This 1992 News Clip Wonders If Laserdiscs Will Replace The VHS Format

I picked up my first Laserdisc player around 1994, thanks in no small part to a fellow co-worker at the Razorback Theater. Roger had a huge collection of Laserdiscs and at that time well before DVD’s it afforded a young cinephile the opportunity to lay their hands on some truly special releases such as the Extended Edition of Aliens, or the spectacular and rather expensive box set releases for Walt Disney’s Archive Editions of Tron and the Nightmare Before Christmas. These were packed to the breaking point with extra features as well as interviews and commentaries that made the $40 to $100 purchase worth while.

Image courtesy of stiGGy's Blog.

Image courtesy of stiGGy’s Blog.

By the time I switched over to DVD I had amassed a fair collection of Laserdisc titles myself with 79 films and TV series that I do still possess today and if I were to have more space in the living room I would have the player hooked up right this second.

So it was nice to stumble across this video uploaded by Scott Simpson on his YouTube channel, sharing a news clip from 1992 that aired on WGRZ-TV in Buffalo focusing on whether the Laserdisc was going to have the muscle to push out the VHS format.

A big thanks to stiGGy’s Blog for sharing that photo of the Archive Edition of Tron you see above.

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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6 thoughts on “This 1992 News Clip Wonders If Laserdiscs Will Replace The VHS Format

  1. I had never even heard of laserdiscs until AFTER dvds had been on the market for a while. In fact, I thought that laserdiscs were the next generation of dvds.
    An interesting thing about laserdiscs though is that while they were a pretty dismal failure, their descendants have dominated the multimedia world. CDs were born from laserdiscs, and of course dvds were as well.

  2. I still have an LD player and was actively buying discs until a few years ago.

    At the end, they make that comment that the quality between VHS and LD was not much difference. This was because – in many cases – the source the used to make the LD’s was the same as VHS – so you wouldn’t get a better quality playback since the source was usually low rent.

    However, the big titles – Star Wars, T2, Indiana Jones – all of which I own – were the best versions out there until DVD. And of course, the first rereleases of Night Of The Living Dead and Dawn Of The Dead remasters were on Laserdisc and they were incredible. All of John Carpenter’s films also had quality releases and audio commentary tracks.

  3. Absolutely, Patrick! Some of my very first purchases were John Carpenter films, not just because I love his movies but those extra features. I think the first three Laserdisc titles I picked up were Re-Animator, Krull, and Assault on Precinct 13.

  4. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Laserdiscs blew my mind as a film-lovers’ delight.
    Improved visuals (no tracking issues anyway), generally good sound (out of my mono setup) and extras galore (including commentaries so revealing they were never re-issued for DVD).

    Of course with the good came the awkward. LDs were the 8-tracks of home theater as you had to flip or switch the disc every 30 minutes.
    But that was never an issue.

    Never owned a player, could only rent one for a few days along with a bunch of titles.
    Lotsa cool marathons.
    Good times.

  5. Amen to that Atari Adventure Square. I should mention that the Twilight Zone collections on Disc were mind blowing, certainly some of the jewels in my collection, but in all honesty they didn’t have as many as the new DVD and Blu-Ray versions.

    Still…I spent a lot of my young adult years plopped down in my room after work, just enjoying the beauty of the Zone on Laserdisc.

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