What is Dexter (and why would I really want one?)
A new laserdisc player for your old arcade game
Dexter is a new reliable laserdisc player! Or rather, it is a solid state laserdisc player replacement which has no moving parts and is designed to be run continuously without wearing out.
With Dexter in your arcade cabinet, you can stop worrying about the laserdisc player breaking down or the laserdisc developing laser rot. Dexter gives peace of mind and renewed hope that your game will last longer than you do.
The love/hate relationship with laserdisc players and laserdiscs
If you're a fan of laserdisc arcade games such as Dragon's Lair, you know that these games are unique and special. Maybe you saw them as a kid and experienced a feeling of "shock and awe" at how different they were from the other offerings of the time. Maybe you now even own one or two (or more!) laserdisc arcade cabinets!
If you own a cabinet, your goal is simple: to keep the game running so that you can always go back to those happy memories you had as kid simply by powering on your game. Many obstacles get in your way to achieve this goal. But one obstacle interferes more than any other: the laserdisc player.
Yes, even though the laserdisc player is the thing which differentiates these games and makes them what they are, it is also the major source of frustration that comes with owning one of these games. The laserdisc players tend to fail and once they are dead, they usually can't be repaired (unless you know someone who can and will fix them but these type of people are very scarce). And even if it can be repaired, it will break again. It's just a matter of time. That means that you now need to own two laserdisc players or even three for the same cabinet just to have backup. And deep down inside, you know (as we all know) that eventually, all of your spare laserdisc players will fail too. And then what will you do?
And then there's the discs themselves. Yes, the discs! In addition to being rare, discs are prone to laser rot and other forms of failure. Your disc may work today, but who is to say it will still work in a year from now? And once it fails, can you guarantee that you will be able acquire a replacement?
You may be even afraid to run your games because you don't want to wear out the laserdisc player or the laserdisc! What a tragic irony! You own the game, want to run it, but cringe every time you turn it on because "what if this is the time when it won't work?"
It doesn't have to be this way!
How much would you pay to have a laserdisc player that never fails and a disc that never rots?
We feel that Dexter is a great deal for anyone who wants to stop worrying about their laserdisc player or laserdisc. We boldly assert that Dexter is better than any laserdisc player out there, original or newer replacement. Why? Because it won't wear out by being used! But even if we assume that Dexter and an original player provide an equal arcade experience, Dexter ends up being cheaper than an original player in several plausible scenarios. Consider some of the following:
Scenario: I want to install the DLE v2.1 ROMs in my Dragon's Lair cab and use the 2002 Limited Edition laserdisc to see the prototype scenes
Let's assume that you want to use an original laserdisc player in Dragon's Lair and we'll say it costs anywhere between $100-$150. Actually, it doesn't even matter because Dexter has already won even if the original laserdisc player was free. Why? Because that 2002 Limited Edition laserdisc fetches about $450 on the market these days! See for yourself: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dragons-Lair-Arcade-Game-Limited-Edition-Laserdisc-/281661883405? So you are looking at spending at least $550 to get an orginal player and disc. Yikes! Dexter and the 2002 Limited Edition laserdisc image sells for under $400. Dexter is cheaper and better than an original Dragon's Lair player running the Dragon's Lair 2002 LE disc.
Scenario: I want to install Merlin so I can play Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, and Dragon's Lair 2 inside my Dragon's Lair cabinet
This scenario gets even worse for those wanting to stay original. We'll conservatively assume that the original working player costs $100 (which is frankly low). We'll even allow for the regular Dragon's Lair 1983 NTSC disc which is going for about $140 (see http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pioneer-Dragons-Lair-Laser-Disc-/231713709472?hash=item35f3369da0:g:a08AAOSwKIpWFXms ). Space Ace 1983 NTSC is going for about $90 (see http://www.ebay.com/itm/CINEMETRONICS-SPACE-ACE-LASERDISC-Good-Condition-2-/281661980275? ). And Dragon's Lair 2, well a conservative estimate would be $100 for that one (I could not find any recent facts for this one but I think most collectors would not argue and may even put the number higher). So that setup will cost you $430 for the player and the three discs. Dexter will cost about $400 for the same thing. But Dexter is way better because aside from the aforementioned advantages (won't wear out with use, etc.), you save time by not having to manually change the discs when you want to change the game! Do you like having to get inside your cabinet to change discs? I didn't think so!!
Scenario: I want to have a working Firefox
Dexter offers massive savings over using original players where Firefox is concerned. First of all, you can't buy 22VP931's. You just can't. And buying them working? Forget it! But let's say that you could buy one working. What it would it cost? And how long until it breaks?? I did a survey of Firefox collectors and asked them what a working player would cost. Here are the responses: "Between $350 and $400." "Working could fetch over $500+." "I would pay $400-$500 or more if it was guaranteed working upon arrival." So let's just say that a working player is worth $440 by averaging these statements together. That's almost $100 more than Dexter costs. And the huge differentiator is that the risk of the original player breaking is very high while the risk of Dexter breaking is extremely low. Dexter is a no-brainer for Firefox owners. And since the risk of the player breaking is high, of course, you would need spare players. And if you tried to pay someone to fix the player? One Firefox collector estimated the repair cost to be at least $300 if you could find someone to take the job. So, as you can see, the prospect of keeping a Firefox game running may amount to over $1000 just to cover player issues... unless you get Dexter! :)