Thursday, September 22, 2011
Everyone knows about DVD’s, Blue Ray’s and most should still remember VHS but video formats have had quite a history from Beta tape to CED tapes but one video format that I find most interesting is the laserdisc. Now the Laserdisc was a huge leap for its time and was the modern day equivalent of today’s DVD’s. They were first released in 1978, but for their time they were given catchy titles like discovision, (pronounced dis-co-vision). They were these huge disks that were the size of old albums or vinyl records, however they never fit the full movie. Most Laserdisc’s would come packaged with 4 or maybe even 6 different disks, so that meant getting up a lot. Not only did you have to put in a new disk every 20 minutes but you also had to flip the disks over, so you really couldn’t get comfortable in a seat for a long time. While that must have been annoying, I can imagine how technically impressive they were. I remember when DVD’s first came out and I discovered how amazing bones features were, things like “making of” features, deleted scenes, outtakes and music videos were all so cool and original to me. But it’s even more interesting to think that it was the laserdisc that introduced bones material for the first time. There are actually some slit improvements over DVD’s, for example you can fast forward through logos, FBI warnings and it all feels like you have more control over the film. Unfortunately, there still hard to transport and just aren’t as fitting as DVD’s. It’s just so much more convenient to have nice, small DVD’s on your shelf that you don’t have to turn over constantly and the quality is just so much better. Well the laserdisc may seem obsolete now but it is still an interesting bit of video formatting history and is the true predecessor to DVD’s.