a few steps to set it up initially, but after that it's
about 10 seconds of real work per disc.
Post by Dave Garrett
But I might feel differently once players capable of SACD playback
become scarce.
That's a big concern. So is the fact that most SACDs are produced in
very small numbers, so losing one could be a very expensive and
annoying mistake. Ripping means multiple local backups as well as
offsite ones. Also the ability to stream the bits to the player
without having to find the disc.
Post by Dave Garrett
I have MakeMKV, but I also buy non-Region-A discs quite frequently, and
am not particularly inclined to spend time ripping/reauthoring all of
them just to remove the region lock so long as I have access to a
region-free player.
I'd rip to MKV and stream, I wouldn't re-author. But that's just me.
Back before Blu-rays and streaming the fact that Oppos always had
region hacks was incredibly useful, though on the older players the
PAL->NTSC conversion was awful.
Post by Dave Garrett
Perhaps the disinformation propagated by the MPAA has
had its desired effect in convincing people that they're going to Hell
if they dare to circumvent region coding.
They implemented fewer regions for the original Blu-rays and have no
region coding at all on the new 4k ones. Not sure what to make of
that.
Dave Garrett
2018-04-09 01:00:13 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
Good to know. I wasn't aware until recently that certain models could
rip SACDs. The process seems pretty involved, based on the details I
skimmed, but nothing that anyone reasonably tech-savvy would be overly
challenged by.
I wrote a couple batch files. One issues the command to grab the
stereo tracks, the other grabs the multichannel. There's a GUI but
senility often made me tick the wrong box or not tick the right one.
There are a few steps to set it up initially, but after that it's
about 10 seconds of real work per disc.
Post by Dave Garrett
But I might feel differently once players capable of SACD playback
become scarce.
That's a big concern. So is the fact that most SACDs are produced in
very small numbers, so losing one could be a very expensive and
annoying mistake. Ripping means multiple local backups as well as
offsite ones. Also the ability to stream the bits to the player
without having to find the disc.
Eventually, the lack of functional playback hardware becomes an issue
for all media. 2" quad videotape was the standard professional broadcast
videotape format for years, but there are not a lot of working quad
machines left, and IIRC the sole company that was making replacement
quad heads has ceased doing so, placing untold amounts of programming
that hasn't already been transferred to other formats at risk.
Similarly, I still have a substantial number of laserdiscs, and several
working players, but it's gotten practically impossible to source
certain key parts for players, and there are only a handful of qualified
techs left who I'd trust to work on them.
Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
I have MakeMKV, but I also buy non-Region-A discs quite frequently, and
am not particularly inclined to spend time ripping/reauthoring all of
them just to remove the region lock so long as I have access to a
region-free player.
I'd rip to MKV and stream, I wouldn't re-author. But that's just me.
Back before Blu-rays and streaming the fact that Oppos always had
region hacks was incredibly useful, though on the older players the
PAL->NTSC conversion was awful.
I never thought the conversion was *that* bad, compared to earlier,
cheaper region-free DVD players like the Apex or Cyberhome, and I
haven't had a region-locked player since probably 1998 or so, when the
Apex players first came out as Circuit City exclusives.
Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
Perhaps the disinformation propagated by the MPAA has
had its desired effect in convincing people that they're going to Hell
if they dare to circumvent region coding.
They implemented fewer regions for the original Blu-rays and have no
region coding at all on the new 4k ones. Not sure what to make of
that.
I suspect that since the Powers that Be forced all hardware
manufacturers to implement Cinavia DRM watermarking, as well as
requiring all 4K UHD players to have an internet connection so they can
phone home for discs requiring online activation, region coding may have
come to be viewed as dispensable. Until I started researching the newer
Oppo players in the wake of Oppo's announcement, I was not aware that
the 103/105 models were the last ones without Cinavia. If I decide to
get another Oppo, I will probably seek out a used/refurbished 105, and
wait to see what kinds of 4K players are available when I'm ready to
upgrade to a 4K TV.
--
Dave
danny burstein
2018-04-09 01:12:22 UTC
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Post by Dave Garrett
Similarly, I still have a substantial number of laserdiscs, and several
working players, but it's gotten practically impossible to source
certain key parts for players, and there are only a handful of qualified
techs left who I'd trust to work on them.
I've got a couple of dozen laserdiscs, including Wizard of Speed
and Time, plus Fantasia.

And some players.

I've been "requested" to declutter...

If you're interested in them, let me know. I'd like
them to get to someone who'd give them a good home
as opposed to dumping them.

Just postage... (which, unfortunately, will be hefty.
Oh wait, laserdiscs get media mail rate. Still will
be big).

Let me know. Thanks
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
***@panix.com
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Dave Garrett
2018-04-10 17:06:11 UTC
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Post by danny burstein
Post by Dave Garrett
Similarly, I still have a substantial number of laserdiscs, and several
working players, but it's gotten practically impossible to source
certain key parts for players, and there are only a handful of qualified
techs left who I'd trust to work on them.
I've got a couple of dozen laserdiscs, including Wizard of Speed
and Time, plus Fantasia.
And some players.
I've been "requested" to declutter...
If you're interested in them, let me know. I'd like
them to get to someone who'd give them a good home
as opposed to dumping them.
Just postage... (which, unfortunately, will be hefty.
Oh wait, laserdiscs get media mail rate. Still will
be big).
Let me know. Thanks
I'm way past being "requested" to declutter. :-)

Among the numerous projects I need to find time for is going through all
of my LDs and offloading all of the titles that I don't have a
compelling reason to keep (i.e., never subsequently released on DVD/Blu,
contains features unique to the LD, etc.). I recently had to turn down
an old college classmate's offer of his dad's LD collection he was
trying to dispose of in preparation for his dad transitioning into an
assisted living facility.

The problem is that it's hard to get rid of LDs now unless they're
titles that haven't been released on the smaller discs. Since you
mentioned WOSAT, that one is still in demand last I checked, since the
only DVD was an unofficial fan-created one that was sourced from the LD.

Doug Pratt, publisher of what was originally the Laser Disc Newsletter
and later the DVD/Laser Disc Newsletter, used to accept LD collections
that people wanted to unload. You might drop him a line via his website
at http://www.dvdlaser.com/ .
--
Dave
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-09 13:19:36 UTC
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Post by Dave Garrett
Eventually, the lack of functional playback hardware becomes an issue
for all media.
I would like to hope that this will be less the case with anything
based on bits that can be sucked into a computer. I don't know if my
HD-DVD player still works, but within the last few months I've been
able to enjoy HD-DVD contents because I got a cheap external HD-DVD
drive and converted everything to MKV.

Of course, getting that stuff into a computer is a job in itself. It
took me 18 months to do my CDs.
Post by Dave Garrett
2" quad videotape was the standard professional broadcast
videotape format for years, but there are not a lot of working quad
machines left, and IIRC the sole company that was making replacement
quad heads has ceased doing so, placing untold amounts of programming
that hasn't already been transferred to other formats at risk.
Scary.
Post by Dave Garrett
Similarly, I still have a substantial number of laserdiscs, and several
working players, but it's gotten practically impossible to source
certain key parts for players, and there are only a handful of qualified
techs left who I'd trust to work on them.
Mine have suffered from mechanical issues (belts, mainly) that could
be dealt with, but I assume I'll eventually hit an electronic problem
and that will be the end of them.
Post by Dave Garrett
I never thought the conversion was *that* bad, compared to earlier,
cheaper region-free DVD players like the Apex or Cyberhome
Maybe that's what I'm confusing it with.
Post by Dave Garrett
Until I started researching the newer Oppo players in the wake of
Oppo's announcement, I was not aware that the 103/105 models
were the last ones without Cinavia.
I thought they *did* have it, though my understanding is that there
aren't actually that many infected discs. Allegedly, the original
mandate was that players only had to respond to Cinavia when playing
back an optical disc (i.e., streaming from USB or network would be
OK), but I don't know if that was really true or still is. But even if
the licensed disc spinners have to respect Cinavia, truly useful cheap
little boxes like a $60 Odroid C2 running OpenELEC don't.

Cinavia is essentially the same technology that "protected" DVD-A. I
can't play a 1:1 copy of a DVD-A disc, but I can effortlessly extract
the bits via a Foobar2000 plugin and stream the same music to the Oppo
(or Odroid) as multichannel FLAC.

The problem with all this copy protection stuff for fans and
collectors is that few things stay in print forever. Sometimes less
than official channels are the only ways to get a desired title, even
with a willingness to pay. It's also a major expense for small
companies: Blu-ray encryption was broken a long, long time ago, but
Sony forces anyone selling a commercial disc to pay (a *lot*,
allegedly) for the "protection". It's literally money for nothing.

I spent way too much time trying to get music bits off a DVD yesterday
only to eventually realize that over the last decade it has acquired
some subtle, invisible rot that makes it partially inaccessible. Used
copies are available, but at quite a premium and with an inherent
risk: It's not uncommon for entire batches of particular titles to go
bad. I can think of three just off the top of my head.
Dave Garrett
2018-04-10 17:31:51 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
Eventually, the lack of functional playback hardware becomes an issue
for all media.
I would like to hope that this will be less the case with anything
based on bits that can be sucked into a computer. I don't know if my
HD-DVD player still works, but within the last few months I've been
able to enjoy HD-DVD contents because I got a cheap external HD-DVD
drive and converted everything to MKV.
Of course, getting that stuff into a computer is a job in itself. It
took me 18 months to do my CDs.
Among the archival community, the mantra for quite some time has been to
losslessly digitize audio and video content, and then, once digitized,
implement a migration strategy to ensure that you're never left with
digitized content contained in an obsolete file format. Obviously the
initial hurdle of digitization is the hard part - once you have the bits
stored somewhere, it's a lot easier to migrate them to new file
formats/storage containers as necessary.
Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
Similarly, I still have a substantial number of laserdiscs, and several
working players, but it's gotten practically impossible to source
certain key parts for players, and there are only a handful of qualified
techs left who I'd trust to work on them.
Mine have suffered from mechanical issues (belts, mainly) that could
be dealt with, but I assume I'll eventually hit an electronic problem
and that will be the end of them.
The main things that fail on LD players are, as you mentioned, the
belts, but eventually the laser pickups wear out, and those might as
well be made of unobtainium once the existing inventory of replacement
parts is gone. I'm pretty sure that new pickup assemblies are no longer
available for the majority of Pioneer players. Beyond that, looking
further down the road, the usual gremlins that affect older electronics
come into play, such as capacitors that start to go bad. But those are
something that anyone knowledgeable about electronics could probably
replace - the vintage radio community has been dealing with capacitor
replacement on old radios for many years. Of course, old radios don't
have PCBs, which add an additional layer of complexity when it comes to
repairs.
Post by Terry del Fuego
Post by Dave Garrett
Until I started researching the newer Oppo players in the wake of
Oppo's announcement, I was not aware that the 103/105 models
were the last ones without Cinavia.
I thought they *did* have it, though my understanding is that there
aren't actually that many infected discs. Allegedly, the original
mandate was that players only had to respond to Cinavia when playing
back an optical disc (i.e., streaming from USB or network would be
OK), but I don't know if that was really true or still is. But even if
the licensed disc spinners have to respect Cinavia, truly useful cheap
little boxes like a $60 Odroid C2 running OpenELEC don't.
Cinavia is essentially the same technology that "protected" DVD-A. I
can't play a 1:1 copy of a DVD-A disc, but I can effortlessly extract
the bits via a Foobar2000 plugin and stream the same music to the Oppo
(or Odroid) as multichannel FLAC.
You're right, the 103/105 players did have Cinavia. I had run across a
post on some forum where someone claimed they did not, before digging
further and determining that the 103/105 models were licensed after
Cinavia became a mandatory feature on new players. Apparently there were
some Asian vendors that offered custom 103/105 firmware for a while that
not only bypassed Cinavia but also restored the ability to play ISOs,
but it's not clear whether any of these outfits are still in business.
And you obviously run the risk of bricking a player when flashing third-
party firmware from questionable sources.
Post by Terry del Fuego
The problem with all this copy protection stuff for fans and
collectors is that few things stay in print forever. Sometimes less
than official channels are the only ways to get a desired title, even
with a willingness to pay. It's also a major expense for small
companies: Blu-ray encryption was broken a long, long time ago, but
Sony forces anyone selling a commercial disc to pay (a *lot*,
allegedly) for the "protection". It's literally money for nothing.
I imagine the more draconian DRM schemes like Cinavia would not be a big
issue for me - they tend to mostly be implemented on blockbuster titles,
and most of my interests are with classic and cult titles.
Post by Terry del Fuego
I spent way too much time trying to get music bits off a DVD yesterday
only to eventually realize that over the last decade it has acquired
some subtle, invisible rot that makes it partially inaccessible. Used
copies are available, but at quite a premium and with an inherent
risk: It's not uncommon for entire batches of particular titles to go
bad. I can think of three just off the top of my head.
Been there, done that, starting with the infamous "laser rot" affecting
many laserdiscs pressed by Sony DADC, followed by the "coffee stain"
delamination affecting DVDs. More recently, there have been instances of
Blu-ray discs in expensive music box sets suddenly becoming unplayable -
some of the Pink Floyd Immersion sets are notorious for this.
--
Dave
Terry del Fuego
2018-04-10 18:36:15 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Dave Garrett
Among the archival community, the mantra for quite some time has been to
losslessly digitize audio and video content, and then, once digitized,
implement a migration strategy to ensure that you're never left with
digitized content contained in an obsolete file format. Obviously the
initial hurdle of digitization is the hard part - once you have the bits
stored somewhere, it's a lot easier to migrate them to new file
formats/storage containers as necessary.
And it's possible to store copies of the bits offsite and/or access
your own library while away from home. Also, in the case of CDs, it's
arguable that a carefully-created FLAC file can actually be more
accurate than playback of the CD. Unfortunately, the opposite is also
true with a lot of people haphazardly creating bad files.

Another big benefit for compulsive collectors is that media on a hard
drive is a lot easier to *find* when you want to play it.
Post by Dave Garrett
I'm pretty sure that new pickup assemblies are no longer
available for the majority of Pioneer players.
You know how there was a period where the Pioneer RT-707 was *the*
open-reel deck? You'd see them everywhere in the wild and they'd even
show up on TV and in movies. Last time I asked, I found that you can't
even get a pinch roller for one, though the guy who runs the local
analog shop says he can have them made.
Post by Dave Garrett
Been there, done that, starting with the infamous "laser rot" affecting
many laserdiscs pressed by Sony DADC
And by 3M before that, doubly nasty because they pressed the earliest
expensive Criterion LDs.
Post by Dave Garrett
More recently, there have been instances of Blu-ray discs in expensive
music box sets suddenly becoming unplayable - some of the Pink Floyd
Immersion sets are notorious for this.
As far as I know, the US sets are OK, but the European "Dark Side of
the Moon" Blu-rays are largely unplayable while the initial run of
"Wish You Were Here" Blu-rays had baked-in audio errors. The good news
is that PF management is (allegedly) trying to press some DSOTM
replacements.

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