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Retroist LaserDisc Podcast
Welcome to Episode 8 of the 13th season of the Retroist Podcast. In this episode, I discuss the optical disc format, LaserDisc.
I have always been fascinated with LaserDiscs and their capabilities, so this was a fun episode to do. I learned a lot.
I start the show back in the video store because when I worked at a store that sold videotapes, we also sold LaserDiscs. The customers who enjoyed LaserDiscs were always extremely knowledgeable and well-informed. They were the first people who taught me about many of the movie audio formats that we take for granted today.
Then I talk about the history of the LaserDisc starting with the people and companies that invented, promoted, popularized, and sold the discs and players. The LaserDisc last for over two decades, and during that time there were many innovations on both the discs and players. So I discuss a bunch of these technological leaps and try to explain why they were important. I touch on the differences between LD and other formats that were popular at the time, namely tape. Although I do touch on CED as well.
LaserDisc was ahead of its time, and it was eclipsed in the USA by a cheaper and more versatile format, videotape. Still, it would influence future optical formats like CDs and DVDs.
Since this is a technical subject, I do get a bit technical. I try and explain things to the best of my ability. Hopefully I walk that line between oversimplifying and overly technical well enough for everyone to enjoy the show.
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The eighth episode of Season 13. I actually recorded it a bit earlier.
I planned to do this podcast many years ago, right after I did the VCR Podcast. When I tried to record it back then, it was way too technical. So the show was put on hold for an awfully long time.
Gauss Electrophysics is a great name. I kind of want to make a t-shirt with the name on it and might do it. Is that crazy? Well crazy or not, I decided to do it.
I tried to simplify LaserDisc technology to explain it more simply. Some of this would be a lot easier if I had a video to show.
Here is a magnification of the LaserDisc surface.
I didn’t go into a lot of detail on LaserDisc Audio. I am fascinated by the idea that people were collecting this audio format and that these collections are still out there. I wonder if
These are the laser pointers I currently have on my desk. I do love playing with lasers.
I would have gone into more detail about CED, but I plan on discussing that in a Season 14 or 15 podcast.
I told a story about my early blogging days when I was talking about my early experiences with LaserDisc. Someone was nice enough to comment on my confusion between CED and LD. I decided to go with my story about the video store instead. We all know how unkind the internet can be, I didn’t need to remind people about this.
I cut out a section about shopping for LaserDiscs at Goodwill even though I didn’t own a LaserDisc player. It was only about a minute long. It was a tangent that didn’t tie into anything.
I would have liked to visit an electronic store in Japan in the early 80s. They were doing some cool and interesting things there that seemed so futuristic at the time.
I had more discussion of the various LaserDisc-based games. It was about a minute long and lacked any detail about the various games. So I cut it down to just Dragon’s Lair.
All the music you hear in this episode is by the mighty Peachy.
While I love my Media Center, I am still a cheerleader for physical media. So if you are thinking about starting a LaserDisc collection I highly encourage it.
Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.