LaserActive

From Sega Retro

LaserActive logo.png
PioneerLaserActive.jpg
LaserActive
Manufacturer: Pioneer
Variants: NEC PDE-LD1
Add-ons: Sega PAC, NEC PAC, Karaoke PAC, Computer Interface PAC, 3D Goggle
Release Date RRP Code
Mega LD
JP
¥89,800 (92,494)89,800e[1] CLD-A100
Mega LD
US
$970.00970.00 CLD-A100

The Pioneer LaserActive (パイオニアレーザーアクティブ) is a video game-compatible LaserDisc player designed and manufactured by Pioneer. Released in Japan and North America in late 1993, the system features interchangeable hardware expansions known as PACs, which enables compatibility with Mega Drive and Mega-CD games, PC Engine and PC Engine CD-ROM² games, and a new type of LaserDisc-based format: Sega Mega LD and NEC LD-ROM².

NEC produced a rebranded version of the system, the NEC PDE-LD1.[2][3]

Hardware

A 1993 promotional photograph.

LaserDisc

The LaserActive plays all sizes of LaserDisc media. Considered a mid-range player in terms of playback quality, inserting a Sega PAC or NEC PAC expands the hardware with advanced playback features like frame-by-frame view and multi-speed jogging.[4] The LaserActive cannot automatically switch between a disc's sides, and requires users to eject, flip, and re-insert discs halfway between most movies and software.

The system outputs in composite video (the format which all LaserDiscs are natively encoded in), and when playing video games, boasts superior video quality to both the Mega Drive and PC Engine's composite video output.

The hardware lacks the popular Dolby AC-3 surround sound capabilities found on later players, instead relying on software developers to encode spatial audio effects into their releases (usually Roland Corporation's RSS technology.)

Sega Mega LD & NEC LD-ROM²

Certain games were developed to take advantage of LaserDisc media. Similar to how the popular LaserDisc-based arcade game Dragon's Lair used special technology to add an interactive layer to the video, Sega Mega LD and NEC LD-ROM² could do the same. These two formats were rebranded versions of Philips' LD-ROM format, adapted for each company's respective PAC. However, the format's generally 480i content had to be downsampled to 240p whenever developers wished to display additional on-screen graphics with their games (to match the resolution of the 16-bit hardware the format works with.)

PACs

The LaserActive is designed to be an expandable and widely-compatible system. In addition to its existing ability to play LaserDisc and LD-G formats, the system can be expanded with plug-in hardware modules called PACs (sometimes stylized as Packs.) PACs expand the system's capabilities, such as the Sega PAC giving the system the capabilities of a Sega Mega Drive and Sega Mega-CD combined, allowing for playback of additional formats such as CD-G. While PACs are generally region locked, Sega Mega LD and NEC LD-ROM² games are region free and will play on any NTSC system.

The PACs listed below are suffixed by (American model number/Japanese model number).

Sega PAC (PAC-S10/PAC-S1)

Main article: Sega PAC.

The Sega PAC allows the system to play Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-CD, and Sega Mega LD games, in addition to CD-G media. Like it's counterpart, the NEC PAC, it also expands the LaserDisc functionality of the system by adding advanced playback features like frame-by-frame view and multi-speed jogging.[4]

NEC PAC (PAC-N10/PAC-N1)

Main article: NEC PAC.

The NEC PAC allows the system to play NEC PC Engine, NEC PC Engine CD-ROM², and NEC LD-ROM² games, in addition to CD-G media. Like it's counterpart, the Sega PAC, it also expands the LaserDisc functionality of the system by adding advanced playback features like frame-by-frame view and multi-speed jogging.[4]

Karaoke PAC (PAC-K10/PAC-K1)

Main article: Karaoke PAC.

The Karaoke PAC allows the system to play LaserKaraoke media, and features karaoke-oriented inputs and controls.

Computer Interface PAC (PAC-PC1)

Main article: Computer Interface PAC.

The Computer Interface PAC allows the system to be controlled by an NEC PC-98, IBM PC DOS, or Apple Macintosh personal computer[5], by way of a custom program authored to communicate via the PAC's 25-pin serial port. The PAC is the only Japan-exclusive peripheral for the system.

Technical specifications

Main article: LaserActive/Technical specifications.

History

Main article: History of the Pioneer LaserActive.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Pioneer LaserActive Pioneer LaserActive
Japanese パイオニアレーザーアクティブ Pioneer LaserActive

Games

Main article: List of LaserActive games.

Magazine articles

Main article: LaserActive/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: LaserActive/Promotional material.

Artwork

Physical scans

LaserActive, JP

Pioneer Laseractive JP Manual.pdf
Manual
PAC-S1, JP
Pioneer Laseractive PAC-S1 JP Side.jpgPioneer Laseractive PAC-S1 JP Front.jpg
Pioneer Laseractive PAC-S1 JP Bottom.jpg
Cover
Pioneer Laseractive PAC-S1 JP Manual.pdf
Manual

External links

References

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NEC Retro has more information related to LaserActive.


Pioneer LaserActive
Topics Technical specifications | History | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Multimedia Creators Network | LA Express
Hardware Japan | United States
NEC PDE-LD1
Add-ons Sega PAC | NEC PAC | Karaoke PAC | Computer Interface PAC
Controllers Control Pad | Turbo Pad | Remote Control Unit | Computer Interface Pack Remote Control Unit
Accessories 3D Goggle | 3D Goggle Adaptor | Control Pad Extension Cord | Turbo Pad Extension Cord | Karaoke Microphone | Karaoke Microphone (Key Control)
Sega Mega Drive
Topics Technical specifications | History | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Hardware comparison | Blast processing | Cartridges | TradeMark Security System
Hardware Japan | North America | Europe (West | North | South | Central and East) | Brazil | Asia | South Korea | Australia | Africa
EZ Games | Heartbeat Personal Trainer | LaserActive | Mega Jet | Mega PC | Mega Play | Mega-Tech System | Nomad | Teradrive | Mega Drive Mini | Mega Game II |"Consoles on a chip" | Unlicensed clones
Add-ons Power Base Converter | Mega-CD | 32X (Mega-CD 32X) | Mega Modem | Demo System DS-16
Controllers Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | Arcade Power Stick 6B | Konami Justifier | MK-1470
Action Chair | Activator | Arcade Power Stick | Keyboard | MegaFire | Mouse | Mega Stick | Menacer | Remote Arcade System | Ten Key Pad
Accessories 4 Way Play | Cleaning System | Control Pad Extension Cord | Genesis Speakers | Region converter cartridges | Mega Terminal | Miracle Piano Teaching System | Nomad PowerBack | RF Unit (Mega Drive 2) | SCART Cable (Mega Drive 2) | Stereo Audio Video Cable | Team Player | Video Monitor Cable
Network services Sega Channel | Sega Meganet (Sega Game Toshokan | Mega Anser) | Tectoy Mega Net | TeleBradesco Residência | XB∀ND
Development tools ERX 308P | ERX 318P | Sprobe | SNASM68K | SNASM2 (Mega Drive) | SNASM2 (32X)
Unreleased Floppy Disk Drive | Mega Play 1010 | Sega VR | Video Jukebox
Sega Mega-CD
Topics Technical specifications | History
Hardware Asia | North America | Europe (West | North | South | Central and East) | Other regions
Wondermega | LaserActive | Sega Multi-Mega | CSD-G1M
Misc. hardware CD BackUp RAM Cart | Mega-CD Karaoke | Pro CDX
Development tools SNASM Mega-CD | PsyQ Mega-CD SDK | PSY-Q CD Emulation System (Mega-CD)
Unreleased hardware Game Genie