optical video disc format

A Laserdisc, like a DVD, can play video of a higher quality than VHS. A Laserdisc is much larger than a DVD. To play Laserdisc movies, a LaserDisc player is needed. LaserDisc was also known by the names DiscoVision and LaserVision.

A Laserdisc (left) is much bigger than a DVD (right)

Laserdisc was first produced by MCA in 1978, and became well known in the 1980s. Movie companies stopped making Laserdisc movies when DVDs became well known in the late 1990s. Today some of the better Laserdisc players still sell for $1,000 USD or more.



Laser Discs work like a regular CD-ROM or DVD. The surface of the disc is covered with small holes that are read by a laser. This sequence of holes and no holes is turned into pictures and sound by the Laserdisc player. Most Laserdiscs can hold about 30 minutes to an hour of video per side for a total of 1 to 2 hours per disc.

The early Laserdisc players used a Helium-Neon laser to read the disc, but the later models used infrared lasers. The first units that were made with the infrared laser had some problems such as skipping, strange colors spots, and fuzziness. These problems were fixed in later models.

Some of the later Laserdisc players made were ones that could play Audio CDs as well as Laserdiscs. In Japan, one of the last models to be produced even had the ability to play DVDs as well as CDs and Laserdiscs.

Other websites