Linked by weildish on Sun 18th Jan 2009 23:32 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Remember those lovely laser discs that education systems seemed to so lovingly embrace back in the 80s and 90s? The discs resembled what today's children would probably call a giant DVD, and these would be placed upon a massive tray to be sucked into a player twice the size of your VCR (VCR? What's that?). All of the memories associated with these players may bring tears to the surface, but you're going to have to face the truth sooner or later: Pioneer just ended production of its last three laser disc players, meaning that replacements for the said players, assuming you own one, will now be gone... forever. Stock up and buy a couple, and you'll be able to enjoy those massive discs for years to come instead of using them as frisbees. Honestly, though-- how did the laser disc player last this long?
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Ah, the march of technology...
by obsidian on Mon 19th Jan 2009 04:28 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

Laser-disc players, following in the footsteps of film cameras and clunky old CRT monitors... ;)

Reply Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Laser-disc players, following in the footsteps of film cameras and clunky old CRT monitors... ;)

Speaking as a photographer using film and digital cameras. Unfortunately digital is not even close to the resolution and colour reproduction of 35mm slide and medium format film. So film cameras are here to stay for quite some time. :-)

Reply Score: 1

analog
by FunkyELF on Mon 19th Jan 2009 04:30 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

I was bored one day about a year ago and decided to read about Laser Discs on Wikipedia. I was very surprised to find out that they were actually analog. While the resolution wasn't that high one could argue that the color range was much better than a DVDs.

Also, from what I understand, they actually took time to make Laser Discs where DVDs are just thrown together haphazardly, not mastered correctly and a lot of them come out looking like crap.

Reply Score: 3

Ah Nostalgia
by BeckyBrummie on Mon 19th Jan 2009 10:55 UTC
BeckyBrummie
Member since:
2009-01-19

I used to go out with someone who was passionate about Laser Discs. I thought they were kinda cool but the capacity seemed to be a drawback. I hope a few will be preserved. I think there was some project in the eighties that used LDs with BBC Computers. Hell, I might look out for a player at a car boot sale!

Reply Score: 1

Laserdiscs
by MissinBeOS on Mon 19th Jan 2009 13:56 UTC
MissinBeOS
Member since:
2006-10-20

I happen to own a laserdisc player, and approximately 100 laserdiscs ... when they were out, VHS tapes just couldn't compete in terms of sound & picture quality. Another nice thing was you were more likely to get "director's cut" or special editions in laserdisc format -- these would include all sorts of nice extras, including commentaries by the director, cast, etc. The whole package was usually put together with a lot of thought and attention to detail.

There were two kinds of laserdiscs CAV and CLV -- Constant Angular Velocity and Constant Linear Velocity. The two formats differed in how much information (or rather, playing time) there was per side. I forget which one was which, but one allowed you to "freeze frame" and step through frame-by-frame through scenes ... something that VHS could rarely do well without some juddering or tearing of the video.

Anyway ... with DVDs and their compact size, digital compression, etc., laserdiscs had no hope of competing -- not unlike how vinyl records went to a distant 2nd place compared to CDs (although, hardcore audiophiles are staging a comback with LPs ;) )

Reply Score: 2

RE: Laserdiscs
by lfeagan on Wed 21st Jan 2009 05:25 UTC in reply to "Laserdiscs"
lfeagan Member since:
2006-04-01

Just thinking about it from a theoretical standpoint (and given the technology of the time), one can readily deduce that CAV would have a lower capacity (constant angular velocity at a large radius = low data density) but would be capable of easily handling freeze-frame. Conversely, CLV yields a higher capacity but the need to constantly vary the drive servo speed would result in a very challenging situation (for the poor soul tasked with developing the drive servo micro-controller) if trying to freeze or step frame-by-frame.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Laserdiscs
by Johann Chua on Wed 21st Jan 2009 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Laserdiscs"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

CLV freeze-frame was done with digital memory.

Reply Score: 2