The laserdisc players of the 1980s often had command protocols and/or features that were unique to each model.  This means that it's usually impossible to directly swap out an arcade game's original laserdisc player for a newer and more reliable model.  Standards that allowed compatibility between models came later.

Several commercial products have been developed over the years specifically to allow the laserdisc players in arcade games to be replaced/upgraded.  If you are looking to find a newer substitution for an original laserdisc player, or if you are just trying to determine whether your game already had a conversion installed into it before you got it, all of these products are shown below.

Additionally, the "Disc Player Info and Conversions" section of our main Tech Center lists some non-commercial, downloadable conversion methods that use a desktop PC, or modified ROMs, or other components.

It is needlessly redundant and potentially error-prone for more than one of the following to be connected to a game at the same time, even though the game may be able to function that way.
(The firmware on a Merlin board should be updated to "Merlin-Dx" for use with Dexter.)

This line reconfirms the current prices shown on this page as of October 6, 2021.

Dexter is the newest product.  Unlike the other products on this page which convert to a newer laserdisc player model, no player or disc is needed with Dexter.  The Dexter board is a drop-in replacement which poses as a laserdisc player and plays the video for the game digitally, from a custom file format.  Dexter accepts the original commands from the game's PCB through the original interface cable.
Compatible with:  more than two dozen different game titles & hardware configurations, and still counting
Availability:  See website - Dexter has been going in and out of production multiple times per demand.
Produced by:  Matt Ownby, Warren Ondras
Release date:  April 26, 2016
Price (USD):  $399 + S&H   + certain video content licenses starting at $10
Merlin-8000 is a MultiROM board that performs laserdisc player model conversion at the source, by altering the communication protocols within the Dragon's Lair & Space Ace ROM data, as opposed to intercepting and then converting the original disc player signal outputs like the older products on this page do, which costs processing time.  Multiple late-model Pioneer players are supported.  Merlin-8000 holds multiple ROMs and allows quick change between Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, DLE, SAE, and DL2E ROMs without EPROM swapping.  (The "Arthur" main logic board also includes the Merlin function.)*
Compatible with:  Dragon's Lair, Space Ace
Availability:  Currently out of stock
Produced by:  Shaun Wood
Release date:  August 10, 2012
Price (USD):  $205 + $5 S&H
LaserCon receives the command codes for the original laserdisc player from the game's PCB, and translates them into the serial commands used by late-model Pioneer laserdisc players.
Compatible with:  Astron Belt, Casino Strip, Cliff Hanger, Cobra Command, Dragonís Lair, Esh's Aurunmilla, Galaxy Ranger, Goal to Go, Inter Stellar, M.A.C.H. 3, Space Ace, Super Don Quix-ote, Thayer's Quest, Us vs. Them
Availability:  Discontinued
Produced by:  Shaun Wood
Release date:  January 29, 2007
Former price (USD):  $150 + $5 S&H
LaserAce converts the signals for multiple old laserdisc players to the RS-232 standard, enabling replacement with several late-model Pioneer and Sony players.  LaserAce also has advanced game-independent features such as disc media and output player performance testing, as well as power supply voltage monitoring.
Compatible with:  Albegas, Astron Belt, Badlands, Bega's Battle, Casino Strip, Cliff Hanger, Cobra Command, Dragonís Lair, Esh's Aurunmilla, Firefox, Galaxy Ranger, Goal to Go, Inter Stellar, M.A.C.H. 3, Ninja Hayate, Space Ace, Star Blazer, Super Don Quix-ote, Thayer's Quest, Us vs. Them
Availability:  Discontinued
Website:  LaserAce archival info at
Produced by:  Ruben Panossian, Marc Alexander
Release date:  September 28, 2001
Former price (USD):  $199 + $16 S&H   + Dev+ LCD add-on optional at $89
The Hi-Tech card converts the original signal output from a Dragon's Lair or Space Ace PCB to work with almost any Sony LDP series industrial duty laserdisc player.
Compatible with:  Dragon's Lair, Space Ace
Availability:  Limited - See web page for contact
Website:  Hi-Tech info at
Produced by:  Joe Rovito, Ron Schwar
Release date:  September 19, 1999
Price (USD):  $199 + $8 S&H
I want to... Hi-Tech LaserAce LaserCon Merlin Dexter
convert to a Pioneer LDP X X X
convert to a Sony LDP X X
eliminate the need for a LDP X
convert games other than Dragon's Lair/Space Ace only X X X
order a new item (vs. find a used one) check site check site check site
buy laserdiscs (video content) digital files
buy a LDP ribbon cable for a Dragon's Lair/Space Ace PCB available at site available at site available at site

*On April 23, 2019, Shaun Wood released the Arthur Main Logic Board Replacement for Dragon's Lair and Space Ace at $295.  Although Arthur's primary purpose is not LDP conversion, the board does have all the Merlin technology and capabilities natively integrated into it.

Contact Us


This website was created by Jeff Kinder & Dave Hallock, 1997 - 2021.
All trademarks and copyrighted materials are property of their respective owners.