In 1978, Pioneer started marketing the LaserDisc as the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and in 1979 Duncan Hunter attended the first seminar for field servicing Pioneer’s first Video Disc Player.
Recently DaDon and DaDaughter visited Duncan at his LaserDisc Service Center in Olympia Washington
We were given a tour of his facilities and test equipment. Many pictures to follow…
Hunter owns and is the head technician for Bayview Electronics, the last Pioneer-authorized company to service LaserDisc Players. He started Bayview Electronics in 1977, working on players for other media such as beta and VHS. Just two years later however, Pioneer invited Hunter to the first seminar on servicing their industrial player, the PR-7820. Hunter reflects on his background in and around the industry with gratefulness, saying that “things just fell into place” leading up to his current renown. To be invited to Pioneer’s seminar, it was required both to be an authorized Pioneer Service center, and to have a background in video. Hunter began working with Pioneer earlier doing warranty service for audio devices. Ironically, his audio work paved a smooth path to video as well. One day, his company received a video recorder for repair, initiating some debate whether it would go to the audio or video department for repair (as it had qualities of both). After getting some experience with video on this device, Hunter was sent to Sony, Beta and Panasonic training. This quirky chain of events led Hunter straight to that first LD seminar.
In that time, Pioneer’s main clientele was General Motors, in order to play sales demonstrations at their dealerships. Pioneer wanted to advance this relationship by providing service aid. So in 1979, Pioneer held a training session to provide the technicians with the expertise needed. As an authorized Pioneer service center, and with a background in video, Hunter was one of six technicians flown to Los Angeles for two days of training on the PR-7820. These sessions were so sensitive that attendees had to sign non-disclosure agreements ! Even Pioneer’s engineers were present at the next session on the first consumer LD Player, the VP1000. As the sequence of training seminars went on, Hunter began to attend as an assistant.
In 2009, Pioneer ceased production of their last three LaserDisc Players. That means that if you want film-like video quality, Hunter is one of the only, and best, technicians that can assure your player’s longevity ! Every player that he inspects goes through a series of tests and alignment procedures to bring it as close to factory specs as possible. Hunter not only identifies the immediate problem, but also checks for wear that might cause future problems. Further, DaDon has had all of his players serviced from Duncan and I have been 100 percent satisfied with his service and professionalism. In fact, in order to support the industry DaDon’s has continued to donate LaserDisc players to Duncan for spare parts.