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I remember in the early 90's we had a machine for playing films,
The films were in very thin (3-4mm) square cases approx 30cm across.
I always thought it was a laserdisc player but when I search for laserdiscs I see actual big discs like large CDs or DVDs and not encased in any way.
This thing couldn't have been expensive in 1989, or we wouldn't have had one i'm sure.
any idea what it was?
That does not sound familiar to me. Laserdisc was launched in the 70's as Laservision, and later re-launched. The discs were silver (occasionally gold, marketed as CD-Video) and 12" diameter with a 1.5" hole in the centre. Quality was excellent, perfect analogue video that even today for analogue-sourced material a DVD struggles to match.
I really don't know about a 30cm (12") disc in a square caddy...and I generally know about these things! Will have to look it up!
Sounds like the Phillips CD-i (click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-i))
I loved Laserdiscs. I had a few, the original Bladerunner one fetched the most when I flogged them as it was the original cut. :)
Sorry to disappoint anyone here but what you are talking about was called a video disc. It was not a laserdisc, it was a vinyl disc just like a normal 12" LP that played videos via a stylus. The disc was encased in its sleeve that was pushed wholesale into the machine through a narrow slit. When you pulled the sleeve out the disc remained in the machine, thus it was never handled. You could skip along in 5 min intervals, rewind, FF everything except record. The machine i had was a GEC McMichael. I had 40 films and music vids with it. Unfortunately i broke the stylus cleaning it, i asked a stylus company to get me a replacement but nothing. It would be quite collectable if i hadn't sold it at a boot sale.
GEC McMichael V5000H VideoDisc Player for the RCA CED System (http://www.cedmagic.com/museum/ced-player-guide/v5000h.html)
At one time it was thought that video tape wouls just be for recording TV, & laserdiscs would be for pre-recorded material, as at the time the discs could be made for much less than a pre-recorded VHS or Betamax tape.
I guess not too many people in the early 1980s wanted to invest in 2 expensive machines, so this never really happened.
I can remember mostly seeing laserdiscs in the mid 1990s, when home cinema became popular & shops wanted to cash in before DVDs came along.
One problem I've heard with laserdiscs is "laser rot" where the metal inside starts to tarnish if it's not stored properly. Fairly rare but something for collectors to look out for. The plastic used for coating is different than that used for CDs, & can absorb moisture more.
As for CDi I remember my school getting a couple of these for the library, & quickly having to get some earphones for them because of all the sounds disturbed other library users.
Have a look at this page. Tells all about Laser Disc
I had one of these, pioneer i think back in the ealy 90's. To buy the media for it i had to travel to Faversham as that was the only place local to me that sold it.....
The one and only time I came across a laser disc or whatever it was (12", looked like a big CD) was at school. Must have been 1988/1989. As I wasn't au fait with any of this sort of thing, not even CDs, I thought it was AMAZING. This big disc that the teacher put in a machine and it had loads of photos on it and you could select certain things (I think). Wow. I was easily pleased!
I think that what killed Laserdisk was the price just for one film and the size but just think for a moment, without laser disk, we wouldn't have games like Astron Belt, Space Ace and that all time classic DRAGON'S LAIR.
There was a Laserdisc display constantly showing a disc of the Charles and Diana wedding in Rackhams in Altrincham. It provided, ooh, minutes of fun to snaffle the remote control and have Diana walking backwards down the St Pauls Steps and getting back into the coach.
Thinking about it, she'd have been better off if she had. :cry:
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