The LaserDisc made its debut in 1978 with a high-quality version of ‘Jaws’, exciting film lovers the world over with its superb visual and audio quality, its inclusion of the then brand new concept of extras and chaptering and its handsome packaging. It died the death of a dog in 2001 (its final release was ‘Bringing Out The Dead’), the victim of DVDs lower pricing as well as their ability to offer the exact same stuff as the LaserDisc only in a less bulky format. (The Laser Disc equipment was also much more expensive than a DVD player). Some say that the inability to record onto a Laser Disc was also problematic since you could do so with a VHS–the videotape remained stiff competition over the years despite its inferior quality and the Laser Disc never equaled it in popularity. Click here for way too much info on the history of this long dead but once beloved format. Above is a nice little infomercial (possibly for a local news channel?) for the then very hot movie delivery system. Like yesterday’s post about the emerging compact disc in 1985, this look back at technology that was once considered the future is poignant rather than laughable. The concept of streaming would have been pure ‘Duck Dodgers in the 21rst & 1/2 Century’ stuff at that time. (In some ways it still is). By the way, you can still by a big fat old bulky Laser Disc player as well as the discs on E-Bay. I’m not sure who the die-hards are who do this, but I have a feeling they’re part of the ‘need to leave the house more’ gang. Good for them for not doing so! Life on the outside isn’t at its best these days…


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