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Pioneer LD-1100

Pioneer produced two different models for the 2nd generation of LaserDisc players. Based on the knowledge that both units were manufactured the same year, in the same facility, one would think this Pioneer LD-1100 player is nose-to-nose as good at playing DiscoVision as the LD-1100's little brother, the LD-660. If you think that, you'd be wrong. While the mechanical pickup is essentially the same as the LD-660, the LD-1100 doesn't perform anywhere near the same as the 660. In fact, service centers were told to quietly replace the pickup assembly with that of the PR-8210 (Pioneer's "industrial" version of the LD-1100) should any of the faulty units come in for repair. This beefed up assembly was also used in the Sylvania & Gas Tube Pickup Assembly Magnavox units, which Pioneer was manufacturing for Philips. Pioneer eventually figured out what was wrong with the LD-1100 pickup and production units were again acceptable. (Rumor has it that Pioneer abandoned the entire pickup assembly and replaced it with the PR-8210 unit.) Upgraded units had improved DiscoVision playability.

The normal array of features was included to this player, making it feature identical to the VP-1000 with the addition of CX Noise Reduction. These features, which rely on the presence of Philips code on the disc, preclude the use of the player for use on the incorrectly mastered Frenzy Side 5. It seems to also reduce the player's ability to handle some of the various anomalies present on many DiscoVision titles.

The player incorporates a variable tangential circuit which does help compensate for time based correction errors, but it is not quite as robust as the same system utilized in the LD-660. The tangential correction is accomplished with the use of a 2nd pivoting mirror.

On startup of a disc, the pickup will simply begin playback from the players inside limit setting. This can cause some problems on older CLV titles where the player will refuse to play the beginning of a side.

Advantages Disadvantages
Gas Tube Laser for superior tracking
Poor tracking with initial Consumer Grade slider mechanism

Last Updated: November 17, 1998
Copyright 1998 Blam Entertainment Group

Thanks to Blain Young for use of the material.

This is an NTSC laser disc player that was used in Cliff Hanger and Goal To Go.  The LD-1100 can only communicate with the games via the IR Interface.  For info on how to modify your game to use the IR-LED, check Rob DiNapoli's Laser Disc Conversion.  For info on the Pioneer LD-1100 Command Set, check the LD-1100 Command Set page.

Written by
Andrew Hepburn


Pioneer PR-8210
Pioneer PR-8210R
Pioneer LD-1100

COMMANDS: (and other notes)

Each command is sent in a series of 11 pulses.  The space between two pulses indicates a 1 or 0.  Each command is sent as 10 digits (there are 10 spaces between 11 pulses).  A small space between two pulses indicates a 0.  A large space between two pulses indicates a 1.

Each command is repeated twice.  Each command is terminated by 0000000000, designated as EOC (end of command).  For example, a play command would be sent as:  "Play Play EOC".

A seek command is terminated by EOC EOC EOC.  For example, a seek command would be sent as:
"Seek Seek EOC # # EOC # # EOC # # EOC # # EOC # # EOC EOC EOC EOC".

Each command starts with 001 and ends with 00.  Each command is designated by 5 digits.  For example, the digits for a play command would be sent as:  "0011010000" (a leading 001, 5 digits to indicate the command, and an ending 00)

These are the commands that were sent by MACH3 and Us vs. Them boardsets:

Play: 10100
Pause: 00100
Stop: 01110
Seek: 11010

0: 00001
1: 10001
2: 01001
3: 11001
4: 00101
5: 10101
6: 01101
7: 11101
8: 00011
9: 10011

Example of the digits sent for a play command:

0011010000 0011010000 0000000000 (Play Play EOC)

Example of the digits sent for a 'Seek 12345' command:

0011101000 0011101000 0000000000 (Seek Seek EOC)
0011000100 0011000100 0000000000 (1 1 EOC)
0010100100 0010100100 0000000000 (2 2 EOC)
0011100100 0011100100 0000000000 (3 3 EOC)
0010010100 0010010100 0000000000 (4 4 EOC)
0011010100 0011010100 0000000000 (5 5 EOC)
0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 (EOC EOC EOC)

As a side note, both M.A.C.H. 3 and Us vs. Them require the video signal to turn off and on in order to recognize a seek performed.  If this is not done, the game will sit there and seek over and over forever.  There is no corresponding command that I know of on the Sony-LDP to reproduce this, except for turning the motor off and on.  This however results in a 15 second wait while the player spins back up.  Using the video off and on commands do not work as they put out a 'black' screen.  The video signal still exists. (If you actually unplug the video cable and plug it back in suddenly the game recognizes the seek).  My best guess is that the Pioneer PR-8210 actually shuts the video signal off and on momentarily when it seeks.  Someone could probably reproduce this by using a relay to shut off the video when a seek happens.

Andrew Hepburn

The archive site has a copy of the Operation Manual for the LD-1100. Please see the manuals page.