What is it?• It was a form of technology used to play films. It was supposed to replace VHS and Betamax but was unsuccessful in most places except for Japan as it managed to stay around up until 2001 but died off because not many people wanted to use that format anymore, they wanted to use a newer format.• It was first released to the public on December 15th 1978.
The inventor of laser disc The inventor of laser disc was David Paul Gregg and he invented this in 1958. He originally patented it as the videodisk in 1961 but in 1968 his patents were purchased by the MCA which it the music corporation of America who further developed his technology which helped to create DVD etc.
What films it played The first movie to be released on laser disc was ‘Jaws’ in North America in 1978. The last laser disc to be released in North America were ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Bringing out the Dead’ which was in the 2000. The last film to be released in Japan were Hong Kong film ‘Tokyo Raiders’ from golden harvest which was in 2001. By 1992 the average price of a laser disc was $30 which is equivalent to £20 where as VHS only cost between £5- £10.
Why it was not successful The laser disc was not successful because it was really expensive and on top of that they players that was used to play it was really expensive also. It was double sided which made it prone to damage. Each side only held 30-60 minutes of films on each side so you’d have to turn it over half way through the film. Also depending on the film you would need several discs to watch it. Laser disc did not take off so well because people were still content to use VHS where as with DVD people were already accustomed because it looked like a CD. This is the same case for blu-ray now, people are used to DVD and it’s too soon to move to the next thing.