16 Facts About LaserDisc


LaserDisc is a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium, initially licensed, sold and marketed as MCA DiscoVision ( known simply as "DiscoVision") in the United States in 1978.

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Unlike most optical disc standards, LaserDisc is not fully digital, and instead requires the use of analog video signals.

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The technologies and concepts behind LaserDisc were the foundation for later optical disc formats, including Compact Disc, DVD and Blu-ray (BD).

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LaserDisc was first available on the market in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 11, 1978, two years after the introduction of the VHS VCR, and four years before the introduction of the CD.

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LaserDisc was launched in Japan in October 1981, and a total of approximately 3.

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Production of LaserDisc players continued until January 14, 2009, when Pioneer stopped making them.

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Early DiscoVision and LaserDisc titles lacked the digital audio option, but many of those movies received digital sound in later re-issues by Universal, and the quality of analog audio tracks generally got far better as time went on.

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In 1981, "LaserDisc" was used exclusively for the medium itself, although the official name was "LaserVision".

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Pioneer reminded numerous video magazines and stores in 1984 that LaserDisc was a trademarked word, standing only for LaserVision products manufactured for sale by Pioneer Video or Pioneer Electronics.

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LaserDisc could handle analog and digital audio where VHS was mostly analog only, and the NTSC discs could store multiple audio tracks.

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LaserDisc is a composite video format: the luminance and chrominance (color) information were transmitted in one signal, separated by the receiver.

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Similar to the CD versus LP sound quality debates common in the audiophile community, some videophiles argue that LaserDisc maintains a "smoother", more "film-like", natural image while DVD still looks slightly more artificial.

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The video signal-to-noise ratio and bandwidth of LaserDisc are substantially less than that of DVDs, making DVDs appear sharper and clearer to most viewers.

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LaserDisc did not have high market penetration in North America due to the high cost of the players and discs, which were far more expensive than VHS players and tapes, and due to marketplace confusion with the technologically inferior CED, which went by the name Videodisc.

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In 1986, a SCSI-equipped LaserDisc player attached to a BBC Master computer was used for the BBC Domesday Project.

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The MUSE-capable players had several noteworthy advantages over standard LaserDisc players, including a red laser with a much narrower wavelength than the lasers found in standard players.

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