What is a Laser Disc?

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What is a Laser Disc? Is there any separate player for that?

-- Ajesh (ajeshnr@rediffmail.com), May 02, 2004


LaserDisc refers to an optical analogue/digital audio/video playback system initiated/brought together by Philips and Discovision (later aqcuired by Pioneer) in the late 70s. There are two disc sizes 8in and the much more common (then) 12in, and initially constant-angular velocity (CAV) could accomodate 30mins of analogue audio & video per side of a 12in disc. Philips refined this to constant linear velocity (CLV) so one side of a 12in disc now accomodates 1hr, for a total of two hours on the disc making it viable for movies. In 1982 Sony and Philips decided to borrow some aspects of the LaserDisc's optical system to use in the audio CD, and shortly after, Philips designed a separate track on the LaserDisc such that now it had digital audio, with the same specs as CDDA. For most of the 80s until the early 90s LaserDisc remained a niche format mostly in the US and Japan (NTSC areas), primarily championed by Pioneer, which had the widest selection of players and some of the discs to play in them. The late 80s saw the popularity of the combination player that allowed playback of audio CDs, LaserDiscs, and CDV (a unique CD format that allowed 20mins of digital audio and 6mins of analogue video/digital audio). In the middle 90s h/w and s/w sides clamored for a new format to counter the big physical size and limited options and fidelity of the LaserDisc, and so DVD was born.

-- Mehmet Tekdemir (turk690@yahoo.com), May 02, 2004.

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