Q: What is Dexter?
A: Dexter is a modern hardware replacement for laserdisc players used in arcade games during the 1980s and 1990s. It *only* replaces the laserdisc player and disc; the rest of the game continues to run on the original hardware.
Q: Whom is Dexter for?
A: Dexter is for laserdisc arcade game owners that are hindered by dead/dying laserdisc players and/or discs.
Q: How does it work?
A: The laserdisc player is removed from the arcade cabinet and a custom-made circuit board (the "Dexter" board) is installed in its place. The circuit board has the same connectors as the original player, including video and audio outputs.
Q: What games and laserdisc plaers are known to work with Dexter?
Q: How is this different from the Daphne laserdisc game emulator?
A: Daphne emulates the entire machine and therefore requires no original hardware. Dexter only emulates the laserdisc player; you will still need an original machine (minus the laserdisc player and disc) to use Dexter.
Q: How is this different from "conversion cards" such as LaserCon, LaserAce, or Hi-Tech Card?
A: These devices allow use of newer, more reliable laserdisc players, while keeping the rest of the original game hardware intact. They are only moderately difficult to install, and provide a high degree of accuracy and authenticity. However, even the newest players are over 15 years old, and the laserdiscs themselves are prone to "laser rot", eventually making them unusable. Some of the conversion cards were made 10 years ago, and are only available used at high prices.
Dexter functions similarly, but goes further by eliminating failure-prone laserdisc players and discs entirely, replacing them with solid-state memory. It is intended to be easier to install, require no maintenance, and can be permanently mounted for easy moving and transportation of the game cabinet. Performance will be at least as accurate, or perhaps even better, since having no player at all allows the timing and behavior to be more closely matched to the original player.
Q: Will it support PAL?
A: Yes; at least, that is the plan.
Q: Will the original speed of the laserdisc player be mimicked (ie 1-2 second seek times, slow spin-up times)?
A: Yes, with an option to disable artificial delay for those who wish to tinker.
Q: How are you handling distribution of the laserdisc video/audio content?
A: We will try to license the video/audio content if the copyright holder is known. If the copyright holder is unknown, we will remain neutral (we will not distribute any content ourselves but we will not discourage users from sharing with each other).
Q: Sounds great! How can I get one?
Q: How much will it cost?
This may seem on the expensive side at first glance, but when one considers how much it would cost to get a perfectly operating laserdisc player and laserdisc, neither of which ever wear out with use, the savings one experiences from not having to fuss with these unreliable components becomes greatly apparent.
Q: How can I stay informed about progress on Dexter?
All info about staying informed is displayed on Dexter home page.
Thank you for your interest in Dexter!